Huh? Seattle is not Portland!

When I travel and meet new people invariably the question is asked “Where are you from?” My response is Portland or sometimes Portland, Oregon so as not to confuse it with Maine. I can’t tell you how often the person asking the question responds with “I have been to Seattle. I like Seattle.” EXCUSE me but Seattle is not Portland. Seattle is in another state and about 180 miles north of Portland.

Yes there are some similarities between the two cities:

  1. Portland and Seattle are both waterfront cities. Both cities have events along the waterfront throughout the year.
  2. Portland and Seattle are known as “Pacific Rim” cities
  3. Both cities get a lot of rain however if you think Portland is the rainiest city in the US you are wrong  The rainiest city in the United States is Mobile. Seattle’s ranking? Number 41. Portland? 42.
  4. Portland and Seattle have lively, viable downtowns as well as neighborhoods that have been gentrified that offer many alternatives for dining, arts and shopping.

But there are even more differences between Portland and Seattle:

  1. Portland is known as the “greenest city” in the USA. Portland is more “Eco-metro” than Seattle
  2. Seattle is a big city with the metro area population over 3 million. Portland’s metro population is around 2 million.
  3. I recently heard a Seattle man explain that the area is not impacted nearly as much as the rest of the nation by the bad economy because of Microsoft and Boeing.
  4. Portland has a high unemployment rate. In fact the last couple of months Oregon has been number 1 or 2 in the unemployment rankings.
  5. There is only one Fortune 500 company based in the Portland area while there are ten in the Seattle area.
  6. The cost of living may be higher than average in Porltand however it is not nearly as high as Seattle. Seattle is very similar to California when it comes to the cost of living and home prices.

I could go on and on but I think that I made my point. If you meet me and ask where I live don’t tell me you like Seattle. OK? If you tell me you live in Des Moines I don’t respond that I have been to Minneapolis and like Minneapolis.