The Impact of Portland

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Portland is a city like no other. What other city has access to so many resources? From the near mountains and ocean, locally sourced small businesses, unique neighborhoods, amazing food, and of course, open-mindedness, Portland is unlike any other city to live in, which is why the city is becoming less and less livable.

Although it’s incredibly romanticized, Portland has been a safe and fun place to grow up in for so many Jesuit students. Many children have experienced Portland’s encouraging, nonjudgmental, and tolerant attitude as a part of their upbringing. This attitude and beauty is now causing more and more people to move here, raising living expenses tremendously.

“Portland is pretty forward thinking, and open to a lot of new things,” sophomore Ben Hershey said.

While traveling across the Burnside Bridge, headed east, a sign on a building to the right reads “Long live the wildcats, misfits, and dabblers.” This statement perfectly sums up the spirit of Portland. Many students at Jesuit have been so fortunate to grow up in a city that encourages them to be different and unique, and follow whatever their passions are.

“Portland has a culture of creativity,” senior Caroline Banker said. “It encourages people to be more creative and have a distinct identity for young people. You’re also exposed to a lot of different types of people, and if you’re looking for it, you can try lots of different things, such as food or going to concerts.”

Known for it’s proximity to nature, people grow up and live here with some sense of wonder for the great outdoors. Forest Park, a close 15 minutes from downtown, has 70 miles of trails to offer. Just 90 minutes in opposite directions lie cute beach towns along the Pacific Ocean and a winter wonderland at Mount Hood.

“One of the benefits of Portland is being able to be outside all the time,” Hershey said. ” Being able to go down to the beach, just for a day trip, I think is pretty amazing, because a lot of people don’t get the opportunity to do that.”

Banker agrees with Hershey, but also adds that nature can be accessed even closer.

“I think what’s really unique about Portland is that even though it’s a city, there are still lots of quiet neighborhoods and parks to walk around in,” Banker said.”Forest Park is the perfect place to go to get away from that ‘city feel’.”

Perhaps the best part of Portland is the food. So many restaurants are so proud of having access to the freshest ingredients while also supporting local farms. It’s expected and accepted that waiting in line for brunch can take 30 minutes at least, even for a restaurant that a Portlandian may visit regularly. Yet the quality of food is so wonderful in Portland, that is is worth the wait.

“I think I’ve been very spoiled by food growing up here,” senior Aiden Dummigan said.

Sadly, Portland is becoming less and less livable. It is predicted that the current Jesuit students’ generation will be very unlikely to be able to afford to live here when they grow up. Many people will move away in hopes of coming back to raise their own families; yet, that might not be a reality, as housing prices continue to skyrocket up, and space becomes less and less available.

“If Portland becomes a more exclusive city to live in, we will lose our culture as only a certain type of people will be able to afford to live here,” Banker said.

It could be argued that we are currently living in Portland’s prime. The city is alive and thriving. The locals love this city. People here are open to trying new things, particularly food, and everyone is here to support local businesses. Although the city has its problems, it’s fairly safe and not yet completely overcrowded. For many Jesuit students, Portland has been an amazing place to call home for so long, and they hope Portland can continue to thrive while still being accessible to all.