My 2cents: I've lived in Portland 16 years and I can honestly say that what gets written in the Press about Portland (both positive and negative) is rarely true. So here are the real issues: Weather - It rains in Portland. Sometimes for very long stretches, sometimes it seems like it'll go on forever. But other times it doesn't. It's a lot less grey than say Upstate NY, a lot less brutal than Boston and there's rarely any humidity like in the South. We get maybe 5-6 snow days a year (some freak years more) and when we do the city shuts down. But if you're moving to a city for weather, Portland probably isn't the top of your list. You live here long enough you cope when the weather is bad and enjoy every moment when the weather is good. Jobs - If you come to Portland it's a good idea to bring a job because one may not be waiting her for you. Oregon is #2 in the nation for Unemployment and yes that figure goes WAY up because of other cities in the state, but the brutal truth is the job market in Portland has never been great. Having said that, Portland may be the best city in the nation to make your own job. Many people give up trying to get hired by someone else and they start their own business. This is VERY do able here and the support for local businesses is unrivaled. Gangs - No more or less a problem than in any small city. But the real question is how is crime, and that is very low. There isn't a part of town you must avoid, no dark alleys or side streets where you're in imminent danger. Yes your car may get broken into if you leave in unlocked in some areas or if you leave you stuff in plain view, but that's the same with any city. The whole Gang thing is really a myth. Food - Welcome to Vegan Vahalah. I think you'd be hard pressed to find another city more friendly to Vegans. There are more options and more support for being Vegan here than anywhere. And if you love Thai food, be prepared to be in Heaven. More choices than you can possibly imagine and most places will even do thai iced teas with coconut milk rather than cream and will hold the fish sauce in their curries! Also there's Papa G's, Vita, Bye and Bye, Portabellos, Los Gorditos II, Sweet Pea, Red and Black, Food Fight and many more veg restaurants. Also Isa Chandra call Portland home (she wrote Vegan with A Vengeance) Culture - People in Portland work to live, they don't live to work, and so it's a city rich with activities, culture, art, music and entertainment. Unless you need to be in a city with a Major League Baseball or Football team, you're going to find almost everything you need here. Cost of Living - Don't believe the hype. Portland isn't as cheap as everyone says. Things aren't cheap here, people are. You can get by on very little but it's not because things aren't expensive. There are ways to economize in the city to make living cheap possible, but the cost of living compared to the salaries paid here is off and it's a real issue. Know that going in. Getting Around - Portland is referred to as stuptown but I think they could easily rename it Bike City USA. Bike culture here is amazingly strong and in certain neighborhoods the bikes on the street can almost equal the cars. I walk, take the Max train and bike almost anywhere and everwhere I can. It's an amazing culture in that respect. Finally I'll say.. Don't move here We have a great thing going here in Portland and having more and more people here just ups the congestion and competition for jobs. I mean why not go to LA where it's more sunny..... Austin more weird... San Francisco has better jobs, NY Better food. Chicago has better sports and Seattle more coffee. But wait... You're A Vegan in Utah.... Ok I think we can make an exception. You're on the refugee list coming from that state. Seriously, you'll love it. It's one of the most amazing cities in the world.