Portland Named A Top Place to Live in the U.S. But I Disagree
U.S. News and World Report has released its 2019 list of the best cities to live in the country and Portland made the list, but should it have?
The report lists Portland as number 23 out of 125 of the best places to live in the U.S., but my opinion, that I feel is shared with many Mainers who live away from Portland, is that it's a nice place to visit but you wouldn't want to live there.
U.S. News and World Report describes Portland having, "A "do it yourself" spirit (that) resonates throughout the region, so don't be surprised if a neighbor offers you extra produce from a community garden, home-brewed beer or knitting tips. All around Portland you'll find dozens of local entrepreneurs offering homegrown or homemade products, from mittens to coffee."
I've lived in Maine all my life and in Portland off and on for 20 years. I've never been offered produce or seen these community gardens. Knitting tips? Really?
It goes on to say "Those seeking an island lifestyle call the metro area's residential islands east of the peninsula home."
I'm pretty sure a big percentage of the people reading this could never afford to live out on the islands. You have to have big bucks to do that and the patience to wait for a ferry to take you to the mainland. Even if I had a gagillion dollars....pass.
At the end of the article is where the true Portland is finally revealed: "Portland is at a crossroads on how to move forward. New development is often met with opposition, while demand for affordable housing is high. An aging rental and housing stock combined with a tight market on mid-tier units has left middle-income earners struggling to settle in Portland."
In a nutshell, a lot of people can't afford to live in Portland and the Mainers who used to be able to are being squeezed out by those "from away" who have the bankroll Portland now demands.
Portlanders that are not native Mainers don't understand that Maine is a vast state with many other great places to live, but Portland always gets the attention. When you pay for expensive parking, housing, and a new condo and hotel goes up ever other month, you realize that Portland is becoming less and less the true Maine. If you really want Maine, drive an hour in any direction and you'll find it.
That's my opinion. What's yours? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page.