April 4th, 2013

Portland, the economic recovery, and another round of change

During my spring break I was up in the Portland area, and I couldn't help but feel the winds of change slowly stirring.

I know that the economy is in a recovery. Actually, the economy has been in a recovery since 2009, but it seems to be at a self-sustaining level now. People get jobs and spend money and then more people get jobs, etc.

I wonder if with an economic recovery, the Portland area is in for another round of change. Of course, that is not all that meaningful, because things are changing all the time. Portland especially changes all the time. Even during the height of the great recession, Portland was still building light rail lines and opening up food carts, etc. But I do wonder if there is going to be larger changes, and in the surrounding regions. Which development hopefully won't be too loathsome, but I wonder if we are going to start having major building out in the suburbs like we did in the 1990s.

Just thinking aloud here. How do you feel about employment, economy, and development? Is stuff about to happen?

California here we come, right back where we started from

So on the weekend of the 20th, I'll be driving with a friend down to northern California to help pick up some things left behind when she moved. The weather has improved immensely in Portland of late, but I still have traumatic memories of a road trip to California from Portland ten years ago - in the height of summer, natch - when we got stuck on a mountain pass in the snow for four hours. Given that, I'd like to plan a route, if possible, that goes around the highest mountains, rather than through them. Can anyone suggest a more weather-safe course for getting from Oregon to California?