Why (outer) East Portland?
I recently purchased a home in the Lents neighborhood of Portland. Like many Portlanders, I had moved further SE because of rising rent and prices in the inner Portland neighborhoods. Since then I’ve learned about and sought out many fascinating destinations and activities available in my new neighborhood and in east Portland.
The outer east Portland neighborhoods are not as well-developed and connected as inner Portland neighborhoods. There is a track record of the city making promises of investment and improvements but actual on-the-ground work does not compare to the rate of improvements and development in other neighborhoods. It makes sense why people are so unhappy. Neighborhoods in the area are amongst the poorest, intersections and roads the most dangerous, and crime levels the highest. This lack of investment and attention can be perceived as punishment or intentional ignoring of these serious issues.
This inequity is perpetuated in how Portland residents perceive East Portland. These neighborhoods are often excluded out of the media’s coverage of where to eat or shop in the city, or areas to consider living in. Yet East Portland is the second highest populated section of the city.
The truth is that East Portland is bursting full of life. This is the most diverse area of Portland, and 40% of the city’s children live in this area. EPo’s neighborhoods are full of authentic cuisines from all around the world, some that you would be hard-pressed to find in any other parts of Portland. They are cooked by some of the most dedicated and hard-working business owners who are so happy and excited to see new people walk in the door.
The truth is that these businesses are worth celebrating, and should be celebrated upon.