People have been asking how we came to this decision. We have been looking at places to move to since last year. It wasn't as much of a snap decision as I made out to be in the previous blog post. We looked at ME,Boston area, Western MA, Upstate NY, NC, Alabama, KY, TX, Santa Fe, Taos area, Sedona, CA, Seattle, considered parts of Canada. Portland seems to have the best blend of climate, population density, artist community/market. NYC, Chicago, San Francisco and Santa Fe are the best art markets for selling, but we don't want to live in or near them.
There are other smaller places with possibly better communities, but they are further from a major gallery markets and somewhat isolated. Most of these communities have big compromises that people seem to overlook. Paducah KY, which is often mentioned, happens to be the home of the largest uranium enrichment plant in the world (I don't know the process, but it does sit on a river, so I assume water is used. It would also be a good tactical target, since it would take years to build another one). Santa Fe looked like a possibility even with the high rents until we found out it sits at 7,200 ft! I'm sure there are places we missed, but we want to be in an area with at least 2+ million people that doesn't feel like a dense city. Seattle is high on the list and this way we have access to both since it is only a 3hr. drive between the two. I did spent a month in Seattle earlier this year and loved it. If Portland doesn't work out, our backup plan is to continue up to the Seattle area.
And yes, we realize that this is a tremendous risk. We feel it is more of a risk to the long term quality of our lives to stay here and whither. Besides, the unemployment rate is only 12%! Much better than Detroit (which made our top 5).