Portland vs. New York – a living and Travel Comparison

Whether it is for work, travel, or you decide to move to another place, you end up with two cities – Portland and New York. These two cities sit far across from each other. If you wish to drive from New York to Portland, and vice versa, it will take you about one day and 17 hours. Meanwhile, traveling by air will take about five hours.

Besides the distance, there are several factors you need to think about if you plan on visiting one of these places. A straightforward yet comprehensive comparison of the two cities is here to understand Portland and New York better.

Portland vs. New York: Friendliness and Culture

Friendliness and Culture Portland

Coined as the “Big Apple,” New York is a place for talented yet unrecognized artists, including those who aspire to make it big in the arts and entertainment. These people are not all New Yorkers. They came from every part of the globe and gravitated to New York, which they consider their spiritual home.

The metropolis houses various art schools, concert halls, galleries, restaurants, music and acting, promoters, and agents, among others. While it seems incredible to visit New York, some think that people here are rude. Not going above and beyond to help others might have caused the misconception. New Yorkers are quick to extend help to strangers. However, they might not go out of their way.

Portland is a smaller city than New York. It gives a small-town vibe with a reputation of being creative, weird, and wacky. The city might not be as busy as the streets in the Big Apple, but Portland is famous for its local craft beers, artsy people, vibrant festivals, street, and mural arts.

Besides the city’s hip atmosphere, Portland is also about low-impact living and sustainability. Furthermore, with its small-town atmosphere, people in the town are warm and friendly, even to strangers.

Demographics and Diversity

Demographics and Diversity in Portland

New York has the upper hand over Portland in terms of land area. Hence, you can expect that the Big Apple houses more people. The US Census recorded more than eight million people living in New York in 2020. Meanwhile, Portland’s 2020 Census recorded more than 650 000 residents.

With its vast population, you can expect New York’s large multi-ethnicity. Based on the 2020 Census, New York’s population consists of white, black, African Americans, Asians, and Latinos. On the other hand, more than 70% of the people in Portland are white. Six per cent of the city’s total population are Asians, and close to 10% are Latinos.

Portland vs. New York: Weather

Weather and Climate in Portland - what to expect

Weather in New York

Portland’s annual rainfall stands at 36 inches, while New York’s is 46 inches. In general, the city of New York has cool to hot temperatures in spring. During the summer, the city experiences hot, bright, sunny days. Meanwhile, the fall season calls for people to wear layers as it can be chilly.

It is expected that the winter months will be snowy and cold. On the other hand, Portland gives off a moderate climate. The city has warm, dry summers. Winter in Portland brings rain and a little snow, resulting in cool and wet weather.

Portland vs. New York: Budget and Living Costs

Cost of living in Portland Maine

New York might not be the ideal city for you if you are looking for affordable cities to live in. Technically, the Big Apple is tagged as one of the most expensive cities in the United States. The city has a living cost index of 187.2, above the country’s 100.

Most residents in New York rent their homes. If you plan to do so, you will be paying an average of $3 436. However, the price increases in areas like Manhattan sit at about $4,210. While these numbers look expensive, you should also know that working in New York pays a lot. Manhattan workers have an average salary of $61 568 a month.

Similar to New York, the living costs in Portland are higher than the national average. However, it’s not as expensive as New York. Close to half of the residents here also rent their homes, with an average cost of $1 495.

The neighborhoods like the Pearl District, Nob Hill, and Old Town Portland are some of the most expensive places to live. Meanwhile, the average salary in the city lies at around $69 000 a month.

The salary amount can generally cover other living expenses like food ($ 372.45/month), utilities ($254/month), and transportation ($100/month for an unlimited TriMet pass).

Portland vs. New York: Lifestyle

Portland Lifestyle Oregon

New York is a bustling city and is even tagged as “the city that never sleeps,” with various nightlife hotspots, many bars and restaurants, shopping destinations and very cool neighborhoods such as Brooklyn, Williamsburg, DUMBO and East Villages.

There are many unique things to do in New York and the abundance of arts and culture venues, theater, beauty and health centers, and sports facilities will make you feel like you can almost experience and do everything in the city. The ethnicity is as diverse as the city’s culinary scene.

While you could also say the same with Portland regarding the food scene, arts and entertainment, and shopping, the city in Oregon exudes a more laid-back and homey vibe than that in New York. The creative scene is evident in large murals, while shops and boutiques pride themselves on almost all local handmade crafts.

If you are someone who looks for locally-grown, organic goods, then Portland is your home. Furthermore, you should know that drivers cannot pump their fuel

Portland vs. New York: Transportation and Traffic

Traffic in Portland Oregon

Portland’s TriMet operates the city’s light rail system called Metropolitan Area Express (MAX). It spans the entire Portland, mainly on the West/East axis. It runs typically every fifteen minutes making transportation from one place to another convenient. Buses and streetcars also ply along the streets of Portland, and commuters can get a ticket useful for all three modes of public transportation.

Furthermore, it is essentially noteworthy that biking is famous in the city. Also known as the “Bike City USA,” 7% of the city’s residents use bicycles to travel to and from work. Although the town has an excellent transport system, it still experiences terrible traffic, especially during the rush hour.

With economic growth and an increasing population, you should know that New York is one of the busiest streets in the US. The city landed on top at a 2021 scorecard for being the most congested urban area. On the flip side, New York also boasts a comprehensive subway station.

The subway is the most common mode of transportation, especially for those who want to escape the traffic and congestion. The city has about 6,000 buses covering approximately 322 routes. And who can forget the famous yellow taxis? They’re everywhere in New York.

Portland vs. New York: Crime

Crime statistics in Portland Oregon

In February 2022, New York City saw a 58.7% increase in its overall index. Robbery increased by 56%, grand larceny up by 79.2%, grand larceny auto also increased by 104.7%, while the citywide shooting incidents went down by 1.3%.

New York is still among the five safest big cities in the United States despite the numbers.

Portland, on its side, looks to be a safe city for visitors. However, it is still ideal for visitors and residents to take caution, common sense, and concern.

The Portland Police Bureau reported a slight increase in reported shootings in 2022 with 107. From those shooting incidents, 26 people got injured.

Portland vs. New York: Things to do and other attractions

Brewery Tour Portland

You can never leave Portland, Oregon, without trying their crafted beers. There are approximately a hundred microbreweries in the city, and they are serious about creating excellent beer. While you’re in the town, make a stop at Powell’s City of Books which occupies an entire block in the city. A reader or not, you will be amazed by how extensive the book collection is inside.

Shop locally in Portland as the city is full of dazzling local businesses; from clothing boutiques, grocery stores, food carts, breweries, and coffee roasters, Portland has them.

Chrysler Building New York

On the other side of America, New York does not lack things and places to visit. The city receives millions of tourists each year to experience its culture and taste its food. Experience homemade bagels, find pizza on every street corner and get some slices of New York’s cheesecake.

Of course, there is no leaving the city without visiting iconic and historic landmarks like the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, One World Trade Center, and Madison Square Garden

Nature Attractions and Outdoors

Tom McCall Waterfront Park Spring

Portland boasts parks with an area of approximately 11 697 acres. The famous Forest Park is the country’s largest urban forest. It has 70 miles of trails for hikers, bikers, and runners. Other natural attractions in the city worth visiting include the following:

? Willamette River

? Tom McCall Beach

? Oaks Park

? Oregon Museum of Science and Industry

? Portland Children’s Museum

? International Rose Test Garden

? Portland Japanese Garden

? Mount Hood

? Oregon Coast

? Columbia River Gorge

? Wine Country

Central Park New York

New York might be home to giant buildings and skyscrapers, but the city also has various parks and outdoor activities. These are some of the local parks frequently visited by locals and visitors alike:

? Washington Square Park

? Central Park

? Pumphouse Park

? Inwood Hill Park

? Theodore Roosevelt Park

Portland vs. New York: Music, Arts, and Neighborhoods

Theater lovers and art gallery explorers will have their eyes filled with Portland’s creative scenes. Street arts and huge murals will fill your curious eyes as you stroll along the streets of Portland. There’s a high concentration of various art galleries in Pearl District.

You might chance upon art walks usually done on the first Thursday and Friday of the month. Some artsy favorites you can check out include the Portland Art Museum, Oregon Symphony, and Portland Center Stage.

Like Portland, New York is a haven for everything from arts and entertainment. Be sure to catch a musical or play on Broadway. The Phantom of the Opera is probably the longest-running musical on Broadway. The city is home to many galleries and museums, such as the Guggenheim and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Notable Neighborhoods in Portland

Nob Hill Portland Oregon

? Nob Hill is famous for its Victorian homes turned into restaurants and boutiques. You can experience the old Portland as you shop for local handmade crafts and taste the local cuisine. It’s close to the Pearl District, downtown Portland, and Forest Park.

? The Old Town Chinatown is Portland’s oldest neighborhood, housing authentic Chinese restaurants, and tea houses. It boasts a lively entertainment district and shopping hub.

Notable Neighborhoods in New York


? Chelsea used to be an industry hub and has transformed into one of Manhattan’s most cultivated cultural places. It’s near the famous High Line, which presents an elevated attraction with an interesting historical background and excellent views. Here lies a high concentration of art galleries.

? The Upper East Side borders Central Park, Fifth Avenue, and the East River. You can see high-end shopping centers, fine dining, and luxury hotels.

Portland vs. New York: Social Issues

A Guide to Homelessness in Portland

As progressive, lively, and vibrant as New York and Portland are lies the prevailing issues of homelessness. In New York alone, there are about 100 000 homeless residents.

Authorities in each city also continue to plan out ways to alleviate or perhaps solve this social issue. New York, for its part, proposed a Housing Access Voucher Program; meanwhile, some residents of Portland seek authorities to provide proper housing alternatives before restricting where the homeless could sleep.

Final Thoughts

New York is a fascinating yet expensive city. If you want an electric, busy, and bustling place to explore and live, then ‘the city that never sleeps’ is for you. However, one should note that some of the things you see in New York are also in Portland – from the creative scene, food, art galleries, and museums.

Unlike the extravagance in New York, Portland exudes a homey and laid-back atmosphere ideal for people who wish to live in the city at the same time enjoy all the local treats a place has to offer.

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