Portland, Oregon has a rather unique system of neighborhoods. Like every city, Portland has neighborhoods, where certain districts have a certain "air" or "feel" to them, based on common subcultures or economics. However, in Portland, their are also 89 different established neighborhoods that function as quasi-governmental organizations. They are further gathered up into seven different districts based on geographical location. The neighborhoods originally started in the 1960's and gained prominence in the early 1970's when they fought against some of City Hall's plans. One neighborhood went so far as to organize itself as a seperate city, and still exists as an enclave, the City of Maywood Park, totally surrounded by Portland on all sides. However, City Hall, realizing that the old truism You can't fight City Hall had been disproven, decided it would be easier just to organize the Neighborhood Associations and join forces with them. Today, thirty years later, the neighborhood associations are mostly conservative organizations, although they can still raise their fur when the City comes up with an extremely wacky plan.

The Neighborhoods are, by district:

  1. The Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods
    1. Alameda
    2. Boise
    3. Concordia
    4. Grant Park
    5. Humboldt
    6. Irvington
    7. King Jack
    8. Piedmont
    9. Sullivan's Gulch
    10. Vernon
    11. Woodlawn
  2. North Portland Neighborhood Services
    1. Cathedral Park
    2. Hayden Island
    3. Arbor Lodge
    4. Kenton
    5. Overlook
    6. East Columbia
    7. Portsmouth
    8. Piedmont
    9. St. Johns
    10. Bridgeton
    11. University Park
  3. Southeast Uplift
    1. Foster-Powell
    2. Eastmoreland
    3. Ardenwald/Johnson Creek
    4. Creston-Kenilworth
    5. CENTER
    6. Buckman
    7. Brooklyn
    8. Brentwood/Darlington
    9. Mt. Scott-Arleta
    10. Sellwood-Moreland
    11. Richmond
    12. Reed
    13. Sunnyside
    14. Kerns
    15. South Tabor
    16. Mt. Tabor
    17. Montavilla
    18. Woodstock
    19. Hosford-Abernethy
    20. Laurelhurst
  4. Central Northeast Neighbors
    1. Beaumont Wilshire
    2. Cully
    3. Cully-Sumner
    4. East Columbia
    5. Hollywood
    6. Madison South
    7. Rose City Park
    8. Roseway
    9. Roseway-Madison South
    10. Sumner
    11. Sunderland
  5. Neighbors West\Northwest
    1. Arlington Heights
    2. Forest Park
    3. Goose Hollow
    4. Hillside
    5. Linnton
    6. NINA
    7. NWDA
    8. Northwest Heights
    9. The Pearl District
    10. Sylvan-Highlands
  6. Southwest Nieghborhoods, INC
    1. Bridlemile
    2. Hayhurt
    3. Maplewood
    4. Hillsdale
    5. Homestead
    6. Terwilliger
    7. Lair Hill
    8. South Burlingame
    9. Multnomah
    10. Collins View
    11. Markham
    12. Marshall Park
    13. Arnold Creek
    14. West Portland Park
    15. Ashcreek
    16. Far Southwest
    17. Crestwood
  7. East Portland Neighborhood Office
    1. Argay
    2. Centennial
    3. Glenfair
    4. Hazelwood
    5. Mill Park
    6. Powellhurst-Gilbert
    7. Woodland Park
    8. Wilkes
    9. Pleasent Valley
    10. Parkrose
    11. Russel
    12. Parkrose Heights
    13. Lents
  8. Unaffiliated Neighborhoods
    1. Southwest Hills
    2. Downtown
    3. Old Town\Chinatown
    4. Healy Heights
    5. Lloyd District

It should be pointed out that these are the names of the official neighborhoods, which have official boundary lines. However, in normal nomenclature, not all these neighborhoods are actually used in speech. While people from Laurelhurst often say they are from Laurelhurst, I have never had anyone come up to me and say "I live in Cully-Sumner". In addition, people may say they are from an area, without actually being from the official nieghborhood. Mount Tabor, for example, is much larger than the offical neighborhood named after it, so someone may identify themselves as being from there who does not live strictly inside the neighborhood. Thus, the term district is sometimes used for an area that has similiar characteristics but cuts across bnoderlines. Se Hawthorne Boulevard, for example, cuts across many neighborhoods, but has a similiar culture along its length, characterized by many headshops.

There, then, is an introduction to the diversity that is Portland, Oregon.

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