So here’s a unexpected twist from the perspective of my social circle: I packed up and moved across the country. Just like that.
I mulled over moving all of 2020. It was such a transitional and hard year. It’s changed the social and economic landscape of Portland, OR that might..no, will take a lot of time to recover from. Just on the Pandemic alone, there might be light at the end of the tunnel if the case numbers go lower because of the vaccines being deployed. But the adjacent issues are the wealth gap that has left tons more people homeless and living in tents and RV’s, the alarming rise in crime citywide, the lack of response from PPB probably due to the unrelenting violent riots happening nightly in different parts of downtown, that target municipality leadership and capitalist businesses. How long will it take for downtown life to go back to how it was?
In all of this swirling angst and incompetent solutions, there’s the overall affordability gorilla still standing tall in the room. I’ve missed my window to own property in a decent hood, on a working class income many years ago.
My new home is Birmingham, Alabama. Yep…Bama. That state that West Coast folks cringe at when I told them I was moving there. Here’s the thing: 50’s era Alabama was just that…50’s. The outright Jim Crow environment is long gone. Sure, there’s still racial tension in some places but what state doesn’t have that? I used to travel all over the state of Oregon and Washington back in the past for a trucking company and I felt some tension in some places. Those places being the conservative towns. In Oregon, one thing that stuck to me when it comes to midsize and small towns, is what I call the ‘Yin & Yang” of political based location. Every area has roughly equal sized towns, 1 liberal and 1 conservative. E.g. Eugene (D) and Springfield (R), Hood River (D) and The Dalles (R), Bend (D) and Redmond(R), Medford (R) and Ashland (D). I’ve based this off of conversations I’ve had with natives of all areas…it’s a herd mindset.
This move was a reset for me, because Birmingham is extremely affordable. I’ll get a new chance at owning my first piece of property. The home I’m renting right now has a great owner who is constructing a extra bedroom and bathroom to it. When it’s all done he says he’ll offer me a chance to purchase it. He brought this 1334 SqFt. as a 3 bdrm, 1 bath property for $20K 2 years ago and it’s in a quiet, secluded forested neighborhood. He’s done an excellent job refurbishing the whole interior and much of the exterior. I’m sold.
How will I continue my business of media making you might ask…
I will miss the opportunities abound in Portland and there are plenty regardless of the Pandemic or the riots, but only in the physical sense of completing jobs. I have competent colleagues that I have working on Six10’s behalf as I write this. I acquire the jobs and they shoot them, I edit. They get a chunk of the profits. Simple. On this end, I will start over in a different landscape, but in doing diligent research last year, I connected with 2 local people that are go-getters and know the temperature of business present and future. The temperature will be getting hot like the humid Summers here. Starting and building relationships is what I do…it’s been my bread and butter to longevity in this industry. You better believe I’ll be at every networking opportunity that crosses my path.
Portland, I had a great 18 year stint but I had to make a decision for the future. I’ll be back if my clients want my personal touch on a project but a personal visit probably won’t happen for a long while.
I see success in the near future here.