Input and rec's wanted for moving to Portland area

Hi -- I'm looking for a less busy and less expensive area that still has much of the charm of Berkeley and Oakland -- arts, science, unique people and place and a sense of community and my 14 yr old son has started to support this because he has some troubles with kids in 8th grade teasing him about bringing Asian food (he is half Asian) to school.  I just went to Portland and liked some of the areas but am having trouble finding a good high school with neighborhoods that are easy to navigate as a kid and are bike-able, etc.  I want him to have easy access to other kids but also for him to be accepted and finally enjoy his school life and it would be great to get insights on the high school kids in the area -- are they accepting? open? friendly? etc..  So far the list has included Eastern Portland (felt like Berkeley to me), Lake Oswego, Camas, Vancouver -- does anyone have advice/recommendations on areas that would be a good fit for both me and him?  (I may or may not work when we move so I would look for volunteer or a part time job)

Thanks in advance for sharing any insights and wisdom you have on this!  (also open to Minneapolis area recs since we have family there)

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Hi there - we moved to NE Portland from Berkeley 3 yrs ago and our oldest is a 9th grader at a large local high school (Grant). Feel free to email me if you’d like to connect. Happy to share our impressions of various neighborhoods and ideas that might support your 14 yr old if you choose to move here.

We have several family members in Portland and is a great little city, in some ways much easier than the Bay Area. But - the weather is no joke. People get depressed. All of life is very different bc it rains so much and can be dark and overcast for months. In addition, it is VERY white. Like 97% or some crazy number like that. The Midwest will be much worse. We have close friends who moved to be near family in Minneapolis - she is married to an Asian man. It has NOT been an accepting community. Even with family there. I hope Portland would be different but I would do some heavy research in that area before doing this. Your son might be really ostracized.

I'm sure a lot of people will weigh in on this, but we have friends and family in Portland so we've visited a lot, and my kids (who are white) consistently remark on how WHITE it is. I'm not sure where you are in the bay area, but as far as the comments about bringing Asian food to school, maybe that's school-specific. I doubt it would be less likely in a whiter city. Other than the homogeneity, we love Portland; it does remind me of Oakland a bit and it's slower and quieter overall. It's also wonderfully quirky.

We have a place in Portland and split our time between the Bay Area and Portland, plus both of our adult children live here. I don't think of Portland as being "less busy" than the Bay Area at all. Sellwood in the SE is probably the closest to what you're looking for, in terms of charm, bike-ablity/walkability, community. Lake Oswego is fairly suburban. Like the equivalent of moving to Lafayette. No shade to Lafayette or Lake Oswego. Both are really nice and a great fit for families. We love the NW district around Wallace Park. It is like a combo of Rockridge & Noe Valley. Fairly quiet but close to the NW 23rd shopping district and easy freeway access. My brother lives in Roseway in the NE. As you move further out from the city center, things get quieter, but in some directions it gets sketchy and other directions kind of hilly and hard for kids with bikes.