Unfortunately I might have to leave my version of Portland and backyard chickens and go back to the expensive city of L.A. in order to get a job:
So there you are in New York. You’re struggling and broke, but you’re happy. You’re in the center of the universe, right? And you’re so in love with the city that the sight of the Manhattan skyline as you ride the Q train over the bridge at night is enough to make you weep. Or maybe you’re crying because you’re tired from working your barely living-wage publishing job and then doing freelance work all night to cover your rent; or maybe you’re crying because New York is an absolutely brutal place to be a single woman; or maybe you’re crying because you’re in your 20s and it’s all so beautiful and big and overwhelming, the city spread out before you like that.
When my husband and I were born, it was possible to raise a family in New York without extreme struggle. It was still harder than most places, sure. New York has never been easy. But it was possible to raise a family in reasonable comfort without being a corporate lawyer or investment banker or heiress. To be a middle-class family in New York these days is to be in eternal survival mode, always scrabbling, always scraping by. What happens to a city that’s priced itself out of reach of the average family?
And so we left. We moved to Portland, Ore. We bought into that West Coast dream, backyard chickens and all.