Very little crime. Every once in a while the police will be called for noise, but that's pretty much it.
Its clean, quiet family neighborhood, with plenty of green spaces, schools and shops on the main road. It's definitely one of the more charming neighborhoods of the city, the state and even New England. The density and volume of traffic are low compared to proximity to downtown, and Victorian-era homes line the streets.
Maine weather is perfect. Some of the winter snowstorms are bad, but other than that, there are no natural disaster concerns.
Portland is known for its outstanding good. I have only had good experiences when eating out in the city.
I have had no problem with the public services. They are generally on top of everything and all issues that may arise.
I personally have a good job. Right now I work for at a window restoration shop getting $12/hr. Many of my friends are not making as much though, but as a whole the job market is solid.
There is a great mixture of local businesses and larger retail/chain stores. This pertains to food establishments mostly.
People are either extremely health focused or not. There aren't many gyms in Portland, but the ones that are here are kept clean. Not many people run or bike outdoors because of the weather. Hospitals are alright; Maine Medical Center is considered one of the top in Maine and New England. For me, school sports and the gym are how I stay active and fit.
There are said to be two seasons in Maine: winter and not winter. Winters were brutally cold and feet upon feet of snow (although in recent years, it seems the south has had more snow than we have). The "summer" is short and temperatures stay mid 70's to 80's tops. "Spring" brings a lot of rain and flooding because, most of the time, the snow hasn't fully melted, so there's an excess of water on the streets. Fall is my favorite season; the leaves change and the weather tends to be pleasant. IF you enjoy the snow and cold weather, Maine is perfect.
Unless you plan on working in small stores, ice cream parlors, restaurants, or schools for the rest of your life, Portland is not the place for you. There are banks and law firms and real estate agencies, hospitals and elderly homes, but they aren't usually hiring.
Housing varies greatly. There are million dollar homes, average homes, and condominiums all within 15 feet of each other. North Deering has the most uniform looking homes. Sagamore Village is rundown, and new immigrants tend to move there. Deering is for the average Joe. Downtown has lots of apartments. The East and West End are the biggest homes and the ones with the best views. The West End is a tad sketchy at night, as is Deering, Downtown, and Sagamore Village, but that's common in cities.
There isn't really a sense of community, but we all do our part. People come and go just like anywhere else, but it doesn't disrupt daily life for the rest of the neighborhood. Small dogs and cats are more common than larger dogs because they don't require a lot of room to run and play. Babies are common, but once the children begin to walk and talk, the area isn't the best due to fast moving cars and little yard area.
Police and fire stations are not an issue. Officers are very friendly and always patrolling. Fire stations are scattered, which makes their reaction time faster. Public services do an adequate job keeping up with daily life. Laws seem to be in favor of many citizens, even though they might not be best for the city as a whole in the long run. Local representatives are always in the news; most of the times it's bad. At first, it seemed the governor truly cared, but slowly it seems like the game of politics is changing his ways.
Overall, Portland isn't great, but it's not the worst place to live either. I will not be staying in Portland; there simply isn't enough to keep me occupied. This area is more for young couples looking to get a fresh start and possibly have their first child, but plans on moving when the child gets older. The school systems are not amazing, and it's difficult as a child to have much fun. Portland has been ranked as one of the top tourist attractions in Maine, but that's about all it is.
If you like nature walks through the forest, Portland is a good area. Parks are also a common siting, especially near the schools; there are a few dog parks, but most are attached to the woods, so ticks are a possible problem. Most people don't stay in Portland for the outdoor life.
Portland is a huge tourist attraction. The Old Port features brick buildings and cobblestone streets; there are hundreds of little shops and restaurants and ice cream parlors. DiMillo's Floating Restaurant is a go-to for tourists looking for some local seafood. There are some small beaches, lots of green areas, and enough site seeing to last you at least a full day, depending on how quickly you move. There's the Longfellow House and Victoria Mansion that are fun historical sites. There's the Portland Museum of Art for the art-lovers and a Children's Museum right next-door. Wandering into the shops on the streets could bring you anywhere: tea shops like Dobra and clothing and art shops like Mexicali Blues. The Baxter Boulevard is a great place to walk or bike, and every Sunday over the summer, half is closed off for pedestrians to bike or play in the street and feel the ocean breeze. The Old Port Fest is probably the biggest event all summer, and it usually goes 2 days; there's music and food and art, and everyone comes out for a good time with friends.
The city has really done a great job of taking care of the roads and sidewalks (thanks to taxpayers but still), and almost all have been completely redone or at least repaired in the past 3 years. The speed limit is 30, and generally, everyone goes the limit. Some tend to go 5 over, but reckless driving is not common. Drunk driving rarely affects the area I live in because bars tend to be downtown. There are bus stops and bike lanes, so the possibilities for transport vary greatly.
Portland is great for small businesses, especially if one opens in the Old Port. There is a lot of variety in town, so it won't be hard to find people who are looking for something you are likely to sell.
My area is not known for neighborhood block parties or open doors. Living on a busy street makes it difficult to watch for children, so most families keep to themselves. When new neighbors move in, it's rare to have someone greet them. The community does, however, keep an eye out for each other. If someone notices mail piling up or strange cars nearby, you're sure to get a phone call. All in all it's a great area if you like keeping to yourself.