Saturday, November 10, 2007

Salem: not a slum!

We drove around Salem and Keizer, Oregon today looking for neighborhoods where we might someday decide it's worth it to buy a house, then schlep all our junk over, pile in and set up shop.

Salem gets a bad rap, particularly from Portlanders. There's a popular email going around describing the different area's theme Barbies. I don't remember the exact specs, but it was something like this: Beaverton Barbie (our current locale) is a SAHM who cuts you off in her mini-van and talks on her cell 23.5 hours a day and wears expensive sweats with words written across the bum, Portland Barbie's wearing all recycled fiber clothes and sports an endless this war bumper sticker on her Prius, though she'll flip you off faster than let you into her lane. Well, Salem Barbie had something like a toddler on one hip, cut off shorts and a leather jacket with one pocket stuffed full of Meth and a switchblade in the other.

See? Poor Salem, it really has a lot of charming areas.

Look at this:

Near downtown, hardwoods meticulously kept (built 1924), lots of attention to vintage stuff, 3br and only $219.

For 219 in Portland, you get... uh... nothing. Maybe a mobile home where a suspicious death investigation recently occurred over off 82nd.

Salem's got historic areas, one of which we totally covet: bordered by the incomparable Minto Brown Park with its jillion miles of bike trails. It's charming, and not in the real-estate meaning where charming = divey and moldered.

I'm off to play the last performance of the opera until Aida in the spring. Bon soir, mes amis des ronguer. (we're watching Ratatouille)!

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