I grew up in Eugene and moved back after getting a couple degrees elsewhere and serving in the military. Crime was pretty bad when I was growing up (one of my former classmates is on death row and another was murdered, the list goes on) but it seems far worse than before. I just spent a few years on the East coast in a major city with absolutely no crime issues and no problem finding work, but within a month of moving back to Eugene I've had property stolen and it seems like it's impossible to get hired anywhere. The salaries here are way behind other cities but the cost of housing isn't. It seems there are ten times as many people hanging out on corners with cardboard signs and I sincerely regret coming back here. So despite having family here (they have also experienced numerous thefts and break-ins), regrettably, I'll be looking elsewhere because Eugene is a huge disappointment on so many levels.
I came to attend the U of O. I was verbally abused by two professors as was the entire class. Most locals have criminal histories(for more than 3 decades) it appears the gov't has been systematically moving criminals down to release from prison. I suspect that over 40% of the local regular population have felonies. I've been threatened with a lighter by a stranger on the bus(oh, yes that makes 15 police reports in about 3 years). The landlords are either paranoid from past abuses so they go through your room or they are on drugs themselves seeking property to steal, sell and buy drugs with. It's LOOKS fine, on a day to day basis outside. BUT Criminals come from all over the country to also join the criminal penal colony!If you wish for super high risk of crimes against you then go ahead move here.....(I've been back 1 day) I won't risk staying again.
I lived in Eugene, Oregon for three years and one of the first things you learn is that the town has a bit of an inferiority complex. Portland gets all the buzz as a hipster haven, while most people still think of Eugene as being more about the lumber industry than the best place to find a microbrewery.
One of the best things about Eugene is its low cost of living, which makes it much easier to enjoy the luxuries of life. Breweries like The Beer Stein and Oakshire are as good as anything you'll find in Portland. But their prices are substantially lower than what you'd find in the "big city."
I must warn you about the big drawback of Eugene. It has a reputation for being the last haven for hippies and there's a lot of truth in that. Sometimes it seems like half the town is comprised of aging VW microbuses being driven by gray-haired artist types. But the upside of that is you'll find lots of small businesses that cater to people with not a lot of money. Lots of cool little restaurants and artist haunts. It's like New York City's Greenwich Village without the high overhead.
If you're thinking of moving to Eugene, you should know that Eugene is a college town. So you're going to hear a lot about the various Oregon Ducks sports teams. But it also means that the local elementary and & high school districts are well-regarded. As for nightlife, well, there isn't as much as you would expect to see in a college town. But the are downtown known locally as "Barmuda" has a a couple of dozen places that cater to the local college crowd.
So a lot of people bash on the weather, but it's really not that bad! Yes, It's mostly cold but when winter comes around you get one or two days of snow which is great but a lot of icy days, not so great. The summer is good though, june through early september is hot! But fall and spring are very short seasons here.
Also the community is pretty great. In the summer You got the local saturday markets and the big hippie festival, "The Oregon Country Fair" right in our neighborhood! It's a pleasant town to settle down with your family!
Eugene is a college town that's slowly dying from the inside while being covered by an ever-increasing pretentious faÃ§ade.
Good job opportunities here are almost nil, so I have no idea why this town is still growing. There are homeless panhandlers on practically every major corner. About 1/3 of Eugene-Springfield households on food stamps, and that fraction would be higher if it weren't for the rich Chinese kids and retired yuppies. Despite this, though... the only new construction seems to be pretentious crap. Fancy hotels, overpriced student housing units (which is quickly becoming a mini-bubble economy here), etc... We were recently rated the 4th most unaffordable area in the COUNTRY for buying a house (for the average local population). Rent is high, and wages are low. You can't even get a job as a waiter unless you have 2 years of experience, so have fun competing with Master's degrees to flip burgers.
The city government is extremely inept. There are multiple roads with terrible potholes that never get fixed, but they keep putting speed bumps on random roads that don't need it. They're pushing through a pointless bus program through the west end of town that will probably displace a lot of businesses on that route and make traffic even worse than it already is. YMCA and Fred Meyer offered the city millions of dollars for the old baseball stadium space. What did the city do? They're going to waste a bunch of money keeping it as a "landmark". Because yeah, people from all over the world are going to flock here to see where some minor league team used to play...
The University of Oregon is the only thing holding this town's anemic economy up in the slightest. Although when the student loan bubble starts deflating, that's when this town is really going to suffer. UO doesn't have any good STEM programs (there isn't even an engineering department), so they're going to be hit harder than most public universities. All they have to do is lay off 15 professors and overpaid administrators and there's $1mil out of the local economy overnight.
People here are generally stuck-up, pretentious and passive-aggressive. It's funny how everyone here thinks they're so great, but at the same time they're in a competition to be the most mediocre. Nobody gives a crap about doing anything well. They just settle for mediocrity and cover it with self-aggrandizing lies.
This town gets one star, because you won't be shanked to death here. Sure, maybe a tweaker will blindside you with a pennysock, but we probably have the lowest rate of murder for a town of this size. I actually like the winter weather here too, but if you can't deal with clouds and rain for 6+ months out of the year, you'll be miserable.
Eugene is a very pretty town, undoubtedly. It has some decent restaurants and some nice hippie type people. And that's about it. There is nothing to do other than visiting friends and going to restaurants. If you like that boring sort of life, as well as TONS of meth addicted homeless people, you will love Eugene. I left some time ago in search of adventure in life and men who don't have beards from the time they can grow them. Oh yes, and jobs. There haven't ever been any jobs, it's not the economy downturn that's to blame in Eugene.
I have always loved all things and places that have an artistic flare. Eugene, OR has a reputation as being one of the most artistic cities in the world. This being said it was definitely high on my list of places that I wanted to see. A few years ago my husband surprised me with a trip for two to this glorious place. I was so excited to go that I began packing almost immediately.
A few weeks later we arrived in Eugene. The serenity and outdoor life was breathtaking. This city sets only about seventy five miles inland and is completely covered with miles upon miles of nature. Eugen is absolutely breathtaking. The downtown part of Eugene however was not as thrilling as I had expected. Sure there were many attractions to see and a handful of things to do, there was an art gallery on just about every corner. Nevertheless, the overall feel to the city was a bit too melancholy for my taste. The people there were not very friendly and the gloomy weather that consumed our entire trip was a major disappointment.
We eventually decided a few days into the trip that we would spend the rest of our time out of the city and just sightseeing at one of the many natural parks. All in all this was a great trip and a beautiful place to see. I just do not think that it lived up to my high expectations.