Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Do you want a taco with that?

Selling drugs out of your taco stand. How convenient.

But I couldn't help but notice it was smack in the middle of the West Side.

Could we use this opportunity to drop the whole east/west Bend dichotomy? As a native Bendite, it never made much sense to me. Over the last 50 years, where the 'hot' place to live has ebbed and flowed, depending on where most of the new building was happening.

New subdivisions meant new schools. New schools were preferred, and thus the East Side around Pilot Butte and Mountain View High School became the place to be in the 70's and 80's.

Then people came along and started renovating the Old Mill houses, and subdivisions arose in West Hills.

The irony being that the Old Mill houses used to be called Mill Shacks when I was growing up, and most people preferred to live in the new houses on the East Side.

The West Hills have always been a pricier place to live, but it was equaled for a long time by houses along the base of Pilot Butte. Of course, the houses along the river always had a premium, too, but only along certain stretches.

But this whole idea that the East Side is full of Meth Houses and fall-apart buildings has always been something thrown out by newcomers on the West Side who seem to feel that they are chosen people, and of course anywhere they live must be better than where 'other' people live.

Can we agree that there are nice places and not so nice places on both sides of the divide?

I live in Williamson Park, a well-kept and safe subdivision on the East Side, where houses are relatively cheap per foot considering how nice they are and how big the lots. A nice place for someone who thinks for himself and not because the crowd says it's cool or uncool.

I grew up in the West Hills, in a nice, big, old house with a huge lot and magnificent views of the mountains. When we sold it, it was broken up into three lots and two new houses were shoe-horned into the space. That's an improvement?

Whenever I visit the West Side, it seems like that exact same thing happened everywhere. They packed it in, and it doesn't look pretty.

It'll be interesting as housing prices drop whether newcomers will be able to see through all the hype. The people who paid a third or half again as much for the 'privilege' of living on the West Side may be singing a different tune.


Anonymous said...

When we first moved here three years ago, we rented a house on the east side. (Near Costco) Everyone we knew who had moved here in the last 10 years (or were 35 and under) told us to live on the westside, as that was the ONLY place to live.
Everyone who was here before 1996 was very impressed by where we lived. Interesting to hear your take on it.
(I saw the same thing, different areas of town being "cool", in the town on the east coast that I spent 22 years in.

(Oh, and we're still in that same neighborhood, and love it.)

mugmkr said...

I live on Shepard Road at Neff (and accross Neff is Pilot Butte Middle School). Our house was the first house built in the development in 1968, and at the time this neighborhood was the desired place to live for the doctors and lawyers, I'm told. It's a nice area, and honestly, having lived on the west side of Bend, I'd rather be on the east side, only because it seems easier to get around town. You are right, as usual, for the popularity of the area I live in coincided with the building of Pilot Butte Middle School! Always enjoy your posts, and your knowledge in general, much appreciated.