I've lived in Portland, Oregon for twelve years, and moved to New Orleans two months ago. In those two months, here are some differences I've noticed.
1. It doesn't snow here.
Every once in a while, when I feel like it's getting cold in NOLA, I check the weather in Portland. Most times, it's a good 20 degrees lower. New Orleans is definitely a good place for teenagers to live, since girls still want to dress in smaller clothing during Halloweek and guys still want to wear basketball shorts in the winter. Also, I still get to break out my onesies, since the air conditioning is always in full blast in the South.
2. Ice skating doesn't really exist in New Orleans.
I've heard people say that ice skating doesn't exist, but I didn't believe it until I looked it up. In fact, NOLA ChristmasFest advertises itself as the "home to New Orleans' only Indoor Ice Skating Rink!" I don't ice skate often, but that just seems strange to me. What happens during the holidays if there's no snow or ice skating?
3. There's nowhere to hike.
Admittedly, I'm not really an outdoorsy person anyway. But there was always the option, and hiking pictures filled my Instagram. Now, even though there's just as much greenery (okay, maybe a little less), there aren't mountains. I suppose that wouldn't be weird to everyone moving to NOLA, but where the heck are the mountains that are ever-present in the background of Oregon?
4. The architecture in New Orleans is cuter.
I have to say, Portland has some pretty beautiful buildings downtown, but they don't compare to every single building in New Orleans. Even the houses that look like they're about to fall apart are gorgeous. I'm sure everyone who has ever driven with me knows that I love the pink houses that are everywhere, since I always say "I love the pink houses" every time I see one.
5. There are different animals here.
People have to be worried about poisonous snakes? That's probably a thing in Oregon, but I've definitely heard more warnings against "things that live in the grass" during the two months in New Orleans than during my twelve years in Portland. But the weirdest thing is the cicadas. Why do they randomly start screaming? How do Louisianans just block them out? And their creepy little shells... yuck.
No, seriously, where are they? And why is it so hard to find a recycling bin here? And on that note, plastic bags kind of freak me out. Do stores not use paper bags??
7. There are fests here, like, every day.
All those people behind us were celebrating Beignet Fest (Trust me, the line was longer than it looks here). So far, I've been to Alligator Fest, Beignet Fest, and Jambalaya Fest. In Portland, I went to one fest - the Rose Festival, and I was so young I barely remember it.
Honestly, I would choose NOLA over Portland any day. The cheap fests, the sun, the architecture, and how nice the people are here make New Orleans a better fit for me (so far) than Portland was. To each their own, of course, but in my opinion, New Orleans beats Portland even with its strange lack of snow and ice skating.