Bend again zooming to top of 'best of' lists

One calls city 'incredible,' affordable; 2nd, quirky list ranges afar

BEND, Ore. - Scoff or not, believe it or not, Bend is once again showing up on plenty of those "greatest/best of" places lists around the country, a return to the attention seen during during better economic times and the growth boom that also made Central Oregon one of the fastest-growing regions in the country.

Two examples emerged in recent days -- one at a site called the Daily Positive, where a planned California escapee has done some research and called Bend No. 1 among "5 Incredible Places to Live That You Can Afford"

Site founder Dale Partridge said he lives in Southern California, which some believe is perfect but that his family doesn't "really enjoy it. Sure, the weather is great, but the traffic is insane, the people are rude, and everything is far too expensive."

So he talks about their "personal journey, searching for a new place for our family. Somewhere with decent weather close to the outdoors, four seasons, good people and most importantly, affordable."

How did Bend make the head of his short list, ahead of Salida, Colorado and Asheville, N. Carolina? As is often the case, beer is the frothy top to his ranking:

"With over 28 breweries and 30 lakes within 50 miles, incredible views of the Cascade Mountains, bend is the outdoor hipster mecca of the Northwest."

A few stats are given: The population of 79,109, a median home price of $274,400 and a median income of $46,459.

As usual, commenters on the site pick apart the rankings, with several saying Bend (and others) are not affordable or an "incredible" place to live.

"Bend is great if you're retired from Silicon Valley, wear only North Face jackets, shop at REI and Trader Joe's regularly, and can afford to drop around $400K for a house," Aaron writes.

"Bendme" chimes in similarly, calling Bend "pretty snooty at times and the housing is incredibly overpriced AND there are no jobs!"  But the commenter adds, "Bend definitely needs more diversity and it's happening slowly. Maybe that will change for the better with the OSU campus coming."

There are positive comments, though (and while at least one is from a Realtor, not all are, apparently). Allison writes that she lived in Bend and her parents still do, and she loves it -- "a little piece of heaven!" Now she lives in No. 3 Asheville and loves that too.

Speaking of homes, the home-shopping Website Estately has an even quirkier list to share, of "23 Things to Know Before Moving to Bend, Oregon"

You know it's quirky when the top picture is an historic one of a huge fish on the back of a truck, with a written caption saying Bend is "where the fish are bigger than the liars!"

The list ranges from the familiar - the outdoors, winter and, of course, beer - to again, that lack of diversity, dogs, tourism, start-ups, the often-tricky passes, forest fires, remoteness and -- geese that are "everywhere in Bend. They will terrorize you." (Complete with animated GIF of just such an 'attack.')

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