I think I had one. The easiest move of my life was when I moved to Atlanta for graduate school and bought all of the furniture that came with my apartment (basically everything, including a bed, table, coffee table, futon, dishes, printer, etc. etc. etc.) for, I think, $500. Pretty sure the table was a Lack. I like Ikea for the most part. Buying and loading in my car a bookshelf all by myself was a huge win for me. (I did not assemble it. I have zero spatial/motor skills wahwah.)
I can't use Uber (no smart phone), so I don't have much of a horse in this race, but the city's response sounds EXACTLY like the conversation surrounding Airbnb six months ago. I'm thinking PDX just needs to see some of that Uber $$. Airbnb moved some of its operations up to Portland, and suddenly that relationship blossomed.
I swear I am not trying to dissuade you, but do look into the many articles about Portland's ready-to-blow rental and housing market. I am sure it seems affordable compared to Brooklyn, but the market for both rental and housing stock is super, super tight and it's only going to get worse. That three bedroom house was probably gone in five minutes, and probably someone offered above the asking rent. (And Airbnb isn't just bad for New York, it's bad for Portland. I've used it myself, but I do always feel uncomfortable about it. http://www.portlandmercury.com/BlogtownPDX/archives/2014/10/07/coming-tomorrow-mayors-office-sets-proposed-rules-for-airbnbs-expansion-to-apartments-condos)
While we're on the subject of stuff readers want, have you thought of doing a reader survey? I'd be fascinated to see summary stats on what readers earn, what they have in savings, debt, industry (maybe?), etc.
I am working really, really hard to not buy lunch anymore. (Last week I went the whole week without getting lunch out!!) But my favorites are a local burrito spot where I get a burrito (usually sans shell for caloric reasons) for six bucks. There's also a veg BBQ food cart where I get enough for 1.5-2 meals for eight bucks. When I'm feeling especially hungry and spendy, there's an Ethiopian buffet that's ten dollars and so, so good though I spend the afternoon in a food coma.
Mike, bless you for buying 1989. That is adorable. Friday I spent $15 on wine and beer for the weekend (and a special beer for our upcoming anniversary). We went to a pumpkin carving party and did not BYOP. Oops. Saturday I spent $6.50 at my library's used book sale. Last year I spent $25, so I count this as a success. I also spent $6 on a burrito. Sunday, I went grocery shopping and spent $55. $82.50.
I typically compromise and wait to see movies at the second-run theater, where they are $4 and come out a bit before the DVD release. (I meant to do this with Obvious Child, but I never got around to it, unfortunately.) Some movies, I'll pay full price for. I try to see most of the Oscars Best Picture nominees in advance of the awards, but usually at least some of them are out on DVD or at the second-run theaters.
I think we need a photo of Mike in the rainboots. I live in the PNW and typically my (half-price) Marmot raincoat does alright. (Along with my penchant for hibernation during the eternal rainy months.) My feet are almost always wet, though, which sucks. I approve of Zuckerberg's pretty normal house. (Photos here for others who haven't seen it before: http://www.forbes.com/pictures/mel45efdk/mark-zuckerbergs-backyard/)
My car was broken into a couple of years ago. My Raybans ($100) were stolen, along with my boyfriend's ancient iPod that only worked on his equally-ancient dock. I repurchased the sunglasses about a year later and no longer keep them, or any other valuables, in my car. My laptop was stolen from my bag, which I was sitting with, in Barcelona. I ran after the guy yelling Ladron and an undercover cop helped me find it where the thief had stashed it.
The Oregonian is especially crappy because of recent transitions. They're now delivering just four times a week and the paper is tiny (it's tabloid format now). I don't subscribe to any papers. I dream of one day subscribing to the NYT, though I never plan to live in NY. If I move back home to Florida, I'd subscribe to the Tampa Bay Times (ne St. Petersburg Times), one of the great local papers, in my book.