Forest Heights is a housing development in Portland, OR, on the West Slope of the West Hills. It covers 600 acres of tightly creased hills, and has miles of steep, winding roads. It also includes miles of non-public footrails and some non-public parks.

This is a very expensive place to live, with the lower end houses starting at 400,000 dollars. Of course, it is also possible to buy a lot and bulid a house on it, but since the house must pass an architechtural review board of the homeowners association, any house that can be built is going to be just as expensive.

The major raison d'etre that Forest Hills exists is that there were a lot of high income people moving into Portland, in large part because of Intel corporation and the like. Unfortunatly, the supply of homes in such traditional locations as the East Slope of the West Hills asn't enough to handle the demand. So Forest Heighs was built to handle a large amount of people who needed expensive homes, and needed to have them built quickly.

The West Hills neighborhood was built slowly a long time ago, and whatever jealousy I may have for those rich enough to live in the West Hills, I do have to admit that the West Hills is generally one of the most charming beautiful unique neighborhoods in Portland. Forest Heights, however, (and I don't mean this as an insult on the residents) looks kind of what one of the sprawling, ramshackle favela slums of Brazil would look like if the residents had millions of dollars to design their homes instead of scrap tin and plywood. Perhaps I am too accustomed to Cartesian spaces, but the miles and miles of winding dead ending roads with no consistent pattern, long with the total isolation, lack of any kind of neighborhood feeling, and the fact that as far as I could tell, there was only one entrance\exit to the whole complex left me very confused.

On the other hand, not everyone is a hip, trendy young intellectual who finds the possibilty of chance urban encounters to be a promise and not a threat. There are, of course, many people who want to raise a family, and as the Forest Heights website ( explains, in a collection of sentence fragments:

"Forest Heights will be protected by greenways where wild beauty and wild life will remain within your line of vision. A nice place for kids, indeed. A place for them to catch their first tadpole. A nice place for families to hike, bike and discover the magic of nature. Forest Heights is a wondrous and sheltering place".
Something to consider, perhaps.

As a final note, I should point out that when I last was in Forest Heights, I was trying to find a way out at 7 in the morning after having been up all night at a noder party, which definitly hadn't left me very congenial to navigating endlessly looping dead end streets.

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