Lake Oswego Community a Great Place to Grow Up

Andrew DeMonico, News Editor

“There’s nothing to do in Lake Oswego.”
It seems for as long as young people have inhabited our city of Lake Oswego, this has been the consistent rallying cry for under-stimulated youth every Friday evening.
Why is that? What is the reason for such a deep rooted feeling of insufficiency in our beloved community? How can a place as desirable and iconic as Lake Oswego be thought of as boring and unfilling to any of its inhabitant?
Well kids you’re not crazy, but you might be wrong.
24 percent of all the people in Lake Oswego are over the age of 65. Compared to other towns with approximately 40,000 residents, Lake Oswego is about 13 percent more than the average. In neighboring Portland the percentage is just at 10 percent. What does this mean?
Our community as a whole and many of our commercial enterprises individually are tailored to the older citizen. For example, according to some teenagers there are simply too many expensive restaurants and not enough cheap spots to grab a bite. Personally I would have to agree: in the heart of Lake Oswego, the cheapest option (besides fast food) is a snack from the grocery store. The next best thing will be a $15 dollar cheeseburger. Make your way over to Bridgeport and the options don’t exactly get any more affordable. Dining isn’t everything though. Besides going out to eat, why is it that Lake Oswego is seen as such a frustrating place to live by its youth?
After deep consideration and contemplation on the delicate subject I’ve come to a conclusion; it’s not. Hey, I know it’s subjective but hear me out.
There are a lot of inherent benefits for people living in Lake Oswego. Let’s look at a few, our schools and communities are exceptional, there’s an abundance of safe places to hangout, we’re within driving distance to Portland, and as a high school student, there’s always school games or events to attend. That being said, there aren’t any hoppin’ nightclubs or concerts in Lake Oswego, but isn’t kind’ve nice to keep those things at arm’s reach? And if that’s really your scene, Portland isn’t too far away.
The trick about Lake Oswego is that in order to have large amounts of fun, you have to employ some creativity. Kids who find themselves frustrated with playing video games all day get creative when the sun comes out. Ever check out the Lakeridge turf on a sunny Friday afternoon? It’s packed with kids playing soccer, football, honing their lacrosse skills and just hanging out. And if you’re lucky enough to live in the right neighborhood with a community pool, or out on the Lake itself, nothing beats a day out on the water.
But the real trick behind having fun in Lake Oswego is surrounding yourself with good people. The kind of people that can make you happy in any situation are far more valuable than a nice movie theater or fancy nighttime hangout. Give me a good group of friends and a meal at Tillamook Ice Creamery any day of the week.
Lake Oswego is just like anywhere else, it’s what you make of it. Take advantage of those beautiful days! And don’t forget to spend time with the people you enjoy. If you start there, I’m sure you’ll find that Lake Oswego truly is a great place to grow up.