I am considering relocating to portland (alone) .But i am primarily combined to a wheelchair (some mobility). is there enough of a neighborhood and places of interest (especially food) in this area, or is downtown/ pearl much more desirable/do-able. mostly a daytime person
That depends on where in North Portland you are talking about. There will be small area (generally confined to a single street) that are filled with activity, then others that aren't. There are also places in NoPo that do not have curb cuts. I discovered that while pushing my wife's wheelchair to the Mississippi Street Fair. A lot of houses in NoPo have steps as well.
You would want to live closer to the happening places like N Mississippi St, Alberta St, N. Williams/Vancouver, N. Denver Ave, and maybe N. Lombard area in St John's. The Pearl/downtown is much larger, with many more options. Also, the odds that streets/businesses are accessible is much higher. Being close to a good bus stop/max line can be almost as useful as actually living in the Pearl.
Consider SE Portland as an option. The commercial strips of Belmont, Hawthorne, and Division have tons of great food options and more seem to keep coming.
Those areas also have good bus service straight into downtown. Tons of apts and condos being built there, too. I would think the new construction might be more accessible than the older homes and apts that are in the area.
Folks that use wheelchairs here need to call and check about accessibility (at restaurants, stores, businesses, offices) all the time, be prepared. I don't use a wheelchair but I have done accessibility studies before, and I notice stuff that just makes me shake my head. Like a completely "accessible" bathroom (grab bars, the right kind of sink with the pipes propoerly insulated, reachable faucet handles, paper and soap dispensers, etc.) on the second floor of a building with no way to get up there other than a flight of stairs. ;o) I agree, I think SE Portland or the Pearl/downtown would be better choices for a lot of reasons than North Portland. Here's a useful link for you: http://www.multco.us/ads