Welcome to the Portland area, blt! I live in the mountains west of the city, but frequently come in for events. You should explore Artichoke music on Hawthorne St., they frequently have an open mic night. Website is artichokemusic.com, I think. It's run by some great folks who are doing their utmost to promote acoustic music. For songwriting, try the Dave Carter and Tracy Grammer songwriters roundup held monthly(or maybe less often) at the White Eagle tavern. I'm not a songwriter so haven't been myself, but I'm a fan of this duo.Incidentally, they will be performing soon in the Portland area, and I guarantee their show is worth the $. There are also a number of bluegrass, celtic, old time and other jams going on regularly. Hope to run into you at some point, I'm originally from Mass. but have been out here for many years. Don't let the winters scare you away; this is a wonderful place to live.