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San Francisco vs. New York

posted by puzzlebox on - last edited - Viewed by 205 users

Hey to everyone across the pond! My company is offering a new assignment, so I'm contemplating a move to the land of the free. New York and San Francisco are possible options. Any opinions on which is the better city? Livability, fun and recreation, local attitude, climate, transport, general awesomeness?

I'd take NY in a heartbeat, but am kind of wary of its reputation for being image-obesessed.

Would especially love to hear from anyone who has experienced both places! And if anyone thinks that it would be mad to leave London for the U.S., I'd appreciate hearing your thoughts too. :D

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  • Well I currently live in the Bay Area, and dated a girl in NYC for the better part of the year so... of the two I definitely prefer SF. To me NYC was too dense, too crowded, and too NYC-centric. I kept getting the impression from people there that if it wasn't in New York, then it really wasn't all that important.

    Also, the weather here is better.

    Mind you, this is all from an outsider's perspective looking in. I'm sure New York residents would probably say otherwise.

  • I really like SF. It is my favorite US city, in all actuality. I lived in the bay area for only 3 months, but I really enjoyed my time there. There is a lot to do, weather is acceptable year round, the people can be great, you get to ride on BART, and you can possibly visit the TTG offices! Right? Right?

    Also, not too crowded, which is really nice.

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    Shauntron Telltale Staff

    I'm a tremendous baby about extreme weather so I prefer it here in the SF Bay Area. I went to NYC during the heatwave last summer, which wasn't so amazing in 100% humidity. Both are expensive, NYC has a MUCH better nightlife in the wee hours, and in my experience New Yorkers are mostly helpful if you need assistance. Also public transit in NYC is more efficient for getting to place to place. I was really impressed by the subway system, and how easy it was to get to where wherever I needed to go. BART basically has one line through the city of SF and Muni sucks. The self-obsession for NYC is understandable, because it's so huge and dense that you can really make it your own world. All my favorite things and people are all up in the SF bay area though, so I'm sticking around :)

  • I am a native NY'er - & I have done some worldwide travelling in my life. I have been to many places where my initial reaction has been "I could live out my life in this wonderful place!" However, after a week or two I had seen everything there is to see & was ready to move on. I am a native New Yorker & a pretty adventurous guy - going back to the 1960's Peace, Love, & understanding days. I've been to Boston, Chicago, S.F., Seattle, Portland, Geneva, Munich, Marrakesh, and a lot of other great cities, However, if you have lived in Paris, Cairo, London, Beijing, Tokyo, Berlin, or any of the many other great cosmopolitan cities of the world you really won't be satisfied with any of these small towns. New York is over 10 times the size of the great city of San Francisco. I was born here & still don't know large parts of this place. If you could go back 2500 years ago where would you go? Athens or Anytown?

  • Forgot to add: in my job I meet 40 to 50 tourists a day. Many of them are Brits & I have yet to meet one who didn't enjoy there experience here. You should check out some expat forums. Good luck to you!

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    puzzlebox Telltale Staff

    Thanks so much for the responses, guys! Really appreciate your insights. :)

  • You're going to get a lot more people saying SF than NY, just because more of us actually live here at present. Honestly, I'd go for NY, I've always wanted to visit there and I've been told I'd be in love with it. All in all, a city is a city; there will be rude people, and nice people, and you will adjust either way.

    I'll let Pete explain it.

  • @nikasaur said: I'll let Pete explain it.

    Yeah... uh, thanks. That helped a lot.

  • Don't you want to wake up in a city, that never sleeps? Find you're king of the hill - top of the heap?

    If you can make it there, you'll make it anywhere.

    Seriously, I'm a born and bred New Yorker. This may or may not be a reason in and of itself to avoid the place, I understand. I live in the South now, and I've lived here for a few years, so perhaps a bit of an idealized version of the city has built up in my mind. But I love the place.

    Some of what Will says is true to an extent, but a New Yorker will view it with a different perspective.

    NYC is dense, but that allows it an opportunity to fill the city with...damn near everything. Much like its cousins Tokyo and London(which I've visited), the city has a culture and a personality of its own. The people aren't so much "unfriendly" as they are relatively solitary. You live with that many neighbors, you can't really afford to stop and say howdy-doo to every passerby. To me, this makes the United States South kind of..annoying. I was raised to mind my own business, and talk with those who I had a reason to speak I'm still startled and annoyed when someone approaches and talks to me in a bookstore or on the street. It's just not something I'm accustomed to. I suppose that would make me unfriendly to some,, my case is getting worse.

    I like dreary weather. I'm not a dreary person, or identify myself with a gothic or "emo", I just like cool air(and in the South, you'll only get that with heavy cloud cover). My admittedly low experience in California is "Too hot". I also think the people there seem to be pretty self-righteous, this view that they're morally superior than everybody else in the nation. Also, they make really, really crap pizza. I mean, no pizza matches NYC pizza, but Californians take ruining pizza to a whole new level. It's like a higher art form to them, it seems.

    ...okay, that's cruel, but I can't stand their idea of pizza. I'm a New York Pizza zealot, though. The one place I go for some pizza in this place is a little shop that miraculously exists in this small town, run by a couple of previous New Yorkers. It is a godsend and one of the things keeping me sane in the world of grits, sweet potatoes, and fried chicken.

    Speaking of food, you can find anything in the city. And they probably do it best. Hot dogs, pizza, and for all that is wonderful bagels are not delicious anywhere else, at least not unless they are made in that wonderful New York tradition. I have yet to find a Chinese food restaurant outside of the city that is as good as the one I was in when I was there.

    Will is right, the population is pretty NYC-centric. The reason is, the city itself has SO MUCH. You can find anything there, and you can find some things there that won't ever exist anywhere else. It's NYC-centric because NYC is a place to love. It's the best place in the world as far as I'm concerned. Tokyo and London are also up there, but goddamn.

    Do you love London? I don't think anyone can take a step down from a metropolis like London to a city like San Fran without at least something feeling jarring. There are some benefits to Atlanta, surely, but it's not the same as being in one of the truly great metropolises of the world.

    Since I've left, the city has been cleaned up a good deal. The subways are now not as great as those of Tokyo, but they're certainly nice now. Crime has dropped a great deal.

    NYC is less a melting pot of diversity than it is more a layer cake of diversity. Different people do have their sections and cultures, and you'd think this would generally be bad. But I think it has its strengths as well. Every set of people retains a level of cultural identity, and they all interact at the edge. Rather than being homogenized into a singular people, you get the distinct flavors of a few distinct cultures.

    I dunno. I love snow, I love the really big cities, being in a small town leaves me ill at ease. I'm not sure if I've strengthened or weakened the case for NY, because I mostly just ranted in a flow-of-consciousness fashion. Ah well. Hope this helped, in any case.

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