Category Archives: Battle Royale

SF vs. NYC – The Debate Continues

Way back on October 15th, 2007 I wrote a post: Battle Royale: San Francisco or New York City, If You Had To Chose. It was, and still is, an extremely popular article that has garnered over 100 comments, and still ranks incredibly high on search engine queries of the like. For a small shop like mine, that’s pretty impressive. Our readers shared some incredibly good points about both cities, and it is a debate that will likely go on well after I have physically left this Earth, and well after my kin have parted. There will never be a correct answer.

Like I said back then, San Francisco has a ton of things to offer that New York simply doesn’t (immediate access to outdoor recreation probably falling top of my list), and there are things New York has that San Francisco simply never will (snowstorms and brutally cold weather come to mind). But it is what it is, and it will always be.

That said, there were a couple articles written recently that I wanted to share with all of you that take a different approach to the topic, because I frequently get clients from out of town wondering what the heck San Francisco is all about. These two articles are not a question of whether one is better than the other, more a question of whether one has BECOME the other. In the end, they can certainly help you draw a conclusion about the city you’re buying into, and the city you might be leaving.

In my humble opinion, San Francisco will never be New York, and New York will never be eclipsed by San Francisco. New York conjures up the image of power to me, it is the EMPIRE STATE after all. It moves fast. It never sleeps. It’s gritty. It’s tough. San Francisco (and I’ve lived here a while) brings to mind freedom, outdoor living, really smart people changing the world, getting rich, having fun, and living life to the fullest, but they will never have the power and image of the EMPIRE STATE. San Franciscans can puff their chests, but deep down they are fragile. We’re golden boys and girls living in the GOLDEN STATE, and that’s just fine.

I could go on and on, but I digress. Both cities are amazing in their own right. Both cities have pluses and minuses. But if I’m not mistaken, Tony Bennett did not make famous a song about losing his heart in New York City.

Just sayin’…

-Is San Francisco New York [New York Times, Kevin Rose]
-Why San Francisco Is Not New York [New York Times, Nick Bilton]
-Battle Royale: San Francisco or New York City, If You Had To Chose [theFrontSteps, Alexander Clark]

Battle Royale: San Francisco Or London, If You Had To Choose…

The reader comment that sparked the idea for this post, and hopefully fun debate to follow: “I’m an American living in London for the last 3 years and there is no doubt that London is more civilised and cultured than either New York or SF. My children have benefited greatly from the vastly superior free education here. The average Londoner is far, far better educated and has vacationed widely in Europe and the world. This means that the creative and cultural scene in London is geared to a much higher cultural level than in the US. Much of NY culture is geared to a low to medium level to reflect this. Just watch BBC news compared to the US news networks. London simply feels that it is centre of world culture today and more multicultural than New York or SF. We Americans can learn a lot from this city as it definately holds the crown.”

To add a little history to these “Battle Royales“…We’ve done a few over the years that have varied from topic to topic: New York City or San Francisco; LA or SF; Cole Valley or Noe Valley; Realtor or Politician; and the list goes on. They’ve been read thousands of times over, and it’s your comments that make them so great and the reason people keep coming back to read more.

The way we see it…

London has an iconic Bridge:
london-city520
San Francisco has an iconic Bridge:
GoldenGateBridgeSanFrancisco520
London has English Premier League Football and plays host to such teams as Arsenal, Tottenham, West Ham United, Chelsea, and Fulham:
footballengland
San Francisco has just one team, the “World” (perhaps National would be a better word?) Champion San Francisco Giants (can’t count the 49ers, as they’re moving to Santa Clara, but watch out for those Golden State Warriors looking to plant their roots on San Francisco soil):
giants
London has tea:
Afternoon-tea
San Francisco has great coffee now around every corner:
coffeesf
London has the Double Decker Bus:
doubledeck
San Francisco has the Cable Car:
cablecar
London is the home of Her Majesty the Queen of England:
queen
San Francisco has its share of “Queens” too:
gaypride
London is proud of their Fish and Chips:
fishchips
San Francisco is proud of their Dungeness Crab:

London has COLD surf nearby:
winter_surfing_03
San Francisco has COLD and BIG surf nearby:
IMG_0810
So you see, both places have their pluses and minuses, and that’s our two cents, but we really want to hear from all of you readers, you readers on both sides of the Pond.

Please share your comments and perspectives in the comment section below, click that “share” button, or “Like” this on your Facebook page, Tweet it on Twitter, don’t forget to take the poll at the top of the page, and ask your friends and family to chime in.

Believe it or not, people from around the world often refer to these “Battles” when researching this wonderful city we call home, and whether or not they’d like to live here, and if they do move here, which area would be the best place for them.

Go Giants..and Tottenham Hotspurs!

Battle Royale: San Francisco Or Palo Alto, If You Had To Choose

We’ve had a lot of battles over the years here on theFrontSteps. Some have been rather quiet (Tokyo versus San Francisco), while others like New York City versus San Francisco, San Francisco versus East Bay, and Cole Valley versus Noe Valley continue to rage on.

The comparison of places one might set up shop, lay down roots, call home, or start a business is never going to end. It has always been, and always will be, a popular topic, and a debate sure to spark any conversation. It’s an important discussion point, and one that would certainly need to be hashed out for any future residents or visitors alike to San Francisco or other places. Therefore, it’s time for another Battle Royale that we somehow failed to do previously…

San Francisco or Palo Alto, if you had to choose, and why?

The argument has to begin something along the lines of “to each his own”, but in all fairness San Francisco clearly has a lot more to offer any hip young person that might be working at a hip young startup. Our nightlife is better, our bars are better, our restaurants are better, our access to recreation is better (this could easily be debated), our coffee is better, our surf is better (no…Santa Cruz is NOT part of “greater” Palo Alto), our hipsters are hairier, our marijuana is more legal, and our gays are gayer (because we’re free man…we’re free).

On the other hand, Palo Alto clearly beats San Francisco’s ass in regards to summertime weather, cleanliness of streets, college vibe, shear brain power concentrated in one place (Stanford), and being a great place to raise a family. But that’s just what we think.

What do you think?

Your comments are appreciated, will be read by thousands, and could quite possibly make or break a buyer’s decision on whether to buy a home in San Francisco or Palo Alto. No pressure…

-Battle Royales [theFrontSteps]
-Tokyo Or San Francisco, If You Had To Choose [theFrontSteps]
-San Francisco Or New York City, If You Had To Choose [theFrontSteps]
-San Francisco Or East Bay, If You Had To Choose [theFrontSteps]
-Shit Real Estate Agents Say [theFrontSteps]
-“San Francisco or Palo Alto” [Uncrunched].

[Full disclosure…I represent clients in both San Francisco and Palo Alto, so of course I only have good things to say about both locations.]

Battle Royale: San Francisco Or East Bay, If You Had To Choose

Coming off the heels of my post about a modern, Swedish home currently for sale by some clients contemplating their move here to San Francisco or the East Bay, it inspired a long overdue Battle Royale (perhaps on par with SF v. NYC):
San Francisco versus East Bay (I leave the “what exactly is East Bay” interpretation up to you). If you had to choose and why. Please share in the comments below.

On the map it hardly seems fair with the East Bay being so much larger than San Francisco, but we all know size doesn’t matter right? At least “that’s what she said.”

-More Battle Royales [theFrontSteps]

Winner: The Best Coffee (House) In San Francisco, And The Rest

Congratulations to Philz Coffee! You have been voted Best Coffee (House) in San Francisco by the people of the internets. The competition was linked to around the world, and we have to say Philz not only got tons of nods during the first round of nominations, but they also swept the voting when thousands more hit the polls.

It’s all good stuff and we can’t wait to get a cup. We appreciate everyone’s participation and the countless links that sent people this way.

The Rankings:

1. Philz Coffee
2. Bernie’s
3. Blue Bottle Coffee
4. Four Barrel Coffee
5. Martha Bros Coffee
6. Contraband (Coffee Bar)
7. Ritual Coffee Roasters
8. Farley’s Coffee
9. Java Beach
10. Sightglass Coffee
11. Peet’s Coffee & Tea
12. Caffe Roma
13. the Beanery
14. Intelligentsia Bar (In Specialty’s)
15. Caffee Trieste
16. Stumptown (Ma’velous)
17. Henry’s House of Coffee
18. Simple Pleasures
19. Barefoot Coffee (Epicenter Cafe)
20. Café La Taza
21. Starbucks (Really?)
22. Caffe Puccini
23. Trouble Coffee (De La Paz)
24. Velo Rouge Cafe
25. Caffe Greco
26. Verve Coffee Roasters
27. De La Paz Coffee (Trouble)
28. Hearth Coffee Roasters (Brown Owl Cafe)
29. Graffeo
30. Bello Coffee and Tea
31. Quetzal Coffee
32. Jeremiah’s Pick Coffee
33. Coffee to the People
34. Piccino Cafe
35. 7-11 (Humoring you)
36. Progressive Grounds
37. Showplace Caffe
38. Castro Coffee House
39. La Boulange
40. Matching Half
41. Wicked Grounds
42. Farm:Table
43. Blue Danube
44. Cafe Reina
45. Toy Boat
46. The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
47. The Summit SF
48. Curbside Coffee
49. Rancho Parnassus (Thanksgiving Coffee)
50. Tully’s
51. Capricorn Coffees
52. Cavalli Cafe
53. Equator Coffees & Teas
54. Muddy’s Coffee House
55. The Coffee Roastery
56. Cup of Blues
57. Cafe Encore
58. Ecco Caffe
59. Stella Pastry & Cafe
60. Coffee Roaster
61. Manning’s
62. Dash Cafe
63. Javalencia Cafe
64. Cafe La Stazione
65. The Grove

We’ll just go ahead and stop there. There were another 25-30 one vote coffee (houses) that came in, but we gotta stop somewhere. Thank you everyone!