Battle Royale: San Francisco or New York City, if you had to choose

Just back from my trip to New York City, I couldn’t help but constantly do as so many San Franciscans surely do while there…that is compare our city to theirs.


To be clear, for the most part, this is an apples to oranges comparison. Their population (8.2 Million) is roughly 11 times our 750,000. In order to make it close we’d have to come up with five boroughs to match NYC’s Manhattan, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island. So let’s give ourselves San Francisco, Marin, Oakland, Berkeley, and Daly City. That’s hardly fair, because Daly City is well…Daly City. Other suggestions? Moving on…

As far as real estate is concerned, there is way more to choose from in NYC, and from what I could tell, you get equally as little for your money there as you do here. For example, a $425,000, 400 square foot cooperative in Greenwich Village on Bleecker or a 410 square foot, $425,000 condo at 201 Harrison in South Beach. At least in Greenwich Village you’d be neighbors with Gwyneth Paltrow, Sarah Jessica Parker, Hilary Swank, and Isaac Mizrahi (among other notables). Who’s in South Beach? Anyone?

Let’s not get the impression I’m saying NYC is better, especially when it comes to Coffee. I was staying in the Upper West side on 79th at Amsterdam and I couldn’t for the life of me find any place that did a good coffee anywhere near as good as Blue Bottle Coffee, Ritual Coffee, Caffe Trieste, Philz, and so many more you stumble upon just by walking around San Francisco. That’s not to say we don’t have our share of sh*tty places to get coffee either, in fact they’re on just about every corner as they are in NYC (Thinking Starbucks here and the Baristas that can’t steam milk to save their lives. At least the espresso pour is automatic, so they can’t f*ck that up.)

Moving on to recreation… NYC has Central Park, Long Island, thousands of miles of pavement, and what else? Stair climbing up the fire escapes? We have the Bay, which you can actually swim in, sail on, windsurf over, and dive under without exposure to deadly levels of toxic waste (most of the time). We also have Ocean Beach for surfing, and Marin for cycling, mt. biking, hiking, and chasing BMWs down from Pantoll Station. We have the wine country out our back door, Tahoe a short 3 hours away, and I could go on for hours.

What about the weather? If you enjoy blistering hot, muggy summers and waiting for your subway train in the “dog breath” air down there (my cousin actually compares it to that), freezing cold winters where your snot freezes to the inside of your nose, then NYC is the place you should be. On the other hand if you enjoy a nice temperate climate, beautiful “Indian Summers”, rainy winters, and pleasant springs, then you might consider San Francisco. BUT if you choose to live in the Outer Avenues, you might want to try a winter in NYC, because that is what your summers in the Avenues will be like.

Lastly, what about the food. I always hear NYC has “the best restaurants”. “I go to New York for the food.” And on and on. I got news for all you New Yorkers, your food was average at best. We ate out every morning noon and night and didn’t eat at the same place twice. True, you have way more choices than we do and it costs twice as much, but quantity does not necessarily equal quality, and I’m seriously doubting the Zagat Survey, as it seems every restaurant we went into was Zagat rated, and “recommended by the New York Times”, and really not that great. For example, we went to Grimaldi’s Pizzeria at the base of the Brooklyn Bridge, and yes, it was good, but not “to die for”, like we were told. It was pizza cooked in a brick oven, and it ain’t that unique. In case you thought you could only get that taste under the Brooklyn Bridge, there is a Grimaldi’s in New Jersey, Long Island, Scottsdale, Las Vegas, Chandler (AZ), and soon Dallas…hmmm.

I think NYC is a totally cool city and the vibe is extraordinary. I’d love to spend some more time there and really get it dialed, but from my short visits, I can honestly say San Francisco definitely holds its own against your world class city. If there are any of you readers that would care to shed some light on all the matters for me, I am all ears. And if you’d care to elaborate that is cool too, because I left some huge ones out…like shopping, and entertainment!

Maybe Curbed SF, Curbed (NY), Urban Digs (NY), True Gotham, Grow a Brain and the Real Estalker can help us out.

My vote, for now, is San Francisco, but like I said already, I’d love to be enlightened.

Bringing it to the ‘hoods:

Hayes or Haight, if you had to choose [theFrontSteps]

Pacific Heights or Marina, if you had to choose [theFrontSteps]

116 thoughts on “Battle Royale: San Francisco or New York City, if you had to choose

  1. Not mentioned in the post are the unbelievable crowds packing every inch of Manhattan, it takes survival skills to adjust and thrive. Regarding which is a better place to live, it depends upon one’s motivation. NYC is all about career. The number and variety of professional opportunities is infinitely greater than SF. That being said, SF offers a better quality of life for the reasons you mentioned.

  2. I’d love for SF too. I’m a city girl (as in “I cannot stand to use a car”), but I’m also a SAHM.

    There is no way I could afford the same quality of life in NYC as I do here.

    Thanks to earthquakes, most neighborhods are limited to 2-3 floors – that means that sunshine/light is EVERYWHERE – from curbsides, to gardens, to backporch etc.

    The other advantage is that most people can reasonably want to live in a SFH or 2-unit building – that is, enjoy their own space and garden….

    So to my daily life, that means my kitchen is opened to a low deck and very green and colored private garden. So daily cooking/dishwashing etc… is made while gazing out – and because we are in the sunbelt, the opened door lets the birds songs in. DAILY – as in March, AND june AND september AND thanksgiving AND december.

    To me, this is priceless (even more so that when I was living in PacHgts, my doctor had to prescibe me some vacations in Mexico to get sunshine for depression)

    And should I mention SILENCE? I find awsome to live 2 miles from the caltrain line, and still hear the train bells if I wait 5 mn in my garden. It’s not silence as in zero decibels, but aside a few busy streets, there is no/little blocking white noise that cuts you from the world (altho there IS some noise)

    Now. Not everybody is a SAHM. And yes, before I had (many) kids clingging to my legs, I thought NYC was very exiting – probably more than Paris. But I never lived there. So I cant say how much I would have loved it.

    Last. It took us many years to find (and afford) a fantastic place to live in SF. Not everybody can choose quality life in SF if only for budget restriction. But on that point, NYC is equal, and for the sake of comparaison, we should find a SAHM living in a SFH in NYC to get her liking of her house/city. If you know any, send her here.

  3. I think NYC is a great place to live on a minimum salary of $750k – $1,000k while San Fran is a great place to live on minimum salary of $500k plus.

  4. Good God, this is flame bait material (jk)

    At the end of the day you really can’t go wrong with either one. The tendency would be to trash one in favor of the other. But if you step back from it all, they’re two of the best urban environments to live in in the U.S. (throw in the other obvious choices: Chicago, Boston, etc.) and you’ve got maybe 5 or 6 high quality places with tons of amenities and walkability.

    I disagree with the comment about the number of professional opportunities being greater in SF. NYC is no slouch when it comes to high-powered jobs/careers (it’s kinda king of the hill). Of course if you specifically mean *technology* jobs, then I’d give you that (that’s why I’m in SF too — for the tech industry).

    Someone above mentioned Paris. Frankly, you throw Paris into the mix and it’s game, set and match for the Frenchies ;-)

  5. Dave? ever been in Paris for a while? I believe the post is about LIVING there, not visiting

    Paris is ok – once your remove the RUDE and LAZY french people.

    3 years without stepping the foot there, and I just cant explain my shock this year. I couldnt wait to go home (SF).

    Finding a place to live is hard enough in Paris. But finding a place to live AND a job that wouldnt drive you insane (I’m not talking about “professional opportunities – but ONLY about the part of finding ANY job with reasonable acceptable environment and boss and coworkers) – that is the ultimate challenge.

    (as we are on the subject, I found the ultimate answer to “french women dont get fat” – there is NOT ONE single elevator that works if there is an elevator in the first place – and you have to walk up 5 floors of stairs to come out of the Magenta RER station (all new with all bells and whistle). Add a stroller, a baby and a diaper bag – and your baby fat is GONE! (as well as your smile, your love of paris, and your dream of moving there one day) . Add ridiculous poop covered curbsides, steve Mcqueen drivers .. and I’m out of there faster than I came in (or should I mention BIL who lives on the 5th and 6th [6th and 7th american] floors without elevator with THREE little kids? He cant find a general contractor who would even consider walking down bags of stuff, or walking up boxes of tiles to make a new bathroom)

    Frankly, I’m all about DAILY life. As in “how big and convenient is your kitchen?” or “how quiet is your street if you have to sleep the window open?” or “how convenient and reliable are public transportation?”. And I guess big cities are still actractive (read “multiple offers days in days out” on many properties) simply because daily life CAN be enjoyable. The only thing is to find the right city that fulfill YOUR OWN needs (Paris not filling ANY of my needs).

  6. as usual this has become one womans rant.

    doesnt she ever shut up? LOL

    [Editor’s note: Come on duggo! Did you have to throw this in here? I’m leaving this to show what an utterly completely worthless comment you just put in here. Save that sh*t for CL.]

  7. I think NYC is a great place to live on a minimum salary of $750k – $1,000k while San Fran is a great place to live on minimum salary of $500k plus.

    I hope you are joking OR you did typo.

    You actually meant 750.000/1.000.000 and 500.000 a YEAR?????

    I’m not saying that you wouldnt be living great with that amount – but around me, I dont know anybody living with that much (or lets say, SPENDING that much), and it certainly doesnt take that much to live comfortably – without having to cruch numbers each night to meet the ends.

    In SF, I’ve met many new comers with dreams on 100-120K/year – only not to throw the towel becaue they couldnt affort their lifestyle expenses. But starting at 150-200K – you CAN have a great life in the city without ever logging to your bank accounts to check the balance, and without feeling “deprived” in any way. (add 20K per kid living with you)

    As for NYC – feedback needed. I’ve no idea how much it takes there.

  8. “duggo (10:22:31) :

    as usual this has become one womans rant.

    doesnt she ever shut up? LOL”

    should I be really mean and beat the macho attitude of all the real estate world? as in

    “women are too stupid to be a structural engineer?”

    “women are just good enough to be a NBKD but shouldnt even try to be an architect?”

    “women selling houses… great we have an American Beauty again”

    I wont ask if you are married, or in a world of guys. But I have to tell you that as macho as YOU guys pretend to be, most of the time, there is a woman deciding for you at home – that is – making ultimatums as for the size of the kitchen and the color of the toilet walls.

    If it wasnt for women, at least HALF of overbidding wars wouldnt exist in SanFrancisco, and this blog might not even exist (SocketSite is the macho-disconected from real life-no goal in life but to compare the size of your [put here whatever I dont care]-guys-only blog)…

    True, I’m not actually working to pay my house – but my head is on the same chopping block as my significant other because it’s MY credit history, MY mortgage and MY homeowner responsabilty as well. Thus I claim my right to be there

    (as BTW, if there was MORE woman input here, I would shut up because it wouldnt be so one-sided anymore – so please invite them)

    pfffffffffffffffffff. (not smiling)

  9. Oh my god! this is hysterical! I’m actually laughing my ass off right now.

    Actually, yes, I am married. My husband is a great guy, an incredible chef in our high end kitchen..and oh, by the way, he’s an architect also.

    But, alas…I’m the stay at home husband..taking care of our two boys, Rocky and Bianco, while I’m not busy designing houses and great kitchens.

    And yes, I do pick the colors. LOL.

    [Editor’s note: Now that we’re all laughing…back to the topic. NYC or SF…if you had to choose, and why.]

  10. Don’t make me choose. it’s not fair.

    They’re just two different GREAT WORLD CLASS CITIES. As in most choices in life, it all depends on what YOU want.

    I WANT SF..I love SF.

    and of course I’m right. I always am.

  11. (duggo, you’re not laughing as much as I am…

    it finally hit me who you are… and it’s thinner than a hair that we didnt hire you! I’m still undecided if we made the right decision that day…)

  12. I might be flying to NYC Wednesday, we’ll see. I have spent a lot of time there, And I almost always had a lot of fun. I went to college one hour outside, I lived there for a while. My sister lived there for a while. I gotta tell you tho, the last time I was there NYC hit me over the head with a bag of rocks!

  13. SF is a great city. NYC is Gotham. Nothing is fair in comparison to NYC. I’ve lived in both as well as several other cities around the world including London, Chicago and Washington DC. Alex, not sure where you ate while you were there, or the quality of local guide if the city, but the sheer diversity of NYC and the ENDLESS array of places to eat, things to do and characters in NYC are just too overwhelming. I’ve been in SF for almost two years and while I haven’t explored all that this great city has to offer, I’m certainly feeling its boundaries and limits. No doubt SF has NYC beat in multitudes of areas (e.g., afforability, things to do outside of the city, etc…), but if money were no object than NYC would be the place to live.


    [Editor’s note: Eddy, totally agree with you. I’m still looking for that person that can recommend a great coffee house though, as a good cappuccino in the morning sets the tone for the whole day. We had no guide, just recommendations. And I KNOW I missed a lot of NYC. I’ll be going back, for sure, and hopefully armed with some insider tips from the NYC people…who are still absent from this discussion.]

  14. Yeah, city-wise NYC is superior. However, if you’ve ever sat in traffic trying to drive to the Hamptons on a Friday or Saturday you definitely realize why SF, in that it is located in the most liveable part of the country, has NY beat hands down in other ways …

  15. My vote is for SF. The two cities really are not even close, but I applaud the effort in getting SF five boroughs. You’re right, Daly City is not fair. What an armpit that place is.

    New York is a great city, world class, but it is just soo damn crowded. I think I’d get claustrophobic living there. The weather in the summer and winter would bring me to tears, and I love the ease of getting away here in SF. I do wish the shopping here was like that of NYC, especially SOHO, and I wish we didn’t have earthquakes. If we didn’t have that little factor, I think this city would be built to the sky like NYC.

  16. NYC blows doors over SF. You can have your fog. I’ll take the heat, the cold, the four seasons, the millions of people, the pollution, and all the other great things this city has. Why the fuck would you want to live in a city that could fall down at any second anyway.

    NYC all the way!

    [Editor’s note: This is great I’m getting some NYC people on here, but I’m still searching for the best coffee in NYC.]

  17. San Francisco, of course! World class city with small town charm plus perfect weather. As a native I am biased, but I still defend my position. I’ve spent lots of time visiting family in NYC but I wouldn’t really want to live there. However, I wish our transportation system was more like theirs in some ways. Once you leave the city of SF, especially down on the peninsula your options are limited in terms of getting around without a car. NYC has great train and bus service plus 24 hour subway service. What’s up with MUNI underground closing at 9 pm? Lame.

    As for coffee, there is a Gimme Coffee! shop in Brooklyn. Founded in Ithaca, NY, Gimme! has several locations in central New York state plus that one in Brooklyn. They roast their own beans and have the best lattes, complete with foam art. Check them out. It’s definitely a destination for me next time I visit. That and a diner that makes good egg creams.

    [Editor’s note: There it is. Gimme Coffee. I’m trying it next time I go. And yah, our public transportation is less than good. In fact, it pretty much stinks. (I lived in Europe for three years, and I’ve been jaded.)]

  18. San Fran Tim,

    Not necessarily. A lot of us are forced to live somewhere less than ideal, because of job, family, etc. We’re fortunate to have a great place like SF to call home, but given a choice, older children, and unlimited cash, I’d move to NYC in a second.

  19. I guess these comments aren’t too surprising on a real estate blog since New York is by far the real estate capital of the country. I have grown up and lived in New York my whole life until this past summer spent in San Francisco. For me San Francisco easily gets the nod. It doesn’t smell like crap during the summer time, the weather is great, the scenery is beautiful, it doesn’t feel as claustrophobic, everything besides real estate is a bit more affordable…People are also far more stressed out than in San Francisco which is definitely an important part of quality of life. San Francisco is a huge breath of fresh air after being in New York for a while.

    p.s. 9th St. Espresso and it’s offshoot Everyman Espresso have easily the best cappuccinos in Manhattan. This isn’t even really debatable although Joe the Art of Coffee has it’s supporters.

  20. New York.

    There is something about the Big Apple. People say to your face “F—— .ou” in one breath and then turn around and offer you a drink. You don’t get that here from Californians (or San Franciscans).

    Every time I see the music DVD “Simon & Garfunkel – Concert in Central Park” that was recorded at their 1981 reunion, I get envious of New Yorkers.

    Besides, you really can’t make any attempt at comparing the two places until the bars are allowed to serve drinks till 4am in SF.

  21. You know, at this point in my life (35) I’m pretty glad that we don’t have 4 am bars around here. At the same time tho, it’s nice to not feel rushed on the weekends. If you’re planning a big night on the town New York gives you the ability to go out to dinner pretty late if you like. Around here they roll up the sidewalks at a quarter til 2. There are also only four restaurants that serve till midnight. God bless Baghdad Cafe and Zuni.

  22. I have lived in both cities; NYC for 5 years, and SF for now 10 years. There is a reason why I left NYC after 5 years, and there is a reason why continue to live in SF.

    SF has the food, night life, parks, scenery, and jobs. Many people live in NYC b/c their job demands they be there. I notice that [m]any people live in SF b/c “lifestyle” is a big part of life. Temperature is much better [than] in NYC, and there is much less pollution here. With similar salary levels, you are living MUCH better here [than] in NYC, b/c housing costs a least 25-30% more expensive to buy and rent in NYC.

    Tahoe is 3 hrs away as Alex pointed out, and Squaw et all are world class 11-12,000 ft mountains vs. the Catskllls with 1-2,000ft mountains near NYC. Mountain biking was born in the Marin Headlands, and tennis is FREE, not $70/hr in Manhattan. Great quality golf is all around us.

    NYC is a great city, but I think one needs to make some $250,000+ to live there decently well. Whatever you make, you’ll end up spending all your money by year end. Besides, NYC rent/property being 25-30% more expensive, parking DOES NOT come with the rent/purchase. Finally, you’ve got to pay Federal, State, AND City tax. No thanks.

    In a nutshell, if Chicago and Boston are rated 5 out of 10, NYC is a 7.5, and SF is a 10. Take it from someone who has lived in both places, and also owns multiple properties in both cities.


    [Editor’s note: FYI, there are no ski areas in Tahoe anywhere close to 11,000ft, Squaw tops out around 8900. You got to go to Utah or Colorado for 11-12k, and that is where a lot of East Coasters end up. In fact a big time New Yorker raps about it, “…you might think that I’m a fanatic, a phone call from Utah and I’m throwing a panic”-Adam Yauch, Beastie Boys. But you’re right about the rest, IMHO.]

  23. Ah, choices, choices…my mom is a native New Yorker from the boogie down Bronx, but both my sister and I live here in the Bay Area (she in Oakland, me in S.F.).

    In any case…both great cities. I love the electricity in NYC; it’s really

    unparalleled. And I am jealous of the practically endless nights (bar close at 3 in California would be a good start).

    I agree with everything good about S.F. that’s been stated above. The one thing that I like socially about NYC more than SF is the diversity in offerings; it’s much harder, to me at least, to get my friends to break away from the regular haunts here and I feel like there’s just so much more people are willing to check out in NYC.

    Oh…a coffee rec for New York…my college roomie used to live in the Village and we walked to Blue Dog Cafe (101 W. 25th Street). Check it out on your return visit.

  24. I guess I would have to say San Francisco, but strictly because I am from the west coast. I don’t prefer a crowded life style, so its not a place for me to really live, just visit.

  25. My take:

    Weather; SF, easily.

    Job opportunity: NYC, except tech/biotech.

    Extracurriculars; NYC, (Broadway, etc…you know)

    Green space: SF, easily.

    Parking: NYC, (you must pay though).

    Public transit: NYC, (Muni sucks balls).

    Vibe: Depends on the individual. NYC=24/7 live hard/play hard, makes lots of money, SF=laid back, enjoy life, make lots of money (ie NYC salaries).

    Both are great. One thing I don’t understand is why all the “stars” have a place in LA and in NYC. These places are polar opposites. No comparison, IMO. And, why would anyone want to live in So. Cal.? Stupid “stars”…

    I thought this piece re SF v. NYC was entertaining, though SF-centric.

  26. I’m moving to SF from NYC later this month and bracing myself for the transition. I’ve already promised friends and family that I’ll limit sentences that begin with “Well, in New York… ” to one a day.

    Coffee — try Macchiato on 44th Street between Lexington and 3rd Avenue, near Grand Central. Good coffee and best egg & cheese sandwich in the city.

    [Editor’s note: Welcome to SF. Let us know if you need anything. When you sample a taste of “Indian Summer”, you’ll be saying, “Well, in New York it’s 38 degrees today with a wind chill of -10, but it’s 75 here and crystal clear. I think I can get used to this…”]

  27. As a SF resident, I vote NYC. When I visit NYC, I never want to leave. (And when I’m away from SF, I don’t really miss it.)

    The main thing SF has going for it is that for many of the activities I enjoy (theater, concerts, etc.), I feel comfortable that I am on top of things in SF. I can see everything I want.

    In NYC, I would have to completely give up the notion of seeing two percent of what is happening at any given time.

    I’m not entirely sure why we’re comparing a nice place to live with the cultural center of the country.

    And, yes, I plan to flip over to NYC in early 2008.

  28. San Francisco hands down. New York is a world city, true, but it’s not the world city it once was. I’ve lived in both these cities, plus London, and I put New York in third place on that chart in terms of cities I want to live in. And thank god someone finally said NY food isn’t all that. Hugely overrated food city. Oh, and New York hates nightlife these days. As a cultural capital it isn’t the center of the universe it once was. With the quality of life you get in San Francisco there isn’t much of a choice here.

  29. I’ve lived both places and I choose San Francisco. No contest. New York is exciting but San Francisco is far more liveable.

    As the saying goes, live in NYC in your twenties but come back to San Francisco for the rest of your life.

  30. Figured I’d post as someone is maybe moving to SF, spent some time there, but has pretty much his entire 20+ years of life in NYC.

    First of all, I don’t drive. I don’t know HOW to drive. I’m going to be 28 and I have a learner’s permit. That just isn’t possible in the Bay Area. At least that’s the impression I got, (and yes I’ve taken CalTrain, BART and the muni places — obviously.) Transportation options in nyc are spectacular (they might look grimy, but at 4:30am, they work — and that’s what counts.)

    Two, I think both places are good for food. I think you do get more diversity in NYC than SF (at least from the 2 or so months I’ve spent there compared to my life in NYC — so clearly biased.) In terms of pizza, it’s a serious trek — but DiFara in Brooklyn is probably the absolute best pizza in the world. It’s this dingy old pizza place, and Dom is AMAZINGLY slow — but you will not have better pizza in the world. I’d google for it and definitely make a trip out if you’re in the City. Nothing anywhere compares to his pizza.

    I’d check out a slew of coffee shops in Williamsburg — you’re right, there just aren’t any good ones left on the Isle of Manhattan unfortunately. Aside from Gimme!, I’d explore the coffee shops off the Bedford L — Oslo makes a great coffee too.

    The one thing I love about NYC is that there is alot of variety. Sure SF has it too, but it’s SO MAGNIFIED in NYC because so many people live here. Yes, parts of Manhattan are overcrowded, but you can find massive hotpockets of different crowds. If you like SF, i’d strongly check out Brooklyn. Park Slope is a great neighborhood full of writers (and well now strollers/parents.) Williamsburg (as I mentioned) is this hipster, young angst-ridden rocker crowd with tons of indie clothing stores, book stores, and coffee shops.

    I do tech so I’m pretty sure I’m going to head out to SF in the end (that’s why I’m learning how to drive). I’m aware that SF does have some serious benefits over NYC. I’d take fog over -20 degree winters and 110 degree summers and the cost of living in SF is considerably less than the cost of living in NYC. (My rental apartment in BROOKLYN is over $2500 a month.) Naturally it’s alot prettier too. Crime is a concern with SF (compared to Disney Land NYC) but I’ve lived in the City in the 80s so I figure I can handle it :)

    Ok this is a little ranty so I’m going to stop now.

    [Editor’s note: Why stop! If you’re in Brooklyn and need some good jazz guitar, check out my cousin Mark Mollica. He plays around there all the time. He’s insanely good.]

  31. just moved back to SF after 3 years in NY. i agree that *if* you have a ton of money, NY is awesome, but otherwise you spend a lot of time complaining that everything is so expensive. wasted energy!

    NY has better variety of food but at lower price points SF wins. SF has better fresh produce. NY has more greenmarkets, and they let you walk your dog through them.

    coffee – try cafe grumpy in chelsea. they even know how to make a gibraltar. oslo and ninth st. tie for number two.

  32. Quite frankly, I don’t get all the hoopla around comparing cities at all. I mean, whats the point. Each city is so different.

    They offer different things to different people.

    We live here because we WANT to live here. right? I don’t find SF better than NY or vice versa. They each serve a purpose and place to those who choose them.

    I mean comparing SF to NYC is like comparing a bicycle to a head of lettuce.

    What’s the point?

  33. when i was 18 NYC was scary, intimidating and mysterious.

    when i was 22 NYC was exciting, vibrant and contagious.

    when i was 26 NYC was beautiful, unique and exotic

    when i was 30 NYC was crowded, loud and annoying.

    now im back to feeling scared and intimidated.

    I love NYC to death and i really do feel its the greatest city in the world. but im moving my ass to san fransisco asap.

    btw, food in NYC is NOT overrated. Im a chef and ive tried food in most of the big cities in america including SF and in my opinion there is no comparison.

  34. I’ve lived in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens as well as Berkeley and Oakland. And I plan on returning to NYC (specifically Brooklyn) as fast as I can (Ie as fast as I can get my graduate degree/score a job).

    Don’t get me wrong, this is a great place and I’m sure that some people prefer it even, but NYC has so much more going on. Besides, that whole high crime rate thing is not for me. Oh yeah, and the constant ‘haze’ everywhere I go. You’d think marijuana was fucking oxygen. Oh and the slowness, MOVE YOUR FEET PEOPLE ITS CALLED WALKING NOT “WAITING UNTIL THE DRIFT PUSHES YOU IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION”. Lets not forget the throngs of annoying homeless people or the cal-football-team mania (ew). This inferior transportation system… (and of course, don’t get me STARTED on the god damn bagels.). Also, I don’t find cactus to be an attractive lawn plant. Me, I prefer plain old grass and maybe a rose or two.

    Granted, the weather in SF is probably better. But the Fall in NY is absolutely gorgeous and is way more beautiful then around these parts. It is much cheaper to live here, so thats a plus. I am seriously afraid of the Hayward fault though.

  35. I’m a SF resident but my boyfriend moved to NY for work last year so I visit very often. I have to say both are great cities but very different. My personal opinion is NY is a great place to live if you’re young and into “the scene” or even for people that ever grow out of craving the nightlife. SF is a great place to raise your family or to live if you’re not into the fast life.

    I love the diversity of NY and the different neighborhoods. I love that it is an area with so much to do that you can never really get bored. Obviously the nightlife can not be touched even remotely by SF. Great job possibilities, lots of young successful people. On the other hand, some of the snobbiest people I’ve ever met are New Yorkers (I may make some mad but I think when it comes to being stuck up, they’re worse than LA). HATE the weather, it goes from freezing cold to burning hot with 2 months of nice weather in-between. I also have to agree with the coffee thing, another poster mentioned Macchiato in the financial district, it was the only good coffee I’ve had out there.

    SF’s scenery and weather are the best! Love being able to easily go from the beach to a wooded area to shopping districts all in one day. Love the laid back attitude of people here and events like Bay to Breakers, Fillmore Jazz Festival, etc. I do wish this city was more diverse, it seems like the only people that live here are White or Asian with a sprinkle of blacks and Mexicans (where are the other Latinos?). It would be nice to have more ethnic neighborhoods. It would also be nice to have a somewhat happening nightlife.

  36. I went to San Francisco for the first time ever in my life back in August and absolutely fell in love with the city, its people, the Bay, the atmosphere, everything. By far beats New York (and even Chicago, where I grew up).

  37. 75 degrees? In San Francisco?!? Maybe it’s because I live out in the decrepit pit that is Oceanview, but after moving out of the Midwest during winter summer slapped me hard in the face. Or rather, failed to change noticeably. As mentioned, summer… just doesn’t happen in this half of the city. Foggy every day, weeks without seeing the sun, and the temperature rarely got over a very cool and very miserable 68. Is it better than New York? Well… wearing a coat in the summer is an affront to everything that I can possibly imagine, but at least I have the knowledge that winter won’t ever actually make it below freezing.

    It depends very heavily on where you live, but if you’re out in the Avenues then San Francisco is pretty much always cold with maybe a handful of nice days.

    Still… you can manage to eke out of a life here (in the manner of a poor college student) on an income of $30k. For two.

    As for Sophie’s comments. Well, she’s right in that it’s just as bad in NYC. At the same time considering an absolutely terrible house that you would not even want to consider living in will run at least 500-600k easily it’s still not reasonable to think that people can actually plan to own a single-family home here. If it’s under a million (and that’s a big if too) it’ll be out in the freezing-cold avenues with terrible transit and probably pretty crappy to boot. If it’s not, well, you can probably stop even considering the idea of dreaming about affording it.

    Yes, Daly City is a dump. I should know, I only live about a block away from it. On the plus side there is a Trader Joe’s there.

    The thing is, even with all these complaints, I actually love living here and I know that NYC isn’t likely to be able to improve on many of them (well, OK, transit, but I don’t think there’s a single city with an actual transit system that is worse than Muni).

  38. SF is a great town, don’t get me wrong. Lots of shops, restaurants and the views are fantastic. But as you said, its an apples to oranges comparison, or more like grapes to watermelons. Nothing comes in the volume and quality as New York does in every aspect imaginable.

    Also, I remember being told SF has the best Chinatown while NY was second place. Well going to SF a couple years ago showed me that the person in question was clueless. You could blink while driving and not even see it. While in NYC, Manhattan’s Chinatown is huge with tons of great restaurants (though Wo Hop is my favorite). But if that isn’t enough for you, the Chinatown in Flushing is even larger, and there’s a district in Brooklyn too.

  39. As a native Californian, and current resident of Brooklyn, I have a few things to say about this. San Francisco/Bay Area is a great place: tons of good food (especially Mexican), superior coffee, decent people, great art/music scene, moderate weather extremes, fair public transit and generally – at least compared to NYC – clean. The architecture is pretty stellar at times, you have easy access to the Pacific, you have a reasonable choice over whether you can own a car or not. Berkeley and Oakland are right across the Bay Bridge. I grew up idolizing San Francisco.


    There is no place that lives up to its own mythology like New York City. The thing about this place, which I’ve never experienced in any other city in America (especially in my ill-fated year living in that hell-hole of a city called Los Angeles), is that it gets under your skin, like the city itself has self-awareness. It’s so large that you can live here for all your life and still have no idea about certain neighborhoods, accents, histories and day-to-day experiences of your fellow NYCers. You can re-invent yourself a thousand times, and that’s alright. Yes, it’s crowded, people can be rude to you, nobody knows how to drive to save their lives, it is very hot in the summer, it is very cold in the winter, it is very expensive. I’m of the opinion that, while parts of Manhattan are pretty great, overall the bottom half of the island is one big mall. But there’s nothing like taking the Q train to Avenue J in Brooklyn just for a chance to try DiFara’s pizza. There is nothing like walking over the Brooklyn Bridge when it first starts getting cold in the fall. There’s nothing like walking through Prospect Park once every season to see how different the place is each time. There is nothing like Grand Central – touristy or not. Even the industrial waterfront of North Brooklyn wreaks of history (at least, it will until the condos take over). You CAN live here well for under 100k, you just have to know how. There’s nothing like eating at Nathan’s Famous in Coney Island, or riding the Cyclone in all its decrepit glory. Part of New York’s charm is that sense that it is always falling apart and always re-building itself, always on the verge of total chaos. Navigating that chaos, learning how to be calm and content in the midst of it, has been one of the most grueling, rewarding projects of my life. San Francisco is great. I love San Francisco. But it’s not New York. Nothing else is.

    And coffee:

    Gorilla Coffee in Park Slope, Brooklyn

    Gimme Coffee in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

    Joe in the West Village

    9th Street Espresso in the East Village

    to name just a few.

  40. NYC hands down!

    Visiting and living are totally different things, and I agree that it really is comparing apples and oranges… BUT… NYC rocks over SF. It definitely takes a certain personality to thrive here. I grew up in Queens and now live in Brooklyn. The outer boroughs are nothing like Manhattan.

    If you are staying on the Upper West Side and eating at touristy places like Grimaldi’s and following the Zagat Guide, no wonder you didn’t get a good experience. For every Grimaldi’s, there’s 100s more excellent pizzerias… the point of NY is that you can find that one pizzeria that blows your mind away. Or anything else for that matter. Food here is amazing. And that means you sometimes have to be adventurous, stepping outside the grand and storied neighborhoods of Manhattan and stepping into Woodside for the best Thai food, Flushing for the best Chinese food, Red Hook for the amazing Latin American food stands, lower chinatown for awesome Swedish food, Senegalese in Elmhurst, mac and cheese in Williamsburg, Palestinian in Bay Ridge, Caribbean in Lefferts Garden, and on and on and on and on.

    For coffee, I love Dante’s on Macdougal St… delicious italian coffees served by attitudinal waitresses.

    And speaking of attitude… Manhattan is most certainly run over by I-bankers from the midwest and terrible rich Europeans. The snootiness you are getting are because you are being too slow or out-of-towny. I’m sorry to say it, but here New York ahs no patience for idle patter and guilelessness. It’s a city full of big players who walk and talk fast. As I said, it takes a certain personality to live it.

    And you don’t have to be wealthy to live here comfortably. It depends on what you want.

    End rant.

  41. There was no mention of the amazing number of museums of art in New York, plus the galleries in Chelsea, Dumbo, etc.

    The author is also totally wrong about the New York food scene.

    [Editor’s note: Not wrong, just un-enlightened, and more than willing to learn and absorb. And to the previous comment, we didn’t follow the Zagat Guide (hate that thing), we just noticed the sticker on every window of every restaurant we went into. Regardless, a HUGE THANK YOU to all the insight from all y’all!]

  42. i grew up in sf and then came to nyc 6 years ago for school, and i’m still here. after struggling for years trying to decide which one was better, i ended up giving over to a “grass is always greener” mentality… when i’m new york, all i can think about is san francisco’s rolling hills and mild climate and burritos and (i’m sorry, but much) better chinese food. when i’m in san francisco, all i can think about is 24-hour public transportation, drinking until 3am, and pizza.

    which is the better city? whichever one i’m not in.

    [Editor’s note: You see that freak show with the Gothic guy and girl doing some sort of body contortion/ballet in Washington Square Park? He’s got long hair and announces “the best show in NY”, and he looks like a Gladiator/Goth. She wears these super long above knee stripe socks and heavy dark eye shadow. One thing for sure, NYC has WAY better spectacles and “street shows”.]

  43. NY’s Chinatown is not that much bigger than SF’s, is it? SF’s is like 12 fairly large blocks? And NY’s is like a warren of many, smaller blocks.

    Speaking of funny NY street performers, a few years back my girlfriend at the time and I were walking through Central Park near like 80th street. I hear this really high pitched awful singing emanating from some tunnel. Strangely, tho I’m in all the way across the country, I know immediately who it is. I’m like, “Oh shit.”

    It was that dude who always used to be in the Mission BART station back in the mid ’90s. He was in some Oscar documentary? An unmistakable figure — gold lame skirt, shirtless, totally buff, violin, singing in an awful falsetto with taped percussion accompaniment.

    Anybody know who I’m talking about?

  44. both of New York’s Chinatowns are bigger than SF’s; Flushing is bigger than Lower Manhattan. But the former is not surprising: As the author notes, New York is not just a bigger city, it’s a much bigger city. More than 10x the size.

  45. SF. I’ve lived in SF for the last 20 years, but travel to NYC at least monthly for the past 13 years for work (and spent every other week there for over a year).

    NYC is amazing and easily wins for the quantity of life: so much to do, so little time. But SF win in the quality. Life is just easier here without being dull.

    NYC has much more diversity, but SFO celebrates every bit of diversity. Its a different take.

  46. how does NYC not celebrate every bit of diversity? better yet, how does SF celebrate diversity better? please shed some light because im dumbfounded by your comment

  47. Did anyone mention the stench of San Fran? Downtown smells like a sewer!

    No, actually, according to a visitor we passed walking up Sansome, “San Francisco smells worse than Pittsburgh.”

    Glad I could help.

  48. Oh my gosh. Give me a break. Lower Manhattan in the summertime smells like a urinal almost everywhere! Not here. Why? Because we’ve got strong winds blowing in from the west and the north in SF, damn near every day.

  49. NYC doesn’t have the North American and Central American Spanish speaking cultural representation that we do here in SF. Their Spanish cultures are more Carribbean in origin. ( It’s becoming more Mexican though, like everywhere else in the U.S.) And NY also doesn’t have the pan-Pacific Asian cultures that we do here. Half of the people in this town are Asian! Half! What they have in New York is a vast potpourri of European and African cultures that we simply don’t. For European, what we have are some Irish, some Russian, and some remnants of Scandinavian cultures — the Swedes most have long since moved to Danville. Again, apples and oranges.

    LA versus SF, next? It’s fun to read what folks have to say. But comparing cities in the end doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Does it?

  50. kenny, have you been to NEW YORK CITY or just the UPPER HALF of MANHATTAN because you obviously have no idea what your talking about. african cultures? are you talking about harlem? because harlem isnt African, its a celebration of BLACK CULTURE.

    SF does have a better quality of life and i think its absolutely beautiful there, but when you go and talk about how SF celebrates diversity better than NYC, thats where i have a problem

  51. I agree with Kenny..really, it doesn’t make much sense to compare cities.

    As I said in a previous post, what’s the point? and who’s keeping score and why?

    I know, let’s compare SF to say…..a small rural town in the middle of Kansas.

    makes about as much sense.

  52. your talking like you’ve actually lived in new york city and know what kind of people live there. please dont make snap judgements on an entire city based on a couple of visits to times square. thats all im saying. maybe you werent talking about “celebration of culture” but you sure did talk straight from your ass

  53. LA. NY 2nd. Chicago 3rd. SF 4th.

    LA b/c the people look good. NY b/c you’ll never see an asian thug wannabe with a black girl anywhere else. Chitown for the friendly, down to earth vibe, and SF for being cozy and pleasant with a dash of gentrification.

  54. Like renters who’ve never owned giving advice about the housing market, are there those who give advice about comparing NYC and SF without ever having lived in both? :)

    Guys, fyi, plenty of homes are getting into contract this month.

  55. hey boys and girls. be careful what you say.

    some of you could get kicked off here by our censorship hungry editor…cause

    of your so called “flaming” or pottymouth.

    SFcurbed and Socketsite are far more open minded, FYI.

    [Editor’s note: Then go read them and comment over there. I’m sick of your shit. You are the only person I, or any of the other readers, have ever had a problem with. Beat it!]

  56. Dave, man, chill out. You don’t know me. You don’t know what I know. This is all 1’s and 0’s on a computer. I went to college one hour outside NY. I lived there in ’94. My sister lived there for years. I know the town, OK? You mean to tell me there isn’t more of an African — and when I say that I mean African diaspora — type cultural presence in NY than SF? Get the fuck out of here. Who’s talking out of their ass, pal? You are. What’s more, you’re putting words in my mouth and you’re still talking. Step off. (was that NY enough for ya?)

  57. Socketsite? Socketsite is a bunch of mean spirited, realtor bashing, loudmouth armchair economist assclowns quoting macro economics in order to reassure themselves why they will never ever in a million years get off the fence in order to purchase a piece of real estate in San Francisco. Socketsite — home of the world’s dumbest “Tipster” !!! The Socketsite “Tipster” is like that fake celebrity news reporter riff they have in the Onion!

    Come on, Duggo. Socketsite? Home of the questionably appropriated MLS content! hahahah. get real. That site is laughable at times. Naah man. Just take it easy and don’t get so riled up when people make typos on here and you’ll be all right.

    [Editor’s note: Now….back to topic, and friendly conversation.]

  58. If you were to take each of the qualities of a city and rate them like weather, food, cultural activities, shopping, sports, tourist attractions, quality of life, etc., I think you will find this. NYC is either a 1 or 10 (out of 10) on almost everything. NYC has the best of everything and the worst of everything. SF is a 7, 8, or 9 on everything – things are pleasant and nice, but not the best.

    I was born and raised in NYC and moved to SF quite a while ago and first of all, just because the 2 are cities does not mean you can compare them.

    The scale of NYC is just tremendous – SF is such a tiny little city compared to NYC’s grandness, “its humongousness” both in area and in population. Now, we can say we are really comparing Manhattan and San Francisco so we will exclude Queens (which is a lot like Oakland in my book…), Brooklyn (kind of like parts of the East Bay and even Brooklyn would be the country’s 4th largest city by population I think), Staten Island (like Daly City), and the Bronx (kind of like Bayview or something like that).

    Yes, the food is damn good in SF- you can almost walk into any average restaurant and you can get a good meal. If you walk into any average restaurant in NYC, you will have an awful meal and pay 2x for it. However, you will find the GREATEST foods in NYC – the world’s top chefs are in NYC. There are a dozen Gary Denko’s in NYC and all of them would be much better but also twice the cost.

    To echo other posts here, you also probably need twice as much money to live the same quality of life in NYC than you can in SF. You can get the greatest of things in NYC but they are not always accessible to the average New Yorker.

    In SF, the quality of life is so high and therefore the good things are easier to get to. You can drive to a beach in the middle of the city (Baker Beach). The Golden Gate Bridge is just unparalleled in it’s beauty – Sausalito is a short drive from the city and easy to enjoy. Great shopping all in one area in Union Square. Good food everywhere. People are friendly and things are relatively inexpensive. Gorgeous views from the hills of SF. The Embarcadero. Palm trees… Coit Tower, weather is usually pretty darn good (except where it’s always foggy)….no snow. Generally warm but still with a bit of a chill at times but overall good if not very good.

    You can compare NYC to London or Hong Kong or Shanghai or Tokyo however, SF is just not in the same league I am sorry to say. It’s a great, international city with lots of attractive things about it – but NYC is a major megapolis of 40 million people with international influence and is the center of the world in so many ways from fashion to advertising to finance to jazz to theater to art to opera to food to hip-hop to publishing to broadcasting to journalism (ever read the NY Times and WSJ and compare that to the Chronicle? ugh!) and so on and so on. The UN is headquartered there – and for good reason – if you had to pick a world capital, NYC would be it. When our enemies think of a city to bomb that would have the biggest impact – they don’t even think of our nation’s capital – they always, always think of NYC. It’s that important of a city and that grand and great. Rarely does SF even come up as a target. LA sometimes but the only thing you would even think of bombing is LAX. Major international companies are headquartered in NYC. Central Park has no parallel – not even Golden Gate Park sorry to say.

    The level of talent and the best minds are all in NYC. The richest and most powerful people play in NYC. SF is the center of the tech world and khaki’s, fleeces, outdoor activities, good wines and eco-friendly trends. It’s a pleasant city with nice people good weather and the incomparable Ferry Building. There’s a huge population of people working in downtown SF that have their sleep cycles circling around NYC time (WALL STREET) – NYC is that influential. What do you do for New Year’s Eve? Ever watch the ball drop in Times Square? How about watch the Macy’s Thansgiving Day Parade? Or the Macy’s 4th of July fireworks? All of these things come from NYC.

    NYC is so grand that hosting major events in NYC gets lost in the city – when the Final Four was hosted in NYC (Meadowlands, NJ) the city barely even flinched. There were a million other things going on that the Final Four just got drowned in the city. Foreign presidents, leaders of countries, prime ministers, popes and all sorts of pop-stars, actors, celebs all make stops in NYC – I rarely hear of anyone coming to SF for a high-profile visit. NYC has 9, yes NINE teams playing in Pro sports – SF and the Bay Area has 3 and can barely support the football team which is now running for the city down south that is LARGER than SF. NYC used to have THREE baseball teams – thriving until 2/3rds of them bolted for the West Coast.

    And that leads me to my next point. If you want the best of the best, the greatest of the greats, you will find it in NYC. It’s a world-class city with the best of almost anything. SF is a world-class city in it’s BEAUTY, quality of life and it’s TECH and that’s about it.

    HOWEVER, with NYC’s best of the best you also get the worst of the worst. The expensiveness. The ridiculousness. The angriness, the filth, the trash, the occasional mass murders, the horrendous traffic (you think the Bay Bridge is bad? PU-lease. The GW Bridge is a 100 times worse). Did I mention the expensiveness? But sooner or later, if you are not thriving in NYC – most people ARE NOT, you have to leave or get angry and bitter at the world. If you are not making 7 figures you are not thriving. You move to upstate NYC, Long Island, NJ, Florida or San Francisco. SF is a nicer, cleaner, smaller more manageable urban space with lots to offer and you can really thrive on just $400k a year, not as much or nice or great as what NYC has to offer, but much, much, MUCH easier…

  59. trust me, you can “thrive” in manhattan on 400k a year. unless by thriving, you mean buying duplex condos in the morning and helicopters at night. NYC is expensive but if you really compare it to any large city in America, i think people tend to exagerate at little bit.

  60. Don’t compare Chinatowns. FYI – SF actually has 4, maybe 5 Chinatowns. (Stockton/Grant, Clement, Irving, Clement, and maybe San Bruno).

  61. Regarding professional sports teams, if the 40 million people metropolis has 9 pro sports teams, it’s more fair to compare the 7.5 million people in the Bay Area which have 6 pro sports teams (49ers,Raiders, Giants, A’s, Warriors, and Sharks). On a per capita basis the Bay Area blows the NY area away.

  62. COBRA,

    Chinatowns – yes many more… NYC has 2 large ones, and a smaller one in Brooklyn – however, NYC does have a huge Koreatown which SF has nothing in comparison – perhaps the Telegraph Hill corridor is a Koreatown in the making – NYC doesn’t have a Japantown really either.

    Good point about Sports teams on a per-capita basis… SF does have good college sports – NYC has nothing except St. John’s basketball and only recently Rutgers Football an hour away in central Jersey – nuff said.

  63. Someone please explain to me how NYC metropolitan has 40 million people. That’s a number that gets bandied about, and it’s b.s.

    Let’s say NYC has 10 million (it doesn’t.) Long Island 8 million. New Jersey 8 million. Connecticut 4 million. Southeastern New York state is not that populous, let’s call it 2 million. OK, that’s 32. But South Jersey is Philly-oriented. Northern Connecticut is more Boston-oriented. In Eastern Long Island people go to L.I.C. to handle their “city” business. The 40 million number that gets bandied about is plain ole silly.

  64. New York City is too provincial. New York really does think that it is the center of the universe and far too many New Yorkers are oblivious to the rest of the world because of that delusion. That means that most of what happens in New York City is derivative. It is certainly a larger and more important city than San Francisco, but it is not the financial center of the world (London is) nor the artistic center of the world (Paris is) nor the most important place politically (Washington DC). It is not the center of technological innovation (Silicon Valley is) nor is it a particularly significant educational or scientific center.

    In the last fifty years, three significant cultural movements have come out of the Bay Area: The Beats, the Hippies and the Internet Boom. In that same amount of time, I can only think of one that came from NYC in that same time span: Hip Hop. So yes, if you want to make a lot of money and live in the City That Never Sleeps, New York is the place. If you want to be where significant cultural, intellectual and political change is happening and you want to be part of that, live in San Francisco. NYC is the center of empire and resting on its laurels. SF never had any laurels to rest on in the first place.

  65. New York can claim the Beats too. It can also claim punk, fluxus, pop art, post-impressionism, American fashion, American advertising, American publishing, etc. etc. One thing it is is our cultural center. The world’s cultural center? Probably not, because nowhere is.

  66. NYC wins by a huge margin. SF has major homeless problems, crime problems, public transportation and parking problems by comparison. SF’s city leaders are way too liberal (or preoccupied with themselves) to make SF the truly great city it could be. Ignorance is bliss.

    NYC has better food and vibe. SF has better weather in the winter. Both have overpriced real estate with NYC having better selection, quality and value. Both have crappy public schools, but nobody sends their kids to public school anyway.

    Aside from NYC and SF (and maybe Chicago), there is not much character in US cities.

  67. As a New Yorker who has spent a lot of time in San Francisco, Mark hit the nail on the head. The New York he describes is the one that true New Yorkers know. SF simply isn’t in the same league. Not that it isn’t a great place to live – who doesn’t love Napa, nice weather, and beautiful views? But comparing it to New York is like comparing triple-A to the majors. In my opinion, only Tokyo, London, and Paris can be compared to New York.

  68. this is so true, unfortunately. we are the west coast attempt at being manhattan. we have to get some credit for trying, without having any real monster industry to support a downtown. as for our transit, i was just thinking yesterday that muni is great for travel when you are on vacation or a day off, but you cannot rely on it for meetings with a firm start time. how sad is that!!!

  69. I am currently living in both places (grew up in the bay, last 7 years in NYC, now doing the bi-coastal thing) so I can definately attest to the fact it’s difficult to decide on which is “better” since they’re both so different…here’s my take:

    Quality of life is definately better in SF! People here care about having a life! It’s not a badge of honor to say you work 15 hour days. In fact, most people in SF would consider you a loser if you bragged about that. In NY, people are so busy trying to “get ahead” and outdo each other it gets to the point they are work-obsessed –too bad there’s no time to enjoy it all the money they make!

    Nightlife in SF bites! Clearly if you’re into the club/going out scene NY is WAY better! There’s a ton to choose from, places are open until 4am, it’s a lifestyle of having fun at night. Clubs are completely lame and boring in SF…then again, everything closes by 2am since people are active and want to get up early to do healthy athletic stuff. Here it depends if you’re 20-30 something and want to hook up and go out it’s the place. If you’re settled or not into that scene any more SF is much more relaxed and free time is spent doing healthy endeavors.

    Food I think is equal for both although NY has more choice – then again, you can’t beat the wine country within proximity to SF or all the great produce from local farmers

    Weather – freeze your ass in the winter(NY), freeze your ass in the summer(SF)…you pick!

    Real estate – you definately get more for your $$ in SF – you may pay the same costs up front for an apt, but you have a garage included in that price (yeah you can have a car in sF and it’s not a total nightmare!!!) and don’t have to pay 1000s for doormen(or their tips at the end of the year)…

    People – ny there is way more variety and fewer total geeks than SF…I’ve seen so many movie/TV/political/corporate starts walking around the streets of NY …in SF? hmmm… I saw Willie Brown the other day chatting up a girl half his age at Myth restaurant…

    Proximity to cool places …SF -Mexico, Hawaii…NY – Europe, Carribbean…you decide

    … in the end my friends it all adds up to what you’re looking for…I think either way you can’t go wrong!

  70. New York’s okay, but I wouldn’t want to live there. Maybe for 6 months at a time, but no longer than that. But that’s just me.

    The San Francisco Bay Area is far more diverse (geographically) than the greater New York area, making for far better weekend getaways. SF is surrounded by greenbelts, a beautiful (but cold water) coast, and plenty of organic farms that provides SF with some of the freshest, healthiest produce. Couple that with the vineyards of Napa, the oyster farms and dairies of western Marin, and the salmon and dungeoness crab that roam our Pacific coast for some good eating. And if you’re adventurous enough, you can even go collect your own abalone! All within an hour or two of the city. Back to the weekend getaways… If you’re willing to go a bit farther, say 3 to 4 hours away, Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, Mendocino, Monterey, are all right there.

    As for the city proper, both cities have their shortcomings. Public transportation in San Francisco could definitely improve, but population densitiy is a general requirement for an efficient public transit system (e.g. Tokyo and Hong Kong), as well as other goods and services. From a population density standpoint, I’d say SF is just about perfect for my taste. Enough people to consume/provide a diversity of goods and services, but not so much that it’s always crowded everywhere.

    SF and NY are both ethnically diverse, but different. SF has a higher percentage of Asians and Mexicans, while New York has more non-Mexican Hispanics, and more Africans. NY definitely has a far greater variety of South American, Carribean, and African restaurants, something I wish SF had a bit more of.

    In any case, this is really a silly comparison, because everybody has different needs/desires. I’ve thought about relocating to NYC temporarily, but have since lost that desire after several subsequent visits. At least people in NYC are more polite than they used to be (maybe it’s my imagination).

  71. I live in Greenpoint, Brooklyn – lived in Williamsburg for the past 8 years and moved to Greenpoint this past year. Previously lived in Santa Cruz, CA for 3…and am currently thinking of moving my family to SF (never lived there – only visited).

    NYC is all about what you know – it’s about the neighborhoods (Williamsburg, Park Slope, Carroll Gardens, Ft Greene, LES, East Village, West Village, etc), small restaurants that no one visiting would necessarily go to, the boutique shops, etc. I HATED NYC (for many reason mentioned – overcrowding, feeling like a number) when I first moved here but once you find your way, it’s an amazing city. You have everything you need here – and you find your communities.

    Interestingly enough, when I recently visited SF in October, I likened it to a mini Manhattan (Union Square/Market St) with Brooklyn being like all the neighborhoods within the city. Brooklyn Heights being like Pacific Heights, Noe Valley being like Park Slope, Bernal Heights like Williamsburg (or what B’burg used to be like before it became ultra popular) and so on and so forth…which I LOVED. Because for me, NYC is all about the community and SF felt the same way.

    Yes, we have amazing museums, renowned restaurants, large corporations driving business, but it’s the communities that make up the heart of this city. There are definitely areas I don’t travel to as much (UWS, UES, Tribeca) simply because I don’t necessarily have to so I don’t have much to say about those neighborhoods. I tend to love Brooklyn – seems a little more down to earth. I lived in Manhattan for awhile but couldn’t find a community like I could in Brooklyn. Just my personal experience.

    As far as real estate, we pay $3000/month for a 2 BR, 2 1/2 bath, new condo unit on the border of Williamsburg in Greenpoint. Williamsburg is quickly pricing out people – and we make a decent living. We have a son though and needed space. We have 1700 sq ft in Greenpoint for the same price as what 900 would have landed us in Williamsburg. Literally just a street away from the border. And a 1 BR in Williamsburg is going for around 700K.

    I have to say that what I miss most about the West coast is the quality of life. I miss hiking, biking, etc – and we’re outdoorsy people. And East coast snowboarding – well, it just sucks. The access to anywhere to go hiking etc, is pretty far. You’re looking at about 45 minutes driving to get ANYWHERE outside of the City and that’s without traffic. Last weekend, it took me an hour just to get to the Holland Tunnel. 9 miles away.

    NYC is really about just that, NYC and all that it has to offer. I say that it takes about a year to get yourself fully accustomed to the way of life, subway traveling, exactly where to go for the best food, or where to shop for exotic groceries (like Jackson Heights, Queens for Indian Food) or East Williamsburg for the amazing Italian Bakeries (like Fortunato Brothers).

    Regarding coffee, SF may have us beat but there are definitely pockets of good places. Don’t look for them in mid-town or any other touristy area though. They are around though. Trust me.

  72. I lived in SF for a couple years for school (in the fillmore b/n pac heights & western edition), and also recently I moved to NYC (subleasing in Harlem currently).

    Im a little on both sides on this; but, maybe not fair as I am very new to NY. Here are my 2 cents anyways (maybe even a pocket full of change)

    Im just reading through a few google comparos b/n the 2 cities, and find many replies entertaining. Much of them are vague generalizations, as well with a few great replies. As stated many times already, comparing SF and NYC is like comparing a cat and a microwave. It also truly depends on the individual’s likes, dislikes, age, culture, background, etc., etc.

    So far I find nyc to be overwhelming in just about everything. When I first touched down, I had kind of a denial about nyc – regarding vibe, food, people, etc. (a common trait to SF, where they are bigheaded and too into themselves thinking they are #1 mentality). But, as each day passes and as I get more and more used to this grand megalopolis, the more and more I fall in love with it.

    I used to think SF has the best quality food (quality over quantity) than nyc, and every other day I find an equivalent or better place here (not to mention even new introductions to cultural food that is not available in SF (or prolly never will be; ie: west indies, african, latin, jamaican, etc.). Yes, some of my SF faves are Burma Superstar, Bamboo Village, TuLan for soul viet and so on, but I can find it here in nyc too.

    I left SF because like someone else mentioned here, I felt it’s “boundaries” quite quickly after the first 2 years. Yes, you can venture outside the city if you like the outdoors, wine country, the burbs, (and farmland valleys lol). But, as aforesaid, that depends on YOU. And Im not really into the burb, desolate areas (as i was raised in them and sick of them). I can already tell that living in nyc even for many years that there will always be a strange and new neighborhood, culture, people and opportunity that will arise. Sorry, but in SF, there is not much to explore as compared to nyc.

    Someone also mentioned the unreplicable experiences with crossing the brklyn bridge, etc, etc. Ive done all that in nyc already and it is great. SF also has beautiful things to do like crossing the GG bridge, viewing the city from the lookout on marin, hiking up bernal heights for a skyline view, hiking up twin peaks for a diff angle of the skyline, etc. I’d say I enjoy the SF views a little more as they seem more serene.

    Now the People; many people here say SF is cliquey. I totally have to disagree with that as I find nyc people to be just that (maybe I have only had a handful of experiences, so I cannot truly say). SF only contains like 30% natives, everyone else is a transplant or immigrant. This makes for a very open to meeting new people kind of attitude. As where nyc, it seems that they do not like making new friends as often (but still do much more than compared to many other cities, so dont get me wrong)

    BUT, at the same time SF people can be quite cold, snooty, snobbish, rude, complain alot, too serious (no humor, very rare for people to be sarcastic). This is a big reason I wanted to leave SF. Although I made many friends in SF, I felt nyc people to be much more open, inviting, hospitable, warm, caring..all while still having the big city attitude.

    SF can be very rude towards tourists, non-natives. NYC people are very nice in this regard and ive never heard any shit talking towards tourists. Example I overheard while on a bus: A group/family of german tourists about to board a bus ask the bus driver directions. At the same time a few people sitting next to me sneer, maddog the tourist and speak under their breath “stupid fucking tourists!”. This happens ALL the time. It seems that SF “tries” too hard to have a big-city attitude by being rude, etc. Also, I always see people (hipster kids) spitting on cop cars, kicking cop cars, other rude behavior, etc. I actually dont mind, as Im a young kid at heart too and find it kinda amusing; but, you might not like it.

    In contrast, nyc people are super warm amd caring towards tourists needing directions, comforting frazzled tourists/non-natives, nice towards cops, etc. This is what I LOVE about nyc. It feels soo humanistic that SF will NEVER be. But, sometimes, nyc people can be a tad too confident at times and sometimes need to take a deep breathe and think things through without rushing (SF has no problem with this and this is def what I like about SF, they take their time, maybe too much time for an east coaster). I guess Ill just have to get used to nyc’s confident fast ways. When I do, then all the greater.

    And someone also said and a replier asked: SF celebrates culture, nyc has alot of culture. I can def see this. NYC no doubt had the most cultural diversity in the US and also celebrates it; but, with SF, when a new culture comes about, SF embraces it with everything it has and welcomes it. As where nyc, it is nothing new to them and is an everyday occurrence so it isnt as “special”. I heard on a photographer documentary, “SF “tries too much to be like europe”, and it does and is also successful at it, especially the snobbish attitude against american patriotism (which i also dont mind one bit, but some will).

    I can keep writing my opinions and generalizations, but im getting tired of comparing for now. These are just brief positives and negatives about both.

    If you want SF steez, this would be very possible in nyc. Greenpoint and Williamsburg (as well as prospec heights, park slope, etc.) seem very much like SF, architecture, people, chill, vibe, wise. NYC just has everything you want, need or are looking for (well, maybe not the magnificent views of bernal heights or twin peaks, lol ;)

    good luck

  73. k…l’ll add a little more


    -awesome 24hr subways

    -unlimited neighborhoods and cultures

    -warm, caring good vibe people

    -people not as independent as SF (Im still noticing it, NYers are a little more clingy to each other friendwise)

    -summer sucks

    -people are very clean, smell good, take showers

    -people take better care of themselves compared to SF (lookswise)

    -sometimes pretentious

    -more into image

    -seems a little more conservative

    -lots of people everywhere


    -not as hip


    -very attractive women



    -more bums per capita

    -SHITTY mass transit (i lived in fillmore 3 miles from sfsu and it take me 1 hour to get to school, compared to 125th st in harlenm to 14st unionsq in 20 min on subway, that 100+blocks!)

    -trains close at 9pm

    -busses lag

    -DT and many other areas smell of piss & feces

    -also inside the trains/busses

    -step out of your house..gonna be asked for change every 10 minutes on the street

    -honestly, SF club venues FADE NYC! Sorry, if your a club goer or into independent music, SF scene is great and better than NYC. There are more venues coming and going compared to NYC’s same old venues just getting renamed. BUT, nyc doesnt have that dumb 2am drink limit. So it evens out.

    -age demographic is majority 20-late 30s, not too many gray hairs.

    -not even close to NYC cultural diversity


    -good food ratio, NY seems to still have too many crap spots mixed in with good spots

    -nice weather

    -anti image

    -anti american

    -very european attitude


    -too into themselves

    -takes their time

    -dilly dally

    -openness to meeting new people

  74. I am a New Yorker who loves San Francisco (at least to visit). If I had a great job lined up in San Francisco I’d definitely consider it.

    One misconception is that NYC is Manhattan. Sure, Manhattan is the center of things, but 1.8 million people live there vs. 2.5 million in Brooklyn. There’s a lot of good stuff going on in Brooklyn. Sure, Queens also has almost 2.5 million people…I’m not so big on Queens though.

    I live in a 3000 square foot Victorian with 6 bedrooms, a private driveway, back yard, deck, flower garden, BBQ, 2 car garage, etc. in a diverse and safe neighborhood in Brooklyn that is 30 minutes from Wall Street on the subway. I paid $850K at the height of the market. Cost-wise, this compares pretty favorably to most of San Francisco. Obvously, the house (well, the land under it really) might be worth $10 million+ in Manhattan. Which goes to show why you can’t just assume Manhattan = NYC. Yes, I’m a former Manhattanite (born and raised) too. It was just too expensive. $850k would have gotten us a cramped 2 bedroom apartment. Manhattan is indeed a great place to live, but it can be a struggle under $500K.

  75. anonnyc,

    We’re coming over! Throw some shrimp on the barbi will ya? Keep an eye out for my Cousin in the Jazz guitar scene in Brooklyn…Mark Mollica. He’s pretty damn good.

  76. will do!

    i should modify my post — it is a struggle TO RAISE A FAMILY without the high income like $500K in Manhattan. Childcare is expensive. The extra space one wants for their kids is expensive. We’re going to go the public school route, but private school is also really expensive. Really really expensive. and, of course, I’m really mainly talking about an upper middle class sort of made for TV life. obviously people survive on a heck of a lot less and not just people in the projects or in a rent control apartment.

  77. NYC vs SF?

    SF is Brooklyn, without Manhattan. Great town if you are a couple, married, family, have wine for blood, etc.

    Single? Unless you are a librarian, WTF are you doing in SF?

  78. Wow. Man, my single friends would beg to differ. To hear them tell it the gay population in SF accounts for a significant portion of the male populace. Therefore single straight males with any sort of game are somewhat sought after. But then again, I also hear that the dating scene in NYC is much more aggressive.

    This city to city thing is funny though. It’s kind of like, now compare the quadratic formula to a Granny Smith apple.

  79. The Front Steps-

    I enjoyed your article, having recently come back from San Francisco. As a native Philadelphian who lives in New York, I have a pretty neutral view on both places (although I hate New York sports teams).

    As far as weather is concerned, you are dead on. SF has the best weather by far. The winter isn’t as bad as you make it out to be, however the summer in NY is unbearable.

    As far as coffee is concerned, I can’t really comment…having lived in Paris for a few years, I have to say that the coffee scene in the US is weak, not so much as quality of coffee, but quality of hanging out at the cafe.

    As far as outdoors in concerned, I suppose I concede that to San Francisco, although I must say, I’m not much of an outdoorsman. If I’m playing sports, I’m in the ice rink playing hockey. For hockey the East Coast is far superior to the West Coast.

    Real estate is outrageous in both places-the 2 most expensive markets in the country-for good reason-the 2 most desirable places to be in the country.

    In terms of culture, San Franciso falls far short of New York-there are some interesting items to see in SF, however the museum scene pales in comparison to New York, as does theater (London is the only place that compares to New York). Furthermore, Boston, Philadelphia, and Chicago have more culture than SF. This is a serious flaw of SF.

    Diversity is similar, however I give the nod to New York on this one as well.

    One item you forgot is geography. New York is 3.5 hours from Boston, 1.5 hours from Phila, 4 hours from Washington, and 6 hours from Montreal…all by car. The 2 hour flight to Chicago is nothing, and the 5.5 hour flight to Paris is similar to the flight to the West Coast. What is the closest major city to SF? LA is a horrible, godforsaken place (I would rather live in Baltimore).

    Wine, in and of itself, is a reason to move to San Francisco. My love of Sonomoa pinot noir draws me to SF annually. Healdsburg is a gem. Napa is a bit pretentious, however there are some excellent cabernet sauvignon selections there-if you are a big red meat eater. Outside of France, there is nothing like the California wine country.

    As far as food is concerned, San Francisco is a fabulous city. I would even have to say it’s a half notch above my beloved Philadelphia (don’t laugh-if you’ve never been there, Philly runs the gamut from junk food to high-end restaurants, including places where you can bring your wine for no corkage fee). That being said, it doesn’t quite have the variety that New York does. Asian food is better in SF, however European food is better in New York. New American is comparable (Gary Danko and Cyrus are awesome, Michael Mina was disappointing), however it’s a bit better in NY. What stood out to me in San Francisco was the freshness of the produce and ingredients…this surpassed NY for sure.

    The biggest shock to me was the friendliness of people in SF-they are nicer in Paris! NY gets such a bad rap for unfriendly people, which couldn’t be more true. People in NY are ‘busy,’ whereas I found people in SF to be genuinely rude. Granted, I only met a small portion, so I could be off on this, however after 5 trips to SF, I find the Parisians to be warmer.

    Overall, SF and NY are the 2 best places in the country. I’m drawn to NY b/c my family (and my wife’s family) are in NY and PA-all within 100 miles. I would trade anything to spend summers in SF. Hopefully I’ll be able to retire in SF (or preferably Healdsburg).

  80. wow such an old topic with a good amount of pros and cons from both sides…

    for me when it comes down to where you would want to live? for myself i would not involve what i did for work because most of us are stuck inside not enjoying the city as we go about earning that paycheck. Im looking at what is there to do outside of a standard 9-5 and i believe san francisco wins as a whole where nyc has its upsides too…both have great places to eat and drink but nyc has more because the city is more populated..simple econmoics! nightlife isnt for everyone and different folks have a different idea of what a good nightlife really is…for some it can be a whole night in a wine bar or just a run of the mill pub or full blown ear ringing nightclub. Both places have them and nyc wins on closing time at 4-5am but thats about it. See as a whole san francisco has the space you can bike, drive around town which i enjoy on a nice sunny day and just enjoy yourself. Theres nothing can replace going on a date with a girl and picking her up at her place and driving to a movie or to a nice dinner. In nyc its about meeting them at the restaurant in manhattan by way of subway or taxi. What if you wanted to get closer? you cant go back to her place because shes in a one bedroom apartment in east village with 2 other people sleeping in the living room. SF quality of life wins hands down. end of rant!

  81. I think Mike (@9:07 p.m.)has a thoughtful and accurate assessment. I think San Francisco is kind of a cold, unfriendly place. I’m impressed by the energy, efficiency and professionalism of New York, more like Europe than SF.

  82. People in both NYC and SF need to stop being so full of themselves. There are a lot of people who don’t live in either place and don’t miss either. Both are good vacation destinations, but life is also just fine in the rest of America, from small towns to mid-sized cities and other major metro areas.

  83. I’ve lived in SF and NYC…and Chicago..and some time in Miami. Just to name a few…

    NYC Chicago all completely trounce SF in nightlife …it isn’t a contest.

    I am not living in SF for now, but think about moving back out there all the time. I think it would be the best place out of any of those for the 30-retirement age… NYC and Chicago both easily beat SF for living in your 20’s. I’ve experience all 3 in my 20s. NYC >>> Chicago > SF

    My beef with Chicago is mostly it’s location/weather and it feels a bit Midwestern Vanilla sometimes.

    SF beef is it just feels pretty small in comparison and I do miss the winter/snow sometimes…

    NYC beef is just the high strungness…this is fine, and you will say oh I like it…Trust me, the most fast pace people eventually don’t really want that when they have kids. Most move to the burbs of NYC anyway, but still have to put up with the high energy. But you can have a bit more balance in say, San Francisco.

    All three great cities though.

  84. comparing SF to NY……..again?? The idea of trying too hard doesn’t even cross your mind? I lose lots of respect for SF when it does these comparisons, it’s so desperate. Hella wannabe. Los Angeles. done.

  85. I lived in NYC for over 20 years and 10 of those were in Manhattan. I now live n SF and you really can’t compare the two in this instance. It’s not a ‘one is better than the other’ scenario, but rather a choice of lifestyle.

    NYC was a hectic pace, where I worked 27 hrs a day and would find a place to party until the weeeeeee hours. Sunday I would recover in Central Park, as I would try to find the feeling back in my face for Monday morning. Funny thing is I would be out late on Sunday night as well. Crazy!

    Finally, I woke up one day and wanted to dial things down and on a recent trip found San Francisco. The charm, the slower pace, nice weather and the surrounding natural beauty has allowed me to stop and enjoy a balanced life. Both these cities have character and NYC has a special place in my heart with it’s influence and energy, while SF has lots of tender charm to offer with it’s intimacy.

    I love both cities for their unique qualities that really don’t compare at all!!! All I know is I’ve had the privilege to experience both in my life! Lucky me!!!!!

  86. Im 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.

  87. Huh. Interesting. I’ve been a NYC resident for almost 20 years (with parents born in Brooklyn.) I LOVE this city – no question about that, at all. I’m kind of curious as to how SF compares, if ever we need to move to the West Coast. (Mind you, we’re not the 1% here…Bronx residents, working in Manhattan.) But we love the diversity, and the culture choices here. Curious if SF can offer an equal experience, with an equivalent city vibe. (Cause, living in LA is just not an option!! :P)

  88. Well you were staying in a very touristy area on Amsterdam that is an extension of the crowds coming off Broadway/Lincoln Center in UWS and yuppified to the max. You can get way better coffee places in East Village, Greenwich, LES, Park Slope, Williamsburg, Brooklyn Heights, Chelsea, etc. Grimaldi’s is definitely overrated, I wouldn’t really call that a NY style pizza either. If you want good pizza you’ll find better in Hudson County, Queens, Bronx, other areas of Brooklyn (that aren’t right by the bridge loaded w/ tourists), Manhattan has good pizza but I definitely think the pizza in the boroughs is better. I’m not a big fan of that area myself, you have to understand scale there… NYC is soooo much bigger. I lived in SF a few years and honestly it felt kind of small to me. The main perks of the area to me were being close to redwoods/mountains/wine country, the city was okay but not really mind blowing or super cultura/historical. I also currently live in NY, the first city I lived in was Paris… NYC and Paris blow SF completely away b/c they are true global massive cities. They also do this to any other U.S. city, not really a fault of SF. You can’t really compare them just b/c of sheer scale. SF honestly reminds me of the area of Brooklyn Park Slope/Prospect Heights/Boerum Hill/Williamsburg/Brooklyn heights but less busy. This area of Brooklyn is already ~300k people in just 5 square miles.

  89. I’ve lived in Brooklyn and have vacationed to SF a few times. I think NYC is probably more fun if you’re under 25, which is when all the people, density, bars, nightlife options are still exciting to you. For me, I had enough of that and prefer a more comfortable life.

    The truth is, you’re never going to have time to meet all of those people, so the difference between a population of between 3 to 8 million isn’t going to mean anything except larger crowds, more expensive entertainment, more likely you’ll never recognize the same face on the street or local shop even around your own station (unless you live in one of the ethnic enclaves for some reason), more likely you or the person you’ve started dating will give up over something minor since people think with so many people around them, the perfect person is just around the corner.

    NYC is also considered the most segregated city in the US now. You can see kids of almost the entire same ethnicity on their way to certain schools. If you’re looking for a city where ethnic groups really intermingle, it’s not here. Maybe Canadian cities?

    Brooklyn is overhyped. The transportation in the borough commutes people to and from Manhattan, so it’s not like people are venturing all over the borough like they can in Manhattan. Most transplants live along the L, which is in north Brooklyn and around most of the stops are shops that cater to that crowd and mostly those types of people. The L train is almost entirely 20-30 something transplants (not just cool kids or white people, but more likely they did not grow up in NYC) during the rush hours. If you move to an ethnic enclave and don’t look like you’re from that group, you’ll stick out like a sore thumb and likely be viewed as a sign of gentrification and not feel welcome. The affordable areas on the L are pretty far out now, look absolutely awful, and are not dense so you’re not going to be venturing far beyond a station, especially at night, yet you’re still paying at least $700 for a small room in a shared apartment. Again, this is probably fun when you’re young and grew up in suburbia and want to feel like you’re living on the edge in a gritty looking area that is actually fairly safe.

    The weather cannot be mentioned enough. I think the biggest issue is that more days are either uncomfortably cold or hot than it is in the comfortable range. If the winter was tough, but we had a moderate summer, I could accept that or vice versa. Both extremes make being outdoors uncomfortable, especially in the winter. For about 3-4 months, expect having little social life and dating because the only thing on anyone’s mind is getting to some place warm, not to mention the darkness making it feel later than it is.

    NYC also has major pest issues. Cockroaches, summer insects (mosquitos, flies), rats, and perhaps worst of all, bed bugs. They’re everywhere and there is little you can do to guarantee you won’t get them. You can pretty much get them anywhere, neighbors, work, on the subway or bus, movie theater, any crowded place.

    Lastly, the work ethic in NYC rivals East Asian cities for just about any job, not just high paid professionals. If you are obsessed with your career, love spending most of your time working, you’ll enjoy it. I don’t think that describes most people though, so you’ll just feel burned out and have little time or energy for hobbies. The unemployment rate in NYC is also around 2% higher and you’re competing with a lot of people who went to top schools in the area or people who have wealthy parents who can subsidize them while they do internships or low paying positions to get their foot in the door in their field.

    I think SF’s biggest negatives are the large number of aggressive panhandlers, more single men to women ratio (if you’re a straight dude) and less dating options altogether compared to NYC, cost of living (I think you get more for your money in SF, but it’s still as expensive as Manhattan and the popular areas of Brooklyn closer to Manhattan), and the weather if you like 4 distinct seasons.

  90. You were in NYC for a “short” trip on the UWS of all places and think you can qualify the city in that short of a time on top of all the pre-conceived biases towards SF you seemingly already have?

    The fact that you said “Long Island” in your list of NYC “recreational” activities shows how uninformed you are. Regarding food: There are cuisines from all over the world on any corner and more ethnic groups making those cuisines than SF will ever have. Plenty of great pizza joints, many are in Brooklyn like DiFara’s, L&B…etc.

    I’m not gonna tell you any other good spots, because honestly you don’t deserve to know. Adventure is clearly not your forte…so I’m not gonna hand it to you.

    Let me help you understand why you’re a bad tourist and you shouldn’t write pieces like this again:

    The first problem is that you were staying in the UWS. I’m not gonna tell you what that means, do your homework.

    The second problem is that you’re comparing your “short” trip in a city that you obviously know nothing about to a city where you obviously live, have a thorough knowledge of the scene-scape and to which you are heavily biased.

    The third problem is that you were eating based on the what Zagat and NYT says? Ever heard of asking locals where they go?

    The last problem is that this is the dumbest most unobjective apples to oranges, non-sensical comparison.

    Brooklyn alone is 3x the population of SF and is massive with tons going on. You managed to find a slice under the bridge…woohoo. Going far enough to warrant having an opinion for your blog, but not too far. That seems to be the message of your post.

    For the record, I’m not slamming SF. I’ve been there 2x and I had a great time and I think it’s a great city and quality of life seems high. Though, I don’t feel the need to compare the two, because I simply don’t’s pointless. I don’t know any New Yorker that would care to sit around and muse about writing a NYC vs SF piece. It’s totally amateur.

  91. I have lived in both. SF your fog SUCKS! summers wearing sweaters is a downer. BTW New yorkers do not spend countless hours and ridiculous articles comparing our city to yours we dont have to! San fran is a nice place to visit for new yorker’s looking for a bit of a break from a big town!

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