Battle Royale: San Francisco or Los Angeles, if you had to choose

by Alex Clark

Sometimes I get plain bored of talking about San Francisco real estate and I dream of faraway places. I wonder, “What would it be like to live there?” Surely, some of you must wonder the same things.

Luckily, we’re getting to the bottom of NYC vs. SF, so I’m not losing sleep about moving to New York anymore. But what about moving somewhere warm, like Los Angeles?

Is L.A. really the city of angels or are those just “normal” people like you and me enhanced by botox and saline? Is the air really not as polluted as my cough was telling me? Did I really spend most of my time in traffic, or was I just having a bad dream?  Is Kat Von D the best Tattoo artist in L.A. or just the most popular? She’s certainly good looking, that’s for sure.

True, the weather is nicer (read: warmer), as are the beaches and the sites you’ll see at the beaches, but are Manhattan, Hermosa, and Redondo considered L.A.? What about downtown L.A.? Is it a ghost town during non-business hours? Is Hollywood and the movie industry all L.A. really has to offer?

What about recreation? Besides surfing, cycling, rollerblading (ugh!), skateboarding, sailing, kiting, fishing, mt. biking, skiing (if you want to call it that at Big Bear), beaching, partying, and being in movies, what else is there?

Real Esate?  What can you get for your money down there?  Soon, we’ll find out who is sexiest Realtor in L.A., but what’s that Realtor going to show us? (Don’t go there! ;-) ) Actually, while we’re on the subject, you might as well begin sending us your picks for the sexiest Realtor in Los Angeles.

It’s been a long time since I was down there, and I would have moved in a second had my Tante willed me her home in Manhattan Beach, but it was not to be, so I’m stuck wondering…San Francisco or Los Angeles, if you had to choose…and why.

Battel Royale: San Francisco or New York City, if you had to choose [theFrontSteps]

…and the Nominees for Sexiest Realtor in San Francisco [theFrontSteps]

Kat Von D [myspace]

24 thoughts on “Battle Royale: San Francisco or Los Angeles, if you had to choose

  1. She may not be the best, or even the most popular, but she is certainly the hottest! KVD is so damn sexy with all those tats, and that raspy voice. Thnaks for taking my mind off real estate.

  2. i like skiing at big bear better than skiing at tahoe. just my opinion.

    i wouldn’t want to live in LA though.

  3. traffic is a NIGHTMARE. highways are stuck at noon, at 2pm, at 5pm, at 7pm, at 10pm, even at 11pm.

    I was there for business, and it seems that I spent all my valuable time stuck in traffic. (alternate being hopping with planes from airport to airport – an easy and fast option before tightened security – unfortunaly, I missed my hop due to traffic)

    Also, San Bernardino county is supposedly the smoggiest county in the states with the higher rate of asthma etc – in case you dreamed of living east to be closer to the ski slopes.

  4. I’m in the minority, an SF person who actually likes LA a lot. You have to pick your spots in which to live. To me it would be Westside or Silver Lake/Los Feliz. The city breeds a bit more of a sense of isolation. Traffic sucks. You can be stuck in traffic at 2 a.m., I’m told. But it has a lot of great things to offer. For me one of the best things about LA is the music scene and the way that droves of people will go to say, Silverland, to support an up and coming band. San Franciscans simply do not get out to support local talent like that. It’s a shame.

  5. the only place i’d live in southern cal over here is la jolla

    far cry from the wasteland that is la of course

  6. I think much of the answer for me comes down to whether you would combine LA with Orange Co. Most of my friends in OC would sooner die than be lumped together with LA.

    If I could live in Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, etc. I would consider moving. Then I would remember the traffic and stay here in SF.

  7. i’m from LA and left that place just as soon as i could. i love to visit there and hate to live there. smog, traffic, lack of public transportation, vast space between destinations, smog, traffic, attitudes, smog, traffic, heat. there is a cool factor associated with LA and there are some amazing spots to eat, see, people watch, drink, chill and amuse yourself with, but sF wins hands down…

  8. UCLA/Westwood area is nice.

    LA is also much cheaper in terms of real estate prices.

    I don’t like to commute, so I pick SF. And Tahoe is awesome.

  9. What San Franciscans need to understand is we cannot use the geographic boundries of the Bay Area to give us some sort feeling of urban smugness. Without the water, we are just as sprawled out as L.A. San Jose is our number one city in population, and the economic center is somewhere between the Peninsula and San Jose. I think a more “just” comparison is the Westside of L.A. to S.F. I would LOVE to live in Santa Monica, Brentwood, Westwood, Beverly Hills area. Restaurants, shops, and museums that put ours to shame, and without an army of homeless to deal with. If you are going to lump in East L.A., then I want to lump in parts of Oakland , etc.

  10. I went to school in S.F. and I liked the material environment in a sense but relationships with people are some of the most superficial and short-term relationships ever. I mean I met so many people from a lot of place but they moved out of there because it was too expensive or too lonely. It’s also small compare to Los Angeles and has less to offer in people diversity (Long Beach being the most the most international city in the world). Multiculturalism is number one. There are a lot of music scenes (punk/ska, electronic, Mexican music, hip-hop/rap/gangster, etc) that were created here or are extremely large. Rent varies from cheap to very expensive depending where you’d like to live. Food is great in a lot of place. A lot of famous (and good) chain restaurants started here. There are some rich snobby people in some areas but the majority are working class and middle class who live an o.k. life. There are a lot of social movements (if you are into that). GLBT, immigration rights, civil rights, cultural diversity movements, women’s rights movement, animal rights movements, etc. Smog is not as bad as it was in the 1990s and you must get occasional smog check (or else you can’t drive in L.A.). Public transportation is getting better (way) and bad attitudes have change for a lot of people. Racism is found sparingly in some areas but it really depends on how educated one is and how tolerant one is (like anywhere else). Its honestly a money thing. It has a large history and the museums are awesome. Bars and nightlife is the best in the United States and i’ve heard it is one of the best in the world. Where else do people have the opportunity to party affordably throughout the day, ANY DAY? If you grew up in L.A. county you will keep friends for a lifetime. The are the tough/macho sports peoples, the intellectuals, the gay ones, the activist, the mall rat, the racist ones, the rich ones, the struggling working class, abundance of suburban ares, friendly people, lazy people, the culturally proud, the culturally-ashamed, the rockers, the ravers, the druggies, feminine women, masucline women, metrosexuals, greasers, clowns, etc… LIKE ANY other city.

    While efficient transportation and technology is the best in San Francisco and parts of the Bay. And it has a really unique landscape and architectural make-up. But It seems quite limited in other aspects. It may have some of it, but it is quite limited and superficial.

    Beat L.A.? Never.

    S.F. is too limited in age-rage (old rich farts mostly picking up on younger peoples), SMUGGY (and it keeps getting works, why doesn’t everyone control the SMUG… at least L.A. is controlling the SMOG), Franciscans always try to compare to Angelenos (they have nothing else to do), they try to be different even though all their culture is gathered from L.A. which is the center of television, music, and movie culture, and finally people are uptight and socially retarded (people from other cities say the same thing).

    If you are true blue Angeleno don’t move to S.F. unless you want to be fake like all other Angelenos who try to fit in. Go there for the tourist experience (which is a great and unique but not spectacular).

    You think Hollywood and Beverly Hills had some interesting snobbs, wait to you see the uniqueness of the S.F. Bay snobs. Its worth the experience. LOL.

    L.A. is the best place to live in the U.S. (and would be one of my select places to bury me), N.Y. is the most economically and materially dynamic to see, and S.F. is just another tourist place to visit.

    Don’t every compare the both, because S.F. never comes close (compare it to smaller cities like New Orleans, San Diego, Miami and then it becomes within its range). Why do you think Franciscans always carry the label BEAT L.A. JEALOUSY.

  11. I like LA very much. I would live in parts of it in a heartbeat. But there’s just no comparison. LA is like a small state. SF is a medium size city. Seriously, have you ever driven to LA and marvelled at how long it takes to get to where you’re going after you first enter the northernmost part of LA county? It’s massive.

    The city that best compares to LA in this country is Atlanta. And that’s you know, not an apt comparison either. Comparing cities is a losing proposition.

    And you say bars and nightlife are the best in LA? I agree, they’re a lot of fun. What’s not fun is how far you need to drive after a night on the town. LA cops pull over more people for drunk driving than anywhere else in the world, I’ll bet. In San Francisco you need to hit something in order to get a breathalyzer. I’m not trying to be funny.

    You say SF is lonelier? I question that too. LA’s super car culture doesn’t allow for the type of interaction we get here. It just doesn’t. You’re from LA though. I’ve heard people from LA say how easy it is to meet people. Yeah, back in high school.

  12. I don’t think you are from L.A. and if you are, then move to San Francisco. I am sure you’ll afford it and find plenty of youth culture and open-minded people (LOL).

  13. I’m from L.A., get the f*** out of the way….

    L.A. summer times are the best…Beaches galore….

    Music gets popular here and more people everywhere else get to enjoy what we have in our backyards….

    I agree that we need other forms of transportations, but I love L.A. car culture. Hey we can have environmentally-friendly cars, but the government outlawed them. Cars are the most efficient way to get around in such a spread out environment…

    People don’t have to get in your face all the time like in other cities… sometimes you need time alone with the world to relax… people get older faster in those other hectic cities….not L.A, we have natural sunshine people and technology that makes you stay young… I doubt that all of you in N.Y. and S.F. haven’t taken any pharmaceuticals to make you loose weight or get rid of your pimples… hypocrites..

    Parties in Hollywood rock, you can find any kind of scene….

    Great political culture, active bands and groups always standing up…

    Its has a beautiful civic center…L.A. has its own history as it relates to United States and the rest of the world. Every country is connected to L.A… The United States wouldn’t be a successful country without L.A. and all the social, political, economic, and political contributions of its diverse peoples…

    L.A. can be its own state… it can be its own first-world country…. the rest of you are holding us Angelenos from achieving this… We have the most stellar sea ports.. Long Beach and L.A…..While the economic crisis has hit everyone, L.A. has a striving economy and so much potential from the beautiful diverse people all around…

    All the other cities want to be like L.A. They want to have our music, our diverse people, our laid back attitude, our businesses, our clothes, food-styles, our movie entertainment…

    Does anyone know how many cities (in the U.S. and around the world) are trying to be like L.A.?

    L.A. is a long world full of dreams waiting to come true…

    Sorry S.F. don’t know much about you to care… all I know is that you have a lot of cool looking bridges and houses… But if I can’t wear my shorts, I don’t want to live there…

  14. L.A. is the best….

    S.F. is just o.k…. (maybe 16th place or something like that)

    my top list:

    1) L.A.

    2) N.Y./ Manhattan

    3) Miami

    4) San Diego

    5) New Orleans

    6) Washington D.C.

    7) Chicago

    8) Boston

    9) Detroit

    10) Philadelphia

    11) Atlanta

    12) Phoenix

    13) Las Vegas

    14) Houston

    15) Memphis

    16) San Francisco

  15. Can I ask though – how did you get this picked up and into google news?

    Very impressive that this blog is syndicated through Google and is it something that is just up to Google or you actively created?

    Obviously this is a popular blog with great data so well done on your seo success..

    Rollerblading greats you should write about next, my ex was a Windsurfing champ!

  16. How often do you yourself Rollerblade or do you just write about it?

    Can I ask though – how did you get this picked up and into google news?

    Very impressive that this blog is syndicated through Google and is it something that is just up to Google or you actively created?

    Obviously this is a popular blog with great data so well done on your seo success..

    Rollerblading greats you should write about next.

  17. This has to be the most senseless comment I have read in a long time.

    LA doesnt compare to SF. Reading your LA weely, you will realize your economy and jobs in Souther California is not growing. San Francisco wide variety in jobs is. Our population grew by 1.5% in 2007. LA barely.

    The bay area is with London, Tokyo, New York the center in of the World in most of Biotech, Financials, Technology, Research. Los Angeles in never mention.

    LA levels of education are embarassing. We got the best Schools from Berkely to Stanford.

    Lets keep going. San Francisco real state, income per person are by far bigger than those in what is the name of that place, oh yes, LA. LOL

    The Architecture , I wont even waste my time on that one. LA downtown and the rest looks with the years, getting behind on what it use to look like last Century.

    San Francisco has build a least more than a dozen of New Buildings all over town. Do you guys in LA remeber what is to have new buildings? You will say barely.

    There are plenty of new Museums being opened in San Francisco and with the new collection of Comtemporaty art from the FIshers and their new museum, will turn SF in the center of the US in Comtemporaty art.

    I find this a waste of my time. The bay area is and will continue to be, the number one spot in California for talent, smart people, rich, etc.

    So eat my dust, Southern what is it. Oh yes is called wasteland LA.

  18. i live in sf as well and agree. The lack of support for music in san francisco is upsetting.. and the lack of a large venue to attract musicians is annoying.

  19. I think both cities are great. My opinion is the best of situations is to live in SF and visit LA as often as possible. If you can afford it all, nothing beats living in SF itself. But the weather in LA and plethora of hotties there are nice too…..

  20. I’m from OC, love LA, can’t stand SF. Tried to buy into the hype, but hate the weather, the homeless, the SMUG, the overall dirtiness of the city, the over-hyped food scene, the expensive real estate (yes, the rumors are true, you can pay $1m for a shack in Silicon Valley). Sure, the traffic sucks in LA/OC, but I’ll take that any day.

  21. Comparing SF and LA makes for a real interesting discussion, especially when each place has its own unique features. But LA has alot going for it.

    San Francisco Bay Area population is about only HALF that the size of LA Metropolitan residents. However, the per capita income is higher in SF than LA. This may be due to SF’s higher skilled/knowledge-based working force, especially when you consider Silicon Valley and the numerous investment banking firms up there. LA has a larger labor pool (especially when you look at population) but with many lower paying/low skilled jobs. This isn’t necessary bad for LA, low-skilled jobs are the gateway for future economic growth than can lead to further higher-paying careers. LA far from economic maturity…

    SF has the Golden Gate Bridge, the iconic vision of what this city symbolizes for the world traveler. However, LA has Hollywood whose productions have symbolized this city around the world. SF has Alcatraz and Treasure Island, LA has beautiful Catalina…

    SF has Golden Gate Park, we have Griffith Park with one of the best known observatories in the world. Not to mention a nearby LA Zoo that continues to expand with development.

    SF has Berkely and Standford. LA has USC, UCLA, and Cal-Tech.

    SF does have a beautiful bay area with many beaches. LA has the beach cities with numerous piers (Santa Monica, Redondo, etc.) and nearby citywalks (Venice Beach, Third St. Promenade)filled with shops and restuarants. Los Angeles and adjoining Long Beach Ports are the largest ports in the USA in terms of container volume.

    SF downtown has a much more vibrant community feel than LA. Its no wonder; SF downtown has had much more time to develop. But watch out SF, LA is making a comeback. More than 66+ projects are already in the pipeline (as of Sept. 2011) around the LA downtown area, many of them high-rises and mixed-use that will rival SF. As a matter of fact, LA’s US Bank Tower is already the tallest building in California. And that building was built more than a decade ago, not to mention its appearance in dozens of movies shown all over the world! When AEG builds the football stadium, we’ll be back in the NFL business. The Metro Rail is also expanding its rail network all over southern Cal.

    LA is getting the Space Shuttle Endeavour at the California Science Center next to USC and hopefully one day the USS Iowa where it will be placed near our Queen Mary attraction in Long Beach. It will be another checkbox to visit next to the Aquarium of the Pacific.

    So much more to mention. As LA gets more dense, its growth will become a magnet for everything else around it.

  22. san francisco all day everyday!!! first of all in san fran we dont jugde no one!!!!!!! gays poor it dont matter san fran is soooo much prettier than la. la is sooo much traffic ugly nasty yuck no thanks and san francisco isnt even that cold what does la have??? nothing important san francisco cable cars
    coit tower
    the warf come on norcal all dayy baby

Leave a Reply