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Old 03-27-2007, 03:23 AM   #1
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Default San Francisco to live

Well, I'm planning on moving to the US at the end of this year to work and play for the duration of my 2 year work visa (provided i get one, which i should). One place that i'm seriously considering moving to is San Francisco.

Now, i've heard that San Fran is a bloody awesome place, but i've only heard this from people that have been there on their travels. What i want to know is what it's like to actually live there. Is it a crazy busy touristy place?? Or is it a pretty chilled out easy going place?? What are the people like? Is it an expensive place to live?


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Old 03-27-2007, 08:44 AM   #2
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It is bloody awesome... but it's bloody expensive too! Can you take a trip out there to check it out first? Omid will be along to tell you all about it, I'm sure.
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Old 03-27-2007, 09:47 AM   #3
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It's fucking expensive, but you can still live here comfortably if you're willing to sacrifice space and be willing to live with a lot of flatmates.

The tourists mainly just stick to the Fisherman's Wharf/Marina/Golden Gate Bridge area, so it's not like the whole city's crawling with tourists - though there are parts that get gunked up with tour buses in the peak season. No more so than any other picturesque town.

One of the things a lot of visitors to SF don't notice is that street crime is fairly high and surprisingly tolerated. This is due in large part to the expensive housing, so we have a lot of homeless and a lot of crackheads, most of whom have a criminal bent. So there are a *lot* of car break-ins and drug issues that the police don't even bother with, so if that sort of urban grit bothers you ,it can be a bad place.

Overall, I LOVE it. I wouldn't leave here unless it was for another country (or perhaps New York). Between the city itself and the proximity to so much other stuff (oceans, lakes, mountains, desert) it's pretty awesome.
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Old 03-27-2007, 03:34 PM   #4
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Hmmm....what about the smaller towns around that area? Does anyone know anything about Stockton, Lodi, Modesta, Santa Cruz (is this the place they make the skateboards??), or any other smaller place around the San Fran area that might be cool to live. What can i say, I'm a country boy, cities kinda intimidate me a little.

SV - I may HAVE to take a trip over there first to find a job, because i can't apply for the E3 work visa without a job already lined up. But the real kicker is that i can't apply for the work visa from within America, so i would have to duck down to Mexico to submit my visa application once i found a job. Crazy eh?
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Old 03-27-2007, 04:00 PM   #5
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Stockton, Lodi and Modesto are a big NO in my book - unless you like the provincial redneck and meth lab culture

Actually, the Central Valley (where they are located) can be very nice, and I have many friends from there, but it's somewhat isolated in that you can't easily hop on a bus/train to get to the big bad city should you so wish. It is really cheap to live out there, though.

Santa Cruz is very cool - a bit on the hippie side for me - but it's by the ocean, surrounded by the woods and the mountains, and has a very relaxed vibe. And it's only a short drive down to gorgeous Monterey and Big Sur, and not that far off from the SF Bay Area. Unfortunately, it's not all that much cheaper. Think of it as Nimbin's California cousin, only closer to the whole Silicon Valley thing.

All the Aussies I know around here are very outdoorsy and aren't too keen on city life, but they live in SF and just get out to the country, sea, and mountains more often than others.

If you still want access to what SF has to offer but want a bit less big city atmosphere, there's the East Bay (i.e. Concord, Walnut Creek, etc.) and the Peninsula (San Mateo, Belmont, etc.) but you won't find quite as many young folk to hang out with.

Ultimately, it's probably where your job leads you and where you can commute to/from that will determine where you'd end up living. At least, that's how it is for most people here. Personally, I work in San Jose and endure a long commute to/from home in San Francisco, but I think I'm a bit more of the exception than the norm.
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Old 03-27-2007, 04:36 PM   #6
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Nice topic.

Look, I hadnít been to SF in 10 years until this weekend and even then, it was only a 24-hour reconnaissance mission BUT Iím completely smitten by the place.

I was such a nerd all weekend ooohing and aaahing around every corner. As soon as we approached the bay bridge crossing and I saw the city across the water, I just had this feeling that I was falling in love. The city and a lot of the surrounding area are just stunning. Absolutely beautiful.

There was something about the vibe of the place too. Iím from San Diego and I always kind of prided us on being super relaxed and easy going but there was something about those people up there in the Bay. I went out with some friends to this bar/club thing on Saturday night and everyone was having so much fun. I never see people having fun that way where Iím from. A good song would come on and everyone would sing along and get really in to it. By San Diegan standards it was a little cheesy Ė but not really. Not to me. I thought it was really sweet. The architecture is really awesome too. Plus everything is so green and there are so many pine trees. Iím tired of all the damn Eucalyptus we have going down here.

BOTTOM LINE: Now Iím considering moving to San Francisco.

Iíve been in San Diego for 26 years and Iím ready for a change. I THINK I would like to live in another country some day and I feel that a move like this would be a good test to see if I actually have the balls to go all the way. I donít know. Iím not gonna be hasty with a decision like this, but Iím thinking about it. Iíll be back in the city for a few days in late April and Iím going to be checking everything out and just kind of feeling my way through it. Weíll see.

Anyway, about your small town question. I saw a city that looked really charming on my way across the bridge = Piedmont. I immediately thought I might like to live there. Itís so close to SF that you could easily live/work in that smaller community but zip in to the city on the weekends or for special occasions. Who knows. Iím gonna look in to it myself.
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Old 03-27-2007, 05:33 PM   #7
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Piedmont's nice - it's more or less a tiny suburb of Oakland. My adoptive grandfather is buried there. Not a whole lot going on, but you can always hop on the BART train into the city if you need a night out. (Never mind that they stop running around 1am...) It's relatively pricey for the east bay, though, what with all the old money up there. Although Oakland's got a bad rep as being crime-ridden ghetto, the hills surrounding it are pretty ritzy.
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Old 03-27-2007, 09:54 PM   #8
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Well when I went to San Fran I was blown away by it. So far it's the only city in the US that I could live in. Love love love it!!
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Old 03-28-2007, 01:02 AM   #9
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Bugger it, i'll give this city living thing a go. With all the rock climbing around the area and all the good things people have to say about it how could i not?

Now, i've just gotta find a job over there and save some money over here.

Thanks heaps for your help :D
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Old 03-28-2007, 07:46 AM   #10
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Me and my girlfriend were talking about doing a San Fran trip or a Napa trip. I think after this I might lean more towards San Fran.

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Old 03-28-2007, 08:00 AM   #11
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^ yeah, do it. you guys will havea great time! i sure did!
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Old 03-28-2007, 09:24 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joanofarc View Post
^ yeah, do it. you guys will havea great time! i sure did!
I'm kind of getting that feeling. I think that once we are looking at our next trip this year I will have to mention all of this.

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Old 03-29-2007, 09:01 AM   #13
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I have only been there for a 5 day work trip, and before that an inadvertent one daystop-over on my way to Australia, but both times I absolutely loved the city. Visiting is certainly different from living somewhere, but from my perspective it certainly seems to have many positive factors going for it, from the weather, to the accessibility of outdoor activities, plenty of big city entertainment and the list goes on. I agree with everyone else in that were I to pick another U.S. city to live in, SF would probably be at the top of the list and it is certainly a great place to go for a week's vacation.
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Old 04-01-2007, 10:02 AM   #14
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i too really love san francisco, but would probably not ever live there. are you considering other options? what are you looking for in the city you move to?
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Old 04-03-2007, 12:36 AM   #15
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I don't have any other places in mind, but i would consider anywhere really. What am i looking for in a place to live? Let's see..
- Good weather, ie. nothing too cold, cold isn't fun.
- Lot's of outdoor activities within a few hrs drive, especially rock climbing.
- An abundance of GIS/mapping work as that's my ticket over there.
- A Beach. I've never lived on the beach, i think it would be cool.

...and that's about it.
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Old 04-03-2007, 12:54 AM   #16
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Well... that sounds like Seattle. We're actually way closer to mountains, but I have to admit that SF is a fair bit ahead in terms of cosmopolitan-ness and nightlife and general big-cityness (by that I mean the general metropolitan area). The weather is good, pretty temperate, and rent/cost of living is definitely cheaper than SF.

I do love San Francisco though.
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Old 04-03-2007, 06:51 AM   #17
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^Well.....good weather........ahem.....how many sunny days a year do you get? (just busting your chops):D
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Old 04-03-2007, 07:20 AM   #18
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I was in San Francisco last summer. Nice place!
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Old 04-03-2007, 07:46 AM   #19
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Quote:
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^Well.....good weather........ahem.....how many sunny days a year do you get? (just busting your chops):D
They alread yused them both up for the year.

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Old 04-03-2007, 08:20 AM   #20
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Can't say much about the city, never been there.

But best of luck wherever you choose... it's an adventure to move and work in a new city =)
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