What are some tips for people moving to San Francisco from New York City?

November 10, 2010

Courtesy of my friend Linda Kang who moved from NY to SF a few years ago.

  • Everything is earlier here. Most bars close at 2. People eat dinner early. They get up early and do their workouts. By 9 or 10pm many places will be raucous.
  • Almost no one smokes.
  • Hobbies and sports are a big deal: running, cycling, softball, hiking, dodgeball. They are also how young folks meet each other. Instead of spending weeknights in bars, you’ll spend them in the park in softball league or doing your Team in Training workouts.
  • You’ll feel some pressure to have “interesting” hobbies (cooking, endurance sports, surfing, etc) since everyone else does.
  • Often people here who have money here often go incognito about it…they drive a prius, wear a hoodie, etc.
  • No one pays attention to where you spend your summer…SF is nice enough, and there are enough nice places close by, that there is no need to escape the city all summer.
  • You can almost wear almost the same clothes year round. And you don’t need summery stuff since it rarely cracks 75.
  • Everyone is a Democrat. (OK, that is an exaggeration. I met someone last year who isn’t.)
  • You will be blown away by the homeless problem. SF is 10 years behind NYC with this problem (we haven’t had our Giuliani yet). Also our Board of Supervisors is somewhat of a joke.
  • If someone asks where you work, you can give them a nonsense name of a company they have never heard of, and they will be impressed since they will think it must be some kind of “hot” startup.
  • Be nice. Polite. Listen. That New York abrasiveness doesn’t work here.
  • You’ll be tempted for the first year to tell people all about how things were back in New York (often, how they were better)…resist!

Now someone needs to prepare tips for people moving from SF to NY 🙂

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