Friday, August 17, 2007

If you're going to San Francisco...

When it rains it pours. I enjoy this column in the WSJ called Act One, which is written by Emily Meehan, a twentysomething writer who used to live in Alaska of all places. Act One is supposed to be about issues facing our age group, and she's written about things like dealing with income disparities among friends to deciding when to move back in with your parents. All with the sort of dryness you'd expect from the WSJ.

The most recent article is about the job situation in San Francisco. Emily recognizes that a lot of recent college grads are interested in moving here since it's so lovely and less crazy than New York, but due to its appeal and tight job market a lot of them end up working in a coffee shop while waiting for a more worthwhile offer. The comments in the forum are particularly interesting, SF inspires polarization -- to some it's the best place on earth and to others it's absolute hell. It's also interesting to read the comments from people who moved away from smaller cities like DC to San Francisco and are completely happy with their choice -- I wonder if there's an element of self-delusion to validate their choice, or if they're really getting enough value out of living here to put up with the cost of living and the insane local politics (and in case you haven't figured it out by now, I tend liberal).

I'm still trying to work out exactly how I feel about this city. Many of us have a tendency to find problems with what we have and idealize what we don't, so this is probably not a question I can answer objectively. I just keep telling people it feels so fake, but I'm not sure what that means.


  1. i knew you didn't know what 'fake' means! i would probe you and you wouldn't say much!

    now, to my point: i'd be interested in hearing more from people who *left* san francisco for other cities, because they give the flip side: they have had the experience of living here and chose not to stay. in fact, i know someone who moved to portland from sf because he thought that portland, and oregon in general, had a better handle on their environmental impact and a plan for the coming years of environmental armageddon .. ok well the armageddon is my addition but you know.

  2. haha, i love that you comment on neha's blog omar. Don't get enough time to do it in person? :)

    I didn't exactly live in SF, but I did go up there a lot, and I moved to Seattle so I sorta feel qualified to comment. In the beginning moving sucks because you miss all of your dear friends. But after a while, if you throw yourself into things, you meet new people and it's really exciting to have new stuff happening. I also think Seattle is a much nicer place to live than SF (although this is slightly unfair because I never _lived_ in SF, although I think I'm familiar enough with it that i know what it would be like). It is liberal (in the american sense), but not militantly so. It doesn't have the same ghettoized feel that many part of SF have (because of terrible social policies), and it's just as beautiful and vibrant. Oh, and you can buy a really nice house in a really nice area and not bankrupt yourself!

    Of course, this is just a ploy to try convince all my friends to move up here :) I think my ideal move up here would have involved shackling you all and putting you in my moving truck along with my lounge and kitchen utensils.

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