My husband and I always have the same debate. I grew up in San Francisco so the “City” for all Northern California residents is of course San Francisco. Everyone knows that “going to the city” means San Francisco.
My husband grew up in upstate New York so his version of the “City” is New York City. His argument is New York City came about way before San Francisco, and is the media capitol of the world. Although many Asians immigrants came via the west coast, the first true immigrants were welcomed by the Stature of Liberty as they arrived through Ellis Island in New York. Both are big city atmospheres with terrible parking and beautiful parks, but also culture, entertainment and crime as well.
However, there are many differences as well. New Yorkers can be very brash. People that live in San Francisco are typically laid-back California style. New Yorkers had a reputation for always been in a hurry (“the New York Minute”), and although Southern California is much worse than Northern California, California-time is usually delayed.
New York City experiences all four different seasons of whether. San Francisco only experiences two seasons – summer and rainy season. Although the climate outside of San Francisco can be quite different than inside The City, San Francisco is famous for its fog. Although it doesn’t snow in San Francisco, it can feel much colder than it actually is due to the moist nature of its climate, especially when you’re close to the Pacific Ocean.
Both cities have great restaurants. New York has a reputation for great pizza, and San Francisco has great new healthy alternative restaurants that match their “California” lifestyle. But because they are two of the most famous cities in the world, first class restaurants will always be expected. Both cities have great Chinatowns, but because of San Francisco’s huge Chinese population, the Chinese influence is prevalent throughout the entire city instead of just one area.
Public transportation is good in both cities. New York City has the famous subway, and San Francisco has the MUNI and the BART. Additionally people have very adequate public transportation bus lines at reasonable prices. With the advent of personal transportation opportunities such as Uber and Lyft, taxis are having a difficult time competing. Both cities have famous bridges that are becoming more and more expensive to use every year. And at the end of the day, both are very walkable cities if you’re not going too far.
Traveling to each city is relatively easy as well. International flights can arrive into San Francisco International Airport, and for New York, options are John F. Kennedy Airport, La Guardia International Airport, or Newark International Airport. Since both are big metropolis’ there are many smaller commuter airports within 60 minutes of these international airports.
Growing up in San Francisco, was very fortunate to live two blocks away from Golden Gate Park. It is very comparable to Central Park in New York City. Both have their beautiful open fields and fountains, as well as their famous landmarks. They are approximately the same size and often tend to have their dangerous times as well. Both parks recommend not jogging alone during the evening for the same reason.
As two of the biggest cities in the United States, people have their professional sports teams as well. The National Football League supports the New York giants and the San Francisco 49ers. However, the New York Giants’ home field is actually in New Jersey, and that San Francisco 49ers home field is actually in Santa Clara. The National Basketball Association teams are the New York Knicks and the Golden State Warriors, but the Warriors are actually across the bay in Oakland. The National Hockey League has two teams in New York: the New York Rangers and the New York Islanders. The closest professional hockey team to San Francisco is the San Jose Sharks.
As I was growing up, I was fortunate enough to have experienced many different sports. I received my black belt in Hapkido as a young teenager, and trained competitively in gymnastics as well. Once I get to high school, I played basketball and was a cheerleader. The University of California Long Beach recognized my cheerleading ability and I was able to receive a partial scholarship to attend college there. Even though we didn’t have a lot of money growing up, my mother and grandmother really supported me in giving every opportunity to have these experiences as a child.
So since San Francisco is so great, you’re probably asking yourself why did I ever leave? I heard a statistic 70% of high school graduates stayed the same town they graduated high school from. I guess I am part of the 30%. Once I left for college, opportunities presented themselves from the team in Colorado, Pennsylvania, and even the U.S. Virgin Islands (which unfortunately, I had to decline!). But I can save that for another story time. If you’re wondering, now a call Colorado Springs home with my husband and two boys. And while I sometimes miss my hometown, my husband and I agree that New York and San Francisco are great places to visit, but would never want to live there.
Since leaving the big cities we have many life adventures to share with you all. I hope you find them as entertaining as we do!