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Old 12-05-2010, 11:58 AM
 
3 posts, read 13,899 times
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Hi, my fiance' and I have been considering a move from the south (Atlanta, GA) to SanFrancisco or Seattle for quite some time. We're ready to leave the misperceived southern hospitality behind for a more progressive and tolerant atmosphere. We also want to live in a city where there is still a very live music scene (local, national, and international). We are partial to the west coast as we love the atmosphere and free spirited nature, as well as the music groups that have come from that area. To give you some more background on us: we are an interracial couple (white/black), we are professional musicians (mid 30's), enjoy going to concerts, love the mountains and the beach, hiking and biking, trendy thrift shops, the movies, and relaxing at home.

We visited Bellevue, WA this past fall and decided to make a weekend trip out of it by visiting Seattle and the San Juan Islands. We loved every moment of our stay! Although it rained one of the days we were in Seattle, it didn't bother us at all....as we know to expect showers around this time there. We love the fact that people seem to make a conscious effort of keeping the environment in Seattle, especially the San Juan Islands, so clean and green. We love the fact that the San Juan Islands are so close for a get away, as well as Canada. The racial vibe was relaxed, and we experienced a sense of warm hospitality from strangers alike. The local music scene seemed alive, as was downtown Seattle. These are some of the things we are deprived of in Atlanta.

I've been to SanFrancisco before, just for a few days, and felt the vibe was really great there too. From what we both know of this city's liberal ways, music culture, etc. it seems to be a great place for us as well.

We'd really like to get your opinions on both of these cities, and any other cities in the Pacific Northwest you’d like to recommend. We're aware that the cost of living in Seattle is a bit lower than SanFrancisco:

*How's the local music scene in both cities these days? Although most of our work is on the road, we'd really like the option to play in town when we're at home and also to catch a great band (local, national, or international).

*Which neighborhoods would you recommend for us to either buy or rent a single family home or condo (say between $900-$2,000/month)? Preferably a home that is close enough to access city life, but far enough away to give us the feel and look of the suburbs. Oh, and we'd love a neighborhood/school district that’s great for our future kids.

*We love the idea of having mom-and-pop shops near our home, walking distance is great but not necessary. Whole Foods stores a plus. We'd like to live in a bike friendly area, and of course some place that is racially harmonious.

Thanks in advance for your insight!

Last edited by CaseyB; 12-07-2010 at 06:32 AM.. Reason: edited post for OP
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Old 12-07-2010, 06:16 PM
 
2,622 posts, read 4,795,621 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fxdsteve View Post
Hi, my fiance' and I have been considering a move from the south (Atlanta, GA) to SanFrancisco or Seattle for quite some time. We're ready to leave the misperceived southern hospitality behind for a more progressive and tolerant atmosphere.
SF is a HUGE downmove compared to Atlanta in racial relations and tolerance. I would never recommend moving to SF from Atlanta unless forced to by job reasons. If you want unfriendly miserable people and housing costs 5 times Atlanta for comparable housing SF is the place!

This describes the SF experience:

"Aside from the obvious, traffic, high cost of living, lousy child-care and schools, what really drives us crazy are the miserable people. I can't get used to the fact that strangers will not make eye contact or even acknowledge one-another's presence, using even the most civil of informal greetings. I've lived in big cities, e.g. Chicago, but I've never experienced the complete disregard for civility and humanity that I encounter on an hourly basis here. The "me-first" and "me-only" attitude that is evident from getting cut off and glared at while commuting to the rudeness of clerks and waiters really is taking a toll on us. I'm tired of getting jostled on the train, rammed in the grocery store, or even bumped into at the playground without an acknowledgment that I even exist. Meeting people has never been an issue for me or my wife until we moved here. The denizens of this area are the most insular, close-minded people ever."

Top 10 Reasons I Hate San Francisco

Inside Black-Asian Tension: Sometimes It Is About Racism

Newsom’s San Francisco: Most Racist City in California

Black population deserting S.F., study says

Asian paper's 'I Hate Blacks' column assailed (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/02/27/HATE.TMP - broken link)
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Old 12-07-2010, 08:43 PM
 
3 posts, read 13,899 times
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Wow, thanks Capoeira for your reply. Gotta admit, we're pretty shocked by all of this. We did read, recently, that SF is being dubbed as a city of pretentious city dwellers, among other non-flattering remarks, but thought surely it couldn't be true. We appreciate the links you've included in your post. Certainly gives us alot to chew on. What's your take on Seattle and Portland, if you care to comment.

Thanks again!
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Old 12-10-2010, 12:28 AM
 
Location: I live in the Seattle neighborhood of Belltown. I live in a nice building called Mosler Lofts.
174 posts, read 518,378 times
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I have lived in both. If you are moving from Georgia you should probably go with San Fran because SF has lots more sunshine which will make it a much smoother transition for you. However, Seattle is a nicer and overall is just a better and more beautiful city. I do miss San Francisco but I think Seattle is better. But if you are moving from Georgia then I would maybe have to say San Fran but both are good cities so this is a win win for you. You get more for your money in Seattle home wise. So in that regard Seattle would be a smoother transition for you because of the fact that Atlanta has a much lower overall cost of living then Seattle and San Fran. SF cost a little more than Seattle does. Good luck with your choice!
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Old 01-14-2011, 01:02 AM
 
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Thanks Seattle Boy for your reply! We are partial to Seattle because of its beauty among other things. We hope to make a decision soon. Thanks again!
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Old 01-14-2011, 10:45 AM
rah
 
Location: Oakland
3,315 posts, read 8,100,039 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fxdsteve View Post
Wow, thanks Capoeira for your reply. Gotta admit, we're pretty shocked by all of this. We did read, recently, that SF is being dubbed as a city of pretentious city dwellers, among other non-flattering remarks, but thought surely it couldn't be true. We appreciate the links you've included in your post. Certainly gives us alot to chew on. What's your take on Seattle and Portland, if you care to comment.

Thanks again!
That guy is completely exaggerating the situation in SF in regards to racial relations, people's manners, etc. SF has a lot of haters, and capoeira seems to be one of them. Yes, SF does have racist people and/or rude people, but so does Atlanta and everywhere else. Yes SF has a smaller black population than Atlanta or your average south/east/midwest city, but it does have over 50,000 black people (7% of the population), which is at par or even more than plenty of other large US cities, so i don't know why SF constantly gets a bad rap for that....the west doesn't have that many black people compared to other parts of the US, but SF and some of it's surroundings (such as Oakland, Berkeley, Richmond) actually has one of the higher concentrations of black people in California.

Some examples of large cities with equal or lower percentages, or equal to lower raw numbers of blacks compared to SF: San Jose, Portland, San Antonio, Phoenix, Mesa, Tuscon, Seattle, Salt Lake City, San Diego, El Paso, Las Vegas. None of those cities are more black than SF is (and none have a major city that's 30% black RIGHT NEXT DOOR either, like SF does)...so next time someone tries to whine about a city not being black enough, please choose one of those rather than SF. Thank you.

Also, SF has way more Asian and latino people than Atlanta does. SF is more diverse, period, so it's funny for someone to claim it has crazy race relation problems.

What is it with these haters who make giant posts talking crap about an entire city? It's obvious Capoeira has some issues (or really bad luck) if they truly feel that way about SF. I'm sure I could just as easily post a bunch of articles about racism in Georgia and Atlanta, and then claim that Atlanta is a horrible, horrible place.
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Old 01-14-2011, 12:36 PM
 
Location: US Empire, Pac NW
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From my secondhand experience and admittedly tourist-only knowledge of San Fran, here's how I'd compare the two:

Family-friendly: Seattle beats San Fran because, for one thing, you won't be called a "breeder" for having children in Seattle. Both cities, though, are at the bottom 2 places for children in the city limits (there are literally more dogs in Seattle than children). However, in both places, thenumber of families in the metro area reveals most families choose to live in the suburbs.

Seattle is also less urban-only. Not saying urban environments are hostile to children (NYC is one example which is not hostile), but it factors in in San Fran's case.

Racial harmony: Seattle is very laid back when it comes to one's race.

It's the content that matters, not the veneer. I think that's the attitude most people in the Seattle area take, even transplants after a while. I came from Chicago, and we're tolerant whereas the people in Seattle are accepting.

One example was two black guys basically went nuts last year - one was a madman to begin with who killed four cops (all white) at a coffeehouse in a Tacoma suburb and tried to flee to Seattle. Got killed by cops the next day in a Seattle neighborhood. The other was a black man who was very educated but somehow got caught up in an anti-cop anti-establishmentarian mentality and killed a cop and tried killing several more before being gunned down in his house and got paralyzed.

In Chicago and many other cities I'm sure, the people would be up in arms and be patrolling "black areas" more fervently. The reaction in Seattle?

"Man, those were two crazy PEOPLE. Glad they're out of the picture now."

In short, people in Seattle don't give two sh*ts what you are.

Cannot comment on San Fran. If anything, I would imagine the Chinese would hate white people the most but I didn't detect any of that there, even with my Japanese wife by my side.

Climate: San Fran wins for the most part, but summers CAN be cold and chilly. Seattle summers are absolutely glorious, the best in the nation, bar none. 75 and sunny, perfect humidity, every day for three months. Winters, though, are a bear - 40-50 deg, and rainy. One week of snow which cause the city to shut down.

Things to do: I think both cities are diverse enough and big enough and the surrounding areas have plenty to do to satisfy almost anyone. I'd say a tie.

Crime: I'd say San Fran has more crime due to it being denser, a bigger city, and there are some areas I've been told to stay away from. No such thing in Seattle.

So, these are broad strokes and there's doubtless cool areas for families in San Fran and doubtless there's some bad apples in Seattle (my wife got called a yellow monkey once on a bus by a disgruntled old man, if I had been there, I would have kicked his a@@). I'm sure both areas have lots to offer, and would be good moves.

The biggest thing will be price and cost of living. Seattle wins by a lot in this regard. Property is still expensive in Seattle and the area, but not nearly as bad as San Fran. Y
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Old 01-14-2011, 12:43 PM
 
Location: TX
7 posts, read 7,596 times
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IMO, scratch San Francisco off your list.

It's a run down, filthy city and run by mobs of aggressive homeless. The people are unattractive, unkempt/dirty and look like they're on drugs (surprise surprise, SF ranks #1 in recreational drug use). For such a high tax city, It's very poorly mismanaged. The city is run my incompetent monkeys. Where does the tax revenue go? Certainly not to sanitation or quality of life programs. The police is useless, the weather is atrocious. And did I mention how dirty it is? San Fransisco is "open minded" if you're white and Asian (and I'm white btw), but doesn't seem to be "open minded" towards other groups.

People in San Francisco live in shabby thirdworld conditions compared to those in Seattle. The people in both San Francisco and Seattle seem kind of aloof, antisocial and loaners...but Seattle seemed a bit warmer. There's a reason why San Fransisco is incredibly transient . I guarantee, 90% of the friends you develop in San Fransisco will be gone within 5 years. For some reason, 5 years seem to be the maximum people seem to be able to tolerate living in that dump (I only lasted 1 year).

Do yourself a favor and look at other cities.

Last edited by PC P.; 01-14-2011 at 12:52 PM..
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Old 01-14-2011, 04:01 PM
 
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Ive lived in both for extended periods. Both are absolutely gorgeous in terms of natural surroundings, but SF has much more beautiful architecture.

As some has noted, SF is more consistantly urban, so its more exciting in that way, but it's not as family friendly or comfortable as Seattle. Seattle has a more provincial flavor, with residents being very proud of the local, while SF has a more worldly, cosmopolitan feel.

SFs neighborhoods feel like a connected part of the city, many of Seattles neighborhood feel like separate towns with cool commercial centers.

Both have very good music scenes, Seattle's feels more accessible. SF is much more diverse than Seattle, and both have their pros and cons in terms of racial harmony (like any place)

Overall, both are excellent cities, you can't go wrong!
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