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Old 08-19-2014, 11:44 AM
 
Location: Brooklyn NY
93 posts, read 120,846 times
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I'm thinking more and more about getting out of the NY area once and for all. It's the old complaint of too many people competing for too few resources in too small a space. I find people quite unhappy here. Mental and physical health are not a priority. Perhaps that's generalizing, but there's a good amount of research to support it--like New York recently being deemed the most unhappy city in the US. (These Are the 10 Unhappiest Cities in America - TIME)

My work is mobile so a move would not be impossible. I've never lived in California but have visited and loved it every time. I'm outdoorsy and laid back, probably more a SF person than an LA person. Small things like being able to sit in the sun on a January day and having year-round access to fresh fruit and veg mean A LOT to me.

But my question is, when it comes down to it, is California really different? Or is it, when it comes down to it, the same crap in a sunnier climate?

I'm talking about general well-being--things like work-life balance, one's general disposition, attitude toward others etc. Of course, this all depends on your socio-economic position but I think some general statements could be made.

Californians have always SEEMED brighter and cheerier, but I know it's all relative to one's perspective and from my perspective right now, ANYONE seems more optimistic than New Yorkers.
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Old 08-19-2014, 11:58 AM
 
Location: TOVCCA
8,452 posts, read 11,460,970 times
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If you are really as outdoorsy and laid back as you claim, you should not choose San Francisco, which is the closest in the state to an east coast metropolis. Downtown Sacramento and downtown Los Angeles would be the next closest. It seems like most people who dream of California do not picture the windy, often chilly and foggy, densely populated, highrise buildings of San Francisco in their dreams. You might ask yourself if you really want to leave New York.

Yes, sunshine and being able to see lots of sky, mountains, beaches and warm weather does incline more toward happiness, to many at least. To get the lifestyle and attitude you seek, though, you would need to live well away from the big cities. The greatest shift would be to choose SoCal over NorCal.
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Old 08-19-2014, 12:13 PM
 
3,751 posts, read 3,724,485 times
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What's up with people thinking everyone and everywhere west of the Great Plains is "outdoorsy and laid-back"? Like the eastern US doesn't have any nature or people who aren't workaholics.
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Old 08-19-2014, 12:16 PM
 
Location: Arvada, CO
13,241 posts, read 24,450,303 times
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I am a native Californian.

I was pretty depressed there as a late teen/young adult. I grew up in the GLAMA, but moved to an isolated high desert locale before I left for good at the age of 23.

If you're from there, weather-wise, the sun makes no difference to you, at least it didn't to me, because I didn't know much difference. I had an incredible bout of depression around the age of 19, and through the sunshine, all I felt was heat, and beyond the traffic, the smog was an enormous dark cloud blanketing everything.

As you can see, it's not the weather that gives people a better disposition, it is circumstance, experience, and genetics.

Before I left the GLAMA, I worked two jobs, each one 30-35 minutes away, each one full-time, combined the income was barely enough to cover my half of $1080/mo rent + utilities. This was over a decade ago, and I don't presume things have gotten any better in the work/life balance regard, at least for the working classes.

I gave CA one last crack before I left (I wanted to leave CA all along, I just had to convince myself to leave), and my disposition and prospects for the future didn't improve, so off I went.

I think you see CA as greener grass. It might be better for you than NY, just like leaving CA was ultimately better for me.

Don't get me wrong, I love going back for a visit, I love what it is now that I can see it from afar, but I would never want to re-enter Southern California's daily grind, nor would I want to bore myself to death frying out in the desert.
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Old 08-19-2014, 12:19 PM
 
Location: Arvada, CO
13,241 posts, read 24,450,303 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valsteele View Post
What's up with people thinking everyone and everywhere west of the Great Plains is "outdoorsy and laid-back"? Like the eastern US doesn't have any nature or people who aren't workaholics.
Stereotypes stick. LA, SF, Seattle, Denver, Phoenix, etc, are all the same rat race as the cities back east.
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Old 08-19-2014, 12:19 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn NY
93 posts, read 120,846 times
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I'm not talking about the eastern US. I'm talking about New York. There are vast numbers of people here who have no interest in the outdoors whatsoever and don't even consider it a criterium in their quality of life. I think it's safe to say that changes a lot once you get to the west coast.
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Old 08-19-2014, 01:03 PM
 
Location: East of the Sun, West of the Moon
15,534 posts, read 17,764,884 times
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New York State is full of outdoorsy type activities, just visit the Catskills or the Adirondacks on the weekends. Meanwhile the West is full of people who don't give a crap about the outdoors and an even bigger population of posers wearing the latest outdoor gear who think roughing it means stepping off the asphalt onto a jogging path.

You are way too bound up in stereotypes.

That doesn't mean you might not enjoy California, but take off your rose colored glasses.
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Old 08-19-2014, 01:38 PM
 
Location: Denver, Colorado U.S.A.
14,174 posts, read 23,303,886 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seaboarded View Post
I'm not talking about the eastern US. I'm talking about New York. There are vast numbers of people here who have no interest in the outdoors whatsoever and don't even consider it a criterium in their quality of life. I think it's safe to say that changes a lot once you get to the west coast.
Definitely. I moved to Denver from the LA area and culture is similar in Denver. I think "out West", the climate is just more conducive to outdoor living, so people spend more time outdoors.

Although winter isn't horrible in Denver, I still want to move back to Southern California someday. To me, the climate is perfect and I feel more at home there. Compared to NYC, people are less "uptight", so it seems. And I like that it's ok (here in Denver too) to go out to dinner at a reasonably nice restaurant in a t-shirt, shorts and flip flops. Last time I went to NYC to visit an old college friend, he told me to "bring clothes appropriate for eating out. Something black is preferable and dress shoes" lol! I did what he said, and felt odd getting dressed up just to go out to dinner.
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Old 08-19-2014, 02:31 PM
 
5,837 posts, read 10,796,338 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valsteele View Post
What's up with people thinking everyone and everywhere west of the Great Plains is "outdoorsy and laid-back"? Like the eastern US doesn't have any nature or people who aren't workaholics.
Well, I don't know about everyone else, but the answer for me is very, very easy.

Sure, weather is part of it, but for me personally, the real reason is:

Public land. The vast majority of the US west of the Great Plains is public land, mostly federal, and largely available for recreation and exploration.

The vast majority of the nations national parks and monuments (places that were chosen because of their one of a kind scenic beauty) are in the west. All the mountain forests are national forests, and the deserts are all bureau of land management. Many areas within National forests and BLM are designated wilderness. You also have Reservation lands, which do allow some kinds of recreation with permission from the tribes. Even a stone throw away from cities you have this. The Angeles National forests, the national recreation areas Golden Gate and Santa Monica Mtns right on the border of San Fran and LA propers respecively.

Private lands/private property are islands within the public lands in the west. In the east its reverse: The public lands are islands in a sea of farms and other private property and land. (there are exceptions, New York has the adirondack and Catskills parks, Florida has vast areas of conservation lands, The appalachians, ozarks, northwoods have a higher than average % of pub lands. You do have national forests, state forests, and a gazillion state parks that have camping, lakes, and some hiking trails, but you can quickly cover those areas and run out if you are a serious outdoor enthusiast.

Thats where the difference lies. You have so much variety of landscapes in the west. Again this is how I see it. Weather is great, but its really secondary.

I wouldn't say that people in the eastern US are workaholics, or that the cities are any more rat racy. Far from it. But it is much harder to find people who share your interests. People just have other interests, and apart from groups like Boy Scouts, or those whose careers are in environmental science, etc. its just tough to find people who "get out" the way you do in western cities.
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Old 08-19-2014, 06:14 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
5,302 posts, read 8,107,004 times
Reputation: 2136
Based on your criteria, San Francisco is not for you. It is the most similar to New York City on the West Coast in terms of prices, rat race, density, and weather (almost always windy foggy and cool). I think LA or San Diego would suit you more. LA has all the cultural amenities of NYC and the diversity (especially in food). But it isso much more laid-back, you get more space, it isn't as expensive. I think the beautiful scenery and weather influence how much happier the people are there than in San Francisco or NYC. And the lifestyle centers around the beach for a good chunk of the year, if not all year. San Diego is also nice but much smaller, more conservative, and less diverse than LA. However, it is also cleaner with slightly milder weather (warmer winters, cooler summers).
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