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Old 05-29-2015, 09:41 AM
 
6 posts, read 4,780 times
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I'm cross-posting this from the San Francisco board. I hope that's okay.

I'm trying to decide whether to move to the Bay Area (most likely Oakland/Berkeley area, but possibly in San Francisco) or NYC (Williamsburg) come August.

About me:

22 year old gay male, just graduated with my BA in Music and Computer Science. Seeking a job as a UI/UX designer at a startup. Expecting to make around 80k. Taking my cat, my computer, and not much else.

What I'm looking for:

Walkability and public transportation - Ideally I would like to sell my car and walk/bike everywhere. I want to live in a neighborhood close enough to walk to shops and activity without much difficulty. Currently, NYC takes the lead in this regard, due to more reliable public transit and a denser city. What are the densest/most walkable neighborhoods in the Bay Area?

Climate and proximity to hiking - I suspect I have seasonal depression, and I would like to avoid winter as much as possible. I've lived in the Appalachian mountains for the past 9 years and really appreciate being able to leave the city and go hiking or camping. San Francisco seems like a clear winner here.

Gay community - Both cities have extensive gay communities, so I'm interested more in the broad differences between the two cultures.

Relaxed work ethic - It seems like SF wins here, although I'm turned off by the echo chamber the tech world has created there. What are some of the differences between how New Yorkers and San Franciscans approach work (especially in tech)?

Access to fresh food - I hear Oakland has an amazing farmer's market that is open all week. Ideally I'd also like to start gardening, either on my own or as part of a community plot.

Other things to consider:

Cost of living - About the same in either place, it seems. Apartments may be larger/nicer in SF.

Proximity to family and friends - NY wins by a long shot. It would be much easier to get set up in NYC, but would it be better?

I've researched comparisons between the two cities and read a lot of opinions on this forum and elsewhere... just interested in getting a bit more feedback now, since most of what I found is a few years old.
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Old 05-29-2015, 06:49 PM
 
6,841 posts, read 4,441,994 times
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Seeking a job as a UI/UX designer at a startup. Expecting to make around 80k. Do you have a work from home job that you will be making 80k or are you expecting to make that amount??
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Old 05-29-2015, 07:28 PM
 
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SF and the Bay area is a better chocice for your job. Not many startups in NYC which is not high-tech oriented. Choose NYC if you are in finance. As for the relaxed work enviornment - you may be late by a century.
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Old 05-29-2015, 07:43 PM
 
Location: New York NY
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I suspect that finding a place to live --and I'm assuming $2000 a month on your expected income -- will be easier in NYC than the Bay Area, where rents are going through the roof. But if you're willing to live in a non-trendy neighborhood in NYC, you can easily find someplace acceptable for that amount. Moreover, it would also be easy to get to the places you want to hang out in because NYC has the edge over SF on public transit. It's 24/7, goes almost everywhere, and it's a lot cheaper than the Bay area BART. San Fran neighborhoods are often walkable too, but It would be easier having a care if you're living outside of the city.

The proximity to family and friends gives an edge to NYC. And I think SFO sucks, BTW. So cloudy it seems there are always delays.

From what I've seen, neither city has a really relaxed work ethic. San Franciscans like to APPEAR chill and such, but life in the tech world seems pretty intense. NYC doesn't have the concentration of techies the Bay Area has, but work life here for white-collar professionals is intense no matter what field you're in. That's just the nature of the beast in New York.

What surprises me the most (and I've been out there a lot in the past few months) is how many locals are NOT techies, not into it, and don't care about it at all -- except maybe for how all those folks are driving up rents. But the stereotype that it's all tech, all the time in in the Bay Area just isn't true (though I have not been in Silicon Valley, where it might be).

Cost of living depends. Food is definitely more expensive in the Bay Area than metro NYC, whether in restaurants or supermarkets. But there are more opportunities for the farmers market type thing throughout, whether Berkeley, Oakland, or SF itself. And you can save a bit in the Bay on utility costs because temperature fluctuations are a lot less than in NYC. No need to run the A/C all summer or the heating all winter. It's always autumn in SF. No extremes. Call cost of living a tie.

Outdoor hiking and such the Bay Area definitely has the edge.

Can't speak to gay life except to say there's obviously a lot of it in both areas.

My impressions are that Oakland is the "realest" spot in the Bay Area. I found Berkeley to be either full of crazies and homeless people, or wealthy out-of-touch liberals, with not a whole lot in between (excluding students.) San Francisco is cute, but IMO really "precious" and in some circles, annoyingly smug: "We live in San Francisco! Aren't we special?"
Oakland I found a happy medium.

In NYC I'd give Williamsburg a pass. It is so trendy and touristy now that it's a nice place to visit, but I couldn't imagine living there, even if I were single. I'd want a quieter less frenzied neighborhood or maybe the outskirts of Williamsburg, nearby neighborhoods like Greenpoint, or further afield, even Long Island City in Queens. I wouldn't want to do my bar-hopping and socializing in the same place where I have to sleep at night. YMMV.

I don't think you can go wrong though with either choice though. Both NYC and SF are great and interesting metros. . Just depends on which of you listed criteria is most important to you.

Good luck.
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Old 05-29-2015, 07:43 PM
 
Location: Bronx
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Sf
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Old 05-29-2015, 09:10 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn, NY
1,271 posts, read 2,556,607 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Ryu View Post
Seeking a job as a UI/UX designer at a startup. Expecting to make around 80k. Do you have a work from home job that you will be making 80k or are you expecting to make that amount??
Not unrealistic for UI/UX recent college grad with some talent at all. Six figures is quite possible in NYC or SF. Tech pays very well.

Tech in NYC is in service to other industries. There are a lot of finance-tech start-ups, fashion-tech start-ups, etc. catering to NYC's dominant industries. Not so many "pure" tech start-ups. Whether that's good or bad depends on your perspective. The industry is much bigger in the Bay Area, but I would say the *SF* tech scene is relatively comparable to NYC in size. So much tech in the Bay Area is in Silicon Valley, which is way too suburban for your tastes, it sounds like.

SF is generally more expensive than NYC, even just comparing SF to Manhattan. Comparing SF to all of NYC and SF is wildly more expensive.

Weather obviously goes to SF, though summers in SF can be very cold (we're talking 40 degrees and foggy in July). That's something very few people not from the Bay Area are aware of and that could take you by surprise. Of course, an hour outside of SF it will be 80 degrees and sunny that same day.

My impression of SF's tech scene's work culture is that it is actually less laid back than in NYC. In NYC, everyone is honest about being there to work. In SF, there's a passive-aggressive culture about pretending you aren't working until midnight regularly or spending a lot of time talking about how you're only staying late in the office because you "like the people" or some other obvious lies. Other working fields definitely have a more laid back culture in SF, but I would not say that's true of tech.

In the Bay Area, you won't find anywhere you can live without a car except SF. Even Oakland would be tough, and definitely not anywhere else. Parts of SF are also not doable without a car (the Sunset, e.g.), though that's also true of parts of NYC (most of Queens, Staten Island).

SF's gay community is definitely overall more relaxed and "left coast" stereotypical. NYC has more gay clubs and a yuppier culture, but on the other hand there's enormous diversity of experience in the gay community in both places. I think you could fit in to either regardless of your personal preferences.
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Old 05-29-2015, 09:51 PM
 
3,132 posts, read 2,636,880 times
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Forget about start-ups. You should first secure an entry level job in your field at an established high tech company. You will be interacting with colleagues who have been in the business a while and know others who may be considering forming a start up. That's "networking." A 3 or 4 page resume listing the projects that you've worked on, published papers that you've written or co-written and special skill sets will get you noticed by start-up entrepreneurs.

And why confine your search to NYC and SF? Greater Boston is 2nd to Silicon Valley in high tech and a great place to live with a special ambience that's not found in NYC. San Diego has its share of high tech companies, the best weather in the USA and a very large gay community and is much cheaper than SF or NYC.
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Old 05-29-2015, 09:55 PM
 
Location: Earth
3,519 posts, read 2,535,998 times
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Sf
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Old 05-29-2015, 10:01 PM
 
5,532 posts, read 5,721,468 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wells5 View Post
Forget about start-ups. You should first secure an entry level job in your field at an established high tech company. You will be interacting with colleagues who have been in the business a while and know others who may be considering forming a start up. That's "networking." A 3 or 4 page resume listing the projects that you've worked on, published papers that you've written or co-written and special skill sets will get you noticed by start-up entrepreneurs.

And why confine your search to NYC and SF? Greater Boston is 2nd to Silicon Valley in high tech and a great place to live with a special ambience that's not found in NYC. San Diego has its share of high tech companies, the best weather in the USA and a very large gay community and is much cheaper than SF or NYC.
Boston second to Silicon Valley? Its been ages since I heard anything (startups) coming out of Boston.
Also, sometimes you can get hired by a startup as regular employee, not necessary as top gun. They usually don't have the $ to pay (including benefits) like the established companies, but still need workers.
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Old 05-29-2015, 10:32 PM
 
3,447 posts, read 3,521,842 times
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SF Makes way more sense in every aspect listed.
I also have a hard time believing you'll find too many companies in NYC ready to pay UI Design salaries 80K with a Bachelors.
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