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Old 12-13-2011, 08:25 AM
 
3 posts, read 10,449 times
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My family of four may be moving to SF. We moved to Dallas, TX a year ago from Florida for my husband's job. We have been pretty unhappy here in Texas for many reasons. Allergies, unfriendly people, bad air quality, ignorance, prejudices, etc. We were used to the warm southern hospitality, down to earth and easy friendships of the "south" in Florida.

We live in a "bubble" community in Dallas known for its great school system. We chose it for the great schools. However, people are clicky, materialistic, ignorant, prejudiced and very leary of newcomers.

What is the vibe like in the SF area? What are people like? We have researched Pacifica, SF city and Orinda as possible locations for the move. We want good schools and a safe environment without all the pretentious BS that suburbanites come with. I like Pacifica b/c I miss the ocean. But the schools in Orinda are calling me b/c we have two young daughters in elementary school.

Any thoughts? Thanks!!!
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Old 12-13-2011, 08:42 AM
 
Location: A bit further north than before
1,574 posts, read 2,879,318 times
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This comes up all the time - SF is a big city, big city people don't make new friends easily.
A relatively large percentage of the population comes from somewhere else, so you don't have that 'old money' social exclusion going on, just your general big city people are busy vibe.
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Old 12-13-2011, 09:44 AM
 
Location: In them thar hills
12,825 posts, read 17,618,637 times
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Pacifica is a blue collar town that got partially gentrified during the real estate bubble (and was hit hard when it popped). Schools are poor to moderate.

Orinda is a white collar SF (and to a lesser degree, inner East Bay) oriented commuter suburb, with reasonably stable (and moderately expensive, by Bay Area standards) property prices. Schools are good to excellent.

The City is a mixed but increasingly white collar (the poor and middle class are being pushed out) very expensive place, with terrible schools. Living there, those who can afford and who are not "religious" about "supporting public schools" send their kids to private schools.
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Old 12-13-2011, 10:31 AM
 
2,176 posts, read 4,060,249 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BayAreaHillbilly View Post
Pacifica is a blue collar town that got partially gentrified during the real estate bubble (and was hit hard when it popped). Schools are poor to moderate.
The API range in Pacifica schools are 7 for the lowest to 9 at the highest. That's not poor to moderate,more like pretty good to almost excellent. Poor to moderate would be something like a API range of 3 to 6.


California School Ratings, school profiles, test scores - San Mateo County

Quote:
Originally Posted by gandalf1981 View Post
We were used to the warm southern hospitality, down to earth and easy friendships of the "south" in Florida.
Where in Florida? The Panhandle or Jacksonville? Some of my friends who lived in the Miami/West Palm area have said Florida was very unfriendly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gandalf1981 View Post
We have researched Pacifica, SF city and Orinda as possible locations for the move. We want good schools and a safe environment without all the pretentious BS that suburbanites come with. I like Pacifica b/c I miss the ocean. But the schools in Orinda are calling me b/c we have two young daughters in elementary school.
Check out Cabrillo elementary in Pacifica.

Cabrillo School (http://www.pacificasd.org/Schools/cabrillo/about.html - broken link)

Parent Reviews of Cabrillo Elementary School - Pacifica, California - CA

Here are links to a couple of previous posts on Pacifica.

http://www.city-data.com/forum/17835434-post6.html

http://www.city-data.com/forum/17835460-post8.html

Last edited by capoeira; 12-13-2011 at 11:05 AM..
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Old 12-13-2011, 11:20 AM
 
10,630 posts, read 21,521,258 times
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I've heard good things about Pacifica schools, but have no personal experience.

San Francisco schools are not all "terrible" (not by any means!!), but the application system is a major hassle, with no guarantees of getting into your neighborhood school (i.e. you can't move into a neighborhood with one of the great schools and expect to be able to enroll your kids). If you're interested in the city, though, there are some very family-friendly neighborhoods and there are some wonderful schools.

Where is your husband working? There are plenty of other options out there besides just Orinda and Pacifica, especially if -- as it sounds -- you're willing to consider a pretty broad area. Also consider the weather and things like amount of sun. We loved our old SF neighborhood, but it was well within "fog line" territory. I know people who choose the East Bay for that reason alone. (and in some cases, vice-versa; it can get hot inland in the summer!) I don't know Pacifica, but assume that, like the other locations along that part of the coast, it gets a LOT of fog.

For what it's worth, I've found the Bay Area to be pretty friendly to newcomers. I'm sure things can vary by neighborhood, though.
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Old 12-13-2011, 11:58 AM
 
Location: South Korea
5,242 posts, read 10,482,578 times
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For friendliness, it really depends. I find that people here are very polite to strangers compared to anywhere else in the US, like if you're out shopping or need to ask a stranger for directions, people are really friendly and helpful. In the South or the Midwest people will act kind of suspicious towards strangers, and people in the Northeast will often be brusque and seem rude. But people here can be hard to get to know, it's a big urban area and a lot of people have long commutes or long work hours. I think people who don't live here think everyone is laid back and just sits around in cafes smoking weed and playing bongos all day. But most people here are part of the busy rat race you see in any urban area, and when newcomers find this out they don't get it and try to blame the people here for not living up to their stereotypes, and think that people here are rude or cold or whatever when they are just being typical urban people with busy lives. The suburbs are more relaxed than SF but don't be surprised if when you move here and meet people nobody wants to do anything because they're tired from work or commuting.
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Old 12-13-2011, 02:06 PM
 
Location: San Francisco, California
1,953 posts, read 4,505,831 times
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dont expect southern hospitality in SF, or expect the neighbors to bring you a cake or something to welcome you into the community
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Old 12-13-2011, 05:20 PM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
4,527 posts, read 8,255,022 times
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As others have said, a lot of people around here seem to be busy and don't have time for socializing. My impression is that the most down-to-earth place is the East Bay. I don't know if the pace of life there is any slower, though.
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Old 12-13-2011, 06:45 PM
 
35 posts, read 135,100 times
Reputation: 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by gandalf1981 View Post
We chose it for the great schools. However, people are clicky, materialistic, ignorant, prejudiced and very leary of newcomers.
That's the problem isn't it? Everyone wants great schools and a safe environment for their kids and they have to separate outspend / outwork others to distance themselves from undesirables. That necessarily leads to the kind of mentality you're trying to avoid.

If you want a middle-class community with nice humble people, you're going to get middle-class schools. If you want "great" schools, get ready to deal with status-conscious turds.

This "I'm not a snob, but I just want to be a little better off than average" is at the core of the rat-race.
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Old 12-14-2011, 10:30 AM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
4,527 posts, read 8,255,022 times
Reputation: 2116
Quote:
Originally Posted by NJudah View Post
That's the problem isn't it? Everyone wants great schools and a safe environment for their kids and they have to separate outspend / outwork others to distance themselves from undesirables. That necessarily leads to the kind of mentality you're trying to avoid.

If you want a middle-class community with nice humble people, you're going to get middle-class schools. If you want "great" schools, get ready to deal with status-conscious turds.

This "I'm not a snob, but I just want to be a little better off than average" is at the core of the rat-race.
Well written! Spot on.
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