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Old 12-14-2011, 07:08 PM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
801 posts, read 1,935,639 times
Reputation: 252

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One comment about living in Lower Pac Heights: We've been in the neighborhood for a few years now and have really never felt unsafe. No problems with crime for us, though we have seen a few cases of what seem to be smash and grab car break-ins, mostly in the area around Geary Boulevard.
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Old 12-15-2011, 11:04 AM
 
Location: San Francisco
622 posts, read 857,402 times
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1) The traffic is amazingly bad at times. At one point during the cab ride from the airport (at 5pm) I started to wonder if it was going to cost more than the flight from O'Hare had. Even outside of rush hour, it can get really slow, especially downtown or over the bay bridge. Coming back to the city on the Transbay bus, at 7pm, nearly the whole way was bumper-to-bumper due to an accident.

Why you'd take a taxi from SFO to the city during rush hour is beyond me. Take BART and, if you must, then grab a taxi once you're in town. When I moved to the city they were just building the BART connection to SFO. Now that it's running, I love it. Now that I'm in the east bay, I usually take a taxi to BART and go straight in from there. When I lived in the city it was either a taxi or a shuttle. Since I was in the Hayes Valley and that was next to the freeway, I would usually be the last person on, which means a straight shot to the airport.

The same with the Transbay bus. I do take the F into the city now, but I freelance so I'm not coming or going when traffic is bad. During rush hour I always get on BART unless I'm driving in for the evening and then I just deal with the inbound Bay Bridge traffic. It's the trade off of choosing to drive over mass transit.

2) The temperature seems to change very quickly and since it's always hovering around light jacket weather, a +/-10 degree swing is the difference between not needing that jacket, or needing a coat instead. Takes some getting used to. The east bay seemed to get especially cold, fast, once the sun set.

I tell everyone to who visits SF to layer. I think after living in colder climates, I've got a stronger tolerance for cold and haven't felt to need to bust out a heavy winter coat. The last few nights I've been in the city, I just wear a hoodie. However, I have a winter headband, a scarf and gloves in my backpack just in case it gets chilly. I have had to use them a couple of times.

3) Having the local store for cheap household crap be a tourist attraction is kind of a pain. I just want some dang kitchen towels. I never had to fight past German tourists to get to them back when I shopped at Wal-Mart.

Rent a ZipCar, if you don't have a car, and just drive down to the Target and Kmart in Daly City. When I lived in the city and still had a car, I would just drive down Church to the 280 and big box shop until I could take no more. Emeryville also has big box stores now. There is a Target AND an IKEA right at the I-80 interchange. If, for some reason, you can't leave the city, there are .99 cent stores and the Safeways and Walgreens do have small household goods sections too. Plus, in this age of the Internet, WalMart will gladly take an order from you online and deliver it.

4) Grocery and convenience stores have huge liquor sections, compared to what I'm used to.


Liquor laws and local tolerance for liquor sales depends on where you are. I was just in Seattle and they have another system up there completely. I've also been to areas where you can't get liquor at certain times or on certain days. It just depends on where you are.

5) As noted before -- stores close up and streets get quiet really early. After 8 things seem pretty dead outside. Almost nothing is open past 10.


Being back from 24 hour cities like Seoul and NYC, this is the one that is the hardest for me to get used to.

7) Also, in my particular area (Lower Pac Heights) the presence of these unsavory types doesn't seem to indicate any notable level of crime. I don't see cars broken into, and old ladies, and women with children walk around alone, carefree.

My car got broken into annually. It might be by the time you're up and out folks have already driven to a shop in SOMA and gotten their window replaced.

I used to bartend in Low Pac Heights which means I was leaving the area late. I never felt threatened. It was a pretty safe area.

9) It is really hard to hail a cab. I assume people generally use an app to summon one? They all drove right past me when I waved (in SOMA), and most of them were empty. Well, one guy waved his sandwich at me like, "I'm too busy eating to pick you up," I guess. Tooooootally not like Chicago, where the cabs stalk you if you stand still for a moment. Bleah. Makes the whole carless thing a bit more difficult.

Hailing a cab in San Francisco IS a pain unless you're in one of the busy areas like Union Square. As someone suggested, Uber cab started here. Also, you can call a cab in San Francisco (something you definitely can't do in NYC, well, not yet). When I lived in the city De Soto always was able to get a cab to me pretty fast.

11) Everyone seems reasonably friendly. People sometimes chat in elevators and occasionally nod/smile on the streets. Service in restaurants and stores has been good.

The main reason I moved back. I still have to shake off some of the NYC-rude I've acquired. It takes me a second to fight sneering back and smile back, but I'm getting better.

Basically, every city is different. That's what makes living in the or even just exploring them a lot of fun.
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Old 12-15-2011, 11:28 AM
 
457 posts, read 594,169 times
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For folks struggling to find big box stores, just get a Costco membership. Its there in SOMA on 10th street and really has everything you can wish for - hanes underwear, granola bars and organic chicken.
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Old 12-15-2011, 11:45 AM
 
1,826 posts, read 2,994,800 times
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You can also find big box stores in Colma and Emeryville, each about 15 minutes away (maybe more from Pac Heights). But there are big Targets, Home Depots, and likes.
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Old 12-15-2011, 12:06 PM
 
67 posts, read 86,635 times
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You're right about the weather changes block to block! SF "micro-climates" are pretty amazing to observe!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mayorhaggar View Post
The weather will literally change block by block. In summer, Kearny is usually sunny and warm while Montgomery is really windy and cold. Even when it's sunny it's so windy that it's still cold, SF is just really windy especially from spring until late summer. September and October are generally the hottest months of the year though you probably already know this. This last October was amazing, it was 75 to 80 almost every day except for a few cold rainy days early on.

The air here is just really dry, I think that and the wind patterns from the Pacific are why it gets so cold at night, no matter what time of year it is. Even if it's warm during the day in Oakland it's pretty much always chilly at night, sometimes in August I gotta turn my heater on for a few minutes here and there.
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Old 12-15-2011, 12:45 PM
 
Location: San Jose
57 posts, read 207,101 times
Reputation: 26
fantastic post and discussion for a possible SF newb like me
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Old 12-15-2011, 12:56 PM
 
Location: San Francisco
622 posts, read 857,402 times
Reputation: 392
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmode View Post
For folks struggling to find big box stores, just get a Costco membership. Its there in SOMA on 10th street and really has everything you can wish for - hanes underwear, granola bars and organic chicken.
Yep, I forgot about Costco and that's in the city too. I was a member and LOVED heading over there to shop in that center! There were other good stores there too.
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Old 12-15-2011, 01:53 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
25,202 posts, read 25,262,619 times
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Don't forget, Target is coming soon to the Metreon (4th and Mission). I am really excited about this and I live in the East Bay and have a car! I can make all Union Square shopping trips and conferences at Moscone an excuse to do all of my errand! Yippee! I think it is opening early next spring!
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Old 12-15-2011, 02:43 PM
 
Location: San Francisco, CA
506 posts, read 901,462 times
Reputation: 316
Quote:
Originally Posted by rkwalton View Post
Why you'd take a taxi from SFO to the city during rush hour is beyond me. Take BART and, if you must, then grab a taxi once you're in town. When I moved to the city they were just building the BART connection to SFO. Now that it's running, I love it. Now that I'm in the east bay, I usually take a taxi to BART and go straight in from there. When I lived in the city it was either a taxi or a shuttle. Since I was in the Hayes Valley and that was next to the freeway, I would usually be the last person on, which means a straight shot to the airport.

The same with the Transbay bus. I do take the F into the city now, but I freelance so I'm not coming or going when traffic is bad. During rush hour I always get on BART unless I'm driving in for the evening and then I just deal with the inbound Bay Bridge traffic. It's the trade off of choosing to drive over mass transit.
At SFO I had five big pieces of luggage and a cat! Otherwise, yeah, BART is the way to go.

In retrospect, I should have taken BART over to Emeryville, too. It seemed like 2 busses would be easier than bus-train-bus, but the Emery-go-round came like... ten times while I was waiting in the cold for the Transbay bus. I'm learning!
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Old 12-15-2011, 02:52 PM
 
Location: San Francisco, CA
506 posts, read 901,462 times
Reputation: 316
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmode View Post
For folks struggling to find big box stores, just get a Costco membership. Its there in SOMA on 10th street and really has everything you can wish for - hanes underwear, granola bars and organic chicken.


That's where I had been shopping when I couldn't get a cab!

I think I'm going to wind up getting a lot of normal household stuff through Amazon.
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