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Old 12-27-2011, 04:24 PM
 
Location: South Korea
5,242 posts, read 10,470,829 times
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The best thing to do is live in a neighborhood that has some grocery stores you can just walk to. Get some reinforced reusable bags (Trader Joe's or Whole Foods have really cheap and good ones) and you can fill two up and walk with them pretty easily, but more than 10 minutes with really heavy stuff will be annoying. Generally there are grocery stores all over the place here but when you're looking at apartments try and figure out where the closest stores are before you sign the lease. Some areas like the Outer Sunset or West Oakland hardly have anywhere to shop.

The best neighborhoods for public transit really depend on where you're working. If you're working in downtown SF, then BART is really the most convenient way to get to work, it's fast and goes right under Market Street. If you ride within SF it's way faster than Muni, I'd look into Glen Park because it has a BART station, otherwise the areas in SF near BART are sketchy, though living around 18th and Dolores and walking to 16th Street BART would be fine, and the ride to Montgomery is only about 10 minutes.

Muni is the only other option in SF and it can be pretty crappy. The Metro light rail lines are ok but get super crowded and often get stuck in the Market Street tunnel either because they try to run too many trains or there's a mechanical breakdown which seems to happen more and more often. If you live out by the beach it can take an hour to get to downtown SF on the N-Judah. Hayes Valley is pretty good because you can hop on the trains at Van Ness and be at work in 10 minutes, though you often have to let several full trains pass you by before you can even get onto one, and then you're lucky if you don't get stuck in the tunnel. Cole Valley and the area around Church Street Station would also be good for riding the Metro. Muni buses tend to get really full during rush hour and the non-express ones stop at every damn corner so they take foreeeeever to get anywhere, so if you have to take the bus try and take an express ones, but again they get super crowded.

As for Oakland, the best areas to live in without a car would be Rockridge, the Temescal and the areas around Lake Merritt--mainly Cleveland Heights to the east and Adam's Point/Grand Lake to the north, although both of these areas are quite a hike to the Lake Merrit or downtown stations. The Piedmont Ave area is good too but can be a bit of a hike to the Macarthur BART station. Also the transbay buses have stops all over Oakland so even if you aren't really close to BART you can take a bus, but I bet BART is way better for the evening commute than the buses.

Again I really like having a bike in Oakland, it's more spread out than SF and the local bus service lines mostly run about every 15 minutes which isn't really often enough for me--with a bike I can just hop on and get to downtown Berkeley in about 25 minutes and Lake Merritt in about 20, for free. You can get by without a bike but you'll feel more limited than if you had one.
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Old 12-27-2011, 05:42 PM
 
Location: San Francisco
622 posts, read 844,528 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mayorhaggar View Post
Hayes Valley is pretty good because you can hop on the trains at Van Ness and be at work in 10 minutes, though you often have to let several full trains pass you by before you can even get onto one, and then you're lucky if you don't get stuck in the tunnel. Cole Valley and the area around Church Street Station would also be good for riding the Metro. Muni buses tend to get really full during rush hour and the non-express ones stop at every damn corner so they take foreeeeever to get anywhere, so if you have to take the bus try and take an express ones, but again they get super crowded.
At least he'll be able to get ON the N-Judah if he's in the Outer Sunset. One of my exes used to live at 9th and Judah in the Inner Sunset. The N stop is right there but I'd have a time trying to get to work in the Financial District from there. That was because by the time it got to that corner the N was usually packed. I'd just squeeze in, but it's really just horrible. I hope they've done something to solve that problem.

Unless things have changed, you have more options than that from Hayes Valley. I used to just walk down to Van Ness because the 21 Hayes would be PACKED by the time I got to me at Laguna. From there though, you've got more options than the underground. You can also hop on the F streetcar or one of the Haight St. buses from there. If you you don't see anything coming you can run to the BofA as the Mission buses turn there and head down Market. I almost never bothered with going underground because there was usually always a bus or streetcar pulling up to that intersection.

Oh and writing this reminds me that I got the buses wrong in the former post. I used to take the 22 Fillmore from Safeway when I got lazy. The 21 is the Hayes bus. Oh, I'm getting old and my memory is fading. :-S
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Old 12-27-2011, 05:49 PM
 
Location: South Korea
5,242 posts, read 10,470,829 times
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The only thing they've done with the N is running an express bus along its route, the NX Express. Basically it runs along the Judah route until 19th Ave and then doesn't make any stops until it gets to downtown SF. They say it takes about 39 minutes from 48th and Judah to get to Bush and Montgomery, definitely better than the 45 to 60 minutes it takes the light rail line, but I bet it gets slowed down in traffic a lot.

NX Judah Express
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Old 12-27-2011, 05:53 PM
 
Location: San Francisco
622 posts, read 844,528 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mayorhaggar View Post
The only thing they've done with the N is running an express bus along its route, the NX Express. Basically it runs along the Judah route until 19th Ave and then doesn't make any stops until it gets to downtown SF. They say it takes about 39 minutes from 48th and Judah to get to Bush and Montgomery, definitely better than the 45 to 60 minutes it takes the light rail line, but I bet it gets slowed down in traffic a lot.

NX Judah Express
Thanks for the update. I think that might relieve the poor folks like me who were getting passed by in the Inner Sunset though.

I'm also glad I didn't choose the Inner Sunset to move back to. I was considering it as I lived in the Outer Richmond when I came back from living abroad briefly. I liked it but my choices there were the 5 or hustling my butt up to Geary for the 38.

Then again, I freelance, so I don't do rush hour anymore anyway.
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Old 12-27-2011, 06:15 PM
 
Location: Sierra Vista, AZ
16,051 posts, read 18,757,529 times
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Outer Richmond District of San Francisco is where you want to be. Cantonese are the majority there Clement Street is the shopping center with parallel Geary Blvd a close second. The 38 bus going down Geary is the busiest bus Route west of Chicago. Thats how you get into Center City. You can live in Outer Richmond and neer speak english.

Second would be Outer Sunset, south of Richmond District on the other side of the Golden Gate Park. More different ethnicities of Asians. These are the two areas closest to the Ocean

In Oakland you need to be downtown. Right in the Occupy Oakland area. 9th &10th Street are the Chinese shopping area.
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Old 12-27-2011, 09:51 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
24,968 posts, read 24,765,212 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mayorhaggar View Post

As for Oakland, the best areas to live in without a car would be Rockridge, the Temescal and the areas around Lake Merritt--mainly Cleveland Heights to the east and Adam's Point/Grand Lake to the north, although both of these areas are quite a hike to the Lake Merrit or downtown stations. The Piedmont Ave area is good too but can be a bit of a hike to the Macarthur BART station. Also the transbay buses have stops all over Oakland so even if you aren't really close to BART you can take a bus, but I bet BART is way better for the evening commute than the buses.
Actually the bus is better. You always get a seat. I think after riding the bus for 3 years, I didn't get a seat maybe 1-2 times. Most of the buses are about 75% full in the evening commute. Most lines run every 15 minutes (or more) from about 5-6:30 or 7. For example, I rode the P. It was every 10 minutes during the peak going home time: 5-6:30. From 6:30-7:30 it was every 15 minutes, and then the last train was at 8. The wait wasn't long anytime after 4:30.

From 3:30-5 and 6:30-8 the frequency is every 15-30 minutes. For the commuter only lines the last bus is at 7:30 or 8. After 8, if you choose to take the bus, you'd need to transfer in Emeryville or Downtown Oakland.

BART is better for the evening commute if it is after 8, since the transbay generally has stops closer to home.
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Old 12-27-2011, 10:03 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
24,968 posts, read 24,765,212 times
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Originally Posted by Boompa View Post
Outer Richmond District of San Francisco is where you want to be. Cantonese are the majority there Clement Street is the shopping center with parallel Geary Blvd a close second. The 38 bus going down Geary is the busiest bus Route west of Chicago. Thats how you get into Center City. You can live in Outer Richmond and neer speak english.

Second would be Outer Sunset, south of Richmond District on the other side of the Golden Gate Park. More different ethnicities of Asians. These are the two areas closest to the Ocean

In Oakland you need to be downtown. Right in the Occupy Oakland area. 9th &10th Street are the Chinese shopping area.
I'd pick Adams Point along the "Harri/Oak" sections or the blocks closest to Bay/24/27 intersection, Rockridge or the Lakeside Apartments district. Or around 40th/Broadway in the Piedmont Ave/Temescal border. The Broadway Corridor has the most frequent bus service. You are also pretty close to 2 or more bus lines that go to downtown Oakland (and stop in or within 1-2 blocks from Chinatown). You could also easily walk to "Koreatown" from the bus.

These 3 areas have the best access to transit and BART. I find Lakeside Apt. area a little deserted, but it is pretty safe. I have a few friends who live over there with no problems.

You don't want to live in Grand Lake. It is a hike to frequent transit and BART (there is one line with a frequenct of 20 minutes that runs from ~7-9, and the NL transbay bus covers the neighborhood, but it is about 1 mile to the nearest BART station, and the buses that run to bart aren't frequent. Also there is limited direct service to downtown Oakland. So no further east than about Grand/Lee St, so you won't have more than a 10 minute walk to downtown.

Rockridge is the furthest from Chinatown and Koreatown. It would be easiest to take BART, the bus ride is about 15-20 minutes to Chinatown. It is about 4 miles from Chinatown.

Piedmont Ave area is hit or miss for you -- unless you live between Piedmont Ave and Broadway. You'd need to walk a bit further. I live near Oakland/Moss. There is a bus to downtown Oakland with limited service that stops 1 block away, and a frequent bus to Emeryville and East Oakland. The trip to BART is about 1-1.25 miles. Some of my neighbors rely exclusively on transit, but they don't stay out late often and do their shopping on Piedmont Ave. If you live between Piedmont Ave and Broadway you'll avoid the steepest hills and have easy access to all bus lines for the neighborhood.
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Old 12-27-2011, 11:39 PM
 
Location: San Francisco
622 posts, read 844,528 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boompa View Post
Outer Richmond District of San Francisco is where you want to be. Cantonese are the majority there Clement Street is the shopping center with parallel Geary Blvd a close second. The 38 bus going down Geary is the busiest bus Route west of Chicago. Thats how you get into Center City. You can live in Outer Richmond and neer speak english.

Second would be Outer Sunset, south of Richmond District on the other side of the Golden Gate Park. More different ethnicities of Asians. These are the two areas closest to the Ocean

In Oakland you need to be downtown. Right in the Occupy Oakland area. 9th &10th Street are the Chinese shopping area.
I'm sure the OP can speak for himself, but if he's moving here from NYC the Outer Richmond is going to be BORING.

When I moved back to the Outer Richmond from Seoul I was bored to tears because like NYC and Tokyo, Seoul is one of those 24/7 cities. San Francisco isn't and the further out in the avenues you are the worse it gets. It's not bad there, but he'd have to be ready for a major lifestyle change. I knew when I moved back to the Bay Area this time to avoid the outer avenue areas.
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Old 01-02-2012, 08:04 PM
 
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Happy new year, everyone. I really appreciate the information you provided here - making me feel the warmth of San Franciscans already. :-)

rkwalton, since you lived in NYC, what's your feel about the difference between New Yorkers and San Franciscans? Are San Franciscans friendlier than New Yorkers?

I need to find a job first of course to move. Anyone has suggestions on job hunting as an out of town candidates in this economy in addition to being in touch with recruiters?

From what Iíve read, it seems these areas in Oakland are safe, accessible to transportation and walkable Ė Rockridge, Jack London Square, downtown Oakland, Lake Merritt, (Cleveland Heights, Adamís Point), Piedmont Avenue/Temescal and Lakeshore Apartments. Does anyone know a good online street and neighborhood map of Oakland like those you can find about SF? It would be a great help to explore these areas with a map during my Feb. trip. I goggled, but wasnít able to find a good one. Also, which area is the most convenient to walk to bus and/or BART station? In case anyone is familiar with Forest Hills in Queens NY, are any of these areas similar to Forest Hills in terms of transportation and shopping?
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Old 01-02-2012, 10:09 PM
 
Location: San Francisco
622 posts, read 844,528 times
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Originally Posted by xinyun View Post
rkwalton, since you lived in NYC, what's your feel about the difference between New Yorkers and San Franciscans? Are San Franciscans friendlier than New Yorkers?
Happy New Year to you too.

Yes, in general. I think people in the Bay Area are much friendlier. It's really one big reason I moved back: the quality of life issue. Not that NYC is impossible. It's just a difference in how strangers tend to deal with strangers. I'm actually still adjusting back to strangers smiling at me here and have to remember that mean-mugging them in response isn't appropriate.

Your mileage with that is going to vary. I'm a native Californian though, so I really do feel more comfortable and expect people to be nice. I had moments of pure shock being friendly to people in NYC and them looking at me like I was a circus freak. After awhile, I just chose to blend in. I feel better being back here.

People here, however, can be a lot more flaky. I went to a couple of networking meetings where people were very friendly, made unsolicited comments about wanting to meet up or work with me, but lacked follow-through. In NYC that sort of unprofessional and time-wasting behavior doesn't fly well. People there tend to be more careful and warm up a bit more slowly, but once they start talking business, things happen. Here I'm a lot more cynical that people are going to follow through. So friendly, yes, but take it with a grain of salt.

Otherwise, I think the areas are pretty comparable in the sense that both have tons of colleges and universities. That means a well-educated local population, depending on where you're living. I mean just like NYC there are certain areas where you're more likely to find professionals and college grads.

Shopping is pretty comparable too if you're into that sort of thing. I mean nothing compares to shopping on 5th Avenue, but the big designer brands are here as well as the big stores. You're just not going to get the designers and the trunk shows.

Service people are friendlier. I remember having yell at one receptionist at my former primary care in NYC as she made things so difficult for me and then basically told me she wasn't going to help and that I HAD to come into the office. (All while there was a triage nurse she could have referred me to.) Her excuse during one part of that interaction was all the people she dealt with. Here I was able to get an appointment with my former physician who still has the same receptionist and the wait to get an appointment was nothing more than a week. Try that at NY Presbyterian/Columbia.

I think people here sometimes lack perspective. There are a couple of things that have made me laugh over the last few weeks. I was in a store and there was one cashier on duty. It was pretty clear it was a shift change or someone was on break. The line maybe has 6 or 7 people. Folks were trying to complain like it was the end of the world. One guy tried to talk to me about it. My reply was "I guess none of you have ever been grocery shopping in NYC." I said it with a smile, but I was like "really people?" I had visions in my head of the lines in the Trader Joe's in NYC, the Fairway Markets or even the Pathmarks. There just is no comparison. FreshDirect was a lifesaver for me in NYC because grocery shopping there is just hell.

I was at a bus stop the other day and two women were complaining about AC transit. Yes, the bus cycles are a bit slower, but I use NextBus.com to see when the buses are coming. (NYC WISHES it had that; they're working on real time tracking but it's not system wide yet.) Like the folks in the store, they tried to drag me into the whine-fest and again I'm like "nope, try using the buses in NYC and get back to me. You've got it good here."

So there is that perspective thing, but, like the New Yorkers that never leave New York or even their boroughs, there are a lot of people here who've not traveled far and wide. That's not a Bay Area problem. That's a national problem though.

Last edited by rkwalton; 01-02-2012 at 11:21 PM.. Reason: forgot a definite article...
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