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Old 01-26-2013, 02:18 PM
7 posts, read 13,889 times
Reputation: 13


Hey Everyone,

First of all, I love checking out this place and this is my first post....don't get too mad if I seem crazy with my question

Here's my story....

Hey everyone,

So after over a year I'm finally making the move over to the Bay Area from DC. I've dreamt of being in San Francisco for quite sometime and I'm currently interviewing for jobs while figuring logistics out....I have family in the state to rely on so I don't burn what I've saved.

Here is my question:

As a 25 year old gay guy moving from the East Coast I've always thought of living / hanging in the Castro. A lot of jobs I'm looking at and are interviewing for a salary between $45-55,000 and looking at this and using the 1/3 rule (you know....your rent should be no more than 1/3 of your salary) I see I can pull this off living with several roommates and paying $900-$1,200. I enjoy being in a city near the beach, great restaurants and the fact I'll probably always be employed in San Francisco through the non-profit sector. I enjoy having the option of nightlife as well even if I won't be going out all the time and every weekend.

-Downside: $$$. I'm not going to lie I've seen some Victorian homes in Alamo Square and it astounds me how much property is here. I used to live in a college town (Gainesville, FL) and I loved the vibe I got in Berkeley. I know it's not a gigantic difference, but that Berkeley is cheaper there. It seems like a place where people also can hope to settle down as they grow older....my dream image was to live the crazy life for a year or so and then settle in the East Bay afterwards. It just seems like you get more of your money's worth there.

My question is: would a 25 year old gay guy with no ties to Cal (unless I were to get a job there in the future) enjoy himself there? I don't go clubbing every week but I do enjoy going once every weekends. I love the liberal atmosphere since that's what draws me to the Bay Area anyways I just want to make sure I'd have no regrets for not living in SF. I don't mind hanging out with grad students and people with ties to Cal, but obviously don't want to be stuck in the undergrad scene. Are there any younger gay guys in Berkeley who hang out without going to SF? It seems like nightlife is a deal breaker, even if I don't want to go out that often. I know it won't be as great as SF, but I'm wondering if it'll be enough.

Any help would be appreciated!

Thanks everyone,
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Old 01-26-2013, 06:05 PM
202 posts, read 365,754 times
Reputation: 118
Being anything is easier and more fun in the bay area. We have an extremely diverse population and plenty of clubs/groups/organizations. I have plenty of gay friends but I'm not exactly up on their "gay life" around here. I can say that they've had no problems finding LGBT people though.

I think the bay area is a good fit for most people and that's what makes it so great.
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Old 01-26-2013, 07:29 PM
484 posts, read 605,973 times
Reputation: 480
Based on the tone of your post, I think you would always wonder/regret it if you don't at least try living in SF. It sound like your salary would be enough to let you have that experience and the nightlife at your doorstep (or a quick Muni ride away). If, over time, your love of SF life wanes, as happens for many as they mature, you can move to the East Bay or somewhere else. But at this point in your life, you should really just go for it.
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Old 01-26-2013, 08:40 PM
Location: Springfield, Ohio
10,854 posts, read 8,464,811 times
Reputation: 9571
Berkeley's a great town as far as acceptance, but it can be difficult for singles like yourself with no ties to Cal. Outside of the students, the majority of the population are greying ex-hippies and assorted weirdos usually associated with the town. You could still go to SF every weekend, but if you don't have a car (and street parking in the Castro area can be a b*tch anyway), there's the dreaded midnight cutoff for BART with spotty transbay bus service.
I agree with legal eagle, at your age you should go for it. Berkeley & Oakland would be acceptable runners-up if you have no luck finding a room there, but you won't quite have the nightlife options of SF.
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Old 01-26-2013, 10:25 PM
Location: Police State
1,472 posts, read 1,868,700 times
Reputation: 1225
I don't know about living in Berkeley. Frankly, I think the housing is so grossly overpriced for what you get. Check out Albany or El Cerrito if you just have to live near that area. Also, don't rule out Oakland.
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Old 01-27-2013, 03:30 AM
7 posts, read 13,889 times
Reputation: 13
Thanks for the comments everyone and legal_eagle it is interesting that tone comes out in my post...because I feel the same way. I definitely think I should give the actual city at least 1 year.
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Old 01-27-2013, 06:53 AM
Location: East Bay, CA
4,693 posts, read 5,423,874 times
Reputation: 4038
You'll probably like Oakland better than Berkeley. People are a lot nicer/less pretentious.
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:31 AM
Location: San Francisco
9,031 posts, read 7,684,951 times
Reputation: 5606
Having lived in the East Bay for 3 years before finally moving to SF, I can tell you that SF guys will NEVER, EVER cross the bay to meet you. So if you don't mind living like a monk, by all means move to Berkeley.
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:41 AM
920 posts, read 1,373,418 times
Reputation: 955
Jesus, where does one start with this? First, the pay that your claiming you're going to get isn't going to buy you lunch. SF is one of the most expensive cities in the world, you didn't add in the COL, such as food, utilities, etc. The nonprofit sector is notorious for low pay and instability, if that is what you're thinking is going to be your financial lifeline, good luck, you'll need every bit of it.

You're dreaming all right, pretty much because you're asleep. Before you start wondering about living the "crazy" life, you better have a much firmer grasp of reality, or don't come. That was my town, my family has been in the North Bay since the mid 1800's. I've seen The City transformed from working class to some novelty destination by people like you.

If you don't have a better job, then neither The City nor Berkeley is the place for you. Stay where you are, we don't need any more delusional folks cluttering up the area....
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:46 AM
Location: Lafayette, CA
2,518 posts, read 3,062,628 times
Reputation: 616
Originally Posted by smann87 View Post
Thanks for the comments everyone and legal_eagle it is interesting that tone comes out in my post...because I feel the same way. I definitely think I should give the actual city at least 1 year.
Berkeley is actually a lot less liberal than you might imagine. Don't think "1970s" when you think of Berkeley. That version of Berkeley died decades ago. The new neo-liberalism is a lot less dramatic (and destructive), but still very tolerant. We're talking Alameda County here.

I'd avoid Oakland. mod cut

Last edited by Sam I Am; 01-27-2013 at 11:56 AM.. Reason: We are NOT having another Oakland crime thread - you can tell him to search or refer him to posts, but not again
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