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Old 02-25-2013, 06:45 PM
 
Location: Guangzhou, China
9,620 posts, read 12,796,797 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pc2412 View Post
I'm a college student, planning on heading into computer science, or at least something STEM. I'm pretty liberal, mainly based off of my sexuality (I'm gay, though not in the stereotypical sense). I've decided the two best cities for my future would be San Francisco or Vancouver. Of course, Vancouver is in Canada, and from what I've heard, immigration is very hard and takes a lot of time and money. I was wondering if I could get people's advice on the following:

Politics-To me, American politics are way, way, too influenced by corporations and religion. There's also way too much polarization. And with what's been going on with Roe v. Wade, even if DOMA gets repealed and we get same sex marriage, it seems like it will never be accepted, and always at risk of going away. Vancouver doesn't have these issues being in Canada, but I wonder if San Francisco would be even a more welcoming and progressive environment dealing with these issues. Is it worth the hassle of moving to a whole new country to avoid these issues? (This is my primary worry)
The issues you're talking about in terms of politics are pretty much null and void in SF and the Bay Area as a whole, which is extremely progressive and inclusive. This is pretty much the case with the coasts: stuff like DOMA and pro-life causes are thought of as socially unacceptable and the general attitude is that people should mind their own business. SF has a famously-huge gay community that's part of the social fabric of the city.

On a national level though, I won't argue that Canada has its act together a LOT more than the US.

Quote:
Jobs-Of course San Francisco is home of the famed Silicon Valley, but I've heard Vancouver has a pretty strong startup regime.
Well, to be literal, Silicon Valley is centered south of SF, closer to San Jose. You're looking at cities like Cupertino, Mountain View, etc., which people certainly commute to from SF; there's also the subway/light rail system, BART, which they're working on an extension to San Jose itself and will make it easier.

There are tons of tech companies based in SF though, enough that you'd still likely be able to find work in the city. If not, you could just look at living closer to San Jose. However, truth be told, the suburbs between SF and SJ aren't exactly exciting places. They're nice and safe, but may not be what you're looking for.

Quote:
Nature-Vancouver of course is world renowned for its nature, and is very green, but how does SF stack up? Scenes from Cabrillo Highway overlooking the Pacific look incredible, and I'm a sucker for palm trees. I'm a big nature person, and this matters a lot to me.
I think that the nature around SF is gorgeous. I've driven up and down the coast many times and love it.






To say nothing of the proximity to state parks, Lake Tahoe, etc. From SF, you can easily walk or bike across the Golden Gate Bridge and then go for a nice little day hike in the Marin Headlands.

Quote:
Uniqueness-What unique quirks make each city special?
Pretty much everything about SF makes it special, IMHO

Quote:
And regarding climate-yes, I actually enjoy rain.
SF does get rain, though you'll see more fog than anything else inclement. Vancouver probably rains more than SF.

Quote:
Natural disasters-earthquakes terrify me, but I can get over it if need be. Vancouver doesn't seem as high risk as sf for the next big one.
People in SF think of them about the same as people in Japan... another one is inevitable, but there's no way to predict when it'll happen. You can't live your life in fear of the next one, so you just plug ahead. It doesn't really factor into your day to day life. Also, consider that everything's been retrofitted to survive "the big one."
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Old 02-25-2013, 06:46 PM
 
Location: Tokyo, Japan
6,479 posts, read 7,721,989 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
Why by far?
San Francisco is a great city but it's a dirty one, very very filthy. One of the dirtiest cities I've ever stepped foot in while Vancouver is on the extreme opposite end of the spectrum.

The scenery (and by extension beautiful greenery) in Vancouver to me appeals more visually San Francisco's seasonal lime green color, mixed with some brown, and occasionally green. The mountains tower higher over Vancouver and it generally feels like an extremely safe city, whereas San Francisco is sketchy in areas of downtown (like near the Adobe building) where I've been a victim of robbery before, however for hardcore crime San Francisco feels acceptable. The homeless people in San Francisco are whacked out of their mind and aggressive though and they are all over.

Plus I have a lot of family in the Bay Area, in my family we jokingly call the place our family "hub" where we make our once a year pilgrimage or whatever together and if I ever lived in the Bay Area, it's promised my cousins will come by to my house every other day randomly. They are twice my age (in their early 40's) whereas I am in my 20's and they are culturally conservative minded Indians, whereas I'm culturally and socially very liberal American. It's going to be awkward.

That said, San Francisco is still one of my favorite cities and has a better climate and job market than Vancouver but overall this OCD clean freak has got to go with the cleaner of the two places. It bothers me when I see open doors in the hallways and crooked picture frames on the wall, I go out of my way to correct those regardless where I am and being in San Francisco will drive me nuts!
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Old 02-26-2013, 12:36 PM
 
Location: San Francisco
9,033 posts, read 8,379,974 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valentro View Post
San Francisco is sketchy in areas of downtown (like near the Adobe building) where I've been a victim of robbery before, however for hardcore crime San Francisco feels acceptable. The homeless people in San Francisco are whacked out of their mind and aggressive though and they are all over.
A quick visit to the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver will open your eyes... it's the worst slum in Canada, and even as a San Franciscan I was shocked by what I saw there.
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Old 02-26-2013, 12:41 PM
 
Location: San Francisco
9,033 posts, read 8,379,974 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 415_s2k View Post
Vancouver probably rains more than SF.
Yes, a LOT more. The yearly averages are:

San Francisco, 73 rainy days, 23.6 inches of rain

Vancouver (downtown), 166 rainy days, 62 inches of precipitation (includes a bit of snow)
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Old 02-26-2013, 12:54 PM
 
Location: Canada
4,672 posts, read 8,105,791 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pch1013 View Post
A quick visit to the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver will open your eyes... it's the worst slum in Canada, and even as a San Franciscan I was shocked by what I saw there.
It really is a very sad situation that is allowed to persist for some complicated reasons. Thankfully, it's only twelve blocks and is the only neighbourhood like that in the country.
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Old 02-26-2013, 01:10 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 43,182,456 times
Reputation: 11862
Quote:
Originally Posted by valentro View Post
San Francisco is a great city but it's a dirty one, very very filthy. One of the dirtiest cities I've ever stepped foot in while Vancouver is on the extreme opposite end of the spectrum.

The scenery (and by extension beautiful greenery) in Vancouver to me appeals more visually San Francisco's seasonal lime green color, mixed with some brown, and occasionally green. The mountains tower higher over Vancouver and it generally feels like an extremely safe city, whereas San Francisco is sketchy in areas of downtown (like near the Adobe building) where I've been a victim of robbery before, however for hardcore crime San Francisco feels acceptable. The homeless people in San Francisco are whacked out of their mind and aggressive though and they are all over.

Plus I have a lot of family in the Bay Area, in my family we jokingly call the place our family "hub" where we make our once a year pilgrimage or whatever together and if I ever lived in the Bay Area, it's promised my cousins will come by to my house every other day randomly. They are twice my age (in their early 40's) whereas I am in my 20's and they are culturally conservative minded Indians, whereas I'm culturally and socially very liberal American. It's going to be awkward.

That said, San Francisco is still one of my favorite cities and has a better climate and job market than Vancouver but overall this OCD clean freak has got to go with the cleaner of the two places. It bothers me when I see open doors in the hallways and crooked picture frames on the wall, I go out of my way to correct those regardless where I am and being in San Francisco will drive me nuts!
Interesting. I thought SF was pretty yuppified/gentrified, but it's still filthy you say? Only certain areas or much of the city, even the richer areas?

Yeah Canadian cities have that cleaner, sleeker look. i'd say Aussie cities too. My friend said LA actually reminded him of the Bay. LA has a fairly 'retro' feel to me, a lot of things look kind of old. I sorta like that look though.

Vancouver is probably among the most aesthetically pleasing cities in the world, combining a modern, walkable city scape with an awesome natural backdrop. Though sometimes does it feel too clean that it almost seems sterile? Does SF still have a lot of that bohemian character from the 60s left? Would love to visit both cities next time I'm in N.America.
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Old 02-26-2013, 02:16 PM
 
Location: Tokyo, Japan
6,479 posts, read 7,721,989 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pch1013 View Post
A quick visit to the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver will open your eyes... it's the worst slum in Canada, and even as a San Franciscan I was shocked by what I saw there.
I've spent more time in Vancouver than even San Francisco, city to city it's not close I would think the average area of Vancouver is much more taken care of than any average area of San Francisco. Vancouver is a much cleaner city.

By no means am I saying San Francisco is bad, it's just dirtier than I was led on to believe before I visited my first time. A lot dirtier than what I was expecting out of it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
Vancouver is probably among the most aesthetically pleasing cities in the world, combining a modern, walkable city scape with an awesome natural backdrop. Though sometimes does it feel too clean that it almost seems sterile? Does SF still have a lot of that bohemian character from the 60s left? Would love to visit both cities next time I'm in N.America.
Definitely so.

However I'm a modernist, so for me personally it's a really good trade off. A lot of people point to Vancouver's skyline as a bland piece of work, I really like it. It goes so well with it's natural location and scenery. It just blends and gives it an awesome look. Especially on the days where you could see the snow covered, snow capped mountains on the back of the skyline, the skylines color fades and begins illuminating the scenery's color. Same with gray cloud cover days, the buildings blend well into it where it looks like a very natural look. Even sunny days, it just has a skyline built for any climate without a color sticking out of place.

I'm not trying to make it sound like it's Bangkok or anything, it's not that dirty but compared to practically any other American city (minus Philadelphia) it's very well dirty. Yeahh San Francisco still has quite a lot of bohemian eclectic culture left over from then, it's really cool and gives the city a distinguished character.

Vancouver during the day.

Same as above, during the day.

Vancouver at night.

Vancouver forefront, snow capped mountains background.

Vancouver at twilight.

Vancouver from an aerial view.

Stars and lights, and panoramic sight on Christmas.

A bit of fall foilage.

An aerial of the grid.

Overall, Vancouver.

Last edited by Facts Kill Rhetoric; 02-26-2013 at 02:57 PM..
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Old 02-26-2013, 02:41 PM
 
630 posts, read 810,469 times
Reputation: 223
Vancouver got SF on this one. Vancouver rules!
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Old 02-26-2013, 03:51 PM
 
369 posts, read 761,683 times
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As a current resident of Vancouver who had visited SF before, i'd give the edge to SF.

Let's face it. Job opportunities in Vancouver are more scarce than SF and the extremely high cost of living here isn't helping either.

I also personally found Vancouverites to be fairly reserved and not as friendly as people in SF; both are pretty progressive places though, especially in terms of LGBT rights. But i'd say SF has it better since it has a larger gay pride than Vancouver's to boast.

The LGBT scene here is seriously meh.
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Old 02-26-2013, 07:06 PM
 
Location: Vancouver
11,389 posts, read 7,847,525 times
Reputation: 6457
Quote:
Originally Posted by pch1013 View Post
A quick visit to the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver will open your eyes... it's the worst slum in Canada, and even as a San Franciscan I was shocked by what I saw there.
LOL. I remember being shocked by seeing homeless with no shoes on at a fast food joint off Market Street some years ago.
Our piece of shame is not that big. My unscientific count...starting at Cambie and Hasting's to 3 blocks east of Main Str. to Jackson Ave makes it 7 blocks long, mostly one block wide. That's it. It's also not dangerous.
It's isn't hidden, it's out in the open between two tourist spots. That is one reason it gets so much attention.
I don't think SF has anything to be smug about when it comes to the homeless. Also I agree with the other posters, SF has become too filthy and dirty in the last 25 years.
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