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Old 11-27-2018, 03:59 PM
 
5 posts, read 9,983 times
Reputation: 41

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I am a native Bay Area local and have lived here 29 years of my life.

Growing up here, I was always told that it's the 'Best' place in the United States.

The 'best' place you can be. You 'Wouldn't want to live anywhere else'.

People would say the reason it is the 'Best', is because of the availability of jobs, the weather, accepting diversity, the nature, being a global hub for airline travel etc.

However, after careful observation, and travel around the USA and the World, the last few years, I am starting to feel like I was lied to my whole life.

I find the Bay Area to be one gigantic suburb with horrendous traffic (Similar to Los Angeles, but more expensive)

It is a massive sprawl, and the BART system does not resolve that by any means (i.e. no BART to Silicon Valley, no walk ability for BART stations in the suburbs)

Its infrastructure is horrendous compared to other states I've been to (North Carolina, Northern Virginia etc.)

Run down freeways/highways, excessive dirtiness. I almost view the SF Bay Area (and probably California in general, excluding San Diego) as a diverse rich region meshed with a third world/developing country feel. Similar to a place like Sao Paulo, Brazil.

San Francisco is not even a global city, it is a tiny wannabe Chicago or something, that is so small it's hilarious. Everything closes super early and the 'Rat Race' feeling you get here, is so real, its unbelievable.

People say, that, if the SF Bay Area was cheaper, they would 'Love' to stay. I'll go as far as saying that this area to me is so overrated, that even if they dropped the rent prices to the equivalent of Mississippi, I still would want to not be here. The traffic is terrible, and it is just miles and miles of suburbia. (excluding, SF, Oakland, Berkeley)

The only (2) aspects I agree with, that I heard growing is up, is that the Mild Winters are unprecedented to any other place I've been in the World. The weather here cannot even be beaten even on a global scale in my opinion. No excessive cold, and no humidity, it is a marvelous climate.

Also, there is beautiful nature in lot of other places. I was recently in North Carolina, and the nature there is fabulous, and the local infrastructure is much better, and there is a lot less traffic (even though traffic
could still be bad)

My parents are immigrants to this country, so I am grateful for having had the opportunity to grow up in such a diverse region, but I think it is severely overrated (other than the weather, which is a huge selling point for some people, including myself tbh)

However, after traveling to places like Paris, London, Dubai etc. it seems the Bay Area looks and
feels like a third world country under the guise of possessing high paying jobs and a golden reputation (Silicon Valley)

My favorite cities in the Bay Area are Oakland/Berkeley, but that's about it.

I have not created this thread to troll, nor do I think many people will agree with me. I am sure I will get ridiculed/scolded for this thread, but just wanted to see if anyone out there agrees.

Also, just to reiterate, this has nothing to do with Bay Area cost-of-living, it is simply an evaluation of the region and quality of life (traffic, sprawl, suburbia, infrastructure, overrated etc.)

As I've mentioned, I would probably want to leave here, even if it had the same cost of living of somewhere like Kansas City.

I also realize it is important to be grateful, as this a very 'First World Problem' type thread, I realize there are people in other cities of the world living in severe poverty, boring cold suburban conditions etc. This thread is more intended to get people's opinions, I'm still grateful to be here.

Last edited by AntiColdWeather; 11-27-2018 at 04:32 PM..
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Old 11-27-2018, 04:16 PM
 
Location: US
19,214 posts, read 18,851,188 times
Reputation: 15097
It's still a nice city, very unique looking, but personally I and most of my friends who have visited me while I lived there thought it was over-rated. The hills lived up to expectations, but most didn't expect to see so many homeless, run down looking buildings, metal bars on doors and windows, cold weather during summer, etc. It's over-rated in my opinion, but it's still a cool city. I've moved a lot in my life and if I didn't have dogs, a girl friend with a traditional career, reaching that age where I should set up roots (31), I would try moving again to somewhere new. I've been moving almost every two years or so since I was 12 years old. You only live once, try moving overseas, you can teach english pretty easily if you have a college degree for 6 months or a year. There are so many nice and/or interesting places out there.
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Old 11-27-2018, 05:11 PM
 
Location: Pacific 🌉 °N, 🌄°W
11,249 posts, read 5,127,844 times
Reputation: 7237
Yes it's overrated! Tourist may not think so but a lot of locals think so.
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Old 11-27-2018, 05:45 PM
 
Location: US
19,214 posts, read 18,851,188 times
Reputation: 15097
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matadora View Post
Yes it's overrated! Tourist may not think so but a lot of locals think so.
I actually feel its the opposite. Tourists usually are taken back by the in your face poverty. They expected the tech hub of the world to be modern, sleek, clean, which is the opposite. Meanwhile it’s usually locals who are the ones defending the amount of litter, homeless, etc calling everywhere else flyover states basically choosing to live in a bubble.
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Old 11-27-2018, 06:02 PM
 
Location: Pac Heights San Francisco
320 posts, read 138,701 times
Reputation: 407
Well, I'm happy to live here and now that I've finally made my home in a great area of San Francisco, where I experience the City as a resident, I can truly say there isn't anywhere else in the country I'd rather live. I haven't been here very long and that may change, but moving recently from Houston has offered a great perspective on how different (in a very good way) life is in San Francisco. The main caveat I'll add is that I'm aware that I live in one of the most desirable parts of the City and my experience isn't necessarily shared by everyone. But, when I consider the diversity of neighborhoods and urban experiences that stretch out for blocks and blocks in every direction from my block, which I explore on foot as often as I can, I'm thankful to be here.

Coming from Texas, I do know what you mean about a place feeling like one big suburb, lacking a sense of identity, sprawling and not having good access to public transportation--that's Houston to a Texas T!

I'm happy that, living in SF (I reverse-commute to Oakland via cable car and ferry for work) and taking in both SF's and Oakland's unique urban lifestyles, it's a perfect fit and a kind of unique lifestyle I don't think can be found anywhere else. I love it!

I expect that, if I lived in San Jose, my feelings would be very different. Most of the gripes I hear about "the Bay Area" come from people who, like you, live in distant suburbs or in San Jose.
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Old 11-27-2018, 06:25 PM
 
3,165 posts, read 1,966,200 times
Reputation: 1201
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeanoSF View Post
Well, I'm happy to live here and now that I've finally made my home in a great area of San Francisco, where I experience the City as a resident, I can truly say there isn't anywhere else in the country I'd rather live. I haven't been here very long and that may change, but moving recently from Houston has offered a great perspective on how different (in a very good way) life is in San Francisco. The main caveat I'll add is that I'm aware that I live in one of the most desirable parts of the City and my experience isn't necessarily shared by everyone. But, when I consider the diversity of neighborhoods and urban experiences that stretch out for blocks and blocks in every direction from my block, which I explore on foot as often as I can, I'm thankful to be here.

Coming from Texas, I do know what you mean about a place feeling like one big suburb, lacking a sense of identity, sprawling and not having good access to public transportation--that's Houston to a Texas T!

I'm happy that, living in SF (I reverse-commute to Oakland via cable car and ferry for work) and taking in both SF's and Oakland's unique urban lifestyles, it's a perfect fit and a kind of unique lifestyle I don't think can be found anywhere else. I love it!

I expect that, if I lived in San Jose, my feelings would be very different. Most of the gripes I hear about "the Bay Area" come from people who, like you, live in distant suburbs or in San Jose.
SJ is a better city than SF: real livable and walkable downtown and lots of Fortune 500 companies.
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Old 11-27-2018, 06:34 PM
 
27,002 posts, read 29,472,059 times
Reputation: 26319
Yes, it's overrated. The people who feel that way generally leave. The people willing and able to pay the price are the ones who stay; so it's not all that surprising that people self select. The ones who gripe the loudest often are those who feel stuck here and/or were priced out and are angry about it. The ones who love it here tend to be blind to the Bay Area's faults because they're comfortable and deny/minimize the fact that this area isn't as compassionate as it pretends to be.
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Old 11-27-2018, 06:37 PM
 
1,950 posts, read 706,360 times
Reputation: 1500
Quote:
Originally Posted by AntiColdWeather View Post
I am a native Bay Area local and have lived here 29 years of my life.

Growing up here, I was always told that it's the 'Best' place in the United States.

The 'best' place you can be. You 'Wouldn't want to live anywhere else'.

People would say the reason it is the 'Best', is because of the availability of jobs, the weather, accepting diversity, the nature, being a global hub for airline travel etc.

However, after careful observation, and travel around the USA and the World, the last few years, I am starting to feel like I was lied to my whole life.

I find the Bay Area to be one gigantic suburb with horrendous traffic (Similar to Los Angeles, but more expensive)

It is a massive sprawl, and the BART system does not resolve that by any means (i.e. no BART to Silicon Valley, no walk ability for BART stations in the suburbs)

Its infrastructure is horrendous compared to other states I've been to (North Carolina, Northern Virginia etc.)

Run down freeways/highways, excessive dirtiness. I almost view the SF Bay Area (and probably California in general, excluding San Diego) as a diverse rich region meshed with a third world/developing country feel. Similar to a place like Sao Paulo, Brazil.

San Francisco is not even a global city, it is a tiny wannabe Chicago or something, that is so small it's hilarious. Everything closes super early and the 'Rat Race' feeling you get here, is so real, its unbelievable.

People say, that, if the SF Bay Area was cheaper, they would 'Love' to stay. I'll go as far as saying that this area to me is so overrated, that even if they dropped the rent prices to the equivalent of Mississippi, I still would want to not be here. The traffic is terrible, and it is just miles and miles of suburbia. (excluding, SF, Oakland, Berkeley)

The only (2) aspects I agree with, that I heard growing is up, is that the Mild Winters are unprecedented to any other place I've been in the World. The weather here cannot even be beaten even on a global scale in my opinion. No excessive cold, and no humidity, it is a marvelous climate.

Also, there is beautiful nature in lot of other places. I was recently in North Carolina, and the nature there is fabulous, and the local infrastructure is much better, and there is a lot less traffic (even though traffic
could still be bad)

My parents are immigrants to this country, so I am grateful for having had the opportunity to grow up in such a diverse region, but I think it is severely overrated (other than the weather, which is a huge selling point for some people, including myself tbh)

However, after traveling to places like Paris, London, Dubai etc. it seems the Bay Area looks and
feels like a third world country under the guise of possessing high paying jobs and a golden reputation (Silicon Valley)

My favorite cities in the Bay Area are Oakland/Berkeley, but that's about it.

I have not created this thread to troll, nor do I think many people will agree with me. I am sure I will get ridiculed/scolded for this thread, but just wanted to see if anyone out there agrees.

Also, just to reiterate, this has nothing to do with Bay Area cost-of-living, it is simply an evaluation of the region and quality of life (traffic, sprawl, suburbia, infrastructure, overrated etc.)

As I've mentioned, I would probably want to leave here, even if it had the same cost of living of somewhere like Kansas City.

I also realize it is important to be grateful, as this a very 'First World Problem' type thread, I realize there are people in other cities of the world living in severe poverty, boring cold suburban conditions etc. This thread is more intended to get people's opinions, I'm still grateful to be here.
The West Coast, in general, is overrated. Underrated cities (true gems) would be Phoenix and Houston.

Sure, BART is the 5th busiest subway in the nation (after NYC, Boston, Chicago, and D.C.). Never been to NYC, but from pictures the BART makes the NYC subway look spanking clean. I went on the Paris Metro, though, and I have to say the BART is at least alot faster than the Paris Metro, and newer, if not cleaner.

You have a point when you say BART stations are not very accessible by walking. It's definitely a park-and-ride system in the suburbs. Ironically, while the Bay Area's mountainous terrain makes it more dense and compact, it also makes it less, not more, transit-friendly than it would be if it were both flat and compact, like NYC. With so many mountains, you can hardly afford to build a more extensive subway, so subways are fewer and more far in between.

Even the Bay Area weather/scenery is overrated. Other than the hurricanes and flooding, Florida and the Gulf Coast have summer weather and scenery far better than the Bay Area, or Fresno, or most places in California. Bay Area's too cold in the summer. Fresno's too hot in the summer. Florida and the Gulf Coast are just right--hot, but not horribly hot like Fresno, Bakersfield, or San Bernardino.

I went to Bodega Bay recently and was very unimpressed. Heck, even the worst beaches on the Gulf Coast (like Biloxi, Mississippi) blow Bodega Bay out of the water.
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Old 11-27-2018, 06:42 PM
 
1,543 posts, read 3,846,151 times
Reputation: 2532
I lived in the Bay Area from 1964-2003. Went to SF State, and lived in Berkeley, Foster City, and Palo Alto.

One night in 2002, I drove from Palo Alto to the Marina District, to dance at a club called Le Montmartre. It took me 45 minutes to get there and an hour to find a place to park.

Before going to sleep that night, I said to myself, "I'm outta here!" Moved to northern New Mexico a few months later, where I enjoyed an idyllic existence for 11 years. Ended up in San Diego where I now happily reside.

My concept of an ideal San Francisco: reading Herb Caen and drinking coffee in the morning, enjoying dim sum in GG Park, watching Mays, Cepeda and McCovey play ball, enjoying Latin jazz and dancing on a late summer afternoon at The Ramp.

Those days are long gone, and so am I.
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Old 11-27-2018, 06:43 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley, CA
11,365 posts, read 7,152,108 times
Reputation: 7014
So what? It's home to me and I appreciate it and like it after living in a number of places. To each their own.
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