If You’re Moving to San Francisco…

With so many of my new coworkers relocating from Toronto to San Francisco, I find myself empathizing and constantly referring back to many of the blog posts I wrote about moving from NY to SF.

I decided that it might be worth it to put all of the East-Coast-transplant-related posts in one place hoping that a) I can offer them some valuable information that will make the transition easier and b) If they have any of the same observations I do, they will at least know that I thought of it first.

May 9, 2010.

Upon arriving, I immediately got homesick for pretension and self-importance, neither of which appear in SF. Then I found myself at the How Weird Street Faire and got my first introduction to adults dancing around in costumes during the day (a common San Francisco occurrence.) I started to entertain the horrifying possibility that I was going to turn 30 in this strange place.

Read the Post: No Comment.

May 16th, 2010

Everyone was so happy for me that my first full weekend in SF was Bay to Breakers, a race/costume party/early morning drinking extravaganza. They must have thought I was longing to see a very old man’s penis or a giant rubber duck float, because that is the landscape at Bay to Breakers. I started to worry that I was wasting my Sunday not doing important East-Coast things like running errands, when I realized, “Hey, at an existentialist level, there is no difference between grocery shopping and interacting with a giant, human rubix cube.”

Read the Post: Bay to Breakers: There’s Nothing Better to Do.

May 23, 2010

I was so excited go to my first networking event as a Bay Area local – a Mashable networking event, no less. I mean, had I arrived or what? Unfortunately, I learned the hard way that even at a networking event, some F*%cking SF hippies still think, “what do you for a living?” is a rude question. After some guy reprimanded me, I screamed and yelled the F word and said I wanted to go back to NY, and I didn’t care if Pete Cashmore heard me or not.

Read the Post: Take Me Home Tonight.

Jun 14th, 2010

You know when you break up with your significant other because he/she is too boring and not bringing any new adventures to your life, but then you realize that everyone else is kind of boring too and suddenly your significant other has gotten really exciting? This is how I felt about NY when one of my dearest friends ran into Lady Gaga on 5th avenue in Manhattan, snapped a picture and sold it to the tabloids.

Read the Post: Bad Romance.

July 12, 2010

At this point, the Lady Gaga wound was still fresh. Plus, I realized wanted to be in a city where jaywalking is considered a skill and pizza is edible. Instead of moving home, (which I was strongly considering doing as I’d been admitted to Columbia’s MFA in Creative Writing for September) I wrote 10 hate-filled observations about the City by the Bay.

Read the Post: 10 Things I Hate About San Francisco.

August 25, 2010

I started to get really homesick. My mother wanted me to come home so badly that she was suddenly in favor of me getting breast implants – because all the best plastic surgeons were in New York. I got cranky one day and yelled in our office kitchen, “You know what I miss about New York? Being around other people who want to kill people for no reason.”

Because it was San Francisco, someone actually apologized to me. Wonders never cease.

Read the Post: Exiled State of Mind.

September 15, 2010

I wrote a personal essay in which I contemplate my relationship with my single-speed bike and my fear of falling. It relates back to yoga. Jesus Christ, could this be any more San Francisco? Oh, yeah – I mention an Apple product, too.

Read the Post: Don’t Fall and Sh*t.

October 1, 2010

In New York, I was notorious and renowned for my impassioned displays of public crying. I’m not the first person to observe that you can walk down the street crying in NY and no one will bother you, but it is something I appreciate. When I cried in public for the first time in SF, I was actually sitting in a Starbucks and accompanied my sobs by yelling to my mother on the phone, “Why have sex when you can have Twitter?”

Because this is SF, not only was I not ignored, but the barista told me that he would love to read the first post of a blog called, “Why have sex when you can have Twitter?”

He then told me that he didn’t even have Twitter, and I avoided all kinds of awkwardness by not telling him that I only have Twiiter. Good times.

Read the Post: Why Have Sex When You Can Have Twitter?

October 24th, 2010

After six months in California, I was laid back, passive aggressive and loved recycling. It was so on.

Read the Post: Top Ten Ways You Know You’re Becoming a Californian.

June 30th, 2011

I’d turned down the chance to move home, quit the job that brought me SF and taken a new job that was going to keep me there for a while. I went home for one last visit and had a beautiful, fun-filled fast-paced week in NY. Suddenly, I was energized, active and shaving my legs more than once a month. I was completely bummed when I came back to boring old SF.

Then I realized that the biggest problem with SF was that it wasn’t chaotic enough to distract me from…me. I decided it wasn’t about learning to live in San Francisco, it was about learning to live with myself. And then we sang Kumbaya.

Read the Post: And Since I Made it There, I Can’t Take it Anywhere.

And there you have it. 18 months worth of culture shock all in one blog post. I’m still not sure how I feel about it here – I love to talk about how much I hate it and can’t wait to leave because it just won’t work out – but I’m having so much fun and have probably never been happier in my life.

It’s definitely confusing. I just hope I figure it out before the big earthquake breaks apart California and sends us into the middle of the Ocean – because I have a bad feeling that when it happens, we’re going to lose Internet.


3 thoughts on “If You’re Moving to San Francisco…

  1. If I moved to SF and my first weekend was Bay to Breakers, I'd be on the next plane outta this crazy place. There are certain things about SF that will never make any sense to me, and I will never betray NY by pretending that they do.

    It makes me completely crazy how everyone here pretends they're completely chilled out, and not f**ked up, and everyone is all about their feelings all the time. News flash, SF – you are just as f**ked up as the rest of the world. At least in NY we are honest with ourselves about how f**ked up we truly are. Or maybe people here are just too stoned to be in touch with their own reality.

    That being said, I love SF. It's not perfect, but it is absolutely unique and my quality of life is 200% better here than NY could ever offer me. And whoever says the weather sucks here is on crack. It's fog – not blizzards, hurricanes or sweltering heat. Plus it makes me feel like I live in a film noir movie.

  2. @zak people keep asking me, “who's the crazy guy who thinks people are self-aware in SF?” People in SF are totally oblivious.

    People in NY are way more honest and self-aware. They're too focused on success to do anything better.

    Being forced to deal with your own boring self is different than self awareness.

    @trs I couldn't have said it better myself.


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