I’m originally from the east coast, born in New York and raised in New Jersey, and people love to ask me how New York and California compare. I moved to San Francisco in 2000 when the bubble was expanding pretty rapidly. I worked in tech for a hot second and actually turned down a job at a tech giant (at the time) because as a contractor I had done about 2 weeks of work in the 3 months I was there enjoying the free lunches, bagel Mondays the ice cream truck Fridays. I was bored AF. I’ve seen the evolution of the bay area population morph from funky eclectic, let your freak-flag-fly crazy, to the more conservative but really, really, really wanting to be cool, tech bro. It’s kind of annoying, but as of today, it’s still worth it to live in the country’s most expensive city.
I love New York. I love visiting and doing all the things that are unique to being there, but when planning my trip, I’m going to do my best to avoid the extreme weather you’ll get most of the year – like mid-summer where you start sweating the second you leave your apartment. The rush of dog pee smell that wafts from the side walk and splashes of air conditioning spew you need to dodge while walking down the street – yuck. And then don’t get me started on winter… the last winter I was there I dug my car out of the snow at least 3 times a week. Those snow removal trucks don’t care if they bury your car when they go by… even if you’re standing next to your freshly cleared car with a shovel.
The more significant differences between New York and California are really culture based. New York is fabulous. It’s a big city and in comparison, San Francisco is a town. Anything can happen in New York, and you can feel the buzz and excitement the second you step off the plane. It is truly a melting pot of art, food and opportunity but there is a vast difference in living there with and without money – 2 completely different worlds. I think New York is a really conservative city where careers in finance and working on Wall Street are still coveted. Even working in fashion and more creative industries, there is still a lot of rule following and a strict foundation that people stick to. San Francisco, and California in general, is way more progressive, open to new ideas and innovation – it’s obvious by the industries that are thriving here. New Yorkers definitely love their set mindset, the predictable and sticking within their comfort zones. I don’t think any of my east coast friends would ever consider being poly.
New Yorkers also love their attitudes, being right and expressing their opinion, but I can’t say Californians are any better because they can be super passive and can be fake to avoid coming across like an asshole. They can also be flakey, non-committal and there’s a nice chunk of people who have what we can call the Peter Pan syndrome – they just don’t want to grow up. Regardless of that, I find people on the west coast generally care more about creating a sustainable future and are really looking forward when making career and life choices. The growth mind-set of the west coast is inspiring and contagious and people seem to have a true desire to improve the human experience. I’m constantly in awe of the progressive nature of the science and tech world, which makes it so much fun to be a part of the Dyve team. What will we think of next?
I’ve always said that the west coast has a call of the wild. Those that desire a bit more freedom, creativity and adventure will eventually make their way here to the best coast.
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