When I moved from New York City to San Francisco a year and a half ago, I traded the best pizza on earth for unbelievably good burritos. Eternal spring took the place of the four seasons.
Some things about moving west weren’t quite as sweet.
On a recent visit to the Big Apple, I remembered the things I missed most about living there.
1. Walking where and when you darn well please.
New Yorkers show little regard for crossing the street at the appointed time or place. San Franciscans, on the other hand, wait on street corners until the light turns. It’s the lawful thing to do — but incredibly inconvenient if you’re stuck behind a stagnant pack.
The bagel, which the New York Times described in 1960 as “an unsweetened doughnut with rigor mortis,” has outlasted one ridiculous food phenomenon after the next.
No one does it better than New York. While fans say it’s something in the city water, the act of boiling the uncooked dough rings is more likely what makes them so chewy and dense.
When culture site SFist rounded up the best bagels San Francisco had to offer in 2013 (which were mostly baked, not boiled), it titled the article, “Bay Area’s 5 Most Adequate Bagels.”
3. A better public transit system.
New Yorkers and San Franciscans have at least one thing in common: We both like to complain about public transit — despite living in the top two US cities for commuters.
New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority still beats San Francisco’s Municipal Transportation Agency in my book. In my experience, New York’s subway system covers more ground and runs relatively on-time. San Franciscans rely on a network of transport that includes bus, subway (BART), and light-rail. It makes commuting much more complicated.
The City that Never Sleeps also has a subway that runs all night. BART tops out at midnight.
4. Going out after work.
San Francisco is where happy hour goes to die.
In the city’s Financial District, where the Business Insider West Coast Bureau is located, bars and restaurants are few and far between. Workers pour into the small number of watering holes still open, which slows service and makes it difficult to travel with a pack.
While New York’s Financial District may be as much of a snooze, people in the city tend to make more of an effort to organize after-work outings with friends and coworkers.
California law also dictates bars close at 2 a.m., two hours before New York closing time.
5. A world outside tech.
Last night, I went out to dinner at an Italian tapas-style restaurant in San Francisco (where my boyfriend and I sat outside in 50-degree weather because the inside was full).
Both tables nearest to us held conversations about tech.
Earlier that day, an Uber driver pitched me on his startup idea.
There’s no escaping Silicon Valley in the city just an hour’s drive north. Some 68,000 residentswork in the technology and information industries, accounting for 13% of private sector jobs.
Perhaps what I miss most about living in New York City is the diversity of interests and skillsets that make the city so unique. … Did I mention the pizza?