People are getting more and more fed up with San Francisco’s crazy-high housing prices.
The city’s always tight housing market has only gotten even more competitive as people migrate across the globe to land jobs in the growing and high-paying tech industry.
A recent survey conducted by public-relations firm Edelman revealed that about half of residents in the Bay Area found the cost of living so insane, they have considered leaving.
And when they do leave, one top place they go is sunny Southern California, or SoCal, where cities like Los Angeles are seeing more Bay Area transplants.
So, how do the two cities compare?
We’ve rounded up 10 comparisons made by people on forum site Quora who have lived in both cities.
1. San Francisco has less of a “show off” culture.
There’s less of an obsession with self image and more freedom for people to be themselves in San Francisco.
Women in particular feel less pressure to wear tight clothing and lots of makeup to be attractive.
“There’s a saying that ‘in LA, the poor pretend to be rich; and in SF, the rich pretend to be poor’ and it’s completely spot-on,” said Quora user Li Xuo.
2. People in San Francisco seems to be smarter, or at least more intellectual.
Not that people in LA really aren’t as smart, said Quora user Irene Avet: The city still attracts top entrepreneurial and business talent.
But the Bay Area’s tech presence has grown exponentially, meaning that there’s a concentration of people who identify as “geeks” in the area, with all the stereotypes of high IQ associated with that.
And it is true that some of the brightest minds in the tech world live in the Bay Area’s Peninsula.
3. More people in San Francisco are introverted.
Because of that concentration of brilliant-but-geeky-types, Bay Area residents have a reputation for being more introverted than those in LA.
Meanwhile thanks to the higher concentration of people in the performing arts in LA, people there have a reputation for being warmer and friendlier, or at least more outgoing.
“If I had a make a specific comparison, LA and Dallas are quite similar culturally, while San Francisco and Boston are similar in many ways,” said Li Xuo.
Some Silicon Valley legacies can back this up: Larry Page, cofounder of Google, and Apple’s Steve Wozniak are both introverts.
Source: The Wall Street Journal
4. LA is a hub for the entertainment industry, while the Bay Area is tech-centric.
This one isn’t a shocker.
LA has been dubbed the entertainment capital of the world, with the film industry’s history in the city spanning well before the Hollywood Golden Age of the 1930s.
“Everyone in LA had a plan for writing a book or a play,” said Quora user Joe McCracken. “In SF they are doing tech startups.”
The Bay Area is the epicentre for tech with giants like Facebook, Google and Apple all calling the region home.
The myth of Hollywood is that it’s far easier to break into tech than it is into the entertainment industry, as Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling’s characters in 2016’s La La Land attest to.
But the truth is that the entertainment industry as a whole is bigger than than its myth. It supplied more than 1.6 million jobs in the LA region in 2015.
5. LA has a better art and music scene.
People who have lived in both cities said LA takes the cake on art and live music activities.
The Getty Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art all sit in the SoCal city.
6. San Francisco is dirtier than LA.
It’s not uncommon to see San Francisco’s streets and footpaths riddled with trash, faeces and even drug needles.
The Bay Area’s NBC Investigative Unit recently conducted a 153-block survey in the city’s Tenderloin neighbourhood and found the amount of debris in the streets similar to that in some of the world’s poorest slums.
7. San Francisco residents have much better public transportation.
San Francisco beats LA when it comes to public transit with various modes at peoples’ disposal, including the high-speed BART, Muni, street cars and the Caltrain.
There are people in San Francisco that don’t even own a car.
The LA public transit system is much smaller. The city doesn’t have a high-speed transit equivalent that can shuttle people in from the suburbs, so people in LA must rely more on cars.
8. People are more liberal in San Francisco.
Though both LA and San Francisco rank farther left than much of the rest of the country, and even much of the rest of California, San Francisco is the more liberal.
While San Francisco has a vocal group of libertarians, there are more pockets of moderate conservatives in SoCal, said Li Xuo.
“In the Bay, essentially everyone votes for Democrats,” Xuo said.
In fact, Pew Research ranked San Francisco as the most liberal city in the nation, with LA coming at No. 18 on the list, behind cities like Chicago and New Orleans.
9. Homeownership is far less affordable San Francisco
The influx of recruited tech talent to the Bay Area has resulted in a crushingly competitive housing market race, leaving many resorting to renting rather than buying.
Despite the high rent prices, it beats buying a home, especially if you’re only planning on living in either city for a short amount of time as is commonly the case.
That said, LA still has more people renting than owning with 48% of the population renting. That’s a slightly bigger percentage of renters than the Bay Area, which came in at just over 54%, according to Census Bureau statistics released in 2017.
10. It’s colder in the Bay Area.
The city’s infamous fog, colloquially known as Karl (yes that’s a thing,) rolls onto the city on a regular basis thanks to San Francisco’s proximity to the ocean and the region’s surrounding hot climate.
Temperatures throughout the year range from the high 50s to the low 70s, and summer months that should be warm and sunny are cold and windy.
The 7-mile by 7-mile city is full of micro climates, too, so you’re tempting fate ever leaving the house without a jacket.
LA, on the other hand, is generally warmer, with temps that range from the low 60s to the mid-80s. And you can definitely spend most of the summer in shorts and short sleeves.
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