Saturday, October 5, 2013

Choosing Cities

For as long as we've been talking about moving back to the US it's been assumed that that means LA. Fun though Manhattan was, it's not the place for us, and TLOML's business contacts are all on the West Coast anyway. So the only debate for a while was just whereabouts in LA we should set up our new home.

Until TLOML pointed out the elephant in the room. It's an elephant the size of a small, foggy city by a bay. The elephant is San Francisco.

The thing is, we're moving back to the US to give TLOML the best chance of growing his business (so we can become gazillionaires and retire back to Saltburn, obvs). And most of his clients and business contacts are in San Francisco. Except the ones who are based in Las Vegas and that's just not on the table as a place to live. San Francisco is also awash with entrepreneurs, venture funding, successful start-ups and innovative businesses. Frankly, if you want to become a self-made man, and you went to Stanford, it's the place to be. If you are that person and you live in LA, better prepare to spend a lot of time flying up to SF.

San Francisco - a lot more commerce than you might imagine from reading Tales of the CIty
San Francisco is really not a bad place to live, either. According to the Huffington Post it's one of the happiest and healthiest places to live in the States. The city itself, though charming, is chilly in the summer and has patchy schools. But the wider Bay Area is very beautiful, full of European-friendly liberals ('crunchy hippies', TLOML calls them, but I think he means that as a compliment) and neighbourhoods where families live in houses with proper gardens, on rambling streets that lead down to sweet little Main Streets with cutesy coffee shops and laidback brunch places. Everyone jogs and votes Democrat. As I said, not a bad place to live.
Gotta love those hills and bay views
One would think the Bay Area would appeal more to a lefty Londoner like me. And its probably a far more wholesome environment for Lady P to grow up in than silly old LA with its wannabe actress waitresses, all that plastic surgery, the stupid oversized cars, and all that 'Industry' BS. And yet... and yet... LA is where I came to know and love the beachy SoCal lifestyle. It feels like home, or as close as I can get on that side of the Atlantic. By comparison San Francisco is just a little short on palm trees, and wide, sunny beaches.

So, what to do? We could live where the money and the work is. Or live where the beaches and the palm trees are. The smart choice is definitely the Bay Area. But whether we'll make the smart choice or not, remains to be seen..


  1. I LURVE San Franscisco. I think you should live there so I can visit (shallow)

  2. You are not alone. Amazing how quickly one's friend get over one moving away when they get asked questions like 'SF or LA?'. I'm hearing an awful lot of questions about how many guest rooms we're planning...

  3. Smile sweetly, and explain they'll be sharing with the baby. Cuts down the visitors nicely!

  4. If TLOML has his way they'll be sleeping in the garage. Apparently there is such a thing as a 'finished (i.e. carpeted) garage'.