Today’s Indie 30 prompt asks about your favorite or least favorite city and what you like or hate about it. I’ve decided to write about both. They’re both in the US, and both in California, just an 8 hour drive or Greyhound ride apart.
Favorite City: San Francisco
It seems like a cliché but I fell in love with San Francisco instantly. It’s just totally charming for me. I was staying near the Painted Ladies that were in the Full House opening credits (not that I really cared about that…) and just a short way from Haight Street. Jeff’s brother, Patrick, lives there. His neighborhood is super cool. There’s neat cafes, delicious restaurants, a board game store, and a comics store. Basically all you need, right?
San Francisco, for me, scores highly on many of the things that make cities good. It’s beautiful. It’s walking and biking friendly. The food is great, and it’s vegetarian friendly (whether I’m totally veg at any one time, I still enjoy having the option). The bus system is pretty good. It has great museums, awesome little shops, and isn’t far from some outdoorsy places to hike and stuff. The people are definitely interesting. It feels alive in a way that some cities don’t.
I like that it doesn’t get too hot. I kind of prefer cold and after living in Dunedin I think I could handle the changeable weather. It’s not super-duper clean but neither was my DC neighborhood. The major drawback is how damn expensive it is to live in. However, apartment prices are comparable to DC.
I can really see myself living in San Francisco. I love its open green spaces and its quirkiness. I want to try it out, and see if I still love it after living there.
Least Favorite City: Los Angeles
Los Angeles is nothing like San Francisco. They’re nearly opposites. It is not generally walkable and it’s not bikeable. You need a car. Public transportation sucks. It feels dirty and dangerous. The air pollution is kind of suffocating, and in general it doesn’t feel very livable. It gets way too hot. There’s too much hustle – everybody’s got to work, work, work to “make it” there. It feels like a gigantic suburb, not a cohesive city.
That’s not to say there aren’t good parts of LA or nothing at all I liked about it. While the city itself is not pretty, it’s surrounded by some beautiful areas. I like some of the beaches and Santa Monica Pier, because it reminds me of the Ocean City boardwalk in all its sleaziness, which for some reason I like.
But I couldn’t live in LA. It’s not the type of environment I’d thrive in. I could see if you like glitz and glamour you might like it. It’s just not for me.