Heidi Isern

writer. thinker. whiskey drinker.

New York vs. San Francisco: In Quotes

My two favorite cities.  One I reside in, the other I play in. The Bold Italic recently posted a few articles with the catch phrase, “The Manhattanization of San Francisco lamenting the two cities’ similarities. However, crazy salaries and ridiculous rents aside, San Francisco and New York are, in my mind, totally different places.

For the sake of research, I spent countless hours in bars across the two towns, collecting quotes that signify the chief difference in multiple domains. You’ll find it isn’t really an apples to apples comparison.  It’s more like….apple to avocados.

Fashion

“You’re going to step out in last season’s Versace?  Why don’t you just write a big ‘discount sale’ tag on your forehead?” -advice on my dating wardrobe in NYC

vs.

“Oh it’s not just any hoodie—it’s a James Perse hoodie….”  -what my date wears in SF

Food

“The hamburger is from grass fed cows, right?”  -my dining companion in SF

vs.

This comes with fries, right?” -my dining companion in NYC

Happy Hour

“I’d love a drink but I’m detoxifying myself on a week long wheatgrass cleanse. I’ll just sip water and watch you.” -my ‘drinking buddy’ in SF

vs.

“I don’t remember the last time I was sober past 6pm….ah well, why start now? Another Manhattan for me!” -a random acquaintance in NYC

Ordering a coffee  

“Almond milk delicately foamed to 180 degrees? You got it!” -my barista in Pacific Heights

“You want what?  Almond milk?  They actually make that shit?” -a barista in the Upper West Side

Entertainment

“We have a ninja vs. pirate party tonight—you can pick which one you dress up as and then we’ll play beer pong in costume!  Oh, sometimes we have a ref–and he’s usually naked…” –a friend in SF

“I’ll see if I can get us on the list for the gallery opening. A lot of A players there so wear couture okay? This isn’t SF burning man party stuff.” -a friend in NYC

The scene at 2 am  

“Let go to the Sullivan room—people are just starting to get there.” -bar conversation on where to go next in the village

vs.

** Crickets chirping **    -everyone is in bed preparing for their triathlon

Work

“You think I should get out of banking? And get a job that ends at 6pm?! I’d feel like a failure-one of those lame guys that has things called ‘hobbies.’ ”  -my ex NYC

vs.

“Once we exit, I’m thinking about taking a year off to surf…” -my ex in SF

Work Colleague Communication

“I think we should get a mediator to help us resolve our communication style differences.”-a colleague in SF

vs.

“I don’t like you.  So what? Move on.”  -a colleague in NYC

Dating

“We don’t really have relationships here….you just kinda morph in and out of people’s bedrooms.” -singleton, NYC

vs.

“I’ve heard this myth of people that have relationships…..and then I realized it was the polyamourous crew.” -singleton, SF

Living

SF has priced me out. I’m thinking of buying a place in Oakland.  Plus there aren’t any tech douchebags there.” -frustrated SF homebuyer

vs.

Manhattan has priced me out. I’m thinking of buying a place in Brooklyn. Plus there aren’t any finance douchebags there.”-frustrated NYC homebuyer

Okay, okay maybe there ARE some similarities…….but forget those and celebrate the differences, the frustrations, and the weirdness that make both places spectacular.

San Francisco has always been a haven for misfits and weirdos. I’m both of those, which is why I came here. – Michael Franti

“I can’t with any conscience argue for New York with anyone. It’s like Calcutta. But I love the city in an emotional, irrational way, like loving your mother or your father even though they’re a drunk or a thief. I’ve loved the city my whole life — to me, it’s like a great woman.” –  Woody Allen  
 
2 Discussions on
“New York vs. San Francisco: In Quotes”
    • Andrew–Is that an invitation? : ) Joking aside I shall be back in Paris in May….perhaps I’ll pop by London to document the bar scene there at that time. Think Londoners can give New Yorkers a run for their money where liquor is concerned….

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