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What do you think of the SF Bay Area?

Discuss culture, living, traveling, relocating, dating or anything related to North America. For those looking to relocate within the US or Canada, discuss your experiences and pros/cons of each domestic region.

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What do you think of the SF Bay Area?

Postby Winston » Sat Nov 30, 2013 9:06 am

Hi all,
I'm in the Bay Area now. It's weird to be back here. Feels like Deja Vu. It's warm here but so crowded! The traffic is like a mass swarm. Dang. Why would anyone want to live here? Everything is very organized. But people here seem so square and conformist, like they've been "properly processed" lol. It reminds me of the drugged zombie people in the George Lucas dystopia movie THX1138. LOL. Any of you notice this when you were here too?

I feel like a fish out of water here, like a sore thumb sticking out that doesn't really belong. Did any of you feel this way in the Bay Area too?

It's kind of paradoxical that Californians (or Americans) think they are free individuals, yet they act very square and conformist, and only utter politically correct cliches. Ever notice that? It's like a Twilight Zone. I've always sensed something paradoxical about it, but it's hard to put a finger on it. Know what I mean?

Also, why does everyone drive so damn fast here at dangerous speeds? It's annoying to always get tailgated. Don't they know that's rude? Is there something in the human blood that makes people treat the highway like a racetrack? If so, why don't I have it in my blood too?

How is it that Americans are paranoid, but they aren't paranoid of the dangers of speeding? What a weird paradox. On the highway people drive at 80-90mph. It's crazy and dangerous. How do they do that without getting into an accident? How do they feel in control at that speed, especially with curves on the road and especially at night with limited visibility? Why don't they have any fear when doing that? Why don't I have this "speed demon" blood that everyone else has? I've asked this for many years, but never get an answer. Instead, I get made fun of.

When I visited my uncle yesterday, I found out that the house I grew up in, which was originally bought at $300,000 in 1987, is now worth 1.5 million dollars! Wow. If we had kept that house, my family would be millionaires by now! lol. My uncle never left Fremont, so now he's a millionaire.

What do you all think of the Bay Area? Is it a good place to live? Why is cost of living so expensive here?

Do you think if you get involved with the Chinese cliques here, which there are many of, that it'd be easy to get a date with a Chinese girl here? I mean, there are so many Chinese people here, that you'd think they would not need to become Americanized?
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Postby The_Adventurer » Sat Nov 30, 2013 9:17 am

They don't. In fact they are more cliquish, racist and closed off than Chinese in China. More like Koreans in many ways but more violent. They got THAT part of Americanization. Too many gangs. Granted, think about how they have been treated throughout the decades and I don't really blame them.

An outsider could get seriously messed up trying to date in there though.
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Postby drealm » Sat Nov 30, 2013 9:44 am

I live in the Bay Area, Berkeley specifically.

The bay and coastline are nice. The landscapes in the north bay are especially tranquil (point reyes). San Francisco is perhaps the most topographically unique city in the United States. It's surrounded on three sides by water so the sprawl is limited. The Architecture has character, which is a big plus for me.

You also have more food choices and lots of ethnic restaurants. If you're into non-processed natural foods, you will find more of that here. In one mile of my house there's probably 10 health food stores.

If you're interested in technology this is the place to be. You'll find intern jobs here that you won't find elsewhere in the country. There's also a startup culture here that you can take advantage of if you're good at networking with people.

You'll find more immigrants here than elsewhere, which is a nice relief. I don't know of a way to meet any immigrant girls here though so it's not a dating benefit.

These are the things I like about the Bay Area. It's certainly better than SoCal in that respect.

What are the down sides?

The cost of living is through the roof. So it's harder to survive on minimum wage here than elsewhere. What's the point of living in one of the most scenic parts of the country if you can't afford to experience anything?

This is perhaps the most liberal part of the country, so it's ground zero for feminism. The women are non-datable. This is the birthplace of a lot of stupid complex policies like having 5 different types of trash cans to dispose of your waste.

Jobs are extremely competitive because everyone wants to live here. There are a couple top universities here and many people seem to get their jobs by being alumni.

I haven't traveled much, but people elsewhere seem to drive more calmly. I hate driving here. This shows larger the mentality of the area, drive fast and cut people off.

I would say in summary that people everywhere in America are garbage with small degrees of difference. Since you can't improve the people you should look at other constants. When you consider landscape, food, architecture I think it's the best place in the country. So I would recommend anyone to live here who has money and is able to ignore the people.
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Postby Winston » Sat Nov 30, 2013 9:56 am

The Bay Area also has a rat race/workaholic vibe. Do any of you feel it too?

The Bay Area feels like a giant machine full of busy rats in the rat race. lol

The immigrants here look prepped for a square lifestyle of working and raising a family in a home. They look "processed" for conformity. It's in the vibe too.

Since there are hardly any whites here, and most are minorities, why does anyone need to become Americanized here?

There's not much scenery except the coastline. The Bay Area land consists of mostly yellow/brown hills and hay.

Why does everyone want to live here? It's so crowded. Not relaxed.
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Postby Rock » Sat Nov 30, 2013 10:41 am

Every time I visit the Bay Area, especially east and south Bay, I am kinda awestruck. For me, it's the epitome of what happens to Asians after they come to the USA. So different from the rural white bread community I grew up in. And given that I'm a permanent resident in East Asia, it's so weird to see how the same people function as Americans, speaking English mixed sometimes with Chinese or another Asian language, the Asian style strip malls, etc. For me, much of Bay Area is super low crime, the opposite of American ghetto culture.

I have a lot of respect for how they become the cream of educated Americans and work so hard and become highly paid professionals. Housing prices in the communities they live are reflective of the value they create. In the community I grew up in, housing prices have hardly gone up at all in nominal terms and have lost a lot of value in real terms. Bay Area has risen dramatically in real terms in spite of 09 crash.

For me, S/SE Bay is calm and quiet. So much is modern which I love. Weather is warm and sunny. Things work and people do their jobs. There is not trash or garbage. If you live in Asia long term and spend time in some of the grittier areas of SE Asia, you can really appreciate the contrast. I never felt the freeway driving was bad either, at least no worse than LA area. Go to China and you will quickly become desensitized to anything you see on west coast.

Now add to the Asian conformist culture the Silicon Valley start-up/high tech/VC culture where some world class creativity has been born and harvested. It's a very iconic and cool area for that kind of stuff. Many legends hail from there.

Finally, you've got the whole liberal/feminist/hippy SF thing going on which is entertaining and interesting in limited doses to observe. But I actually like SF the least of places in the Bay Area because of its insane cold weather all year around and steep hills everywhere.

So I really enjoy and love my stays in the Bay Area. But I would not wanna have to try dating there. Every forum member I know who grew up there (several) seems to have major baggage. Just talk to Falcon for example. When I'm there, I enjoy it for what it has to offer. I observe Asians as Americans and it's kind of surreal, like I'm a minority in my own country or at least the white side of me is, lol.
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Postby Falcon » Sat Nov 30, 2013 4:40 pm

Education-wise, the Bay Area is wonderful. If you want to network with tech geeks, academics, nerds, entrepeneurs, and the cream of the crop folks, then the Bay Area would be perfect.

But some folks might find there's a social cost to all that. Overachieving celibate hermits are ubiquitous in "Man Jose" and "Man Francisco". They're quite desperate, like this guy with a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Stanford who sold his 2nd company at 28:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZjUiuVxgO6c[/youtube]


Because:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iywfEHAYAQg[/youtube]


Rock wrote:So I really enjoy and love my stays in the Bay Area. But I would not wanna have to try dating there. Every forum member I know who grew up there (several) seems to have major baggage. Just talk to Falcon for example. When I'm there, I enjoy it for what it has to offer. I observe Asians as Americans and it's kind of surreal, like I'm a minority in my own country or at least the white side of me is, lol.


And Monkro, AnonymousAmerican, many others, and of course, Winston.

Monkro told me that the Bay Area is a great place to stay focused on doing projects on your own. But there's a lot of rat-racing going on, so making "friends" in the Bay Area means you'll be getting a lot of peer pressure. It's a competitive microcosm in the likes of Singapore or Hong Kong.

As for dating Asians in the Bay Area, well if Rock can date Taiwanese women and his middle-class Filipina who vibes almost entirely like a Taiwanese American, then I believe he should at least have some luck in the Bay Area or LA if he looks in the right places. But, most of us on HA will find the Bay Area to pretty much a monastery (at least for us).
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Postby Winston » Sat Nov 30, 2013 7:26 pm

Rock,

Do you mean you're awestruck in a positive or negative way? lol. If you are awestruck by efficiency, then why aren't you awestruck by Nazi Germany and Japan too? lol Or by the ancient Roman Empire? lol

Anyway Rock, you don't fit into the Bay Area either. It's very conformist and square. And if you aren't working for a good company and raising a family, or trying to at least, then you stick out like a sore thumb. You don't fit into the flow of things.

As a freethinker who loves freedom and traveling and does not like any attachments to corporations, marriage and family, you definitely would not fit the mold here either. You are also not that materialistic either.

My relatives here would find it odd that you don't seek a good job working for a company and that you aren't trying to settle down raising a family like everyone else. How would that make you feel? Why do you enjoy being a fish out of water? lol

My Taiwanese relatives here act like they are in the military. They are very strict and have exact schedules. Everything has to be done in a certain way. They aren't relaxed and loose and open minded about everything like you are. When you meet some of them, you will see.

How are you going to vibe with people like that? How will you fit in with that? lol

Falcon, do you know what I mean? Why do Taiwanese families here act so strict, as though they are in the military and every little thing is serious and has to be done a certain way?

Rock and I have don't have that strict serious uptight vibe in our body language. So they are likely to see us as strange. Same with you Falcon. You don't have a repressed body language. And you don't talk like a conformist who only cares about working and excelling in your career.

And Rock, how can the traffic be calm? That doesn't make sense. There are A LOT of cars on the road, more than before, even at night. People drive aggressively and pull dangerous maneuvers passing others up. I don't understand why since it's illogical to risk your life and your car just to speed. When you come, I'll let you drive my car, and you will see how it feels. Even Highway 680 is now crowded. Before it wasn't.
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Postby Rock » Sat Nov 30, 2013 7:54 pm

Winston wrote:Rock,

Do you mean you're awestruck in a positive or negative way? lol. If you are awestruck by efficiency, then why aren't you awestruck by Nazi Germany and Japan too? lol Or by the ancient Roman Empire? lol

Anyway Rock, you don't fit into the Bay Area either. It's very conformist and square. And if you aren't working for a good company and raising a family, or trying to at least, then you stick out like a sore thumb. You don't fit into the flow of things.

As a freethinker who loves freedom and traveling and does not like any attachments to corporations, marriage and family, you definitely would not fit the mold here either. You are also not that materialistic either.

My relatives here would find it odd that you don't seek a good job working for a company and that you aren't trying to settle down raising a family like everyone else. How would that make you feel? Why do you enjoy being a fish out of water? lol

My Taiwanese relatives here act like they are in the military. They are very strict and have exact schedules. Everything has to be done in a certain way. They aren't relaxed and loose and open minded about everything like you are. When you meet some of them, you will see.

How are you going to vibe with people like that? How will you fit in with that? lol

Falcon, do you know what I mean? Why do Taiwanese families here act so strict, as though they are in the military and every little thing is serious and has to be done a certain way?

Rock and I have don't have that strict serious uptight vibe in our body language. So they are likely to see us as strange. Same with you Falcon. You don't have a repressed body language. And you don't talk like a conformist who only cares about working and excelling in your career.

And Rock, how can the traffic be calm? That doesn't make sense. There are A LOT of cars on the road, more than before, even at night. People drive aggressively and pull dangerous maneuvers passing others up. I don't understand why since it's illogical to risk your life and your car just to speed. When you come, I'll let you drive my car, and you will see how it feels. Even Highway 680 is now crowded. Before it wasn't.


Winston, I never said I would fit in to any of the Bay Area sub-cultures. I'm speaking from the perspective of an outside observer. And yes, I was awestruck (positively) by certain things I saw in Japan on my visits there too, just as I commented on your dad's post about his trip there.

Actually, it's quite interesting to observe worlds so different from your own or worlds that have some similarities but in other ways are totally different. I can enjoy visiting the Bay Area and observing the cocky geniuses who got rich before 30 and the worker bee Asians and then the next month, perhaps join a favela tour in Rio and get blown away by the wild world I see there. That's part of the fun of travel. You get to see so many worlds without getting stuck in any of them.

For you, the Bay Area has a very different meaning cus it's part of your not so pleasant childhood. For me, it's just as I described in my last post.

As for the traffic, if you get used to the way they drive in China (which I adjusted to very fast and even drove there myself) or even the capitol in Domincan Republic, LA or Bay Area freeways are not a big deal. When I see you there in a few days, I'll be happy to do the driving if it stresses you too much to drive yourself. I've driven extensively in LA area and some in Bay Area too. I have no problem with it whatsoever and am armed with US, International, and Taiwan drivers licenses.
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Postby Rock » Sat Nov 30, 2013 8:23 pm

One more thing I remember seeing when I was staying in Warm Springs Area of Fremont last year. When I walked by a school bus stop near a subdivision, there was a large colorful looking group of Asian grandparents and maybe some parents mixed in (some Indian, some E. Asian) waiting for the kids from their respective families to arrive after school. And I saw the bus arrive and the kids who alighted were anywhere from 7-11 years old. I don't think I've ever seen this where I grew up. Kids would just take the bus and then walk the rest of the way home themselves, even if they were very young. Anyway, those types of things sometimes strike a lasting impression with me.
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Re: What do you think of the SF Bay Area?

Postby gsjackson » Sun Dec 01, 2013 3:59 am

Winston wrote:Hi all,
I'm in the Bay Area now. It's weird to be back here. Feels like Deja Vu. It's warm here but so crowded! The traffic is like a mass swarm. Dang. Why would anyone want to live here? Everything is very organized. But people here seem so square and conformist, like they've been "properly processed" lol. It reminds me of the drugged zombie people in the George Lucas dystopia movie THX1138. LOL. Any of you notice this when you were here too?

I feel like a fish out of water here, like a sore thumb sticking out that doesn't really belong. Did any of you feel this way in the Bay Area too?

It's kind of paradoxical that Californians (or Americans) think they are free individuals, yet they act very square and conformist, and only utter politically correct cliches. Ever notice that? It's like a Twilight Zone. I've always sensed something paradoxical about it, but it's hard to put a finger on it. Know what I mean?

Also, why does everyone drive so damn fast here at dangerous speeds? It's annoying to always get tailgated. Don't they know that's rude? Is there something in the human blood that makes people treat the highway like a racetrack? If so, why don't I have it in my blood too?

How is it that Americans are paranoid, but they aren't paranoid of the dangers of speeding? What a weird paradox. On the highway people drive at 80-90mph. It's crazy and dangerous. How do they do that without getting into an accident? How do they feel in control at that speed, especially with curves on the road and especially at night with limited visibility? Why don't they have any fear when doing that? Why don't I have this "speed demon" blood that everyone else has? I've asked this for many years, but never get an answer. Instead, I get made fun of.

When I visited my uncle yesterday, I found out that the house I grew up in, which was originally bought at $300,000 in 1987, is now worth 1.5 million dollars! Wow. If we had kept that house, my family would be millionaires by now! lol. My uncle never left Fremont, so now he's a millionaire.

What do you all think of the Bay Area? Is it a good place to live? Why is cost of living so expensive here?

Do you think if you get involved with the Chinese cliques here, which there are many of, that it'd be easy to get a date with a Chinese girl here? I mean, there are so many Chinese people here, that you'd think they would not need to become Americanized?


People in San Francisco "seem square and conformist?" You have no idea how weird that sounds to someone from the '60s. But I guess if only those dedicated to Mammon can afford to live there now, maybe that's the case.

I agree with Drealm that, if you can factor out the people and afford to live there, the Bay Area is the best place in the country. Great climate, beautiful country. When I lived in Marin County I hung out with some crazy people and did things like run in the Dipsea and swim in the Bay in the early morning (ran into Jack Lalanne doing that). Extremely stimulating environment if you're into health.

To Rock's point about anglos feeling like a minority in this country now: ditto. I've always had what used to be described as an All-American look. The other day a schoolkid asked me where I was from, and was surprised that it wasn't Russia, since to his eye I looked like a Russian.
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Postby eurobrat » Sun Dec 01, 2013 9:01 am

San Francisco is completely overrated. Even if you're making $80k-$100k (average web programmer salary at fortune 500 company) a year there, it won't go far. And now that the Web 2.0 boom is cooling off I'm not sure what it has to offer considering San Francisco is more expensive then A class European cities.

Plus all the freaks, weirdo's, bum's there downtown make it even more unbearable to live in.
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Postby fschmidt » Sun Dec 01, 2013 4:35 pm

Daly City, just south of San Francisco, has the only Karaite synagogue in the country. That is why I will move there this summer. I really don't care about the other aspects of the Bay Area.
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Postby Repatriate » Sun Dec 01, 2013 4:41 pm

The SF bay area is for feminists, gays, manginas, and wealthy IT nerds.

It has nothing to offer an actual man with a working penis.
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Postby fightforlove » Mon Dec 02, 2013 5:00 pm

San Francisco bay area is a fantastic place to visit, I used to love taking road trips up there when I lived in SoCal. SF is a freakishly cool city with thee most exotic and absolutely beautiful city scape: a scenic skyline, scenic rolling hills to race my stick-shift car up and down, bridges, tunnels, a happening downtown with big skyscrappers and a fashion district, a waterfront with piers and ships, cool old buildings/houses, great bars, cafes, good live/underground music scene, interesting restaurant themes and breakfast places... The surrounding region also has a lot to offer, Sonoma, Napa Valley, Yosemite, the PCH, etc.

There's a lot of energy out there but I don't know if I could live there at this point in my life. It's annoyingly expensive and the people/culture as a whole is snooty and a little ridiculous imho. I could see myself going crazy living amongst so many interesting neighbors. Whether it's the wealthy old yuppies, the introverted techies, the aging hippies, girls with pierced lips and corn rows, the homosexuals, the Chinese, the homeless drifters, Raiders fans; I love diversity and I think many of these people are great people per se, but when you have so many radically different sub-cultures and quirky misfits living amongst one another, and often keeping to themselves, I sense it would be hard to get my mind around. Many of these people are inward and keep their own kind, and it is a very segregrated region. Plus, SF and Berkely are the most radically left-wing cities in America, feminism is widespread and there's a hostility towards western religion in the area. It's a great location that I've always been curious about, but I just don't know if my crazy meter could handle all that craziness up there.
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Re: What do you think of the SF Bay Area?

Postby Winston » Mon Dec 02, 2013 9:59 pm

gsjackson wrote:People in San Francisco "seem square and conformist?" You have no idea how weird that sounds to someone from the '60s. But I guess if only those dedicated to Mammon can afford to live there now, maybe that's the case.

I agree with Drealm that, if you can factor out the people and afford to live there, the Bay Area is the best place in the country. Great climate, beautiful country. When I lived in Marin County I hung out with some crazy people and did things like run in the Dipsea and swim in the Bay in the early morning (ran into Jack Lalanne doing that). Extremely stimulating environment if you're into health.

To Rock's point about anglos feeling like a minority in this country now: ditto. I've always had what used to be described as an All-American look. The other day a schoolkid asked me where I was from, and was surprised that it wasn't Russia, since to his eye I looked like a Russian.


I'm not talking about San Franciso. I'm talking about the suburban cities in the Bay Area, like Fremont and San Jose. Didn't you read? Geez. Maybe the 60's were different. But the people that live there now, esp the Asians and Indians, are VERY conformist and square. They totally live for career and money. Life is all about working and making money. One lives for achievements in career.

It was like that in the 90's too. All the girls I met in college only cared about making money. They weren't social or passionate. I couldn't find anyone interested in romance except me. College was nothing like portrayed in the movies. It was polite but ALL BUSINESS. And if you weren't all business, then you felt like a fish out of water.

It's also cliquish too. The vibe is cliquish as well. It's a nice area that feels diverse. But it's all about cliques and careerism and making money. Not much soul. If you're lonely and sensitive, you will suffer here inwardly, like I did for two decades. And you won't receive any sympathy except from the folks here on the forum.

All my relatives and cousins here are conformist and live to work and raise a family. None of them think outside the box. To them, people like us on the HA forum don't exist in their world.

What do you mean "beautiful country"? SF may be beautiful, and the coastline may be lovely. But the suburbs like Fremont, Milpitas and San Jose only have drab brown hills. Nothing scenic. Have you even been in this area?

How are there hippies and bums there? I mean, how can they afford to live there?

Repatriate said it best above.

Repatriate wrote:The SF bay area is for feminists, gays, manginas, and wealthy IT nerds.

It has nothing to offer an actual man with a working penis.


So true. Great bottom line.

Rock, yeah the traffic is tame here compared to China. But if you are coming from Nevada, it sure looks crowded. I just drove around Nevada and the traffic is nothing like this.
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