New York City vs. San Francisco

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It’s raining. I do not have an umbrella. I do not care. I am in New York City. From SoHo walking past

Jacques Torres
on Hudson Street makes you ignore the rain. I meet with friends at The Spotted Pig. I could have been drenched, but I’ve been ducking into cafes, shops and under awnings on the way up to my meet. By the time I am at the place, (The Spotted Pig in the Village – my favorite place for a delicious… any variety of food) I walked a mile full of experiences. Creative window displays, dodging cars, people watching – yes people do ignore a rain in New York City. They also ignore all sorts of other types of foul weather – torrential rains with thunder, or hail in your face at 40 miles per hour, or 30 inches of snow, or 102 degrees of heat. Who cares about the weather in New York? It’s never the subject of the city. What matters is what the city has to offer. And what it does offer is everything that matters for excitement. The city is not normal in any sense, it’s great, it’s passionately insane, I love it, there is no other city like it. This is the only place on the planet where you can run into several super models within a few blocks. You can actually meet the wizards of planet Earth who run the Federal Reserve going in and out very substantial unmarked buildings. Sad and impressive at the same time. But not hopeless. This is the city where you can buy a suit costing 25k USD, neatly displayed in a window next to street vendor selling something for less than a dollar. In the winter the story repeats itself. Lots of excitement, just a different day. I spent 2 years of that and can’t get enough of it.

Now my work is in Silicon Valley in California. The main event here is San Francisco. Never bad weather (kind of). Always weather is a subject of conversation. Come to think about it, the worse the weather, the less it’s a subject of conversation. What is San Diego mostly known for? You got it – the weather, because it’s ideal, almost a meteorologist’s delight. They do not need to prepare for their weather report. In New York it’s changing so much that the News would just give up. Let’s see what happens, we can’t keep up.

San Francisco is New York lite. Excitement? Yes. Great food? Check. Insane energy of New York? No. Is this a good thing? Depends on personal preference. Both cities have a great deal of things to do, both have public transportation (again, kind of), both are expensive and with no parking, and yes you have to drive if you venture just beyond the limits of either city. In fact, the cost of living, lack of parking, some undesirable elements make true residents question, “what am I doing here?” “Shouldn’t I be somewhere else, like in the suburbs? If you have to this vs that anything, take both. I considered places to live. As long as my work is in the US, I take it all, there is no vs. And as the means allow, places in Europe are included into the gamut of living.

The real question is what is going to happen to cities and suburbia as the economy continues to deteriorate. What will prevail, cities or suburbs? I think cities, because they are concentrated and can be supported by patches of green land within and green belts around them. Either way, people will always find a way to organize their lives around social centers. New York and San Francisco will always be important no matter how far up or down we take this county.

New York, Central Park

San Francisco, Golden Gate

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