July 29, 20212 min read

I’ve been in New York City for the past few weeks. Here’s what stood out so far:

  • The people are friendlier. Strangers talk to me everywhere I go: in the subway, at the gym, in the elevator. In SF, people have more boundaries, or they’re respectful of the boundaries they imagine you have. Corollary: In NYC, you don’t end up feeling like you’re distracting someone from their phone (as you sometimes do in SF).
  • The food is an order of magnitude better than SF. In SF, I rarely ate out because I was disappointed by the food, especially given the cost. But NYC still has delicious, affordable food everywhere. There’s a place a short walk from my loft that serves two breakfast tacos for $6.
  • You get way less space in New York City than San Francisco. I live in a loft that’s “spacious” by New York City standards, but tiny compared to my group house in SF. In SF, we had the only bedroom on our floor so once everyone went to bed it felt like we were in our own apartment — and that floor alone is bigger than my current NYC 3-bedroom apartment. For the same cost.
  • New York City truly is “the city that never sleeps”. On my second day here, I worked late, and then planned to meet up with a friend at 11 pm on a Wednesday.
    In San Francisco, people are less amenable to meeting up impromptu, late, on a weekday. Most hangout spots close early, and your transit options are scant. If you take BART you’ll wait 20 minutes for your train, and be the only mentally stable person in your train car. Or you can take two pricy Ubers, one there and one back.
    In New York City, everything stays open late, the subway keeps running, and there are lots of people out at all hours. Hanging out late is safe and enjoyable.

    Night time views, New York City