Pros and cons of city living

Big city living means many things.  There are some annoyances and inconveniences that you have to learn to accept.  There are also some perks and benefits that you may never want to give up once you get a taste.

If you are considering moving to a large city, particularly San Francisco, here are a few things that you may find hard to stomach:

  • Small spaces, few amenities.  Everyone wishes they had bigger apartments and more space.  Having a second bedroom for guests or a second bathroom is much more out of reach in San Francisco than it was in Florida.  Also, many people in the City do not have a washer and dryer in their apartment. With all the changes we were about to make when moving, this was one thing that I could NOT live without.  It wasn’t easy, but we found a newer apartment complex that included a washer and dryer in the unit.  Most of the people we know have to take their dirty clothes to their building’s communal facilities or send their stuff out to a wash ‘n’ fold.
  • Lots of baggage.  When you take public transportation or walk to work, you have a lot of things to carry around.  Rarely do you see someone in the City with just a purse or with nothing at all.  They have a gym bag, a lunch bag, a disposable shopping bag, you name it.   You also have several layers of clothing with you at all times, since the weather changes throughout the day and from neighborhood to neighborhood.
  • Tardy to the party.  You can always blame public transportation or that you had to wait longer than expected for a cab to soften the fact that you are late. People are always late.  There are so many elements at play when getting around a big city that you have to leave quite early to ensure you arrive at your destination on time.

Once you get past the initial shock of adapting to urban dwelling, you start to appreciate the perks and benefits.  Here are some of my favorites about San Francisco:

  • Tons of festivals.  Festivals are THE thing.  The list of festivals in the Bay Area is so incredibly robust.  There is even a festival devoted solely to garlic. You can find a good festival every weekend, celebrating something obscure. With a melting pot of cultures and interests, you can always learn something new at the free weekend events around town.
  • The latest and greatest.  Google Glass has been donning the faces of San Francisco techies for months.  Retailers open their flagship stores here before they open anywhere else in the country.  Companies trial run their new programs here.  Big cities are commonly used as test cities, and as a resident, you can experience things first-hand before your friends in the ‘burbs.
  • Too much to do and see.  During the weekends in Orlando, Dave and I would always have a hard time deciding how to spend a free day, because we had gone everywhere and done everything there was to do.  When you live in a big city, you can never cross everything you want to experience off your list. Once you think you’ve been everywhere, an entirely new crop of places and adventures will be available.  I keep a running list in the notes section of my phone of things we want to do, and it just keeps getting longer.

This weekend will mark nine full months that I have lived in San Francisco (nine-and-a-half months for Dave).  This time last year I would have never imagined that I would call Northern California my home.

Not a week goes by that I don’t find something new to love about the Bay Area … not a day goes by that I don’t yearn for more bathroom counter-top space.

The Ferry Building
There’s always a crowd at the Ferry Building in SF.
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