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Adjusting to a New City Answered

I just moved to San Fran from the east coast and don't really know too many people or places here.  Does anyone have any good tips on how to adjust to living in a new city?  Places to go things to do, etc...

10 Replies

leeski (author)2010-07-13

don't forget to explore all the fun places outside of the city including Berkeley, Marin, Sonoma, santa cruz, tahoe.....That's the beauty of living in the bay area, there are always unchartered places to explore. sunset magazine is a good reference...

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Gorfram (author)2010-06-25

General tips:
- Get a good map, and follow Kiteman's excellent advice. Also, whenever you get lost or stuck in traffic or are otherwise unhappy with the route you've taken, once you get home, study the map for the alternate routes you wish you'd known about. Trust me, you'll remember them next time. :)

- Read the Lonely Planet guide for your city, especially the history and background and fun-little-factettes parts. You can get a copy (slightly dated, but that won't matter much) from your local lbrary.

- Read the local paper (or the on-line equivalent of a local paper).

- Pick 3-5 or so super-touristy things to do, and go do them. :)

- Whatever you did for fun in your former city, do in the new one. If you were the Queen of the East Coast City cyclists, or chess-players-in-the-park, or museum docents, or whatever; then look into cycling clubs, chess-board-enabled parks, or docent-needy museums, or whatever; in your new city. If you never did whatever it was, but always wanted to, there's no better time & place to start.

San-Francisco-specific tips:
(Note: may be dated - I haven't been to The City for twenty-odd years.)
(And yes, they have been very odd years. :)

- Don't call it "Frisco." Please. Just. Don't.

- You may have warm, sunny, glorious spring and fall days; but if it's summer, carry a jacket. Mark Twain famously said that the worst winter he'd ever experienced was a summer in San Francisco.

- Get ye to the Exploratium (if you haven't been already - IMHO, Eric should make periodic Exploartorium visits mandatory for all Instructables staff :).

- Ride a cable car (somewhere, anywhere - the destination is not what matters).

- Provide yourself with a roll of paper towels, a nutcracker, and your beverage of choice. Go to North Beach/Fisherman's Wharf and buy a loaf of SF sourdough bread and a freshly boiled crab. Find a park bench or spot of grass and enjoy a truly glorious picnic lunch.

- Go to Mission Beach and marvel at how the ocean is on the "wrong" side of the continent. (This is something that has always amazed me about the East Coast - I assume the effect would be similar in reverse.)

- Cycle or walk through Golden Gate Park. Observe the native fauna - and take note of the various birds, squirrels, and other little animals. :)

-  Just for me, see if there's still in little Chinese restaurant called "Vegi-Food" on Clement Street in the Misson District and, if so, get the Fried Walnuts. They are marvelous, delicious beyond imagining, the sort of food you still remember and long for twenty years later. :)

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Kiteman (author)Gorfram2010-06-25

Go to Mission Beach and marvel at how the ocean is on the "wrong" side of the continent.

I changed sides of the country about fifteen years ago - the Sun used to set gloriously fat and red over the slag-heaps and the Solway Firth, but now it pops up over the English Channel.

I still find it odd, all these years later, to see my shadow across the sea on an evening walk.

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Gorfram (author)Kiteman2010-06-25

I first noticed this on a trip to Australia, when some Aussie friends took me to a beach near Sydney.

I mean, it's one thing to talk funny; and driving on the other side of the road has a certain Commonwealthian charm to it -
- but putting the Pacific Ocean on the east side of your continent? 
That just ain't right.

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Gorfram (author)Gorfram2010-07-13

On re-reading the above, I realized that it could easily be taken wrong. I should have  made clear that those were things I felt, not things that I thought were or should be true.

If you're an Aussie, then (of course) I'm the one who talks funny, and who has placed the Pacific Ocean on the "wrong" side of my own continent. :)

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kcls (author)2010-07-13

Where from the east coast are you from?

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caitlinsdad (author)2010-06-26

Rent a car and go for a Sunday drive?

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lemonie (author)2010-06-26

Hang out places and say "hi" to people, they'll either be "gits" to you or you'll make acquaintances who will fill-you in on these details. It has to be local-people, and you have to know them (a bit) to get what you need. I's a social-skills thing...


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DJ Radio (author)2010-06-25

Check out the tourism center, they usually have good advice. Where on the east coast did you move?

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Kiteman (author)2010-06-25

I would visit your local bars / coffee shops / cafés / corner shops to get a feel for the place.

Check libraries and local shop windows for events you might want to check out (including garage sales) or venues to visit.

Get a map, and work out the longest possible route to walk or cycle to work - look around to see if anything catches your eye.

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