It's probably going to be sticker shock for you coming from the midwest. Things--everything--is very expensive here. We have one of the highest rents in the country. Our sales taxes are also high (at this moment, it's 8.5?nd may go up). The job market--if you've got the skills that are in demand you'll be ok but if you don't then there are no jobs. The tech industry is looking for talent but these days you'll be competing with a lot of people for the same job, but if you get the job they do pay pretty well, and you get a lot of perks including buses that will pick you up and deliver you back home, often free meals, etc. The rest of the job market is almost null--people are hanging on to their jobs for dear life because there aren't any job openings. There are a lot of taxes they take out of your paycheck too. Crime--it's a city so you're going to have all the typical big city crimes. We have a lot of street people--in general they aren't harmful but some are not mentally stable and can go off on you for no reason at all. Plus they are all over the place and tend to not be overly concerned about litter. The city is soft on homelessness, and the weather is generally not too extreme so lots of people migrate here and become homeless so we have a lot of them. All over the place. People are about as friendly as you want them to be, maybe a little more stand-offish to men they don't know, but I think that happens everywhere. Since about 90?f the people here are from out of state anyway, they know what being a newbie in town is like so you can always get to them by using that to your benefit. I haven't found the place overly cold or overly friendly (sort of like me). There are things to do, things you will have to pay a fee to do, things that are free, you just have to connect and decide what you want. Some weekends there are so many different things going on it almost feels unfair. In general, the place is very liberal and open minded. There is a night life (I hear, I don't participate), especially for young adults of legal age. It's a nice place, with some spectacular vistas, if you want to get out into the woods you just have to go about 30 mins (by car) and you're there. There's the ocean, although the water is cold year 'round (you'd need a wet suit if you are to do any serious immersion, plus we do have sharks here but people do go wind surfing and wave surfing and all that). The city is easy to walk in if you don't mind doing hills. Dec-March are usually rainy (sometimes it goes longer then that too), sometimes being grey and rainy every day so you never feel the sun and you start to get cranky and mossy. Summers are gentle--usually on the cool side with a handful of 90 degree days maybe, but summers are warm enough to leave the windows open all the time. Dress is generally pretty casual. We have a really good ballet company, world class opera and symphony, we get broadway shows, we have a lot of other theater events always going on. We have 2 baseball teams, a football team, a hockey team (ok, it's not SF specifically). We have public transportation. We have seals and whales too. Housing tends to be expensive, if you can find any vacancies (studios on the average are $1250; 1 bedrooms are $2000, etc.) and of course having roommates brings down the rent cost a lot. But as I said, everything is expensive--cable tv, utilities, water, phone, rent, food, gas, parking. It often feels like many sellers take unconscionable advantage of the fact that we all know things are usually expensive around here and they mark up their prices because of that. Oh, yea, we have an idiot board who decides things for Muni (our in-city public transportation agency). I think right now we have some pretty lame city politicians. But that often changes with a new election. You can become as political as you wish. I'd suggest you do not move to this city unless you already have a job lined up.
Answered By: Kai - 12/3/2012