West Coast Living versus East Coast Living


I have thought a lot about this over the last year. When you make a move across country, it’s a natural instinct to compare your life on each coast and how it affects you. Also, everyone (EVERYONE.) will ask you about it, so you better have an answer prepared.

Needless to say, there are many, many comparisons that can be drawn. But, frankly, I think it all boils down to one. The weather is a lot fucking nicer here. I’m sorry, I know this seems trite, but I assure you it is not.

The only snow we expect this year,

The only snow we expect this year,

Let me be clear. It’s sunny and beautiful every day. Well, mostly every day. AND I LIVE IN SAN FRANCISCO. Imagine if I lived in San Diego, Los Angeles, or Santa Barbara. I probably wouldn’t even have this blog. I’d be too busy being too goddamned pleased about the weather.

Here’s the thing. It’s great that the weather is nice and all. But the real importance lies in what the weather brings about.

1)   People are happy. Stinkin’ happy. Smiling-at-you-holding-the-door-at-the-pharmacy-strangers-complimenting-your-shoes-as-they-walk-down-the-street happy. At first, this feels creepy and suspect. And then you realize. Nope. They’re just happy. They’re happy because the sun beams in their face and they can be outside all the time and their kids run in the yard every day and they own dogs that prance down sidewalks that don’t need to be shoveled (ever) and they believe that October 21st is a perfectly valid day to go to the beach. When you move here, one day it will happen to you too. You will find yourself chit-chatting with the cashier at Whole Foods about the new figs in stock, without a care in the world about the line behind you or that you need to make your next work call in 20 minutes. You are now a West Coaster living in constant sunshine. You are happy.

2)   Activities happen outside. All of them. Sure, there are museums and malls and movie theaters on the West Coast. They are empty. Because, why would you stay inside when it is so freaking gorgeous out? I have not had a single conversation about doing something in California that has not involved being in a park, playing at the beach, climbing a mountain, pedaling a bike, sitting on a terrace, or paddling a boat. You know how on the East Coast, you cram every waking second of the summer full of fun and running around doing stuff? Imagine that all year round and you’ve got it.

3)   You eat lots and lots of good stuff all of the time. Ok, maybe this one is a little niche for anyone other than the foodies, but since I am one, this matters to me. The weather makes for a year-round growing season on the West Coast. That means a huge variety of seasonal produce. That means never-ending outdoor markets. That means farm-to-table restaurants with ever-evolving fresh, creative menus. It encourages you to eat what’s local and support West Coast farms, which is awesome.

I adore the East Coast. I always will. And, I totally recognize that – only one year in – I am still in the honeymoon phase with the West Coast. But, so far, I truly love it. Maybe all the sunshine is just affecting my brain.

(Disclaimer… I have also been asked to address the non-food differences between Boston and San Francisco, which I will blog about in a few days. I’ll focus on the specific attributes of the two cities, versus this broader coastal comparison.)


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