2010年10月12日火曜日

San Francisco

Staying in a city as a tourist/visitor is one thing but actually living in the city is another. I reaffirmed with myself about such a thought in San Francisco last week. During Fleet Week I came to SF to look around and see how it's like to live in Bay Area.

SF is definitely a walkable city, which is a big plus compared with LA. Victorian houses, hip coffee shops, and restaurants with ocean and bay views from top of hills are so charming and lovely. Locals also say that this is the best time of a year. They say fog and gloomy weather is something I should expect mostly. I have visited SF more than ten times but I haven't really seen foggy days though I experienced chilly days in summer. One guy who has been living in Castro for a couple of decades said he prefers SoCal, Santa Barbara in particular. But most San Franciscans said it was a good decision to move out of LA to SF. I thought it was funny and characteristic of them because Los Angelinos don't say, "Oh you made a great decision to move down to LA from SF." Is it because SF is really better than LA or because people in SF feel overshadowed by LA (and by fog)?

I viewed apartments in Downtown, Nob Hill, Russian Hill, North Beach, Inner Richmond, Castro, Mission, USF area, Pacific Heights, Inner Sunset, Twin Peaks, Glen Park, and more! After driving around SF for a week, I now have good knowledge about SF neighborhoods. Now I see the city with a fuller view than what I had before just as a visitor. I have heard about how expensive it is to live in SF but apartment rents are not so different from those of Manhattan and Los Angeles. LA apartments are larger in general and almost always come with parking garage but rents are not significantly higher. Maybe during the dot com era, apartments in SF were higher.

What I am most curious about SF is how gay Japanese will do there. Since there are a large Asian population in Bay Area, I assume gay Asians are not going to be someone overshadowed or neglected by the gay community there. But what is it like for a gay Japanese to live in SF? My experience in New York and Los Angeles is somewhat disappointing in that Asians are basically treated like secondary citizens in gay communities in both cities. I was disappointed that even LA is like that. I had enough of Euro-centric gay communities in Manhattan and somewhere else in the East Coast. One of the reasons why I moved to LA is to find a better place where "West meets East." But LA has turned out to be not "East" enough. I sense SF is more like Vancouver where a large Chinese population immigrated and am hoping that I will finally find what I've been looking for.

2 件のコメント:

  1. I think you would enjoy SF, I am born and raised here and never felt the urge to leave, although I will be moving to Japan next year to work.

    I definitely understand your take on Gay Asians in the community. The gaysian population here isn't as large as the euros/white, but I don't see a 'segregation' between the ethnicity.
    I think what's great about SF is that we are proud to be a Gay city, and likely many people from various places come here to meet people of their same interest, and forms a community where everyone accepts each other.
    I venture out into the Castro once in a while, and I have never came across bars/clubs that are "mainly white", "mainly Asian", it was more of "more gay guys" or "more butchy lesbians" etc.
    I was at this club called Badlands, a place known notoriously for majority of the patrons to be gay men, and I swear I was probably one of the 15 females in a super packed club. Needless to say I had a lot of fun. Gays can dance and have good taste in music.
    I hope you find what you are looking for.
    Chiaki

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  2. Hi Chiaki,

    Thanks for your nice comment. I agree that SF is the place where people are proud to be a Gay city for sure. I also love the fact that being gay is nothing special in that city. Gays are everywhere!

    When I was looking for apartments in SF, about half (maybe more?) agents/property managers were gays. Although some experiences with them were not so pleasant and rather challenging because the market is so competitive, I still think SF is where I want to live some day - if I get a good job there.

    Good luck with your new life and work in Japan! Which part of the country are you moving to? Please let me know if I can be of any help. Moving to a foreign country is always fun and also challenging - you'll enjoy the difference from your home but could also feel frustrated with it. From my experience, finding a good local friend who can navigate you through the custom and culture will be a big help.

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メインブログ:アメリカ・ゲイ・ライフ American Gay Life (since 2004)
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単身渡米してなんとか生き延びてる日本人。主にアメリカで起きてるゲイについてのニュースやハリウッド・セレブ、スポーツ選手たちのゴシップが中心のブログをメインブログで書いてます。恋バナや個人的なことはサブ・ブログで。

 Born and raised in Japan, I decided to immigrate to the U.S. to pursue a more liberated gay life. I am mostly writing about gay-related news and gossip about male celebrities, LGBT issues in general, and sometimes personal bromance. Most of my posts are in Japanese, but I sometimes introduce Japanese television programs and gay-related cultural stuff in English. Feel free to leave comments in my blog. ;)