I moved from LA back in June to start school up here. I grew up in NorCal, but I tend to tell people I am "from" LA since I lived there for the past 8 years. Also, it's less embarrassing to admit you don't really know where any Bay Area cities or streets are when people don't think you grew up here. If you say you're from the area but can't list the cities accessed by the Bay Bridge people tend to think you are a special kind of idiot.
Anyhow, when people ask how I like living in San Francisco, I usually say "I thought I would miss LA more." And I really thought I would. I loved LA. I was happy there and I felt like it was MY HOME. So it surprises me how little I really MISS it. Of course there are people I miss and of course there are things that I used to do that I miss but I don't wish I still lived there. And I really had thought I would.
I genuinely LIKE San Francisco. I had never really thought of it as an option until I decided to go to school up here. It was always too cold, too foggy, too NorCal. And, duh, I loved LA-- why would I ever leave? But now I wonder why I hadn't thought of it before! San Francisco is a big, fun city with a lot going on and plenty of places to explore and buy stuff. And it lacks certain things from my LA life that I did not care for: Smog. Unbelievable amounts of traffic. A city-wide "meh." attitude toward environmental issues. Palpable unspoken tension. Too much highway between me and my family. Celebrities and celebrity wannabes. Did I mention the traffic?
And, also, San Francisco seems to have this (as my classmate described it) "come as you are" attitude, while LA is much more "see and be seen." Having lived in both cities, I think that this assessment is quite good. I might call it Right On The Money. Or at the very least, close to the money. Spitting distance from the money, if you will. LA definitely has a Notice Me attitude, where everyone is checking each other out. San Francisco feels.... different from this. I can't quite put my finger on it, but I like it.
I like living here.