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Re: Pedestrain City Recommendations?
Old 02-20-2006, 12:15 PM   #41
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Re: Pedestrain City Recommendations?

Well I worked in SF for a year. It's true you don't need a car. SF has lots of great restaurants in all price ranges and lots of cultural attractions.

However I hope you like that cool - almost cold year round damp weather. Personally I would much prefer a warmer, dryer climate. To quote Mark Twain - "The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco". But it's not just the summer that gets real cold. It's also cold in the spring and fall as well as the winter. Every once in awhile the sun shines through and it's a real event.

The other thing that I noticed about SF is that people like to stand in lines there. You stand in line for restuarants, movies, and anything else that people do. Often there is no seating inside for those waiting so you are outside in the damp.

For me I would much prefer to escape that killer fog to live in a suburb over the hills like Walnut Creek, Orinda where it's much much warmer and go by train a few times a month into SF for the resturants and cultural events. But you'll need a car in the Burbs.
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Re: Pedestrain City Recommendations?
Old 02-20-2006, 12:22 PM   #42
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Re: Pedestrain City Recommendations?

MasterBlaster,
Yeah, the times I've visited SF, it was always cool, foggy. But I love the wharfs, Chinatown, the mix of shops, etc.

I'd love the climate in SD (Pacific Beach) but I think the beach scene would get old after a while.

Anybody live in Charlotte, Virginia Beach, or NY?
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Re: Pedestrain City Recommendations?
Old 02-20-2006, 12:25 PM   #43
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Re: Pedestrain City Recommendations?

If by Wharfs, you mean Fishermans Wharf and Pier 39. Well those are for tourists. The locals wouldn't go there if you paid them. Nor would they eat at any of the Wharf restuarants cause there are better ones inside the city.

San Diego might be a good option. They are supposed to have the "perfect" weather there. Although they get about about a month of overcast (but not cold) weather there called the June Gloom. If you don't like the beach check out the downtown area. The downtown is re-gentrifying into somewhat of a yuppie area. If you moved there there are lots of restaurants and shops within walking distance. I live about 80 miles from SD and go there a few times a year for a day trip and always enjoy it.* I'll bet that poster Nords has spent a good deal of time in and around SD during his Navy service. Maybe he'll have some comments.


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Re: Pedestrain City Recommendations?
Old 02-20-2006, 12:35 PM   #44
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Re: Pedestrain City Recommendations?

MB,
I just love all the seagulls, pelicans, etc., squawking and the boats moving in and out.

I also like tourist watching.
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Re: Pedestrain City Recommendations?
Old 02-20-2006, 01:12 PM   #45
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Re: Pedestrain City Recommendations?

I'll second San Francisco since I live nearby, although I will say it's not as pedestrian friendly as you might expect... lots of hills, hardly any subway system, and most people do have cars.

If I was going to go carless I'd personally want to bicycle, and Vancouver seems ideal for that... it's like a flat San Francisco (an island city with lots of culture).

Santa Cruz and Berkeley appeal to me too... I'm actually considering moving to Berkeley myself, being a lefty leaning kinda guy.

Boulder, Colorado is another place I'd consider personally; I saw lots of people getting around by bicycle. In fact most college towns are set up for people who don't have cars.
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Re: Pedestrain City Recommendations?
Old 02-20-2006, 04:07 PM   #46
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Re: Pedestrain City Recommendations?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldAgePensioner
cube_rat,
Nob Hill sounds like it has a lot of what I'm looking for. Plus, SF's Chinatown is heaven to me. I could eat Chinese every meal.
Sounds like SF would be good fit for your needs.
I lived in SF, Marin, East Bay and Walnut Creek. For not needing a car, having all the Asian restaurants you'll ever need, or any kind for that matter, a moderate climate (with warmer & colder not that far a way), you should be in The City - I recommend Telegraph Hill/North Beach or Russian Hill - My favorite place to live was the Filbert Stairs - a garden oasis in the middle of the city with great views - check out "The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill" and Bogart & Bacall's "Dark Passage" to get a taste. I would still be there if I hadn't started a family.
Actually, I've convinced the SO that we should spend an occasional winter there when we are able to begin our regular escapes from Minnesota.
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Re: Pedestrain City Recommendations?
Old 02-20-2006, 04:56 PM   #47
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Re: Pedestrain City Recommendations?

fireme,
I hear lots of good things about Vancouver and I'm giving it a look. The hills of SF could be a bit much for me in my mid-late 50s.

DanTien,
Thanks for the suggestions on areas. I really want to be car-free, so I will compromise area a bit to remain sans vehicle.
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Re: Pedestrain City Recommendations?
Old 02-20-2006, 05:18 PM   #48
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Re: Pedestrain City Recommendations?

They are really building up downtown SD, especially since they put in the new ballpark a few years ago (not quite as nice as Pac Bell park in my opinion, but close).* The Gaslamp District has lots of restaurants, shops and nightlife.* There is also Balboa park for museums, Old Town for mexican food, Coronado Island for more shops and restaurants (you can take the ferry over), and good medical facilities.* It's probably not as pedestrian-friendly or culturally diverse as SF, but you can still get around fairly easily.* The Coaster runs up and down the North County coast (from downtown to Oceanside) and stops in all of the North County towns (Del Mar, Solana Beach, Carlsbad, Encinitas).* There's stuff to do in all of those places.* Like you mentioned,* it's definitely a great beach town.* If that's not your thing, you'll probably get a little more in SF.* The trade-off is the weather is a bit nicer in San Diego.* * I live in North County SD and you can't beat the weather.* Other than the June Gloom it is fantastic.*
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Re: Pedestrain City Recommendations?
Old 02-20-2006, 05:50 PM   #49
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Re: Pedestrain City Recommendations?

Just had dinner at Carl Strauss next to the Wyndham hotel in San Diego (it's the cluster of buildings with lighted green hexagons on top, signature piece of the san diego skyline) last night. As a SD north county resident, I say you would be hard pressed to find a better mix, if you can afford the location. Another option, if you buy near Carlsbad village north of San Diego, you can take the train down to San Diego for big events and enjoy the pubs, live music, resturants in Carlsbad on a nightly basis.
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Re: Pedestrain City Recommendations?
Old 02-20-2006, 06:59 PM   #50
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Re: Pedestrain City Recommendations?

J-Lu, Laurence,
SD is definitely high on my thinking list. I like the weather and the ladies. I also love the burgers at the Green Flash in Pacific Beach (where Emerald joins the sand) and Bullies in La Jolla has the worlds best Prime Rib au Jus.

Sounds like public transport will get me around just fine.
Thanks for the info.
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Re: Pedestrain City Recommendations?
Old 02-20-2006, 08:42 PM   #51
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Re: Pedestrain City Recommendations?

OAP, is bicycling to get around not an option? Weather permitting, it would allow you easily get anywhere beyond the limited walking distance while you also get important aerobic exercise. Of course SF, might be a bit of a challenge.

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Re: Pedestrain City Recommendations?
Old 02-20-2006, 10:17 PM   #52
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Re: Pedestrain City Recommendations?

Heck with a bicycle...get one of those electric scooters, turn your hat sideways, wear a big shirt and your pants around your knees...
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Re: Pedestrain City Recommendations?
Old 02-20-2006, 10:38 PM   #53
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Re: Pedestrain City Recommendations?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MasterBlaster
I'll bet that poster Nords has spent a good deal of time in and around SD during his Navy service. Maybe he'll have some comments.
Yeah, we lived there '94-'97 when we were exhiled from Hawaii, but I haven't had much to contribute to this thread due to the prices.

Kensington & Normal Heights are nice livable 1930s neighborhoods with everything in walking distance. I can remember watching a neighbor, a retired USMC aviator in his late 70s, strolling a few blocks to the grocery store for fresh fruit & veggies every day. I used to drive by the Kensington Coffee Co on the way to work and swear that someday I'd be lazing around there in the morning like all those other retired loafers.

The real estate has become pretty pricey, though.

I liked Coronado, Monterey, & Carmel for their climates & walkabout amenities but I doubt that they're cheap either.

Waikiki's like that too, but almost as pricey as SD.
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Re: Pedestrain City Recommendations?
Old 02-20-2006, 10:45 PM   #54
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Re: Pedestrain City Recommendations?

It kind of amazes me that NYC hasn't been mentioned yet. It is the quintessential american pedestrian city with great subways and lots of great neighborhoods. But it is NYC.
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Re: Pedestrain City Recommendations?
Old 02-21-2006, 12:00 AM   #55
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Re: Pedestrain City Recommendations?

Boston is a very nice city with most of what you want, except as mentioned, the winter can be a little hard sometimes (but this year it was fine). Boston is kind of like a small NYC in my opinion (and only 3 hours away from the real NYC). It is very vibrant because of all the students, lots of restaurants and tourist attractions, and probably the best health care in the US (Harvard + MGH + BWH + Children's). Mass transit makes it super easy to live without a car because so few students have cars anyway. I really prefer the feel of Boston to the feel of NYC because it's smaller and much more personal. And if you are interested in education at all then it's hard to beat Boston.

If costs are no issue and weather is really important to you then it's hard to beat California (either San Diego or San Francisco would be my vote). I know SF has a lot of homeless people though that cause problems and it is super expensive. Maybe you can try living in each city for a month to see how you like it?



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Re: Pedestrain City Recommendations?
Old 02-21-2006, 05:41 PM   #56
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Re: Pedestrain City Recommendations?

Quote:
Originally Posted by (Cute Fuzzy Bunny)
Heck with a bicycle...get one of those electric scooters, turn your hat sideways, wear a big shirt and your pants around your knees...
I always think of bicycle first cause I love being on my bike and get the added health benefit of aerobic exercise, assuming a drunken or careless driver doesn't curtail my health activity.

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Re: Pedestrain City Recommendations?
Old 02-21-2006, 06:30 PM   #57
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Re: Pedestrain City Recommendations?

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I know SF has a lot of homeless people though that cause problems and it is super expensive.*
I don't see the homeless in SF as a problem... I've never felt unsafe around homeless people in SF, just sometimes annoyed a bit at the panhandling pitches. But they leave you alone as soon as you say no.

It sounds cheesy, but I think the homeless help "keepin it real" in SF... without them it would be exclusively the territory of the upper classes. Since nobody with middle or low salary can afford to live in SF, the homeless are the only ones there who aren't upper middle class or above. The diversity of San Francisco is getting lower and lower as it keeps getting more expensive, which is sad.



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Re: Pedestrain City Recommendations?
Old 02-21-2006, 06:45 PM   #58
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Re: Pedestrain City Recommendations?

I agree with you fireme. I worked in the city for years and although there were a lot of homeless folks, most kept to themselves. A lot of homeless folks are mentally ill living on the streets without their meds.
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Re: Pedestrain City Recommendations?
Old 02-21-2006, 07:06 PM   #59
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Re: Pedestrain City Recommendations?

Here in Chicago, I see lots of homeless older men. Some sit with a cardboard sign, some have a cup that they rattle, and some just ask with a hand stuck out.

Never had a hassle. I look em straight in the eyes and say "No". Homeless seem like part of the fiber of a big city.

SF is lookin good to me.
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Re: Pedestrain City Recommendations?
Old 02-22-2006, 07:19 AM   #60
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Re: Pedestrain City Recommendations?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cube_rat
I agree with you fireme. I worked in the city for years and although there were a lot of homeless folks, most kept to themselves. A lot of homeless folks are mentally ill living on the streets without their meds.
That's true. In addition, I believe from my interaction with them and from what I've read, a good number of them are the damaged that made it out of Nam. I've always felt that they need to be honored for their service too. I'm also convinced that future damaged/homeless are being created over in the middle east the last few years.
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