The Great Debate: NYC vs. SF

Friday, April 23, 2010

It seems that North Americans are perpetually torn and divided on which “coast” to favor. Seeing as the United States and Canada are such expansive countries, it’s a luxury to be able to judge those on the other side of the nation.

In Canada, there is a quiet, yet pervasive, rivalry between Vancouver and Toronto (Montreal is always adorable because it’s on the French side). The laid-back, pro-pot-smoking, West-coasters don’t understand the filthy, grimy, stressful life of those living in Ontario’s capitalist capital.

The same goes for the United States. San Franciscans are social progressives who have a cool calm outlook which contrasts with the hub-bub-addicted, hyper-caffeinated New Yorkers. Over the decades, as each city created its cultural stamp, the friendly-feuding began.

I stumbled across this clip on WorldHum. It’s an attempt to vouch for San Fran in 76-seconds put together by Robert Reid, a Brooklyn resident. In it he developed four reasons why Frisco seems better than New York:

1) The Mission burritos are better, wrapped with more foil to contain all deliciousness within.

2) Better coffee culture with better coffee. (Question is, why don’t they drink more of it?)

3) BART is better.

4) San Francisco has been the same for decades: It embraces what it is.

New York has lots to offer, too — an opera-singing Chinese-food delivery man and being listed as 8th most bike-friendly city in America — just to name a couple. In the end, do these things really make one city better than the other or just different? My bet is on the latter.

Personally, I respect the West-side but feel most at home in the East — my Manifest Destiny never really kicked in. There is a sense of reality that is forever present in New York City and Toronto. Perhaps it’s just my fascination with the cynical, skeptical, chain-smoking coffee-drinking jerks.

I still enjoyed my stays in San Francisco and Vancouver, both cities having lots to offer in terms of beauty and tranquility, a different pace of life, a utopia. However, by the end of the week, I was happy to head back, East of Eden.

By Brit Weaver


About the Author

Toronto born and based, Brit is an avid leisure cyclist, coffee drinker and under-a-tree park-ist. She often finds herself meandering foreign cities looking for street eats to nibble, trees to climb, a patch of grass to sit on, or a small bookstore to sift through. You can find her musing life on her personal blog,

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