East Coast or West???

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 03, 2009 8:08 PM GMT

    The Situation:

    1. I currently live in Tulsa, Oklahoma, right in the middle of the country.

    2. I am starting law school this fall and will be on one of four cities: LA, San Francisco, DC, or New York.

    3. For the purposes of this post, let's assume the schools are all equal in academic reputation/merit and location is going to be a deciding factor.

    Background:

    1. I've visited/spent some time in each of these cities, and have lived in DC for a summer when working for HRC in 2006.

    2. I've also studied in London, Quebec and Paris as an undergraduate, so I'm not unfamiliar with living in bigger cities.

    3. I have at least one friend in each of these locations, who would be thrilled to have me relocate: so I'm guessing that I can meet people at any of these destinations.

    The Question:

    Here's where I'd like some help (a geo-specific anthropological question of sorts): for those of you guys who live in one of these cities, or have lived in one of more of them, what were your impressions? Generally, are you more East coast orientated, or West coast? What advice might you have for me, a native of the "unbiased center" of the country, in regard to my journey to one of the coasts?

    There you have it. I appreciate the help. ;-)

    -Matt
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 03, 2009 8:53 PM GMT
    Why are you ruling out the north and the south? You can have the east and west coasts. Too expensive and crowded.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 03, 2009 9:03 PM GMT
    Come to DC I live here. I love it! My mom graduated from GW law school, and is a great lawyer here.
  • boilerup_82

    Posts: 188

    Mar 03, 2009 9:07 PM GMT
    NYC:
    pros - you have public transport taken care of, which is a huge plus, it has everything

    cons: housing is really expensive


    LA:

    pros: weather is awesome all year, in the winter you can surf one weekend and ski/snowboard the other, not as dense as nyc, it has everything

    cons: you need to have a car (deal with traffic*), housing can be expensive



    *i'm from LA and regarding traffic, after living there, you find out a way to get around it so it is not a HUGE HUGE problem, per se.



    I would choose NYC just because it's such an amazing place. It's so diverse, great food and attraction (LA has this too). Also, i'd choose NYC just because i have lived in LA most of my life and I'm all about trying out different cities.

    i wish i had the chance to live in nyc, unfortunately, there are barely engineering offices there =(




  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 03, 2009 9:24 PM GMT
    TheIStrat saidCome to DC I live here. I love it! My mom graduated from GW law school, and is a great lawyer here.



    Well that's one of the two DC schools I'm weighing on, so it's a distinct possibility. (2 in DC, 2 in San Fran, 2 in LA and 1 in NY.)
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 03, 2009 9:26 PM GMT
    You can't go wrong with the West Coast.

    Limitless diversity, fantastic weather, a vast array of landscapes (hiking in the snow, desert, forests, marshland, etc)...

    Two major world cities, laid back atmosphere, and cultured persona's :-)

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 03, 2009 11:14 PM GMT
    Apparently there are characteristic differences among left and right coasters. East coast people tend to be more harsh and uptight and hurried while West coast people are more laid back and open minded and eco-oriented... of course, stereotypes nonetheless.

    My lop-sided suggestion, go with the RIGHT coast.
  • EricLA

    Posts: 3461

    Mar 03, 2009 11:29 PM GMT
    Well, I grew up 45 minutes south of San Francisco, I've lived in L.A. for almost half my life now aside from the three years I recently lived in New York City. So, the only one I can't speak to is DC, though I've visited.

    All four are expensive places to live, so I'd be prepared for that. I'd do my homework on what your housing situation is going to be like. Are you going to be working to support yourself through school? The job market sucks everywhere right now, but you might want to see where it's best.

    There were things I really liked about New York, but one of the biggest factors for me was the weather. Too much rain and snow and cold for me to deal with, though the hot, humid summers weren't all that fun, either. Obviously, DC would have been similar. Where you live in NY can make all the difference. I felt a bit isolated in the Upper East Side. And I didn't know many people there. I didn't succeed at making many friends outside of work, so I pretty much married my job while I was there, which was okay until there was a change at the top that didn't quite work out for me.

    I've lived almost my entire life on the West Coast, so I'm spoiled by the nice weather. I definitely feel better, healthier, and happy in a sunnier and more moderate climate. It really makes all the difference. Yes, you need a car here in L.A., but I also prefer the mobility. But, it's more affordable for me in L.A. My rent in NYC was over $1500/mo for a 1BR/1BA apartment of LESS than 300 square feet. I now pay just over $1200/mo for a 1BR/1BA apartment of probably >1100 square feet. Yes, I have car payments and car insurance and gas, but I prefer the trade off of being able to go where where I want and when.

    San Francisco is a bit cold for me, but I could imagine living up there.

    Obviously, all four have thriving gay social scenes of different types, so it depends on what you're looking for there.

    That's a brief summary. If you want to know anything more, or more details, let me know.

    Good luck!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 04, 2009 12:28 AM GMT
    If you plan on owning a car/driving anywhere don't choose LA
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 04, 2009 12:38 AM GMT
    i currently prefer east coast, having been raised here... a lot of big cities are within a day's drive of each other (i'm 1 hour from DC, 30 mins from Baltimore, 2 hours from Phili, 4 hours from NYC, 12 minutes from Annapolis, etc...)

    i like the old money feel over here, as opposed to the flashy, superficial new money feel over there.... and it has less to do with money, as it does with oldness and newness of everything in general. i like history, and i like cities and places that are more saturated with it- with experience. the east is the oldest part of our country, the west is the newest. in the same sense that i don't ever want to live in a new house, but rather prefer renovated old ones with good bones- i would rather choose an old city than a new one full of fake boobs :p

    plus, i'd rather be closer to europe than asia, should i have time or resources to travel
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 04, 2009 2:20 AM GMT
    Geez. I get the impression that everyone on this site hates LA. icon_confused.gif

    Matt,

    The questions that you're asking doesn't exactly help us provide good suggestions. There are so many variables like.. cost of living, transportation, job markets, culture, weather, gay community, and so on. What attributes are YOU looking for? If you let us know what's important to you, then it might easier for us to give you some useful advice. Otherwise, you're just gonna see a bunch of these types of replies..

    LA sucks, people are fake, too much traffic.
    NY sucks, people are rude, too much traffic.
    SF sucks, people are nice in a fake way, too much traffic.
    DC sucks, people are crackheads, too much traffic.

    But for the time being, I'm going to suggest picking a school/location that has a close relationship with the local legal professions/firms. Because while you're in school, it's probably a good idea to get an internship or some type of work/study program. In these weird economic times, it's getting harder to get a job. And having experience even before you graduate will give you the advantage.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 04, 2009 2:37 AM GMT
    and why is Boston not on the list? Some of the best law schools in the nation are in Boston.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 04, 2009 2:43 AM GMT
    east coast dc,west palm beach ,atlanta,any where i am, i make it all fun ,life is what make it ,be happy anywhere you are ,you are alive and not 6ft under so you have nothing to be sad about
  • Ritournelle

    Posts: 134

    Mar 04, 2009 3:20 AM GMT
    I live in LA now, and find it to be about the easiest place to become complacent. The weather is of course great, but the diversity thing is exaggerated because mainly this diversity means having a few huge minority groups instead of New York where you can find people from every corner on the planet. In LA, especially the westside, there are tons of transients, so getting a good, grounded group of friends can take a long while.

    Honestly, I plan on moving to New York for grad school, because CA is bankrupt (huge budget cuts on CA public schools) and the job market is abominable (in the bottom three). I just get the impression that the east coast is more competitive (LA is really not a very educated city) and there is much less upward mobility. But these are really problems after graduation. Although if you're considering USC (you said 2 here so I'm assuming UCLA and USC), beware that the power of the school's name lies mainly in Southern California.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 04, 2009 3:50 AM GMT
    Have you already been accepted to the law school of choice in one of these 4 cities? I think ultimately, that will drive your decision. Unless you are a WIZ and passed the GRE with flying colors and can pick the school of choice. However, I wouldn't limit my choices simply to the coasts, especially in just these cities. Have you thought about Portland or Seattle perhaps, or Providence, RI to name a few? To be honest, big cities are simply a hodge podge of smaller cities put together. Does anyone ever from Manhattan on a typical day go out to Queens for the gay bars? Or does one travel from Burbank down to Irvine to go to a local gym? I'm sure people do, but my point is you'll get into your comfort zone of places to visit/see and the rest of the outlying burbs will simply be a blurr.
  • dfrourke

    Posts: 1062

    Mar 04, 2009 4:06 AM GMT
    Live in NYC and LEAVE before you get too hard...Live in San Francisco and LEAVE before you get too soft...

    [and I'm not talking about body parts]

    All have their merits...I chose NYC first and was glad I did...I started 'nesting' when I got to San Francisco and was ready for some quirky politics and a greater sense of community...[I was raised in Milwaukee, WI]

    I'm glad I did both coasts and I'm glad they happened in the order they did...I had more energy for NYC when I was younger albeit I had no money! Now, my finances have caught up with me and SF is just the right pace...

    LA is fun to visit [for me], but too sprawled out and far too much of a playland than a home.

    I've loved visiting DC. I could see myself living there some day. If you are going to grad school for law I think it's an excellent choice.

    good luck!

    - David icon_wink.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 04, 2009 4:16 AM GMT
    I have lived in both NYC and grew up in SoCal (LA and SD), live in SF now (for going on my 8th year) and have spend some time in DC. All are decent cities with their own strengths, communities, and politics. I plan to return to the East Coast, despite my love of the climate in SF. I'm going to leave my comments of LA out of this, because I am biased towards my home town and would return anytime with no issues. I love LA. San Francisco has changed over the years, and perhaps I am a bit jaded. I find the city vibrant, but also dirty, crime-filled, and worse for wear. It's much to liberal-progressive for my tastes and political beliefs. I only expect things to worsen as the city faces a record budget deficit, and the political climate here would encourage the dismissal and firing of both the police and fire departments before they close one drug rehab center or "homeless" program. The city spends over $160 million on homeless programs and it just gets worse every year. This might be a non-issue for you, but quality of life here suffers, unless you can afford to live in the best neighborhoods, which will easily run you the same amount as NYC dwellings. I would suggest a visit to each city, taking it in from the residents standpoint and not someone on vacation. Use public transportation. Explore areas you want (and can afford) to live in, on foot, day and night. Read the local newspapers, all of them, right and left leaning. And do what you did hear, ask for opinions and advice. No matter where you end up, they all have their strengths and weaknesses. If you end up in NYC, hit me up!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 04, 2009 4:38 AM GMT
    Hiker98 saidHave you already been accepted to the law school of choice in one of these 4 cities? I think ultimately, that will drive your decision. Unless you are a WIZ and passed the GRE with flying colors and can pick the school of choice. However, I wouldn't limit my choices simply to the coasts, especially in just these cities. Have you thought about Portland or Seattle perhaps, or Providence, RI to name a few? To be honest, big cities are simply a hodge podge of smaller cities put together. Does anyone ever from Manhattan on a typical day go out to Queens for the gay bars? Or does one travel from Burbank down to Irvine to go to a local gym? I'm sure people do, but my point is you'll get into your comfort zone of places to visit/see and the rest of the outlying burbs will simply be a blurr.


    Yeah, that's the gist of it. I'm accepted to schools in those cities. Each school offers a comparative education and I shouldn't have trouble finding summer work at any of them. So I'm more curious about what it is like to simple live in these cities.
  • kaccioto

    Posts: 284

    Mar 04, 2009 5:09 AM GMT
    im in NYC, grew up in Baltimore, and spent a considerable amount of time in LA.

    i agree with above poster that NYC can suck you in like a vacuum without you even knowing it...the pace can be unreal on all levels - work, social obligations, even 'lazy' brunch, there never seems to be enough time..

    five months in i seriously questioned if i could bear this lifestyle until mid 30's or so...almost 2 years later the answer is pretty clear..

    once you make the right 'family' here, no place compares..it's not so much that this city is better than another per se, as i believe everyone takes a different experience from new york

    it's more so that no other place can collectively match it's pulse and vibrancy (even post-giuliani), and i traveled quite a bit for work, mostly the smoke and hk..the electricity in the air isn't as tangible as it is here, for me at least..

    personality plays a part, if you're genuinely very laid back, the west might better suit you..i notice huge working cultural differences between our ny offices and western/southern affiliates..hell, even our jersey offices..i think you have to be a little unbalanced to really make it in this tiny island..