California soft New York hard

Live in New York City once, but leave before it make you hard; Live in Northern California once, but leave before it make you soft?
January 11, 2016 – 10:23 pm
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Having lived in both places for long stretches, I can attest that this is one of those lines that leans more on sounding cool than it does relaying fact. It's conjecture based on faulty reasoning - some of it accurate, some of it not so much. It assumes that 1) Northern California and New York City are two of the best areas of the country (true) and 2) Nor Cal is an anything-goes, live as you wish, wholly organic kind of experience and NYC is a sink-or-swim, center of the universe, culturally prominent yet cut-throat type of deal (only partly true.)

Northern California covers roughly two-thirds of the country's most populous state (in area) extending from the northern half of the Central Valley all the way through the South Bay, Bay Area, Wine Country, Sierras, etc. Ask a farmer putting in twelve hour days in the San Joaquin Valley, or the guy working the winter snow plow or tow truck shift on the I-80 mountain climb if Northern California is making him soft.

More likely this bit of false wisdom is intended specifically for San Francisco vs NYC, and the latter's long-standing, street tough, "if you can make it there you can make it anywhere" reputation. Part of this is true. While it's a generalization, NYC has a more industrious, 'whatever it takes to get the job done" reputation, while SF is more concerned with calling it a day at 5:30 so you can fit in some mountain biking before it gets dark. But part is also based on the incorrect stereotype that New Yorkers are brusque, rude sorts and Northern Californians are all about free love, growing pot, and Redwood trees. Not entirely true - while New York is more to the point, in my experience it's a more receptive and friendly city than San Francisco, which can often feel uncentered, rude, and overrun with aggressive derelicts. If one were to base his experience solely on a two hour walk through San Francisco and Manhattan, he might very well conclude that Northern California is the place to leave before it 'makes you hard.'

Bottom line is both places are great areas to live for as long as you can manage them. Weather, and more specifically money, will probably become a factor in how long you decide to stay. The granola-head vs street-wise argument doesn't hold water, and the line is just something that sounds good in a newspaper column - turned falsely accredited commencement speech - turned pop song.

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Popular Q&A
What is a new york soft taco?

Top Soft Taco is a Mexican Restaurant located at 1654 Sheepshead Bay Rd, Brooklyn 11235. !

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