East Coast Living – Is It Really That Bad?

West Coast Mountains, Lake TahoeAny rational person would agree that living on the West Coast is better than living on the East Coast.  Anybody who tells you otherwise probably has never experienced West Coast living long enough to understand the difference.  I’m rational, and I’ve lived on both sides for many years and I don’t believe there’s really much of a debate. Who doesn’t want to live in more moderate temperatures where the sun is always shining? Unless you like super cold winters and uncomfortably muggy summers, the East Coast isn’t for you.

When your family and friends are on the East Coast, it’s hard to leave I understand. We’re afraid of change. I know I am. But, this is not a post to bash the East Coast. This is a post to understand what truly makes the East Coast and other uncomfortable climate zones special.

A friend of mine is thinking about relocating from San Francisco to New York City or Washington DC for a little bit of adventure. I think she’s a little nuts leaving our California sunshine behind and I’m trying to understand why, and maybe even why not.

EAST COAST POSITIVES

1) Richer history. Since the Europeans first invaded the East Coast of America, there is a much richer heritage as evidenced by more developed infrastructure and building architecture. Museums are more prevalent, and attractions are more interesting.

2) Closer to Europe. It’s easy to get a direct flight to Europe that’s also cheaper and quicker. Who doesn’t love to visit the bright lights of Paris, and the bustle of London every once in a while?

3) Time Zone Dominance. American TV and major broadcasts still revolves around eastern standard time. The stock market market opening at 9:30am, the French Open finals at 9am, and World Cup matches at 7am are all examples of major events serving the eastern time zone.

4) Food. Certain foods such as hot pastrami sandwiches, pizza, and cheese-steaks always seem tastier on the east coast for some reason. Perhaps there’s no real difference, other than the fact that when you eat a hot pastrami sandwich at Katz’s deli in NYC, it’s just more authentic given the history.

5) Less Earthquakes. Earthquake danger is overrated in California given the infrequency of large shakes. That said, the danger still exists.  I’d much rather have a big earthquake every 30 years than tornadoes and hurricanes every year. Sorry, I lied! Stand strong Virginia and East Coasters, stop making fun of us Californians!

6) There’s Only Upside. Imagine if you were born and raised in Kauai. What a drag to leave! Once you live on the east coast, anywhere else you go will be so much better!

EAST COAST NEGATIVES

1) The weather is horrible. Too hot and muggy during the summer, too cold and dreary during the winter. If there’s going to be snow, at least have some snowboardable mountains. Only the Fall is beautiful.

2) Damaging storms. Without fail, there always seems to be a blizzard or a violent hurricane every year which wreaks havoc on property and financial well-being.

3) Terrible for allergies. Anybody who is highly sensitive to any allergen should consider leaving the East Coast. I suffered from tremendous allergies while living in the East Coast for 10 years, and as soon as I moved to San Francisco, my allergy attacks all but went away. Perhaps there’s something in the trees or the pollution.

CONCLUSION

I really am trying to see the positives of living on the East Coast with my six examples. However, I have to admit I’m struggling to find more reasons. The weather is atrocious for half the year, and it would take quite a premium to leave California. Won’t you help share some of your reasons as to why the East Coast is so wonderful?

Follow up: West Coast Living – Yes It Really Is That Much Better!

Regards,

Sam @ Financial Samurai – “Slicing Through Money’s Mysteries”

 

Sam started Financial Samurai in 2009 during the depths of the financial crisis as a way to make sense of chaos. After 13 years working on Wall Street, Sam decided to retire in 2012 to utilize everything he learned in business school to focus on online entrepreneurship.

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Comments

  1. The Genius says

    I have to see, the East Coast really does suck compared to the West Coast. I went to school out East and have lived in SF and Seattle. It’s way better out West!

    It’s weird how east coasters stay miserable!

  2. The Wealthy Canadian says

    I’m an East Coaster and I love the winter. And that’s the Canadian winter version! Snowmobiling and outdoor adventures are where it’s at, but I love to get away in the sun too.

    My wife and I visited Florida for our honeymoon, and we love to get away down south every so often to soak in the rays. We like visiting the Dominican Republic too.

    With that being said, I think I’d love to live in the New England states for some time. I love the idea of four distinct seasons. I’m definitely going to visit those states sooner rather than later. I can’t wait.

    I visited Vancouver a few years ago for about a week during the spring time and it was gorgeous. I’m really not a big fan of rain. I’d rather snow any day as long as it’s not the slushy kind that melts and comes and goes frequently.

    Personally, I find that it’s not the place but the company you’re with that makes a place ‘better’ than another. Just my thoughts! :)

  3. Sarah says

    I grew up in California and moved to Ohio when I was 18 to attend college. I plan on staying here the rest of my life!
    Benefits:
    Four seasons. I have a lot of friends in Texas and they have been complaining very loudly about the weather since about May. Me? I have only had my air conditioning on a few times this summer, the weather has been perfect. I am also looking forward to fall, which is the most beautiful part of the year here. Winter is not as bad as people say it is; I enjoy building snowmen, cross-country skiing, and I keep my car in the garage. Spring is also beautiful here; people in So Cal have no what green looks like.
    How does the summer in Ohio compare to California? Oh, I don’t know. It’s actually GREEN here. Every time I go back to So Cal I am SHOCKED at how brown, ugly, and crowded it is compared to the Midwest.
    Cost of living. At 29, I own a 4 bedroom house on ¾ of an acre.
    Stuff to do:
    I’ve been to Disney World and Land; they are crowded and over rated. Cedar Point and King’s Island are WAY better in my opinion.
    Skiing, boating, swimming, fishing.. I can do all of these things in the summer; in a non-crowded and inexpensive manner.
    As far as I’m concerned the only thing I am missing is great snow skiing; however, there is average/ok skiing here in the winter.
    I am within 3 hours of professional sports franchises in just about every sport, the mountains (Appalachians), a large body of water (Eerie), and at least 6 major cities with unique character, history, museums, opera, etc.
    The Midwest rules!

  4. says

    Obviously it’s a personal choice, and so subjective, that one cannot be “better” than the other, but with that said, there is 1 defining characteristic that will always differentiate the two…

    The people on the east coast are just plain more fun! I’ve lived in San Diego and outside Seattle, and while there are many great attributes to the west coast, and I would move back if the chance arose, west coast people, while nice, calm, and “laid back”, lack the fun factor.

    Come and party on the east coast for a few nights – NY till 8am, when people are still showing up a the bar or just got out of the last LCD Soundsystem show (unbelievable), eating philly cheesesteaks at 4 am, or ben’s chili bowl in dc at 3, no matter how you slice it, the east coast just has more…passion for a crazy party.

    No doubt that’s a bigger draw when you are younger, and I can see why the west coast is amazing as well, especially if you want a family. It’s cleaner, friendlier, more beautiful, and safer. But I know many people who went out there (myself included) and came back, at least for their early – mid 20′s, because people out here are just way crazier. If you grow up with it, there’s no one else like it (except maybe australians, who REALLY party hard).

    • says

      I started off on the EC too and partied hard. Then it got old and I moved out West where bars close at 2am. We’re a much earlier city and tend to wake up at the crack of dawn go start our day.

      • says

        I’m about there as well – my hard partying days are behind me, and family ideas dancing in my head, those west coast cities are calling again. If I can transfer, I’ll be back in San Diego by mid 2012. It’s time for safety and sunshine!

        • Janna says

          Sunshine, maybe….but statistically, New York is actually safer than California, so don’t use that as a reason for moving!

  5. btoblake says

    In my area, a lovely home is $150k, and a typical commute is 20 minutes.

    I priced comparable options in silicon valley near a tech company. If I was willing to accept a house half the size, and a commute three times as long, the cost of living would probably have only doubled.

    • says

      20 minute commute from Slicon Valley can find you many diff types of houses. From $300,000 to $1000,000 no problem.

      The missing link is income. 28 year olds regularly make $250,000 here. What about where you live?

  6. Sky says

    Having lived in Florida, all over Florida, Miami to NW Florida, I can say that the winters are fine, the Summer sucks. Way too hot and humid. Its hard to make a living in Florida. Retirees do the best overall. Unemployment is high the benefits cap at about 250 per week. Everything except the southern most part of Florida is basically Alabama.

    I lived in New Orleans. It sucks. Its poor, dirty, crime ridden. No industry to speak of except oil and gas and seafood. Hard to make a living. Its hot and humid with lots of mosquitos. It sucks.

    I lived in philadelphia. Its cold in the winter, grey, and dirty. No tech jobs. The people are kind of douchy in general, that steriotypical Jersey asshole mentality. Its hot in the summer. Lots of bars, yes, if you want to wait tables and party with your friends as your past time philly is the city for you. It has art. But NYC has more and better.

    I lived in the Bahamas. It was really interesting. No industry to speak of, very poor. Nice people though. It was worth the experience.

    I lived in Seattle. A bit dreary but not total crap like philly. The people are generally pretty cool. Small vibe in a major city. Lots of arts stuff, outdoors stuff, and lot of tech jobs. Alot of forward thinking types. I found it very nice, way better than anything in the East. No contest.

    I just moved to Santa Monica. I can say, its the nicest place I have lived yet. Have not been here for that long but I love it so far.

  7. naomina80 says

    I am curious , you all talk like there are no other states on the west coast to live in other than california. what about oregon or washington? you get four seasons for those who enjoy it. you don’t get extreme heat or cold but enough to mark the changing of seasons by something other than presidential elections. also like florida, oregon has no sales tax. seattle has great food and coffee. eugene is an amazing place you are 45 min away from the ocean or snow boarding it’s a great place to live if you enjoy various outdoor sports.

    • says

      Oregon and Washington are great in the sense that it’s MUCH cheaper and there is no sales tax in Oregon, and no state tax in Washington! The problem with Oregon is that it’s so dreary much of the year. I wouldn’t mind retiring to Washington though for tax purposes and live elsewhere half the year.

  8. Jaycee says

    Interesting! I’m a TCK (Third Culture Kid — a Military Brat) so I have lived 2-4 years in several places around the globe. As an adult on my own, I still moved around but not as much. I have lived on both coasts (currently live in the midwest due to being married to someone with a business based here but in a few years that will change when he retires). Bottom line on East Coast vs. West Coast … The temperature is generally mild on the West Coast but I found it windy. The sun is great during the spring and very early fall but a bit hot in the summer. The winters, however, are rainy and overcast as heck. No thanks! If I am on the West Coast I want sun and warmth and dry weather not gloomy gray skies and rain in bucketfuls but that is what you get there. I lived in LA, SF and Sacramento areas and only liked SF to be honest — but it’s EXPENSIVE to live there. However, it is also beautiful, great fun and full of history, arts and culture. Can’t say the same for most of the West Coast. Also, most people on the West Coast I found to be lacking in energy or drive — way too laid back for me. But they also seem to be “competing” about designer clothes, the best cars, biggest homes, etc. Not for me either. I hated the commutes as well. Takes too long to get anywhere and little is within walking distance.
    East Coast – Lived in NYC suburbs (Scarsdale, White Plains area) loved it and loved the transportation but also so much is within walking distance (esp. NYC). Also lived in less populated areas of SC and VA. Loved it there too for it’s natural beauty. I only managed to make a few close friends in SC but more in VA. I found VA to be closer to DC so closer to more things to do and historical sites. I preferred the weather there too. I was more inland so hurricanes were never an issue in either SC or VA. I also met more internationals in VA and much preferred that. I am a TCK and like to travel so it certainly helps to know people in other countries who also are into traveling.
    I prefer the East Coast for all those reasons. I have no roots there. Until the last few years, I had no roots anywhere but now feel I have them in the Midwest since I have been living here so long now. Chances are we will move upon retirement to the East Coast for all the above reasons. I can’t wait to have easier access to traveling to more interesting areas more often.

  9. Jenise says

    First of all, you have to determine where on the East Coast you are referring. I lived in DC, and that’s the farthest north I’d ever live because of the winter. I’d never live in NY or Boston, although I like being close enough to visit easily. I currently live in Virginia and have lived both in the DC area and southern Virginia. I grew up in sunny FL and also lived in the mid-west (flyover country). I have a lot of love for the south. My husband was born in PA and moved to San Diego when he was in middle school. I have visited my in-laws several times who refuse to ever leave San Diego, mostly for the weather. The proximity to family and weather has enticed me to consider southern CA, but every time I do, these are the issues I have.

    While the weather and family is nice and it’s a great place to vacation, I don’t know if I’d want to live there.

    Here’s why:

    First, the beach is cold. VA Beach isn’t that great, but I am way partial to warm FL beaches. My husband doesn’t even care about the beach as he prefers the mountains, and he was eager to leave CA and get back to the East Coast. San Diego never felt like home to him.

    Second, yes, it gets very hot here sometimes in the summer, and in the south, we have a mild winter, but I LOVE the change of seasons. I love the fall colors and the spring flowers and the lushness of the foliage here. To me, if I were to live in CA, I’d have to be a little inland because the coast is too cold for me. I like it around 80 degrees, not 69. But the foliage, while well irrigated with pretty flowers and palm trees, is more like a desert. I don’t find it very beautiful aside from the oceanfront and well-manicured places. But you pay a TON for the water. You have major utilities shortages there. All the rain here creates beautiful gardens and forests and trees and plants that the West simply doesn’t have. Beautiful English gardens and canopies of weeping willows and crepe myrtles and magnolias. Love it.

    The history here is incomparable. From Williamsburg to DC to all the colonial and Civil War History sites. If you like American history at all, this is the place to be. San Diego is mostly Mexican History or some Gold Rush history.

    Cost of living outside the major cities here is largely cheaper than CA. Traffic is the worst in DC and a major reason we left, but public transportation is better on the east. It seems all of southern California is becoming an urban center with population overgrowth. It’s so crowded and unaffordable, you have to really be rich to afford the good life California has to offer.

    Architecture: try to find a historic home in CA. There are a few in LA, but the architecture in San Diego is mostly 70′s type Mediterranean or modern. If you don’t like stucco and red roof tiles, don’t move to CA.

    Careers: There are certain fields that CA supports well such as biotechnology, but if you want to do anything with policy or finance/banking, the East Coast is the place to be.

    Food: I love southern food, but I also love Mediterranean/CA cuisine, so I think is more of a matter of preference. However, after honeymooning in Napa, we find that we tend to prefer VA wines more than CA wines. A matter of preference, to be sure.

    Natural Disasters are everywhere. I prefer hurricanes to Mid-west tornadoes for their advance warning. We had an earthquake here in VA this summer, so that’s not a big consideration anymore. Fires creep me out…see the desert terrain. My husband’s boyhood home was burned down a couple of years ago in a CA fire.

    The biggest downside to southern CA for me is that you’re stuck in CA. You can’t really drive to a lot of trips outside of CA unless you want to go into the mountains in Phoenix. It’s far removed from the rest of the country. The same thing occurred when I lived in FL. The East Coast has a lot of variety within a day’s drive.

    Yard size: This is perhaps my biggest beef with affording a CA home. They will show you these big, lush Cape Cods in marketing or large ranch houses, but they don’t tell you you have to be a millionaire to afford one of them. If we make $200k a year, we can maybe afford an inland 3000 sf stucco house with granite countertops and a a postage stamp yard which could maybe fit a pool. Certainly not a beachfront family-sized house. The yards are so small, you can touch the house next to you from your yard. For all your bragging about the weather, how does one enjoy it in your .09 acre yard?

    CA is great if you make a ton of money. Otherwise, it’s over-crowded, over-hyped and expensive. I’d rather live somewhere more affordable and take several vacations per year. VA has mountains, beaches, city and country, agriculture and history, proximity to many different types of weekend getaways, and four seasons to enjoy it in for a cost that either let us live on one income or will keep some savings in the bank for me to afford to take dream vacations and send our kids to a great university. I’m living my dream. Everyone’s dream is different though. Glad you found yours. We can’t all live in one place…that’s why the US is so great with so much variety.

  10. Ramsey says

    I can’t believe that currently we are forced to live on the east coast. If I could leave
    tomorrow, I would. The east coast, with it’s endless cities, is the most fragile
    and weak social system in all of America. It is so fragile that it should instill enough
    fear for people to desire to leave. Consider that you have nearly 27 million people
    living in a space that would easily fit into a majority of other states at least 5 times.
    All it would take is for something as simple as water to be inaccessible for only 2 days,
    for all hell to break lose in these cities. We would effectively see such a weak and
    unsustainable society begin to collapse almost immediately because of its incapability
    Of self reliance. It is beyond disgusting that the entire north east coast is completely
    dependant upon the rest of the U.S. for its survival ~ while because of its population size
    it quite literally dictates to the rest of America our rules. Essentially, it is the most incapable
    of people enslaving the rest of the people of an entire nation while demanding that the rest of the nation keep them alive with basic necessities (such as food).
    I believe the u.s. should be split into two countries – thereby freeing those still in slavery
    while requiring that those who have abused the rest of the nation to learn to take care of themselves. I heard the most god awful thing between two east coast liberals. They believe
    the west is beautiful with the exception of the lack of liberal view. They then said they will just build compounds for conservatives to live in. And laughed as if it were the greatest joke on earth. I am sorry – but liberals already have enslaved us. And it needs to end! It isnt the rest of Americas fault that you ravaged your own land, covered nearly every square foot with concrete so that you can’t grow any food to sustain your own lives! Don’t expect to waltz into other parts of the nation and do the same thing to other peoples land! People from the east coast are absolute parasites latched on to the most capable people while destroying their own land. They should just become their own country, starve and leave everyone else alone.

  11. Kathryn P. says

    This is one of the dumbest debates I have ever read. I’ve lived on both coasts and found both to have their own charms. Coast v. West Coast living… really?! Home is what you make of it. Weather? You can’t control that. You can be bored in the snow and you can be bored in the sun. LA, SF and SAC are totally different environments, and they’re in the same state! Just like New York City. Poughkeepsie and Buffalo…. You can be overcrowded in any city, have bad traffic in any city, have bad public transportation anywhere! If you hate public transportation, move to the suburbs. If you love public transportation, move to the city. Love being laid-back? Go to Miami or SoCal. Need to see people with a lot of drive? Go to Hollywood or Philly. Love partying? It really depends on what kind of friends you make or have the ability to make. If you’re close-minded and looking for the same experiences you had somewhere else, you’re an idiot! YOU’RE SOMEWHERE ELSE THAN WHERE YOU’VE BEEN BEFORE (duh!) Why compare?! You need to ADJUST, people!

  12. Sasha says

    oh god. this post has depressed the heck out of me. I am going to b moving to the east coast to be closer to the only family i have in the states and so my kid can be closer to her dad. sucks that i have to. i dont mind the weather, in fact looking forward to it after the gloom in seattle. however what i am hating is the houses. sad depressing old grimy million dollar sink holes…. what am i to do… ?

  13. Aidan Moran says

    It seems like a lot of people are talking about the west coast as if it is only California and Hawaii. Certainly in those places you may not notice much of a difference between seasons, but come up to Washington and in the summer you have nice temperatures of high 70s up to low 90s, rarely exceeding 100. Then in fall, the temperature starts to drop and is in more of the 60s range, sometimes in 70s or 50s. Then when winter comes, it is usually about 40-50, with some parts of the time dropping to around freezing or slightly below. Very rarely we will get temperatures bellow 20, but almost never. Some years it doesn’t even snow here, while others it will snow several feet.

    Then comes the spring, in which new life is brought to the trees that dropped their leaves in the fall. The temperature begins to rise from the winter, and is much more around the 60s and 70s. And then we come back to summer.

    I know there is a bit of a reputation of Washington as being very rainy (our capital city Olympia, does have the most days of rain of any city in the US) but in Seattle it is actually quite a bit fewer days of rain than most east coast cities, and especially fewer inches since it rarely rains heavily here.

    I like living near Seattle quite a bit. You have long streaks in the summer where there is no rain for several months. I suppose a down side is you will also sometimes have multiple week long streaks of rain.

    What I like is how it is not as extreme as most places on the east coast, but you can tell there actually are seasons!

  14. says

    I’ve lived in the north east my whole life. I see the weather as much more of a positive than a negative. Spring and Fall are absolutley beautiful. Summer is hot & humid, but I’ll take it over the scorching heat you get in places like Houston, Phoenix or Vegas. Winter isn’t that bad either, one or two big storms a year is all you have to worry about, half of my state doesn’t catch fire each summer either ;)

    Cost of living is a huge plus around here too, my $150k house would probably cost over $1mm in San Fran, and I can get to just about any major east coast city in under a day’s drive!

  15. says

    I grew up on the east coast so I completely understand this article (and have lived in The Bay Area for about 8 years now and absolutely adore it.) I’ve often thought about moving back east to be closer to my old friends and family (and where I could afford a nice house for $500k instead of a studio condo) but I just can’t give up my life out here. I could live in a total s$ithole and still be happy everytime I walk outside. The free entertainment of traveling from town to town and hiking in the hills makes it worth it. But who knows, maybe when I have kids I’ll move back east. I really don’t want to go back to that life however, even though it’s fun to visit.

  16. Chris says

    Every time I go to California, for the first three days I say to myself “I can’t believe I don’t live here.” By the fourth day I say to myself “I can’t wait to get home.” Weather is a small part of life.

  17. MONICA says

    I hate the west coast. Who want s rocks for landscaping? Or skin cancer for breakfast. This is America and the only good food is Mexican? not to mention wc ppl dont know how to drive…and everrything is twenty mins away. Ridiculous. Summers are too hot and pools arent even warm until the seasons are over… wintets are bitter cold… and wc prices are ohtrageous esp sales taxes and housing..East coast for life

  18. suprsgrlnxtdr says

    Maybe I missed it, but I did NOT see a mention of water temperature! Pacific….cold, damp southern and mid/northern CA areas, Atlantic, warmer year round, great wreck diving…was never impressed with diving off California and I love swimming and diving even in cold water with no wet suit, but California….too cold too much of the time even for me and what is the point of being next to the water if you don’t want to get in. Plus every time I went to Caramel or Monterey and areas further north along the coast, I got “walking pneumonia.”

    Between East and West U.S. coasts, by water temp and dive sites alone…hands down East coast (mid to south) and southerners don’t “hide their crazy, they give it a mint Juilep and parade it on the porch!” Add in California’s politics, southern crime areas and taxes and I would not choose it ever again. Plus, if you are into sailing….well, the Keyes and Caribe are ever so close!

    I grew up in Northern Europe and lived there for few years as an adult (mild most of the time on the coast due to southern waters crossing the Atlantic) and hot springs/indoor bath/steam houses six months of dark, six of no “sunset”, Indonesia/Malaysia early childhood and visits as adult (beautiful, hot, typhoon season), Midwest teen and college years (cold azz winters, humid as hades summers, unpredictable tornadoes and floods all year…oh, and there is a fault line), the mid east coast childhood and the last several years (Maryland, D.C., VA) mild winters, mildish sometimes coolish summers, eastern Europe and Greece/Turkey/Italy Spain….not enough years spent to comment on the weather (especially as I was often in less than great housing conditions), middle east…visited, summer…just NO!, South America mild or hot, but often humid and the mosquitoes think I am an exotic treat!

    If I had no family, work and boyfriend family U.S. ties…Croatian coast, great scuba, beautiful mountains less than an hour away, great cities and history nearby always, friendly laid back people, Italy is a short ferry ride…but have not been to Portugal or New Zealand yet.

  19. suprsgrlnxtdr says

    Oh, left out the entire continent of Africa, haven’t been there yet either….pirates are not what they used to be!

  20. Preciocilla says

    I’m from the NY/NJ area and lived in Seattle for 2.5 years; I’m in California now. While the West Coast has been a nice change of pace, there are just as many challenges here as there are on the East Coast. I am planning my move back home now.

    Seattle is a beautiful, but terribly depressing place because of the weather. Though I meditate, run and am extroverted (I make friends easily), the weather started to impact my mood—as it does to so many. In addition, culturally, kindness is valued over honesty, which causes well intentioned, but wildly passive-aggressive behavior. Difficult for me professionally.

    California is huge (something for everyone) and the weather is perfect! However, due to a unique political system, rampant over-population, and poor financial choices by policy makers—CA is a quick sinking ship.

    College students can’t complete degrees—unless at private schools—because of the higher education crisis (never mind spaces for life-long learners not permitted because first degree earners are the priority). Middle-class families are fleeing in record numbers—please LOOK THIS UP! Lastly, but of no less importance: Citizens feel unsafe because “realignment” is allowing criminals out of prison prematurely.

    Personally, my work ethic and creativity are being stifled (it feels like it’s being violently choked away). While I’ll contend with terrible weather, I know that the following are available to me on the East Coast that aren’t available on the West Coast:

    1) As much higher education as my intellect, credit, and wallet can attain—there’s lots of room in NJ colleges, for instance.

    2) A society that is liberal enough to make room for individuals to develop, but not so liberal that other citizens are restrained.

    3) Pockets of poverty (unfortunate!), but mostly safe communities with active neighborhood alliances to combat crime. No one who should be imprisoned is being released because we’re broke!

    4) Honest, direct communication!

    5) Culture that encourages a strong work ethic—not lazy (read: “laid back”) lifestyle.

    In closing, it seems that there’s no “right” or easier place to live. Individuals must decide what they need and choose a state that comes closest to providing it.

    Best,
    Preciocilla

  21. Simon says

    I lived on both coasts…and Financial Samurai is truly trying so hard to convince him/her self that the West Coast is better – when it’s so obvious the East Coast as it all. Better cities, much more (real) history, better food, culture, more exciting, better access to places to travel…etc.

    As far as the weather thing – the middle East Coast from Washington DC/VA to NYC/CT is only cold for what – 3 months (Dec – Feb) – and then its NOTHING like the real winters in the Midwestern/Western states. Of course, on the East Coast one can always head to Florida in winter for a respite – which has much warmer (and more sunny) weather than anywhere in California, WAY better beaches (without the polar sea temps of the West Coast), and no smog, pollution, gangs, or traffic. Miami is more fun, hip, and feels more like those classic jet set tropical cities like Rio or Hong Kong, than the crummy overpopulated cities like LA. Florida looks and feels like a real tropical paradise, not a desert with fake looking palms like CA.

    Truth be told – from NYC to Miami the East Coast has it all.

  22. Austin says

    I have lived in California, Seattle, Charleston, Charlotte and New york. In my opinion, The east coast is the best so long as you live south of Virginia.

  23. Nick says

    I’ve lived in the Northeast my entire life (CT right now) and have stayed in SoCal for a while (San Diego area). California is a jaw droppingly beautiful state and I almost settled down there for good. But after a while I couldn’t wait to get back home, back east. I couldn’t imagine living in a climate where the temps were almost always between 60 and 80. How boring. I like extreme variety in weather, whether it’s 0 degrees or 100 degrees, dry or humid, sunny or cloudy, rain, snow or clear skies. The northeast has by far the best variety of weather in the nation, a beautiful rugged coastline and lots and lots of beautiful green flora and fauna. The change of seasons is just phenomenal and even at 29 years old, I still enjoy the fact that every month is uniquely different in terms of weather.

    The east coast also has more world class cities than the west coast, and they are all within a 430-mile span, that can easily be driven through in one day. NYC trumps any city in the U.S., period. Boston is just amazing. And I enjoy the lite European influence in the region. The cities are truly 24/7, have great public transporation, diversity, dining, entertainment, unparalleled history and they are ALL near the beach (even though I don’t care for the beach).

    The people and culture of the east coast is also superior IMO. There is more intellectualism, educational attainment, and the states in general have less crime.

    I will admit, however, that the vibe is somewhat old school, but not in a bad way. It’s just more of a down-to-business vibe. The laid-backness that you see in CA would be looked down upon here in the Northeast. But still, life is what you make of it. I, for one, don’t care about getting rich or whatever. Just give me a basic ranch home and I’m good.

    Also, I like how the east coast has a MUCH larger Italian population (I’m Italian). There are barely any Italians out west, and people out west tend to be taller than those back east. I’m short, so I fit in better :)

    I also love the ability to travel through multiple states within a matter of hours. There have been a few occasions on a summer day where I drove from CT, through RI, MA, NH, VT, then back down to CT in just one day and stopped at places along the way. Can’t do anything like that in CA.

    I also prefer the east coast because it’s more developed and established than out west. The west coast is still in development and IMO they will always be far behind in terms of infrastructure because of a complete lack of any serious public transportation on a large scale. I mean, the northeast has interstate commuter rail networks such as the PATH trains between NYC and NJ, the Metro North railroad between NYC, CT and NYS, in addition to Amtrak lines, bus routes, taxis, etc. You truly don’t need a car.

    So for me, it’s climate, scenery and culture that makes the east coast the superior choice. The west coast is still nice though, but really only if you’re rich.

    • says

      Thanks for your thorough perspective! I admire folks who are able to bear the harsh winters year in and year out. I guess the West Coast makes us soft, b/c I would be really bummed if I couldn’t play tennis for 3-4 months a year. The sun makes me happier.

      Lots of inexpensive places to live on the West Coast if you aren’t on the coast.

  24. Gary says

    I enjoyed all of your comments about the East Coast vs West Coast. I grew up on the West Coast in Southern California for 29 years and moved to the Midwest in South Dakota, I do have family on the East Coast in Virginia and the West Coast in Southern California. Living here in South Dakota where it could get 50 below and that is not with the windchill and the wind is non stop it’s time for a move but where ? My question to you all is can I handle the humidity during the summer on the East Coast and for the cold out in the East Coast (Virginia) I think I can handle that. I have been to the East Coast around Virginia and surrounding states around the fall time love it. I also love the food on the East Coast . I am tired of the bland taste (meat and potatoes) of the food out here in South Dakota I think I’m the only Italian out here that knows what food should taste like .

  25. Rick says

    You can fool some people but not me. I think Calif. Blows. I lived there for three years. My family lives there and many of my friends. You can keep it I’ll keep the snow over the lack of water and taxes.The houses are so close together you can almost reach out your window and touch the other houses (I’ll keep the cold and all the acres of ground I have).

  26. Emily says

    I would take anywhere in California over DC any day. Except for the fact that Maryland is home for me; I would move out of here to the west any day. I am considering it now because I am disabled, have a terrible time with allergies and humidity (so want to reduce the discomfort), and California has much better benefits for the disabled. The problem is–the cost of living would probably give me sticker shock $$$ ouch!! That said, DC area is expensive too, without all the perks of living out west where it is nicer. So a move is still in order if I can find a way to do it.

  27. says

    One thing that’s worth mentioning is that for the average heterosexual single guy, the dating pool is much better in cities like NYC, Boston, Atlanta, and DC than they are in California and the Pac NW. Granted, things do getter better when you hit LA, San Diego, and Arizona, but overall it’s a lot less of a hassle on the East Coast than the West Coast. The South Bay and SF were pretty bad when I visited, and the tech influx into SF will only make it worse.

  28. Maureen says

    There is a lot more to living in an area than just the weather. And, even if CA has really good weather, the east coast has good weather, maybe just not as moderate as CA. Some people are making the east coast sound like the weather is terrible – that just isn’t so. And, each state on the east coast is different. New England gets more than double the snow of the rest of the eastern seaboard. And, Florida gets hurricanes that the rest don’t get.

    As a person living in Northern Virginia and who previously lived in Marin County, CA and has a hubby who lived near SF and San Diego, we prefer the east coast. The east coast is BEAUTIFUL (agree, there are pretty areas in the west as well) – pretty mountains, pretty beaches and the grass is green most of the year. There are pretty, leafy trees and flowering plants/trees BECAUSE we do get rain. While California does have more moderate temperatures year round and is attractive for that reason, it is not perfect weather wise.

    1. I don’t like the cold CA summer nights – I don’t want to wear a sweatshirt and jeans in July. In the east, I love summer. I don’t mind a little humidity and I love that you can walk outside in shorts and a t-shirt any time of day and be comfortable. There is nothing better than sitting on your porch with friends drinking a cold drink on a warm summer’s night. I will note that some people seem to be hyper sensitive to humidity, while others seem to do just fine (again, we all have air conditioning to sleep in and wouldn’t change that). And, the only months that really have high humidity are July and August. Again, I love summer.
    2. In the east, we can swim in our ocean’s in the summer without wet suits. My kids love going to the beach and actually swimming. The water temps at our beaches get around 80 deg. or higher, so they can swim without freezing. When we were in LA last July, we went to Santa Monica where our family stared off into the ocean – while we sat in our jeans and sweatshirts on the gloomy/windy day. 5 miles inland was sunny and 90 (both of which I liked), but June & July are cloudy and cooler on the coast – the exact opposite of what we are used to. The June Gloom as they call it.
    3. January in Marin County was the gloomiest, most depressing time I have ever had in terms of weather – always foggy/rainy.
    4. Some people like the change of seasons – we have neighbors from Sacramento & Charleston, SC who love the 4 seasons that the mid-atlantic offers and prefer Virginia over CA and SC. DC only averages 16 in of snow a year – some years we get none, others more. But a normal year would be about 3 snowfalls of about 4-5 inches. So it’s good for those who like some and not bad for those who don’t want to shovel much.
    5. I would agree that it is nice having more predictable weather in CA – we have had an unusually cold winter this year like we’ve never seen before. And, the moderate climate in CA (without summer thunderstorms) is good for those with health issues.
    6. CA is worse for many people with allergies – it just depends on your allergy – there are many medical websites that discuss this. Our friends from Sacramento do much better here.
    7. The east has water. Who wants to worry about water?
    8. The biggest earthquake I was ever in was in VA – 5.8 a couple years ago. But I was in several in CA and don’t like that at all.
    9. What is wrong with rain? (Unless you get several days in a row). It cleans the air and keeps the beautiful trees and plants beautiful – and a raining day is great for having a movie night. How many bad air/code red days did the CA cities have last year?
    10. Culture. Lots of culture and things to do in the east. And, a lot of good schools in the suburbs.
    11. Great Wine in VA as well as CA. I have multiple wineries within 25 min. of my house.
    12. Gorgeous Mountains and of course . . . . Moonshine : )

  29. Russ Connolly says

    I am a person who was born on the west coast (Vancouver BC) I have lived in BC and Alberta for most of my life but in 1990 we moved to Maine for a year. Couldn’t stand it. Went back to Alberta. Since then, we’ve had to move out east again due to aging in-laws so we’ve been living in New Brunswick for the last 7 years and I can’t tell you how much I hate this fuckin’ place. The weather sucks, it’s wet,damp and cold all the time but here in NB, what sucks the most for us is that there are so many uneducated, gawd dam HILLBILLYS. Holy Crap, some of these people are stupid. Also all the young people are out west because there is no work out here and what work there is , dosn’t pay worth a shit! Out west, in my trade, I could get a job (Very Easily) for about 35-40 bucks an hour……to START. Out here when I applied for my first job, the asshole said,” I can start ya at 15 bucks an hour.” I said Hey,dickhead, I don’t get outa BED for 15 bucks an hour, but guess what I had to do?????? I’m up to 23 bucks an hour now. Whoopie!! There is just so many things that are very different but not in a good way. When you go to a resturant or fast food joint, instead of being greeted and served by some cute little tighty w/nice firm titties and a pretty smile, you’re greeted by some middle aged, saggy titted bitch who’s cranky and dosn’t know how to smile because she has to go out and work to make ends meet. Also, everyone says ” It’s cheaper to live in the East because of the soaring real estate prices out West” Well maybe so, but everything else is close to being the same price or even MORE. Eg. Out west, my heating bills averaged 200 bucks a month. Out here I’m blessed with paying anywhere from 500- 1000 depending on how cold it gets Believe ME, WEST IS BEST!!!!! Amen.

    • Parker says

      You seem like the most elitist asshole that exists. Are all West coasters like you or is it a Canadian thing?

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