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.


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!


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.


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!


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  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!
    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.

    • susie says

      Lived in southern Cali most of my life so I may be a bit biased. Cali may be one giant state though its landscape is also incredibly diverse, just like the people. You can drive from mountain to beach to desert to urban (maybe not NYC or Chi-town urban, but our version of it) all in 1 hr. You’ll meet people from all corners of the world and eat authentic cuisines from each as well. Nor-cal food is foodie heaven with their farm-to-table mentality. We’re laid back and we’re also a passionate bunch who work hard to afford our costly lifestyles. Having smaller homes means less carbon footprint and more reason to get out there and explore. Personally, I’m not much for acquiring stuff as I am about living minimally. Growing up in L.A. there are still things I’ve yet to discover. Like I said, maybe I’m biased though I do want to try living in the east coast for a bit too in a few years.

    • Dmitri says

      Well, to be fair, inland areas are far cooler than the coast in the wintertime, particularly at night, in California.

  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.

    • Dennis says

      I’m a born and raised New Yorker, and we’ve seen every kind of calamity you can imagine–from devastating storms to 9/11. Your comments are absurd. We pull together when the chips are down, boyo. We are a community of people, and we don’t care if you’re black, white, Hispanic, gay, muslim, or just stupid–like you. We come together and help our neighbor. You are, apparently, a person who likes to divide people in categories. It’s nice that you have that kind of time on your hands. We, on the east coast, are busy building things, volunteering, coaching our neighborhood sports teams, getting involved with making our world a better place. Please go peddle your depressing world view elsewhere.

  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!

      • Andrea says

        Haa love your reply… Not really sure how someone could be so angry over this topic.

        Also, thanks for the article because I am a Native East Coaster and currently trying to weigh out which coast would be best for me. The family and culture back east vs. outdoors and friendly strangers out west…

        As far as the food category…its East Coast all the way! There have bee times that I was just a google search away from buying a plane ticket back east just for some descent pizza or seafood.

  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.


  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. Asian-American Man 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?

    • Tiffany says

      You are BEYOND pathetic. I weep for all those people who have to come in contact with you, ever, you misogynistic, worthless piece of shit.

  30. The Man says

    This article is a silly, when you think about it. It’s clear that it’s written in favor of the west coast… but they made a list of pros/cons where there were more pros than cons for the east Coast. On top of that, they didn’t even make a list for west coast, as if they couldn’t think of anything.

    I understand the west coast pros/cons list is pretty much built into the east coast list…but it just seems a bit foolish to rave about the west coast, then make a list where the east coast has more pros than cons. Then.. don’t mention any unique pros of the west coast.

  31. joseph hoydilla says

    New England is by far the most progressive and most beautiful area of the country. ME is the most forested state in the country and Boston, Portland ME and Northamptpon MA are far more historical and charming with the old architecture than the thousands of strip malls in CA…CA is rather ugly outside of National Parks and San Francisco..The plus in CA is the weather, but the people are superficial and will be friendly to your face, but want nothing to do with you. In contrast, someone will tell you exactly whats’s on their mind and not worry about sparing your feelings in NY..NY is much more real than LA. The public transportation is better in New York…Newport RI simply rocks out more than west coast cities…..The beaches are better anywhere on the east coast…

    • says

      Good to know, and thanks for your feedback. New England is definitely beautiful during the fall.

      “Ugly” and “superficial” are nice words to use about CA, but have you spent much time here? I’ve spent over 10 years on each coast, and the West Coast is hands down much better living.

  32. TMontana says

    Too broad and general a discussion. Plus it depends on what YOU want. I want warm sunny weather and warm clear water and great beaches for my water hobbies. South Florida>>>anywhere on the West Coast. I hate cold weather, and if the water is freezing cold then what’s the point of living near it?

    Weather and natural amenities and of course jobs are the most important factors to picking out a location. The rest of the stuff it roughly the same. All this crap about people types and attitudes is just that…crap. If you can’t find people you like in a metro area of millions of people, guess what….it’s you, not them. And everywhere has crime and traffic.

  33. Matt says

    I grew up on the east coast, and I couldn’t wait to leave. Everything is extremely flat, and the closest we get to mountains are a few rolling hills (the Appalachians). In the summer, the tree’s leaves were so green that they almost looked black. Plus, there are buildings and houses everywhere. There isn’t really any natural areas left. When I first went to the west on a school trip, I couldn’t believe how much better it was. There’s no comparison. I do like the cold winters, but there’s plenty of that in Colorado.

  34. Sunny says

    I was born and raised in SF, California (also lived in Sacramento, every part of L.A. And Southern Cali for 10yrs & San Diego. Ive lived in A.Z, Utah, New York and Montana. SF will Always be home, San Diego was awesome but, both are becoming way to over crowded and not very green- then again, Ca is a desert. Although I have tons of friends in L.A. I always thought Southern Cal was total crap. Everyone is pretty superficial. The weather is sunny but no real change of seasons. That’s like eating the same meal every night. Boring. People are super passive aggressive which is annoying because I’d rather just hear the truth- say it like it is. The commutes are insane. Unless you live crazy close to work I could easily commute an hour in each direction and live only an actual 15-20 drive to work. Some areas have no real restaurants and most areas look like they Just built it within the last 20 so years aka a slab of cement and throw in a couple of flowers in the from for decor. I don’t know… Running out of water AND sitting on one of the largest Faults around just sounds like one fat disaster waiting to happen.

    Other states aside New York was amazing. I felt like everyone Actually had a sense of humor and loved how much there was to do Without having to get in my car. Currently I live in the outskirts of Phoenix (was just 115 the other day) and I’m moving to N Virginia just outside of D.C. soon and CANT WAIT.

    I do agree that it’s all about preference. Live where you feel happiest and that’s ALL that matters. ;) Btw thanks for loving the west coast so much.

  35. Jay says

    Spent ample time on both coasts. Born and raised on the East Coast but spent a few years in Northern Cali. To me, the weather and scenery are the ONLY two positives for the West Coast. Earthquakes, horrific flea and tick issues with pets, termites, violent gangs of every shape, size and ethnicity, thousands of transients who migrate there for the weather and “Hollywood”, and most importantly astronomical cost of living coupled with outrageous taxes. There are a couple places on the East coast that rival Cali in high taxes and living expenses (New York City and the metro DC area for example) but The west epitomizes that saying for me: “It’s a nice place to visit but I wouldn’t wan to live there”. I’m not down with the earthquakes, overrated or not. Speaking of things being overrated, the hurricane threat you speak of only affects the southernmost southeast states like Florida and Louisiana. Occasionally, the eastern seaboard will get a serious storm threat but it usually ends up being milder than your “overrated” earthquakes. Even Florida hasn’t had a hurricane in six years as of 2014. I’ve witnessed both a hurricane and an earthquake first hand. I must say the earthquake, although mild, was much more frightening. As for tornadoes, that’s more of a mid-west thing. The Eastern seaboard doesn’t get tornadoes regularly. I’ve lived in the mid-Atlantic region for nearly five decades and only experienced one tornado that was within 2o miles.

    Now, how and why does one want to live on the East Coast? Well, because we’re tough out here. People think we’re bitter and miserable but quite the contrary. We just realize life isn’t one big party. We are about our business out here in the East. Even the business culture is different. Sure, the tech titans may be making billions off of the public’s infatuation with shiny web enabled toys and rampant narcissism (selfies anyone?), but that whole corny fad of CEO’s wearing mock turtlenecks and blue jeans will never catch on out here because this is old money. Tech and entertainment come from the West. Stock trading and big business comes from the East. Besides, we can escape the cold anytime we want. When I want a tropical vacation, I go to Florida. When I want to ski, I go to Killington Vermont. I like my seasons and other than brutally cold or hot days, 90% of the weather doesn’t negatively affect me one way or the other. As for traveling, you guys can get to Hawaii faster, we can get to Europe and the Caribbean faster. You guys have Disneyland, we have Disney World. You guys have cold Pacific beaches and we have warm Atlantic and Gulf beaches. I could go on and on but I’ve made my point. I took issue with the comments claiming it’s no contest or how “superior” the West is. It’s really not all that to be honest. If it were, I wouldn’t have been so desperate to get the heck outta there and return home to my beloved East Coast during my last extended stay out west.

  36. Giovanni says

    I read all these replies and all I can say is that I relocated to Northern California due to a family situation. I really wanted to go to Portland and live. That failed so I am stuck out west trying to return to FL again.

    I hate the west coast. For all those people who say FL is racist.. no way compared to here in the Sacramento area. No f’n way! For starters theres the closet racism that more than often occurs where you may be turned down for jobs. My mom and stepdad don’t have to deal with these issues but I sure as hell do. Plus my last name is more ethnic or Italian sounding. If you are not blonde hair or blue eyes out here with a more normal last name or Asian or Mexican, then forget about it. If you are Italian and people can’t place what you are, too tall for other whites, hair is too dark, skin is too fair, you’re labeled an arab or Mexican or someone of some non white variety. Yet Mexicans have eachother so many of them stay segregated also.

    CA mostly Northern since I spent most of my time here is one of the most racist places I have ever spent any time. Oregon is a close runner up..Ya so much for progressive Portland. That area has a shit load of issues to sort out also. Its pretty sick. The west coast for me breeds more laziness and less apt to go out and do anything because economic opportunities are slim and people are hard to meet. It makes me angry personally. Until I can officially get back to FL, I will continue to bitch and complain on the net and be a thorn in many of you Californians side so pray I get out of here sooner and help me along. Even help pay my way as the least you can do for making my time here miserable. Horrible horrible place I wouldn’t even recommend to my worst enemies back east plus I could make a lot worse enemies if I am here longer, starting fights or getting into trouble. I am just not to that severity YET.

    I seriously see why more Elliot Rodgers or Colorado shooter, Columbine types come out of this region. Its extremely closed off socially leaving people no other choice but to talk to themselves endlessly. You either talk to yourself a lot if you A, feel closed off by society or B, close yourself off from others. In CA it is definitely the former. I didn’t pick this by choice.

    So ya help me out, give me some money if you don’t want one more unhappy person in your state. I am kind of kidding but you know what I mean. If you will pay my way to help me leave sooner, by all means :). Or else you’re stuck with me. I am fed up and need a change from this oppressive place. I had less trouble in the South by far than I do here!

  37. Rick says

    I can only really speak for LA and maybe southern California, but the west coast kind of sucks. I grew up in New Jersey and lived in Los Angeles for around 13 years. Here are a few reasons why southern California sucks.

    1) The weather is actually quite awful. It’s not intrinsically awful, it’s awful because it’s always the same weather! You will rarely wake up to a calming light rain tapping on the window. You will never feel a fresh autumn breeze and see the leaves change. You’ll never be excited by a first major snowstorm. In short, there is nothing interesting or exciting. The weather isn’t uncomfortable, which is good, but instead it’s boring and monotonous. It’s like having some sort of brain surgery where you are in a constant state of blah, nothing bad happens, but nothing good happens either.

    2) Southern California has the mountains, beach and the desert. However, in the urban areas, it’s either largely fake, or in the rural areas, desolate. Basically, most of the trees you see were planted and don’t naturally belong there. So it seems random or forced. There is no water in the river, which is sad too. On the east coast and the plains, the scenery has its own charm because what is there belongs there, it fits and has some sort of reason for being there and has its own natural beauty. LA is just a bunch of random trees from all over the place and they all seem to lose their leaves or blossom at completely uncoordinated times. Southern California does have its own zany sort of scenery which can be beautiful and cool looking and it is unique, however.

    3) The people are really insecure and shallow. People in southern California seem to have a complete lack of interest in other people or anything that is mildly interesting. They dress like gangsters or hipsters and for some reason are really really dull people. It’s difficult to make friends here because people are self-absorbed and difficult to talk to. People try to act a bit like stereotypes of themselves. So instead of having authentic people who pursue what they find interesting and are secure enough to be outgoing and nice to other people, you have this sort of snarky insecure behavior with people trying to act in a way that is consonant with mainstream culture (which is also produced in LA) instead of acting like themselves. So you have a lot of people acting like gangsters or some sort of character you’d see on TV. You have this sort of shallow, insipid behavior that is focused on partying and shopping and acting like everyone else. You have this everywhere, but it’s especially bad in LA. People also make a big deal about race. Although you don’t get people really hating other people for their race, which is good, you get this annoying thing where people will repeatedly tell you what race they are or make a big deal of their race, which gets annoying and is kind of stupid. In any event, it is next to impossible to meet anyone who is actually interesting and unique and shows some interest in people they haven’t met yet.

    4) You’re in the middle of nowhere. If you don’t like LA you can go to San Diego. If you find San Diego is pretty much the same as Los Angeles, you can go to San Francisco. That’s it. On the east coast, in a day’s drive you have Boston, New York, Portland, Montreal, Philadelphia and DC for large cities. If you’re ambitious you can make it to Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Charleston, Miami, etc. If you’re ambitious in LA you can make it to Seattle, Portland or Denver. Denver is really creepy so I wouldn’t go there. For smaller cities, you have Bakersfield, Ventura, Santa Barbara, Victorville and Palm Springs. I think you can do better for smaller cities on the east coast as well. If you find the cost of living too high in LA or the pace of living too fast but you want to live nearby or you can’t afford to move, you are kind of screwed. In NY, you have more options for small cities and towns that are within five hours of NY that don’t really really suck.

    5) Los Angeles by and large has no charm and it’s not cozy. Instead it’s characterized by tacky, swanky and sleazy apartment buildings that largely don’t match each other and are all competing for attention without having any sort of urban cohesion. There are too many cookie cutter houses in the suburbs and too many ugly modern homes. Houses are put too close together and have no yards. Apartments are expensive and you will find some of the ugliest apartments I have ever seen in the whole country for 1200 dollars. The apartments don’t feel solid or cozy; there is this flimsy, fleeting feeling that permeates the buildings and makes them feel fake and cheap.

    6) It’s difficult to be productive in Southern California. The economy is one of the worst in the country and many areas are racially segregated. The main industry is the movie industry, so if self-aggrandizement isn’t your thing, you may feel left out. If you want to do something useful with your life that benefits other people, there aren’t a lot of opportunities to do so. If you want to do something creative or helpful, you are probably better off somewhere else.

    7) It’s difficult to go anywhere here. The drivers in LA are much calmer than the ones in New York. However, the public transportation is spotty. It takes two hours to go from the San Gabriel valley to the San Fernando valley versus 23 minutes by car. It can take an hour and a half to get from the San Gabriel Valley to Santa Monica in traffic.

    8) People are lazy, incompetent and flaky. If you call someone about a job or a school or even if you apply to MediCal, people don’t feel that committed to writing you back. People don’t seem to feel like they have much responsibility for each other and you can feel very alone here, surrounded by three million people who are in it completely for themselves. People will act like you are not there if you don’t try to fit in and act like a mindless zombie and make your life revolve on promoting yourself. Jack Kerouac wrote “LA is the loneliest and most brutal of American cities; New York gets cold in the winter but there’s a feeling of wacky comradeship somewhere in some streets. LA is a jungle.” I would have to agree.

    Advantages of Southern California

    1) The food is better for cheaper

    2) The drivers are better than NY

    3) It doesn’t get very cold

    4) It’s safer, the people are posers and are largely a bunch of wusses

    • steve says

      Wow Rick hit it right on the head.I notice people who were born and raised in southern California are amazed at the scenic beauty of our wooded areas here in the mid Atlantic states.

  38. Lauren says

    I came across this discussion while researching “pros to living in New England” as my husband and I are highly considering it. I was born and raised in Southern California and have lived in quite a few cities from the Inland Empire, Palm Springs, and Northern San Diego. Now that we have two children and are looking to buy a home, we can’t help but wonder what life would be like on the East Coast, and for many reasons. Based on the above discussions I don’t want to sit and complain about living in Southern California, because I don’t have anything to compare it to. The things we want for our children though are better public school options, a much more small town/village setting and feeling, more GREEN surrounding us and less smog?? The issues we have with SoCal, based on us both growing up here is that it seems many people base their lives on material things and a lot of people try to “keep up with the Joneses,” the cost of living has become very high based on what you get for your money. We would prefer a bit more land rather then the “cookie-cutter” type homes out here. I desire a quaint, cozy house with some history behind it!!Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the warm weather but this year we have had nothing but warm weather, we are currently longing for a little bit of a cool down for fall! Yesterday was 91 degrees!! Anyways I would love some input from East Coasters about moving my young family across the country, would I get what I am looking for on the East Coast? If so, where exactly? We are going to vacation there soon so we can see for ourselves obviously but some input would be great!!

    • says

      The “keeping up with the Joneses” phenomenon is very prevelant on the east coast too.

      The history is great on the East Coast, no doubt. But the winters are terrible, and the summers are muggy as hell.

      Going from SoCal to New England is going to be a very painful move. BUT, so long as you keep your expectations very low, you should be OK.

      Keep in touch by subscribing to my site!

    • Matthew says

      Great to read about East Coast living & West Coast living. I grew up in Avon & Hartford, CT & went to Univ. of Conn. I now live in Queens & worked at the U.N. for over 33 years. I have traveled to over 60 countries & all over the USA. After, turning 35, each winter, I took my vacations in mid Jan. to mid Feb & went to warm places. So I cut the winter length in 1/2.

      Growing up in CT was great, great schools, team sports – everyone can play, small & mid sized towns & cities, near NYC, Boston, museums, many good colleges, educated & friendly people, nice change of seasons, good food, good roads & train transportation, parks, warm summers, good beaches & warm water. NYC area & New England are very GREEN & tons of trees, small towns, no smog & fresh air & lower cost of living. Houses are all different, with history & a nice side & back yard & good neighborhoods.

      I have been about 6 times to San Diego & CA for over a week each time, one college summer in LA at UCLA & 3 times to San Francisco. Now retired, I am very grateful to go to Hawaii, for about 5 weeks each winter, for the last 5 winters & also previous trips to the Caribbean. I know every one from NYC area & New England, likes & needs tropical trips in winter time, if possible & affordable.

      Growing up, I enjoyed the winter; playing indoor basket ball & soccer, out door ice skating, snow balls & snow men, sledding, good schools, snowboarding, cross country skiing, swimming at the YMCA, downhill skiing, etc. Children have fun playing in the snow, going sledding, ice skating, building snow forts, indoor basketball, etc.

      In New England & NYC area, children & adults need some WINTER SPORTS or YMCA or school activities to keep moving & active. Winter sports do keep you healthy. If you don’t get out doors during the winter & keep active, it’s going to be a long & dark cold winter in the house & not fun. Shoveling snow, keeping ice off your windshield, good car tires & driving in the snow, take getting used too & is not so much fun, but not impossible. But, the change of seasons is great & after winter you really appreciate spring, summer & fall weather.

      During the winter a quick 1 1/2 week trip during school Christmas break to South Carolina, Florida, Bermuda, CA or some place warm, will keep you smiling & give you healthy sunshine. Hopefully, saving money on renting or buying a NYC area or East Coast house, can give you some money for a winter vacation each year.

      I hope you can visit NYC area & New England during the winter, so you know what it is like. The other 3 seasons are great. I do not find NYC area or CT summer too muggy. Yes, there are only a few muggy days, perfect for the beach or the local outdoor pool.

      Westchester, New Rochelle, NY & all along the CT coast line is nice & milder winter & beaches in the summer. Stamford, Norwalk, New Haven, Millford, Old Saybrook, Middletown, Hartford area & most all CT towns are good. As you go further north & northeast the winters are colder & longer in MA, RI, etc. I hope this helps? I will send more info if needed. Good Luck !

    • Pat W says

      Rick’s post was perfect and really well said. Lauren, I think you’d like either CT or NJ and both are much cheaper than Boston or NYC and you get more for your money.

      I would suggest Madison, Summit, Westfield, Scotch Plains-Fanwood for NJ towns. You’ll still be less than an hour by train to NYC, about an hour by car to the beach, and probably be able to find work fairly easily and those towns have good schools, typical East Coast weather without the harshness of New England, so you’ll have warm summers, snow and awesome fall days without too many snow days off for the kids. The public transportation in NJ is phenomenal, much better than most places except NYC. You can virtually get anywhere by bus or train, including beaches, NYC, casinos and universities. There are lots of jobs in NJ in every field, but, yes, it is generally more crowded, especially in stores or banks. Many folks commute to NYC or Philly as well. Lastly, NJ has one of the best library systems in the country, especially Somerset County. The downside of NJ is high real estate taxes. I’d do some comparing on a real estate site like zillow to compare the towns I mention.

      In CT I’d try Colchester, Clinton, East Haddam or East Lyme. You’ll be about 2-3 hours by car from NYC and have more snow, but you’ll have a bit more space and a slightly more New England feel than NJ, but it is also a slower pace than NJ generally speaking, there is poor public transportation and there are far fewer jobs than NJ.

  39. Pat W says

    How do you contend with the fact that average homes cost three(or more) times what they do on the East Coast?

    I could afford a 200,000 house on the East Coast. The same house in CA is 1 million in LA, and what I would call “bad areas” (high crime, mixed use, graffiti, vandalism, etc) STILL cost at least 375,000 in LA. Forget San Francisco. I can’t afford a shoe-box for 1 shoe in SF.

    I AGREE CA is awesome, wonderful, beautiful, earth-minded and liberal, but what good is it if an average person cannot afford to live there? It is essentially just another enormous country-club, full of wealthy individuals who imagine that their hard work is harder than other’s hard work, when it isn’t. It is simply that their is gross inequity in the work place.

    Certainly, the robber-bankers on Wall Street do not work harder than a trash collector, small businessperson or fireman, for example. An average, college-educated person today does not make over 100,000 a year, sorry to say. You need to make at least 275,000 a year to live in CA.

    CA is great, but let’s not pretend that it isn’t just another huge exclusive club for rich folks who feel a big sense of entitlement and do not mind fiscally prohibiting others from enjoying CA as well.

    • says

      Great question and point Pat!

      It is damn expensive in parts of LA and San Francisco, that is for sure. Luckily, there are a lot of lovely places in Eugene, Bend, Portland, Seattle etc that are pretty nice too, and not as expensive.

      There are also tons of cheap places to live in California as well. Higher incomes are often the reason for higher home prices.

  40. kokokitz says

    I can’t wait to move back to the west coast. I live in Miami now and hate it. Have also lI’ve in nyc. while nice, I hate the winters and lack of nature. I grew up in warm weather so…just could never get used to the winters. Nyc is also super expensive…it’s the only place that could keep me on the east coast though. Even though sf and la are also pricey.. I don’t have to pay for the weather and nature. The attractions of ny are all super pricey. I don’t care about the night life either, I don’t even drink. So there goes that. I moved back to Florida to be closer to family but really still don’t see them that often, plus I can’t stand south Florida

  41. Dmitri says

    I’ve lived in both coasts, as a military brat. San Diego for a total of about 7 years, in Portsmouth (Virginia) for 6 months; Greater DC for 3 years; and now in Philadelphia.

    The East Coast is “somewhere you visit, but don’t live”. I see everyone here saying California is expensive, which is true. But in all honesty, the only affordable major city out here is Philadelphia. The advantage is that you get paid more money and there’s more jobs out here, but it all goes towards paying the high COL, so it’s not much different than being out in CA.

    The weather sucks. I will say that CA was too dry for my taste and I prefer East Coast summers (monsoons, warm nights, more heat & humidity, greenery). But the rest of the year, it seems too cold in the East. I hate the snow, and fall is overrated. Pretty but not that special. I do like spring out East, with the cherry blossoms and magnolias. But the weather is still often times cool and overcast.

    The water in summer is usually warmer in the East Coast…the rest of the year, CA has warmer water. And in summer in SoCal, the water isn’t as cold as people here make it out to be. The past few years, it has been warmer than average.

    The people…meh. Out East, I’ve made a few friends, but people here are incredibly rude, don’t know how to relax, and very clique-y. In the West, they’re more laid-back and polite, but also not very friendly (though I have made friends out there too). Here in Philly, there are so many ghetto, rude people that it’s not even funny. I hate it here. In DC, people were more educated and classy, but still too fast-paced and serious. In Virginia, they were mostly rednecks or ghetto.

    The natural beauty is way better in the West. The East has nice spots as well, but because the climate is the same, it all kind of looks the same. In the West Coast, you go from having temperate rainforests outside of Seattle and Portland to snow-capped mountains, to deserts, to places like the Bay Area, and Mediterranean-esque beach towns in Orange County or Santa Barbara. And if you want to include Hawaii, it’s tropical (with warmer weather and water on annual average than Florida and the Bahamas). If you want to include Alaska, it’s breathtaking, just like Hawaii, though Arctic.

    Food…it’s good out East, but usually the good food here is so unhealthy and gets old fast (pizza, pretzels, cheesesteaks, Italian). Out West, there’s more variety–and GOOD variety. Chinese in San Francisco, Mexican in San Diego, Persian and Japanese in LA, Vietnamese and Thai in Orange County, seafood in Seattle, Polynesian in Honolulu, etc.

    The work ethic is good out here. I like that people are hardworking. But they tend to remain so serious and stiff and bland even after-hours. In CA, there are also hardworking people (and “real” people, contrary to opinion, just as there are “fakes” out East), but they aren’t as serious and boring, and they know how to “chill out” after hours. There’s fantastic nightlife in LA, San Francisco, and San Diego.

    The remarks about the seasons are also a bit overdone. I can tell you that “4 seasons” gets old too. After New Years Day, most everyone I know is ready for spring, but still has to wait like 3 months until it begins. Snow isn’t so fun when you have to shovel it, or try driving in it, etc. The cold is painful. Similarly, by the time mid-August rolls around, fall is starting to sound appealing, though you’ll have to wait about another month until it arrives. Once November hits, it might as well be winter, as it’s bitterly cold with barely any of those colorful leaves on the trees and snow flurries already starting to fall. And once the flowers have all gone away in May, it might as well be summer already. Yes, I’ll admit that sometimes you wish for more rain in Southern California, as it was very dry, and certainly the warm nights and summer thunderstorms out East are great. But the fact is, when you add it up, the weather is way more enjoyable in Southern California than in Washington DC, New York City, Philadelphia, and especially in Boston. I can’t even begin to tell you how many people in DC and Philly have asked me “why did you leave San Diego for HERE?”

    Consistently, Philly and NYC are rated as the “unhappiest cities to live in” in America. You never see San Diego, or even LA or SF, on those lists. There’s something to be said for that.

    Granted, my native Hawaii, as well as New Orleans, where I went to college for a year…I’ll take those over West Coast mainland OR the East Coast. Better weather and nicer people than either place.

  42. Oleta Stevens says

    Born in raised in Cali, have been many other places. I hope all you hate California and never come back. We will enjoy it without you.

  43. kely says

    I have read comments from people who swear the west coast is heaven snd the east coast offers nothing at all.The last person “Dimtri” totally contridicts themselfs stating there are no
    Good food places back here????? Is this person serious? And also they stated that cities here are rated as most depressing?? NYC among them? I saw a simular list that had LA and Frenso listed on it as adverse ub
    Urban living cities. The air quality in LA and Bakersfield CA being the worst in the nation. And with California behind Nebraska and CT for having the worst taxes.Lets address nightlife in LA (that non pedestrian friendly ugly stripmall dirty city) has it drive too nightlife but most eastcoast and some midwest towns have wak
    lk to night life and tons of them. It seem when west coast people came the the east coast they are so self centered and maladjusted to life outside their high( sorry as you narrow minded socals call every roadway….a freeway) way driving getting to everywhere overpriced life. They (westcoasters) have the stupid arrogance to think everyone wants to move that that waterless overpopulated desert calledsouther california. Belive me keep your drought you all stay there and enjoy the dryness.

  44. Jack says

    Well . . . I am reminded of playwright Neil Simon’s anecdote about this. He lived in New York and was successful, but at some point moved to L.A., wrote California Suite. Then suddenly moved back to New York. Somebody asked him WHY?

    “Well,” Simon said, “In the summer in New York, it’s 100 degrees; in Los Angeles, 72.

    “In the winter in New York, it’s 30 below; in Los Angeles, 72.

    “There are 5 million interesting people in New York.


    • kely says

      LoL good one Jack. Hummmmm there seems to be a proponderance of California tags back here in the DC area. I wish those pesky west coast bug would create their own ” freeways ” as they call every type of roadway and scatter back to their so call thirsty paradise.They cannot see the beauty here even in winter because they whine about the COLD beaches they have even in the sumnertime……oh thats right its hot and DRY there allllll year long. Enjoy your drought☀

  45. nomad says

    I think everybody should move to the east coast. It is the best place on earth, especially if you are from there and have never left there. They love freedom and adventure there, life is a dream. I hear there is a lot of gold to be found on the east coast. Plus it’s a great place to escape oppressive taxes. Go now, I’ll be where dreamers are valued and not ostracized and ridiculed.

  46. kely says

    Hummm one year of water left and year round fires……..yeah southern california is a real paradise. Enjoy your drought.


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