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So guys and girls,

I recently received a couple of job offers in three different cities: SF, Chicago, and NYC. I have never lived in any of those cities and therefore was wondering if you guys can help me decide where I should live. I don't know anyone in both SF and Chicago but I have a lot of friends in NYC. I like SF b/c I am a big fan of their climate but also of it's laid-back vibe, and Chicago because of its lower cost of living.

Any opinions/advice?

Comments (77)

  • Hooked on LEAPS's picture

    Assuming all other things are equal, I'd take the Chicago offer. Dirt cheap cost of living and it's still a major finance hub.

    Competition is a sin.

    -John D. Rockefeller

  • Cries's picture

    Are you willing to pay a premium for not dealing with snow? -> SF

    Are you a cheap jew? -> Chicago

    I cant really think of any reasons to live in nyc...

  • lemonlime's picture

    Most of my family and friends are on the east coast - so if I am in NYC, most of my family and friends are around/within commuting distances. I don't know anyone in Chicago or SF - so for those of you who live/have lived in those cities, how easy is it to make friends? Also, SF has the bay, napa, and tahoe all within driving distances - what does Chicago offer otherwise than it being relatively cheaper?

  • ConanDBull's picture

    Chicago. Cost of living, number one factor.

    "Know what to do, know how to do it, and do it hard." - Juan Castillo

    If you are in the Toronto Area join my group "Toronto Prospective Monkeys"
    http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/group/toronto-prosp...

  • philosophizingphilosoraptor's picture

    Fuck cost of living man. You are here to live a life, not to pinch pennies. If you want to freeze your dick off on a daily basis, yeah, go to Chicago. If you want quality of life, however, I would pick either SF or NYC.
    Again, nothing against Chicago - its is a beautiful city, but it is so cold. So cold. SF has the sports teams, the bars and clubs, the weather, the bay, tahoe, etc etc. It is a fantastic city.
    Cannot comment on NYC, as I have never been there. But it is a cultural and financial hub and you will have loads of things to do. Are you an East Coast or West Coast guy? Pick between NYC and SF.

    To the starving man, beans are caviar

  • In reply to Cries
    Hooked on LEAPS's picture

    Cries wrote:
    Are you willing to pay a premium for not dealing with snow? -> SF

    I'll take snow over hippie/liberal/communists any day.

    Competition is a sin.

    -John D. Rockefeller

  • BTbanker's picture

    We can't really assume ceteris paribus, so can you tell us which jobs are in which city?

  • West Coast rainmaker's picture

    I'd pick based on the job, honestly. You are only likely to be working at your first job ~2 years.

    If it's IBD, it really doesn't matter where you live - you'll be in the office 90+ hours per week.

  • In reply to West Coast rainmaker
    asiamoney's picture

    West Coast rainmaker wrote:
    I'd pick based on the job, honestly. You are only likely to be working at your first job ~2 years.

    If it's IBD, it really doesn't matter where you live - you'll be in the office 90+ hours per week.

    This, seriously...

  • In reply to Cries
    midtowngal's picture

    Are you a cheap jew? -> Chicago

    lol. You tell me why there are a ton of more Jews living in nyc.

    I'm feeling like a star, you can't stop my shine---Ridin' Solo

  • In reply to philosophizingphilosoraptor
    SirTradesaLot's picture

    philosophizingphilosoraptor wrote:
    Fuck cost of living man. You are here to live a life, not to pinch pennies. If you want to freeze your dick off on a daily basis, yeah, go to Chicago. If you want quality of life, however, I would pick either SF or NYC.
    Again, nothing against Chicago - its is a beautiful city, but it is so cold. So cold. SF has the sports teams, the bars and clubs, the weather, the bay, tahoe, etc etc. It is a fantastic city.
    Cannot comment on NYC, as I have never been there. But it is a cultural and financial hub and you will have loads of things to do. Are you an East Coast or West Coast guy? Pick between NYC and SF.

    New York is cold too. At least Chicago doesn't have terrorism or hurricanes like New York. New York fucking blows...I'm so sick of this shitty, overrated town.

    SF has earthquakes and if you do anything related to the market, have fun waking up for work in the middle of the night. Chicago sounds pretty good to me.

    adapt or die wrote:
    What would P.T. Barnum say about you?

    MY BLOG

  • In reply to philosophizingphilosoraptor
    midtowngal's picture

    philosophizingphilosoraptor wrote:
    Fuck cost of living man. You are here to live a life, not to pinch pennies. If you want to freeze your dick off on a daily basis, yeah, go to Chicago. If you want quality of life, however, I would pick either SF or NYC.
    Again, nothing against Chicago - its is a beautiful city, but it is so cold. So cold. SF has the sports teams, the bars and clubs, the weather, the bay, tahoe, etc etc. It is a fantastic city.
    Cannot comment on NYC, as I have never been there. But it is a cultural and financial hub and you will have loads of things to do. Are you an East Coast or West Coast guy? Pick between NYC and SF.

    +1 legit. I wouldn't mind being a dumpster diver aka freegan to live in the city I dream of. That is what youth all about. Cost of living, the kind of shit you should only care about when you are ready to start a family.

    I'm feeling like a star, you can't stop my shine---Ridin' Solo

  • In reply to SirTradesaLot
    midtowngal's picture

    SirTradesaLot wrote:
    philosophizingphilosoraptor wrote:
    Fuck cost of living man. You are here to live a life, not to pinch pennies. If you want to freeze your dick off on a daily basis, yeah, go to Chicago. If you want quality of life, however, I would pick either SF or NYC.
    Again, nothing against Chicago - its is a beautiful city, but it is so cold. So cold. SF has the sports teams, the bars and clubs, the weather, the bay, tahoe, etc etc. It is a fantastic city.
    Cannot comment on NYC, as I have never been there. But it is a cultural and financial hub and you will have loads of things to do. Are you an East Coast or West Coast guy? Pick between NYC and SF.

    New York is cold too. At least Chicago doesn't have terrorism or hurricanes like New York. New York fucking blows...I'm so sick of this shitty, overrated town.

    SF has earthquakes and if you do anything related to the market, have fun waking up for work in the middle of the night. Chicago sounds pretty good to me.

    You don't know the true beauty of NYC. It is the cosmopolitan feel. I used to feel like dead when living in other major cities but after came to nyc, I revived in the first very minute. Chicago, one word, provincial.

    I'm feeling like a star, you can't stop my shine---Ridin' Solo

  • JDawg's picture

    Why is everyone here so anti-NYC? I'm guessing because you guys are always in the office and never have time to actually enjoy the city?

    I've never lived in Chicago or SF, but the conclusion I've come to from talking to other people is that NYC is hands-down the best city in the US to live in if you're young and single. There's more shit to do here than anywhere else.

    And it's not even like Chicago and SF are that much cheaper (again, this is just based on what I've heard. correct me if I'm wrong).

  • In reply to BTbanker
    lemonlime's picture

    BTbanker wrote:
    We can't really assume ceteris paribus, so can you tell us which jobs are in which city?

    They are life science consulting positions. I could live in any of these cities for a couple of the companies since they have offices in all three locations.

  • In reply to midtowngal
    SirTradesaLot's picture

    midtowngal wrote:
    SirTradesaLot wrote:
    philosophizingphilosoraptor wrote:
    Fuck cost of living man. You are here to live a life, not to pinch pennies. If you want to freeze your dick off on a daily basis, yeah, go to Chicago. If you want quality of life, however, I would pick either SF or NYC.
    Again, nothing against Chicago - its is a beautiful city, but it is so cold. So cold. SF has the sports teams, the bars and clubs, the weather, the bay, tahoe, etc etc. It is a fantastic city.
    Cannot comment on NYC, as I have never been there. But it is a cultural and financial hub and you will have loads of things to do. Are you an East Coast or West Coast guy? Pick between NYC and SF.

    New York is cold too. At least Chicago doesn't have terrorism or hurricanes like New York. New York fucking blows...I'm so sick of this shitty, overrated town.

    SF has earthquakes and if you do anything related to the market, have fun waking up for work in the middle of the night. Chicago sounds pretty good to me.

    You don't know the true beauty of NYC. It is the cosmopolitan feel. I used to feel like dead when living in other major cities but after came to nyc, I revived in the first very minute. Chicago, one word, provincial.


    You feel dead living in other cities? I feel like killing people living in this one.

    adapt or die wrote:
    What would P.T. Barnum say about you?

    MY BLOG

  • In reply to midtowngal
    brandon st randy's picture

    midtowngal wrote:
    SirTradesaLot wrote:
    philosophizingphilosoraptor wrote:
    Fuck cost of living man. You are here to live a life, not to pinch pennies. If you want to freeze your dick off on a daily basis, yeah, go to Chicago. If you want quality of life, however, I would pick either SF or NYC.
    Again, nothing against Chicago - its is a beautiful city, but it is so cold. So cold. SF has the sports teams, the bars and clubs, the weather, the bay, tahoe, etc etc. It is a fantastic city.
    Cannot comment on NYC, as I have never been there. But it is a cultural and financial hub and you will have loads of things to do. Are you an East Coast or West Coast guy? Pick between NYC and SF.

    New York is cold too. At least Chicago doesn't have terrorism or hurricanes like New York. New York fucking blows...I'm so sick of this shitty, overrated town.

    SF has earthquakes and if you do anything related to the market, have fun waking up for work in the middle of the night. Chicago sounds pretty good to me.

    You don't know the true beauty of NYC. It is the cosmopolitan feel. I used to feel like dead when living in other major cities but after came to nyc, I revived in the first very minute. Chicago, one word, provincial.

    Chicago is anything but provincial. In fact what I like most of Chi-Town is precisely the fact that people there are worldly and cosmopolitan while still retaining the humble and hospitable Midwestern demeanor. It is like the best of both worlds. Also if you are single and looking, Chicago is the hub for all the Big Ten girls flock to once they graduate and move to a big city.

    NYC is a great dynamic city that offers a true 24/7 lifestyle that both SF or Chicago lack. Chicago is bursting on weekends but pretty dead during the week for the most part while SF nightlife ends way too early, which is fairly typical fort the West Coast where people are much focused on outdoor activities during the day rather than partying all night long.

    Having said that, if you do decide to move to NYC I would strongly caution you to stay away from Lower Manhattan waterfront, except maybe BPC west of West St, unless you are excited about paying top dollars for the privilege of living without electricity, heat running water and cellphone signal every once in a while.

    Too late for second-guessing Too late to go back to sleep.

  • In reply to SirTradesaLot
    BTbanker's picture

    SirTradesaLot wrote:
    midtowngal wrote:
    SirTradesaLot wrote:
    philosophizingphilosoraptor wrote:
    Fuck cost of living man. You are here to live a life, not to pinch pennies. If you want to freeze your dick off on a daily basis, yeah, go to Chicago. If you want quality of life, however, I would pick either SF or NYC.
    Again, nothing against Chicago - its is a beautiful city, but it is so cold. So cold. SF has the sports teams, the bars and clubs, the weather, the bay, tahoe, etc etc. It is a fantastic city.
    Cannot comment on NYC, as I have never been there. But it is a cultural and financial hub and you will have loads of things to do. Are you an East Coast or West Coast guy? Pick between NYC and SF.

    New York is cold too. At least Chicago doesn't have terrorism or hurricanes like New York. New York fucking blows...I'm so sick of this shitty, overrated town.

    SF has earthquakes and if you do anything related to the market, have fun waking up for work in the middle of the night. Chicago sounds pretty good to me.

    You don't know the true beauty of NYC. It is the cosmopolitan feel. I used to feel like dead when living in other major cities but after came to nyc, I revived in the first very minute. Chicago, one word, provincial.


    You feel dead living in other cities? I feel like killing people living in this one.

    Well, now we know why there's terrorism in NYC.

  • In reply to brandon st randy
    midtowngal's picture

    brandon st randy wrote:
    midtowngal wrote:
    SirTradesaLot wrote:
    philosophizingphilosoraptor wrote:
    Fuck cost of living man. You are here to live a life, not to pinch pennies. If you want to freeze your dick off on a daily basis, yeah, go to Chicago. If you want quality of life, however, I would pick either SF or NYC.
    Again, nothing against Chicago - its is a beautiful city, but it is so cold. So cold. SF has the sports teams, the bars and clubs, the weather, the bay, tahoe, etc etc. It is a fantastic city.
    Cannot comment on NYC, as I have never been there. But it is a cultural and financial hub and you will have loads of things to do. Are you an East Coast or West Coast guy? Pick between NYC and SF.

    New York is cold too. At least Chicago doesn't have terrorism or hurricanes like New York. New York fucking blows...I'm so sick of this shitty, overrated town.

    SF has earthquakes and if you do anything related to the market, have fun waking up for work in the middle of the night. Chicago sounds pretty good to me.

    You don't know the true beauty of NYC. It is the cosmopolitan feel. I used to feel like dead when living in other major cities but after came to nyc, I revived in the first very minute. Chicago, one word, provincial.

    Chicago is anything but provincial. In fact what I like most of Chi-Town is precisely the fact that people there are worldly and cosmopolitan while still retaining the humble and hospitable Midwestern demeanor. It is like the best of both worlds. Also if you are single and looking, Chicago is the hub for all the Big Ten girls flock to once they graduate and move to a big city.

    NYC is a great dynamic city that offers a true 24/7 lifestyle that both SF or Chicago lack. Chicago is bursting on weekends but pretty dead during the week for the most part while SF nightlife ends way too early, which is fairly typical fort the West Coast where people are much focused on outdoor activities during the day rather than partying all night long.

    Having said that, if you do decide to move to NYC I would strongly caution you to stay away from Lower Manhattan waterfront, except maybe BPC west of West St, unless you truly enjoy paying top dollars for the privilege of living without electricity, heat running water and cellphone signal every once in a while.

    Chicago is not provincial? Well, compare to nyc, la, it is. It is a beautiful city for sure. But let me tell you what made me think so. As a worldly lady who is pretty much confident in her look and character, I don't think I've ever had any difficulty in the dating scene of any city except Chicago. The ton of good looking men there give zero fuck to stretch out to date a girl who is not from their mere background and is not in their Bears, Cubs, Bulls family no matter if she is hot or not. After I realized this, I said screw it, I'm moving on to my Nor'eastern blue blood honeys. And now I don't regret one bit leaving there.

    I'm feeling like a star, you can't stop my shine---Ridin' Solo

  • In reply to midtowngal
    SirTradesaLot's picture

    midtowngal wrote:
    You don't know the true beauty of NYC. It is the cosmopolitan feel. I used to feel like dead when living in other major cities but after came to nyc, I revived in the first very minute. Chicago, one word, provincial.

    One more thing before I end my rant... I love how some people talk about how 'cosmopolitan' New York is (I.e. -- embracing of other cultures and the like) and yet most of those same people have never ventured out to Queens for anything other than tennis, baseball, or going to the airport. The most diverse spot in the world and most people never even go. Crazy. Instead, most treat New York like Disneyland.

    New York has some good qualities, but I don't recommend it for the long-term. It really grates on you after a while. Especially, once you have kids. Everything that was exciting before is just fucking irritating. And now we have to deal with hurricanes? Wtf? Don't think that two hurricanes in two seasons is a fluke....it's a trend, there will be more and probably a lot more. Like Brandon St. Randy said above, for the love of God, don't live in a flood zone downtown.

    adapt or die wrote:
    What would P.T. Barnum say about you?

    MY BLOG

  • In reply to SirTradesaLot
    midtowngal's picture

    SirTradesaLot wrote:
    midtowngal wrote:
    You don't know the true beauty of NYC. It is the cosmopolitan feel. I used to feel like dead when living in other major cities but after came to nyc, I revived in the first very minute. Chicago, one word, provincial.

    One more thing before I end my rant... I love how some people talk about how 'cosmopolitan' New York is (I.e. -- embracing of other cultures and the like) and yet most of those same people have never ventured out to Queens for anything other than tennis, baseball, or going to the airport. The most diverse spot in the world and most people never even go. Crazy. Instead, most treat New York like Disneyland.

    New York has some good qualities, but I don't recommend it for the long-term. It really grates on you after a while. Especially, once you have kids. Everything that was exciting before is just fucking irritating. And now we have to deal with hurricanes? Wtf? Don't think that two hurricanes in two seasons is a fluke....it's a trend, there will be more and probably a lot more. Like Brandon St. Randy said above, for the love of God, don't live in a flood zone downtown.

    No need to worry, sir, I'm too midtown to go anywhere south of 42nd st. I used to stroll along broadway from 42nd to south, and I felt it was getting shittier and shittier once passed 30th.
    NY can't give you the tranquility any typical American small town could offer you. But the vibe here is top notch. I almost got depressed at the time resided in some neighborhood of LA which is still in the center of city for seeing the same a few shops and locals every freaking single day. Once I landed in ny, I've been pumped up like crazy when witnessing so many different ethnicities passing by every moment, earning a hard living. I feel so alive.

    I'm feeling like a star, you can't stop my shine---Ridin' Solo

  • In reply to midtowngal
    SirTradesaLot's picture

    midtowngal wrote:
    SirTradesaLot wrote:
    midtowngal wrote:
    You don't know the true beauty of NYC. It is the cosmopolitan feel. I used to feel like dead when living in other major cities but after came to nyc, I revived in the first very minute. Chicago, one word, provincial.

    One more thing before I end my rant... I love how some people talk about how 'cosmopolitan' New York is (I.e. -- embracing of other cultures and the like) and yet most of those same people have never ventured out to Queens for anything other than tennis, baseball, or going to the airport. The most diverse spot in the world and most people never even go. Crazy. Instead, most treat New York like Disneyland.

    New York has some good qualities, but I don't recommend it for the long-term. It really grates on you after a while. Especially, once you have kids. Everything that was exciting before is just fucking irritating. And now we have to deal with hurricanes? Wtf? Don't think that two hurricanes in two seasons is a fluke....it's a trend, there will be more and probably a lot more. Like Brandon St. Randy said above, for the love of God, don't live in a flood zone downtown.

    No need to worry, sir, I'm too midtown to go anywhere south of 42nd st. I used to stroll along broadway from 42nd to south, and I felt it was getting shittier and shittier once passed 30th.
    NY can't give you the tranquility any typical American small town could offer you. But the vibe here is top notch. I almost got depressed at the time resided in some neighborhood of LA which is still in the center of city for seeing the same a few shops and locals every freaking single day. Once I landed in ny, I've been pumped up like crazy when witnessing so many different ethnicities passing by every moment, earning a hard living. I feel so alive.


    Oh, now I get it. You were living in LA before. Anything would seem good compared to that.

    adapt or die wrote:
    What would P.T. Barnum say about you?

    MY BLOG

  • In reply to SirTradesaLot
    midtowngal's picture

    SirTradesaLot wrote:
    midtowngal wrote:
    SirTradesaLot wrote:
    midtowngal wrote:
    You don't know the true beauty of NYC. It is the cosmopolitan feel. I used to feel like dead when living in other major cities but after came to nyc, I revived in the first very minute. Chicago, one word, provincial.

    One more thing before I end my rant... I love how some people talk about how 'cosmopolitan' New York is (I.e. -- embracing of other cultures and the like) and yet most of those same people have never ventured out to Queens for anything other than tennis, baseball, or going to the airport. The most diverse spot in the world and most people never even go. Crazy. Instead, most treat New York like Disneyland.

    New York has some good qualities, but I don't recommend it for the long-term. It really grates on you after a while. Especially, once you have kids. Everything that was exciting before is just fucking irritating. And now we have to deal with hurricanes? Wtf? Don't think that two hurricanes in two seasons is a fluke....it's a trend, there will be more and probably a lot more. Like Brandon St. Randy said above, for the love of God, don't live in a flood zone downtown.

    No need to worry, sir, I'm too midtown to go anywhere south of 42nd st. I used to stroll along broadway from 42nd to south, and I felt it was getting shittier and shittier once passed 30th.
    NY can't give you the tranquility any typical American small town could offer you. But the vibe here is top notch. I almost got depressed at the time resided in some neighborhood of LA which is still in the center of city for seeing the same a few shops and locals every freaking single day. Once I landed in ny, I've been pumped up like crazy when witnessing so many different ethnicities passing by every moment, earning a hard living. I feel so alive.


    Oh, now I get it. You were living in LA before. Anything would seem good compared to that.

    correction: I was living as an America nomad after being an international nomad way earlier. So I should have my fair share of justice.

    I'm feeling like a star, you can't stop my shine---Ridin' Solo

  • kmzz's picture

    Where in la? Just curious

  • midtowngal's picture

    hollywood, downtown, venice beach, all over.

    I'm feeling like a star, you can't stop my shine---Ridin' Solo

  • Bearearns's picture

    I have been to all three cities whether where I am currently, work, or vacation. .... But NYC is the only one true city. You may not understand it, but if you spend three days in those three cities you will see why. NYC is always buzzing and busy. Now the downside to that is you pay big for it in the piggy bank.

    That said pick on job as that is where you spend time and develop your career. Not necessarily where you live

  • huanleshalemei's picture

    Only go to NYC during shopping seasons, thanks to the cheap greenback and relatively low (?) sales taxs. I'm kid in a candy store.
    Btw, agree with Bearearns. It's more of a career than location choice.

    The Auto Show

  • In reply to philosophizingphilosoraptor
    Going Concern's picture

    philosophizingphilosoraptor wrote:
    If you want quality of life, however, I would pick...NYC.

    philosophizingphilosoraptor wrote:
    Cannot comment on NYC, as I have never been there.

    Yeah, that makes sense.

    Maybe you can actually take one quick visit before proclaiming it's the right spot to settle down? Just a thought.

    NYC is a diverse expensive dump. With garbage, dog poop, and homeless people everywhere. Also the air is about as clean as an exhaust pipe, and the probability of getting punched in the face or getting run over by a bus while crossing the street is noticeably greater than zero.

    “A deception that elevates us is dearer than a host of low truths”

  • In reply to Going Concern
    JDawg's picture

    Going Concern wrote:
    NYC is a diverse expensive dump. With garbage, dog poop, and homeless people everywhere. Also the air is about as clean as an exhaust pipe, and the probability of getting punched in the face or getting run over by a bus while crossing the street is noticeably greater than zero.

    You're life must be absolutely miserable if this is all you have to say about NYC.
    Personally I'm in NYC and loving it. Couldn't see myself living anywhere else (until I get a family maybe).

  • trade4trade's picture

    If you're into outdoors stuff, definitely choose SF. Its fairly easy to meet new people, almost all young people are transplants (mostly tech), so if you dont know anyone you'll probably move into a apt w/ randoms from craigslist who are also all young transplants.

    Also I wouldn't make a decision only based on climate, BUT I grew up in chicago and now hate both the winter (too fucking cold) and the summer (too fucking humid).

    Even though the giants just won the world series and the 49ers are doing well, I'd still say Chicago is a more sports-centric city.

    ...and earthquakes arent really a big issue. Agree with the nightlife though, SF can be kinda dead early in the week, and things do wrap up early.

  • gmarque2's picture

    Having just recently moved to Chicago for school, I am amazed at the cleanliness of the city as well as the opportunities within the financial industry. With that said, I have only been to NYC and San Fran for short periods of time so no advice from me on whether or not to live there. Chicago is great though.

    Greater Chicago Area
    Undergraduate Student
    B.S. Finance; Capital Markets Concentration

  • mashed potatoes's picture

    being a chicago native, id say chicago >>>>>>> ny / sf. HOWEVER, if you plan on living there for the long run, get ready for some massive tax increases....cook county and illinois have one of the worst financial deficits in the country (i think they may even be #2). i dont see any good signs from this and have a feeling it will impact the cost of living in the state/city

  • abacab's picture

    Go where your friends are. Will make life easier.

  • Onetwobit's picture

    PICK BASED ON THE FKING JOB

  • In reply to JDawg
    Going Concern's picture

    JDawg wrote:
    Going Concern wrote:
    NYC is a diverse expensive dump. With garbage, dog poop, and homeless people everywhere. Also the air is about as clean as an exhaust pipe, and the probability of getting punched in the face or getting run over by a bus while crossing the street is noticeably greater than zero.

    You're life must be absolutely miserable if this is all you have to say about NYC.
    Personally I'm in NYC and loving it. Couldn't see myself living anywhere else (until I get a family maybe).

    You sound like a kid who recently graduated and has been there for a few months. It's cool at first, sure. Also I'm not saying it's ALL terrible.

    “A deception that elevates us is dearer than a host of low truths”

  • West Coast rainmaker's picture

    I have actually lived in all 3. I maintain my above position that you should choose based on the job. But, quick thoughts:

    1) Chicago definitely has a different culture than SF/NYC. I have never seen a city that is so obsessed by sports - even the women. It is a somewhat less sophisticated than SF/NYC - you are more likely to meet somebody who is disgusted by sushi, for instance. Cost of living is low - you can get a nice studio downtown (gold coast/streeterville) for under ~$1000. Restaurants, entertainment, etc. are solid, but are a step down from NYC in both price and quality. But unless you regularly frequent Per Se or the opera, you won't miss it.

    2) SF is almost as expensive as NYC. Rent will be ~1500 for a studio. You will also want a car if you plan on getting out of the city (which I strongly recommend). People claim SF is dirty, but it isn't worse than NYC in my opinion. Finance is not SF's main industry - I think 50% of SF's financial professionals work at 333 California st. I would personally choose SF for the weather (I grew up in the bay) but only if I had time to enjoy the city.

    3) NYC is the finance hub. Stupidly expensive - $1800 for a studio. You will not, however, need or want a car. It is great for networking and interviewing; you can take a long lunch and have a first round done. I would never raise a family in Manhattan (maybe Brooklyn heights?) It can be a lot of fun, but you will pay a premium for everything. Also the nightlife in NYC is definitely superior to that of SF/Chicago, if you care about that.

    Remember: All these cities have relatively high taxes, and all of them are very liberal. And if you are in IB, it really won't matter whether you are in NYC or on the moon - you will rarely be outside the office.

  • In reply to West Coast rainmaker
    Going Concern's picture

    West Coast rainmaker wrote:
    3) NYC is the finance hub. Stupidly expensive - $1800 for a studio.

    These days $1800 will get you a homey closet-sized "apartment" in a pre-war, 5th floor walk-up. More like $2200 minimum for a habitable studio.

    “A deception that elevates us is dearer than a host of low truths”

  • In reply to midtowngal
    yeahright's picture

    midtowngal wrote:
    No need to worry, sir, I'm too midtown to go anywhere south of 42nd st. I used to stroll along broadway from 42nd to south, and I felt it was getting shittier and shittier once passed 30th.
    NY can't give you the tranquility any typical American small town could offer you. But the vibe here is top notch. I almost got depressed at the time resided in some neighborhood of LA which is still in the center of city for seeing the same a few shops and locals every freaking single day. Once I landed in ny, I've been pumped up like crazy when witnessing so many different ethnicities passing by every moment, earning a hard living. I feel so alive.

    You live in Midtown but feel it gets shittier as you go more South? You live in Midtown but feel NY doesn't have areas where you can have a small town feel? You live in MIDTOWN!! Greenwich Village, West Village, Chelsea all have neighborhood feel to them if you actually ever lived there. Also, once again, how can you say it gets shittier as you go more downtown? You live in Midtown, its literally all shopping and tourists.

    My thoughts to OP:

    LA = best weather

    NYC = 24/7 city

    Chicago = cold but cheap

    Frank Sinatra - "Alcohol may be man's worst enemy, but the bible says love your enemy."

  • In reply to Going Concern
    West Coast rainmaker's picture

    Going Concern wrote:
    West Coast rainmaker wrote:
    3) NYC is the finance hub. Stupidly expensive - $1800 for a studio.

    These days $1800 will get you a homey closet-sized "apartment" in a pre-war, 5th floor walk-up. More like $2200 minimum for a habitable studio.

    True, true...I have very low standards. I'll sleep on a Murphy bed if it shaves $50 per month off my rent.

  • ladubs111's picture

    I prefer LA over NYC. To me its the freedom i get being able to drive to places whereas in NYC i'm at the mercy of the shittie fucking subways. I prefer LA traffic to NYC subway breakdown every other week.

    I don't know maybe because i'm originally from west coast i'm really biased and prefer my personal space compared to this cluster fuck where u call a Cali size closet a NYC bedroom.

  • reLA's picture

    live west of the 405 if you don't want to kill yourself in Los Angeles. Santa Monica or Venice otherwise life will be miserable.

  • In reply to West Coast rainmaker
    Going Concern's picture

    West Coast rainmaker wrote:
    Going Concern wrote:
    West Coast rainmaker wrote:
    3) NYC is the finance hub. Stupidly expensive - $1800 for a studio.

    These days $1800 will get you a homey closet-sized "apartment" in a pre-war, 5th floor walk-up. More like $2200 minimum for a habitable studio.

    True, true...I have very low standards. I'll sleep on a Murphy bed if it shaves $50 per month off my rent.

    hahahaha...reminds me of those capsule apartments in China and Japan.

    “A deception that elevates us is dearer than a host of low truths”

  • In reply to JDawg
    Black Jack's picture

    JDawg wrote:
    Why is everyone here so anti-NYC? I'm guessing because you guys are always in the office and never have time to actually enjoy the city?

    I've never lived in Chicago or SF, but the conclusion I've come to from talking to other people is that NYC is hands-down the best city in the US to live in if you're young and single. There's more shit to do here than anywhere else.

    And it's not even like Chicago and SF are that much cheaper (again, this is just based on what I've heard. correct me if I'm wrong).

    SF not that much cheaper than NYC. Chicago is most definitely cheaper- I'd go as far as saying your rent will be about 50% of what it will be in NYC (on average). As was said below, you can find a solid studio for just around $1000-$1200 a month, and probably pay around $800/person for a 2 bedroom with a roommate. I wouldn't take SF- much less of a 'fun' place to be just after college. Less excitement, you need a car, it is a really different feel. NYC and Chicago are both great places to be with tons of college grads. NYC obviously more expensive but also more going on. In terms of weather, both are cold and probably not that different- Chicago gets a lake effect and can feel pretty cold in the winter with the wind, but you certainly aren't going to a 'warm place' or a 'cold place.' Weather pretty similar.

    To sum up

    NYC- lots happening, expensive as hell
    Chicago- good amount happening, dirt cheap (relatively speaking)
    SF- not much happening, expensive, but good weather

  • SlikRick's picture

    Having never lived in Chicago/NY, I can only comment on SF. That being said, it's easy to say that SF is very different from the other two. Rent in choice areas (Marina/Russian Hill/North Beach) is almost par with NY, at $1800 for a studio, $3400 for a 2-Bed. The city has an outdoorsy vibe and everyone is active. People call in their nights early so they can be up for surfing/jogging in the morning. Nightlife shuts down at 2 AM and the club scene is below average for a major city. Ignore everyone above that claims you need a car to live in SF. Where are you going to park it? BART/MUNI will take you to every block in the city for $60/Month. Now, if you want to ski up in Tahoe, that's a different story. It's also very small in terms of geography: 7 Miles from the Bay Bridge to Ocean Beach, which is the entire span of the city. If you're looking for fast paced, high-end nightlife, I'd pass on SF. But if you enjoy outdoor activities and care about the climate, the choice is easy. Just my two cents.

  • In reply to Hooked on LEAPS
    roofstreet's picture

    im not sure you know what socialism means....wikipedia much?

    Hooked on LEAPS wrote:
    Cries wrote:
    Are you willing to pay a premium for not dealing with snow? -> SF

    I'll take snow over hippie/liberal/communists any day.

    "...the art of good business, is being a good middle man, putting people togeather. It's all about honor and respect."

  • In reply to philosophizingphilosoraptor
    roofstreet's picture

    this guy is right. SF dude. NY is fun - cultural etc. chicago - cold, lots of night life but neither of these places stand up to the quality of life in the bay area.

    -lived in all 3 cities...currently in chicago :( - wish i was back in SF

    philosophizingphilosoraptor wrote:
    Fuck cost of living man. You are here to live a life, not to pinch pennies. If you want to freeze your dick off on a daily basis, yeah, go to Chicago. If you want quality of life, however, I would pick either SF or NYC.
    Again, nothing against Chicago - its is a beautiful city, but it is so cold. So cold. SF has the sports teams, the bars and clubs, the weather, the bay, tahoe, etc etc. It is a fantastic city.
    Cannot comment on NYC, as I have never been there. But it is a cultural and financial hub and you will have loads of things to do. Are you an East Coast or West Coast guy? Pick between NYC and SF.

    "...the art of good business, is being a good middle man, putting people togeather. It's all about honor and respect."

  • trade4trade's picture

    One more thing about SF, though the nights do end earlier...there is a ton of day drinking that goes on during the weekends starting Friday. It seems like no one works fridays in this city, or they always "work" remotely ie happy hour starts at noon.

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