Palo Alto?

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jimbrowngoU - Certified Professional
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Looking for some thoughts regarding the living situation in Palo Alto. Anyone from WSO there or in the area? What's the cost of living? How's the nightlife for a mid-20s guy? Any information would be appreciated... The important stuff.

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Comments (21)

Feb 25, 2011

Eh...I mean there is Stanford if you want to crash Ugrad parties...

Cost of living is standard for the Bar Area, probably a nice apartment will run 1300 in you look in the cheaper areas. Might be lower now.

While there are clubs, you are really going to need to go to SF for nightlife. It is pretty suburban.

You'll want a car too. Public transportation is good, but it is not NYC.

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Feb 26, 2011
West Coast rainmaker:

Public transportation is good

Mothafucka, you crazy? I've been to Palo Alto a few times visiting friends. All I can remember are buses that would stop running at 10 pm, only run every half hour even at peak times and run every hour starting at times like 6:30 or 7 pm. And even with such a horrible schedule, the system charged rather high fares.

Feb 26, 2011

Ya, I've heard living in Palo Alto requires a car. But I guess if I'm paying $1800+ per month on a nice place now, and go and pay $1300-$1400 there, I can use the extra $500 a month on a car.

What's the transportation like (time, cleanliness, safety) from Palo Alto into San Francisco for a Friday or Saturday night? Do lots of people who work in Palo Alto live in SF and make the reverse commute?

Feb 26, 2011

You could also consider living in San Francisco - SOMA (south of market) area especially. you can jump on the 101 right off without dealing with city traffic and be in Palo Alto in about 35 minutes good day with normal traffic; ~50-55 minutes with rush hour traffic.

Also depending on where in Palo Alto you're going the Cal\train station at SOMA is pretty convenient (4th and King).

Reverse commute from Palo Alto to SF without rush hour traffic can be done in about 30 minutes.

Feb 26, 2011

I lived in Palo Alto this summer. It was a shithole. Most young people that live there are looking for ways(and find them) to move to SF. There are like 2 clubs/bars in all of Palo Alto. Driving to SF takes around 40-45 min on average on an ordinary Friday/Saturday night. The public transport is virtually nonexistent. Car is the most important thing you should get yourself. The population is extremely old(except for Stanford, which was empty when I was there, because it was summer).

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Dec 2, 2018

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Feb 27, 2011

Good relative to many places. It's poor relative to Boston or NYC, thus the need for a car; but if you look at SoCal, Palo Alto is a marvel of infrastructure.

Nevertheless, if you are in banking, don't try living in SF. Public transport will often stop running before you get off work, and making the drive everyday is a nightmare. Do you really have an extra hour a day to spend in traffic?

Mar 1, 2011

Are there any spots between SF and Palo Alto to live that are decent? I'm not going to be doing banking, I'll be on the buyside and will probably be working 50-65 hours per week, so I'm not opposed to a 20 minute commute. But nothing more than that. Wouldn't want to live in San Francisco, wouldn't be able to handle that commute with those hours.

Mar 4, 2011
jimbrowngoU:

Are there any spots between SF and Palo Alto to live that are decent? I'm not going to be doing banking, I'll be on the buyside and will probably be working 50-65 hours per week, so I'm not opposed to a 20 minute commute. But nothing more than that. Wouldn't want to live in San Francisco, wouldn't be able to handle that commute with those hours.

Interested too

Mar 6, 2011
Status_Quo:
jimbrowngoU:

Are there any spots between SF and Palo Alto to live that are decent? I'm not going to be doing banking, I'll be on the buyside and will probably be working 50-65 hours per week, so I'm not opposed to a 20 minute commute. But nothing more than that. Wouldn't want to live in San Francisco, wouldn't be able to handle that commute with those hours.

Interested too

South SF/Colma/Daily City is pretty industrial. I don't think you would want to live there.

But, if you go just a little further, to Hillsborough, you start seeing some really nice suburbs. It's definitely not a young crowd with clubs, bars, etc. But, it has great schools, good homes, and is a really peaceful place to live only ~30 min outside SF and less from Palo Alto. If you are in the market for actually settling down and buying a house, it is a great option.

Dec 2, 2018

Check out redwood city - Price and neighbourhood isn't too and it's about ~20 minutes from PA

Mar 4, 2011

Where in SF is the best place to live if commuting to Palo Alto every day? Probably don't want to live in SoMa, would like to live a little further south, are there are good areas south of SoMa?

Jan 22, 2014

BUMP

Looking for an update to this. Just got an offer to work as a PE associate in Palo Alto starting in August. Firm says to expect 70 hour or more weeks so 5-10 hours spent on commuting doesn't sounds too great.

Has anyone moved to PA over SF before? Or has anyone just bit the bullet and it ended up not being too bad??

Jan 22, 2014

I just moved to NorCal from Los Angeles for work and am currently in my 6th month of Bay Area living. I'm 22 and can give you my two cents about the whole bay area.

Palo Alto is. for the most part, the breeding ground of snobby Stanford kids. There are a couple cool bars to go to (haven't gone, just heard) around the area but I would highly advise against living in Palo Alto if you're in your early 20's. The rent ranges from $1300-1800 and the apartments are usually on the smaller side - but then again, it's like this everywhere in NorCal.

The commute to SF on Friday evenings is absolutely terrible and I wouldn't wish it upon my worst enemies. It once took me an hour and a half to get from Santa Clara (10-15 minutes south of Palo Alto)...never again. I live in Santa Clara and go up to the city almost every weekend but I leave SC around 9 to avoid the ridiculous traffic. I would normally crash at my friends place for the weekend whenever I go to SF to avoid the traffic and drive but if you don't have the luxury of doing so, you have a couple options. The public transportation isn't THAT bad. You have the bart and caltrain, which both stop at midnight. They hit most major cities and areas with Palo Alto on that list. You can use public transportation back but getting home can be tricky. You either have to dip early to catch the last midnight train or you can go hard in the club until 4am and then get some food until the stations open up again at 5am. The best part though is that you can drink on the cal train. I guess NorCal has that going for them.

If you were to live in SF, I would go as south possible in the city but avoiding South SF. SoMa, like someone previously stated, would be the best spot to live. it's close to the 101 and won't leave you sitting in traffic to get through the city and onto the 101 (this could sometimes take 15-20 min alone). The only drawback would be the insane rent prices that seems to be rising at a rapid rate. I wouldn't recommend living in South SF (ie. Daly City) because it blows asshole for someone in their 20's. You'll find yourself surrounded by old families with stores closing at 9pm. Your second option could be to live in the South Bay in SJ/SC. It's no SF but is much better than anything in between SF and here. There are alot more clubs and bars in SJ that you might like. The demographic is predominantly vietnamese/chinese/hispanic/a small bit of koreans.

Nightlife. The nightlife in SF is pretty shitty. The girls seem to be nonexistent due to the hoards of techies and engineers that have migrated over to SF. Even if there are girls, they're all busted and "49ers." SF has come to be the perfect storm for meeting attractive women. However, with that said, there are some really sick bars and clubs in SF but they do get old and slowly take a toll on your morale due to the lack of women. I've recently been exploring the South Bay and the bars/clubs out here. So far, so good. The girls are a lot better down here. My hypothesis is that it's because of San Jose State Univ and De Anza College - score.

Feel free to ask more questions. I've come to learn alot about NorCal and did some heavy home work before moving here. Some people love it and some hate it. I currently hate NorCal...really depends on your lifestyle.

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Dec 3, 2018
oowij:

Even if there are girls, they're all busted and "49ers."

You mean 69ers ;)

Dec 2, 2018

Bumping this thread. Trying to help a friend decide between Palo Alto and Austin TX

Dec 2, 2018

Austin

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Dec 2, 2018

Palo Alto is nice but its extremely expensive for very small apartments and also pretty boring for someone in their 20s.

Dec 3, 2018

I grew up here ... there are basically two groups of youth - smart and motivated immigrant families and entitled, lazy SJW liberals. Overall, it's a pretty boring place to live; some good restaurants along University Avenue, close to SF and other suburbs like Cupertino and Los Altos.

Dec 3, 2018
Dec 3, 2018