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San Francisco?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
My parents are about to relocate with their job, they have three options, San Francisco, South Africa or Scotland.

My mother does not want to return to Scotland, I am not keen on them going to South Africa as it is far too dangerous for them, and I think San Francisco is a better option.

Can anyone give me advice on this? Mind you my parents are deaf and I am just more concerned of their Safety I know they will cope but I don't know much about America so any information would be helpful!

Anyone living there can tell me any pros and cons?

Thank you!

P.s 2 more days till i am a MRS!
post #2 of 13
I can help you.
I was born in San Francisco and alot of my family still lives there.
Do they want San Francisco or one of the small cities.
I lived over there until 3 years ago.
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
well due to my fathers work they cant live anywhere else, either those three Cities which is Edinburgh, San Francisco or one of the cities in South Africa or stay in Rome, and that is not an option for them as they get paid next to nothing.
post #4 of 13
Does he want a House or Appartmnet?
Do you know what part of San Francisco he would work in?
I can tell you what areas are good and what is bad there.
What else do you need to know about it.
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by mews2much View Post
Does he want a House or Appartmnet?
Do you know what part of San Francisco he would work in?
I can tell you what areas are good and what is bad there.
What else do you need to know about it.

No I don't know what area they would live or work in, he is a diplomat so he would work at the consulate there so I presume it would be in a good area just like every other consulate. Not sure if they want to live in a apartment or house I have no clue :P

I just wanted basic info about San Francisco, is it more on the bad side, or is it good? How do people behave over there? are there lots of shops for shopping. Good entertainment? Earthquakes? Are there many deaf clubs? Weather? Does it get stormy ect. Like i said i am just concerned about their safety.
post #6 of 13
They get alot of fog in the summer.
Rainy Season is Oct-June,
There rarely is rain in the summer.
post #7 of 13
There are good and bad areas of San Francisco... I worked downtown for a while, have friends who live in different areas, it's just a matter of knowing your way around the city. I'm sure it's changed since I worked there, so I can't really comment on the individual areas.

Since they're working with the Consulate, I would bet they'll be living within SF as well as your father working there.

SF Public Library has a Deaf Services room in the main downtown building (HUGE building, I saw it when it first opened... gorgeous). They may have more resources for the deaf there. I don't know about clubs or anything, but they may be able to help at the library.

Yes, Sf has earthquakes... they're not constant, but they do happen. I wouldn't live down close to the Bay... unless they've improved it (not sure, but I'm doubtful) drastically since the 1989 Quake, that was all fill land... and shifted like quicksand when the '89 hit... the four story condo buildings down there liquified... literally. reduced to nothing in seconds flat. UP on the hills would be better, and I would guess the Consulate either has housing available for them, or would help find housing.

Is it perfectly safe there? No. My pickup was broken into in the SOMA (SOuth of MArket) District in 2001, and I saw a guy's laptop/briefcase get stolen right out from under his nose in a Starbucks on Market. The buses are okay, trains are packed, usually. parking is $$$$. Especially close to downtown.

If i had the money, I would live there though... I grew up with Quakes... I'm used to them. Heck, I pretty much sleep through anything lower than a 5.0.

Weather gets chilly, but not REALLY cold (not like Chicago). It does get windy, though. The Bay Area is notorious for its Microclimates... literally, one part of town it's sunny, then you go two or three miles in any direction and it's drizzling rain... bizarre weather there... but i grew up with it...

Hope that helps a little...
post #8 of 13
Lots of people love it here!

You have really good information from the previous posters, so I just want to add my two cents.

One, there have been a lot of improvements seismically in SF (I'm technically across the bay, hubby works there), though it's not perfect yet.

And two, there is a large deaf community, at least on this side of the bay.

If your parents are interested, I'd be happy to meet them! I also have a deaf friend who I'm sure would love to go out with them to the city.

PM me if you are interested.
post #9 of 13
All I know is that is is NOT safe in South Africa. Dear friend is from there. Her brother and his family were attacked by gunmen/robbers, who ambushed them... brother was injured, daughter BADLY injured. They live behind a high fence with security, etc.

SF is nice. There are quite a few members who live in the area. It is $$$$!!!!

Scotland - hmmm... haven't been since I was 15... don't know about living there. We also have members there, too.
post #10 of 13
We liked it there but moved because its very expensive.
I was in 1989 Quake.
I think it is better then the other choices he has.
My friend could have helped you but she died from cancer.
She helped deaf people.
It can be foggy and 55 and 90 a few miles away.
I would go it though.
post #11 of 13
I would say SF As an Aussie who moved here, I can say it's not THAT different to Australia. People are friendly, climate is similar, and there's not too many cultural differences. They don't need to live in San Francisco itself, there are plenty more suburban surrounding cities on the train line. I assume it's the Australian Consulate he'd be at? It's right near a BART station, which is more of a light rail, so it would be easy to get to from anywhere.

There's an organisation called Advance that's for Australians in the US, and they have lots of functions, and professional and social get togethers from all walks of life.

The Aussie ex-pat community is pretty close knit, and they will find plenty of other Australians, and just by sheer volume of people, would most likely find a very active deaf community as well.

SF has its crime problems - petty crime and drug related crime, but I don't think of it as an unsafe place. Personally I am much happier where we are (45 minutes south of the city) just because it's warmer (SF has a weird, cold micro-climate), and more suburban which we prefer.

There is SO much to see and do around California, if they like getting out and seeing things, they will love it - big redwood forests, beautiful beaches, pretty small towns, winery areas - it's great!

If they want to ask me any questions (or if you have any specific questions), send me a PM and I can give you my email address.
post #12 of 13
San Francisco itself has many charms, though it is extremely expensive... but the whole of northern California is spectacular, and the opportunity to live right in the middle of it would be irresistible to me! I love Edinburgh dearly, but if you don't want your folks to go back to Scotland, I'd point them toward San Francisco without the slightest hesitation.

What a wonderful dilemma to be in!
post #13 of 13
Well, I can talk about Edinburgh and San Francisco and this is a LONG post. I think that the question about resources have been answered for SF but I do not know about resources in Edinburgh.

I will add my about SF first. I don't think that there is that much crime there. What you may find is more homeless persons than some other cities because of the climate.

Housing is expensive in the city. Your parents may want to think about a suburb. I would look at the East Bay, where Blast-Off-Girl, Meowers and I live. With the housing market and foreclosures being what they are, you can get some bargains. If your parents are interested in the East Bay, be sure that they live near a BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) line.

Like Sarahp said, the Bay Area has many micro climates. SF has the most temperate weather, but it is very foggy in the summer and will be cold. General rule of thumb is that for every mile east you go from SF you can add a degree. So, in the summer, it can be 65F in SF and about 95F where I live which is 27 miles from downtown SF.

There are many diverse neighborhoods in SF. I wouldn't live in Hunters Point. The Castro Valley is home to many gays and is a nice place to live. Speaking of earthquakes, I wouldn't live in the Marina district because it is filled in land which liquifies during major quakes. You are more likely to be hit by lightning than to live through a major earthquake.

You can drive to so many things here. You can drive to the Sierras for snow, Reno and rafting in the summer. You can see the coastal redwoods just north of SF in Muir woods. You can go to see the Sequoia redwoods in Yosemite which in itself is one of the most beautiful places in the world. Monterey is close and LA is within a days drive but it is another world. Just kidding for the LA persons.

On to Edinburgh. My daughter and I have been there twice and are so in love with it! Everyone is so friendly. There is so much history there. London is very close. I even like haggis. There is a small town air there even though it is the major city in Scotland. It is hilly like SF and some of the views are spectacular and the pubs are great.

We love the Fringe Festival in August. You can see plays for cheap and they run 23 hours a day. During the festival, Prince Charles and Camilla were there to see the military Tattoo (another annual famous event). They went from the Tattoo to the royal residence at Holyrood in a horse-drawn carriage covered in gold. Think Cinderella only 24 karat.

The food is not as good as it is in SF but then again, not many cities have cuisine like SF. You can drive to, take a train, boat, or plane to many places in Europe.

I cannot tell you about the neighborhoods. I can tell you that the first time we were there we stayed at a lovely B&B. They were full the second time we went but suggested another B&B around the corner. Colin and Trina asked us for breakfast, lunch and dinner while we were there. We still send cards to each other.

To sum up, here are my favorite cities where I have lived or visited:

Sydney (sorry, Sarah)

South Africa is not on my radar.
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