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I Have Powers - Cali Folks?!!?!!!!
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Cali Folks?!!?!!!!
Chris, Di, Rebecca, Ryan, Jennifer, Paul, and other (possibly unknown) California folks: are you still there?

A big part of me still wants to move to West Hollywood. A smaller part wants me to move to San Francisco.

Talk to me.

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freeport_pirate From: freeport_pirate Date: August 23rd, 2009 11:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Surely you know that all game industry roads ultimately lead to Seattle.
eynowd From: eynowd Date: August 23rd, 2009 11:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Part of me thinks you may be better off moving to Seattle. I'm sure there'd be someone there looking for tech writers, and there's a large RPG industry contingent in that neck of the woods.
senatorhatty From: senatorhatty Date: August 23rd, 2009 11:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
Let me know where you want to move. I know gamer type folks who are in various industries in every place you mentioned that may be able to help with smooth landings and the like.

Though I suspect many people who follow this LJ could say the same.
wombattery From: wombattery Date: August 23rd, 2009 11:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
I moved to where I am now for family reasons (specifically, wanting the child to grow up near relatives). Had the child not come along, I'd almost certainly be living in an apartment in Alameda two blocks from the Bay and never, ever wearing winter coats. If you can swing the (considerable) cost of living, the SF Bay area is a marvelous place and puts you within striking range of LA and the less urban parts of northern California (if you ignore the pretentious tat, Napa and Sonoma are wonderful, and you're near redwoods), and makes trips to the desert Southwest a reasonable possibility.
fax_celestis From: fax_celestis Date: August 24th, 2009 01:08 am (UTC) (Link)
The SF Bay area is excellent. I've lived here my whole life.
eac From: eac Date: August 24th, 2009 01:24 am (UTC) (Link)
James and I are still here, Chad. I love it in San Francisco, but I'd caution you about the standard of living here, which is tough to manage. I can't talk about the relative merits of LA, since I've never lived there, but Nikki has...
macklinr From: macklinr Date: August 24th, 2009 01:40 am (UTC) (Link)
I love the Bay Area. I'm looking either to move back there or to Seattle soon.

I cannot speak to the virtues of SoCal - it's a different state that NorCal. :)
rednikki From: rednikki Date: August 24th, 2009 01:46 am (UTC) (Link)
There's me, too!

I think there's much to be said for both places. What do you want to know?
From: redhound Date: August 24th, 2009 03:22 am (UTC) (Link)
I adore the Bay Area, and I think you would probably dig it as well. That said, I think moving here requires some deep thinking about what you want and need out of a lifestyle. It's a multipolar metropolitan area, and different parts have very different mixes of cost of living, cultural resources, and job opportunities. For example, I did not get my money's worth out of living in San Francisco proper, but Silicon Valley is working pretty well for me.
joshroby From: joshroby Date: August 24th, 2009 03:39 am (UTC) (Link)
SoCal has got lots to offer, at (apparently) a high cost of living. I dunno; it's the normal baseline for me.

We've got a three-times-a-year local gaming con and Nerdly Beach Party, but that's probably not the criteria that you want to use to choose where you move. ;)
From: doccross Date: August 24th, 2009 04:30 am (UTC) (Link)
As a lifelong NorCal boy and lover of the City By The Bay, I say choose San Francisco...IF you can afford it. The San Jose area is another good choice.
jonlaw From: jonlaw Date: August 24th, 2009 11:44 am (UTC) (Link)
I switched coasts from the SF Bay area four years ago. I grew up and was educated almost entirely in California. Now I an a DC Metro guy on the Maryland side of things.

I also know folks in Seattle and Portland and there are significant gaming and creative communities in those metro areas (I am most familiar with the comic book community in Portland through an old friendship with ruckawriter.livejournal.com).

As many have said, it really depends on what you are looking for. California is very expensive, although moving from DC Metro will be less of a shock than most other places. My sense is that Seattle and Portland are more affordable, but still expensive relatively.

If you are planning a family any time soon, I would stay put or consider the Northwest but not California. The state economy is a mess, the tax structure is a mess, and services like education are in crisis with a major failure to govern by pretty much the whole political class.

If state services are not as necessary and you can stand the sticker shock, California is great. I have fewer ties to SoCal, but I know it has its own crazy charm and know people or "people who know people" and they seem to love it.

SF Bay area has a lot to offer all around the Bay and beyond. I grew up in Monterey, lived in Benecia and my kids were born in Berkeley. I worked in downtown SF for seven years. I moved for a job opportunity, but I plan to stay because of better schools and community for my kids and slightly less insane commute and cost of living. I would hate to see you go, but if you find the right opportunity or I suppose under the right circumstances you believe you can make the opportunity, California (or Oregon or Washington) has a lot to offer.
From: yojimbob Date: August 24th, 2009 01:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm much like Jonlaw, having moved from San Francisco area to live in Maryland. I'm gunning for gaming industry jobs out here (particularly Bethesda softworks and their online MMO sister company, Big Huge Games, and a few others).

West Hollywood is in the LA area, of course, and being from SF I have a natural loathing of the LA sprawl. That said, LA area is more affordable. SF area is VERY pricey, but there are gaming industry jobs like crazy, and tons of minor studios (Page 44, Shaba, Secret Level, etc).

I loved living in Cali for nearly 38 years, but I wouldn't trade Maryland for anything at this point. Well, maybe for Tuscany, but that's another story.

If you're looking for gaming industry jobs as freeport pirate seemed to indicate, you'd be hard-pressed to go wrong with SF or LA, but Seattle is extremely good that way, too. Many of the companies that are both big and good are up that way (Bungie, Valve, and Monolith are all up that way). Anywhere you go you'll have options, but Seattle's economy is a lot better these days.
ratmmjess From: ratmmjess Date: August 24th, 2009 04:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Pricey. The Inland Empire (60+ miles east of West Hollywood) is pricey compared to metro DC, and WeHo is even worse. Dunno what your salary is and what you'd make here compared to there, but in all likelihood any salary increase would be offset or more than offset by the huge increase in cost of living.

Also, and more apposite for me: SoCal folks...I've met and am gaming with some lovely SoCal folks, but on a daily basis I see an appalling lack of manners and ongoing display of unfriendliness toward everyone, verging on hostility. SoCal is not a nice place. SF is much better for that sort of thing.

Just my two cents.
zonemind From: zonemind Date: August 25th, 2009 05:30 am (UTC) (Link)
If you can afford San Francisco, it's lovely.

As space-casey as you are, I think West Hollywood would be a less-than-pleasant long-term experience. Granted, most of my life in LA was spent in South Central during the Oh Shit They're Shooting era, and West Hollywood is up the socioeconomic ladder a couple rungs. Granted, DC has its own quality of life issues. Still, I thought my dad's setup in the Sylmar hills was about as sweet as it gets for non-celebrities in the valley, and I still hated the place.

Visit Portland. The air is cleaner, the beer is better, and you can actually breathe the air without feeling like you've committed a crime against yourself.
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