Walk North and you are in the Presidio and see the Golden Gate Bridge. Walk West and you are at the Legion of Honor or Lands End and watching the sun set over the Ocean. Walk East and I can hit up a hip hop or funk night at the Boom Boom Room or go to the Fillmore. You can dance at Madrone Art Bar or see an indie rock show at the Independent on Divisadero. Walk a few blocks South and you are in the Panhandle walking by some beautiful Victorians, then stop and catch some jazz at Club Deluxe. Walk a little more and go up Corona Heights or Tank Hill and you have breathtaking panoramic views of the city. Or head down to some of the pubs in the Lower Haight. And that's just within a 2 mile radius. For some reason, everyone focuses on the Tenderloin and SoMa though. The city has major problems, but there is also so much to enjoy.
I have made many interesting and creative friends here who are from all over the world. I get to work on mobile games, but there are many other opportunities around. Among my coworkers are digital artists and painters, musicians, engineers, hip hop dancers, drag show performers, people who party all night in the Castro, a muay Thai boxer, mixologists, and more interests than I can list.
I lived in Seattle, Portland, and Austin over the previous 2 decades -- all great places -- but still find myself happier in SF.
The problem is I can't possibly afford to live there. If you can live there, cool. For many people, it's just too expensive to make it into a nice experience.
All those restaurants nearby are only cool if you can afford the high cost of housing and have enough money leftover to still eat at restaurants without worrying that you are cutting your own throat in terms of retirement savings or something.
In short, it's great if you are wealthy enough. It's not for most other people, even if they find parts of it enchanting.
I left California more than 2.5 years ago. I don't plan to return to it.
Most of this has to do with settling down and thinking more about a family than myself and career. My body also can’t recover from those nights in SF as well as I get older.
SF is a Peter Pan city though, you can stay young there forever and do fine. I know people who still go to the same bars and hang out with the same crowd they did a decade ago.
I no doubt bought other stuff. I also enjoyed "How buildings learn" but I don't think I bought it that day.
I run r/CitizenPlanners and there are some links there to videos and what not.
Personally I found the book a bit long and repetitive: although the examples were varied, each was used to restate the same basic point. But that may be my own problem. After all, if you're trying to support a generalisation using case studies, it's not enough to breeze through one or two and assure the reader that others exist; you need to go into detail about as many as you reasonably can.
It was written in SF post-gold rush to answer the question of why the obscene wealth generated by the gold rush resulted in abysmal quality of life and skyrocketing inequality in SF. Sadly relevant these days.
: There's a slight tilt towards owners (54%). If property prices continue to become less affordable, it seems reasonable there will be less owners in the future. https://datausa.io/profile/geo/california#housing
If prop 13 were to die, you'd think it'd be this year with all the budget problems coming up. It won't though. Politicians would face a mass exodus even if they kept in an exception for primary homes/business-locations. There's no way they'd all stay in office.
Prop 13 is a voter-passed Constitutional Amendment and, therefore, can only be repealed by the voters. So, the politicians that would be voted out for repealing it are...the voters.
This can (a) raise a whole lot of revenue, relieving local/state budgets so they can hopefully stop needing as many stupid short-term workarounds which have proliferated the past few decades, and (b) allow future commercial property taxes for newly purchased commercial properties to be lower than they otherwise would be, encouraging more turnover, especially for underused properties.
The obvious follow-up would be to also change the law for residential properties owned by large-scale landowners (say, companies which own large apartment complexes or dozens of homes).
It'll be much more expensive to hold commercial real estate without it yielding income, so it should reduce the commercial vacancy rate.
* no, London is much much cleaner than SF. I'd rather take a stroll in London.
* there's very little amount of homeless compared to SF. Again, I'd rather take a stroll in London.
I was paying 1300GBP (so around 1500USD) for a one bedroom apartment in Battersea (so zone2). I am now paying 3350USD for a small one bedroom in Castro.
Also I think London is slightly cheaper. Still, working remotely from London proper is probably a terrible idea given the extent of public transportation. Just live in Croydon and catch overground to London when necessary IMO.
Are we talking about the same London and the same SF? I went a whole week in London riding the subway several times a day without seeing anything gross.
Being mostly in Seattle for about 6 years now, this is what I enjoyed the most about being based in SF and is what will likely make me return to it.
Seattle feels to be a town now comprised of corporate campuses and the suburban neighborhoods in between. It's also great if you love outdoor hobbies, but I prefer the vibrance of cities. The creative culture here feels substantially more lacking than it is in SF, and it feels extremely challenging to make new friend that aren't in technology. Of course SF has its tech-bro startup culture; here it seems most people that live around me work for Microsoft, Amazon, or Facebook. At least there were easy outs in going to galleries or clubs or art/makerspaces or various meets for non-tech things in SF and I have never been able to find enough of those in the Seattle area. The COVID-19 crisis will likely choke them out further.
I hear the same thing about New York and to that I wonder:
1) Do people actually like these things
2) or are they a just a way to virtue signal their cosmopolitan bona fides to the other graduates of selective universities?
Perhaps I'm just an unsophisticated public school grad, but I've never met anybody that actually takes part in these things even when they live in New York, etc.
Move to Noe Valley or Bernal heights
Aside from the limited parking it is a decent area that does not smell like “San Francisco”
San Francisco is still held to Martin vs. Boise. They need to either build sufficient homeless shelters for all of the homeless in SF, (lol) or allow them to sleep where they please in public places.
I am not a lawyer, but I got an A in Political Science 101 and I read the news. This is not legal advice, but my personal advice is that cities in California oughta build more homeless shelters.
Oh, please, god, no.
California desperately needs more actual housing. That's a huge issue in California.
More homeless shelters just drags out the problem. It doesn't solve it.
There are mentally ill people in housing. They don't generally follow you down the street and scream at you when they have housing.
Being homeless is enormously stressful. It is itself crazy-making.
Lack of sufficient housing supply is a root cause of high housing prices and of homelessness. California has been under building for decades.
In the meantime, I will keep harping on best practices for this planet as I best understand them.
More generally, your comments come across and smug and sanctimonious — everyone has an interest in solving the problem, and falling back to “homelessness is a housing problem” amounts to tautology which is not particularly insightful.
Given how much lower the average lifespan is for homeless individuals, we are more or less killing them.
Being from the tribal origin I've been conned by city dwellers a lot before I wised up. In tribe we trust everyone, there is no need to be shrewed and sense of community and living together in harmony is valued above everything else.
UK data from 2011:
Homeless die 30 years younger than average
The new research found that the average homeless person has a life expectancy of 47, compared to 77 for the rest of the population: a startling difference of 30 years. The life expectancy for women was even lower, at just 43 years.
I think this is US data from 2017:
The average life span of a homeless person was shorter by about 17.5 years than that recorded for the general population.
In tribe we trust everyone
Yeah, my dad was part Cherokee. I can be sort of stupid at times about thinking the best of people and I've been burned by that.
But I also think my native heritage helped me survive living in a tent for nearly 6 years and helped me profoundly in other ways.
That sense of community is very life giving and it tends to be lacking in most modern American places.
There seems to be this strange idea that people put forth that your options are simply between living in the most expensive city in the country or being homeless in the most expensive city in the country.
How about Modesto? I think you would find plenty of support from people who genuinely would like for those people to have somewhere to live. The problem is that the opposition wouldn't accept it. It would come off as some perverse form of gentrification, under the implication that anybody "deserves" to live anywhere. I personally have always found the argument that "I should be able to continue living here, because I lived here previously" to be incredibly uncompelling. What about people who weren't born in fantastic cities?
The fact that the Tenderloin is where it is, in what would probably be some of the best real estate in the city, is absolutely insane. I think you would find that there is all the good will in the world from people, if the proposed solutions make sense. They just don't.
The city of Vienna Austria has a fantastic social housing program. The city owns and manages 220,000 units of housing and indirectly controls another 200,000 units of private properties developed under a city-regulated process .
This could be done in SF. And then even people who are not very wealthy could potentially move to and live in the city. I reject the notion that individual wealth should be the sole or primary way that we allot housing to people.
Instead of complaining about tents, we could (through our taxes) build these people homes. Instead of stepping over people sleeping on the ground we could make sure every person has a roof over their head. San Francisco is a very wealthy city. We could certainly afford to build this kind of housing.
All the “unlanded” are sharecroppers, some better paid than others. Time for some solidarity among the renter class.
If you prefer more equal ownership of capital there is nothing wrong with that.
But that is completely orthogonal to solving 'the problem' of homelessness. Please don't confuse the two issues.
People are made homeless because housing costs rise arbitrarily high along with productivity. To the market, the definition of “the correct price” for housing is when there is “a little bit” of poverty.
If you happen to earn enough to land above that price then you are paying for your overpriced apartment. If you happen to fall below that line, you are homeless.
The “force” at play is a broken pricing scheme which allows/encourages landlords to continue raising prices as high as they can possibly go, which in a super high productivity area like SFBA or NYC is extremely high.
Places with less inflated housing prices had a 'homeless problem' as well until they made home a basic human right.
Hence empirically I doubt you can 'fix homelesness' by fixing the housing market. You can fix the housing market but will still have homeless problem - until you make home a human right.
Everyone being housed is effectively a signal to landlords that rent is too cheap.
We obviously produce enough capital to ensure everyone is housed and fed, yet housing costs simply keep rising with productivity because, well, why wouldn’t they?
Zoning/NIMBYism doesn’t help either, but even with perfect zoning, prices would still rise with productivity.
Before coming back we tried pretty hard trying to find somewhere else we could go live (and be much wealthier, afford a bigger house, etc) but we couldn't and decided on going back to Oakland.
Also, in contrast to NYC, you can easily string together a day where you're in Muir Woods, then hit a winery or two in Sonoma, and be back in SF in time for the Symphony. Sure, I don't do stuff like that all the time, but on occasion when I have visitors in town.
Downsides are the high cost, the absolutely insane homeless and feces filled streets, and the monoculture.
California is amazing, but the NY metro area has a ton to offer with a much lower drama factor.
Actually just got back from a very similar bike ride.
I'm really baffled, I have no solutions to offer, I'm just baffled that everyone can see that SF is in a very very bad state and yet nothing is improving.
Basically everyone (me included) is just completely baffled why nothing is improving and just sitting there waiting for something to be done.
I recommend the south bay if you want to escape the poverty, it's not as bad down there.
I think south bay you get less of the above with better weather.
Citation: https://www.mercurynews.com/2020/03/08/when-it-comes-to-the-... "89% of residents say homelessness is an extremely or very serious problem — up from 79% the year before"
Advocates for homeless people think homelessness is a problem. People that oppose dealing with homelessness tend to portray homeless people as a problem.
What doesn't solve problems is creating a false BS dichotomy between "homelessness" and "homeless people" as if there are two major groups of people who are actively combatting two different problems. It's ridiculous. If the people who view "homeless people" as a "problem" aren't advocating helping "homeless people" as solving the problem what exactly are they advocating?? How do you solve the "homeless people" problem without helping "homelessness?" Don't be stupid, these things are one and the same problem with the same solutions.
This is a play on words inserting false malice where there was originally and obviously no malice intended.
Instead the origin of the malice is @dragonwriter intending to use a play on words to start a witch hunt.
I think ultimately a lot of the negative stuff I said about San Francisco pissed off some people who love the city. I wasn't trying to paint San Francisco in a bad light. I was trying to shave off some of the excessive and illusory positivity of the initial post because San Francisco as great as it is, is a city with deep issues and deep problems. To solve these issues and to solve these problems one has to first admit that they exist. Acceptance is hard for many, especially those who have lived here all their lives, and I think this attack was just an aspect of that.
I won't deny there are some horror stories coming from Mexico, but I'm a European and have been living here since 2009. I've never seen or experienced anything even remotely violent. I paid for a mordida once, that's it. I've lived in Mexico City, Estado de México, Veracruz, Cancún, and now near Querétaro. I've travelled to most states either for tourism or work. Although I'm from Spain I totally look like a gringo so I never pass unnoticed.
We live in a little village about 3 hours from Mexico City with almost no crime at all. We only lock our door when leaving town. We have 200Mbps fiber. We rent a 3bdr house with garden for about $500 USD. Life is really good for us.
My wife is Mexican and her mother passed away a couple of months ago so we're now planning to go back to Europe in 2-3 years once my gig starts generating some income. There is not much here for her and I'm a bit bored of Mexico. We also don't like how the political situation is changing with Amlo.
For anyone else besides me who was unfamiliar with the term, it's a bribe: https://www.tripsavvy.com/definition-of-mordida-1588821
(for those that do not speak Spanish: embarazada = pregnant)
Mexico is safer than the US - some will find that unpaletable. Get over it.
This is quite verifiably false?
edit: fixed link
I stayed in various of the "safe parts" of Mexico for three months and felt much safer than in any of various cities in the US, both experienced as a European traveller.
Also, even comparing apples to apples those stats don't paint the day to day reality of living in Mexico. Very often murders are from fights between narco gangs, or between narcos and the police/military.
It's also true that crime and narco presence is not equally distributed.
See Queretaro vs Boston:
I can't help but wonder if a Spanish accent buys you some cred in Latin America that other gringos don't get.
On the other hand, Mexicans use more diminutives compared to Spaniards and have lost the informal plural "you", always using what would be the the formal form of address in Spain. Mexicans often also say "¿mande?" to acknowledge you or request that you repeat yourself, but this more literally means something very servile like "order me" or "what is your command?", a remnant of the Spanish conquest of Mexico. For this reason, Mexicans sometimes sound excessively polite to Spaniards.
Of course, these are just broad stereotypes and it's entirely possible that pier25 has not experienced any of this. Possibly simply due to being foreign and the generally unacknowledged racism we have in Mexico (white is pretty), pier25's experience may have been entirely positive.
Also, pier25 may look like a gringo but he's not a gringo. In Mexico, only people from the US are gringos, regardless of their appearance. Obama is a gringo; Trudeau is not a gringo (other countries use the term "gringo" differently). As soon as pier25 speaks, no Mexican would call him gringo. Gachupín is an older somewhat pejorative term for Spaniards in Mexico, but I think it's rarely used nowadays.
Yes, this is totally true.
Also Mexicans generally try to speak properly unless they are with friends or family. They typically shush bad words, use more polite substitutes, or they start a sentence with "excuse me but...".
In Spain nobody cares.
> pier25's experience may have been entirely positive
Yeah, totally. I've lived in different countries so I adapt very quickly to different customs and forms.
> As soon as pier25 speaks, no Mexican would call him gringo.
You'd be surprised. Most people in Mexico associate Spanish accent with Madrid accent (eg: hola como eshtash) and since I don't have that accent they think I'm a gringo with a weird Spanish accent. Dozens of times Mexicans have insisted speaking to me in English even when I was speaking in Spanish to them. Once I even had to insist that I was from Spain and the answer was "¿Pero español de España?" :)
With my wife we've joked about making a t-shirt for me that says "Que no soy gringo joder!".
Jajajaja me encantaría ver esa playera.
That's so interesting. I'm from Brazil, and to us Continental Portuguese sounds pompous, much like what a British accent sounds to an American listeners.
Different languages, I know, but interesting contrast considering both cases are related to the Iberian peninsula :)
Outside of touristic zones (Vallarta, Cancún, etc) Mexicans tend to like and be curious about people from abroad. There's actually a pejorative term called malinchismo for this preference for foreign stuff.
>we're now planning to go back to Europe
Where in Europe are you planning to relocate?
Also nod to NL, as other poster. Lived there for three years. Again, stuff works.
Both Switzerland and NL are at the top of my list.
FWIW, I've been living in Budapest now for a year and is quite nice, I like Europe overall too, but we'll be returning to Canada :-)
As for getting money from abroad you have to declare it and pay a percentage to the state.
Could you expand on this? I'm not keeping up with Mexican politics so I don't know much besides him being left leaning.
He is surrounded by incompetent and bootlicker advisors.
This administration is one of the most corrupt and violent in the past 20 years.
He has three pharaonic projects to build an outdated infrastructure that only "benefits" the president's home state.
He is actively stopping the construction for renewable energy projects and foreign investment.
With the combination of COVID and the current political situation, Mexico is going to plunge into the worst recession it has seen in modern history. I wouldn't be surprised if Mexico becomes the next Venezuela in a couple of years.
A more accurate description would be “he surrounds himself with incompetent and bootlicker advisors.”
At the presidential level he appointed all of those people
Oh! Thank you for teaching me this word.
But I'm hopeful that will all return in 18 months.
And so in my idealized remote setup, the balance I want is:
A) Work environment optimized for deep work. I run a company, but I've found a way to do that with very few meetings and very little email. Most weeks I just have one meeting and many days I don't send a single email.
B) Living environment optimized for people and culture. While a lot of restaurants are obviously going to have to declare for bankruptcy, I do think that people working from home are going to crave a social life and so I think the demand for pubs and restaurants will return.
NYC people resonate with me because I experience them as a diverse group of ambitious people. I'm constantly running into people in different industries, but who still share my basic interest/ambition to figure out how to succeed.
In order to make this work you need to have a decent office setup. But I'm sure that coworking will be able to meet the demands of people that want more work/life separation. That's a pattern that people who work for me often use: remote worker at a coworking desk. But I have a nice office setup for myself already even though NYC apartments are small.
(I am coupled, but we are intentionally child free.)
People say it's expensive but they act as if you get nothing in return for what you pay, which is certainly not the case.
when I talk about "culture" in my city, I am usually referring to how often I will end up at events which broaden my perspectives, simply by tagging along or following the suggestions of friends/acquaintances. For example: wine tastings, art gallery/museum openings, open mic amateur stand up comedy events, [specific thing, e.g. cactus] festivals, and so on. (in my experience many such events are free/inexpensive)
When I said culture I was thinking to myself a lot about diversity. This is a major outpost for movie production, tv production, theater, music, dance, comedy, art, writing. And so we end up with both the high end version of those, i.e. broadway, and also all the supporting versions as people climb the ladder to the big leagues or even just need smaller place to test an idea.
It's so intwined with the city that I run into it everywhere. An element of that diversity is that I experience a lot of surprise. I'll see something or meet someone and learn something that I didn't already learn.
A smattering of experiences:
- My partner has a season pass to an off broadway theater and had Hamilton tickets before it was on Broadway.
- Twice now I've lived directly above major magazine editors. One was the #2 at Real Simple and now is on Medium's internal team and my current downstairs neighbor is at the Atlantic. How do they think about current events and how to best explain it?
- Janene Garafolo is trying to start a comedy club in Brooklyn and it's a very relaxed and easy night out that's only a few blocks from my house.
- I ended up friends with a guy now on the air at WNYC right when he was making the transition into radio. He'd take me to Moth Story Telling Competitions and sometimes he'd win which led to him getting much more serious about audio storytelling. But when I first met him he was dirt poor and sharing a very shitty car with my now girlfriend.
- I ended up at a lot of parties with one of the lead dancers at the Paul Taylor company. She's probably one of the top ten dancers in the world. And this was just a run of the mill house party, maybe ten people sitting around drinking.
- The artist who did Obama's presidential portrait is on the permanent collection at Brooklynn Art Museum and his urban men restyled as Renaissance paintings kind of blew my mind.
- Almost everyone here is up on a current museum exhibition, theater thing, or writing. So culture is just part of the conversation here.
- I was sitting at an off-broadway play and ended up making small talk with the person sitting next to me, Deborah Eisenberg. I had no idea who she was, but she had just had a book reviewed by the NYT. She looked bored because her partner is a famous actor (recognizable by anyone who saw Princess Bride). And so he was fending off a fan and she looked bored. Later I saw her speak at a non-fiction center near our place in Brooklyn and the audience was almost all writers.
- The TV show Dirtbag on Amazon seems pretty well known. (It's also great). I saw her do a one-woman show version of season one. It was about 90 minutes with just her performing. Tina Fey was sitting right in front of us, which is part of the pipeline thing here. Performers are out checking out other performers.
And then on top of that, yeah, I go to the movies and see mainstream movies and what not. Or I used to in the "before times."
NYC is great. But keep everything you care about in three suitcases, and be ready to haul ass at a moment's notice. And for heaven's sake, don't sign a lease, much less a mortgage.
I'm very curious to know what your secret is!
The beach is like a couple of miles away. The mountains are also quite close and its very beautiful and its very much untouched nature.
It's also very hot and humid but I am fine with that.
Also, they get fiber so the internet is faster than where I live in the Bay Area.
The only problem was that there were no jobs there but with the Facebook announcement, that hopefully will change for the better.
Traveling through India for a couple months is on my bucket list, and now Kerala is part of that.
Kindly note though that the distance from the point I chose to the state of Kerala (not the city) is roughly the distance from Miami to Boca Raton.
It's one of the five biggest cities in the US but most people routinely look past it.
First of all it's fairly cheap, less than half as expensive as SF even in the nicest parts.
It's got the best restaurant scene of any city I've spent time in (and almost all are free BYO).
It's got a great art scene including a ton of amazing live music. 4 sports teams with passionate fan bases.
It's racially diverse (no racial majority), mostly safe, and has plenty of young professionals.
And if you really need to you can get to NY in only a few hours.
The only reason I'm not there is that the tech scene sucks. If I could be remote I'd be there already.
Something that folks on the West Coast might appreciate: flights to major European cities are roughly equal to flights to SF or LA, and often cheaper.
Oh, and it’s a 6 hour drive to Montréal.
Granted, with corona... that’s all dreaming.
That's exactly how I feel about philly. Especially after spending several years in LA.
Rabid. They have rabid fan bases.
I live in the small city where I was born, so within 30 minute walking distance of my parents, one of my sisters, and a few of my friends.
It's amazing because our kids can play together and we can easily have the proud grandparents come over for help. Plus, friends can come over for a drink and then walk back home.
I did live in Singapore, Vietnam, and the Canary Islands for a while, which was also great, but for different reasons.
I'd say the focus on travel in here just shows that most HN readers are younger than me, so they don't have to plan for kids yet.
The importance of family and friends comes once you realize it actually doesn't really matter that much where you live (unless it is downright terrible to live there). Life is what you make off it - this goes for your "place" as well. And for some people, their friends are essential to do that. For others not at all.
I would have never moved for family unless it concerns my household. I only moved once because of "friends"/people I knew when deciding where to study. Wasn't really stupid, just the wrong reason. It is never easier to make friends than as an 18 year old beginning your studies.
I always intended to move after studying to work abroad for a few years. Scandinavia or California would have been awesome.
I prefer not to move at all now because I/we prefer stability in life now as parents. The doctors we know, the shops we know, the handymen we know - and life isn't that terrible where we are and the daily struggles interesting enough. I would work remote to be able to stay where I am right now, just as an example.
Having moved across the continent as a kid I don't fear moving - I just prefer not to unless really necessary. Moving across the country in a few years, to a place I know more "adolescent-friendly" and with "nicer people" to build a house is still an option for me though - but harder for my partner to feel comfortable with.
I guess a lot of people (including my dad) are more adventurous and need to see the "foreign land", but everyone has their own incentives and anchors.
My mom, sisters, long time friends, family, beaches, scenery, mountains, hurricanes, etc. I’ll take it all.
I would need to be able to have and run a central AC like here though. All I hear from friend is how hot it is right now.
Right now we're a in a similar situation, albeit renting sharing with flatmates. Auckland/Airport is just 20-60 minutes away if need to. Marina is just 15 minutes away. Internet is not excellent but 60mbps VDSL is enough. Maybe 5G will change that.
On longer term - offshore cruising. I recon there might be a boom of that once Starlink constellation is operational and finally sat net is affordable for smaller boats. Big decision here is whether it's catamaran (2.5x living area, 3x cost, 2x speed, 2x maintenance, 2x comfort) or monohull (2x safety, 1.5x versatility).
Japan is out there too. They've recently announced visa programme for startups so immigration options might be more feasible. That said I've got spoiled by rural living and Japan is incredibly dense so no idea how big of a house I could find there. Also I'd move far north as summers in Tokyo etc seem unbearable.
While I don't have an ocean view, and only about 2ha of land, it's a wonderful place to be. However, there are pretty significant drawbacks in getting gigs as there just aren't many local firms doing anything at all intellectually challenging and US firms still just apparently aren't interested in talent in this country who don't want to suffer being forced to relocate to awful places to live.
I don't see that changing, either; the fact is that people who really place proper value on a quality lifestyle tend to be older, and few firms really place much value on older talent either. Younger people are cheaper and more willing to suffer abuses such as moving to unpleasant, expensive metro areas in countries with alien values.
The cheese shop is fine! I know Keith and Marita who have owned it for many years, they are good people - Ad Clarijs who founded it still occasionally runs cheesemaking classes, his place is not far from mine. Also worth a visit is the amazing Cafe Eutopia next door - https://g.page/eutopiacafe?share - which is a marvel.
It just boggles my mind how US firms don't realise how poor a value proposition - especially to people of an age to have a family or strong community ties, like the roots I have here - they offer to developers in AU/NZ when demanding that people relocate to work for them, and I'm not really optimistic that COVID-19 will really bring any significant change to their corporate cultures. I am hopeful that perhaps more firms in AU may cotton on to the fact that there's a substantial pool of exceptional veteran talent in NZ who are really underutilized, which really represents an opportunity for them if they were to make a serious attempt to hire here and let people work remotely.
Utopia cafe looked dystopian as it was closed :D
As a young, unmarried guy, there's no need for me to get a mansion. The homestay family I live with have taught me so much about living with young children, it's been a blessing to learn whether that's a challenge I'd like to take on.
Most people who want to make lots of money moved to Australia, so those left in NZ usually care about more important things in life.
I also have high hopes for Starlink, not just for NZ (we have enough submarine cables) but for other countries e.g. Zambia, Georgia.
The new 5G plans are pretty much same as 4G - it's not realistic alternative for broadband. Meanwhile in most Eastern European countries you can get truly unlimited data plan for less than $100 (we've got one for a 100 boat + 8 cameras marina).
I'd give serious consideration to the Mackenzie Country too - Ruataniwha, Pukaki, and Tekapo are all amazing places.
What specially you miss when you say "NZ is quite boring from cultural perspective" ?
For me Auckland is about the minimum size (1.5m people) I'd want to live. I have a minority hobby (chess) that barely exists in smaller cities, let alone towns. Similarly as you go to smaller places you lose those other niche things that need a huge population to support. For example outside of Auckland/Wellington most towns have perhaps one Tech meetup group, not one for every topic.
The outdoor stuff is an occasional for me. Living in the Auckland I can get to it in an hour or two dring while having two good bakeries in walking distance for my house.
People are a bit simple. You'll rarely have discussion on politics, economy or philosophy. I suppose there's a reason - so many here can enjoy sailing, fishing, hiking, golf and much more than us in Northern Europe - things that are sort of luxury. We were bound to stay in deep dark cellars, listening to weird electronic music and eating pills like pacman.
Also housing supplies are a bit ridiculous. Laundry is good example - cold water, horizontal tub that at most gets rid of smell, but not stains. Also what's up with those stainless laundry sinks that every damn house has to have it? Right now we live on a property that's valued over $3m but we ain't got a damn heat pump...
Would only trade for something directly on the seaside, or a little more to the West (Cascais, Guincho) for a slightly cooler climate, but those usually imply driving (which I detest) and lack “big city” amenities (most of which I can’t enjoy right now).
Have zero intention of ever going back to an office (have been remote on and off for years, hot-desked, worked at customers, etc.).
The current situation (despite the pandemic and weird working hours) is perfect for me since (nearly) all my colleagues and customers are outside Portugal.
How's the tech scene?
Seeing the answers in this thread, I think people should get out of the US and visit cities like Lisbon to understand what it means to live.
- Chill and relax
- Awesome people, polite and clean
- Best place in the world to work from cafes. Many cafes shops welcome people who works for long hours. They also care about cafe ;) I actually prefer to work from cafes than co-working here
- Surrounded by nature, mountain, sea, river are within 45minutes reach. Hundred of trails around Taipei.
- Metro / Bus system is top notch, no car needed, it's flat so you can bike everywhere easily. The bike sharing (uBike) is everywhere. I use it daily.
- People are genuinely kind, friendly, curious. Did I mentioned people 2 times? They deserve a 3rd mentioned, they really are.
- Visa is easy to get if you are employed (aka not freelancing), and earn more than usd5.5k/month, or work in a "trendy" field, you can get the "gold card" visa for 3 years that comes with a work visa, that is not attached to any company! Is any other country has such a perk to attract talent? I'm not aware of.
- Great healthcare (and the best best country that managed the coronavirus)
- LGBT friendly
- Warm (but humid)
- Convenient , 24/7 convenience stores, within 2 minutes walk from everywhere, really often, 2 convenience stores face each other (no kidding)
- Awesome international food scene , you can find any western food , and local food is amazing. Japanese food is amazing, as good as in Japan, but cheaper (it's an old japanese colony, and the favorite destination of japanese people)
- It's a better China (I lived in China for 4 years)
- It is so relax / chill that it somehow bugs me. I sometimes worry to become "soft", staying here bc it's too convenenient
- Wish the startup / tech scene was better
ps: if you live in Taipei hit me up :)
pps: People often think Taiwan is China, but it's not. It has a totally different vibe and Taiwanese has a totally different personality. The only thing in common is the language
I don't think you mentioned gyms. The Taiwanese are an oddly sports-oriented people. Throughout asia I can't think of an equal in terms of availability of cheap gyms. Public sports complexes are also sometimes good enough (but I've also found myself working out in a cramped room with a bunch of senior citizens on occasion :)).
I think you also didn't mention proximity to other countries for visiting. It's a very good location, and EVA is one of my favorite airlines.
Edit: Note that the things that make Taiwan great for living also, almost by default make it a "boring" country to some types of people. #1 for remote work possibly, definitely not #1 for thrill seeking, nightlife-type interests.
Nice point on being one of the hub for flying in Asia. It's connected to everywhere within 1 or 2 hours reach(Philipine,China,Japan,Korea, SG etc...)
Agreed on cons, it's so good it softens you which is an overindulgence if efficiency problem.
Agreed startup scene is hurting. Ironically amazing for hiring and even in high tech. Taida is a serious school and companies like TSMC are here so serious engineering gets done. Ifni was in hardware I'd look to here as a black sheep vs shenzen.
Say hi if in Taipei!
Not to mention zero new local cases a month now! Enjoying restaurants and life daily :). Shhh don't share about Taiwan
What I'm wondering is how worried are the people of Taiwan about China encumbering on their sovereignty in the near to mid future? Or is this something that people over there do not give too much thought to in their day to day lives?
Chiang Mai has terrible pollution every year Oct-Nov due to burning crop residue. It affects all of Thailand and neighboring countries, but Chiang Mai and Northern Thailand gets it particularly bad to the point of needing smoke masks. You might be better off looking at Hua Hin if you don't mind trading mountains and cooler climate for a beach.
The other way is to qualify for any of their "talent" needs. Blockchain, VR, IA, and have proof it it (publication, work, projects). They have 8 categories of people that can qualify: https://foreigntalentact.ndc.gov.tw/en/cp.aspx?n=128B875DE9C...
Just keeping my options open at the moment.
I've been studying Mandarin here for a while after being a software engineer for a few years. Been thinking about what I'm gonna do once I feel comfortable in the language. Working remotely would be great if I could pull it off.
I’m not surprised no one has said it but it’s a really great city. I’m slightly biased in that I grew up in Sacramento but it’s really well located. 2-3 hours to everywhere in the Bay or to anywhere in Tahoe. The American and Sacramento Rivers run through Sacramento and there are miles upon miles of walking trails along them.
The rents are significantly lower than in the Bay. Depending on how far you go from Downtown Sacramento, you can rent a 3bd/2ba house in a great area for $2k/month.
The downtown area has really been revitalized since the opening of the new arena. There are a ton of fantastic restaurants in the area and plenty of things to do, and the homeless population isn’t as bad as in SF.
The weather can get really hot (100F/38C+ during peak summer) but those are just opportunities for a day spent on any of the various waterways.
Growing up here I definitely went through the same struggles as the character in Lady Bird- hating the place and thinking there was nothing to do. But it’s really been transformed and since leaving I’ve really grown to love this city. I’m definitely planning on moving back here in the long term future, but if the new WFH policies allow me to move back here sooner than I likely will.
If anyone has questions about Sacramento I would be happy to answer.
1. People are very closed-minded. They're against education, labor, the government, LA, other countries, etc. Anti-vaxxers/homeschoolers are for real in the surrounding metro. I knew very few people who went to elite colleges and institutions from my high school. I just recently spoke with someone who threw a birthday party for their kid, no masks, no social distancing.
2. Homelessness. My barber's neighbor, a hair salon, recently went on Fox News to talk about property damage because the city won't do something.
3. Desperate poverty. You described the nice areas, Granite Bay and Folsom are hella rich. Go to Del Paso or where I grew up playing baseball on Watt Ave. Drugs, domestic abuse, shootings. Prostitution is basically an open secret.
4. Tech is nowhere to be found. I learned to code at the Hacker Lab, a local tech meetup non-profit, and got the hell out as soon as I could. There are literally no employers.
Yes, you can find a "cheap" place but for what you're getting the cost is way too high. I'm glad I left and I'll do my best to never go back.
2. I’m sorry that your barber’s neighbor had to go through that. The homelessness doesn’t really seem all that bad to me compared to SF though. My experiences are from my passing observations and I’ve never really been accosted by the homeless.
3. I didn’t grow up in either of those areas but I did grow up in a middle class area so my biases might be showing here but to me it seems like most larger metros have pockets of deep poverty. Yes, Granite Bay and Folsom are the upper class areas but I think there are more middle class areas than there are impoverished areas. I’m not super in tune with how local government is doing in the impoverished parts either.
4. In the context of working remotely I’m not sure how much this matters besides I guess being able to meet other people in tech. There’s also a decent amount of tech transplants moving to the area from what I’ve heard.
The tech scene might be "nowhere to be found" compared to the bay, but there are plenty of tech jobs. Folsom is practically founded by Intel, HP has a campus in the area, Cisco has something here, there's an Apple presence in Elk Grove, and there are also plenty of smaller companies.
Would not recommend for Francophones to end up in the Flemish side of the country unless they also speak English or Flemish - there's some cultural stigma, or was at the time.
So, answer: slow nomad. It's been a good life, although I've found it difficult to prosper to the extent more connected people can. (But I believe this is more me, than being remote.)
I don't like the idea of bouncing around a lot - a month here, a month there - it feels superficial. On the other hand, between reading and talking to a lot of people, and exploring the hell out of wherever I am by bike, a place can start to feel old... I've been here in Bend, Oregon for 5 years, and have ridden more roads and trails than some who have been here much longer. It's difficult to find new stuff to explore at this point without driving further afield. I kind of miss the sensation of it all being new, yet to be discovered (by me).
Im a US citizen - lived in Mexico and the Islands of the South Pacific
-Food is cheap but novelty wears off eventually and you will want to cook. Apartments are mostly expensive and small [in BKK] so kitchen is small. Western style groceries are expensive.
-Its too hot. Traffic is really bad. Public transport is air conditioned but walking to skytrain etc is tiring because of the traffic, pollution, heat around you.
-Wework or similar remote coworking spaces are not cheap
-Time difference with clients back home [major one]
I did one month in Hanoi, Vietnam and hated it. Places with infastructure worse than Thailand make it awkward if you have to work everyday 9-5
I think it can be fun if you move around and do it in episodes. I'd like to do some time in SKorea and Japan Perhaps Taiwan too https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23297378 (but then also see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4GIndXSfawA)
+ incredible night life with some of the best bars and clubs I've ever seen
+ from downtown to the most beautiful beaches in just 3 hours by car
+ more dream islands and beaches just 1 hour by inland flight away
+ several national parks in range for weekend tours
+ super easy and cheap to hop to exciting neighboring countries (Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, Malaysia, Singapore) for a few days
+ actually there are many super nice coworking spaces for around $120/month and many cafès allow sitting for hours
+ probably the best dating scene in the world for white and black men
+ Thai people are probably the friendliest, relaxed and most easy-going people in the world
Theres few options available to someone trying to work in Malaysia remotely:
- Get business visa sponsorship for a local job, be treated terribly and earn a bit more than local dev rates which are still lower than what you get flipping burgers in the West and work your remote job on the side.
- Apply for the Tech Entrepreneur visa which is inward looking and needs to either employ locals or be focused on the Malaysian market to be successful.
- Third option is buying a house and getting a 10 year renewable visa from that, the recent situation with the government banning permanent residents from returning home due to covid shows how little value PR actually grants you.
Not really conducive to remote workers moving there to live. Internet is great though and most services are well provided for.
I couldn't live in KL longterm, was there for most of a year and it really wasn't for me, there's some nice suburbs and all that but the pollution and soulless aspect of the city really gets to you after a while, it's so car-centric with malls everywhere being the only place you are encouraged to be a pedestrian.
For someone like me who likes to go out and drink a bit it's incredibly expensive. Smoking a pack of cigarettes a day costs basically nothing though which is amusing as a non-smoker. It's also hard to justify living in and supporting a country where people pay different prices for the same house based on their race along with a myriad of other race based laws, it's very backwards in a lot of ways. Everywhere has problems but these ones seem quite in your face once you live there for long enough. Bumiputera laws are bizarre and counterproductive to any semblance of a healthy society.
Penang is charming though and has a lot going for it, along with a big expat community, fresh air and always close to nature, Langkawi is a cheap 15 min flight away, it was once the "Silicon Valley of the East" but never really capitalised on that, regardless there's still a lot of tech manufacturing and associated industry.
Our homegrown tech scene is nothing to shout about. That's why realistically I positing a case for remote workers of foreign firms instead. Who knows, maybe the "right stuff" will spillover locally after a decade.
The bumiputera nonsense is outside our control, however unless you have to frequently deal with the government, most people won't even notice.
Homegrown success stories like grab eventually move to Singapore because it's just easier in a lot of ways.
I find it sad, been in and out of the country for nearly a decade and there's some real opportunities to lure in foreign remote workers or startups but there's little political will to do so. The concept that a foreigner could work for a US company from KL will just upset locals who would demand they do the work instead.
Know plenty of expats and nomad types from over the years and even basic things like accommodation is a nightmare. Monthly rentals are rare to come by apart from airbnb and that is banned in many apartments. Everywhere else in SEA you can walk up to an apartment and have a monthly lease signed in under an hour.
When I first moved in for the first week every security guard in the complex demanded to see my lease and accused me of using airbnb, was quite a shock.
That said, wasn't the biggest fan of KL when I visited. It gave me "trying too hard to be Singapore and failing" vibes. Was much happier chilling in Langkawi. For a big SE Asia mega-city, BKK or Saigon are far more livable than KL, Manila, or Jakarta (and the associated crime, traffic, etc.)
On the bright side, they're likely to be the first spot in Malaysia to get 5G, so that will bode well for an emerging tech scene.
Expats love it because sin items (tabacco and alcohol) are not only tolerated, but duty free. People buy a house right next to the airport and fly to KL / Singapore for their once a fortnight big-city fix.
Apart from applying for an education visa and learning Thai (unsure that actually grants work rights?) or an actual work visa with associated FT job, you'd be on 1 month tourist visas with repeated border crossings and in legal grey zone at the whim of regulators.
Vietnam you can apply for extensions up to 1 year and everyone leaves you alone if employed remotely or running your own business abroad. Central Vietnam is a beautiful place.
I've been living there 6 months out of the year the past 3 years and plan to get the elite visa once the pandemic settles down. Vietnam is another favorite spot of mine but Thailand has always been my #1.