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An Expat Talks about Living in San Francisco, California

What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?

San Francisco

What activities, clubs and organizations would you recommend to newcomers to help them meet others?

As San Fran is a big city, it depends on what you are looking for. I have lived in town for a year, and it took me a while to settle in. However, the best thing you have going for you is that there are so many transplants here from all over the country - indeed, the world - so I have found it is best to find others that are also trying to get settled. It is an active community, so if you have an interest, pursue it and don't be shy. Others will be willing to help you especially if they too had to make the transition into San Francisco. Please note that California natives feel that they are being invaded and that the entire world is DYING to move to Cali. Their sense of regional superiority is annoying, but I guess it is understandable since there are always people picking up and moving there.

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In terms of religious, racial, economic and cultural diversity, are the people of this city or town diverse? Are they accepting of differences? Describe.

There is much diversity. Although it would seem to be common sense, there is a huge Asian population in San Fran and Cali in general. We have both a Japantown and a Chinatown. I recently read that African-Americans have been moving out of the city, which I think is horrible. Obviously, this city has a huge gay population. There is a broad range of economic diversity, especially since the dot com bubble burst. (Not such a bad thing since the egos of the wonder nerds burst with it!)

What are the main industries in this city? What types of career opportunities commonly exist? How do most people find new jobs?

It's mostly through networking at this point as the tech industry continues to plug along as best as it can. Skywalker Ranch is across the bay in Marin, which I love for some reason. I think they might even have a new media center in the Presidio, but I'm not sure. Lots of biotech in the area, as well. The tourism industry is huge, huge, huge. Many people in town are trying to work in the hospitality industry in some way. You can find all kinds of work, but having an "in" helps a lot.

In general, what are peoples' priorities in this city? For example, do lives revolve around work, family, socializing, sports, etc.?

People take their interests very seriously, and work is just a way to support what they really love to do. If some are lucky enough to translate their hobbies into their professional lives, they are admired beyond belief here, which is really kind of cool.

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If a friend of yours was thinking of moving to this city or town from far away, what other advice would you give them.

It's mostly through networking at this point as the tech industry continues to plug along as best as it can. Skywalker Ranch is across the bay in Marin, which I love for some reason. I think they might even have a new media center in the Presidio, but I'm not sure. Lots of biotech in the area, as well. The tourism industry is huge, huge, huge. Many people in town are trying to work in the hospitality industry in some way. You can find all kinds of work, but having an "in" helps a lot.

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