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San Francisco vs. L.A.: One More Time

November 29, 1998

I moved to L.A. from San Francisco in 1991 amid smug assurances that I was entering hell and would soon be back ("Yo, San Francisco, You're No L.A.," by Joe Queenan, Oct. 25). On my first trip here, I kept looking for all the stuff I was supposed to hate and found nothing. I've since had the time of my life and wouldn't consider moving back to that neurotic little backwater--cold and expensive and as provincial as anything you'd find in Middle America.

That's how I feel, and my friends up there can't stand it.

Doug Hamblin


Cheers to Queenan! Not only for telling "sophisticated" San Francisco to take a hike but for bravely counting L.A.'s "raucous incoherence" as something to celebrate, not something to hide.

Valerie McDaniels

Costa Mesa

* As an L.A. native who lived here for 28 years who's now been a Bay Area resident for six years, I enjoyed Queenan's article only to the point where he tried to group L.A. with the great cities of the world. I've visited those cities and know them well--and L.A. is no New York City, Paris or London.

John Wallace

San Francisco


I prefer Southern California weather, and that's why I'm here. But having lived in Northern California for many years, I can tell you that the people there are far more genuine and humble than you perceive them to be. L.A., meanwhile, has insufficient air to breathe because it's all inside the heads of the natives.

If you prefer L.A., all well and good; each city has its advantages and drawbacks, but there's no need to get rude about it.

Janet Gillette

Long Beach


As a transplanted Northern Californian who chose to make Los Angeles his home after graduating from UCLA, I've frequently had to deal with the sneering disdain expressed by the denizens of the Great City by the Bay, who consider me a traitor of the worst kind.

"How could you possibly prefer L.A. to San Francisco?" they ask. "There's no comparison."

They're right; there isn't. And Queenan's article will back me up nicely.

Maggie Choo



Queenan should wake up and smell the Starbucks. The animosity between San Francisco and L.A. was over years ago. His diatribe against San Francisco was offensive, even by L.A. standards.

Liz Notrica

La Quinta


I believe you've hit upon San Francisco's most fatal flaw. The sheer tweeness of the place is more than a grown-up should have to bear.

Barbara Lochner


Uh-oh! Queenan comes very close to breaking a cardinal rule. True Angelenos are way too cool to ever "dis" other places.

Ellie Weiss

Los Angeles


It's sad that Queenan can't appreciate the unique appeal of San Francisco. I hope I'm not in the minority in my preference for the "charm and culture and sophistication and understated elegance" of San Francisco over the "rude, crude, vulgar belly of the beast" that is L.A.

Suzanne M. Wilson

Thousand Oaks

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