Plenty of folks have already outlined the differences between San Francisco and New York City, sometimes to hilarious effect. Both cities are full of transplants, which lends a unique perspective for the non-native trying to get a handle on their new city. Whether you’re from San Francisco and have either visited or moved to New York, or you’re from NYC and have visited or lived in San Francisco, you’ll be able to make strong comparisons in your mind between both places. So much so, in fact, that these maps might feel extremely on-point once you see them. Let’s start by going from East to West, then move back to the other side.

How New Yorkers See San Francisco


If you take the characteristics of each of the boroughs and apply them to a map of San Francisco, this is pretty much where you end up. All of San Francisco is Manhattan, the Peninsula is Queens, and Palo Alto, Mountain View, and so on is Long Island. The Oakland and Brooklyn connection seems like a no-brainer, while the rest of East Bay ends up as Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. Two commenters on this map made a good point that San Francisco probably deserves slightly more diversity than just “Manhattan.” Here are their suggested subdivisions:

You can split SF up into zones that are like zones in Manhattan:

Financial District = Wall St
North Beach = Little Italy
Chinatown = Chinatown
Castro = Greenwich Village
The Fillmore = Harlem
Pacific Hts = Upper East Side
Union Square = Midtown/5th Ave
Tenderloin = The OLD 42nd St.
South Beach/Mission Bay = Battery Park City
Lower Haight= East Village
The Sunset=Far Rockaway.
Union Square/Stockton/Market area is turning into the NEW 42nd Street.

Seems about right to us. Now, let’s see that same map in reverse.


How San Franciscans see New York City:

3037457-inline-i-2-mapping-how-san-franciscans-see-new-york-cityUrbane Maps

Okay—clearly this one has a lot more going on. Once you steady your gaze, you’ll see far more commentary on exactly how, culturally, a San Franciscan would see these NYC areas rather than simply by associating it with places they already know. For example, we’ve got Central Park labelled as “Dolores Park, but more preppy & less pot ” and the subway as “Imagine if Caltrain and Transbay were 1,000x busier.” You’ve still got your direct area comparisons, though, with Queens compared to the Sunset and areas of Uptown Manhattan that “used to be like the Tenderloin”—but also more than one “Civic Center” and “Castro” comparison. Basically, it looks messier, but it’s got some pretty fun insights.

Any transplants agree or disagree? Let us know in the comments below.

[Featured Images: Allie Caulfield via Flickr and Josh Madison via Flickr]

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