What's Cali. life like?

  1. Looking into taking a travel assignment in California to either LA, San Fran. or San Diego. Any advice on where to live what the hospital to work for or to avoid. I'm going to be working as a RN on Labor and Delivery. any help would be appreciated.

    Also any info on job offerings in the field of Graphic and Web design and Photography would be good for husband who just recently just graduated.
  2. Visit DFRAZIER25 profile page

    About DFRAZIER25

    Joined: Apr '12; Posts: 17; Likes: 3


  3. by   yoganurs
    It's a rat race. Good luck!
  4. by   perioddrama
    Quote from DFRAZIER25
    Looking into taking a travel assignment in California to either LA, San Fran. or San Diego. Any advice on where to live what the hospital to work for or to avoid. I'm going to be working as a RN on Labor and Delivery. any help would be appreciated.

    Also any info on job offerings in the field of Graphic and Web design and Photography would be good for husband who just recently just graduated.
    Those are all vastly different areas and cultures. This a major, major generalization (since the cities also have little enclaves and subcultures within each): San Diego - beachy. SF - hipster/techy-oriented. LA - a mixture of the two.

    All 3 should have some offerings for graphic/web design and photography.

    Good luck!
  5. by   whoamibutme
    I am sure you know all are very expensive
    That said, agree that it's kind of a rat race. Lots of traffic, etc. LA and San Diego are more of what you think of in terms of "Sunny California". San Francisco (people are sensitive there to it being called SF, San Fran, Cali, etc.... so careful ;-)) is a colder climate and except for September and October is foggy and gray a lot. There have been some changes in this though, as it seems like summer like weather is now displaying itself in winter. January temps in the 60s and 70s, which is kind of weird.
    If your travel job pays well, you should be fine in any location. I know the rental market in San Francisco is super insane right now, and people are having a tough time finding places to live. East Bay not offering much relief. Look to pay > $2,000 a month for a one bedroom there. LA isn't cheap either. Not sure on San Diego.
    Hospital wise, not sure. UCSF in San Francisco is pretty work to the bone kind of place. Kaiser can be okay. California Pacific might be a good place to try.
    In terms of jobs for your hubby, might be a tough entry level market, but hopefully he can find something.
    Best of luck to you!!!
  6. by   tomboone
    It's terrible. Don't try it.
  7. by   Wildcatkt
    I agree with the above posters that all 3 cities are pretty different in terms of culture (and all 3 are also expensive cities to live in, even by California's standards). I am from SF (and on a side note, I don't know anyone who is sensitive to calling it "SF", "San Fran", or "Cali", the only one that locals aren't too fond of is "Frisco" lol =) ). It's a little cooler here usually than down south, but not too cold, it's a very mild climate. The people here are generally very friendly and easygoing!
    I have a friend that works for the UCSF hospital and she loves it.

    As for LA... the traffic, the smog, the people... bleh, that's all I've got to say.

    San Diego, however, is BEAUTIFUL! The weather is a little colder in the mornings but that tends to go away early on in the day (pretty standard for a city on the coast), it's one of my favorite places to visit here in Cali. I don't know about the hospitals there, but based on climate and scenery alone I would say it should be #1!

    And because all 3 are pretty big cities, I'm sure they would all have some potential for your husband.
    Good luck!! =)
  8. by   CaliLvr000
    Expensive!! We are moving out of state soon
  9. by   juan de la cruz
    Only a 3-year San Francisco resident here. Agree that what seems to rub locals the wrong way is calling the city "Frisco" more than anything. Also, I feel that nurses who work for UCSF appear to be happy. It's a great teaching hospital with expensive parking, but then again finding free parking in San Francisco is like finding a needle in a haystack. One thing though the Bay Area has the highest pay rates for RN's.
  10. by   db2xs
    I grew up in Los Angeles and then moved to San Francisco. I have also lived in other places in the country and I will tell you that you can't beat the quality of life in California. The variety of nature, the large selection of fresh food, the big percentage of socially and economically conscious people--you won't find it anywhere else.

    The SF Bay Area does pay the highest for nurses, and it is also expensive to live there, but in my opinion it is the best place to live in the entire world. Los Angeles is a lot warmer, but it is a mass of cars and traffic and smog and traffic (and traffic). San Diego, esp by the beach, has the most perfect weather. It is relaxed, albeit conservative due to the number of older adults and military people.

    In terms of graphic design, photography, etc., there may be more opportunity in Los Angeles just due to the size of the area. My first degree is in graphic design but I worked in New York City and Washington DC as a designer. I looked for work in SF and it's not entirely easy if you want to find a creative job--the competition in design is esp fierce simply because SF is not technically large (although the Bay Area is expansive). If he can get into IT stuff, then that may make finding work for him a lot easier in the SF area.

    I can't speak for the LA art scene, but the SF scene is funky and fresh. So definitely your husband can find creative heads to collaborate and connect with. As can you, if you so choose :-)
  11. by   mclennan
    I've been in LA for 6 years working as an RN in Public Health, Ambulatory, Home Health and now Case Management. I LOVE it here, and totally embrace even the the bad things for the most part. Most people who visit here or move here find out it's not what they expected.

    1) Best weather in the country. Not rainy like SF, not hot like SD; just right. Gorgeous all the time!
    2) Diversity. Every culture, every class, every language and every food in the world is in LA and easily accessible. Great food town!
    3) Things to do: beaches, mountains, desert, city, forest, art, Hollywood, hiking, night life, restaurants, surfing, biking, everything - right at your doorstep. Usually free, cheap and really exciting.
    4) Celebs everywhere (although we leave them alone), it's fun to see them at the grocery store.
    5) Health-oriented culture here, lots of people take care of themselves, public yoga, tons of organic farmers markets etc.

    1) TRAFFIC. It will take you a year to really learn the freeways & follow the most important rule: you will never win the fight against traffic here. It takes an hour or more to get ANYWHERE. It is what it is. Accept it early on.
    2) The sprawl makes a social life very difficult here. Hard to make friends because everyone lives so far apart from one another, everyone is a transplant, & everyone is flaky.
    3) EXPENSIVE. Really, it's no joke. I can't stand idealistic ding bats who move here thinking they can find a "cheap" apartment or live without a car. NOPE. I've known a few who tried that and within a year they were driving & renting a $1500/shoebox studio like everyone else. Food is cheap, wine is cheap, fun activities outdoors year round is cheap but everything else - $$$$$$ (But, it's STILL cheaper than SF)!
    4) Traffic
    5) Earthquakes

    1) The smog is not as bad as it used to be. On really hot summer days, yeah, you see that brown haze across the skyline but its nowhere near as bad as it was.
    2) Not everyone is a plastic Barbie here, most LA residents are just regular folks trying to make a living.
    3) Beverly Hills isn't what you see in movies & TV, it's actually pretty diverse.
    4) Hollywood is a very scary, dirty, crime-ridden area.

    My best LA advice for a nurse (& I've worked with travelers):
    1) AVOID CEDARS-SINAI. No matter what. Stay away. At all costs.
    2) Live West Side, Silverlake, Echo Park, Eagle Rock, Burbank, Pasadena. Choose carefully according to commute.
    3) Have a free-standing GPS unit in your car. Don't use your phone for maps or GPS. You'll get a ticket even having a phone in your hand here! And mount the GPS on dash or lower CORNER, that's the law.
    4) Make ANY connections you can with ANYONE, don't say no, (except to Cedars).
    5) Have a solid vehicle that can handle the traffic, driving and crazy roads here.

    Feel free to PM me with any questions!!!!
  12. by   juan de la cruz
    Since LA was covered extensively above, I will give my "personal" opinion of San Francisco (just the city not the Bay Area):


    1. Very small city that's easy to learn and navigate through.

    2. Everything you will need is within this compact city from nightlife to great dinners in restaurants from the high end snooty establishments to really cheap eats - the choices as well as the cuisines are diverse.

    3. Lots of open areas in city parks many of which are dog-friendly, Golden Gate Park being the best. Lots of free concerts in those parks throughout the year. Perfect for all types of outdoor recreation. Crazy annual festivals like Bay to Breakers that portray the carefree and open minded nature of the city.

    4. Very picturesque surroundings with the bay, the Pacific, and the rolling hills as the backdrop. Iconic Golden Gate Bridge, grand Victorian homes mix with new architectural styles. Art is everywhere.

    5. Cultural attractions abound from museums, opera, theater, and ballet that are available in the city if you're into that. Underground, counter culture music and art scene for those who prefer them better.

    6. You're not too far from the water wherever you end up living the city.

    7. Fresh produce that didn't travel too far to get to your table.

    8. Sonoma, Napa, Tahoe, Yosemite, Big Sur is a 3-day weekend off trip you can plan on a whim.


    1. It's cold -- it is either cold and rainy, cold and sunny, or cold and foggy. Never forget to layer when you go out. A hoodie or some sort of cover up is a must all year round. Worst time of year is summer when the fog is a daily visitor rising from the bay.

    2. Crowded and narrow streets, pedestrians walk the streets in most neighborhoods, people in bicycles taking space in city roads, driving can be a nightmare as well as finding parking.

    3. Sticker price shock when looking for apartment or buying real estate.

    4. Co-workers with school age kids complain about lottery system in the public schools. You're not assured of getting into the district school of your choice. Many opt to send kids to expensive private schools.

    5. Homeless people and panhandlers who literally crap and relieve themselves on the streets.


    1. Lots of young people in their 20's and 30's. Some people might like that.

    2. Everyone is from somewhere else. Very few San Francisco born and raised folks.

    3. Muni - the public transportation network of buses, train, charming cable cars, streetcars can work for you depending on where you live. Some neighborhoods have more bus lines than others but it still ends up taking you so long to get from point A to point B within such a small city. I drive to work.

    4. Liberal politics and crazy extreme environmentalists.
  13. by   Testa Rosa, RN
    SF Born and raised and wouldn't live anywhere else beyond the Bay Area. It took me a year to find work and the employment market remains difficult. Also, I would never ever call it "Cali" Ever.
  14. by   MandaRN94
    Born and raised in California -SD is nice but way too conservative for me. I have always lived in Northern Ca and love it. Northern CA are Southern CA are VERY different. I have lived in Santa Cruz County and in Tuolumne County (close to Yosemite) and love the outdoorsy lifestyle. I personally like to visit SF but would never live there -not a city girl.