People just love comparing San Francisco and New York City, but the conversation is, at best, fruitless, and at worst, tension-inducing: It's not enough to simply live and let live—we must evangelize. (Friend 1: "New Yorkers are self-absorbed assholes." Friend 2: "San Franciscans are a gaggle of burrito-eating hippie burn-outs.")
As a Native Burrito-Eating Hippie Burn-Out, I sympathize with these squabbles, and continue to engage in the endless battles, despite their acknowledged futility. Now, happily, someone has applied hard data to determine
once and for all for now, maybe, the habits of New Yorkers versus San Franciscans—who parties harder, who brunches harder, who suffers a more miserable commute.
The data was compiled by the creators of chronos, an app that "uses sensor data on phones to help people understand how they’re spending their time." To be fair, the founders are bi-coastal—one grew up outside SF, the other grew up outside New York, both swapped coasts for college and spent assorted years in both places. They are both currently stationed in the Bay Area and "regularly debate the merits of each place."
Charlie and Dylan (guess who's from where!) also go on to establish the credibility of their findings:
"To conduct this research, we randomly selected thousands of people in each city who we deemed ‘locals’ based on their primary residence being in that city," the write. "While we did take a large, randomly-selected sample set, our research is biased by people who are chronos users (and smartphone users), which may not be representative of each city’s population."
So what did we learn? New Yorkers roll out of bed and head straight to restaurants, while San Franciscans tend to write beat poetry over coffee or write beat poetry at the bar. (See? Burnouts!) The data alleges that both cities involve equally heinous commutes, although this is a complicated matter: Friends in San Francisco regularly complain of corporate buses toting Facebook employees from their luxury Mission apartments to their offices in Menlo Park, and even Normals tend to venture off the Peninsula for work. When you add cars to the equation, is commuting 50 miles the equivalent of going to Queens—or Connecticut? I don't know.
In keeping with systematic stereotyping, New Yorkers favor Italian restaurants and steakhouses, and San Franciscans (Californians, really) prefer "Latin" food and taquerias while wearing Reefs and reeking of patchouli.
It's best if you just look over the data here, and infight amongst yourselves in the comments.