“Los Angeles is 72 suburbs in search of a city.”—Dorothy Parker
“San Francisco is 49 square miles surrounded by reality.”—Paul Kantner
Like cities everywhere, the unicoastal cities do not stand alone. Each has its central city and its suburbs. A difference between Los Angeles and San Francisco, though, is the way they regard their respective outskirts.
In Los Angeles, you are where you live just as surely as you are what you drive. Angelenos size up your socioeconomic status, your hipness, and even you yourself from your domicile. As evidenced by a West Side billboard that once proclaimed “There is no life east of Sepulveda Blvd.,” neighborhoods with lesser cachet can be targets of disdain and scorn.
The close-packed, close-knit neighborhoods of San Francisco also vary prestige and price. However, the upmarket districts tend not to deride their more modest or staid siblings. It’s all San Francisco, and that says it all.
Then there is the matter of the cities’ regard for each other…