I've lived in in San Francisco on (Bush Street and Powell) for about 2 years.
Its more expensive than living in manhattan.
San Francisco has that weird effect on you when you look at it from afar (like on the Sausalito Ferry or Alcatraz) where you think "damn thats fucking beautiful..."
NYC is actually not that bad if you know where to live. Places like Queens may initially look totally grotesque (like anything near the 6/7/M trains) but there are wonderful enclaves like Jackson Heights.
the whole east coast is humid during the summer. but at least its predictable.
things i hate about NYC:
- everyone in the winter wears black, 95% of the subways and buses are filled with people in black coats.
- the new york teams' (yankees, mets, rangers, knicks) and their hold on the media even if they suck and don't make the playoffs.
- the fact that the Jets/Giants say they are NYC teams, but play in the same stadium in fucking new jersey.
- shitty roads (i've bent my car's rims driving over potholes) and third world drivers (same could be said about LA and SF though).
- only one real IMAX theater in manhattan/queens/brooklyn/bronx/staten island
- taxis that end up being slower/dirtier/10x more expensive than the bus/subway
- overall lack of respect for older/elderly people by teens. this is also true of pregnant women in the city too.
Things i love personally about NYC:
- its almost overly pet friendly. I've seen pitbulls on the subway. There are 8 dog parks within a 5 mile radius here in Williamsburg.
- you can actually ride a bike around the city (seriously you can, there's even bike lanes, its scary at first, but as long as you ride safe you can ride all around the city).
- 4am and in the Upper West side need to get home near Coney Island (about 15miles and worlds apart). $2.25 and you'll get there eventually. Hell you can get from JFK to anywhere in manhattan 24/7 using the MTA. ***
- people are actually nice here. they'll let you in to a lane if you signal and give a head nod when driving.
- driving around NYC isn't really that bad (especially on weekends). even with the no right on red rule. (insider secret - you can pull into the right turn when its clear and wont get a ticket - seriously no one is really watching).
-I've watched the Daily Show, Conan (when he was here), Letterman, Saturday Night Live... and its actually free! you just sign up online to get tickets.
***I once assumed that the Bart would run trains out of SFO 24/7 and saw people running to the terminals, it was 10:30pm. Apparently the last trains leave SFO at 11-11:30pm.