in seriousness, Bay Area is quite heavenly. but general attitude is very different from New York. People from New York regard people in San Fran as slow, dopes, and as too laid back. New Yorkers come across as obnnoxious. Both views have some elements of truth. In terms of crime in Berkeley, the city has much higher percentage of homeless people than any other place in the US, including San Fran, because of the most liberal city government in the US. Still, typical crime there is stealing a bike and reselling it on the market. People do drugs a lot, sure, but everyone, including blacks is pretty mellow, unless there is some liberal "issue" to demonstrate for. Blacks are different from New York also. Last time i was in Harlem a while back, the smell of urine was pretty much difficult to take, every store had a bulletproof glass at the counter, and i felt immediately that if i don't get a cab in a couple of minutes, there will be a serious attempt on separating me from my Rolex, my blonde girlfriend, or both. In Berkeley there are many black preachers, especially on campus, and many black musicians often on the street, it's not threatening. Gay and lesbian activists and activities are so plentiful, it's annoying, and sometimes people want to recruit you into some liberal movement. Whereas in the most of the US someone tries to convert you say in the Church of Mormon, in Berkeley it's more likely to be conversion to Trockyism. I am not absolutely positive, but my understanding is that today Berkeley is the most friendly campus to Muslims and Arabs in the US. The place is prone to the weirdest liberal causes, like for example the freedom to go stark naked to the classes, which some people did and felt very passionate about. Grad school has about ten departments ranked number one or two in the US. Nature is fantastic, weather is awesome, people are friendly, lots of very intellectual conversation in cafes, Bears maybe aren't the best team in the world, but they will beat Stanford -- that's all that counts.