I learned a few things during my time in San Francisco. One thing I had heard is that it's a lot like Wellington. Here are my reasons why I agree:
1. There are many hills, of varying height, walkability, tree saturation, and steepness.
2. There's a harbour.
3. The weather likes to play games with you (though appears to be a little kinder to its citizens)
4. Seagulls steal your food, and
5. They're a lot more relaxed about life than the other big cities.
But more than that, SFC had a very similar vibe to Wellington. Sure, there were a lot of homeless people, the city felt just a little bit dirty at times, and you didn't always feel like it would be a safe place to not wear shoes lest you risk standing on hepatitis, but at the same time there was a cultural vibe to the city that just made you feel like you'd found a place that was worth staying; that didn't have that underground cut-throat survival of the fittest/meanest attitude that New York had. I love New York City, very much, but it will destroy you if you give it a chance. I get the feeling though that San Francisco would give you as many second chances as you'd be willing to take, and that it would never screen its phone calls (even if you've just had a massive fight).
Being in a city that was just like Wellington actually proved to be rather helpful I think. It wouldn't be a lie to say that I hadn't been entirely looking forward to returning home and having to go back to work and life and everything in between, but being in SFC really allowed me to remember what it was like back home, and provided a great transition for me to get back to Wellington. It had all the excitement of a new place, but with some of the familiarity of home. In that way, it was really a really good last place to be.