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Newcomer's Handbook for Moving to and Living in the San Francisco Bay Area: Including San Jose, Oakland, Berkeley, and Palo Alto (Newcomer's Handbooks) Paperback – 13 Oct 2009

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Amazon.com: 8 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Helfpul for Bay Area locals and natives alike 5 Aug. 2013
By Kristin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I moved to the Bay Area in 2008 before the latest edition of this book was published and thus own both the 3rd and 4th edition. The 4th edition was a HUGE improvement over its predecessor, adding a lot of detail and color to neighborhoods maybe some of us San Francisco snobs wouldn't have considered checking out down the Peninsula. I'm someone who writes guidebooks myself (of the tourist variety, that is) and appreciated how this book was almost completely rewritten from the disaster that was the 3rd edition. As an author, it can be hard to take someone else's words and do an entire revise while keeping the book structurally sound, so I applaud Scott van Velsor for doing just that (especially since the writing in the 3rd edition was so poor).

What sets this book apart from a guidebook, which it is not, is the in-depth detail it gives to each Bay Area town and neighborhood, from the post office location down to the price of real estate in that particular zip code.

A must-purchase for anyone relocating to the Bay (though always get the latest version available, obviously, as things change so quickly in California), particularly families and those looking for employment.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Review of Van Velsor's 'Newcomer's Handbook to the San Francisco Bay Area' 4 Jun. 2013
By Ryan Mease - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
After reading several general tourist guides to San Francisco, I found this: an incredibly detailed guide to the personalities and characteristics of all the neighborhoods in the Bay Area (with considerably more detail for the neighborhoods of the city proper), along with plenty of advice about things to remember and plan for when making the move. The writing here is great, by the way. The author really manages to produce prose that speaks to all five senses, which is something fairly outstanding for a simple tourist guide.

I'm giving four stars because another commenter suggested that van Velsor isn't the real author of this great book.
9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
A Great Book For Relocators That Non-Relocators Can Enjoy 25 Nov. 2009
By The Footpath Cowboy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
THE NEWCOMER'S HANDBOOK FOR MOVING TO AND LIVING IN THE SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA is a great guide to San Francisco and its environs that has been completely update for 2010. The radio station list is totally new, reflecting the changes that have happened since the book was last published, and there is also a detailed discussion of every town and region in the area. This book discusses all the moving, dining, house-hunting, shopping, nightlife, sports teams, outdoor things, educational opportunities, and renting and home-buying issues that people moving to the area need to know about, in order to make the move a smooth one. However, anyone even remotely interested in the West Coast will find this book indispensible.
use the internet 16 Mar. 2013
By dancer123 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a compendium of information that is mostly available on the internet. What there is, appears to be accurate, but I was disappointed that it lacked subjective judgements (I.e., expert/editorial opinions) of the authors rather than publicly available factual information. Moreover it was incomplete. For example we were considering settling in the area north of Berkeley (El Cerrito, Kensington, Albany) about which little (and in one case--El Cerrito--nothing) is offered. Finally, it is too bulky to carry around while house hunting.
Useful for the Peninsula 4 May 2011
By None of the Above - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was the only handbook I found with useful information about specific cities on the peninsula. Some useful information, and it's helpful to pass around to other people when they're moving to the bay area. There's also a pretty good preview on Google Books if you only need a bit of the information. I've found it helpful to have the entire book around for reference, though.
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