San Bruno, California

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What's it like to live in San Bruno?

**Question about San Bruno

Hello, my wife and I are considering moving to San Bruno in the next month or so. We found an apartment we like, but I am nervous about the neighborhood. I didn't grow up in a city so I am pretty paranoid about this kind of thing.

The location is between El Camino Real and the 101, on 5th Street just north of San Bruno Ave E.**

Answer: Alright, guess I'll give it a go. I've lived in San Bruno for a while right in the heart of the Avenues, right next to Belle Air Elementary School. The area may seem sketchy at times but it's perfectly safe. You'll have some neighborhood kids and illegal fireworks go off every now and then but it isn't that bad.

Parking sucks balls though and San Bruno is know as Trench Town for narrows streets so driving in that area might be a bit annoying. The walk from 5th Ave all the way to Bart isn't bad at all, I'll be much safer (I'd like to think) once they finish development of the apartment complex in front of the caltrain station.

You got Tanforan Mall so there's always plenty of people around in case of anything. Police Station is literally next to Bart. Any issues, SBPD will respond pretty quick. They are pretty nice officers although there's plenty of youngsters I don't recognize.

San Mateo Ave is pretty good in terms of food so there's much to explore if you like dining out close by. There's also San Bruno Park (Crystal Springs) which is about a mile up west and it's really pretty around this time of the year. There's also the reservoir next to Skyline Blvd so take your honey for a nice walk around the lake, or if your feeling adventurous go all the way past Skyline and do the Sweeny Ridge hike. You can see Pacifica and The Bay from there.

I think that's all I can think of for now. Any questions let me know. San Bruno is nice but it isn't Paradise. Although am very fond of it.

San Bruno vs Millbrae?

If possible, look for something around the Mills Park neighborhood (between Bayhill Shopping Center on San Bruno Avenue and San Bruno Park on Crystal Springs). I would not recommend the eastern side of El Camino Real (downtown San Bruno) - houses are much older and crowded together.

Parts of San Bruno can get very foggy, especially the hills. The parts that aren't foggy are windy. This is good - it blows the fumes and some of the noise from the airport out to San Leandro.

The houses in San Bruno tend to be smaller and somewhat older than most of the houses in Millbrae, although once you get up into the hills, there aren't as many differences. The price difference between a home in the flatlands of San Bruno vs. the flatlands of Millbrae is something I never understood.

Millbrae has slightly better weather and a better reputation, but both San Bruno and Millbrae are fine places. Capuchino High School isn't as good a school as Mills High School but has an International Baccalaureate program which is quite good. Parkside Junior High in San Bruno is awful - thank God it's only two years. Most of the elementary schools (with the possible exception of Allen Elementary School) are good.

Millbrae has a more extensive Asian population, mostly Chinese. San Bruno has a more mixed population, with a large Fijian/Samoan population, some Palestinians, and a larger Hispanic population than Millbrae. You'll also find many Italian and Irish heritage, plus of course whatever mixes these groups come up with.

I remember reading a while back that San Bruno has more San Francisco police and firefighters living there than any other city outside of San Francisco, but I couldn't find a citation to back that up.

Both have extensive sports programs, both football/soccer and baseball. San Bruno has the Posey Parade, a children-only parade held the first weekend in June each year since 1941. San Bruno has the better teams, but Millbrae spends more.

Downtown San Bruno has Mexicana Produce, one of my favorite produce stores; Aji-Ichi, a good Japanese restaurant; Taqueria San Bruno, a very good taqueria; and the Shops at Tanforan, a mall.

Downtown Millbrae has a Kohls department store, Shanghai Dumpling, Hong Kong Flower Lounge, Lai Lai (the old fashioned American Chinese restaurant), 18 Mile House, and a more invigorated downtown.

Source: I lived in San Bruno for 22 years, wife grew up in Millbrae. I'd be happy to have my kids grow up in either location.

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