First fiction I ever wrote (I was 12, maybe 13) was about a kid in Oakland falling for a SF girl, me having been a Brooklyn kid imagining my teen years hanging out in the Village (which eventually happened, and was exciting, but not exactly how I’d imagined).
I’ve never been in northern California, to this day, but I imagine the relationship between Oakland and SF to be roughly like that between Brooklyn and SF–unfashionable workingclass town across the bridge from the big, bustling glorious glamorous city of aspirations, etc. In which ways was I an idiot when I was 12? In which ways was I on the money? Assuming I wanted to write such a story, but not want to set it in the NYC area, is there a better parallel pair of cities that have such a relationship?