Wednesday, January 21, 2009

the story of: san francisco apartment hunting

Shorter version: It's tough, despite the fact that the recession is pushing out the recently unemployed as well as the chronically unemployed hipsters who seem to be supported in part by bougie parents.

I arrived last Wednesday with 6 to 7 places to visit, and kept accumulating more as I emailed every viable post on craigslist.

the places I've been!

Saturday morning: started with a trip downtown to lower nob hill, where I visited a VERY cheap room (under 600$) right by the cable car line. Later I made my way to the mission for coffee shop hopping.

Sunday: - A great, sunny room at Valencia and 21st. Something of a language barrier with one tenant, and didn't talk long enough to the other fellow. I was new at this.

- A nice room in Noe Valley with two Stanford grads (maybe too close to home: I want to get *away* from campus).

- An evening open house right around the corner from my lower haight sublet: great group of roommates, cool cat, remodeled Edwardian...

Monday: - A beautiful place close to Alamo Square Park, on the more expensive side (1000$ with utilities). But two mostly absent roommates, one more in the 30's crazy career track.

- A, uhm, laid back apartment in the upper haight over a pipe shop and an organic grocery. Kind of too in the thick of things there. And I'm easy going, but I'm not THAT easy going. Brother crashing on the couch? Pay rent in cash? Wasn't my scene.

Tuesday: - Saw three studios in the early afternoon. But they were all pushing it financially (1100 for the cheapest, before utilities, and although spacious, the window looked out into only backs of buildings and rickety porches. And it was at like 14th and Mission, and seemed a little sketch for a one hundred pound white girl who likes to walk everywhere. Maybe.)

- A bedroom with a view of Potrero Hill, with a young lawyer.

- A nice room by Alamo Squ. Park, with two pretty artsy girls. Vaguely hipster, of the hair-dyed-black-skinny-jeans variety. I definitely didn't try hard enough to insert myself into conversations, but I felt like they'd decided I wasn't what they wanted.

- An amazing room at Haight and Divisadero. It was an open house with the address posted on craigslist, though, so a bevy of 20-something girls (the ad said "preferably female") was gathered on this porch waiting for the doors to open. We attracted some attention, and male passersby were told it was their job to bring the beer to the Obama block party. It was actually a fun evening -- I made the rounds to talk to all the roommates, talked enough with a fellow searcher to justify a huggy goodbye, and seriously coveted the big, yellow Victorian bedroom. But there must have been at least 30-40 attendees over the course of the time I was there.

And lastly, a Hayes Valley studio. It was across from the projects though, and carpeted, and too expensive. Turned it down.

LUCKILY everything has worked out! The Noe Valley apt. offered me the place and I turned them down. The next day, I heard back from the great Lower Haight household, and felt like I was on some reality tv dating show:

Phone: Hey, this is Greg, on Steiner,
Me: This is Becky, around the corner --
Phone: Do you want to join our house?

It was great -- especially when Greg apologized for his roommates giggling in the background.

So now I need to find a bed! and linens! and towels! and a bench/desk with cushions! What I don't need to do: learn my way around a new neighborhood! I get to stay in the Lower Haight! With fun roommates my own age! And a chill cat!

Thursday, January 01, 2009


"My mouth tastes like I licked a barbecue grill" - Mer on smoking.

"I really think the future of collecting macaroni and cheese boxes lies overseas." - Overheard on late night Food Network

"Make tea not love"

"This is an EX parrot"

"I hope that dog is in our compost and not going over to the neighbors." - Mom on relative evils.