Friday, November 30, 2012

Mission Impossible

It’s funny that when I make a decision, I usually realize that my previous decision sucked. One may call this a way of exploring the world and a great path to a personal growth.
Or you can just say that I’m an idiot. Depends on your point of view and how polite and straightforward you are. J

So as one of my previous posts said, I spent last several months living in North Beach.

Lessons learned –
  1. North Beach sucks. It’s like living on the Red Square in Moscow. Yeah, it’s fun for the first 3 days and then what? Tons of tourists and tourists-oriented attractions. Plus parking is a nightmare.
  2. You should never ever live with random roommates off Craigslist unless you just can’t afford living by yourself and you absolutely have to share your house with strangers.  “I’m too old for this shit” © “Lethal Weapon”.   And God forbid you from living with a landlord with all kind of issues.
  3. If you work on Peninsula, then driving through the City alone adds 15-25 minutes to your commute time. Caltrain/Bart is pretty much a joke.
You know how you sometimes get used to some crap little by little and lower your standards, and then lower them again, and then you think "yeah, it's ok, I don’t really need <something>… and it’s not a big deal that <something> is <something>", etc. But then one day you finally realize - no, it's  not okay. Enough.

Off we go… Craigslist hunting again… Surprisingly, this time I found a new place in 1 day and I moved just a few days later. I still can’t believe my luck. San Francisco’s housing market is completely supply-controlled, so finding something acceptable is hard-to-impossible, unless you’re willing to pay a lot. I mean a LOT. A normal price for a 1 bedroom place in the neighborhoods I was interested in would be $3000+/month.

There are some downsides to my new place.
First of all, it’s a temporary sublease until the owners come back 3 months later and then I’ll have to move again. I feel like a homeless dude sometimes, although this also gives a great feeling of freedom. You don’t accumulate all this crap in the house and you can easily move to another area if you want to. I just wish there were more good affordable places to live in SF. J
My new neighborhood (Mission) definitely has both pros and cons. It’s much closer to Peninsula, so my commute is now typically 25-30 minutes (comparing to 40-50 in North Beach).
There’s a lot of young people in the area. Mission is the “heart” of all the fun in the City – restaurants, hippie-gathering cafes, dive bars, theaters, etc.
Unfortunately, the part of Mission where I live has a quite high crime rate.  You should always remember to not leave anything valuable in your cars, otherwise it WILL be stolen. On the bright side, if anything does get stolen, you can always buy it back on the corner around here.
I don’t think I would consider buying a condo in this particular area, but for 3 months it’s perfectly fine. And then when I need to move again, I’ll search for a place farther south. Mission actually gets very nice south-west of 22nd street and Valencia.

Side note: a pretty funny guide: “San Francisco neighborhoods for dummies”:
It has a lot of oversimplifications and generalizations, but many points are very, very true.

So my new (temporary) place is less than $2000/month for 2 bedrooms on the top floor. It’s a pretty awesome place, all clean and sunny. A normal price would be $3000+/month, but this place is rent-controlled, so…

Higher resolution photos are here )

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