Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Somewhere a Place for Us

Sari lives in the Inner Sunset and speaks of the “neighborhood pride” there. She writes, “I agree that there are many times that it's foggy over here and sunny over on the other side of the city.” Micki lives in Pacific Heights, and warns about the fog in the Outer Richmond and Outer Sunset. Doreen lives “by the beach” in the Outer Sunset and loves every minute of it.

That’s what I’m up to – interviewing people about where they live in San Francisco.

I ask about the neighborhoods, the climates (the city has several “mini-climates”), the coffee shops. Is there a library? A bus line? What about a gym? I ask everybody I speak to who lives there. These conversations take place on Facebook, in emails and on the phone, but they are no different than my rapid-fire questioning of cab drivers, store clerks and people in the ice cream shop that I have pestered during recent trips to San Francisco.

Usually, after pitching one neighborhood or another, the people I am questioning suggest I look on CraigsList to see what’s available. Look on CraigsList? For one year, I have been looking at apartment listings on CraigsList. I have looked at so many listings for so long that I can now recite some of them.

Among my favorites are the listings that offer spaces that have just one window (a converted garage), or narrow rooms and low ceilings or granite countertops but no stove. To clarify, those are my favorite funny listings. My true favorites, the ones that set me dreaming, have big rooms and hardwood floors and laundry facilities in the building – maybe even a parking place! The best of the lot have an ocean view, but here’s what I know about San Francisco – even if where you live doesn’t have a tremendous view, you can just go outside and look around and be amazed and astonished at what you see. It’s all worth looking at!

I will be free to sign a one-year lease on an apartment on June 23. I probably won’t, as at that point I will have been in San Francisco just four days – but I will be out looking. The best gift I have received from looking at CraigsList on many a night is that I know I will have choices, and most of the apartments have more than one window and they do include stoves. On the day I start looking, I suspect I will have just missed an incredible place at a great price – and I bet on the day I sign a lease, an incredible place at a great price will become available.

That’s how life works, but that does not mean that I won’t find a wonderful place to build a new nest. I will.

Where? I don’t know yet. Maybe in the Inner Sunset. Maybe in Pacific Heights. Maybe in the Outer Sunset or the Outer Richmond. Cole Valley, Noe Valley, the Castro, the Upper Haight, North Beach and Hayes Valley all have their charms. When the time comes, I will see what’s available, see what feels right and choose.

As I have sung repeatedly to Maggie the Cat: “There’s a place for us…”
And once I’m settled, I’ll invite Sari and Micki and Doreen over!

1 comment:

  1. Sorry I didn't get a chance to call, but the neighborhoods I like best are, in order:

    1) North Beach - food and coffee, near the Ferry Building for the farmers' market, too! My favorite bars are there, as well. A little touristy and crowded, though.
    2) Pacific Heights/Union - good weather, lots of shops and restaurants and walking distance to the marina.
    3) Noe Valley - cool neighborhood spots, great hikes and views around.
    4) Upper Haight, only worth it if you're near the park IMO. Weather's not so great. The Sunset will get depressing after a while, too, a lot of fog...

    Best of luck, I'll try to keep up on your blog!

    Patrick (Tower Grove FM & Local Harvest)