Comment – please!

Most of the time, I write because I feel a strong drive to put things down in words. I think better when I write. Something about writing helps me clear my mind. But tonight, I’m writing because I’d like some feedback.

Something I like to do when I’m making a decision is talk about it. When I’m planning something big, I’ll talk about it to pretty much anyone who will sit still long enough to listen. I think it’s like writing, in a way, in that as I try to communicate my thoughts to the other person, I’m forced to bring order to my ideas. In some ways, though, it’s even better than writing, because the other person will often ask questions or bring up things I never even considered before. 

Well, I don’t have much access to other people right now – except online. Yes, I see 6-8 clients every day, but somehow I don’t think it would really be fair to spend their hour talking about my issues.

The issue at hand? I’m moving (again). I think I have the actual trek across country more or less figured out, and I do know where I’ll be working.

So, I’ll be moving to San Francisco, working near Visitacion Valley. What I really want to talk about (with lots of people) is where to actually set up house. I’ve only every been to San Francisco once, and that was just for two days. I’ve done a lot of research, and I know that the different neighborhoods have different flavors. I’ve heard a little about transportation issues and the BART. All of that is fascinating, but my big question about what kind of housing I should focus on while I’m there in July. I’ll only be in town five days, and I need to leave with some kind of agreement in hand. 

Daly City on the left, Visitacion Valley where the marker is…

My co-worker tells me I have to live IN San Francisco, because driving is a pain. Another co-worker says living in the city is much too costly, that I ought to live in Oakland. One of the current interns says Oakland is no good because the neighborhoods are too “scary.” Another intern says Oakland is the only place to live.

For me, the question seems to have come down to three options. I probably can’t actually live in San Francisco, as the cost of housing is so high. I could probably swing a studio in Daly City. A realtor told me that it’s an ugly part of town, no charm what so ever, but I might get 500 square feet. Parking my car would be easier in Daly City, although if I want a garage or a space I might have to pay extra for that. Daly City looks really close to where I’ll be working on the Googlemap, but also according to Googlemap, the commute would be significant. While parking at the school might be reasonable, parking at the hospital twice a week will cost something like $30.

Visitacion Valley on the left, Oakland on the right

If I live in Oakland, for the same cost I might be able to rent a little house, like 900-1000 feet. I might actually have a little driveway for my car. Googlemaps says the commute would be 30 minutes by car, one hour by BART. It would be pretty important that I rent something close to a BART station, because the 30 minutes by car probably isn’t accurate at rush hour. Living farther away means that Bodhi has to wait longer each day. But it would also probably mean that the place would be quieter (no neighbors sharing walls, anyway) which keeps his anxiety down. One of my favorite parts of renting a house is that I could have my own washer/dryer.

Fridays at the ‘mat work now, but when I’m working more hours…?

Another option is finding a roommate situation. After my fiasco here in Mass, this has been the least appealing to me up until now. I mean, I hate to think of moving across the country only to discover my roommates are loonies. But then I saw a terrific ad on Craigslist for a cooperative, and I kind of love that idea. First, I do like having people around in my house. I like solitude, but not too much. I gain energy from interacting with other people, and tend to be more depressed when I can’t do that. Also, if it was a real cooperative kind of situation, I could expect to have some help with Bodhi on days that I’d be gone a long time. At least someone who can let him out and let him hang around. Given the ads I’ve seen for such situations so far, the cost would be significantly lower, too. There was a time when I was living in CO that I was trying to figure out if I could buy a townhouse type place that was part of a cohousing. I love the premise, but I don’t know anything about the reality. And in that situation, each person in the house is a wild card. How would I choose a healthy one?

So, there you have it. An apartment in an ugly part of town, a little house with a long commute or a cohousing situation with a number of absolute unknowns.

I am asking those of you who read the blog to comment – on the blog, on Facebook, on Twitter – any way you like, really. You can call, text email or write me a snail mail. Share with your friends and ask them to comment! I’m interested in hearing opinions, options, and questions. Bonus points for anyone who knows anyone who lives in San Francisco, Oakland, or in a cohousing situation. 🙂



6 responses to this post.

  1. While I live in the Southeast, once of my best friends lives in Daly City. I don’t know if it matters to you but we’re both from a white middle class neighborhood in Michigan. He’s Filipino and there are a lot of Filipinos in Daly City. I only say this because, while I don’t know you, it seems to matter to some people. Personally, I thought Daly City was real nice. It may be that your realtor has some racial bias. I know his wife works as a nurse in the city. If there are any specific questions you’d like to ask, I’d be happy to relay them to him.

    San Francisco is a beautiful city and I’ve had a lot of fun the times I’ve visited. My friend loves living there despite the high cost of living.


  2. Sorry it took me so long to get back to you. My friend told me Daly City is 10 miles from SF General. He said its real close. He said to stay away from a place called visitation valley and hunters point. He said Brisbane is cheaper and that houses are only $500,000 there! Good luck in your move.


    • Thanks a bunch for your help! It’s funny that your friend is warning me away from where I’ll be spending my working hours…
      I’m heading out Wednesday and I have a couple of people to meet so far. Crossing my fingers!


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