I can only describe SF as schizophrenic. From the weather to the people to the neighborhoods, you will see pink haired girls passionately kissing their tiny dogs, an inordinate amount of homeless people loitering among smoking patrons of fancy hotels, and of course the incessant blare of police sirens intermixed with the chatter of wide eyed tourists. One thing I hate in life, its tourists. (I know I’m a hypocrite).
The office is in the quaint yet slightly suburban, Silicon Valley town of Mountain View, a 50 minute bullet train ride from the city and a 30 minute walk from our small yet accommodating bachelor studio smack in the middle of the city. Of course, we live in the city because we’re SF newbies, we crave the hustle and bustle, the hype of the GG bridge, and the occasional overpriced breakfast biscuit. When I say we, I mean my good natured co-founder. Yes, the commute is brutal, but compared to my previous jaunts of commuting, this is like drinking prosecco at Zero Zero. Oh yeah, you can drink on the train, insanity.
Our place, which our only friend in town who lives 2 blocks away insists on saying we were incredibly lucky to find, sits on the intersection of the worst neighborhood in town (The Tenderloin) and one of the richest (Nob Hill). We proudly call ourselves Lower Nob Hill, because we do see the occasional homeless person and transvestite wandering up our street at 8am, yet it doesn’t appear rundown or “ghetto”. The building itself looks to have had its hay day in the 70’s and then someone decided it was a historic building which probably means you can’t change the red and gold motif in the manual elevator. Thankfully this place doesn’t scare me. Even the trip down to the eerily quiet basement to do laundry doesn’t give me shivers. I do feel the building would make for a great scary movie backdrop.
Walking home from the train is an adventure in itself as you pass by a respectable neighborhood near the train station (SoMA) and eventually head towards the main city which includes the Google centre, Westfield Mall and tourist central: Union Square. As we slowly head west, we encounter gusts of cold wind in a literal uphill battle. There is much to see though, if not the endless stream of boutique hotels with fancy décor, there is the theatre district that is crowded with people catching the 8pm show. Sometimes you’ll see a well dressed man scalping tickets. We know we are a few blocks away when the street suddenly empties, I am sure tourists are warned not to go too far west. No one told them though, that you can get barber haircuts for 10 bucks, and convenience store wine at $6.
It’s not that bad, but being dramatic often times reads better. 🙂