So I moved to the Bay Area last Thursday, August 11th 2016, and I've been here for officially five days. Doesn't seem like that long, but I've been extremely busy settling into my new job at Verily, looking for apartments in San Francisco, and also making sure all of the packages I shipped from New York City arrive safely. Here are the biggest things that have been on my mind:
I shipped 15 boxes - basically all of my belongings - to my temporary housing. My company is providing me 30 days of corporate housing in a luxury apartment complex in northern San Jose, which is about an 18-minute drive to the office without traffic, and about a 45-minute drive during rush hour. The packages are big and heavy, and I had to make sure the resident services at the apartment would be able to receive the packages and deliver them to my unit even in my absence. I've been filing tickets, calling 800 numbers, and tracking everything religiously. To add to the stress, I foolishly packed my passport inside of the shipment, and I need to present it to HR within three days of my hire for I-9 employment verification! According to the updates I've received today, everything seems to have arrived safely this morning. FedEx actually delivered everything outside of my door, and the crew from resident service moved them into my place after calling me for permission. Whew!
... is a nightmare. Good thing I'm an NYC apartment hunting veteran of five years, because SF apartment hunting is probably worse. First of all, there are plenty of great websites for finding real-estate for purchase and rental in NYC. StreetEasy and NYBits were amazing during my time there. There appear to be no similar websites in SF - just prowling the listings at Craigslist, Zillow, and some content aggregation sites like PadMapper.
I've been looking for one-bedroom apartments under a certain budget, but like any big city, the rent prices are so perfectly placed that you need to stretch out of your comfort-zone by justttttt a little bitttt to get an ideal place. Otherwise, compromises have to be made. It's been a decision of neighborhood, size, and condition of the apartment + utilities (dishwasher, sink, bathroom, etc).
I put in an application for an apartment this morning - my manager is awesome and was cool with me working remotely on my second day! - and now I am undergoing a manual background check. The landlady is very "hands-on"... probably just lived through some bad tenants in the past and trying to be careful. I'm hoping everything works out, because I'm ready for this process to end.
Shantanu, my old bro from middle school, HS, Michigan, and BlackRock, lives in SF right now. He's been extremely helpful during my transition and let me crash at his place last night so that I could meet my new potential landlady in SF (cuz my office is Mountain View). I'll be staying at his place again tonight. It's awesome when you can meet up with a childhood friend and hang out just like the good ol' days like not a single day has passed!
The apartment I'm trying to get is in Pacific Heights, which is in the nothern portion of SF. Traditionally, it's known as a pretty residential and wealthy neighborhood. Kind of like the Upper West Side in Manhattan, where I lived for four years. Just to be clear, I'm no high-roller here, though. I just manage to find the nice affordable units sprinkled into the mix of a nice neighborhood.
Fingers crossed - I really hope I can sign this place.
Been settling in nicely. I like my team a lot so far. New manager is very transparent and accommodating, which I appreciate. The environment is extremely different than Google NYC, but I already knew what to expect since I visited the office before accepting the job. Everything I work on is extremely confidential now, so I actually can't say much about it. I actually get asked, "Are you working on super secret high-tech stuff?", a surprising amount, even before Verily. Well, now I can say, "Yes".
This is the first time Esther and I have done long distance since late 2013. We were separated for two years (from 2011 - 2013) while she was finishing up undergrad, and we became reunited in NYC for a little over two years. Everything went by so quickly. Luckily, she's been a strong source of support and strength for me during all of these big changes in my life, and I'm glad that our relationship can be something that I can lean on. I'm excited to see what next steps we'll take as a couple, and I hope we can be together again soon!