I've already been in the Bay Area for two months! That's absolutely crazy. So much has happened...
Originally, I was in temporary housing in San Jose. I stayed in an apartment complex about a 15 minute drive from my office, but during rush hour the commute time was easily pushing 45 minutes. It was a struggle getting all of the packages that I FedEx'd from NYC - 15 boxes to be exact. They arrived after some intense tracking-number-refreshing on my end, as well as coordinating a delivery with the housing facilities team to get the boxes into my unit. The packages sustained some damage, but overall everything was fine.
I was driving into SF nearly every weekend to do some apartment hunting. The problem with that, though, was that all of the good units would get snatched up before I could make the trip to SF to do a viewing (the drive from San Jose to SF is a little over one hour with no traffic). In addition to this, I already had prior plans to fly to New Jersey and also North Carolina to attend two weddings... which meant a very hectic schedule and frantic search.
The apartment hunting scene in SF is ROUGH. For real. Let me tell you, I thought this was going to be a cake-walk given the fact that I had done apartment hunting four times in five years in NYC. Unfortunately, the housing market in SF is a mess. It almost felt like tenants had to court the landlords and throw ourselves at their feet. Also, the application process in SF is a lot less committal than in NYC - you don't pay a fee, and you won't hear back unless you are "offered" the apartment.
After the first few viewings I learned to come prepared with all of my paperwork and just apply to everything even remotely decent. Documents included offer letter, two pay stubs, two bank statements, and a freaking CREDIT REPORT. Isn't that ridiculous? In NYC, if you applied somewhere on the same day, chances are that you're going to get the place. Not in SF. Every single open-house that I attended had at least five other people there. On to of this, I even developed "frenemy rival" tenants that appeared at all of the other open-houses I had on my list. It's a Craiglist crate-digging culture where you sacrifice time and energy for misery and disappointment.
I finally managed to find a place in the Inner Richmond neighborhood by taking a chance on a posting with no pictures. NO PICTURES! That's right - desperate times, man. My corporate housing was about to end (one month), and I needed a place STAT. Thankfully, things ended up working out. I really love my apartment. I'll write a post about the Inner Richmond area next.
I got robbed! Well, my rental car window got smashed, and my Minaal Carry-on 2.0 backpack got stolen as well as my corporate laptop, and MY IDENTITY. GAHHHHH! I was getting dinner with June in the Castro, and I foolishly left my backpack in the backseat of my car (in my defense, it was parked in an offstreet parking lot!). Since I was in the process of apartment hunting, I had a few copies of my "application packet" documents in my backpack.
Long story short, I got supremely owned. I was pretty rattled after arriving back at my car, but eventually I got everything sorted out. June did some Googling and found out the best way to deal with the window was to put a layer of packaging tape over it. Did some fixing-upping, and then I embarked on an extremely sobering drive back to my corp housing that night.
To make things worse, when I tried to drive to the rental car center to exchange my car, I realized that one of my tires was flat! At this point, I wasn't even frustrated, and I figured out how to put on the donut tire in the trunk in about 20 min. Feeling especially smart and proud of myself at this point, my mood was lifted.
The few days involved a huge grind of setting up credit fraud alerts, opening new bank accounts, transferring funds, direct deposits, etc. Add this on top of a huge ramp-up process at a new job in a new city... and it's safe to say that my stress level was ABOVE AVERAGE.
Anyway, folks, don't leave your stuff in your backseat like me because you'll get robbed.
Things can only go up from here.
This post pretty much covers what happened during my first month here. Since then, I've settled into my new apartment and new job, and I've grown to really like my new life here. I'll post pictures of my apartment next and talk about what's happened in October and late September!