Jason here. The apartment hunt officially began this weekend, when Jen and I went up to San Francisco and scouted out a few neighborhoods that we are considering (SOMA, the Mission, and the Castro). We just tried to get the general feeling of the neighborhoods; whether it was fun and safe (will probably have to come back at night to judge either), and how easy it was to get to the freeway and public transportation.

We walked around the Mission for a while, which has the benefit of being one of the few neighborhoods that has a short walk to the BART station. Most of the people I know in San Francisco live in the Mission, so it seemed like a good place to start. The area around Valencia Street seems like a possibility, especially west of Valencia between 20th and 24th…lots of small houses that might have a few apartments in them. I’m going to keep an eye out for anything around here.

I have a friend who lived in SOMA (South of Market) because it was close to the Caltrain, but he said it was kind of a sketchy area, and some people at Jen’s office said there’s no nightlife there. The area around AT&T; ballpark (formerly SBC Park, formerly PacBell Park) has a recently renovated feel with new storefronts and high-rise condos, but aside from a few restaurants and a Trader Joe’s, it doesn’t have many of the places we would want to shop or hang out at.

Our visit to the Castro consisted mostly of looking for a parking spot, but at least we got to see a decent chunk of the neighborhood. The Castro is one of the largest gay communities in the country, and it seems like it would be a fun place to live (plus, the Castro Halloween party is great, although I think the city may have cancelled it last year). The housing situation seemed pretty similar to the Mission: two- to three-story apartment buildings above storefronts on the main streets, and two story houses on the side streets.

We’ll probably head up to the city again this weekend, so we’ll keep you updated.

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magazine editor, recently relocated new yorker, avid crossword puzzler.

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