Early thoughts on living in SF

We’ve been in the new apartment for two weeks now. We’re still unpacking, naturally, but we’re beginning to get settled in. These are a few thoughts from the past couple weeks…

Shopping

We went grocery shopping at Safeway last night. We’ve been spoiled by the past two years of living two blocks from the Berkeley Bowl so shopping at a regular chain grocery store now is incredibly frustrating. Poor produce selection, poor cheese selection, LCD displays at the checkouts that show us advertising while we wait in line… It was terrible. I hear Rainbow Grocery is the place to shop around here so we’ll try that out next time. It looks expensive, but as long as it’s cheaper than Whole Paycheck Foods it’ll be ok. We have a Trader Joe’s too but it’s not all that convenient and doesn’t solve the produce problem.

You’d think living in the Mission would solve our produce problems forever. I thought so, but it hasn’t really turned out that way. There are produce markets everywhere, true, but the selection and quality leave a bit to be desired. Still, you can’t beat the convenience of having three of these on the way home from BART.

I was shocked and dismayed to find that there isn’t a single Target in all of San Francisco. I gather everyone around here goes to Costco instead, which means paying for the privilege and letting them track our every movement.

Eating and Drinking

Our immediate neighborhood has every kind of food you could want as long as you can get it at a taqueria. We’re less than a mile from Valencia though, which has all kinds of great stuff. Sunday we had brunch at The Last Supper Club and plan to go back for their aperitivo hour one day soon. This area also has a lot of interesting looking bars and coffee shops, including the famous Ritual Coffee Roasters, the “web 2.0 cafe”.

We’ve only gone out once since we’ve been here, to a bar nearby called Homestead, one of Thatchery’s regular stops. We’ve got a couple others on the to-do list, mostly suggested by Thatch, who has lived around here for a while (and spends a lot of time in bars).

Wildlife

Every evening around 6:00 we get a huge flock of Brewer’s Blackbirds on the lines outside our living room, stretching a block or two in both directions. They make one hell of a racket. After hanging out a while, they fly north in waves. I love seeing them out there. Sometimes I just sit and watch them. I need a pair of binoculars.

Home

The apartment itself is coming along, slowly but surely. We picked up a new sofa this weekend from Therapy on Valencia (most of those reviews are for the clothing store next door to the furniture store, mistakenly posted on the wrong entry). Next on the list is curtains, to replace the hideous mini-blinds covering all the windows. We have three bay windows, so that’s a lot of blinds. And the boxes. We still have a lot of boxes to unpack.

We had to get explicit permission from our crazy landlord to hang curtains but we got her to agree by making that a mandatory condition of our taking the apartment. In retrospect, we should have required a lot more than that. But there’s a lot to say about that situation, enough to make up another post (and it probably will).