Moving to Oakland?

It seems we’re moving back to the Beast1, to Oakland this time. How we came to this decision is a little weird, particularly how suddenly. We went from idle speculation to signing a lease in under 48 hours, which must be some sort of record, especially in the bay area.

It all started when I began working from home full-time. No, it actually started last year when we moved into a one bedroom San Francisco apartment about 60% the size of our previous two-bedroom place in Berkeley. We were doing pretty well with the loss of space until I started spending nearly every waking moment here. Cabin fever set in pretty quickly and my lack of good workspace only made it harder. In addition, Sarai is doing a lot of clothing and pattern design lately and now needs her own workspace as well.

We had been talking about moving for a little while, but I thought we’d move out of the bay area entirely, to somewhere a little more reasonably priced. But every so often the East Bay would come up as a slightly cheaper alternative to leaving the area, at least for the time being. Sarai was browsing apartment listings on Craigslist as we were having this conversation again the other day and found a nice looking two bedroom place in a good location for the same price we’re paying now. On a whim, we made an appointment to see it last night, loved it, and signed the lease today. We’re moving in next week.

New apartment in Oakland Lion guarding the building entrance

It’s a bigger place than we have now — we’re back up to the 1,000 square feet we had in Berkeley — and has an extra bedroom which will be a dedicated workspace for the two of us. This will give me a place to set up a proper desk and work environment and give Sarai a place for her dress forms, bolts of fabric, and everything else that goes along with her side work. And the location is great too: Our immediate neighborhood is residential but we’re just outside of Rockridge, in Temescal, two of Oakland’s more interesting neighborhoods. We’re near the Berkeley border, less than a mile and a half from our old place, and have easy access to BART.

New apartment in Oakland Sarai figuring out where things will fit

It’s a good move, I’m excited about it, even if it does mean leaving behind some of the conveniences of living in SF. We’d still like to leave the bay area but we figure that’s at least a year away, so we’re happy to be able to spend that time in a place that works better for us.

1. East Bay is Pig Latin for “beast”.


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