Thursday, September 20, 2007

More pics of our apartment....

(This is one from our trip to Denver... it's my wallpaper at the moment, and I really love it. I fell asleep on the train once we left Reno, and woke up to this... miles and miles of absolutely nothing in particular. It's so wild west.)

And, cos i know you all want to see our messy house... althoguh I finally finished unpackign the kitchen tonight. Brendan will be very pleased... there's only so long anyone wants to eat fantastic sushi for, even if it is fantastic sushi 2 blocks from your house.

Note a certain computer has already taken pride of place.... no comment.

This house is unusual... it's a 1-bedroom, and it has a hallway! And a little closet cubby-hole to hang jackets and things. I like it a lot.

See? It's still in the sorting out stage. This is our lounge - the sofas are in the other room for now.

And this is the hotel down the road...

And the steep hill I walk up from my bus....

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A few pictures of our new place, as promised....

Packing the U-Haul in our old house...

Anna and Alex helped us move... we are VERY grateful.

Our new house! More pictures to come once we get it properly set up...

Here is the view from our street! I love it.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

In San Francisco...

Last weekend we officially moved in to our new apartment. We love it a lot. It's right next to the top of Nob Hill, around the corner from Grace Cathedral and is really close to a lot of very good things. It also has a fantastic view once you step out of the front door. You can see right down to the sea, and to the Bay Bridge on the other street.

The only dodgy thing is our neighbours... but we've put felt pads on the bottom of the furniture (we braved the Tenderloin Rite Aid last night to get them) so that should be better for noise control. And the one downstairs has gone away for a while - I should have asked how long.

Last night we took a drive down to find the supermarket (Trader Joes - the nearest one is next to Fisherman's Wharf which is a while away), a gym, and to take the car to a better (i.e. cheaper but much farther away) parking building - in Japantown. So we got back pretty late. But we also stopped in at Ghiradelli Square to buy some chocolate from the chocolate factory there, so that was good. Mmmm... raspberry chocolate.... I'm amazed at how close we are comparatively to all the tourist areas! We are a block down from the cable car museum, so that should be interesting to check out. And tourists wander past frequently, puffing up the hill.

Actually, come to think of it, we've been in a few "interesting" places recently... the Tenderloin, Bayshore to drop off our U-Haul... not really Brendan's or my first choice. While we were in Bayshore on Sunday morning back at the U-Haul depot, we stopped to get petrol. The guy in the car next to us was the most fashionable gangsta ever. Baggy gansta designer jeans with red writing down the legs, a baggy jersey with a crown logo, and when he opened his mouth, grillz. Yes, grillz. Those metal things that go over your teeth to make them sparkle like diamonds. I never thought people actually wore them, except in hip-hop videos.

When we dropped the U-Haul off on Saturday night in Bayshore, we were trying to find a drop-box to drop of the key. Since we couldn't find one, I called the generic U-Haul number to ask what to do. The guy on the other end of the phone told me to lock the drivers' side door, put the key and my contract into the glove box and leave the passenger side door unlocked. I told him he was not being realistic, given the very high crime rate in the area - it would have been stolen in very short order! So in the end we locked both doors, and took the key with us.

When Alex brought us back the next day to the U-Haul depot, as we walked along the street back to where we parked the truck (past all the illegal Mexican workers waiting for people to hire them to help move!) we noticed that a truck we passed had tagging on the passenger door, and the next one had the passenger window completely smashed. Luckily, ours was unscathed - especially since you're liable for it until you actually give it to the people inside the depot during business hours.

The woman in the U-Haul office sighed when we told her about the other trucks, and said resignedly, "Which window is it?" When we explained what the U-Haul operator had said to us the night before, she said, "What is wrong with those guys? This is a bad area. It would have been stolen." No kidding.

(We will put photos up once we get the Internet back on at our new place. I also want to show you all the pictures from our trip to Denver, Colorado - it was awesome!)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

San Francisco Apartment

Yesterday we got a call telling us our application for an apartment in San Francisco has been approved. This is great news as the current rental market in San Fran is tighter than a -insert inappropriate metaphor here-.

There are people who have been looking for an apartment for weeks. We know because we see them at all the same open homes we attend. We've been to open homes for particularly well-priced apartments where there have been almost 40 people waiting outside. A couple of them required around $250 just to apply for the apartment (most, but not all, of which is refunded if you don't get the apartment). People were literally waving their checks at the leasing agent (who, I should mention, didn't even try to sell or talk-up the apartment. She just opened the door ("Only 15 at the time. 15! There are too many people in here now, some of you get out.") and let everyone fall over themselves to apply for it.

So the fact that we managed to get a 1-bedroom place in Nob Hill (one of the nicer parts of San Francisco) for only $75 more than what we pay for our current apartment is both surprising and very lucky. Doubly so when you consider that every apartment we attended required a credit check, and we have no credit history in the US at all. In this case it just so happened that the first person they processed (first come, first served) had what I assume were glaring credit problems, and by comparison our blank slate looked appealing. Also, our combined income was apparently high enough to work in our favour.

I'll post photos as soon as we have them, but for now here's the rough location. It has bay windows and hardwood floors.