Getting Our Footing in the City
Week one in the city started with a short-notice green-light, directing Ken and Karma to head to San Francisco for Ken to start work at Splunk in the SOMA neighborhood as a Compliance Consultant doing some highly detailed technical writing.
We landed in San Rafael at first, at Karma’s cousin’s house. We’ve been trying to avoid hotels, as there is no effective way for the cat to go outdoors. This is a lovely house up on a hillside with a green belt immediately behind it. Latte has been having fun exploring though she is less fond of the male Siamese cat that already lives here named Taco. He’s a real sweetheart of a lug, but he’s large and intensely curious about Latte, and she isn’t at all interested in making new feline or canine friends. There’s been a lot of intense staring contests from across the living room. All in all though, Latte has been doing great!
We examined our commute options and discovered a jet powered catamaran ferry that docks nearby in Larkspur and goes into the heart of the city. The first week of commuting was glorious. Coming across the water in the sunshine, into the city was a perfect introduction. Ken then has a little walk along the waterfront, under the Bay Bridge, and he’s at work.
While Ken was hard at work, learning about the FedRAMP framework, Karma was busy scouting the city for housing opportunities, banking options and so forth. Since Ken only has a two month contract, we couldn’t take the risk of signing a longer lease at this early juncture. Karma decided the best thing to do would be to place a Craigslist ad herself, describing us and stating we are looking to sublet for a couple of months.
Literally within five minutes of posting our ad, Karma gets a call from a woman named Summer who had the absolutely perfect little cottage with a secluded little oasis back yard in the heart of the city in Pacific Heights. They talked and set a time for us all to meet and see the space later that evening.
Near the corner of California and Fillmore, this cottage turned out to be a little slice of paradise. With high walls covered in night-blooming jasmine, and a little grassy area with mixed shade and sun, it’ll be ideal for Latte. She will be able to climb, to hunt, to play and to sleep, all outside, all protected in her own yard.
We told Summer that we thought the space was amazing and we’d love to stay there. She thought we were super cool and thought we would be excellent tenants to stay in her place while she does some traveling.
A win-win for everyone.
After Summer wrote up the contract for the sublet, we decided to meet to exchange signatures, cash and keys at a little neighborhood hangout around the corner called Palmer’s Tavern. The decor was brassy and traditional, the cocktails were average, the appetizers were amazing and the company was really fantastic.
Summer brought her boyfriend as well as the next-door, upstairs neighbors to meet us. They were all really interesting people with colorful lives. One was a tech guy who is running a company he founded that uses computer vision to count people, cars, or other objects for companies, cities, government, helping better plan traffic response systems and so forth. His girlfriend is an MMA fighter from Chile who has fought all over the world. Really interesting, as I said. Summer’s boyfriend is a trainer for Adobe but has worked for years doing sales engineering (the role I have been targeting). He’s a super cool character and extremely well-connected. He brought us a rare, intact sand dollar that he found, cleaned-up and bleached from Ocean Beach earlier in the day as a gift. So thoughtful!
We had great table conversation while we all enjoyed our food and beverages.
After dinner Summer asked us back to the cottage to confirm that all the new keys worked and to show us a couple last things before we move in on Monday. While we were there, Alex invited a few other tech friends and financial professionals over and we ended up at an impromptu party.
A perfect ending to a perfect week. We’re so excited to be moving into the city proper and be able to hub from our oasis out into the neighborhoods as we explore, rediscover and enjoy our new home.