It’s a rainy day here in the Bay Area. A rainy autumn day wouldn’t be worth mentioning here in the Land of Fog in previous years, but it’s taken us until mid-October to actually have a fall day. The weather’s been unusual most of this year, with a brief burst of heat to both open and close the summer. The temperature in San Francisco itself broke 90 several days, which is nearly unheard of: a hot summer day in the City is one that breaks 70.
For me personally, autumn has frequently been a time of change. It was autumn in 2002 that I moved out to California. The last few years I’ve had a change every autumn: in 2007 I moved from the South Bay up to Foster City, in 2008 I was laid off and survived (barely) on freelance income, in 2009 I got the contract—now a permanent position—with Nokia. Now in 2010, I’m moving—along with Nokia—back to the South Bay.
The new apartment is in Santa Clara, equidistant between Nokia’s new office building and the building my flatmate’s new job will be in. It’s another “luxury” complex and, yes, it’s expensive—although it’ll be $400 less than the complex we’re in now and more, well, luxurious. This is a mild letdown in some respects, in that I’d decided a while ago that Miramar would be the last apartment I lived in: I wanted the relative freedom of at least home rental, if not ownership. (My slightly facetious measure is that I want a place where I could add a subwoofer to my stereo system without fear of reprisal.) We looked at a few condos and homes, and I’m sure if we kept hunting we’d be able to find one that would be Nearly Perfect and probably for somewhat less rent money to boot—but the location of this place is honestly pretty hard to beat. Even if one or the other of us ends up with a job elsewhere in a year, a distinct possibility in our industry even in good economic times, there’s a good chance that job will be in the South Bay; this complex is not only very convenient to freeways, it’s about 2 miles from the closest Caltrain station, which makes it about as “connected” with public transit as where I live now. And while its location looks fairly isolated—two friends of mine lived in the apartment complex across the street and I didn’t think there was anything nearby but a terrible Mexican restaurant—it’s actually within short walking distance of El Camino Real and a lot of restaurants and businesses.
And it’ll be close to good coffee shops. There are things I really like about the Peninsula compared to the South Bay, but coffee is not one of them.
So. I’m not looking forward to the process of moving over the next month—it’s going to suck no matter how I slice it—but I’m looking forward to actually living there. With the exception of Duncan’s household (near where I live now!) and Kitana and roommate in Alameda, nearly everyone I know is in the South Bay, spread out from Mountain View toward the eastern foothills of San Jose. At the very least I’ll be more available for those weird spur-of-the-moment things I see people occasionally tweet about. And, once both Nokia and I are moved, trading my homeward commute of 60-90 minutes for one of 10-15 should open up the evening nicely. (Whether I take advantage of it wisely remains to be seen.)
For now, though, I’m actually down around Gilroy and it’s 5 pm, and I have work to do at home that must be done this weekend. So back in the car.