Ever since the Great Yuppie Rush of ’99, finding an apartment in San Francisco has been a difficult proposition. Here are some tips that worked for me during my search:

  • Get really lucky
  • Immediately pay a landlord you met thirty minutes ago $2,000

If that doesn’t work, well, there’s always West Oakland,  famous as the filming location of Chapelle’s Mad Real World (not true).

So here I am a few weeks later, living in the Mission, San Francisco’s Latino quarter. There are also boatloads of East Coast hipster transplants. Luckily SF Republic is an accommodating place and accepts cut-off jorts in lieu of passport.

When you are in the dirt cheap apartment hunt in the city, you should check that wherever you plan on staying has a roof. In my price range–and I should add that I really won the housing lottery, and am paying $525/month–that is about all you can expect. Thankfully my apartment was also just repainted and re-carpeted, is two blocks from BART and only a few steps away from billions of taquerias, kooky Asian import stores, and all kinds of coffee houses and bars.

That said, there are a few things I recommend potential emigrants check before moving in:

  • Does your porch drip dog pee? – I have to thank my roommate for this one. I heard her scream from our back porch and rushed over to see what was going on. “I hope that is not what I think it is,” she said. It was. Urine was water-falling between the floorboards on the staircase. Apparently our upstairs neighbor’s dog has a favorite spot. Our porch
  • What is the significance of the two black baby shoes that appeared on the sidewalk in front of your apartment on Sunday morning? – I’m still not sure.

Even though I just made a meal using a microwave I found on said porch, sitting on the floor of the kitchen, using tortillas I heated from a bowl, I can safely say that all in all, it has been worth it. Come visit, and New Yorkers, don’t forget your jorts.

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