Signoa’s

I love grocery shopping. It’s awesome to go to a nice grocery store and look around at all the food and produce and the tasty treats. Whole Foods is amazing, great food that’s high quailty but its fatal flaw is that it’s pretty expensive and  the company is from Texas. Trader Joe’s is not bad either, good selection of food by their produce leaves a lot to be desired. There’s a great co-op called Rainbow Grocery in SoMa, which has good selection but their fruits and veggies go back quickly. My favorite places yet is a Signoa’s, a small mom-and-pop shop that has a two locations, one in Stanford mall area and another in Redwood City. It’s a bit out of the way if you live in the city, but it’s got great fruit, great cheeses, great pasta and a good “vibe” (if there is such a thing for a grocery store) and it feels good to support a small business.

Jamster

Has anybody noticed that Jamster is now in the US? If you haven’t, watch MTV for about 5 minutes and every commercial break has an add from them. It’s crazy! These guys are in every European country I’ve been too hawking ringtones and screensavers. It’s good to see America getting on the bandwagon of cheezy Sir Mix-a-Lot ring tones and “crazy alien” screen savers.

The House Hunting Dilemma

I’ve now been looking at houses for about a month or so in Noe Valley, Mission Dolores, Hayes Valley, South of Market and South Beach (all neighborhoods in San Francisco). I’m having the damned time resolving my inner conflict on what kind of home I want.

There are basically two choices. First, the downtown apartment. In South Beach/South of Market new (or near new) homes are for sale in great high-rise downtown locations. In my price range is a 1 bedroom 1 bath, plus den/office with parking and concierge. The benefits are that it’d be a new home, great location (downtown, Caltrain, 280 and 101 freeways) and it’d be in a high rise, which is awesome in and of itself. On the down side, the places are small (~800 sqft) and if I have to abandon the place in the next few years, but want to keep it, the mortgage may not be able to be held up in any significant portion by rent.

The second choice is the prototypical San Francisco neighborhood. Places that would fall in to this category, to varying degrees, are Hayes and Noe Valley and Missions Dolores. Most units for sale are either Victorian or Edwardian flats, build in the early 1900s, remodeled with new roofs and appliances and most maintain their period details, such as the wainscoting or crowns on the doorways. All the places we looked at have incredible charm and fit the “San Francisco” home mold. For the equivalent price, I can get a 2 bed, 1 to 2 bath flat with a backyard and possibly parking. They are farther from the freeways and walking to Caltrain is out of the question (would have to drive) but they’re in great neighborhoods and the homes are on average much bigger (1100sqft to 1300 sqft or so). Also, rent prices would better support a mortgage over here.

And so, I’m at a loss on what kind of place I want to get. Each has its own unique values and appeal. I am battling this inner conflict on what I want out of a home. I plan to live in it for 3 to 5 years and both types of locations would appreciate well with little difference. Such is my dilemma of where to live.

A Good Weekend

Another weekend gone and I’m back at work. Where do they ever go? On Friday Derek and Allen came to town so we went out to a club with them. Turned out to be super Asian with all the typicalities that come with it. After it closed we went karaoke’ing and Pablo and a few of his friends met us up there. The night was closed with some Denny’s in Jtown. Saturday had Arthur and Amy in town so we septn the day with them showing them a bit of San Francisco. Sunday was the 4th weekend of house hunting, where we found a place we liked quite a bit. More on that later. Good weekend, however short it was.