Over the next week or so, we will be featuring articles from our very own Yoav Simchoni, as he details the events that led to his discovery of THE WORST ROOMATE OF ALL TIME.
Remember, as we stated in yesterday’s post, we are running a Worst Roommate of All Time Contest. This is Part I of the official MyNewPlace entry.
The following is a cautionary tale of a young man’s life in the big city. It contains all the hallmarks of a great drama: intrigue, betrayal, redemption and valuable real estate advice.
Despite these endowments, you will find that this story skillfully disappoints, far from a Homeric epic, it reflects all that characterizes modern blog posts –it is garrulous, self indulgent and ultimately unremarkable.
(above: A green Yoav signed, sealed and delivered by Stork to San Francisco)
The story begins with a job offer at MyNewPlace (the domain you’re on (and the best ILS money can buy) double parentheses, yep… I just did). Fresh out of college, bright eyed and bushy tailed, I hopped on a plane to San Francisco to begin my adult life. My first lesson came quick – the one thing every San Franciscan needs (other than the army of homeless perpetually guarding its streets) is a roof over his head. So, like any god fearing member of generation Y, I jumped on Craigslist and began searching for a place to live.
Apartment hunting in San Fran is not an easy thing and requires three important skills. First, you have to psychologically batter yourself into accepting that it makes sense to pay $1,000 a month for a tiny room. Oh, and I use the term “room” loosely. After all, San Franciscans are a progressive bunch and don’t believe in prejudiced labels. What you may call a “living room”, “dining room”, or “garage”, they call a “quaint windowless bedroom, with undertones of the Bastille circa 1789 “. Potato, PotAHto.
Once you’ve accepted the collapse in living standards, you are ready for your second challenge: figuring out which of San Francisco’s lovely neighborhoods you want to live in. This, in itself, can make or break your experience, because San Francisco changes dramatically block-by-block. The fact that there are so many different flavors and styles in this city is of great appeal; yet it also offers the new resident a high stakes game of housing Russian Roulette.
A neophyte must rapidly educate himself to the particular and defining characteristics of the different neighborhoods such as the Castro (the center of America’s LGBT community), the Tenderloin (the center of America’s heroin addict community), Haight-Ashbury (Home to the vibrant, washed up, hippie street kid community) and Nob Hill (where the residents straight-facedly take credit for inventing wine and hors-devours).
If you’ve managed to clear this hurdle you are ready to deal with the most difficult gauntlet of all, finding the right roommates. Within a short period, you’ll learn that in SF there are Vegan friendly houses, Gay friendly houses, 420 friendly houses, and all other permutations under the sun. You’ll may also develop a refined sense of irony as you realize that the term “vegan friendly” actually means “meat unfriendly”, and that these advocates of non-violence against animals are surprisingly violent against humans, especially if they come to a roommate interview with a Carne Asada burrito…
Having navigated these three hurdles, I ended up picking a place in the Hayes Valley, an ultra-chic neighborhood in the center of the city. Next week, tune in to find out about the house, my roommates, and how this choice turned out to have a dramatic effect on my life in San Francisco. I’ll give you a little spoiler to wet your beaks with, it involves heavy alcoholism, murder threats and apartments being set on fire….