Christ You Know It Ain’t Easy

Although I’ve often used this space to write about the joys of life in the City, I’m no Pollyanna and it’s about time to admit that not everything in this City is inspiring.

In fact, some parts of City life are downright irritating, like dodging dog poop on the street, or having to deal with the mentally ill on a daily basis. Sharing walls, sidewalks, and space on MUNI gets old.

As a city dweller, you have to be able to let the daily frustrations go. But there are times when they start to feel insurmountable.

And it’s been one of those times.

I should confess that I’ve started to think seriously about leaving SF. For the first time, we aren’t just checking Craigslist. We’re actually walking through neighborhoods outside the City limits, feeling like traitors as we contemplate what our lives might look like across the Bay.

I’ve watched other people leave SF, but I couldn’t imagine being one of them. I couldn’t imagine feeling OK about leaving. Now, though, I’m starting to wonder what is so great about staying.

Our neighbors are louder than ever; our landlord crazier than ever. Rents in SF are higher than ever so if we move within SF, we will pay more in rent and getting less for it.

After eight years as a renter in San Francisco, I wonder if moving to another apartment is worth the trouble, or if we’ll end up having the same issues we’ve had in almost every place we’ve lived so far. We’re tired of trying to sleep while people above us drag their furniture around, or having dinner above people whose video games make our dining room sound like a war zone.

Our current place seemed ideal initially: there are only three units in the building and the landlord lives in the top unit. But our landlord is easily the noisiest and most inconsiderate neighbor we’ve ever had. He plays movies so loud it shakes the pictures on our walls. His shouting matches with his “roommate” have been so extreme we’ve called the police. He throws more tantrums than a 2 year old.

So the end result is that we’re considering exchanging all that the City has to offer for the chance to rent a house. For the chance to escape the sounds of our neighbors and to avoid sharing space with another landlord. For a back yard where perhaps we could have a dog.

It feels strange to consider leaving the City we love. The City still feels like home to me. And although we think more about leaving, when the opportunity to leave SF for a house across the Bay arose last month, we chose to stay…for now.


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