Where will we be living?

Finding housing in the San Francisco Bay Area is INSANE.  It isn’t that there aren’t many options – there is everything from condos to apartments to itty bitty houses to mansions.  There is big city life, and the quite of the suburbs.  There is life on the coast, the peninsula, islands, or inland.  Oh, yes.  There are options.

No, the issue is not the amount of options, it is securing one of them.  Basically, there are tons of people looking for housing, and those options go quick.  Like, within days.  Or hours.  I am not exaggerating when I say that if you are not able to show up on someone’s doorstep with a big wad of cash in hand the moment they post that housing option, you don’t have a shot.

Needless to say, trying to nail down housing from out of state is virtually impossible.  The second anyone realizes we are not local, they quit talking to us and I can hear their laughter echoing all the way to my empty email inbox.  We just can’t compete.

So, we decided to alter our plan a bit and look for an apartment rather than a house.  Apartments are much easier to secure from out of state (though still very competitive), and short-term lease would give us a chance to get settled while still exploring the diverse options of the Bay Area before choosing something more long-term.

So when we came across an 3-bedroom option in our price range on Alameda Island, we were ready.  We knew we had to act fast, so that ENTIRE day was spent filling out applications and making arrangements to ensure that we wouldn’t miss the opportunity.  An awesome friend from college who lives in the area toured the facilities in our place, and soon the details were in place.  One month from tomorrow, we will be moving to Alameda Island!

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Alameda Island is located in the San Francisco Bay, east of downtown San Francisco and southwest of Oakland.  We have heard so many good things about the island, and are really excited to call it home!  Since we will be new to the area, we have been reading up on Alameda and thought it would be fun to share with you some of what we have learned …

– Alamed Island is known for its mix of historic and hip charm, idyllic feel, small town shopping distracts, tree-lined streets, and island culture.

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alameda

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– Alameda has a population of 75,000 (by comparison, Cedar Rapids has a population of 128,000 and San Francisco has a population of 837,000) and is made of roughly 10 sq. miles of land.

– Vehicles can access the island by three bridges and two “street tubes”, which are underwater tunnels connecting the island to the mainland.

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– It has the only pedestrian/bicycle-only drawbridge in the US

– We can also can travel to San Francisco across the bay by ferry.  (Side note – I think it is so cool that Alex could take a ferry to work every day, but he is opposed to boats.  And water.  Rest assured that Elliott will definitely be taking the ferry because OBVIOUSLY.)

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– Alameda has warm, dry weather – the average temperature is in the mid-70s in the summer, and the low-60s in the winter.  GOODBYE -20 WINTERS!

– Averages 260 sunny days a year.  GOODBYE SEASONAL DEPRESSION!

– It is known for its Victorian houses.

This Queen Anne Victorian has 13 bedrooms.  It stands at 1000 Paru Street - on the Corner of Paru Street and San Jose Avenue across from Franklin Park in Alameda, CA.  It was built in 1893;  Architect was Otto Collischonn (according to An Architectural Guidebook to San Francisco and the Bay Area By Susan Dinkelspiel Cerny)

– It has a large Filipino and Portuguese community, as well as a lot of other cultural diversity.

– The speed limit on nearly the whole island is 25 mph (from what we have read, this is STRICTLY enforced because of the huge amount of bikers and pedestrians).

– Attracts wind and kite surfers.

– Has great views of the San Francisco and Oakland skylines

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San Francisco skyline

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Oakland harbor

– Home of the Oakland Raiders training facilities

– Known for its 4th of July parade (second oldest and second longest in the country)

– The west end of island is known as Alameda Point and is home to a decommissioned Naval Air Station.

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San Francisco skyline in the background!

– Movies filed in Alameda include Bicentennial Man, The Net, The Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix: Revolutions, Bee Seasons, the original Yours, Mine & Ours, and Rent.  A massive hanger at the Naval Air Station is used to film scenes requiring computer-generated imagery for other movies such as Flubber, Mission: Impossible II, and the Matrix trilogy (including the signature bullet time scene).  The naval base also often hosts MythBusters’ more dangerous experiments.

 

There you have it!  We are excited to explore the area!  And keep in mind that we WILL have a guestroom 😉

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