Posts Tagged ‘Tenderloin’

Trolling Craigslist

July 31, 2018

It has begun in earnest.

Me looking for a new place to live, that is.

I dropped off the signed paperwork to the law office today that my landlady is employing to navigate the buyout.

I have officially been bought out.

I turned over the paperwork and in return I got 1/2 of the payment we agreed upon.

I will receive the other half when I turn in my keys.

I will have until October 31st to find a new place to live.

I actually looked at a place last night, but it wasn’t a good fit.

It was also a room-mate situation and although the price was great and on paper it really looked good, I realized that I was going to have to be really conscientious about what I am able to accept or not accept in a room mate.

I mean.

I have lived alone for the last five years.

I am really used to going to the bathroom naked.

For starters.

And two.

I am clean.

I am not a neat freak or obsessive, in fact, I could stand to sweep the floor a little more often, but I am tidy, my place is nice and I keep my things well.

I make my bed every morning, I wash my dishes after every meal, I like things a certain way.

I realized well I was looking at the place that while I liked the master tenant I noticed that the standards were different and for me to be comfortable I would end up cleaning a lot more and also that I suspected I would spend a lot of time in my room.

So.

I passed.

In the past that would have freaked me out a little bit.

A perfectly decent place, less rent than I pay now, good size room, laundry on site, parking.

On paper, it looks fabulous.

Not so much in person.

And I don’t want to denigrate the place I saw, it just wasn’t a good fit.

I do suspect I will end up with being on my own wherever I move to next.

I’m just so used to it and well, I have a PhD program starting soon, I am going to want and need quiet.

So I have been searching craigslist.

I don’t have to be super on top of it right yet, I do have time.

Part of the buy out was to get myself a little more time to move out, originally I was asked to move out by September 1st, which would have been over the five-day intensive in Pacifica that I have to attend to start my PhD.

Now I have until October 31st.

Which is nice and thus not too much pressure to begin the hunt, but it is there.

I know that there will be a time when I see the place and I am going to want to make a big move on it.

Grateful that I have the first half of the buyout payment to put down a deposit and first months.

And I decided to leave it in my checking account rather than put all the money in my savings.

If I need to I will be able to plop the money down immediately if something comes up.

I am also hoping, really so much so, that I will find my new place by word of mouth or referral from a friend, from my network, which is usually how I have found places.

I haven’t had a ton of luck with craigslist in the past, although I have found a couple of places.

My first being the two month sublet I had in the Mission at 22nd and York when I first moved to San Francisco nearly 16 years ago.

$650 a month for a big room in a big four bedroom house with a back yard and laundry and three levels and a big kitchen and lots of bathrooms.

Even then, I remember being told I was getting a great price for a room.

Rents in SF have never really been low, not after I lived in Madison, Wisconsin (though truth be told rents in Madison are always higher than elsewhere because of the high student population attending the UW), god I remember this one house I lived in, a house, the bottom of it at least, and how much space there was.

Oh.

God.

So much space.

Big bedroom with a walk in closet that had a window.

The closet had a window, in SF that closet would have been someone’s bedroom.

The bedroom had six windows.

Six!

I don’t have one where I live now.

Then the dining room with three big windows, the living room with a huge bay window and a screened in front porch that I alternatively rented or let friends crash on after I had broken up with my boyfriend, I needed help covering rent.

And the kitchen, which was huge, the bathroom was good-sized and yes, had a window.

There was a full basement I didn’t ever really use, except to wash laundry.

A back yard.

And a garage.

A fucking garage.

I paid $750 for this palace and that included utilities.

And I thought that was expensive.

I can’t find a studio in-law in the city right now for under $1600.

And the ones that are that price are shady, nasty, basement dwelling things.

I know that I need light and air and space after living in my little studio for the last five years.

I want a bathtub.

My god it would be nice to have a bathtub again.

I want laundry on site, wood floors, high ceilings, light, lots and lots and lots of light, windows, and yes, I know I’m crazy, a place to park.

I don’t necessarily need a garage or a driveway, I just need to live somewhere that it is relatively safe to park my car and I can park it close to where I live.

Which means.

The Tenderloin is out and that is where most of the “affordable” studios are, $1700-$2000 a month, and I am not, repeat, am not, living in the Tenderloin.

My car would get broke into every other day.

I would be dealing with rampant drug use and homelessness and crazy.

I like being out in the Outer Sunset at this point because it is quiet and though there are homeless folk, there’s not rampant drug use.

I need serenity where I live.

So yeah, not Tenderloin for me.

And before you ask.

No East Bay either or Pacifica or Sausalito.

I need to stay in the city proper.

My schedule is just too tight to navigate anything further out.

So.

The search has begun.

If you hear of anything.

Let me know.

Seriously.

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Eleven

January 18, 2016

For eleven.

I got my eleventh star this eveningIMG_8287

I think she’s pretty.

IMG_8293

Courtesy of Danny Boy Smith @ Let it Bleed.

Deep in the heart of the Tenderloin.

Wow.

Not much has changed and so much has changed.

I am beyond grateful that the reason I was in the Tenderloin was to score a new tattoo.

Not to score.

I haven’t been over to Polk Street in quite sometime.

I used to live up at Washington and Taylor and would frequently ride my bicycle up Polk and then up further, up, up, up California Street, then onto Washington, ending at Taylor.

High.

Up above the crack smoke filled streets and the dirty self-medicating junkies and the cross dressing prostitutes.

I was surprised to see a couple of girls working the streets.

I mean.

I should not have been.

It is the Tenderloin.

Maybe it was just that I haven’t seen a working girl where I live in some time.

Not much action going on in the Outer Sunset.

Although I’m sure things are shaking and moving in and out of the 7-11 parking lot just down the street from my house.

I was glad to walk the streets and not be a street walker, to be coming from my last hour of classes at my first weekend back to my second semester of my graduate school program, to be heading to get a tattoo to celebrate my eleventh anniversary without picking up.

Rather than picking through the garbage strewn gutters or standing under an awning smoking a cigarette and wondering how the hell it all went wrong.

Instead.

I find myself wondering how the hell it all went so wonderfully right.

Graduate school reinforces that premise every time I walk the halls of the university.

Every time I sit in class and raise my hand.

Every time I have a positive interaction with a professor, a student, a fellow in my cohort.

I am full, constantly, of wonder and awe.

Not withstanding I am also a little tired, it was a big weekend, but I did it, I’m through, and I don’t know if it’s an actual lighter reading load then last semester or that I am used to doing the work, but it feels easier.

Perhaps I am just easing into it.

Gratefully so with much surrender.

And.

Really.

Just a stunning amount of perpetual incredulousness that I have made it this far.

I really should not be here.

If life were fair.

I would be dead.

I also have been recognizing, noticing, and in great awareness around the myriad of strikes that have just been against me for so long.

Poverty.

Drug abuse.

Alcohol abuse.

Sexual abuse.

Neglect.

Trauma, trauma, trauma.

I don’t think about it often, I don’t need to ponder the mysterious ways of the Universe, it was just brought home today in my first class of the morning.

I shared about not having real health insurance.

I have Healthy SF, in case you were wondering, but though it provides a lot of the things that having health insurance covers, it’s not the real deal.

And as I explained to my class over a discussion about what it is like to live with the constant, chronic, high level of poverty and what it was like to grow up–though I did not see it at the time–in that dire place of not enough, I realized it was a miracle, a fucking huge ass miracle, that I got out.

The cycle got broken.

I emerged.

A phoenix from the ashes of a crack pipe.

I mean.

Let me not put to fine a point on it.

But the affects still linger and I don’t always realize them.

The shame that comes from being poor, the hot lunch program at school, the American cheese in a box, being the scholarship kid, the kid in need, or the homeless teenager, who despite having a full ride to her first year at university, couldn’t keep it together to keep food in her dorm fridge.

The constant stress of not having the money to afford health insurance, with a few exceptions here and there, worrying about if I would get sick or hurt.

I related how when I did get hurt, my ankle injury, and how I was out of work for six weeks I was blessed with amazing friends who came out of the woodwork to help me.

The GoFund me that someone started so I could pay my rent that month.

The anonymous twenty dollar bill I found in my messenger bag one night.

The rides to and from places.

The gift card for the grocery store.

I have a community of love and friendship that I leaned into really hard.

But the affects of being raised with the absence of so much, I never really contemplated until, irony, no?

I got into graduate school.

Which is a privileged place to be.

Granted.

I am.

Again.

A scholarship kid.

No shame in that.

Although, yes, I admit,  I am loathe to share it with my cohort, I somehow, still think that I don’t quite deserve it and somebody will take it away from me.

In class today the lecture covered what happens to people who live under that kind of stress, who live with PTSD, poverty, drug abuse, alcoholism, for those that self-medicate in the streets, for the homelessness and the racism that we inflict on each other.

And I just felt like gasping for air.

My palms got hot, I got hot, my flight or fight or freeze got activated.

I was alive and charged up and saddened to hear what was being said and then reacting too, to some pretty naive comments made by some well meaning, but hyper privileged classmates.

So.

I shared.

I shared what it was like, what it is still like–do you know that I will get penalized by the government when I go to file my taxes for not having “real” health insurance–to be a person without.

The thing is.

I don’t believe I am a person without anymore.

I have so much.

Love.

Abundance.

Joy.

Stars–like eleven!

I have a good job, I am in graduate school, I live in San Francisco (still, haven’t gotten priced out yet!), I eat organic food and drink expensive coffee.

What I found fascinating, though, in class, from a very astute and experienced PhD professor, is that the affects of poverty don’t dissipate for about three generations.

A lot of the stress that I carry with me, even when I am flush, may well continue to be with me, to be in my body, to just be there.

I have felt it.

I have put name to it.

I have done inventory.

I remember once writing the fear a letter, saying, “dear fear, I hear you, you may be right, but I promise, I will take care of paying rent, you wont’ be homeless this month.”

I had it taped up to my wall by my writing desk for months.

It was when I was living up in Nob Hill.

I don’t know if those affects will always be there, as so much as been lifted, so much space has been made in my heart, in my body, so much psychic change has happened for me, that I believe these intergenerational traumas will end with me.

That is my belief.

And not only that.

The experiences, the wealth of knowledge, the how I got through, the how it works, the passing it on, they are the true measure of my abundance and ability.

These things mark me, but they are not me.

I am more than the sum of my parts.

I am the light that shines around the edges of those black stars.

I go forth.

Into this furthering light.

Into this ever expanding place of being held.

Always.

Further.

Into.

This deepening love.

 

 

Terrifying

June 1, 2014

Thrilling.

Scary.

Fog.

Welcome to summer.

It is foggy.

And it was a dark, intense ride home in the fog, so thick that in spots the moisture slid off overhanging trees and splat on my helmet like heavy rain.

I could barely see where I was going and to top it off I was taking a way home that I had not ever taken on my own before.

Coming home this evening from Noe Valley on my scooter I decided to avoid the traffic in the Mission and the Castro and instead head up and over Clipper to Portola and then down and around to the Inner Sunset.

I don’t know that I have ever been so glad as when I reached 7th and Irving.

Familiar territory.

A sigh of relief to know where I was and to recognize the lay of the land.

Granted I have ridden this way before on the back of some one’s cycle, as the passenger in a car, in the back seat of a taxi cab.

But on my own.

At night.

On my scooter.

In fog so dense that I was grateful to be behind a large slow-moving bus to guide me through it, never before tonight.

I actually pulled over and caught my breath, pulled the windshield up on my helmet and yes, I admit it, I took off my glasses and rode the rest of the way back without a face shield.

I know, it’s illegal.

I took the damn test.

However.

The fog was too thick.

I could not see a damn thing, it was collecting and condensing on the face shield and my glasses too much.

Once I pocket my glasses and lifted the shield I could see and I was a far less dangerous person on a vehicle on this lovely opening night of the fog season.

AKA

Summer in San Francisco.

I don’t mind the fog.

I like how it glides in over Twin Peaks, shrouding the sides of the Castro Hills and draping Noe Valley in a blanket of hush.

It’s just not particularly awesome to ride in.

That being said.

I rode my scooter all about town today!

I had an appointment to complete the color on my hair today at Solid Gold Salon.

It looks amazing.

I did not do the Brazilian blow out, however, we decided to just do the color, a dark violet/indigo that blends into a glaze of hot pink.

The color is quite a bit darker than I wanted, but with good reason, it’s going to fade to the color I want and I won’t have to worry about the color fading, we went intentionally darker.

It’s going to fade to the perfect shade in a wash or two.

And for the moment, it’s a fun shade to have that I don’t recall anyone I know currently having.

The indigo will fade to a frost lilac and the hot pink to a soft, dusky, pastel pink.

I get to have my cake and eat it too.

Because then, under all that, I still have the blonde highlights–which were necessary to pull in the rich, exuberant color–win, win, win.

I wasn’t thinking much about the hair color when I got up, my brain was rather pre-occupied with getting to the salon on my scooter and seeing if I could get it started without having to call in the Calvary.

And I did.

And it was awesome.

I still killed it at one point on a hill going to make a right turn as I was heading from the Tenderloin into Nob Hill.  I got nervous, I couldn’t remember the exact cross streets for the salon and I was on a one way.

But, I just calmly pulled it over, and started her right back up.

Then I remembered how to get to the salon and rode a few more blocks, pulling up to the salon as my friend was running a quick errand down the street.

That was satisfactory!

Seeing my friend as I arrived on the scooter he sold me.

I felt this great sense of accomplishment as I backed into the motorcycle parking at Sutter and Jones.

Said sense of accomplishment then further embellished by the joy of paying for the parking meter.

$1.25 for three hours of parking.

I was happy to pay.

I believe the cost of metered parking in downtown San Francisco for a car is $1.25 per fifteen minutes.  I may be exaggerating a little, but I know that metered parking for a car is really quite expensive.

After I got my awesome color at Solid Gold Salon I headed to that food mecca called Rainbow Grocery and got some staples that I am hard pressed to find elsewhere and revelled in the joy of bulk bin shopping.

I didn’t do as much shopping as I had thought I would do, I was too hungry to really be able to concentrate, so I took myself over to Herbivore on Valencia and 21st.

It’s a vegan restaurant that has one of my favorite dishes, I have simple tastes and it hits every thing for me, it’s a Mexican beans and rice dish with fake chicken.

I can’t tell you why I find it so tasty, but I do and I never order anything else.

I am not a vegan.

But I will play one on tv.

I have also been known to have sex with one.

Shh.

Speaking of, I didn’t get asked out on a date with my fabulous hair, but I wasn’t even thinking about it.

I was too busy being concerned with getting home tonight.

The fog was heaving in over Twin Peaks into Noe Valley hours before I was to be heading home and I knew that would be taking up all the head space I had to focus on getting home.

I had one tiny moment when I thought I might ask some one out, then it fled my mind and I returned to keeping my attention on the night, the scooter, the fog, the getting her started and running.

Which all happened.

And I got home safe and sound.

The neighbors across the street huddled on their front steps enjoying foggy summer time beers wrapped up in beach blankets and smoking joints; the bell of the fog horn blowing out over the ocean, the smell of salt and sea, the beat of my heart that for a moment I took to be the thrum of surf on the sand, but was coming from inside me.

Then, the scooter parked, secured, and I home.

Home with my sexy awesome hair.

Safe and secure in my little bungalow by the beach.

A successful day for sure.

Color me content.

 


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