Archive for August, 2009

Apartment Hunting Reflections: SF vs NYC

August 31, 2009

While apartment hunting in SF, we couldn’t help but compare it to the NYC apartment experience. Some observations:

  • In SF, we heard the term “microclimate” quite frequently. Basically, due to its varied topography and other factors, the temperature can vary by as much as 10 degrees from block to block. Note to self: Dress in layers.
  • In SF, most people find their apartments via Craigslist. In NYC, brokers dominate the rental scene. We didn’t have much time to find a place in SF and were looking for brokers and could barely find one (I think I saw one – Hill & Co. in Cow Hollow). Meanwhile you can’t walk a block without stumbling onto a broker in Park Slope.
  • In SF, there are no “bars” on the windows of ground floor apartments. In NYC, these iron bars are commonplace.
  • In SF, many apartments’ windows do not have screens. How the heck do they keep flies/bugs out?
  • In SF, there is no A/C because apparently you don’t need it. Hope that’s true. In NYC, A/C is a necessity during its hot and humid summers.

Where I’ve Been: Final Week in NYC Edition

August 31, 2009

Monday (8.17.09) – Had dinner with my brother and wife at our favorite Park Slope restaurant – Al di la – one last time. We shared the mussels as an appetizer while I had the braised short ribs for my entree. For dessert, it was the selection of gelati/sorbetti flavors which included “Earl Grey Tea”. We will sorely miss this place!

Tuesday (8.18.09) – Had a fun dinner with friends JC and DD at Rosa Mexicano. Tasty drinks and food plus good company equalled fun times.

Thursday (8.20.09) – Had a goodbye party at the appropriately West Coast-themed Brooklyn barĀ Pacific Standard. Thanks to everyone who came out!

Friday (8.21.09) – Ate in with some sushi from Oshima and packed up some personal items in preparation for the movers’ arrival the next day.

Images – Final Days in NYC

August 30, 2009

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Where I’ve Been: SF Apartment Hunting Edition

August 30, 2009

August 12 – August 15

Wednesday (8.12.09) – After a long flight from JFK to SFO, we arrived in San Francisco with a full afternoon agenda of apartment hunting. We limited our search to the South Beach/Mission Bay/SoMa neighborhoods and looked at about 5 different large properties and probably a dozen or so apartment units in total.

Though exhausted, we ended up seeing one that we really liked and decided to put a deposit down to hold it. Could we have found our apartment within the first 3 hours of being in town? Tired from the trip and running around the city, we took refuge at the Thirsty Bear for some tapas and drinks before retiring to our room at the Intercontinental (pics below).

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Thursday (8.13.09) – We looked at another apartment in the South Beach neighborhood. It was nice but we still felt pretty strongly about the one we put the deposit down for. Afterwards, we walked around the Mission Bay neighborhood and grabbed a bite to eat at Burger Joint. Then we rode the Muni to the mall on Market St.

We had a little time before our next apartment viewing so took a nap back at the hotel. Then we went to the Haight and strolled down Haight Street. It reminded us of Belmont Ave. in Chicago or St. Mark’s Place back in NYC. We had a drink at Martin Mack’s and met up with the property owner to see the place. It was a great looking apartment and it gave us some pause but in the end we weren’t crazy about the neighborhood and prevalence of street kids.

With the viewing complete, we walked to nearby Cole Valley and had a drink at friendly neighborhood dive Finnegan’s Wake.

Friday (8.14.09) – Got up early in the morning and walked over to the Ferry Building – got a breakfast sandwich at one place and then some coffee at Peet’s.

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We had one more apartment viewing appointment and it was very nice but again, ultimately we felt like it still wasn’t better than the one we set our sights on. With some free time on our hands, we decided to venture out to Cow Hollow and Pacific Heights. Both neighborhoods have lots of great shops, cafes, restaurants, etc. We had lunch at an Asian restaurant called Betelnut and really enjoyed it.

In the evening, we met up with our friend MG for drinks at Americano. We ended the evening with some sushi at Nama.

Saturday (8.15.09) – The apartment hunt ended and we signed the paperwork for the one in Mission Bay that we put a deposit down for on the first day we arrived in SF. At lunchtime, I had some fried chicken and rice at Filipino fast-food restaurant Jollibee. We hung out a bit more in our new neighborhood and then checked out a store or two back on Market St. With a red-eye flight back to NYC awaiting us, we decided to enjoy the California weather and sat outside in the Yerba Buena Gardens (pics below).

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We had some time to kill before our late-night flight so checked out the Time Traveler’s Wife. We grabbed a bite at Thirsty Bear once again and hopped in a cab to SFO.

Dinner at Gramercy Tavern

August 30, 2009

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Tuesday, 8.11.09

On this night we met with our close friends BC & LC (who were also leaving New York City) for a joint goodbye dinner at legendary NYC restaurant Gramercy Tavern.

The atmosphere was inviting, the service was attentive and the food flavorful and satisfying.

The four of us had the summer tasting menu. Here’s a rundown of what we had.

  • Citrus Cured Arctic Char – Lemon Confit
  • Chilled Corn Soup – Crispy Oysters
  • Smoked Trout – Cippollini Puree and Pickled Onion Vinaigrette
  • Soft Shell Crab – Fingerling Potatoes and Scallions
  • Rack of Veal – Romano Beans and Sungold Tomatoes
  • Tasting Dessert – I can’t even remember what we had but we shared four different kinds of desserts followed by an assortment of chocolates and macaroons
  • We also left with individually wrapped Gramercy Tavern muffins that are provided upon the meal’s completion

All in all, it was a fantastic meal and awesome way to spend time with our fellow soon-to-be ex-New Yorkers.

Where I’ve Been: Catching Up on a Whole Lotta Stuff Edition

August 30, 2009

Week of August 2, 2009

Friday (7.31.09) – It’s official. I got the job offer that relocates us to San Francisco, CA. Later that evening, I headed over to Long Island City, Queens to celebrate my friend JC’s birthday.

Saturday (8.1.09) – I met up with my brother in Manhattan at the West 79th Street Boat Basin. It was quite the summer scene there with lots of folks having brunch/lunch but I really liked it and enjoyed a burger and beer. Afterwards, I joined my friend BC and his wife LC and sister NC at my favorite Union Square bar – Lillie’s.

Sunday (8.2.09) – Had a great brunch with my friend LC in Park Slope’s Stone Park Cafe. I had the eggs benedict and washed it down with a Bloody Mary. Good stuff.

Monday (8.3.09) – My wife and I had dinner at our favorite Park Slope restaurant – Al Di La.

Tuesday (8.4.09) – Back at Lillie’s Bar in Union Square – this time with friends JC and DD. Later, my wife and I made our way to the Lower East Side to see our friend MD before he left NYC for another year at med school.

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Wednesday (8.5.09) – Road trip to Raleigh, North Carolina to see my family before we head West.

Thursday (8.6.09) – Hung out with the family at my sister’s house.

Friday (8.7.09) – We engaged in some retail therapy at Crabtree Valley Mall. Later, we did some grillin’ in the backyard – burgers and hot dogs.

Saturday (8.8.09) – We joined my sister, bro-in-law and two of my nephews (the other stayed at home b/c he wanted to watch our dog) for the Durham Bulls/Syracuse Chiefs minor league baseball game. Before the game, we walked around the surrounding area (former Lucky Strike plant that now houses shops/restaurants). I took some pics below.

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We had a nice dinner at Cuban Revolution and then entered the stadium. It’s a great ballpark and overall terrific experience. I tried the Pilot Mountain Pale Ale from Foothills Brewery (Winston-Salem) while taking in the game. Some pics are below.

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Unfortunately, the Bulls lost 3-2. However, the fireworks show after the game helped ease the pain of the loss.

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Sunday (8.9.09) – Spent time with the family.

Monday (8.10.09) – Hopped in the car and headed back to Brooklyn.

A New Home

August 30, 2009

It’s been nearly a month since I’ve blogged….and with good reason. Though we absolutely loved Park Slope, Brooklyn, we decided to pursue opportunities elsewhere and have relocated to San Francisco, California.

I started The Slope via The Lake to reflect our move from Chicago to New York and to share random musings on music, politics, food and pop culture. Now that we are moving from New York to San Francisco, it’s only fitting that a new blog begins – The Bay via Brooklyn. Hope you enjoy the West Coast version!