May 12th, 2008. I flew to San Francisco for a 2 day trip. It was the first time I had been to SF shorter than 5 days and not to attend something work related. I was in SF to hunt for houses and talk to some companies about working here. Eighteen days later, 3 garage sales and with some very upset parents, Laura and I boarded a plane which was a one way to San Francisco with a layover in Chicago. Everyone in my family was upset that I had given such notice on the move but it was on May 1st that Laura and I were sitting in a Starbucks as she told me, “let’s do it. let’s just go!” One month later and we signed the lease on a new apartment.
That apartment was where I started AdamsBlock and, in San Francisco, I met some amazing people like Dom Sagolla, Daniel Brusilovsky and Justin Leung. I’ve gotten great advice from friends like Abbi Vakil and, through the tech scene, I’ve dined with celebrities, traveled the US and have directly influenced some products that are changing the world. I’m pretty effing happy about that.
It’s why I was so surprised last night when I realized my 2nd anniversary in the city had come and gone with little fanfare. I was relieved though.
I was standing on my back deck, over looking the city surrounded by 5 very great friends and flipping burgers sipping a beer when I realized it was June 5th and I had been a San Francisco resident for 2 years and 5 days. Although, I have to laugh because I still have my Florida Drivers License. Yeah, damn I really need to get that changed. Haha.
What’s great is that last week, my friend took me on a car tour around some hidden city parks that no one knows about and I realized that there’s so much of this city that’s so unknown to me and so much worth photographing and so much excitement about discovering something new every day.
San Francisco is not my final stop and I won’t live here forever.
I’ve expressed interest in 3 cities but there’s one I haven’t listed. My next stop will either be Portland, Seattle, Austin or New York City. NYC is the least possible candidate because I’m not a fan of city life but I’d love the experience of spending 6 months there.
Portland is a little SF w/ no sales tax and lower cost of living but with the same kind of jobs you’d have in SF. Seattle is remarkably gorgeous with tons of parks and an awesome climate and Austin….well it’s perfect for a single guy. University of Texas is the largest college in the US, there’s a vibrant and year-round music scene and a hundred tech startups that are always hiring not to mention, phenomenal BBQ.
Wherever I end up next, San Francisco was my jumping off point and was the city that got me out of my shell inspired me to do some great things but it got me traveling enough where I know where I’d like to live next.
I’d like to move next year around the spring and before my 3rd year in SF. I think after 3 years, you begin to slow down a bit which is already apparent with me and there’s still a lot I’d like to experience. Furthermore, lower cost of living means my salary will enable more travel to places I’ve never gone before.
I’m happy to call SF my home. Flying into SFO is no longer just that – it’s flying home. I said that to my friend Ryan Hupfer last week who just celebrated his 2nd san franniversary a few weeks before me and when I said that, his eyes lit up and he said, “yeah you’re right. it’s home.”
To all of my wonderful friends and especially to Laura who enabled more than I realized for my move out west and made a lot possible just through her love and support. I’m happy to have her as my best friend. Who knew some girl I’d talk to in a coffee shop on February 18th, 2006 (right after valentines day) would be someone who became my best friend.
Thanks for reading and thanks for your support.
PS: last year, I wrote a series of blog posts titled, “One Year in SF.” that I recommend to anyone considering a move to the bay area. It was written for kids like me (16-22 yr olds) who love tech and think the startup life is for them. It will give you all you need to know for making the move. Enjoy.