Yesterday a friend reached out to me. She asked my advice about how to deal with her landlady over a broken bathroom sink. Something snapped and water sprayed out everywhere. Someone was sent by to look at it, turned off the faulty tap, and said they’d be back in a few weeks to fix it. … Continue reading Side Effects of Side Effects of Side Effects
Last night I had dinner at a friend’s house. The group was composed of the usual San Francisco mix: a college professor, an architect, and a collection of software engineers of various stripes. They were single-ish. Childless. Forty-ish. Well traveled. Charming. Between them they could speak eight languages. They were old enough to be semi-established … Continue reading It’s Complicated
I helped a friend last week as he was organizing his move from a one bedroom garden level apartment to a larger home. For the last decade he’s been gradually moving up the ladder from fresh-out-of-university to serious adult. Over lunch he introduced me to a new term as it related to my recent experience … Continue reading Yak Shaving in the Craft Room
I spent the last week helping pack and unpack for a family as they moved to their new digs. I’ll start with the house porn since the new place was magnificently staged by real estate professionals. Then I’ll work backwards to tell this story. The new house is four stories tall and was last used … Continue reading Moving House
On Sunday we gathered at the home of our friends Sara and Andre for a summer barbecue. They live in a 600 square foot one bedroom apartment here in San Francisco. We talked about their housing situation and their long term trajectory. Sara has lived in this building since she first arrived in the city … Continue reading The Squeeze and Wiggle
As a landlord I’ve long struggled with how to balance ethical and economic choices. In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crash I bought a sad little 1941 vintage fixer upper on a half acre in Sonoma County. I could never have afforded property in the wine country under normal circumstances, but 2008 wasn’t normal. … Continue reading The Not-So-Invisible Hand
A couple of years ago I chatted with a woman I met at the local community garden around the corner. We had actually lived four buildings away from each other for many years but had never met. That’s one of the nice things about a community garden. You get to meet more of your neighbors. I … Continue reading What’s Your Plan B?