After nearly three weeks in the Bay area, I feel like I've finally arrived. My three month sublet in Oakland started today. After shuttling between friends couches, relatives' guest bedrooms, and airbnb rooms, I can call a place my own.
The search for an apartment wasn't easy, but it sounds like it could have been worse. My budget is severely constrained, since Flame and I need to pay for our NY apartment too. So I responded to almost every applicable ad on craigslist (east bay, $400 - $800/month, not requiring a female) for a few weeks, and only two posters got back to me. Eventually, this was the only option, but I think it's going to be fine.
The place is an odd mix of luxury and squalor. It's three blocks from the BART, but everyone cringes when I tell them it's the Fruitvale stop. It was one of the cheapest rooms available, and yet it's a full one-bedroom to myself. The apartment has no microwave (but a nice stove), no wifi (what's tethering for?), no trashcan (which I can remedy), and no evidence so far of hot water (which I can handle). After I sealed the deal, the guy subletting to me stopped me on my way out, and said, "So, you know, the guy upstairs is crazy. If he gets violent, you're best off just leaving."
But that all said, I'm happy to have a home.