This weekend I moved into my new one bedroom apartment in Oakland in the lovely Temescal neighborhood. It's a great and cheap pad with a good size living room, full kitchen and bath that would have cost at least $500 more in SF. It's very conveniently located, just a few minutes walk from a BART station, right off the 580 freeway, and bike-able to many of the nicer parts of Oakland.
In the short time I have had to explore, I have found lots of great places nearby, including a high-end coffee joint called Subrosa just two blocks away, lots of Korean and Ethiopian restaurants, a popular mac and cheese place called Homeroom, and a big Safeway and CVS a short bike ride away. In nearby Piedmont, you find tons of fancy restaurants and cafes.
As for transportation, I can be in the city in about 20-30 minutes on the BART, which I'm really looking forward to. And BART to my mom's in Pleasanton is only about 35 minutes. It seems like a good town for biking; I see lots of young folks tooling around on ten speeds and fixies.
My biggest issue at the moment is cell phone service, which is very weak in the apartment. I kind of need to use my cell phone all the time for calling and texting people. So I don't know what to do if I'm in a dead zone.
My cat Mole is a bit confused right now. I felt a little bad moving him from my mom's giant two-story home to this small apartment. But he's been in small apartments before, so hopefully it won't take him too long to adjust to this one.
But besides that, I really like my new place and looking forward to new adventures in Oakland and San Francisco from my new home.
By the way, apparently in Filipino tradition, the first thing you move into a new home is salt and rice to bring good fortune. You also need to bring in a religious icon, but I don't have any of those. Anyone have any more info on what the salt and rice is supposed to signify?