Sunlight & Shadow

shadows & sunlight

It’s (finally) that time of year when we start getting a lot of afternoon light on the terrace. I’m fascinated by the shadows the sun casts on the terrace, & now with the prime lens I’ve been having some fun with depth of focus shots against the patterns the shadows cast.

Two Years in Suburbia

This week marks the 2-year anniversary of our move out of San Francisco to San Mateo. If you’d told me, a few years ago, that I’d be happier in the suburbs than I would in a city, I would have laughed. I’m a city girl through and through, after all. I still am. But after 2 years here in San Mateo, it’s really clear to me: I was never truly happy about living in San Francisco.

I tend to judge city living by how closely it matches my NYC experience, and the bottom line is that for me, SF never measured up to New York.

There’s tradeoffs that you accept when you live in a city – like higher rent, more crowding, more noise, and less parking, for a start. But the flip side is the benefits – more activities, more restaurants, more shopping, and generally more exciting things and people. The problem with SF was I wasn’t feeling the benefits, because we lived so far out from all the good stuff in the city, and the mass transit options were such a pain. If I have to drive to go buy my groceries and get to the fun parts of town, if it takes 30+ minutes to get to work because MUNI sucks or doesn’t go where I need it to, then I might as well be living in the ‘burbs.

I still don’t particularly like living in suburbia. I have to drive much more than I like, and mass transit isn’t all that useful here either. But at least in San Mateo, we have a nice big apartment for less $ than we’d pay in SF. And we can walk to a really nice supermarket and a bunch of other shops, which we couldn’t do in SF. So all in all, the tradeoffs are better here.

Still, if the chance to move back to New York came along, I’d dump the ‘burbs in a minute.

So, Why San Mateo?

Most people who move to the suburbs do so in order to raise a family in a “good” school district.

Not us. We moved to San Mateo to get more bang for our housing buck, better commuting options, and more walkability. Our address scores 77 out of 100 in the “Walk Score” at this fun mashup site I found tonight.

Our last apartment in San Francisco? It had a Walk Score of 55.