Where to live?

So Facebook is located in Palo Alto, CA. A good number of employees, however, live in downtown San Francisco and reverse commute, either by car or by train. Train has the benefit of those laptop cell phone cards that give you the internet as you travel. I’ve already done the 25-minute reverse commute, thing, so I am leaning toward getting a walking commute in Palo Alto. Plus, I want to try out the health benefits of significant daily walking. So, what do you think? Should I live in SF or PA?

Update: Living in San Fran would mean a 45-minute commute both ways. I don’t know what the relative cost in rent is, but I’m pretty sure Palo Alto would be cheaper.


22 Responses to Where to live?

  1. danvk says:

    Clearly you should live in SF and hang out with me and April, Craig!

  2. danvk says:

    Also, if you live in San Francisco, you will wind up walking a ton during evenings and weekends.

  3. Obviously, if I lived in Palo Alto, I would still hang out with you guys. Especially on the weekends. I might even expect a couch to crash on.

  4. Evan says:

    When young, I pretty much always vote for the big city.

    I walk a good deal in BA. Not sure I get that much out of it.

  5. To be clear, living in SF would probably be a 45 minute commute.

  6. adam says:

    I encourage the walk. We walk to church, I walk to work, we walk to the grocery store. We also get in trouble with the city because you have to move your car if it’s parked on the street after x amount of days or else it’s declared “abandoned”. LOL.

  7. danvk says:

    I really don’t mind my commute. I read a lot more now than I did when I lived in the South Bay. And if you drive yourself, there’s always books on tape/music/KQED.

    If church, groceries and work are all you’re looking for, you should live close to work. But the city is most certainly a more happening place.

  8. Craig Oda says:

    Palo Alto is pretty good. I believe the commute will be more than 45 minutes, depending on where you live in SF. My commute from Palo Alto near Embarcadero to SF in the Financial District takes 30-75 minutes each way, depending on traffic. This is in a car. I used to catch the Caltrain. There are several problems with this. One is that the muni system was often delayed. This would mess up my transfer points to the Baby Bullet.

    I used to live in San Bruno and work on 101 University Ave in Palo Alto. The commute was fairly hideous since I had to drive to the CalTrain station at a certain time and wait for the train. Getting from the Palo Alto office to Caltrain isn’t so fun in the pouring rain. Palo Alto will rain in the winter.

    I ended up moving to Palo Alto and getting a job in Palo Alto. My company also has an office in San Francisco. The commute up there is a hassle.

  9. April says:

    I find my morning commute a very relaxing and productive time for my non-goog related work, like poem reading and writing. On the way home, I look up recipes for dinner and read the day’s news. Commuting isn’t so bad! Plus, if you live in the city, you will walk everywhere- the grocer, coffee shops, bars, restaurants. As I just said to dan, south bay is for work, the city is for pleeeeeeasure.

  10. Not all of us get to ride the comfy google shuttle.

  11. danvk says:

    Admittedly the commute takes a while. It’s not going to be less than 40-50 minutes door-to-door. But if you do Caltrain you can read/write poetry, etc.

    You’d be surprised at what a barrier living in the south bay creates. I very rarely went up to the city when I lived in Mountain View and I’d say that my life was comfortable, convenient and pretty boring. Moving to SF was a great decision.

  12. April says:

    When you come visit, you should take a spin on the caltrain and see if you like it. Also, if you can work on the train you might be able to count your commute as billable hours.

  13. Sarah says:

    i think you should live in the city. the commute will definitely be a hassle (re: Craig Oda), but in my opinion it’s worth it. palo alto is nice, but pretty boring. and SF is just SO cool. would you have to sign a year long lease? because worse comes to worse, you can always move down to palo alto later.

  14. I’m going to start linking places here for reference. This place looks pretty cool. Reasonably priced, not a studio, and close to a Caltrain stop.


  15. JWang says:

    SF is awesome. Palo Alto is okay for about a year. So either decision is fine. If you live in PA, you should just plan to move after a year or so 🙂

  16. Wade says:

    Live in SF. I made the mistake of living close to work when I first moved to Dallas, thinking that it made sense to minimize my weekly driving time. I underestimated human laziness, however.

    If you live in SF near the fun stuff, you will go out and walk around and do fun stuff, while still forcing yourself to commute to work on weekdays. On the other hand, if you live in Palo Alto, you will not force yourself to commute to the SF on the weekends for fun stuff. You will sit in Palo Alto on Friday night and decide that it’s not worth the hassle, the gas, and the parking to go hang out in SF. Instead you will eat Cheetos and watch tv, which will ultimately destroy all of the walking fitness gains achieved during the week.

  17. Wade’s point echoes some I’ve had in conversations with other people. As a counter point. I was the one in high school who would drive 45-min each way to hang out with people, sometimes for as little as 2 hours. I’ve always been willing to make that social effort. Nowadays, I wish the last two years had been less social and more productive on side programming projects.

  18. nicole says:

    Craig, it seems as though your mind is made up. You keep arguing against people who side for SF. Sounds like you’ve decided on PA

  19. Actually, I just like to see the debate. I think I’m leaning toward SF.

  20. Brett says:

    It is in my best interest that you live in SF. I already have a friend that I have not visited in Palo Alto. 😉

    And let’s be honest Fratty, do you really wish your last two years had been less social? My guess is that you wish you had been more productive, as I definitely wish I had. However, there are probably plenty of fun times in there that you would not want to give up.

    May be you should just not sign a very long lease at first when in SF. This way you can still leave some of the other options open. Something to think about, but I think you would enjoy living in the city much more than living in more of the suburban area, particularly if living by yourself.

  21. soog says:

    well, I wrote a really long explanation about where I think you should live, then it timed out and didn’t post, so here is my revised post:


  22. devin says:

    sf. hands down.

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