There seems to be an epidemic of people in the Bay area moving to LA. Why are all of these residents picking up stakes and moving to Southern California?
I talked with Naufa Neussle, a game designer, chef, English teacher and skateboard enthusiast who lived in the Marina in San Francisco. He recently got a new job and moved to Venice in the Los Angeles area.
“Why did you leave San Francisco, a city that many say is the most beautiful in the world?”
“It’s impossible to live in the Bay Area anymore. My rent went from $1500/month 10 years ago to $125,500/month at the beginning of this year.
“I had to have three jobs just to pay my rent. The only way I could do it is if I slept on the bus in between each job. I would stretch out on the roof because the bus company wouldn’t let me sleep inside. It worked out fine unless it was raining. In that case, I would sleep in a wheel well. It was no problem as long as the bus was going uphill.
“When it was going downhill, which you can imagine was half the time, my body would tend to spill out onto the axle. I would hold onto the axle with my left hand, while gripping the undercarriage of the bus with my right hand. Once we went uphill again, I could get a quick nap.”
“It sounds impossible to manage. But isn’t it worth making some sacrifices to live in a gorgeous city like San Francisco that has great restaurants, stunning views, cool neighborhoods and historic architecture?”
“Oh, don’t get me wrong. I love the city. I loved to try new restaurants every Sunday when I had 35 min. free for a personal life. My girlfriend and I would walk up and down Union and try different restaurants. Just last Friday, we tried a new Italian place, and the bill was $9500 for a couple plates of pasta and a fairly generic bottle of wine. I was able to pay the bill by working there for three days, using vacation days I had saved up from my other jobs.”
“Well, Los Angeles is not exactly the cheapest place to live either.”
“At this point in time, Los Angeles is still not as in demand as a town like San Francisco. In the Bay Area, you will find culture and refinement. In Los Angeles, culture is a giant donut on top of a diner. Because there is less demand to live here, you can still get an apartment that is cheap enough that you can afford to buy a potato, and onion and a carrot every few days to keep you alive. It gives you time to go to parties so you can listen to people tell you about their latest screenplay. This is a much less demanding schedule than my three-job schedule in the Bay Area.”
“Fair enough. What are your plans for the future?”
“My goal for the following 12 months is to buy a house. I have identified three relatives that have enough money to bequeath me, upon their death, enough for me to put a down payment on a 500 sq ft. house in a high crime neighborhood. I’m not sure which relative will be nice enough to transfer to the hereafter so I can buy home, but I hope it is before the Super Bowl so that I can have friends over to mooch free food and chip dip off me, staying only through the end of halftime before they leave without saying thank you.”