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Old 02-25-2010, 10:23 PM
 
3 posts, read 4,765 times
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My Husband and I are plotting our escape from SoCal. We were thinking about the City. We have two dogs (shepherd mix & greyhound mix) therefore the need for a yard. We are also looking for 3br home to rent as his kids (teenagers) will visit on their school breaks. I really want to be in SF, but I think that we will not find what we are looking for reasonable rent. (between 3-4k/mo) Hubby has business in the San Jose area, so will need to make that commute by car, as he has a ton of account visits all around the South Bay. I do freelance work, so I can be anywhere.
Hubby is convinced that a commute from Oakland will be rough, he is also convinced that we must live in the Peninsula. Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Burlingame.

So, we are liberal minded, like live music, and the arts. Tasty restaurants in the vicinity and would like a walkable neighborhood. We like having the kind of neighbors that you share an impromptu bottle of wine and occasional meal with. We have been living in the burbs in San Diego county for too long and are starved for city life.

Thanks for any advice!
Ciao ~PJ
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Old 02-25-2010, 10:47 PM
 
Location: Madison, WI
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Unfortunately, if you're bored of suburbia there isn't much (besides SF) on the peninsula or in the south bay that will cure that boredom. San Mateo, Redwood City, Palo Alto, Mountain View, and a few other towns each have a small downtown section but they are mostly suburban in character. San Jose has a larger downtown but it's pretty sleepy and there isn't all that much there compared with San Francisco. If you lived within easy walking distance of one of these downtowns that might be a good compromise. It's not as though San Francisco is all that far away to visit on weekends.

The commute from SF isn't impossible, though, if your husband has some flexibility in his work schedule. If you choose a neighborhood close to the 280 freeway (Glen Park would be one such choice) and don't need to drive in the middle of rush hour, you can make it to most parts of San Jose in about 45-50 minutes. The traffic on 280 flows pretty well most of the time, so the commute is mainly a question of mileage, not congested traffic. I did it for a few months and I found it long, but less painful than the TEN mile commute in LA that I used to have, which also took 45-50 minutes. With podcasts or audio books the time does cruise by.

I have never tried Oakland to San Jose but from what I've heard it's pretty brutal.
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Old 02-25-2010, 11:21 PM
 
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thanks for your help...anyone from the Oakland area have anything to add?
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Old 02-26-2010, 10:54 AM
 
Location: San Jose, CA
7,688 posts, read 27,469,616 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phoebej View Post
thanks for your help...anyone from the Oakland area have anything to add?
I did a couple test commutes from my work near 880/Montague to the Laurel district of Oakland. It took an hour and a half each time. The Nimitz Freeway is notorious for many good reasons.
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Old 02-26-2010, 11:44 PM
 
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thanks, it probably doesn't matter the time of day either.
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Old 02-28-2010, 07:42 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
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I've have to respectfully disagree with jbunniii about what the peninsula is like. The peninsula doesn't feel suburban (that's East Bay & parts of San Jose). It does feel like a lot of small towns thrown together, but in a good way. I live in suburbia now, so the difference is painfully obvious. I moved away from Mountain View to the east coast to find work but am sorry that I left! I can't wait to get back.

Mountain View, for example, has a hip, vibrant downtown area with many fantastic restaurants and is very busy on weekends. We also have an excellent performing arts center. We get many performances there that only play in San Francisco and Berkeley. What the OP describes as having an impromptu bottle of wine with neighbors is *exactly* the neighborhood I had in Mountain View.

I agree with your husband. A commute from Oakland to San Jose would be unacceptable. I would never want to do it.
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