T Nation

Living in San Francisco?


hey guys,

Since I'm leaving my beloved (sarcasm...sort of) France to work in SF in a couple of months, I have a few questions.
Maybe I should ask elsewhere but this is the only US forum I'm active in:

  • are there any affordable (<800$) rooms for rent in decent places ? I'm considering Oakland but the internets (and the crime numbers) show a bad rep. Also it's quite far from SF. South of SF maybe? Berkeley seems more expensive than what I've been told. Any website for that?

  • if you have good places to live in, are there any good strongman gyms nearby ?

  • any interesting food advices appreciated (a friend of mine from cali told me about farmers' baskets, not too sure about the concept, but it seemed affordable and with big quantities of veggies)

  • would a bike be a good investment if I dont live in SF / where could I get a license

Merci beaucoup :slightly_smiling:


If you're a single guy and you're going to be working in the city you should just suck it up and pay whatever you have to pay for a room in the city. Oakland is very far and it would be a pain in the ass to commute.

There are going to be some really rough areas like Hunter's Point you will want to avoid so don't make any type of deal over the internet. Wait 'till you get there then find some tiny little room in a decent part of town, close to you're work. It sounds like this will be kind of a working vacation so keep the hassles to a minimum even if you have to pay more.

The food options are great especially if you like chinese or italian. I'm sure there are lots of gym options. If you do get a room in the city, especially if its close to work & gym, the bike idea is a good one.


My sister lived in Daly City after she was transferred to SF from Denver with no cost of living increase. It was an asbestos-ridden armpit, but it was an affordable asbestos-ridden armpit. I've never lived there but I had my phone and wallet stolen when I was there for a conference in January. Good luck!


It has been a long time since I lived in the Bay Area, but if you can't afford to live close to where you work, you may want to try to live close to a BART station. BART is the name of the commuter train system in the area (Bay Area Rapid Transit). Traffic was bad when I was there, and it has to be much worse now.



I currently live in SF. I've only lived here for 3 years so I can't say I'm an expert on the city, but here are my thoughts -

Rent - anywhere that is decent to live starts around $1500 per bedroom. New listings (by agents or owners) are more expensive and are very competitive. 30+ people show up at open houses and I've heard offers of 6 months rent up front. The better option is to look on craigslist for people who are looking to fill a room in an already occupied apartment. There are a lot of people who have leases on rent controlled apartments so their lease is well under-market.

Location - it really depends where your job is and what you are looking for in a neighborhood. SF has a ton of neighborhoods that are all pretty different. if you have a question about a specific place I'd be happy to answer.

Gym - I go to world gym. I'd say its more a bodybuilding gym that powerlifting, but it has 4 squat racks and 4 platforms. it's relatively inexpensive and is not very crowded compared to other sf gyms. very friendly people there too.


Thanks for the answers already !

I forgot to mention it but yeah job location : office is at kearny St.
In Paris my neighborhood was mixed, crowded, noisy, far from being top notch and I loved it.
Note that it was in Paris downtown which is far from being in the really poor suburbs of the parisian area where there is basically nothing to do. I prefer if crackheads aren't sitting before my door, but thats about it
I'll look whats on craiglist. Thanks for that


North Beach and SOMA are neighborhoods that are walking distance to where you work. From the description of where you live now, sounds like you might like North Beach. It's pretty lively there. Also, since you are working in the financial district, there are nearby BART stops. so you could live in the mission and BART to work. more of a hipster vibe there if that is what you are looking for.


If you want a decent place look you're going to look at 2000 and up for a studio. If you want to share a place, and just have a bedroom I would think about 1400 and up. Thank the techies. I would look at North Beach but again expect to pay a lot more.


With that budget, it's gonna be tough to live in "the city" itself.

Oakland does have its nice neighborhoods (around Lake Merritt, for example) and it's about a 25min BART ride under the bay. South SF is only slightly longer BART ride, assuming the financial district is your destination.

Check out zillow.com for rental listings.


Yeah thats why I thought about bike but a 25min (BART) ride is nothing to me, I often had hour-long transports in Paris, anything under half an hour is a pleasure. Plus I'll supposedly have a much better income in 2016 so it's only temporary

By the way, 4 platforms and 4 racks at Gold Gym for cheap... Thats more than in the whole french territory :slight_smile:


One thing not mentioned but you may know, SanFrancisco is HILLY !

I saw your comment about a "bike". Not sure if that was Bicycle or Motorcycle.

If you want to get your Conditioning on, get a Bicycle.

Petrol in the city is Expensive ! A scooter would be another option.

As a Chicagoian, the Food in the City is Phenominal !

Good times and Good Eating Await you !!


nah I meant this sort of bike : http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sfc/mcy/5007360030.html

friends told me that a motorcycle is a wierd idea in SF because of how steep some streets are, is it that dangerous ? Maybe when it's rainy and road is wet ?


If you have VERY good shifting skills and are a solid rider, I do not know why you wuld not want that.

SF has some very sweet and Steep hills. The east side of Knob Hill comes to mind !

You may want to get there and check it out first. See if you would feel comfortable on a cycle.


What great timing! I was just about to make a thread like this. Signed a lease today for a house in Russian Hill. I work down in SOMA... wont have a car. Also looking for a good gym that is not a crossfit or crowded-as-all-hell 24 hour




Deals are not sealed yet but I might live for the summer in Berkeley or near Merced Park, it all depends on which AirBnB guy is quicker.

Looks like my gym of choice would be World Gym. Looks great, twice as expensive as my gym in Paris but great equipment

Cant fkn wait hehe