As we first reported earlier this year with respect to the proposed development of 480 Potrero Avenue, a site which has sat empty since 2005 and the designs for which have since been revised (click image above to enlarge):

Speaking of CEQA and the appeals process in action, the Preliminary Mitigated Negative Declaration which would have allowed the development of 480 Potrero Avenue to move forward was appealed late last year by the San Francisco Verdi Club, MUNA neighborhood association, and Potrero Hill neighbors.

The objections of the appellants include concerns that the project will “have an adverse effect on a scenic vista,” will “substantially degrade the existing visual character or quality of the site and its surroundings,” and will “induce substantial population growth…and be out of character with the neighborhood.”

While the Planning Department recommends that the Planning Commission uphold the Negative Declaration and allow the six-story development with 84 condos and 38 parking spaces to move forward, a Commission vote has been continued until at least the middle of May which will be over seven months since the Declaration was issued.

San Francisco’s Planning Commission is finally set to decide the fate of 480 Potrero’s proposed development next week. As the existing visual character and scenic vista currently appears:
480 Potrero Site (

48 thoughts on “Potrero Development Redesigned And Ready For Commission Vote”
  1. Another feather in the cap of San Francisco’s great architecture! Almost as beautiful as the new St Luke’s Hospital.
    How did such talent arrive on these western shores?

  2. Well, the owners probably had to cut down on the architect fees to defend against the “scenic vista” that they are apparently destroying.

  3. San Francisco, you are rapidly falling apart into an abyss of delinquency, corruption, chaos, lawlessness, and criminality which is unprecedented.
    Bay Bridge BillionDollar BoonDoggle- and it’s falling apart before the grand opening.
    Jetliners crashing into your airports.
    Thugs running rampant, kicking the crap out of defenseless women and robbing them while bystanders do nothing, all during a celebration of “love” and “pride.”
    Once popular public events, like Castro Halloween, shut down because of criminals taking over.
    The Bologna Family.
    Naked trapeze man publicly molesting females mid day in your subway stations, while bystanders peer at their phones, more involved in snapping photos of the event than with being civilized Samaritans.
    Entire portions of the city on lockdown while criminals play gangbang with the public.
    …And this is all within the past MONTH.
    Get over yourself. You ain’t special. You are an EMBARASSMENT. You need HELP. Admit that you have a problem. You are the snobbiest city in America, riding on the coat tails of your past glories, while they quickly crumble beneath you, like the paved roads which need to be repaired with bonds.
    The attitude of your people is insular, narrow minded, dangerous, toxic, and should be a cause of deep shame and EMBARASSMENT for you, if you were able to sympathize at all with your fellow humans.
    I guess being the #1 consumer of alcohol and drugs in the country, while being only the 14th largest city, might alter your perceptions a little.

  4. Hey sf – why the rant? The topic is a housing project on Potrero Hill, not the decline of western civilization. You don’t sound like you live here anyway. As for the “scenic vista” – are you kidding me? That corner is an eyesore! How do these people get away with this stuff?

  5. Oh, I rather agree with sf. I have a very real sense of WTF is happening to this city?! And I’m not antidevelopment and I DO agree the Potrero site is an eyesore). I have very similar thoughts all the time. I’ve lived here for 10 years, and grew up in the Bay Area.

  6. I lived in SF for over a decade.
    I moved out because it has totally lost itself.
    What do my observations have to do with this topic?
    The people of SF are nuts.
    They think that blighted graffiti strewn crime attracting pit is a landmark.
    And those people usually always win.
    Even your sports stars, the only claim to fame left, don’t even want to live there.
    Families moving out in droves. More dogs than kids. Drug addicts have taken over every park.
    I hope for a recovery of what was once such a fine, sophisticated city. There are still glimmers of it. But those areas have become so out of reach that only the very well connected can lock themselves in.
    If there must be a big quake, let it be a chance to rebuild a glorious city of enlightenment, art, finance, and education, in place of twitter feeds, lawsuits, and Bitcoin.

  7. ^ yeah but real estate sure is going through the roof. Overbids, low inventory. Rental market is very tight too. SF may be nuts, but it sure is desirable nuts (maybe the burbs are getting boring?)
    As for that corner, I’m surprised it haven’t been designated a historical landmark yet….

  8. Sf spot on.
    But I will the future to be better.
    It’s anything-goes, look-away San Francisco, and when everyone stops intioning “no worries” and “it’s all good” like robot morons, it will be a good start for change.. There’s stuff to worry about, it’s not all good, and the collective passitivy and lack of personal responsibility lets people act — and streets and communities look the way they do.
    People here don’t challenge uncivil behavior, its as if we took an oath — live and let live with no guidelines. Anything goes. Look around but look away.
    As for no worries mantra, say it enough times and you start to internalize it — nothing matters everything’s fine and the graffiti dirt and people youre stepping over on the sidewalk become no-worries too. It’s all good. We’re cool. Language reveals.
    As for the building, its cookie cutter and fine but I’m more interested in whether we’re gonna get worthy architecture when they demolish gang-y Potrero Safeway, a dangerous and creepy mini mall. Ersatz stucco or something enduring for the next generation?

  9. Dear Verdi and POHILL neighbors: where were you jag-off’s when these bozos at planning spent the better part of a decade trashing the NE Mission 1st with ugly lofts and then with bad industrial, environmentally dangerous re-zoning?
    Oh that’s right, you were busy not giving jack about the neighborhood.
    Right back at ya.
    Go with this monstrosity. Go go go!

  10. The more I read about what’s going on in SF, the more I’m glad I’m not living there any more (8 years the first time, 5 years the 2nd time, and 13 years the last time). Each time there’s been changes but nothing like now…SF is nuts in preventing innovative/creating archectiture — what happened to the designers of the pyramid or the old Alcoa building?

  11. This is where I do agree with sf:
    San Francisco has changed, for the worse, in the last few decades. And yes, it really is about the “whatever” attitude that is pervasive among many residents and our local government as well.
    One complains about the trash on the street, or in Dolores Park: the response; what’s the big deal, its just some trash, it’s not a world crisis.
    What’s the problem with our public transit? so, it’s unreliable, so you get to work late. so what?
    What’s the problem with a “little” graffiti? Hey, it’s public “street art”. Artists have “rights” too. what’s the problem?
    What’s the problem with a little dog shit on the sidewalk? so, walk around it. big deal. it’s not a world issue. And, god forbid, you should ever confront the dog owner directly about his/her dog taking a dump over there? Be ready for a verbal war or more. After all, they have a right to be out there. Yuck.
    Our public officials really do nothing. Bart employees can take over 40 days off a year, PLUS vacations, without any reason. so what? who cares?
    Yes,I still live here. But in the very near future, I will be out of here, taking my hard earned real estate profits and moving to a simpler, cleaner, more sane environment.

  12. San Francisco has not changed, you have. You went from young and enthusiastic to old and bitter. If anything San Francisco is cleaner and safer than it was 20 years ago. There is less crime, Muni is more reliable and people are nicer.

  13. I grew up in S.F. and Marin County, born in 1963, and trust me, my whole family has seen the changes. As a young student I remember MUNI busses being very clean.
    You know things have gone downhill when MUNI cannot keep the escalators running in the stations because of the amount of feces clogging up the operating machines. TRUST ME, that was NOT happening 20 or 30 years ago. Noticing this does not make me bitter, it just means my eyes are open.

  14. SF has declined over the 35 years I have lived here, but things are turning around. The major political cause of the decline was the conquest of city government by a group far to the left of other American cities, starting with Agnos who famously refused to clean up the homeless encampment that occupied the whole esplanade in front of City Hall.
    Things are finally changing because local politics is moving toward the center. It will be enhanced by the new moderate inhabitants of all the ugly and not ugly new housing being built, most of it condos, well documented here on socketsite.
    Willie Brown would have pushed the city faster if he had not been burdened by his own personal agendas that gave unearned fuel to the leftists.
    I propose that the metric for the return of SF to the American mainstream be the inverse number of drug arrests, attacks, crimes and murders in the Tenderloin. Year by year, we will see SF become more moderate and sensible.
    There is much to be hopeful about.
    Someday people who want to have a garage for their car will be encouraged to live here !

  15. It always amuses me how people have such a sepia toned view of the past. The murder rate in San Francisco is half what it was in 2004 and lower than any time since the mid 60’s. Anyone who grew up here in the 70’s should be able to remember the public fear about the Zodiac Killer and the Zebra Killer. Dirty Harry was filmed here for a reason! But they somehow insist that “the good old days” were safer. I really think it is due to some defect in the human memory. No doubt if one moves from San Francisco to Marin and then comes back to visit, it seems worse. That is due to your own perception though, nothing to do with reality.
    Property crimes have fallen faster than violent crime even and neighborhoods like The Tenderloin used to be genuinely dangerous, with dozens of murders every year.
    San Francisco Crime Dropping, According To FBI Report

  16. I have to agree with NoeValleyJim. I’ve lived in SF three separate times in my life and it feels safer now. Whether itt’s cleaner is debatable and probably dependent upon one’s neighborhood. But I also lived in NY in the 70s and when I visit now the change is dramatic. SF has changed in a more subtle way. We can do better.

  17. @ NVJ: Yes, I and others are “older”
    However, I am hardly “bitter and old”. Big difference. I still love this city, but it has radically changed. I see things much more clearly and with a sharper focus now than I did moving as as a 25 year old architect.
    In all seriousness, you HAVE to be joking when you talk about Muni being more reliable? Seriously? People are nicer? WTF?
    I NEVER remember Dolores Park 25 years ago being full of left over trash on what is now called hipster hill. Never.
    NVJ, you need a dose of serious reality; read the other comments and get back to us.

  18. How can a self-professed Muni-hater have any idea whether Muni is more reliable or not? Muni was really horrible in the 90s, got better under Willie Brown, then declined a bit since then. Some of the changes made due the TEP, like adding the 14L and 38L, as well as painting the J-Church lane red, have really improved reliability on those lines. But the overall system is worse. I was going to point to the on-time reports, but apparently they are unreliable, having been inflated under MTA Chief Nathan Ford to give himself bigger bonuses than he would have gotten otherwise.
    I remember when homeless used to camp out in Dolores Park and the children’s play area was full of 50 year old play equipment. Remember when the homeless disabled the sprinkler system and all the grass dried because they didn’t like having to sleep on wet grass?
    San Francisco has lost a certain urban grit that it used to have and many of the starving artists and alternative types have decamped for cheaper rents and warehouse space. But to claim that it has gone downhill frankly smacks of jealousy.
    Where are you thinking of moving to Futurist?

  19. @NVJ, your drop in violent crime article mentions that it was part of a NATIONAL trend of have and have not cities. It then went on to talk about the dramatic increase of violent crime in Oakland during the same period. This is similar to Chicago where you have the north side of the city looking and behaving very much like Pacific Heights while the south side is a virtual war zone.
    Do you never catch the news about Oakland and Richmond? I know many San Franciscans want to pretend those cities are not part of the Bay Area, BUT they are. This is no different than some white yuppie in Lincoln Park in Chicago ignoring the murders 23 miles south on the other side of the city.
    (from your article)
    ” the drop is just the latest in a national and local five-year decrease in violent crime. San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi credits the positive news to a shift in criminal justice practices.
    In Oakland violent crime jumped 6 percent in 2011″

  20. Jealous? LOL, what the hell would I possibly be jealous of?
    Well maybe stuff like I do wish I had bought a 2 unit building on Castro near Beaver that my friends ended up buying for $115k. Darn, I missed that one. Or maybe jealous that I didn’t buy more Apple stock when it was at 29, than I did buy.
    But that’s about it.

  21. So you agree with me then, I take it. Crime is lower in San Francisco over the last 20 years. Thanks for confirming that.
    Why stop at Oakland and Richmond RYOL? Juarez Mexico has a much higher murder rate: I think your obsession with American cities smacks of liberal elitism and a colonialist mentality. Why don’t you care about the problems of San Pedro Sula, the city with the highest murder rate in the world, according to Wikipedia? You should be ashamed of yourself!

  22. ^Nearly every major city in the US has halved violent and non-violent crime rates in the past 15 years, SF included.

  23. What’s the problem with a little dog [feces] on the sidewalk?…god forbid, you should ever confront the dog owner directly about his/her dog taking a dump over there? Be ready for a verbal war or more. After all, they have a right to be out there. Yuck.

    I have to admit, I’ve done this.
    That is, not confront dog owners who fail to scoop their pooch’s poop — because on the streets where I walk and ride my bike, a far bigger problem (more likely I just notice it more ’cause it’s existence so appalling) is HUMAN feces and HUMAN pee on the sidewalk and in the lane closest to the sidewalk put there by the untreated schizophrenic, drug-addicted people we allow to live on the streets.
    I was going to start recording incidents with either my pocket or sports camcorder where I saw them and then report offenders to the police, and then earlier this week I read a piece in The Chronicle, the streets still stink — P.U. that said:

    In 2002, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a law banning public urination.

    …a police officer can’t cite a public urinator unless they witness the act first-hand. Neither video nor eyewitness complaints are enough to issue a citation.

    …and that significantly reduced my willingness to perform civic duties.
    So, with respect to the complaint aired by Invented, above about San Franciscans who “don’t challenge uncivil behavior,” there have to be consequences for the uncivil behavior and the city has to be willing and able to prosecute quality of life crimes.
    If there’s no prosecution and locking up of the uncivilized, then there’s no reason to report them or to challenge them.

  24. @Spencer. I don’t think that is even close to true. What has happened is that Yuppies have invaded some of the more marginal neighborhoods like The Tenderloin and run across the situations that always existed there.
    Let’s break it down neighborhood by neighborhood and see which neighborhoods are cleaner and which are dirtier:
    1) The Haight – about the same, though the hordes of Deadheads who used to leave their crap everywhere have been replaced by Outerlands attendees, who are marginally more respectful of the neighborhood.
    2) The Panhandle – Definitely much cleaner and nicer.
    3) Western Addition – As above. Divisadero use to be a pit of drug dealing and prostitution, is much nicer and cleaner now.
    4) The Castro – I will let the residents decide here, but I know in the 80’s and 90’s, the streets were covered with broken glass and used condoms on Saturday and Sunday morning. Seems quieter now to me.
    5) The Avenues (Richmond and Castro) – The same.
    6) Pac Heights/ Cow Hollow – The same, maybe a bit more gentrified.
    7) Noe Valley – Definitely much cleaner and spruced up. There is a BID (Business Improvement District) on 24th now, which keeps it clean and has added flower pots and the like.
    8) Bernal Heights – Probably the biggest change of any neighborhood in San Francisco. Used to be a cesspool of crime and filth, now quite gentrified and “hip”.
    9) The Mission – Similar to Bernal but less of an extreme change.
    10) Civic Center – Lots of homeless then, lots of homeless now. Probably more public urination and defecation, so marginally dirtier.
    11) SoMa – This used to be an industrial wasteland, and the only people that were here were those taking advantage of social services, clubbers, and artists in warehouses. Now it is full of housing, so this area has the most extreme example of the Yuppie phenomena that I mentioned. I rate is as the same, though other’s will probably disagree.
    12) South Beach/Mission Bay – Didn’t even exist 20 years ago. Both are pretty clean.
    13) The Marina – Can’t really speak much to this area as I rarely go here, but it seemed nice then and seems nice today.
    14) North Beach – The same, maybe marginally cleaner now that they closed a bunch of stripper clubs.
    15) Telegraph Hill/Russian Hill – The same.
    16) The Tenderloin – The few times I was here in the 90s, I was pretty scared, even though I was an ex-paratrooper wearing my motorcycle leathers. I saw junkied passed out in their own vomit and had to avoid all the drug dealers and prostitutes that tried to sell to me. It is similar now, but there are a few streets that have cleaned up, like Little Saigon.
    What are you seeing here that I am not? Almost the entire City has gentrified, the housing stock is improved, buildings are newer with fresh paint.
    How is it “dirtier”? I am just not seeing it.

  25. I’ve lived in SF for 22 years. The city is safer and overall better in quality of life now than it was in 1991. The one downside is the greatly higher cost of living.

  26. On the topic of the building, the height and density are appropriate for the location. Potrero Ave is one of the widest streets in the city. The NIMBYs are totally off base with their criticism. They should not be allowed to block the building just because they fear more competition for street parking.

  27. @NVJ, your post has reminded me of why my parents told me to only invest in real estate north of California street. (They were long term investors in S.F. real estate) While other neighborhoods come and go, the north side of the city has remained clean, attractive and a VERY good real estate investment. The Marina, Cow Hollow, Pac Heights, Presidio Heights, Lake Avenue, Sea Cliff, Russian Hill, they are all nice now, and they were nice 40 years ago. Despite the soaring values of Noe Valley, our holdings in the Marina and Cow Hollow have appreciated even more during the same period.

  28. Still shaking my head the completely detached-from-reality rant up top by “SF”. The crash of the Asiana plane is indicative of San Francisco’s decline? Uh – what? SF is not perfect: yes, the homeless are a serious issue; yes, political cronyism remains an obstacle to moving the city forward; yes, our permissive attitude and the makeup of our residents does mean more drugs and alcohol are consumed here. But I hardly see a City collapsing into the Pacific. Bad stuff happens all over, and it’s often centralized in big cities. Is “SF” (the writer) somehow the ONLY one who sees this? Are all the people who are clamoring to live here, all the people who are trying to invest in this city somehow lost in the grip of some kind of mass delusion? Or is “SF” just a bitter Internet troll with an agenda?

  29. I agree with the NIMBYs that the current lot is incredibly scenic and should not be disturbed. Also, the crack trade currently going on is vital to the economic welfare of the neighborhood.

  30. @ NoeValleyJim: You could have added Dogpatch which basically was a crime-ridden blighted no-go area and is now an emerging thriving neighborhood which attracts diners and shoppers from other parts of the city. Nearby Potrero Hill has also gotten a lot nicer and safer over the past 10 years. The livable area of the north slope has grown dramatically in size.
    If “gentrification” is code for making neighborhoods safe and attractive, then personally I’d pave over the gangsters and crackheads to see the whole city gentrified.

  31. Just wanted to quickly chime in on this…
    There is no way San Francisco is dirtier than it was 15 years ago. No way.
    Don’t get me wrong, it’s still totally gross. But the late 90s/early 00s here were just horrifying in terms of public cleanliness. This was the catalyst for things like Care Not Cash and Aggressive Panhandling laws. Not saying they did a whole lot, but saying it was so bad the voters actually had to do something. Plus Dolores Park was a scary.

  32. I’m shocked that anybody could find the current use of Dolores Park to messier than what it was in the past. When I first moved to SF in ’91 it was pretty much only used by heroin addicts, gang members and dead people. Nobody in their right mind would go anywhere close to Dolores Park, especially that footbridge area over the tracks.
    As much as the crowds of hipsters clogging up the area drives me nuts at times it is a crowd I would much rather see than what used to be there.
    That said – I drove past this site on Friday before I saw this post (Heading to Lowe’s) and wondered to myself how long that lot would be a vacant graffiti magnet. Can’t wait for this to be built. It almost looks like a carbon copy of what is going up on 19th/Valencia.

  33. I’ve been in SF for 19 years – rented for 7 years, owned for 12 (and not in “real SF”), have had a kid for the past 9. My experience is that overall the city has gotten better in many ways, especially regarding many of the amenities that make a city livable, eg.
    – tons of libraries, parks and playgrounds renovated or replaced, and not just in wealthy areas
    – lower rates of crime and higher police presence
    – elimination or upgrading of the worst public housing like North Beach, Valencia Gardens, demolition of Geneva Towers. Increase in supportive housing for long-term homeless
    – new, vibrant neighborhoods evolving or being created in SOMA, NOPA Hayes Valley, Embarcadero/South Beach, and Mission Bay is on the horizon, and heaven forbid, even mid-Market may be getting better.
    – improvements in city services and benefits, like 311, Healthy SF, living wage, Care Not Cash.
    Is it perfect – of course not. Much of this progress comes in spite of venal local politicians, vocal NIMBYs with too much power (remember the “controversy” over the boat house at in GG Park?) and convoluted planning. But it also came at a time of unprecedented economic highs and lows, with local state and federal funding veering wildly for the past 5 years. Hard to plan and deliver services well in that environment. The homeless problem is perennial and not unique to SF, though our laissez-faire attitude makes it more visible than other cities.
    So all you haters – where’s your evidence that it’s all going to sh*t? Maybe it’s not better than in the 50’s or 60’s or 70’s, but admit it – that’s a LONG time ago in the life of a city. There have been huge societal, demographic and economic changes in that time – whole cities have changed dramatically over that period (look at Pittsburgh, Chattanooga, Detroit). As a resident, I can only sit back in wonder at the changes I’ve seen.

  34. I’m somewhat in agreement with both camps on this issue. I’ve lived in the bay area for 20 years, first 12 years in Berkeley, past 8 in SF.
    In general SF is better, but certain areas are worse. What I’ve noticed in SF is that the undesirable aspects have become more concentrated and blatant in the areas that are worse. 16th & Mission BART & Civic Center BART stations are cesspools, the tenderloin is just as bad as it ever was, but many other neighborhoods are tremendously better, Hayes Valley and NOPA being the most obvious of the places I go to.
    I moved to NOPA 6 years ago and had friends that lived here before then. It used to be that there were multiple corners with drug dealers hanging out all day and dealing in plain view. That is no longer the case, but on the other hand there is still a huge amount of dealing and use at the Haight entrance to Golden Gate park.
    I think what’s most frustrating is the pace of change, so even while things have gotten better somewhat, there are other cities that have improved by leaps and bounds in the same timeframe.
    I believe the cause of this is the poor leadership. I can’t get my BoS supervisor (Londong Breed) to respond to my inquiries, but she’s happy to sign on to the moronic “No Wall on the Waterfront” proposition.
    It’s practically impossible to get the cops to do anything unless there is blatant violence involved. It’s frustrating when you call them 10 days in a row about homeless encampments and nothing is done, you have to be incredibly patient and committed to get a response. It’s especially frustrating when these same people later commit a violent crime. I’ve been assaulted by homeless, and no a number of other people who have been as well.
    So I certainly understand the people who give up and just live with it, or leave the city entirely.
    Ultimately I do think things are getting better, but not quickly enough, and certainly no thanks to the elected leadership, probably in spite of them.

  35. And where will you go? Feel free to take your real estate earnings and head to Texas and North Carolina if you want a bigger house and some red neighbors. Go ahead and vote for representatives that want an official state religion. Oh yeah, and it’s not the Civil War because the South was it’s own official country.
    Head over to Florida so you can exercise your “stand your ground” rights and kill some people of color.
    Try to get some cycling in North Carolina and have some pickup try to run you off the road. Feel free to drive to Colorado from Texas to get some skiing in. Have a trooper pull you over since you have a tan and they want to ask if you’ve recently crossed the “river”. And yes, I had to ask him if he meant the Rio Grande.
    Go ahead, find your paradise.

  36. I thought everyone went to Portland? Of my older friends, many cashed out and went to Oregon or down to Palm Springs.

  37. @Former
    Who are you talking to? And why do you assume Texas and North Carolina are only options? I’ve actually heard that both states have quite nice parts to them, Austin TX, and I can’t remember the city in NC, but I believe there are several that are pleasant places.
    Now personally, if I were planning on leaving (which I’m not) I’d probably move to Marin or back to the East Bay, probably Berkeley or Rockridge. These are all places I looked when I was buying 2 years ago, but chose to buy in SF.
    Now, if I were planning on leaving the state I would probably go to Seattle. Of course there are tons of other wonderful places all over the country and world.

  38. “I can’t remember the city in NC”
    There are actually several nice cities. Asheville and then the RT cities of Raleigh and Durham come to mind. They are not as cosmo nor do they have the weather that SF has though.
    But you needn’t go so far away, plenty of nice cities right here in the SF Bay Area. Including SF.

  39. Always amused by folks who comment here (and sfgate) though they no longer live here and love to rant about how awful it is now. Move along with you life. We don’t miss you at all. Ahhhh – but you can’t stay away can you?

  40. ^I believe by “leave the city” they mean somewhere like Palo Alto or Corte Madera, not Texas.
    As an alternative to most of the good stuff in SF, Seattle isn’t bad. About five degrees colder at all times and not nearly as dense as I’d like, but some neighborhoods are tolerable. Traffic is the only thing that is insanely worse in Seattle compared to SF (in city traffic I mean – trying to get across Seattle can be an hour long process even in the middle of the night).

  41. I would say Marin would be my next stop if I were to leave the city. Why do some of the comments here always make the choices of leaving the city be places like Stockton, Bakersfield, Houston or Oklahoma? Why not Mill Valley or Tiburon, Rockridge or Piedmont, the Peninsula or even further south?

  42. Same reason people always yammer on about the city drowning in human waste, succumbing to gangster warfare or chasing working-class families across the Bay Bridge with torches and pitchforks. Stupid hyperbole.

  43. Lots of places besides Palo Alto and Corte Madera. I’m not interested in moving to the suburbs.
    Since we are looking to build a simple, modern house on a small piece of land, some of my favorite choices so far (and, at this point they are varied) are Palm Springs, Santa Fe, and Maui.

  44. People generally do not want to leave the Bay Area because it has such good weather, among other obvious benefits. The only American city with better weather, a much older friend of mine told me in the 1980s, is San Diego, especially La Jolla, and that is still true. I know several people who have moved there recently, as it has (since the 1980s) become a real city, no longer just a military town. It is easy to get around, with relatively few traffic problems, and no preposterous restrictions on property and parking. But it is a different kind of city from SF, much less dense, and with fewer offerings of high culture.
    With regard to North Carolina, the whole Research Triangle has become a great place to live. Durham was always a northern outpost because of Duke, but the whole city is now transforming. Chapel Hill is and always was a storybook college town. Still it is NC, with its heat and humidity in the summer, but relatively mild winters. It is not a major city and will not be soon. I know some Duke alumni move back after they retire, and there are very nice retirement communities. If you like church, they have every kind, including many varieties of Baptist, but also liberal Episcopal and other mainline churches, and Duke Chapel which one of the great college chapels of the world.
    For all the problems, after much discussion, my wife always says we will stay right here. But we have always traveled.

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