I left my heart but not my wallet in San Francisco

San Francisco has to be one of the most beautiful, if not THE most beautiful, cities in the world. I consider myself really fortunate to have lived, studied and worked in the San Francisco Bay area for many years before I moved to Costa Rica in 1980. Before I made the big move I was living in a quaint town called Mill Valley, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge. The area is spectacular and its beauty is hard to match.

I also had a very rewarding job as the head of a special bilingual education program for the city San Francisco. I had a high five figure salary because the program was mandated by the federal government and few people had my linguistic skills, an advanced university degree or experience in the field of bilingual education.

After having completed post graduate studies in Mexico my was goal was to eventually live someplace south of the border. I thought I would end up in Mexico, but after discovering Costa Rica my choice became obvious. So I decided to move here.


I never regret the move especially since the cost of living in the San Francisco area has become exorbitant. In Costa Rica I can live on what I’d probably pay for rent alone in most parts of the Bay Area. ON top of that I have a much better life here.

Here are a couple of examples of why I was lucky move out of the Bay Area.

” My San Franciscan friends have all, by and large, given up and moved. I can understand why they decided to move. San Francisco has become a great place to find $13 eggs, but a nearly impossible place to live. According to a recent Curbed SF article, a single renter has to make seven times the minimum wage, or $79 an hour, to afford a median-rate apartment in the city.
With rents rising and North-Face-clad techies ready and willing to pay them, there’s nowhere for normal San Franciscans to live.

“I lived in SF for nearly a decade—a little over nine years. I remember one apartment building burning down, displacing everyone. Years later, when reconstruction finally finished, none of the residents were allowed back in, and rent went up drastically. That kind of thing happened all over the place. My friends, some of whom had been living in their places for up to 15 years, were kicked out as landlords scurried to sell their buildings. Some attempted to fight. Many gave up.”

I lived in San Francisco for almost 11 years. Everyone says that SF is always being gentrified and pricing its residents out—there is some truth to that, but the changes of the last few years have been especially extreme.

San Francisco is, more than ever, a city for rich people.”

I was born in SF and I lived on Twenty-Fourth and Valencia for years, in a two-bedroom apartment that was $650 at the time—during the first dot-com boom, it went up to $1,350. Before I moved, I lived in a one-bedroom in the Richmond district that cost $1,550; as soon as I left, it went up to $2,750. Now I hear about people renting out walk-in closets and couches for over $1,000 a month.

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