On February 2nd I landed in San Francisco, the heart of the tech-industry and still the center of the world for innovation. I lived there for 6 months in 2010 so it felt a little bit like coming home.
A good friend of mine wanted to pick me up from the airport so I told him I would arrive at 12am which I soon found out was the wrong time. I made the mistake of confusing am with pm which is pretty tricky for the time of 12 because that's when it switches… Despite that he drove back to the airport 12 hours later, so kudos to that Mr. Kamali :)
We drove to Burlingame which is a small city 15 miles south of San Francisco where we met with friends for Pizza. I have not been in the bay area for five years so there is a lot I had missed.
There was something like a gold rush while I was gone (damnit). Even back in 2010 the whole bay area was pretty expensive and I remember paying 1200$ a month for a small studio apartment in the castro district. Now, the same apartment would rent out for at least double according to my friends. The real estate market boomed in the last five years due to many IT-companies who are located there or expanded during that time.
San Francisco even surpassed New York as the most expensive city for housing in the US. A woman I met summed it up like this: "There are only two kinds of people who can afford to live in San Francisco: the rich and the homeless".
The next days I started to explore the area to look for a coworking space to work at for the next month. A coworking space is a shared office for freelancers and companies who can rent offices and desks to work in the same space. It offers a solution to the problem of isolation that many freelancers experience while working at home, while at the same time letting them escape the distractions of home.
While the concept might be uncommon in other cities, there are a lot of spaces in the Bay Area and San Francisco. You can find a good summary here.
The space I found most suitable for my needs is called Parisoma, a 24/7 accessible space in the central SoMa area of San Francisco with regular classes, events and a great community.
There are a lot of freelancers and some small companies at Parisoma working on innovative projects. I shared a desk with SyncUp which is a phone conference collaboration tool. You can dial a local number in 57 countries, join calls with one click and share presentations on any platform, without installing anything. Its pretty neat and works well, you can try it for free at: https://syncup.at.
During my time in SF I had a normal working routine. I got up, went to work during the week and went out on the weekends. I stayed in San Francisco for one month and besides the fact that I like working on my projects I also think I would get bored quickly without any type of routine or occupation, since every city is the same after a certain point.
Parisoma was the perfect space to focus on work and I made good progress on a language learning platform I started with a friend from Hamburg. It connects you with people who want to learn your native language while you teach them yours in return. My next article will go into more detail about it and ask you for some cooperation and feedback in the early stages.
I met a lot of creative and innovative people in San Francisco pursuing their ideas and it inspired me to keep on doing it myself. Stay tuned for the next post and closed beta kick off for Quazzel, the new way to learn languages.
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