My Second Life in San Francisco

Guess what? I moved to San Francisco.

I got a new job, at Linden Lab.

This is the first time I've been living entirely on my own, in my own apartment. I have to say, it's pretty nice. Let me show you!

Welcome to my apartment! Here, I'll take you to the living room.

There's plenty of light, with the windows facing east.

Here are some tables and my laptop desk and ball chair.

There's even a tree! Also you can see my wireless router.

Lots of apartment buildings nearby. Also the only lamp I use.

And here's my futon, all folded up. The closet is on the right.

Some clothes and stuff on the closet shelves.

On the right side are my musical instruments.

Onward to the bathroom. Small but it works.

To the right we see... Towels! And soap. And a waste basket.

Stuff I use goes behind the mirror. The rest is under the sink.

To the left we see the entrance, and the kitchen.

The kitchen! With a folding table and chair for quick meals.

My cleaning station, on the right. Who needs a dishwasher?

Dishes above the sink. But usually I just use the drying rack.

The stove and oven, on the left. And a water filter.

Cooking supplies above the stove. Olive oil and balsamic vinegar!

Potholders, strainer, salad spinner, mixing bowls, on the left.

Pots and pans, cutting boards, knives, utensils on the right.

The microwave! And chips, and pineapple, and applesauce.

Finally, the fridge, and the freezer with meat and berries.

I've been here for over two weeks now. My first challenge has been acquiring and cooking food. While I have a lot of experience making delicious salads, I can't say I've ever really had to manage the logistics of keeping a refrigerator and pantry stocked, and rarely had to take raw meat or grains and turn them into something edible. Fortunately, it's not that hard! And as long as I add enough olive oil and balsamic vinegar and nutritional yeast, pretty much anything tastes good. ;)

I really like having the kitchen all to myself. It's a lot easier to learn to cook when I only have to worry about feeding myself and cleaning up after my own messes. I've been reading about the science behind food and cooking, and starting simple without recipes so I can understand the principles and learn to improvise from the very beginning. Also started reading The 4-Hour Chef, which is maybe more than I need right now, but it's fun and it will be a good guide as I start reaching beyond the basics. :)

I haven't tried doing much more than feeding myself, other than going to my new job - no new (or old) projects or martial arts yet. But I'm planning on going to the Global Game Jam here in the city next weekend, and hopefully that will be a good chance to meet some indie-minded game developers and make some new friends. :) I've already met a number of kindred spirits at Linden Lab (even someone who had tweeted about The Love Letter when I released it last year!) and everyone there has been really friendly and often interesting.

In fact, I've been surprised to find how much Linden Lab's focus - making "shared creative spaces" - really resonates with me. Linden Lab is not quite a game company, and I'm not quite a "gamer" - what I really love is creating things and exploring worlds and sharing with other people. Turns out that's pretty much exactly what Linden Lab is about. I'm right in their target market.

So I'm realizing that I have this really unique opportunity here, to influence what sort of new projects this big company, with all its resources, will try next. Will this be chance to see my dream game (or world?) get made, as a player, and also explore some of the avenues I am most excited about as a developer?

Maybe! I'll try not to get my hopes up, too much. :p

I'll be over here, posting on the internal Linden Lab forum with all my crazy ideas. We'll see if anyone pays attention to me...

You can now check out this photo tour on dio too!


Marcie said...

Your new home looks neat in every sense of the word. IMHO, San Francisco is one of the great cities of the world, so having a home and career there is a privilege you've earned, and a great adventure. I would have sent my congratulations sooner but have been involved and distracted with my Denver-based ancient parents for a while now (Mom turned 90 Jan 12, Dad is 92 and in decline).

I'm looking forward to following your blog and our paths crossing again. Who knows, maybe at some point in time, Linden Labs will be open to a world that lets people explore banking in the public interest!

Meanwhile, do good and be safe.

Friend and fan,

Unknown said...

Hey Alex,

You place looks AWESOME!!! Sooo much light and cozy space. What a wonderfully progressive city to be living in! Enjoy the adventure and most of all have fun!


Helene Cho said...

Thanks for posting all the pictures and comments. I love seeing the details of your life cos it helps me to visualize you in your new life. Makes me feel more connected to you.

Linden Labs is very fortunate to have an employee like you who is dedicated, hard working, bright, caring and creative.

I'm glad that your new adventure in SF is going so well.

Love you lots,


nat said...

Woow, that place looks SUPER swell! Definitely nice that you nabbed a place in SF that actually looks pretty prime for the price :D I'm really glad also that you've found kindred spirits. I resonate with you on the "not a gamer" thing and it's really nice that there's actually a company like that out there, and that you're there!

axcho said...

Thank you so much everyone! :D It means a lot that you are all out there and still caring about me. :)

Helene Cho said...

I care for you and love you for the rest of our lives. You are my precious and wonderful nephew and a fine human being. We're all so proud of you and the caring, bright, talented and creative guy you turned out to be. Be well Alex.