I lived in the Bay Area from Feb 2019 to Mar 2020. The first half of that time was in NEMA in San Francisco.

San Francisco

NEMA was a luxury apartment at $3270/mo.

NEMA apartment

However, that apartment was at the intersection of Market and 10th. Almost inside The Tenderloin.

I had a really terrible time in San Francisco. My personality doesn’t fit with the personality of the city at all. SF has a high diversity in demographic, but little diversity in thought, which was untenable for me. (not political)

Facebook provides wonderful shuttles to take you from SF into campus. My bus stop was only two blocks away.

FB shuttle

However, it still took 1 to 1.5 hours to get to campus. 2-3 hours of my life each day in a bus. Not worth it.


After about 6 months. I was ready to leave Facebook and SF. The high rate of learning and pay were not worth the lack of connection with people there.

I talked to my manager about leaving. I didn’t want to leave my team hanging, but I was done. Luckily, by a complete coincidence, Portal was about to start migrating engineers to our new LA office. It couldn’t be more perfect.

I got the OK to move to LA in 6 months. There was no way I was going to stay in SF for another 6 months. After half a year at NEMA, I moved to Menlo Park, only a few blocks from FB campus.

Menlo Park

This living situation was ~40% better. I could walk or bike to Willow campus. I worked on Portal.

People there were a little more what I was used to. People ostracize others less in Menlo Park.

I lived with a fellow Facebooker in a 3BR/1BA. He’s still a great friend. I paid $1850/mo. We didn’t have heating or air conditioning.

LA (Playa Vista)

As soon as I could leave, I moved to the LA office in Playa Vista. Now, I have a 1BR at $1700/mo.

I’m around people who understand me. I’m much, much happier here.

We are hiring a ton in the LA office. I get to help hire new engineers and influence the culture.

Almost as soon as I got to LA, the quarantine started. Life is still so much better.