Farewell to The Brannan

I sit here writing this surrounded by boxes, on one of the few pieces of furniture that isn't wrapped up. Tonight is our last night on Brannan St. This neighborhood became our default choice because of Dave's job and it's proximity to Caltrain, but things tend to work out as they should and it's been such a great place for us for the last 3.5 years.

I always thought I liked neighborhoods with a bit more character, but truth be told, I have come to love all the conveniences of living in a big building, especially The Brannan. We've had such a wonderful experience here, I still love our place and figured we would live here for a few more years. Though it was great when it was just the two of us, me still working downtown and having a 20-minute walk for my commute, I didn't see it as very family friendly. But then again, I was never home during the day, or walking along the Embarcadero in the early evening. Sure, when going to the Ferry Building, I'd see lots of parents pushing strollers, but I didn't necessarily associate them with our neighborhood.

I feel so lucky that our neighborhood, while not home to nearly as many families as other parts of the city, is still very family friendly. In fact, I think one of the benefits is that you get a lot more new moms in their neighborhood and a lot of young kids (unfortunately the lack of yard and smaller apartments in this neighborhood lead many families to move once their child turns two or three or when another baby arrives). So on the one hand, you go to the park, and all the kids are within the same age range. On the other hand, the families keep moving away, mostly out-of-state or to the peninsula.

Nonetheless, we've really become a part of the neighborhood, many people knowing the boys. I've become friends with some of the moms and with the SOMA playgroup starting to take off, I'm sure that would only get better. 

This is where Dave and our started our family, the only home the boys have known. I think about all the hours I've spent sitting on this couch, feeding the boys and pumping. All the things they've done in this space for the last 19 months. From barely laying there on the play mat to now riding their scooter through the house. 

You know I love lists, so when I first found out we got the place, and I got a little sad -- because it is bittersweet -- I decided to list out all the wonderful things about this neighborhood that I'll miss. Not necessarily in any particular order:
  • A view of the bay from our apartment
  • Being so close to the water
  • Walking the Embarcadero and even driving along the Embarcadero
  • Our little South Beach Playground - the perfect place for a mom (or caregiver) of young twins!
  • American Grilled Cheese. One of my favorite sandwiches in the city.
  • Hearing the cheers from the Giants park, seeing the fireworks before the final play on TV because of the delay
  • The building, getting deliveries was always so convenient. And it was confirmed that we get the most deliveries in the building. SO convenient when you're a mom.
  • Also the staff here, so many have seen our little guys grow up and will definitely miss them
  • Walking by the dog grooming shop - the boys love to peek at the dogs getting a bath
  • The Ferry Building park
  • Crossroads and all the staff there. Such wonderful people, a great mission, good food and such a nice little community garden. The perfect place in the early days to get something to eat, and as the boys have gotten older, it's one of the best places for them to eat and run around contained. Eating lunch in a high chair at least once a week at Crossroads has to have contributed to how good they (generally) are when we eat out at restaurants. I highly recommend practicing in an outdoor, spread out, laid-back environment like this.
  • Harrison Park. A cute little park that we were so lucky to have had built right around the time the boys were playing at parks more. What great to have another option.
  • Baby bootcamp - what a wonderful community of moms. A great workout and so nice to have within a 5-minute walk of our place.
  • Swimming. I fully took advantage of having a pool here. Though we didn't use it so much for basking in the sun, I swam laps several times a week for most of the time we lived here. It was the first activity I got back to after having the boys.
  • So quick and easy to get on the Bay Bridge and so convenient my parents coming from Danville
  • Blue Bottle coffee - this one's for Dave. He also likes The Creamery and Cento. Our neighborhood had a lot more craft coffee options as opposed to all the chains many of the other neighborhood  have
  • Farmers Market and all the stands, especially all the great food trucks
  • The huge master bedroom, but really the apartment as a whole
  • So easy for people to drop off and pick stuff up, just leaving it with security
  • Quick and easy to get on 280
  • Proximity to shopping -- the Rack and TJs just down Brannan St and being able to walk to shopping at Union Square
  • The great light our apartment has
  • The weather -- it really is nicer over in this little pocket of the city
  • All the construction sites -- the boys will certainly miss all the action!
  • The elevator - though sometimes it's a pain to have to lug groceries upstairs, even with an elevator, I think up until this point, with the boys, it's been easiest. I need a stroller anyway and this way I can get them both out at once. Now that they can both walk alongside me, ideally holding hands, it will be nice to just pull in a garage.
  • Ferry Building, Ferry Building, Ferry Building... my favorite spot in the city. I loved walking to the Farmers Market on Saturday mornings even before I had kids, but I don't think I had any idea how wonderful it would be to be within walking distance of this place once I had kids. I remember the early days when sometimes I wouldn't get out until 5pm. But I made it to the Ferry Building, thus getting a walk in, and a snack :)
The good news is it's not like we're moving far away. I can still come to visit my favorite spots. And seriously, we're so excited for our new place. So excited to be living in the neighborhood I fell in love with when I discovered it around the time the boys were born. There is so much to do in Laurel Heights and I love how it feels residential but we're just a half-block from shopping and restaurants and a straight shot down Bush St to downtown.
Brannan St. has been great to us and we're sad to leave but can't wait to be settled in our new home (which probably won't be for months!). I picture us being in this new place for many years to come and can't wait for all the adventures we'll have and memories we'll make there.

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