From LA to SF —The Survival Guide
by Rodrigo Rodarte
Rodrigo is an Urban Planning consultant specializing in the public programming, events, and operations of parks and other public spaces. Rodrigo’s company, BRV, operates and consults on public spaces across the US, including Manhattan’s Bryant Park, Titletown Park for the Green Bay Packers, South Station in Boston, and Klyde Warren Park in Dallas.
After 9 sunny years and thousands of tacos consumed down in LA, Rodrigo moved to the Bay Area to open the San Francisco office of BRV and try on a new city. So far, he likes the cool weather, the friendly people (not compared to the Midwest, but compared to LA…), and the tasty beer.
Currently, he works as the Programming Manager for the new Salesforce Transit Center Rooftop Park (formerly Transbay) and also works with the San Francisco Giants on their Mission Rock development project.
Top five pieces of advice for moving to The Bay:
1. I need to up my light jacket/sweater/hoodie game hard. East Coast style coats are too warm, and too pretentious. But not wearing any jacket becomes a terrible decision by like 5pm most days. There is a Goldie Locks rule that everyone follows… I’m learning.
2. Saying yes to things is just as important as the Jim Carrey movie makes it out to be. When you’re new in town, people want to invite you to stuff. And normally I just want to go home, eat Thai food and watch The Crown on Netflix… but saying yes to as many invitations as possible has been eye opening. I’ve made great friends and attended super interesting events like comedians making fun of thrift store art, people drawing and drinking at The Secret Alley in The Mission, a dance party hidden away in Golden Gate Park… things I want to bring into Salesforce Park that I wouldn’t have discovered in my pajamas at home…
3. People pretty much stand right by the doors on BART… so if you move in like five or ten feet into the aisle, you’ll find a nice little spot to stand during rush hour…
4. Be really rich… just kidding. But seriously, things cost more here compared to most places… I haven’t figured out how to be rich yet, it seems hard. But making friends with people who like to cook dinner together, have barbecues, BYOB to Dolores, ride bikes, and other cool, cheap stuff has made it pretty affordable to have fun here. There’s so much more to do outside here than most places. When my park opens next Spring, come do free stuff there!
5. Talk to people! Kind of like the “yes” one. People sometimes can seem shy or reserved here. But you say one thing to them and they open way up. Compared to LA, where people seem outgoing but then you talk and… there’s nothing in there… Bay Area people are way cooler! Just had a great talk about figs in the kitchen with someone new here at ECO-SYSTM. Talk to me anytime about parks or whatever! I work by the window on 2nd floor.