Having sold their Parnassus Heights home in 2012 and moved to Santa Fe, Armistead Maupin and husband Christopher Tuner are back in the city of San Francisco.  According to Maupin by way of the Chronicle, the couple are renting a ground-floor flat in a Castro cottage and keeping their place in Santa Fe, “putting it up on Airbnb in hopes, of course, that it will pay for our tiny SF apartment.”

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by parklife

    Perfect!

    A SF icon using AirBNB to come back to the city and take another “affordable” housing unit off the market. I love it!

    • Posted by wc1

      I believe he’s using Airbnb to rent out their Santa Fe home and using the proceeds to pay the rent on their unit in SF.

  2. Posted by Gordon

    Perhaps articles like this could give a sentence explaining who the main characters are for those of us who haven’t heard of them. Armistead Maupin is “an American writer, best known for his Tales of the City series of novels, set in San Francisco”, per Wikipedia.

    • Posted by dB

      We each have essentially equal access to Google. -Being familiar with Amistead Maupin is perhaps one tier below being familiar with Willie Brown. We’re not going back to the Harvey Milk days or anything…

      I could (should I?) read much into the instance of a San Francisco R.E. observer requesting that he be informed, on this blog, as to who some iconic San Franciscan is.

      It feels unprecedented in some way, but then it might just be my old age, at 40, showing through.

    • Posted by Brad

      To be an SF resident is to be familiar with Armistead, just like Frank Chu or Emperor Norton.

  3. Posted by Sierrajeff

    Next someone will ask “Who was Herb Cain, and why should I care?” Sigh.

    @parklife – What exactly’s the problem? Is it his use of AirBNB – if instead he’d done what people have done for decades before, and used a local Santa Fe property management company to rent out his N.M. home – that’d be OK? Or is it the outlandish notion that someone might occupy a unit in San Francisco even though they also own a home somewhere else – where in theory live, instead of S.F., and thereby free up that S.F. unit for someone else?

    Fortunately we live in a free world where housing isn’t dictated from above, but even if it were, my choice were allowing Maupin back to live here as opposed to 100s of Asian investors to own empty condos here (that don’t generate foot traffic or contribute to the local economy), I’ll choose Maupin in a heartbeat.

    • Posted by parklife

      @sierrajeff,

      I have no problem whatsoever with Armistead Maupin short-term renting his house in Santa Fe and then moving to San Francisco. However, we seem to have a plethora of people who believe it is perfectly okay to try and prevent someone in San Francisco from doing the exact same thing in reverse. I’m just pointing out the double standard many have on this issue.

      Also in case you are unaware, the “rich” have invaded Santa Fe in droves and have displaced many of the original inhabitants. And Santa Fe has also put in place certain restrictions on short term rentals that are not entirely unlike those in San Francisco.

      • Posted by BTinSF

        Just all me a “rich” slob who owns homes in Arizona (well,it’s not Santa Fe but . . . .) and San Francisco, and only occupies each for half the year (guess which half)–and I don’t rent out either or feel the least bit guilty. The San Francisco place just sits empty for 6 months and if that upsets some Google Bus vomiter in the Mission, so much the better.

        PS: I not only know who Armistad Maupin is, I’ve met him and talked to him.

      • Posted by Sierrajeff

        Well the “original” inhabitants of Santa Fe were displaced long ago… I’m all for creating affordable housing and am not one to throw out the “no entitlement to live here” argument, but – cities have grown and evolved for millenia. Change happens. If change doesn’t happen, you get Des Moines.* I’d rather live in an evolving San Francisco than Des Moines.*

        * Disclaimer: I was born in Iowa, so no maligning of the Hawkeye State is intended by weighing it against San Francisco and finding it wanting.

    • Posted by Futurist

      Please. It’s Herb CAEN.

  4. Posted by san FronziScheme (formerly known as lol)

    Welcome back Armistead. Wifey and I made our own move to the desert not long ago. It’s pretty dry out there in more ways than one. We kept our pad in SF. Better safe than sorry I guess.

    • Posted by Ex-SFer

      Yeah, we moved to the desert too, but just as NM, it’s too rural. You have to be in an urban environment. The desert or N M just doesn’t have the sophistication an urban environment has.

      • Posted by san FronziScheme (formerly known as lol)

        I am in urban Las Vegas. Lots of space, a pool, easy driving, great nature. I never go on the strip though. Downtown is coming back but it seems to fizzle a bit after all the hype. One great thing about LV is how easy it is to fly out of LV ;)

      • Posted by NoeValleyJim

        Wait, I thought you were in Chicago. Or is this a different Ex-SFer?

  5. Posted by Brad

    Welcome back to Barbary Lane, Armistead!

    • Posted by san FronziScheme (formerly known as lol)

      It’s quite telling that he would choose the Castro rather than Russian Hill. The center of gravity of SF has shifted and its most attractive cultural center is now within the Noe/Castro/Mission area.

      • Posted by Sierrajeff

        It’s probably just because it’s cheaper, and closer to his core fan base. I’d hardly say the Castro and Noe Valley are the city’s most attractive cultural center…

      • Posted by sjg

        I live in the Castro, and I really would be reaching to consider it a cultural center

  6. Posted by Ex-SFer

    I sympathize with Army. It’s hard to leave SF but the city has changed in so many ways all of which isn’t good. NM isn’t an alternative to SF. I’ve made a similar mistakes. As they say: “You can never go home again.” rings true.

    • Posted by san FronziScheme (formerly known as lol)

      Did you sell your place in SF?

  7. Posted by 94123

    Not sure which desert Ex-SFer has relocated to, but I would say that there is a HUGE San Francisco expatriate community in the Palm Springs area. Many of the people we know in the desert cashed out of Noe, Castro, Marina and other neighborhoods and relocated to the Palm Springs / Rancho Mirage/ Palm Desert area. We still own both in 94123 and down in Palm Desert but spend almost 9 months outside the city now. BTW- during this recent heat wave it was warmer in most of the Bay Area than it was down in Palm Desert!

    • Posted by BTinSF

      On the other side of the Colorado River the taxes and costs of everything are so much lower . . . .

  8. Posted by Stucco_Sux

    This is actually an interesting story because Maupin is a famous version (also Danielle Steel — kidding) of a pretty common person in San Francisco these days: the house poor.

    Homeowners who are decades into ownership and neck deep in equity and anxious to not die that way.

    But the problem is that there is almost nowhere on this earth as perfect as SF.

    Mostly its the weather, but also the economy, the constant inflow of young strivers, the hot gays… what to do?

    I would say that’s why God invented Airbnb, but then my neighbor would report me.

    Thanks David Chew. When are you moving away?

    • Posted by BTinSF

      For many, it’s also why God invented Palm Springs. Just sayin’.

  9. Posted by 94123

    “But the problem is that there is almost nowhere on this earth as perfect as SF. ”
    Uh, I would rather keep a flat in London and a home at Hualalai, Kukio, or Kapalua. (A retirement lifestyle my partner and I have considered by cashing out of our S.F. residence)

    One thing about San Francisco is not lacking is civic pride.

    • Posted by Sierrajeff

      He did say “ALMOST nowhere”…

      Heck yeah, if I had the funds it’d be a flat in London, a house in Vermont during foliage season, a (fabulous) beach shack in Hawaii… and a home in Presidio Heights or Telegraph Hill. But if you can only afford to live in one city (oh the shame!), then S.F. is a great combination of the best of all of these areas: culture, beauty, access to rural/natural areas, and great weather.

  10. Posted by cashing out

    At current “real S.F.” neighborhood property prices, one can cash out when one is ready to retire and live the way some only dream of. You could easily have a cottage in one of those resort communities in Hawaii, a home in Vermont, AND a small flat in London for equal or less cost of a better home in Presidio Heights or Telegraph Hill. Would it be like living in San Francisco? No, but it would sure be nice! Personally, I would Airbnb London or somewhere in Europe, and own in Vermont and Hawaii as you mentioned, or down in the Palm Springs resort communities.

  11. Posted by REpornaddict

    “But the problem is that there is almost nowhere on this earth as perfect as SF. ”

    maybe but I’m guessing Armistad had a shock when he saw the current state of the main drag (no pun intended) of Castro Street, with all the construction and digging going on. Absolute cluster-f.

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