Looking to live in the San Francisco Bay Area? Meet your Home Manager, Ellis Tran. Ellis enjoys going to Corgi conventions, has studied Japanese for years, and will challenge you to a night of video games.
Scroll down to get inside the mind of the man himself through a conversation he had with our intern, Jon.
Places and spaces
Q: Where are you from?
A: San Jose, California. Born and raised.
Q: So you’ve lived there your whole life?
A: I transferred to UCLA two years into college at San Jose State. I had a study abroad stint in Australia for a semester, and after I graduated, I actually joined the peace corps and lived in Ukraine for about four years. So I took a few breaks from San Jose.
Q: When did you start feeling like a San Franciscan? Did you always feel this way?
A: I was born in San Jose but didn’t really take advantage of what SF had to offer until well into my adulthood. The more I experienced SF, the restaurants, bars, plethora of events, nature, and beaches, the more I realized what an amazing city it was. No matter what your interest is, it won’t be long until you find someone who shares it!
Q: What’s your favorite place to live in so far?
A: Ukraine is interesting. It’s a transitioning place from a traditional post-Soviet country to kind of a Western country. Eventually, I might want to retire in Ukraine. My wife is actually Ukrainian. I met her while I was in the peace corps, and she came back to the US a couple of years ago. That place holds a special place in our hearts for sure.
Q: If I were going to Oakland or SoMa soon, what should I do or see there?
A: You should come! When you’re going to SoMa stop by Mission Dolores Park. I fell in love with it the first time I visited on a sunny, summer Saturday afternoon. The diverse crowds of people, the openness of the community, and the energy of the park made me feel like I was at a music festival. Dolores Park is a must-see and is an embodiment of everything San Francisco has to offer.
Now in Oakland, Lake Merrit would be my favorite spot because you get a good feel of the kinds of people who live in Oakland that make this such a great city. Whether you want to enjoy a relaxing day having a picnic under the sun, walk/run the 3.4 mile perimeter, or people watch over some drinks, Lake Merrit’s got it all.
Q: What is your favorite part of your job?
A: I like people. I like the tours because it’s not only a place for them to possibly live, but it’s a community you can join as well. A good example of this the frequent get-together the members host and arrange to hang out with each other outside their home. They live together but actually like spending time with one another too.It’s a good group of people we have in our homes, and now that Common MacArthur opened, our community here is growing. It’s gonna be huge.
Q: Have you lived with roommates before? What are the top things you learned?
A: After transferring to UCLA, I had my first coliving setup in the dorms, where I lived in a a triple-room that shared a double bathroom with the adjacent triple-room. It was definitely a new experience living in such close quarters with multiple people.
It taught me:
- communication is everything
- managing expectations goes a very long way
- being able to compromise is important
Q: Can you give us a fun fact about yourself?
A: I beat Tetris on the arcade once. It was an amazing experience because the further in the levels you go, the more colors, the faster the music goes, but once you reach that certain point threshold or whatever it is, the screen kind of goes back, and the music calms down.
To join the community or learn more about Common, apply here.