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Even techies have to scramble sometimes. When Facebook employee Adam Mosseri saw this small loft on 17th and Valencia, the exact block he wanted to live on, he knew he had to act quickly, so he signed the lease before his girlfriend had even had a chance to see the place. They’re steps from Bi-Rite Market, and they have a party-perfect rooftop and enough wall space to set off their Warhol original—all of which makes them willing to trade size for location.

Ashley Meyer, a freelance interaction designer, had an impossible time sketching her apartment’s floor plan. The converted SoMa space (plywood room dividers, wooden support beams) “is too chaotic to explain,” she says. After a year and a half bunking there, Meyer recently decided to move with three friends to a simple Bernal Heights Victorian, even though the rent will be higher.

Two and a half years ago, Erin Elizabeth Finnegan approached her boss, who happened to be her landlord’s daughter, about the apartment-manager position that had just become available in her building. She ended up with the job and a cut in rent on her small but exceedingly cool Tendernob studio.

Million Fishes, the exclusive Mission art collective that flipped a former winery on 23rd and Bryant into a dynamic living area, art studio, and event space, has seen the number of applicants rise over the past couple of years, partly because of the insane hike in local rents.

The big squeeze

The city’s freakish recession spike in rents has the arty/do-gooder/do-nothing kids competing—and scrambling—for space as never before. Like James Franco in 127 Hours, they will survive.