We put the Castro in Castro Valley

After more than two decades living in the San Francisco suburb Castro Valley, Dale Albright and Bob Miller are packing for good and leaving for Santa Fe.

“We put the Castro in Castro Valley,” quips Dale, who left his job as managing director of Theater Bay Area to work at Santa Fe’s own Lensic Theater (coincidentally located on San Francisco Street).

The couple had been visiting Santa Fe frequently for about 15 years with an eye to eventually move here. I met them in 2022 when they were renting an Airbnb in Eldorado. Like most clients-turned-friends, we connected when they did a Google search for gay real estate agents in the area. Over the next few years, Bob and Dale went to a lot of open houses. “When people asked if we had a realtor, we’d say ‘Mark,’ and they’d all say that we were in good hands,” Bob recalls.


A Fast-Tracked Dream

Their dream of an eventual move to Santa Fe took a big step closer to reality about a year ago when Dale received a job offer from The Lensic. He moved here and starting a house hunt, while Bob wrapped up things in Northern California.

The timing worked out great for Dale. “I’ve been living in Santa Fe for about a year now,” he says. “It was a good opportunity to use the time to scope out what we wanted in a house.” For Bob–who works in the biotech and pharmaceutical industry–the timing was not as auspicious.

“I started working for a new company in 2023 and told them that I intended to remain in the Bay Area for two more years,” Bob says. “But by October after going to numerous open houses, I thought ‘we need to think about making the move now.’”


It Was Meant to Be

A day in October turned out to be watershed moment for the couple when both attended an open house for a property off Old Las Vegas Highway and immediately knew it was ‘the one,” Dale says, adding, “When I looked around, I even noticed that there was a pride flag in the garage!”

Situated on five acres and well off the main road in an area known as Sunlit Hills, the 2,700 sf home features many Santa Fe signature details. Beamed ceiling and two kiva fireplaces. The house is two stories, with the primary suite on the second floor, features two decks and an extensive patio. “It’s a great house for entertaining,” Bob says.

With a view over five pinon pine-covered acres, the new spread is perfect for Wilma, their rat terrier, to explore. But Dale says she prefers to spend most of her time on his lap.


Settling In

Since moving, the couple has made some adjustments. After decades of living in California, these former Ohio and Massachusetts natives had to get used to living in four distinct seasons again.

“I haven’t had to live in snow for more than 30 years,” Dale says. “The other day at work I said, ‘Well, at least we’re done with the snow for this year, and everyone laughed at me. I should have known. The name of the private street to our house is ‘Snowy Road.’”

One pleasant surprise for career theater professional Dale was the array of performing arts that Santa Fe offers. “The amount of culture in a town this size is extraordinary,” he says.

Bob says that two of them are loving Santa Fe’s restaurant scene. Their early favorites are The Pantry for breakfast, Market Steer and especially La Boca. “But so far we’ve just scratched the surface.”

Another pleasant adjustment for them is Santa Fe’s LGBTQ+ social scene. “I love the laissez faire, live and let live, attitude,” Bob says. “The number of gay people in Santa Fe is fascinating to me. We have more gay friends here than we did in the Bay area!”

Mark Banham

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