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August 8th, 2008

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09:56 am - I have a ton of questions...
Hi! I know this community isn't very active, but I'm hoping a there are a few people still reading.

There's a distinct possibility that my spouse and I are gonna have to move to the north bay for his job. We lived in lower Marin a while ago, and it might have just been the neighborhood, but I hated it; we had to drive everywhere, even if we just wanted a cup of coffee or a snack from a convenience store. I am hoping that we can find a place to live that's a lot less driving-oriented, if we do end up going back, and I'm wondering if Petaluma is what we're looking for.

So, how is Petaluma as far as being able to walk, or take public transport? Is there any alt-punk-goth-whatever subculture there? Are there any farmer's markets? How about good chinese food? I'm also a total geek; are there any comic book stores around, or other fun geek-type places? Are there any good museums, libraries, or aquariums? Is there an independent movie theater?

The other places we're looking at (because they will be close to spouse's job) are Novato (which from what I've seen is actually just a giant mall with a few houses around it) and Vallejo (which I've never been to). Any thoughts on those two places?

Sorry for the long post and all the silly questions. Thanks in advance for any advice you can give me, and if there is a better place for me to ask this stuff please let me know. :)

[crossposted to sfbayarea]

(6 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:August 8th, 2008 07:29 pm (UTC)
I live in Petaluma half of the week and was born/raised here.

Biking is amazingly easy here. It takes twenty to thirty minutes to get ANYWHERE at the most. Public Trans is getting better but biking would be the best for the size of Petaluma - but I am also biased as I am an avid car free bicyclist. Golden Gate Transit is easily accessible at multiple locations and it's easy to get to the new Transit Mall to hop on the Sonoma County Transit as well. So from Petaluma it's easy to get to any location in Sonoma County and to get to the Central Bay Area.

Chinese: Golden Dragon is alright but Hunan Village is amazing. Both are in the same shopping center. International Buffet is owned by a former employee or present owner and Hunan Village and I was surprised at the level of quality of their food. Very surprised.

Comic Store moved three years ago to Rohnert Park. There is a LAN center that moved and I don't know the present local. It's called "Spawn Point."

No Indie Movie Theatre. We were cheated out of one by the developers when the pride of the present Petaluma City Council's Theatre District was being built. The Rialto is an easy to get to one in Santa Rosa you can get to via Public Trans - but I don't know the route. (I bike there.)

Petaluma has a great museum of itself in the downtown area. At Petaluma High there is a great Natural History museum.

There is a lot here and if you're down to rent a bike at the local bike shop on the Boulevard I'd be happy to give a tour - for a small price (My on the side job :) )
[User Picture]
Date:August 8th, 2008 07:31 pm (UTC)
ALSO: Petaluma is far superior to many other locations around the North Bay. Santa Rosa is a close second for things to do and stuff to see. Most other locations remind me of Novato - and if you don't like Novato, you won't like Rohnert Park.

You may like Cotati, or even Sebastopol. Sebastopol is great but public transit is hard to get to there. And that is true also of Cotati but to a lesser degree.
[User Picture]
Date:August 8th, 2008 08:04 pm (UTC)
Wow, what an awesomely informative couple of comments!

Petaluma definitely sounds more interesting than a lot of the North Bay. I love that there's a natural history museum, and a great chinese restaurant is vital to my very existence. I did look into both Sebastopol and Santa Rosa, but I think they're just too far north to make my spouse's work commute possible; I'll check out Cotati next, but it seems like Petaluma is going to be our best bet right now if we decide to live north of Novato (where spouse will be working).

So yeah. Thank you so, so much for the in-depth comment, I really appreciate it. :D
[User Picture]
Date:August 9th, 2008 12:50 am (UTC)
You're very welcome! Good luck with the move!
[User Picture]
Date:August 9th, 2008 12:58 am (UTC)
Oh, and also:

There are two musical venues in Petaluma. The Phoenix Theatre and one other. The Phoenix is the youth venue that caters more to punk/indie/hip-hop/hyphy. The other one whose name I'm blanking on caters more to the 30-something crowd with the Red Elvis', Groundation and AC/DSHE playing there a lot. John Doe and The Knitters have been known to play there too.

Plenty of great food in downtown Petaluma too - an Italian Foccacia place called "Bellaluma" is amazing. Tell Craig - the owner - Giuseppe sent you. You may get a free Gelato if he's in a good mood. You'll get great food and great service regardless of his mood.

[User Picture]
Date:August 10th, 2008 01:57 am (UTC)
The Mystic, is the name of the other place.

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