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Old 05-19-2013, 12:06 PM
 
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Hi,

I'm relocating to San Rafael in the summer. I'm not familiar with the place at all. Work is close to downtown. I am an Asian female in my 30s and will be living alone there. A studio or a 1 bed apt would be good. Ideally, i'd like to stay close to work so it would be easy for me to walk/bike to work and shopping. Is there any particular neighborhood you would recommend or warn me of?

I could also consider towns between San Rafael and SF, so that I'm against the trafic in rush hours.

Any information is helpful. Thanks in advance.
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Old 05-19-2013, 12:41 PM
 
Location: US
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Downtown San Rafael would be a great place to live, especially since your work will be there. It is very bike able and even walkable. They also have a great farmers market.
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Old 05-19-2013, 12:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by bmw335xi View Post
Downtown San Rafael would be a great place to live, especially since your work will be there. It is very bike able and even walkable. They also have a great farmers market.
Thanks bmw335xi! There are a few apartments in downtown area. I will take a look. Any recommendations?
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Old 05-19-2013, 03:35 PM
 
Location: US
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I don't have any recommendations, I just think it would be a nice area to live.
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Old 05-19-2013, 05:12 PM
 
Location: San Francisco
434 posts, read 846,699 times
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I haven't lived in Marin for awhile, so please take what follows with a grain of salt:

When considering a Marin commute by car, please keep in mind that the major thoroughfares west of the 101 can be miserable to navigate in commute hours. I remember hours of staring at back bumpers on Tamalpais Drive, Corte Madera Avenue, Magnolia and Sir Francis Drake. (Although the Wolfe Grade wasn't that bad, at least back then, and served as a reliable short cut between Sir Francis Drake and downtown San Rafael.)

I think downtown San Rafael would be ideal, as bmw335xi suggests. You might also see spots available in the Canal district. The Canal has a poorer reputation than other neighborhoods in Marin, but that may only be because Marin standards are so high. I might not hesitate to live there, at least if I felt comfortable with the building and block of the available apartment.
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Old 05-19-2013, 05:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by California Vagabond View Post
I haven't lived in Marin for awhile, so please take what follows with a grain of salt:

When considering a Marin commute by car, please keep in mind that the major thoroughfares west of the 101 can be miserable to navigate in commute hours. I remember hours of staring at back bumpers on Tamalpais Drive, Corte Madera Avenue, Magnolia and Sir Francis Drake. (Although the Wolfe Grade wasn't that bad, at least back then, and served as a reliable short cut between Sir Francis Drake and downtown San Rafael.)

I think downtown San Rafael would be ideal, as bmw335xi suggests. You might also see spots available in the Canal district. The Canal has a poorer reputation than other neighborhoods in Marin, but that may only be because Marin standards are so high. I might not hesitate to live there, at least if I felt comfortable with the building and block of the available apartment.
Thank you for the tips on trafic California Vagabond!
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Old 05-19-2013, 11:13 PM
 
Location: San Francisco
76 posts, read 222,920 times
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San Rafael is great, like most of Marin. Unlike much of Marin, it's pretty down to earth. It has its ex-hippies, its working class and its younger crowd (Domincan University is tucked nearby in a leafy residential area). Downtown has the highest concentration of restaurants, bars, coffee houses, indie shops, spreading down 4th street, some off 3rd, 5th and Mission. Very walkable, as an earlier post mentioned. Parts a really pretty too, especially by the mission. Also, there's a major transportation hub right where 101 lets out - all buses, no trains. Great weather, very little fog but not nearly as hot in summer as Novato.
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Old 05-28-2013, 07:29 PM
 
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Originally Posted by tired of being inside View Post
San Rafael is great, like most of Marin. Unlike much of Marin, it's pretty down to earth. It has its ex-hippies, its working class and its younger crowd (Domincan University is tucked nearby in a leafy residential area). Downtown has the highest concentration of restaurants, bars, coffee houses, indie shops, spreading down 4th street, some off 3rd, 5th and Mission. Very walkable, as an earlier post mentioned. Parts a really pretty too, especially by the mission. Also, there's a major transportation hub right where 101 lets out - all buses, no trains. Great weather, very little fog but not nearly as hot in summer as Novato.

Thank you so much! I was a bit confused when I read about "Dominican Community" before - I thought it was an ethic Dominican community.
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Old 05-29-2013, 08:03 PM
 
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About five years ago I lived in the Gerstle Park neighborhood, which is just south of downtown San Rafael. I has a very east coast feel to it with large, mature trees and is very down-to-earth. It was my favorite part of Marin County, although even then it wasn't enough to keep me from escaping back to The City when I had the chance. (Ironically, my work is now in San Rafael, but at least it's a reverse commute.)
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Old 05-30-2013, 09:58 AM
 
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Re: Gerstle Park...Many moons ago, when I lived in San Francisco, I worked with a guy who was originally from Philadelphia. He had a friend that lived in Gerstle park. My friend was about 35 at the time. He told me that he adored that area and that when he finally retired, he's love to live there. I thought it was nice, but didn't really understand the big deal.

A few years go by and my friend was promoted. He transferred back to the east coast and unfortunately we lost touch with each other.

Another ten years go by and I moved to Marin. I went to Gerstle Park on many occasions and always thought of my friend. I got married, had kids and really started to see the appeal of that area.

Now I'm back on the east coast too, though not in the same state as my friend, but whenever Gerstle Park comes up here, I think of him and wonder if he ever made it back to that little spot that he adored so much.
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