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Old 02-09-2009, 09:01 AM
 
6 posts, read 22,838 times
Reputation: 11

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Hello...I am a 20-year-old single male looking to relocate to the North Bay. I've been in and out of school since graduating in 2006 and have decided to give it up for a few years and work full-time. I am an Upstate New York native hailing from a small town at the foothills of the Adirondacks called Glens Falls. I love my hometown but I can't stand the winters. I spent a year in Phoenix and liked it except for its lack of charm / character. I want to move to a place similar to my hometown on the West Coast...hence Petaluma and Napa. I will be 21 this summer and will need full-time employment plus benefits when I get out to California. My choice will ultimately depend on housing / job availability but I want to keep my options open in case I decide to return to college (leaning towards Napa since it has a JC). All things considered, which do you suggest?

Thanks.
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Old 02-09-2009, 09:50 AM
 
3,735 posts, read 8,047,065 times
Reputation: 1944
Why Napa or Petaluma? Being young you should consider SF and or other options IMHO.
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Old 02-10-2009, 12:30 AM
 
Location: Northern California
358 posts, read 1,035,643 times
Reputation: 146
Yeah, I think you'd be pretty miserable in Napa or Petaluma, though you get a lot more college students that hang out at bars (there are 2 or 3, I think) in Petaluma if that's what you are looking for. What qualities are you looking for in your next place of residence?

I can't help you with finding full time employment (seems as though there are a LOT of people looking for that, especially if you want/need benefits). Check Craigslist and careerbuilder.com for a good start.
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Old 02-10-2009, 08:14 AM
 
Location: Alaska & Florida
1,629 posts, read 5,372,771 times
Reputation: 837
Napa hands down, but can you afford Napa?
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Old 02-10-2009, 09:49 AM
 
516 posts, read 1,336,401 times
Reputation: 120
Yikes, why Napa? Having lived in both I would chose Petaluma over Napa anyday. Or Sonoma...I love that town. But again it really depends on what floats yer boat. I would guess that many 20-sometings would find all of these places dull. I love Sonoma because its walkable, beautiful, and has lots to do in an outdoorsy way very close by. I didn't like Napa because it too itself way too seriously and did not prioritize the needs of locals over those of tourism.

Yes, Napa has a CCollege but so does Petaluma (a campus of the Santa Rosa JC).
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Old 02-10-2009, 03:10 PM
 
6 posts, read 22,838 times
Reputation: 11
Thanks for the replies / info. so far!

I've never lived on my own before. For this reason, I am avoiding areas close to SF, SJ, and Oakland. I want to rent in a town that is small and safe. I'm glad most of you guys are recommending Petaluma...I'm applying for a job there installing cable with Comcast. I'm excited...hope I get a call back!
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Old 02-10-2009, 03:21 PM
 
Location: Alaska & Florida
1,629 posts, read 5,372,771 times
Reputation: 837
You should live in SF, if that's the only reason you don't want to. I moved to SF the first I moved out of the house and loved it. You might get lonely in small towns like Petaluma or Napa. There are so many places to meet people in SF and places to go alone, where you don't feel so alone because there are so many people around you.
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Old 02-10-2009, 04:19 PM
 
Location: Northern California
358 posts, read 1,035,643 times
Reputation: 146
I have to echo the people who recommend SF. Of course, there is the issue of budget and commute, but for a 21-yr old single male, SF would be at the top of my list. SF is a safe city. I hear your concerns about moving to a new place, but why move someplace new and look for a city/town that is just like what you left? Enjoy the adventure! Try something new!

You would be BORED to tears in Sonoma. There isn't much of anything here for a 21 year old single male (or female). Yeah, its a safe small town, but there's nothing to do after 7pm and you'd have a hell of a time meeting new people that aren't retired.

Where will you be working exactly? If you are going to be working in Petaluma, then the commute and cost of SF may be too much for you. Also, if you are going to be working in Petaluma, then I wouldn't move to Napa. You don't get much in the way of exciting things to do for young people in exchange for the 45-minute commute to Petaluma on narrow winding country roads.

If you don't know where you are going to be working yet (sorry, I just re-read your OP), then I would definitely choose a more centralized location (relative to the Bay area as a whole, not just the "North Bay"). This will allow you to be more flexible with job location.
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Old 02-11-2009, 05:31 PM
 
3 posts, read 21,047 times
Reputation: 10
Petaluma over Napa, any day.

I lived in Napa and I HATED it. Everyone there was so unfriendly. It was also impossible to find a decent place to live. Two blocks were bad neighborhood, then two blocks good, then two blocks bad, and so on. I ended up in a middle class area, but my neighbors were violent drug dealers and I had to call the police on them multiple times.

I moved from there to Rohnert Park, and it was definitely a step up. I was working in Petaluma at the time. Petaluma downtown definitely has charm and it isn't all about wine! Napa had zero charm unless you were touring the wineries. Petaluma has some good smaller music venues (Mystic and Phoenix). I have also sold at a few random craft shows there and had a great time. It's a pretty easy drive to SF from Petaluma. I live in Santa Rosa right now and enjoy that as well.

Good luck!
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Old 03-11-2009, 01:55 PM
 
5 posts, read 29,935 times
Reputation: 11
Definitely Petaluma and attend Santa Rosa JC when you are ready to go back to school. One of the best JC's in Northern California. They also have a Petaluma campus.
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