Thursday, May 14, 2009

Fairfax Redux

Previously I wrote briefly about Fairfax, CA before (see my blog post on 2/26/09), but there is so much local color, I thought I should elaborate.

Fairfax residents pride themselves on the alternative lifestyle mood and hippie heritage (The bumper stickers: “Fairfax: Mayberry on Acid” and “Only in Fairfax” are testaments to their self-image.)

There is a lively bar and music nightlife scene on Broadway featuring some local talent and lots of Marin-ites. On weekend mornings it is a nexus for bike racers and mountain bikers (After all, Mount Tam IS T-H-E “mountain” in the phrase: “Mountain Bike”.

There is an attitude there that hearkens way back to the West Marin identity during the Prohibition Era. Bolinas boasts the longest, continuously operating bar in the U.S. Because they were so isolated, the government agents could get to them to shut them down.

It is an excellent community noted for the quality of the schools and the laid-back environment. The retail area of town has suffered over the past decade or so, but there are still cafes, diners and coffee shops interspersed with yoga studios, and, because of its relative isolation, maintains a diverse retail environment catering to all of West Marin.

One project on the drawing board, is a German sausage house slated to take over the old Real Food store on Bolinas Road, across from the Town Hall. Their manager, Murphy is a serious bike enthusiast and plans to have bike racks IN the cafe space.

They intend to be serving fare such as vegan sausage and kale salad along side traditional German sausages and beers, sauerkraut and salads. The owner, Fra, is a HUGE fan of traditional German sausage houses and has been wending his way through local government approvals and permits for the past seven months.

These efforts along with the City's proposals of adding more biker-friendly facilities, is showing how the local color is reacting to existing trends and reinventing itself.

It is innovation and energy like that which can keep the local flair and color alive and vibrant in trying economic times and continue to build a sense of community pride and identity.

The current real estate market there shows 31 properties on the market as of May 10 (up from 23 in January and down from a high of 43 in October of '08) and the Median home price is currently at $731,231, down about $80,000 from a high in October of '08.

One current Fairfax Listing

Another property in the median range.

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