Cry, my beloved cityI am leaving my beautiful Presidio Heights apartment for a 3-bedroom ranch style home in a quiet neighborhood 29 miles north of San Francisco.
I am moving to Novato.
I might have never known that Novato existed if it were not for the fact that the love of my life purchased a home here, and we have decided to set up house together. And so here we are, two people who love cities and everything about them, moving to a place where the vehicle of choice is a double cab pickup truck. One of our neighbors has plastic gnomes on the lawn. Really and truly.
The local chamber of commerce tells me that the city of Novato is the second largest city in the county, but to my mind it is more of a geographic region than a city. Novato is a part of Marin County, which means that it must have at least a few interesting things going on. This loosely drawn saddle of land encloses a population of roughly 50,000.
Make that 50,0002.
At a certain point on Highway 101, a large green signs says: Novato, Next 7 Exits. Seven exits?! This is what you can see from the freeway: McDonalds, Burger King, assorted gas stations, and the faint outlines of strip malls. I fight back the rising sense of panic in my chest.
I sobbed through a box of extra-soft tissue as I waved goodbye to the City by the Bay. Now I must compose myself and figure out logistics.
Like: where do people eat around here?