#56- The Barlow

I spent much of my childhood with summers and weekend getaways in what I now know is the North Bay/ Sonoma Coast.  When something is so common in your upbringing, who knows how much you truly value it in the moment.  But as an adult, I have such clarity in my memories of roadside monuments, quirky homes, eclectic businesses and the overall feeling of being part of a very unique cultural movement of community.  So much of how I experience moments today is drawn from these moments, specifically these Sonoma Coast moments, I had as a kid.

Sebastopol, Freestone, Occidental, Bodega Bay, Stinson Beach, Dillon’s Beach, Valley Ford, Point Reyes, and Kayaking the Russian River.  How blessed would I have ever thought I was? This region is gold in my opinion, far more economically advanced than where I am at, although I am hopeful my town will soon follow suit.  Anyway, one of the things I regularly do is keep up on Sonoma Coast happenings, and I caught wind of a project that is working to embrace everything the region has to offer- a Community Artisan/Craftsman collaboration of sorts, with a feel of Shopping Outlets/ Upcycled-manufacturing-warehouse layout.  Shopping the Barlow quickly became one of my bucket list items…

The Barlow used to be an Apple processing plant, from what I had learned. Similar to the remaking of the Pier market in San Francisco, this place is a cluster of old barracks (in a sense) that got divided up into rentable spaces for locals. Coffeeshops, bakeries, clothing, tasting rooms, grocery market, breweries, toy store, art galleries, distillery and so much more, I wish I was a local! The place was pretty busy and only half the spaces have been rented out so far. I might have to make another trip back in a year to see what else has moved in.  But for now, what was there I fell in love with.

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