Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Up the Junction

Tam Junction is located in the southern part of Mill Valley, where the Shoreline Highway intersects with Almonte Blvd. It's a busy junction, especially on summer weekends as San Franciscans pass through on their way out to Stinson Beach, and it's home to 20-30 commercial and retail businesses that make a living from the passing traffic and from the local Tam Valley community.
It's not the most glamorous retail destination in Marin, but it has it's own character. The Arco station right on the intersection has the cheapest gas in the county, and is always busy. There's the iconic Oriental Rug House, famous for its never-ending 'going-out-of-business' sale. Funnily enough, now that there's a recession, the Rug House is no longer going out of business. Perhaps the marketing pitch doesn't work when everyone else is going out of business too.
Tam Junction has no pretensions. It's not trying to be a tuscan village. It doesn't pretend to want people to walk around or take any pleasure in the surroundings. It's a good old American strip mall, where you drive up to the store front, get what you came for and drive off again. It's got a Subway, Starbucks, Dominos, chinese food, hair salons, nail salons, beauty salons, massage parlors, more massage parlors and yes even more massage parlors. There's a bike shop, a surf shop, a dentist, dance studios and karate studios. There's a Walgreens and a DeLano's market, dog kennels, building supplies, a coin store and a psychic. There's piles of trash, vacant lots, signs everywhere and the sky is full of wires and pylons. Enjoy the photos:

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