Thursday, April 19, 2007

A City of Neighbourhoods - Shopping

I think sometimes i should change the title of my blog to 'a vegan shopper' or something like that, because as much i am crafty, i sure know how to shop! Case in point, my trip to San Fran was so successful, i had to buy another carry-on bag just to help me bring it all back!

So, for this post, i wanted to highlight some lovely local stores, mainly the ones that support local artists as well as those that offer a great outlet for crafters!

1) Doe - a wonderful treasure in Lower Haight - i went there a couple of times and left with purchases. They sell whimsical things like pillows and pottery, fun stationary and magazines, lovely clothing and accessories predominantly made by local, independent designers, and at reasonable prices. I got my much coveted (by me) Blissen wallet there.

2) Candy Store - this store is located in the Mission and it too supports local and independent artists. One other fun feature (besides the cute decor of the store itself) is that they sell vintage things from shoes and purses to old Star Wars playing cards.

3) Polka Dot Variety Store - what a great find for me. I happened to be walking past this store in Polk St. and saw that they sold pens, and i hoped they had some staplers (J needed one). Well, i still don't know if they did because i was too busy looking in all the cute little drawers - inside with old toys, cake toppers, dice, playing cards, and more and more. I just loved it! Here are some of the things i left with:

4) Needles and Pens - another great store in the Mission and this one definitely had the vibe of supporting local DIY and craft culture. They had a great selection of zines and how-to books, plus a vast array of accessories and posters highlighting upcoming events.

5) Stitch Lounge - this store was in Hayes Valley and it was J who made the connection that they are the ones that published Sew Subversive, a great book he had bought me. They house sewing studio space and sell what they make - a very cool concept!

6) RAG - the owner of this store is an environmentalist who wanted to offer an alternative to SF - one that really supports indy artists and designers at an affordable place. They had been closed for a couple of months so i'm so glad they re-opened the week i was there!

7) The Other Side - located just steps from our hotel in Lower Haight, this second-hand/thrift/vintage shop was fantastic. I spent quite a bit time looking at the vintage bet sheets and old sewing patterns, and i walked away with a lovely sheet.
8) Bell'Occhia - what a lovely lovely store, and so odd at that. The friendly women at Miette Candy Store recommended i find this little treasure. Just a short walk from Hayes Valley, located off Market St, this curio shop offered the strangest and darlingist things like vintage trim, lifesize plastic fish and strawberries, Marie Antoinette dolls whose heads fly off, and oodles of yummy chocolate. Unfortunately, they don't allow photos because the best part was the decor of the room itself - a small shop that looks like it stepped out of Alice in Wonderland's world.

9) Urban Knitting Studio - located in Hayes Valley, this store was wonderful. It was housed in a large room that had a modern vibe (lots of concrete walls) but the abundance of colourful yarn and books made the space so warm. The owner/staff person made me feel even more welcome and we had a great chat comparing our knitting stores.

10) Oh, it's hard to choose just ten! Some other lovely spots are Mingle (on Union St) that sells both local things and other small name designers. I loved this area of SF as it was closer to the water and to the Golden Gate. The owner also was a sweetheart. Another similar store (of sorts) was Cat Seto on Polk that was a sweet boutique that sold both lovely clothing and gifts. Cotton Sweep and Lavish (both in Hayes Valley) are also sweet little boutiques. The first one offers clothing right out of our favourite Japanese craft books, and the second is a great spot for new moms and friends of new babies.
11) Just cuz there's so much to share: the Mission seems to be where it's at - it is home to 2 amazing thrift stores. We scored quite a bit at Mission Thrift Store and it's worth mentioning. Another great vintage/second hand store is The Painted Bird on Guerrero. We literally stumbled upon it and i was so happy to find it. A very cool and happening store (as the other clientale seemed to be saying), i bought the cutest poncho there. American Rag (on Van Ness) is also a great big second-hand shop that also sells new things - i couldn't believe how big it was!

12) Also, for anyone who lives to write - Little Otsu is a store run by vegans that sells the best array of stationary and near it is the Pirate shop founded by Dave Eggers - a great store and studio dedicated to helping children become interested in storytelling (in the Mission).

Whew, seems like i could go on but i think those are my favourite shopping highlights!

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Blogger jen said...

my top two favorite things about san francisco:
1. the food
2. the thrift stores

looks like you discovered that for yourself! great finds!

1:55 PM  

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