HOLIDAY GUIDE 2011: 27 local presents for $10 and under to kickstart your holiday shopping spree
HOLIDAY GUIDE 2011 We know. Between the blasts of pepper gas you sustained at the last Cal protest and all those "support needed" texts you've been receiving from Occupy Everything, Everywhere, All the Time you've barely had a spare moment to think about your holiday shopping list. Easy now, no need to get your bandanna in a twist. We've been trekking around the city (and that hella occupied burg on the other end of the Bay Bridge) for the very best in affordable presents this holiday season — and we found them all at locally-owned businesses. So don't break the bank — occupy its lobby instead, conquered shopping list in hand.
DICK VIVIAN MIX CD, $10
There is perhaps nothing more happy than a man with soul in his heart, as anyone who watches the YouTube video entitled "Dick Vivian cuttin' the rug at Rooky's!" can attest. Vivian is the owner and spiritual embodiment of the venerable Lower Haight record store, which he stocks with real-cheap 45s, vintage camera equipment, and a passel of witty lapel pins and magnets.
For real holiday majick, however, one must turn to Vivian's lovingly-crafted mix CDs. There they sit, 10 bucks a pop with witty, retro-recreation packaging, a wonderland of '60s soul, girl bands, and more. Many of the tracks, Vivian will attest, have never been captured in CD form before. Do you have a dad who still digs on the funky sounds of his youth? A buddy who is never more happy than when she's doing the twist? You friend, have struck shopping list gold.
448 Haight, SF. (415) 864-7526, www.rookyricardos.com
WOMEN'S SHOES, $8
Half the battle of holiday shopping is remaining positive. You will find the perfect token of your affection for each and every coworker, friend, family member, and postal worker. The secret to undying enthusiasm this season is patronizing shops where retailing can make you happy — which is why a visit to Clothes Contact is essential. The Mission vintage shop is a carnival of colors and patterns, and sells most of its items by the pound ($10 per!)
Some of the shop's most attractive items are the individually-priced accessories like its bowties and fedoras, which combine for a package that'll make even the most sartorially uninspired chappie stoked for the office holiday party. The real steal, however, is in the shoe section, where you will find women's kicks for a pittance. $8 gets you this pair of jewel-toned slippers, whose sexy-comfy flat heels have the power to traipse with you through much more than eight crazy nights.
473 Valencia, SF. (415) 621-3212
BLOOD ORANGE BITTERS, $5.50
BLACKWELL'S WINE AND SPIRITS
The average behind-the-bar adventurer knows bitters to be highly concentrated blends of herbs, spices, rinds, and roots sure to add zing to a standard cocktail. This non-alcoholic blood orange bottle lends a deep, pumpkin-y hue to your drinks — as well as a slightly sweet taste.
5620 Geary, SF. (415) 386-9463, www.blackwellswines.com
MY MISSION GUIDEBOOK, $7
Mission Loc@l's guidebook lives up to the neighborhood news site's name: their pocket-sized collection of various Missionites' (from grade-schoolers to aging boho poets) favorite places in the 'hood could open the eyes of the most seasoned South Van Ness dweller to hidden gems amidst the murals and taco shops.
Available in various SF locations. Order online at www.missionlocal.org (search term: guidebook)