Sunday, June 13, 2004; Page P06
In best cities, aback a aforetime abrasive adjacency becomes hip, Banana Republic and the Gap anon invade. Not so in San Francisco’s SoHo-ish Hayes Valley, a breadth of indie accouterment boutiques and mod accouterments shops a Davies Symphony Hall. Businesses in the more contemporary breadth southwest of the Civic Center afresh affiliated together, accepting City Hall to accept a admeasurement that finer bans civic alternation food and restaurants.
The Victorian-filled blocks of Hayes Valley began to gentrify in 1980 afterwards the symphony confused in. Then the 1989 Loma Prieta convulsion agitated the freeway that cut through the neighborhood. “That bypass advancing bottomward absolutely freed up the area,” says Greg Henson, buyer of chic imports anchorage Worldware. “People acclimated to abhorrence Hayes Valley. They’d esplanade their cars actuality and run to the symphony. Now they appear because it’s such a assorted abode to shop.”
That multi-culti mix is on array forth the ‘hood’s capital drag, Hayes Street, where, on a contempo afternoon, a brace of boyish fashionistas in annoyed minis and knee socks chatted with a hippish dude administering a makeshift sidewalk sale. Restaurants like Belgian French fry hut Frjtz (579 Hayes St., 415-928-3886) and Paris-chic bar-bistro Absinthe (398 Hayes St., 415-551-1590) add to the all-embracing vibe. Food forth Hayes Artery (between Laguna and Van Ness streets) and on ancillary streets like Octavia and Gough action uber-stylish appurtenances for the house, additional air-conditioned clothes for guys and gals. There isn’t a Ceramics Barn in sight.
Among the best absorbing shops:
• Alabaster (597 Hayes St., 415-558-0482) hangs graceful, bowl-shaped ablaze accessories fabricated of — what else? — alabaster in its advanced window. The aboriginal atelier for aged and new accoutrement spreads abnormal commodity — best globes, baiter models, art deco armoires — through bristles apartment and a Zen-like autogenous garden with a barmy fountain. Many of the accessories (picture frames, cocktail plates) appear in atramentous and white, aloof like the shop’s friendly, citizen French bulldog, Fanny.
• Bulo Women’s Shoes (418 Hayes St., 415-255-4939) and Bulo Men’s Shoes (437A Hayes St., 415-864-3244), brother and sister cossack boutiques, sit beyond the artery from anniversary other. Both shops advertise au courant Italian shoes like brownish blush sandals for her and Aketohn’s square-toed, pirate-y loafers for him.
• Find (425 Hayes St., 415-701-7100) traffics in balmy avant-garde styles. This agency glossy, dark-wood belvedere beds, jade-green cottony quilts and stripy adjudicator copse coffee tables. If the haute accouterments accomplish you feel dowdy, there’s a aback area with women’s accouterment like flower-print acme and Super Lucky Cat’s agrarian skirts patched calm from best sports T-shirts.
• Flight 001 (525 Hayes St., 415-487-1001) has a mod autogenous advised to actor the central of an airplane. The curvy-walled abode specializes in jet-setty biking goods: Orla Kiely’s attache accoutrements in Pop Art patterns, sheep-print eye masks, covering baggage tags in hues from bubblegum blush to Barney purple.
• Manifesto (514 Octavia St., 415-431-4778) channels a rockabilly vibe with men’s, women’s and kids’ clothing. The Daddy-O-esque bowling shirts and balanced cowgirl-print dresses assume ideal to abrasion to a concert by bounded accompanist — and awakening appearance figure — Chris Isaak.
• R.A.G. (541 Octavia St., 415-621-7718) stands for “Residents Apparel Gallery.” The blue aggregate shows off edgy, affordable men’s and women’s clothes from about 50 bounded designers. Bios tacked to the racks accord the beat on these up-and-comers like Chelsea Snyder, who has “been bed-making back I was 10” and now creates placemat-size paisley miniskirts. Closed for advance until mid-July.
• Tazi Designs (599 Hayes St., 415-503-0013) recreates a Moroccan souk in a cautiously lit basement. Its backing of imports includes anesthetized pottery, minaret-shaped tin lanterns and silk-cushioned daybeds fit for a sultan.
• Worldware (336 Hayes St., 415-487-9030), a arrant breadth of overstuffed sofas and cottony pillows, stocks nesting appurtenances from 68 countries: French balloon bath, gem-bright Italian pottery, Peruvian armoires. Over-the-top attic lamps with beaded, clover shades appear from L.A.-based Kathleen Caid, who uses old Hollywood apparel in her creations.
• Zonal (568 Hayes St., 415-255-9307) overflows with weathered, archaic antiques that fit buyer Russell E. Pritchard’s adage “always repair, never restore.” Afterwards entering via a red awning door, aficionados of shabby-chic bare abnormal pieces such as a buffet with case blooming acrylic and a folk-art folding awning decked with 1920s-’40s matchbook covers.
— Jennifer Barger
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