Valencia Bottoms

Apr 20, 2011 at 12am
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“We have been here for a year or so” was a common answer when I asked pioneering merchants how long they had been in the neighborhood. I had been on the block the week before with my boyfriend to satiate our mid-century-modern furniture curiosities at Farnsworth, and the classy row of clothing stores had caught my eye.

But it was The Bold Italic that had brought the hood fully to my attention with the announcement of itsmicrohoodevent (micro·hood  n.  A section of a neighborhood, perhaps only a block or two long, so glorious that it deserves its own name). Happening on Thursday, April 21, it was dubbed  Valencia Bottoms . I signed up and set out to meet the neighbors.

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I started at Nooworks, where I chatted with Jen D’Angelo about her organic/urban clothing line. The dresses are really cute!

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Next, I stopped over to photograph the guys at The Common – dapper East Coast transplants to San Francisco, in love with West Coast lifestyle.

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At the salon across the street – Glama-Rama – I photo’d the coolly eccentric Lady Nigel Butterfly. She happily posed in the pink vintage-themed salon.

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Next, I hit Four Barrel Coffee, a hip coffee joint with its beanery directly behind the café counter, so you get to see the whole coffee-bean-making process. I took photos of Nick, the manager, as he explained a little bit about the art of roasting.

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Leah, owner of NO., a vintage clothing store, wanted her picture taken with her dog Bone. Bone has to get surgery, so support his cause by picking up a freshly screen-printed T-shirt with his mug on the front. He’s a huge but fun-loving pooch!

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Next, I photographed Angie at West Wind Automotive, who is an inspiring, strong woman. She not only runs the repair shop with her partner, she also manages a modern online sportswear company. She was fun to photograph and loved getting her picture taken.

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I’ve had my eye on the Michael Rosenthal Gallery for a long time, so I was excited to get the chance to meet him. He has been in the space for a while and loves all of his neighbors. His is currently exhibiting contemporary painter Kacie Erin Smith.

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Finally, I made my way back to the place where it all started for me: the exploration of this superbly San Francisco block – to Farnsworth, a boutique for mid-century modern furniture. I photographed Jeff, once a photographer himself, who, as a set designer for video shoots, became fascinated with the lasting quality of this  Mad Men -esque style. How cool!

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Overall, I had a fabulous time getting to know the Renaissance Missionites of Valencia Bottoms – they opened my eyes to the true meaning of microhood.

DO IT YOURSELF

Make your way down to Valencia Street between 14th and 15th on Thursday, April 21 between 6 and 8 p.m. to experience  Valencia Bottoms  for yourself! You can meet the people I did and find some awesome deals, good eats, complimentary libations, and a few surprises. Just be sure to  RSVP on Facebook  so The Bold Italic has a count of how many people are coming out.

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