Variety of personalized templates for cards or invitations to baby showers, weddings, and birthday parties
Zazzle Custom Flat Invitations & Announcements
Zoobooks, Zootles, or Zoobies Magazine
All-things-animal magazines written for kids 12 and younger teach about anatomy, habitat, and socialization in photos, articles, and games
Rosetta Stone Level 1–4 Set
Interactive program engages learners with speech recognition, an online community, and live tutored sessions
General Beads overflows with brilliant beads, gems, and sparkling rhinestones, patiently waiting to bring dreamed-up craft projects to fruition. Whether looking to create a one-of-a-kind jewelry piece or a beaded taxicab, hand-crafting artists will discover a wide selection of suitable beads and adornments, such as Swarovski crystal rhinestones ($1 for 12 pieces), Czech bugle-seed beads ($5.50 for a hank), and Czech 4mm round beads ($2.75 for 100 pieces). String bold beads and gleaming gems together with a variety of materials, such as gold-plate cable chain ($1.65/ft.), Soft-Flex beading wire ($9.60 for 30 ft.), or tasty cinnamon dental floss. With an attentive and informed staff on hand to answer questions and give advice, bead buffs will have no problem locating the supplies and inspiration needed to create memorable gifts and name-brand counterfeit moccasins.
For 15 years, the friendly and knowledgeable staff at locally-owned-and-operated Framed and Cornered have been helping people preserve precious memories and fine art. Patrons browse thousands of framing samples and hundreds of mat colors while getting valuable input from art-degreed team members. The crew specializes in archival framing, using modern conservation techniques such as acid-free mats and UV-protective glass to guard keepsakes against damage.
The talented technicians also perform custom framing to preserve diplomas, sports jerseys, and other collectibles.
Olive makes HD music servers for current and aspiring audiophiles looking to centralize their music collections and stream songs throughout their homes while maintaining optimal sound quality.
Join us in our quest to Save The Sound.
Nestled amid shops, restaurants, and movie theaters, Opera Plaza Deli & Taqueria is as much grocery store as it is lunch hot spot. Through the windows you can see fully stocked shelves and coolers along with a few tables and chairs, where customers unwrap tacos filled with guac, beans, and meat or dig into plates of Mexican-style steak and fajitas. Traditional dishes include bistec ranchero and pork tamales, but there are also philly cheesesteaks, avocado-topped burgers, and other familiar plates. The deli serves breakfast, too—huevos con chorizo, huevos rancheros, and huevos con jamon.
The experts at Back to the Picture preserve artwork and keepsakes in both readymade and custom frames. For the latter, technicians create cut-to-fit mouldings and mats for your treasured photo, painting, or self-portrait in macaroni before placing it behind glass with antireflective or nonglare technology. An 11"x14" piece of art with a basic wood frame, regular mat and regular glass typically starts around $150. Helpful staff members can also help visitors pick out the perfect frame.
Sun Fat Seafood Company is so stripped-down and no-nonsense that upon walking in, your nostrils will be as empty as the walls. Vigilantly clean and spare, this old-school fish monger prides itself on having about two dozen varieties of the cheapest oysters the Pacific can offer, along with other shelled swimmers
flown in from around the world. Front-window posters of Arctic and Southern fish and crustaceans are the only nod towards décor. The rest is fluorescent lighting, ceiling fans, walls of tanks full of three-pound lobsters and row upon row of fish on beds of granulated ice. The staff knows sushi-grade seafood from its imitators, and provides some of the best fish the sea has to offer.
Scribd is the Netflix of books. Members access the entire online library for a flat fee, and what a library it is?more than 500,000 books. Their selection encompasses New York Times bestsellers, romance novels, sci-fi thrillers, the latest Lonely Planet travel guides, and more.
The technology is as user-friendly as the library is big. The e-books work on all types of gadgets, including iPhones, Androids, Nook HD, iPads, Kindle Fires, and select tamagotchis. Read on one device, and your progress will be synced across all your other ones. What's more, users don't need the internet to get their reading done?the books can all be saved offline.
Although technically a party-supply store, Casa Bonampak is not the right retail outlet for cheesy Mylar balloons or morbid 40th-birthday gag gifts. Rather, it’s a place to get ready for Carnival and Day of the Dead, or when stocking up on hand-carved Nativity figures for Christmas. Casa Bonampak works to preserve Mexican and Latino culture from the Maya to Frida Kahlo – with a stock of cultural clothes and playful skeleton statuary – winning acclaim from many national outlets along the way. Colorful papeles picados (celebratory paper banners) are so meticulously sub-categorized that there’s even paper decorations for Jewish weddings. As a store, an art gallery and an education center attached, Casa Bonampak is the Mission’s best custodian of Latin American folk art in all its diversity and vitality.
Like video rental houses and bookstores, record shops have endured severe Darwinian hardship, and only the best have survived this far into the Age of Digital. Well, it's still the Age of Aquarius, too, and Aquarius Records on Valencia continues to flourish by offering unbeatable selection and superior knowledge that keeps the Bay's most eclectic audiophiles as devoted as they were in 1970. Curated, yes, and certainly a mecca for obscure oddities above all else, this is still one of the city’s definitive places to expand your sonic horizons – and pick up some actual, real-life cassettes! With few frills and a sometimes bristly staff that certainly knows their stuff, Aquarius may shame you into stumbling onto new favorites the old-fashioned way – but you’ll be glad it did.
Whether it’s through their coffee or some unidentifiable means, the Mission’s café/sci-fi-fantasy bookstore Borderlands Café has not only stayed afloat through the reign of the e-book and third-wave caffeination shops, but actually expanded its cultural reach. From Philip K. Dick to Lord of the Rings, Borderlands is a paradise for every tribe of self-described nerd, and the adjoining café is the perfect spot to tear into an out-of-print horror anthology paperback from deep in the stacks. With a calendar bursting with readings and author conversations throughout the year, Borderlands acts as a hub for a vibrant community of San Francisco fanboys. And with their dedicated following, pleasant atmosphere and strong preference for quality works by some of the science fiction genre’s greatest names, it’s likely that Borderlands Café will continue to weather the dwindling book economy for years to come.
As the layout can feel slightly vortex-like, Dog Eared Books is one of the best places to let an afternoon spiral away from you, browsing and thumbing through well-loved copies of used books. An ever-chatty staff serves as a nice rejoinder to all the usual book snobbiness, making even causal readers feel right at home. Dog Eared is a Mission institution, complete with the classic discount shelf cart parked out front that acts as a honeypot for erudite idlers. Being such staunch supporters of the writers and authors who live in the area, a purchase at Dog Eared feels more like arts patronage than a mere commercial transaction.
These days, most video rental stores are the subject of more curiosity than anything else. The museum-like hush of Lost Weekend Video, with its threadbare carpeting and Asteroids arcade game and foreign films playing nonstop on a non-flatscreen television, reinforces its aging position as one of only a handful of places in the Mission to rent a DVD. Chock-full of auteur directors’ passion projects, black-and-white obscurities and out-of-print sci-fi flicks, this is not the place for first-run big budget rental flicks; it’s where cineastes bump into film fetishists, fighting over a copy of Berlusconi or Kurosawa. Lost Weekend also plays host to several comedy nights every month in its “Cinecave,” a stage and screening room in the back. This is a treasured remnant of the Valencia Street’s pre-restaurant-paradise days, alive and kicking no matter how anachronistic it might appear.
The many traditions of herbalism and folk remedies collide at the Mission’s Scarlet Sage Herb Company, sourcing quality organic herbs on Valencia Street since 1995. For holistic healing methods outside the parameters of standard Western medicine – think aromatherapy, teas, and homeopathy – or just to brighten a home with flower essences and natural beauty products, this women-run business is a serious go-to. Although bulk herbs are a staple, Scarlet Sage stocks seeds and seedlings during the springs and summer, for the benefit of green-thumb gardeners looking to grow their own solutions. Feminine-leaning and sometimes far-out, Scarlet Sage is also a place for education – beyond the knowledgeable staff, there is an impressive selection of books on using the power of herbs to promote health and wellness.
Though some might argue that four years old is too young for a biography, four year olds might disagree. That’s where MyChronicleBooks’ fully personalized books come in. Decorated with a child’s name, favorite color, and photo, each book connects with children like no other by making them the star of the story. Kids unleash their imaginations as they devour pages of storybooks by authors and illustrators featured on The New York Times best sellers list. Personalized tales describe their daily life as a princess, pirate, or simply a big brother or sister. Beyond books, the online store can also personalize other children’s gifts, such as lunchboxes, notebooks, growth charts, and school supplies.
In the age of digital downloads, finding an actual bookstore is no easy task. It’s even more surprising, then, that Alexander Book Company spans three entire stories, while staying true to their independent spirit. Locally-owned and operated in the heart of downtown San Francisco, between Union Square and the Financial District, Alexander’s carries books for every brain. Their huge selection and open space occupies three floors, making for a great place to spend a few hours or an entire afternoon. Peruse the stacks, pull out some favorites or just grab a seat to browse the first couple of pages of your next favorite read. Aside from current new release and national best-sellers, Alexander’s also shows their love for local San Francisco authors and chefs by featuring many of their books and publications.