Green shopping guide: 6 earth-conscious fashion outposts


We've been shopping green for a week now -- check out our previous guides to housewares, kid's stuff, gardening resources, and local beauty

Let’s face it. Finding an oversized sweater in your mom’s closet that looks good on you tends to make you feel better than purchasing one at a corporate retail store because (a) you hate homogeneity, (b) you like saving money, (c) you’re rocking something straight out of the 80s, and (d) you’re relieved of the guilt associated with buying an item produced overseas. Here are a few suggestions on where to shop locally for you tree-hugging, fashion-conscious souls. Read more »

Green shopping guide: 8 sources of weekend-ready, enviro-friendly beauty


Beauty is said to only be skin-deep -- but the businesses that use holistic, organic, and plant-based ingredients want to demolish this age-old idiom. You can simultaneously rejuvenate yourself and the planet by ditching those toxic, harmful products once and for all. Think of it! With their products and services, self-care is no longer akin to being vain or selfish. These eight local spas, soapmakers, and producers of flower-based essences align nature, commerce, and beauty so that the world can sustain that perfect summer glow. Read more »

Green shopping guide: 7 shops for kids and housewares


Children, don't let your parents grow up to throw away aluminum foil. Now that you're a big kid, with attendant home cleaning and offspring-maintaining concerns, there's little reason to stop paying attention to the environment -- in fact, what with the better-world-for-the-little-ones hope, you might find yourself doubling down on decorating motifs that will save the world.

Here's a passel of stores (locally-based online enterprises and brick-and-mortar both) in the Bay where you can shop with a clean conscious for housewares and kid's items. We're guiding around enviro shopping all this week -- check out yesteday's guide to garden stores. Read more »

Green shopping guide: 8 shops to jump-start your spring garden


You can turn your slice of this concrete jungle into jungle, with a bit of elbow grease and ingenuity. Oh, and resources might help, too. Whether you're looking to build a succulent-laden sanctuary, an extensive drip irrigation system, or a simple window box, our local gardening centers and shops have you covered. Come for the enthusiastic and knowledgeable staffs, quirky clientele, and a chance to momentarily forget you live in a hectic city.

Flora Grubb Gardens

For those of us who like our plants and gardening implements flawlessly presented to us, Flora Grubb’s where it’s at. A gardening virgin won't escape this place without picking up something beautiful and fertile. Read more »

Is San Francisco ready for the electric bike?


"I'm so excited for that hill!" I shouted. And I was on a bike. 

I've never been excited for a hill on a bike before. But last week I tooled around on an electric bicycle with Karen and Brett Thurber, the husband-wife owners of Bernal Hieghts' sweet-swanky new shop New Wheel. We did about half of a 49-mile scenic drive (the one created in 1939 for the Golden Gate International Exposition that was meant to showcase the city's then-new neighborhoods), went up Twin Peaks, and I felt like a million bucks at the end of it.

I tell you this at the risk of sounding soft to pretty much every biker I know, but: "e-bikes" are fun. You can decide yourself -- New Wheel's always open for test rides, and it has a weekend of festivities planned Sat/31-Sun/1 to introduce the metal steeds to your loins. If you're open.  Read more »

6 Easter treats for adults


Trust us, this holiday can be fun -- and not just in the annual Hunky Jesus contest sense (although that's pretty adult-entertaining as well). Here are some suggestions for grown-up hoppin' around as April 8 approaches. 

>>Boozy Easter chocolates 

Why eat a hollow rabbit when you could nosh on white chocolate ganache infused with fresh lime and anejo tequila? Why chew on a tasteless Peep when you could have brown sugar-caramel laced with Kentucky bourbon? Why would you ever eat a plain chocolate egg when you could have Moet and Chandon Champagne blended with dark chocolate into a creamy, velvety dream? This conversation is over, check out Christopher Elbow's local chocolate offerings for your snuggle-bunny (before last call.)   Read more »

Wicka wicka

HERBWISE: Butane, beware. We present to you, the hemp wick


HERBWISE I absolutely hated the hemp wick the first time I saw one on of my stoner friends' lighters – and oh yes, at the moment this particular product will only show up in connection with your most stoner of friends. 

“What the hell is that?” They were sparking a joint with this awkwardly long waxed hemp string that they'd wrapped around the torso of their lighter. 

I was an idiot. I apologize, hemp wicks. Now I know you only have my best interests at heart. Read more »

Buy local: yoga edition

Drop that Lululemon and kit yourself up with these nearby retailers


YOGA Walking into Bay Area yoga studios can sometimes feel like being subsumed into a cult of Lululemon, Yogitoes, and Gaiam. Yoga means big bucks these days, and most everyone seems to be sporting the same few brands while getting their warrior on. Yogic ideology espouses non-materialism and self-acceptance, yet it's hard not want to fit in. Fortunately, there are lots of options that can get you out of big brand conformity and into stylie yoga gear that supports local vendors and designers. Read more »

The Performant: Science, Honor, Psychogeography


The Phenomenauts and Alley Cat Books shoot for the moon.

Trapped in a world they didn’t create, the spacecraft-garage band known to us as The Phenomenauts must surely come from a more evolved time and place, as evidenced by the spiffiness of their natty uniforms -- and the electric jolt of their stage shows. As refinement and heroism (the band motto is “Science and Honor”) are qualities in tragically short supply among your run-of-the-mill rock groups, bands which contain both are bound to stand out, with or without the additions of attention-grabbing technical flourishes such as pinpoint lasers, billows of stage fog, and the custom-built Streamerator 2000, which shoots festive streamers of toilet paper out onto the frenetic crowd. Speaking of frenetic, I love a band that can make San Franciscans dance as if possessed by dervishes with hyperkinesis. For that feat alone, they deserve an intergalactic medal for courage in the face of cosmic indifference.

Read more »

Downtown action: Sex shop Feelmore510 celebrates one year of community pleasure


The sex shop Feelmore510 is located on the corner of Oakland's Telegraph and 17th streets, across from an Obama campaign office, in between a pawn shop and the oldest African-American owned shoe store in town. The neighborhood is in transition, a place with old roots and a lot of new blooms – most businesses on this stretch of Telegraph opened within the last five years. Feelmore510 will celebrate its one-year anniversary Sun/12 when owner Nenna Joiner helps host Town Love, a new party at Hibiscus' Rock Steady. Read more »