This Week: The Curiosity Shoppe (San Francisco and Online)

When I wrote about The Curiosity Shop’s online shop last fall, Albert left a comment saying, “I wish I had more money to buy random, interesting and weird things for my home,” and I share in his sentiment. So when my friend Marla told me The Curiosity Shoppe was located on the trendy Valencia shopping strip in the Mission neighborhood a few blocks from her apartment, I couldn’t wait to see the shop in person, and I wondered if they still carried the shiny, red First Aid box I’d seen online.

Fortunately they did. “It’s like  twenty bucks,” said Marla as we milled about the store. “Just buy it.” But The Curiosity Shoppe was even cooler in person than it had looked online, and I liked practically everything, so I didn’t buy anything. Since I hadn’t brought my camera, we made it a point to make a second trip a few days later, and by then I’d narrowed down my options between a ceramic Polaroid camera and the First Aid box. But between taking photos for this post and my continued indecisiveness, I left empty-handed once again, although Marla seemed perplexed as to why I didn’t buy the First Aid box I’d been thinking about for months. “It’s like twenty bucks,” she said again. “Just buy it.”

Continued . . .

* I’m thinking about buying 20 red First Aid boxes and hanging them in a cross pattern on a wall painted the same color red. What do you think?

A few days later on my third visit, I did.* But the white ceramic Polaroid camera, the amazing yellow nesting bowls and the arrows made from salvaged plaster lathe still haunted my thoughts, so on my final night in the city before returning to Chicago, I asked Marla if we could stop by The Curiosity Shoppe one more time. Her eyes widened slightly and she shook her head. “They close in like five minutes,” she said firmly. “We won’t make it.” I kicked some mental gravel and muttered about calling the store, but Marla was insistent. “We’ll never make it.” Tough love. We were only two or three blocks from the store (max), so normally I’d have broken into a sprint and made it with time to spare, but Marla had been a patient friend and tour guide, so I turned away from the charming little shoppes direction, and we took a lovely walk instead. So that’s why I didn’t have the opportunity to visit The Curiosity Shoppe in person . . . a fourth time. You, however, should visit soon.  Keep watching for photos of Survival Annex, the Curiosity Shoppe’s pop-up shoppe.

The Curiosity Shoppe. 855 Valencia Street. San Francisco. 415.671.5384.

FUN FACT: I was so excited to see The Curiosity Shoppe in person that I said to the very lovely shopkeeper, “It’s so much better virtually,” which was exactly the opposite of what I’d intended to say. Luckily she had a good sense of humor and didn’t have us thrown out.

HEAD TWISTER: You can’t experience the fourth time of anything more than once. Think about it.

Check out The Curiosity Shoppe’s new products, which include:

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4 Responses to “This Week: The Curiosity Shoppe (San Francisco and Online)”

  1. can you bring back a couple of those “log pillows” for me please.

  2. cool shop. do we have anything like that here? i don’t think so. 4-sided maybe?

  3. Alvin I’m home man! But if you call them, I’m sure they’ll ship a log pillow right out to you.

  4. Jan, it’s funny you mention 4-Sided, because I drove by the Andersonville shop this morning and thought it might be the only comparable store.