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San Francisco Treat

Images + Post By: | August 12, 201132 Comments

The streets of San Fran are paved with thirft.

This week Something Borrowed, Nothing New was out in Frisco for a bit of sun (at times) and thrifting (everywhere and anywhere in this city).  Check out our finds and city shopping recs … after the jumper! 

San Fran is the city of the second-hand everything – as the hippies and yuppies roam free in their shared natural habitat, reprising the vintage arts of the likes of canning and beer brewing and of course, enjoying thrift by the pound, the second hand bargain bins of the Mission and overfilled free boxes on every corner.

Free in San Francisco

Free in San Francisco

In fact, if I am not mistaken, the ’60s era freeshops started in San Fran or at least were made popular there. For those who are not familiar, the freeshop was a direct action tactic to give away all manner of commodities from clothes to furniture and tools in order for people to exchange goods outside the money-based capitalist market.  The concept lives on in the heart of the aging baby boom middle class and in the form of junk (or treasures depending on your take) left on a street corner or stoop in the city’s free boxes, carefully kept separate from San Fran’s intensely eco-friendly garbage collection that includes recycling and compost bins.

So when in Rome… you must keep your eyes on the street between vintage store hopping. A good free take would be a relatively clean tee or a shell necklace perhaps. And yet the better bet is the impromptu street markets- cheaper prices and more hilarious finds.

Quality swap shop opportunity

Bay Area kids also get down with a swap shop. You bring your closet castoffs to swap with someone else’s second hands. You can often get a garage saler to make a swap shop transaction with you.

Now of course the Bay is full of fantastic brick and mortar vintage shops specializing in all eras. One I absolutely love love love is Painted Bird on Valencia in the Mission. This place has it all enchanting displays, lovely basics and delightful surprise finds, extremely reasonable prices, comfortable changing rooms and gregarious shop attendants. Love it love it love it.

Cuteness at Painted Bird

I snagged this incredible never before seen – mesh t-shirt by uh…L.L. Bean?!



You may have not made it out to the Outer Sunset in your own cross country thrifting voyages, but if you are from the Bay you have certainly enjoyed a sunny, yet windy dindy day out at the beach there. If you do make it out there you must hit up General Store- best enjoyed after a sandwich and a brew from Outerlands cafe. I spent way too much time in General Store inspecting their ornamentals.

There are so many other vintage store fronts around the Bay- too many to list here. But a few that I have to rep are

Gravel & Gold, not just vintage but a place to share ideas and resources- browse vintage and take part in a sandal making workshop. Then there is Community Thrift on Valencia which is a non-profit and still has by the pound- my true love of vintage. Wasteland in the Haight is huge and always a guarantee for a find.

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