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I met Mara's boyfriend while I was kayaking on Elba Island, and he suggested I visit her shop, near the Pitti Palace. Mara was warm and welcoming, and showed me the highlights of her stunning handmade shoe collection that were on display. She has a small selection of ready-made shoes, but for a real thrill, have her make a pair just for you.
Words gets around. I was brought here by a friend, who was brought here by a friend who works in local county government. I ordered the "Tarboosh" a plate with a little bit of everything. It was all delicious, but too heavy for me, so next time I'll get something else, and I know it will be good. Do stop in here for lunch if you're in Redwood City on jury duty, or trying to get your building permit expedited. (Good luck with that!)
Stepping in the first thing I noticed was the soaring dome. It rivals the dome in Sacramento for sure. Lovely. The interior is solid and old-time governmental and really well done. The museum displays were brief, but full of information. I loved the old photos of county scenes and farms. Before you go visit the gift shop, well stocked with cards, books, games and treats.
The coastal trail is fantastic. Bring binoculars and you'll see seals, whales, and all kinds of sea birds, and land birds too!
I was running solo, on the move, and in the mood for a salad, so when I peeked into Tender Greens, and saw the cafeteria style line, and lots of salads on the chalkboard I was in. I had a great salad and was impressed with how fresh the greens were. I also had roasted seasonal veggies, ya know, they were the best, though not "diet food" since they were covered in delicious oil and butter. Looking at their website it totally makes sense that they're a SoCal chain, with lots of locations in LA, Orange County, and San Diego. There's one in downtown SF too. Cheapest parking in the area is in the structure by the Lesher Center.
Futuristic, fantastic, fun. Right downtown. And they have a terrific gift shop with geeky cool toys for all ages.
Not your garden variety quilts, they show a huge range of textile-based art here. And they have a great gift shop. Conveniently located near the Inst. of Contemporary Art.
This small store on the second floor is packed with elegant pre-owned label clothing. Try on a Chanel suit for only $250, or lined wool slacks for $75. They have cashmere sweaters, silk cocktail dresses, and a great selection of bags and boots. Shoppers get plenty of attention, or if you let them know you're browsing, they'll leave you to your explorations. There are some mark downs, and there are treasures to be had. But this is not the clearance rack at Ross, so be ready to spend for a really gorgeous well-made garment.
The shop was packed with good clothes for way less. They stock lots of mid-level labels so you can get a quality top that's in style for less than you'd pay for a cheaply made throw-away. The store was full at lunch hour mid week, so there's lots of turn over, making it a great place to shop or consign. Happy hunting!
Labels is pretty big, stretching out into two storefronts on Main Street. One store is full of delux lux, humongous handbags, up to your chin leather boots, and fluffy furs. Staff was super friendly, happy to help me with an unreachable zipper. I liked that some garments were sorted by designer. So if you've always wanted a Jean-Paul Gautier, you could just browse that section. I had the most fun trying on dresses from the $20 to $40 racks. Really! Fine seam finishes, fabulous fabric and clever closures for less than $50? Amazing.
They have a sister store on Ashby in Berkeley. Cheapest parking is in the structure next to the Lesher Center.
Above UC Berkeley the trails here are scenic and easy to get to for a wild getaway anytime.
This sewing nexus made my head spin. They have everything from fake fur to sparkle vinyl for auto upholstery to bridal tule. Add piles of notions and aisles of all sorts of ribbons and trim zippers. Huge. If you like to sew, just go there.