Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

Sucker Punch of Love: For Everyone Else, There Are Oddities 

Tuesday, Nov 25 2014
Comments

In the menagerie of gift-giving, there's the mythical "person who has everything" who is impossible to shop for (solution: Give them love; it's as cheap and abundant as natural gas, and has ruined just as many small towns as fracking). There's the person who loves everything, for whom it's just a matter of sticking a U2 CD in a colorful bag. And then, somewhere in the middle, there's a sort of vortex for those people who have good taste — they really do! — and like things — lots of things! — but who are really difficult to shop for. They're so up on music or woodworking or grilling that they'll buy whatever they want before you can get to it. So what do you get them? The X-gift.

The X-gift is the bizarre choice. It's the lightning strike on a clear day. It's surprising, it's different, and you sure didn't see it coming. It's the sucker punch of thoughtfulness. Here, some options for your inscrutable friend.

Marbles the Brain Store

A place for toys and games to make you smarter — hand-eye, memory, critical thinking, and so on. Plus you can play against the employees! Best of all is to get to say "Marbles the Brain Store" over and over after you present the gift.

845 Market St. in Westfield mall, 278-0438, marblesthebrainstore.com

Paxton Gate

The marketplace for the intriguing and weird for probably hundreds of years, Paxton Gate is like the parlor of an adventurer-scientist in some old pulp. Only everything's for sale, from mounted insects to more esoteric needs, like a dried sleeping bat ($65), badger foot kilt pin ($200), or the glass eye of a tiger ($10.25). Buy 'em something that'll stare back at them.

824 Valencia St., 824-1872, paxtongate.com

The Succulence

Not an out-and-out strange place like some of the others on this list, The Succulence nevertheless is a slam-dunk. Look, everyone likes plants, but people kill them, so they say they don't. Succulents are very forgiving, and come in just a hallucinogenic variety of colors and forms and pointynesses.

402 Cortland Ave., 282-2212, thesucculence.com

Upper Playground

The art and clothing shop puts out T-shirts that are not going to be found elsewhere, many by S.F. artist Jeremy Fish. Favorites are the hoodies and tees sporting illustrations based on marijuana strains — Sour Diesel for Dad, AK-47 for Mom.

220 Fillmore St., 861-1960, upperplayground.com

Woot Bear

A shop for collectible toys in that zone of popular art between the adorable and the unsettling, Woot Bear is the storefront of music-poster legend Frank Kozik's studio, and home to many of his unpredictable, huggable visions. Smoking rabbit?

147 Clement St., 702-9602, wootbear.com

Tags:

About The Author

Brandon R. Reynolds

Comments


Comments are closed.

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed
  1. Most Popular

Slideshows

  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"