Everything Haight

Archive for March, 2012

Day in the Park

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A shoe parlor that completes the puzzle

Piper’s Shoe Parlor adds to the ever changing Haight

Piper's Shoe Parlor opened in Aug. 2011.

The Upper Haight is a galleria of shops, bars, restaurants and cafes competing in a constantly changing market. A new endeavor—by way of shoes—steps its way up establishing prominence in the neighborhood.

Piper’s Shoe Parlor at 1682 Haight St., dreamt up by brother and sister Justin and Jessica Dega, opened in Aug. 2011. Their shop is a thought-out showcasing of unique footwear revitalizing the soul of the Haight Ashbury shopping experience, according to nearby businesses.

“I think we need more stores like them on the street,” says Lisa Beach, buyer at Aqua Surf Shop. “It’s a refreshing store to have… It’s a good presence.”

Beach explains that the shop adds diversity to the street. Although there are many stores focused on shoes, she says that Piper’s is  a “good move for Haight,” because it is a step towards retail growth in the neighborhood.

Shop owners Justin and Jessica Dega doing product inventory after receiving a shipment.

Justin says that their product is what makes them stand out from similar stores.

“I think we dig a little deeper than some stores,” says Justin. He explains that they look for “unestablished brands,” because they are “willing to grow” as Piper’s itself grows.

Jessica agrees by saying that what makes the store work is the fact that they build a partnership with the companies that they work with.

“It’s actually really nice to work with other companies that are small,” says Jessica. “They understand where you are coming from and they want you to succeed.”

The store has received a warm welcoming thus far and they are glad to be a part of the Haight Ashbury, especially since their location happened by chance.

“It fell into our lap,” says Jessica.  She says that they were in the “right place at the right time,” and that they are “happy to be in this location.”

Jessica Dega rearranges shoes on the display shelf.

“As of now this is where I want to be,” adds Justin. “It’s an established retail area.”

Maurice Lee, manager of Wasteland agrees that there is no better place for Piper’s than Haight Street.

“I like when shops open up, rounding out Haight Street,” says Lee. “It’s not another ‘head-shop’ so that is awesome!”

Piper’s is still within its first year and Justin and Jessica are in the process of learning their business with hopes for great growth.

“I think a lot is changing on Haight Street right now,” says Jessica. “The fact that this is a new endeavor for both of us and since it’s ours, we want it to work.”

She says that within the next five years they plan to expand to different locations, maybe even different cities and states.

“Really we are just trying to keep and learn where we stand,” says Justin. He explains how eventually they will have a responsibility in contributing to making the street “thrive” by participating in merchants associations, fund raisers and events.

As for now they are putting their passions and experience to the test. The store sells everything from hats, bags, coats and jewelry, but of course their main focus is on the shoes.

“We definitely like to put a lot of effort into finding things that are cool and have good design that maybe people don’t know about,” says Jessica.

“We can finally put everything into it,” says Justin. “We are definitely passionate about shoes… what drives us is our love to find something new.”

Phone: 415-553-6884

Address: 1682 Haight Street

Business Hours:  Sunday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Friday and Saturday 11 a.m to 8 p.m.

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Photos from Before the Fall e-Book release

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Before the Fall book release at The Red Vic

Orna Ross, author of the novel Before the Fall.

The Red Victorian Bed and Breakfast Peaceful World Center at 1665 Haight St., played host to the e-book release celebration of Orna Ross‘ new novel, Before the Fall, on Tuesday night.

A group of about 15 gathered to participate in the event that was highlighted with readings from the new novel.  Along with Ross, was a three-piece-Irish-folk group that provided a musical breath in-between readings.

People came from all over to take part in the book release, a few even were fellow Ireland-ers, but all were writers and peace-lovers who joined.

The new release, Before the Fall, has a great deal to do with the civil war in Ireland, and the framework is loosely based on Ross’ own observations growing up there.

“I was brought up in Ireland in the 1960’s and 70’s and the civil war quite simply was not spoken about,” Ross said, addressing her audience.  “We learned history in school.  It jumped straight from our glorious Republican operating of 1916 to the Eucharistic  congress of 1932.”

She then continues to relate the book to her own reality.

“The story is told through the life a young woman,” she said.  “She grows up in a village knowing that it is divided in two, but never really having that explained to her.  She just sort of grows into it like its the air she breathes.”

Through research she finds that the war had torn friends and families apart, fighting on opposing sides and again relates her own experiences.

“I knew that my father’s uncle had been killed in that war and shot by his best friend…  and I was absolutely fascinated by that.  How on earth could it get to a situation that you would wind up shooting your best friend?” she said to the audience.

Remaining audience members wait in line for an autograph and a chance to meet with author Orna Ross.

Ross continued on with more excerpts from her story.  She closed the night with a poem entitled The Writers Calland the night was played out with one last song from the band.

Orna Ross has had a long going relationship with The Red Victorian and the staff, in particularly Sami Sunchild, the owner of the establishment.

“I have returned many times, alone and with my family,” Ross said.  Her relationship with the bed and breakfast peace center has been going on for more than 15 years, and throughout that time, she has worked on numerous writings within its walls.


Haighters Gon’ Skate!

Ian Weekes

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