Bring the holidays home

There is no easier or better way to make the holidays a real home and neighborhood affair than to do your shopping locally. On Nov. 27, we celebrated the first-ever Small Business Saturday, which was a way for communities to come together and support the local small businesses they love. Many of you may have also taken advantage of the great (on and off) Chestnut events like Sip, Snack and Shop on Dec. 2 or the family-oriented Chestnuts on Chestnut on Dec. 3. And in this month’s Northside San Francisco, you’ll find the popular local shopping guide compiled by the publisher, editors and staff. So if you are ready to reduce your carbon footprint, lower your holiday stress, and support local businesses, take a stroll down Chestnut instead of fighting the crowds at the big box stores or malls and find some gifts that are truly unique!

For an only-in-the-Marina gift, stop by the newly opened Marine Layer at 2209 Chestnut between Pierce and Avila. Owner Mike Natenshon set out to develop the perfect t-shirt – just like your favorite one that fits just right and has been broken in over many years and many washings. He decided that since over 95 percent of the clothing sold in the U.S. is actually made abroad, he was going to make this a “made in the USA” product from the beginning. Well, he did even better than that, with all of Marine Layer’s fabrics made right here in California. On top of the small carbon footprint created getting their shirts from fabrication to the store, add in their unique blend of pima cotton and a bio-based fabric made from locally grown and sustainably harvested beech trees in a closed loop manufacturing process, and you are talking about a shirt that not only feels good on you, but you can feel good buying it. How good does it feel? Some of the shirts are advertised as being so soft, “people are going to start randomly petting you.” This is not a one-size fits-all concept either. Sizes include smedium, medium, marge, large, larger, and xtra-large, so there is going to be a shirt that fits you perfectly. No t-shirt (or polo shirt) is complete without some snappy graphics, and these guys have really captured the heart and soul of the Marina with their colorful graphic style. (Now I just hope Santa brings me one with the silhouetted surfer standing below the Golden Gate Bridge at Fort Point!) Go get your marine layer on from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week.

Marine Layer: 2209 Chestnut Street, 415-407-4043, www.marinelayer.com

If you know someone who is a rock star – or just likes to dress like one – then the new G-Star Raw on Chestnut between Mallorca and Steiner is the place to shop. Featuring their own line of G-Star clothing for men and women, you’ll find everything from boots, shoes and accessories, to jeans, tops and leather jackets. Their very fashion-forward line of apparel makes a statement. The autumn/winter collection will keep you toasty on the runway (strike a pose) or just hanging out in the foggy Marina. Or, if you want to give a nod (and a wink) to the glory days of the Presidio, then the P.T. Army collection is what you’re looking for. And while being a G-Star may be great for a day or night on the town, there is also their Correct Line midnight collection that will get you to the office or a holiday party in mighty high style.

G-Star RAW:2060 Chestnut Street, 415-567-7224, www.g-star.com

The Marina has exploded with pizza this past year, and while you may think you’ve tried every variety ever invented, I’m betting you haven’t had a Feteer yet – unless you’ve stopped by Crave City on Chestnut near Fillmore. Feteer is described as an Egyptian pizza and is flaky pastry dough stuffed with bell peppers, black olives, tomatoes, mushrooms, mozzarella cheese, and a choice of additional toppings. They have a variety of pizzas that are more traditional as well as a number of wraps made in their fresh-baked naan bread. At Crave City, in case you haven’t already noticed, their motto is “beyond pizza”, which means you’ll also find a diverse selection of salads from Caesar to caprese or eggplant, and their BBQ plates include beef or chicken skewers cooked in their charcoal clay oven. Top it all off with a nice selection of Feteer desserts, including the Chocolate Monkey or Honey Honey, and you’ll be walking like an Egyptian. They are open Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. until midnight; and if you have a late night playing Santa or wrapping presents, you’ll be happy to know they serve Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. until 3 a.m.
Crave City:2015 Chestnut Street, 415-409-2009

Here’s wishing you all a local, joyful, safe, and sustainable holiday season!

Jim Maxwell is a past president of the Marina Merchants Association and owns Architects II in the Marina. E-mail: jim@marinatimes.com