Following on from our portrait with ceramicist Paige Russell in her home in San Francisco’s Mission District, we get to know her hometown a little better through a personalized tour of her neighbourhood. Paige was kind enough to take us along for the ride and show us her favorite local places to visit.
” I love everything about living in the Mission neighborhood of my adopted city: the diversity, the near constant sunshine which is unique in the otherwise often fog covered city, all the great restaurants and shops, and the creativity of its inhabitants that’s expressed in murals, rogue urban gardens, and playful public works.”
Taking a short meandering walk through her local streets we stopped by Lila B’s, a magical, hidden garden space which also doubles as a “living arrangements” flower company where Paige collaborated on some custom planters and vases.
Tucked away next door we find Stable Cafe with its selection of tasty baked treats, organic coffee and seasonal menu.
“This is one of my most favorite places in the city. It’s an incredibly positive space – a very special mix of rare outdoor seating space, carefully curated furniture objects, delicious food, lovely people, and gently arranged plethora of plants. I come here at least once a week.”
Along the way, we passed a number of the neighborhood’s most iconic institutions including BiRite Market a foodie’s paradise and a smattering of the vibrant murals that give the area its distinct character.
“While living next to the best bakery, market and ice cream shops in the city is wonderful for the soul, it’s a challenge to be considerate of my wallet and waistline. What a delicious challenge to have though!”
Warm and gregarious, Paige exchanged hellos with many shop and cafe owners with her camera in hand during our stroll throughout the city.
“Creating a sense of belonging anywhere I move to, for me, means taking the time to get to know those who have invested in the neighborhood by opening businesses and/or being any sort of consistent public presence. I call it ‘Cheers Factor’ (a fictional 80’s TV show bar where ‘everyone knows your name’), and it helps me feel at home in new places.”
Little Paper Planes Shop
On our last stop we pass by Little Paper Planes Shop – one of Paige’s top destinations for finding that perfect last minute gift. Founded by artist and curator Kelly Lynn Jones in 2004, here you can find a spectrum of treasures from hand crafted cards, homewares, limited edition prints, key rings and wallets, to books and magazines by local designers and artists. You can always count on finding a great creative discovery inside this inspirational light filled space.
” The owner and curator of Little Paper Planes, Kelly Lynn Jones, has a wonderful eye (two in fact), for freshness. I love stopping in to see what’s coming next in color, style and theme. She took over the space from my dear friends Derek Fagerstrom and Lauren Smith who ran the Curiosity Shop there for years. They bought my ceramics for their shop while I was still living in Canada and their loveliness was one of my inspirations for moving to San Francisco, so the space also has sentimental value for me.”