2223 Polk (at Vallejo), 292-6025
Smoke Signals is one of the best shops around for magazine junkies, expatriates looking for news from the Continent, and interior decorators (if its massive assortment of art and design journals is any judge). Most of the major tabloids and dailies from England, France, and Germany fill the racks in front of the store. Inside, though, it's mostly about magazines. If it's a glossy published in America, Smoke Signals probably has it, from the standard-issue general-interest rags like The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, and Time to trade publications like Variety and Billboard, plus one of the better collections of both political journals and British music magazines. There's porn and cigars for the fellas, the Robb Report and New York Review of Books for the Russian Hill clientele, and lottery tickets for everybody else. For fans of the printed word — and the literate affectations that so often accompany it — this is the place to start.