Best Anarchist Underwear San Francisco 2004 - Needles and Pens
Informally known in some circles as "the anarchist store," this Mission District shop sells home-published zines and cool, low-cost homemade clothing. The zines -- dozens and dozens of them, from all over -- are mostly photocopied, and the DIY-style wearables include underpants made of old silk-screened T-shirts with the original words and designs showing up in random, uh, places. Just under a year old, the store was started by the seamster-zinester pair Breezy Culbertson (the "needles" half) and Andrew Scott (of the zine Sob Story) "as an oasis for people sick of vapid corporate culture." Culbertson recognized a growing trend for overpriced hip fashions and created her label, strandid, to offer a non-bourgie alternative, threads she herself could afford. Bags and other items by underground creators are nearly all one-of-a-kind. The silk-screened patches put out by Jen Smith of the Quails were much in evidence on black-clad breakaway protesters at last March's anti-war rallies. In addition, the shop hosts art shows (mostly of Mission artists, curated by friends) in its minuscule back room and outdoor area. Open Thursday through Sunday from noon to 7 p.m.