Sunset Outposts and Sandwich Exchanges

The far outer Sunset is quite non-descript, and there are surprisingly few businesses or restaurants along the ocean. But in one little nook, between 45th and 46th Ave on Judah Street there’s been a flurry of hipster activity with a charismatic set of shops owned by young entrepreneurs:

You have the Outerlands restaurant – with its cozy refurbished wood interior and hearty rustic food perfect for a fog drenched day. Trouble Coffee Company with its hand-brewed coffee and its invented staple (called build your own damn house – it is comprised of a young fresh coconut, a cup of joe and a thick piece of toast crisped with a layer of brown sugar on top). The General Store, with its sparse yet eclectic items – such as glass terrariums, porcelain jars, feather belts, cacti, mocassins and crafty household pieces. And, just one block away on Irving street the Mullosk Surf Shop, selling boards and suits, along with retro surf flicks and music.

Now to add to all of this – there is the Carville Annex gallery and the creative oasis that is trying to blossom through the work of the Sandwich Exchange.

The Sandwich Exchange is a project by Nick Sung and Erin Klenow that is part of the Upper Left Ethnography Project. Originally the pair wanted to set up a storefront where they distributed free sandwiches to anyone interested in exchange for whatever they wanted to offer. However, because of City restrictions on food distribution, this idea could not be realized. So the team kept the name but decided instead to make an alcove where people can exchange objects. (Note: When I stopped by they had just gotten their first object – a miniature, somewhat weatherworn stuffed rabbit.)

The project invites anyone to come by and participate – bring by objects, exchange them, and in the process garner dialogue and interaction. Open hours are Tuesdays-Sundays 12-4 and the project, which is funded by Southern Exposure Alternative Grant Program, is housed in the Carville Annex.

If you are interested – here are some words – from the team itself, on how they describe their collective and its mission – specifically the Carville Annex (which has its own unique history):

The Upper Left quadrant of the Outer Sunset. There’s an anti-branding maker’s aesthetic here: hand ground coffee, chalkboard encomiums to the fog itself, a surf shop where neighbors make art on the couch and an ocean where dolphins and seals and surfers actually introduce themselves. And most recently the opening of the Carville Annex, named after the Outer Sunset’s first business, a speakeasy which served the residents of the abandoned boxcars dotting the miles of dunes that made up San Francisco’s Outside Lands. Like its predecessor, the modern day Annex seeks to provide a community space, a stopping spot for the creative folk who seem increasingly drawn by the unique traits of SF’s largest, but most often overlooked, district.

So, stop by – drop off an object at the Sandwich Exchange and take some time to explore the outer Sunset on your way to the beach!

Sandwich Exchange runs from June 12th through July 18th. Tues-Sun. 12-4 p.m.

Posted by: Florica Next