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By Anne Gates
Storetrek is a regular feature of the Voice profiling new shops and businesses in the neighborhood. This month's column introduces an insurance office on Castro, a new yoga studio on Sanchez, and a gift and art shop operated by a Noe Valley resident in Glen Park. If you are the owner of a new business in the area, please leave word at the Voice by calling 821-3324.
The Sanchez Street Studio
1589 Sanchez St. (at 29th)
Yoga enthusiasts, from beginner to expert, have a new place to practice in Noe Valley. The Sanchez Street Studio, which opened this past spring on Sanchez near 29th Street, offers classes and workshops seven days a week.
"We're growing steadily," says Judy Sacks, one of the studio's seven independent yoga teachers. Since Back Room Yoga (at the corner of Sanchez and 25th) closed at the end of September, many former teachers and students have moved down the street to the Sanchez Street Studio.
Sacks taught at Back Room Yoga, as did current Sanchez Studio instructors Deborah Franzini, Anne Saliou, and Kathy Flock. Susie Bruder, Francois Lozier, and David France also teach at the new studio. The classroom is equipped for a maximum of 12 students, but most classes average 9 or 10. Thirteen different classes are offered each week, and the focus is largely on "gentle yoga," though each instructor has his or her own focus and influences.
Flock teaches a "Yoga for Pregnancy" class on Wednesdays (9 10:30 a.m.) and a special class for moms and babies on Thursdays (10 11:30 a.m.). The pregnancy class is ongoing, but Mom/Baby Yoga is taught as a six-week series. Flock says she has been teaching prenatal yoga and working with new mothers for about five years.
France, who teaches on Sundays (5:30 7:30 p.m.) and Thursdays (6 7:30 p.m.), describes his yoga method as a "dynamic flowing style emphasizing the development of acute perceptual skills to move beyond the limits of body and mind." His training is in Iyengar yoga, a "moving meditation" also favored by Sacks.
"Yoga is intense, but it's not like aerobics," says Sacks. "It's about strength and flexibility. Yoga is a great counterbalance to our lives of sitting and slouching."
She advises students to wear comfortable, non-baggy clothing and to avoid eating a meal before class. Because her classes have students at all levels of experience, Sacks says she tries to give options in a range of difficulty. Her class is on Tuesdays from 6:15 to 7:45 p.m.
The classes taught by Francois Lozier stress proper alignment, stretching, active and restorative poses, and relaxation. His intermediate class meets on Saturdays at 9 a.m. Lozier's general/beginner class starts right afterward at 10:35 a.m., and runs until noon.
Saliou teaches mixed levels of yoga -- beginners welcome--on Tuesdays (9:30 11 a.m.) and Thursdays (7:30 9 p.m.). Franzini's gentle yoga classes meet on Wednesdays and Fridays. Bruder's class-es are for "all levels of beginners" and are held Mondays and Wednesdays at 6 p.m.
Prices vary from instructor to instructor, but the drop-in fee is usually $10 or $12, and a series of four classes costs $37 to $40. Note that not all classes are open to drop-in students.
Flyers for each instructor are available at the studio, or call the instructor who best fits your interest and schedule: Susie Bruder, 648-3044; Kathy Flock, 826-5510; David France, 861-8737; Deborah Franzini, 282-8186; Francois Lozier, 642-9987; Anne Saliou, 564-7065; and Judy Sacks, (510) 848-3346.
74 Wilder St. (at Diamond between
Chenery and Bosworth)
"Easter" the pet bunny has his own vintage teacups for kibble and water at Maria Carranza's new boutique, Moptic. Part art gallery, part flea market, Moptic sells a whimsical variety of new and vintage gifts.
Carranza, a Noe Valley resident, opened her small sunny shop in the heart of Glen Park on June 14. She says she's gotten a good response so far, and is looking forward to the holiday season.
Paintings, ceramics, and handmade purses showcase the work of several local artists, and Carranza, an artist herself, is always on the lookout for new items. "I know a lot of people who make interesting things," she says. Her own handprint-ed cards and photo art are on display, as are some striking stackable ceramic sculptures by Saunders Shaw, starting at $50.
Moptic also offers a wide assortment of dishes from the '40s and '50s, which sell for $2 to $25. Vintage linens are priced from $10 to $30. Carranza is also willing to buy housewares and other knickknacks from her customers, or occasionally sell them on consignment.
The shop offers mechanical toys, the metal collectible ones, for $2 to $32. The finger puppets are a big hit too, says Carranza, as are the handbags and evening bags in silk and satin. Giant candles sell for $12, and wire top hats that double as vases are $20. The shop's unusual inventory also includes Chinese wrapping paper, wooden clogs, feather fans, and $1 finger-shaped hooks to hang on the walls.
In a corner of the store is a display of delicate pearl jewelry, imported from Japan. Pearl earrings and necklaces are priced from $30 to $200, and custom pearls and settings are available. Silver rings from Bali are $14; bracelets are $33 to $55. Semi-precious stone earrings are about $90, and amber earrings are $22.
Moptic is open Wednesday through Fri-day, 1 to 7 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, noon to 6 p.m. The store will be open long-
er in December for the holiday season.
Michael Glazer Allstate Insurance
1326 Castro St. (at Jersey)
"This area has been starved for an Allstate office," says Allstate Insurance Agent Michael Glazer. Glazer is now Noe Valley's Allstate representative, and he plans to offer personalized service to the neighborhood.
Allstate sells life insurance, auto and property insurance, and some commercial insurance. Glazer points out that Allstate is the largest stockholder-owned insurance company in the country and the fourth-largest life insurance provider.
He also wants to remind local residents that the final phase of Proposition 103, the voter-approved initiative to standardize statewide car insurance rates, will take effect in November. "That means good things for a lot of San Franciscans," says Glazer. Clients' mileage and driving record are now more important than their home address, he explains.
Glazer says the Noe Valley zip codes (94114, 94131, and 94110) will have the largest decrease in auto insurance rates in the city. "The new rates will lower prices as much as 16 percent in the Noe Valley zip codes," says Glazer. The greatest savings will come to property owners who have both home and car insurance policies with the same insurance company.
Insurance prices are also dropping due to competitive forces, says Glazer, and some people might want to review their policies to see if they can get better coverage at the same cost. "We have very competitive rates," he adds.
For nonpartisan auto insurance advice, Glazer suggests contacting the Western Insurance Information Service (WIIS). He has the consumer group's free bro-chure (about how to reduce car insurance costs) at his office, or you can send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to WIIS, 3530 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1610, Los Angeles, CA 90010.
The new Allstate office, in the space formerly occupied by @eon Computer, opened Aug. 4. Glazer says Allstate customers who have policies at other offices in the city may use him as an insurance resource and are welcome to pay their insurance bills at his office. You can also find more information on his Web site: http://agent.allstate.com/22306.
Glazer says the main reason he's in the insurance business is that he enjoys meeting and helping people. Perhaps it's in his genes too: his father has worked for Allstate for 36 years and is still on the job.
Glazer was born and raised in San Francisco and is thrilled to be in Noe Valley. "I was ecstatic to find this location in this neighborhood," Glazer says. "People in Noe Valley are taking care of their homes, and they have pride of ownership and an interest in the community. I'm proud to be here."
Allstate Insurance is open 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday.