Noe Valley Voice October 1999


By Jim Christie

Storetrek is a regular feature of the Voice introducing new businesses in the neighborhood. This month we cover several shops and services operating on the perimeter of Noe Valley. We also welcome two new arrivals to the neighborhood proper.

Valley Chiropractic Health Center has been in business in Noe Valley for 10 years, but the center's trio of practitioners recently became a quartet. Doctor of Chiropractic Tracey Fung opened her practice this summer, joining three other doctors at their Church Street location -- Michelle Paris, Claudia Kindler, and Nicoletta Ketchum.

Of the services offered at Valley Chiropractic, Fung says, "We do it all!" "All" includes massage therapy, acupuncture, yoga, and Pilates, an exercise program that focuses on body strength and endurance. Fung, a Belmont resident who would "love to move to Noe Valley," is a 1996 graduate of the Palmer College of Chiropractic West in San Jose, where she is now a faculty member.

Valley Chiropractic is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday appointments are also scheduled. The doctors can be reached at 415-550-1200, or you can drop in at their offices at 1326 Church St. (at Clipper).


A few blocks away is the new Shelley Masters Studio of Decorative Painting, at 3998 Cesar Chavez (at Sanchez), which opened this summer. Masters, a nine-year resident of Noe Valley, offers a broad range of hands-on and conceptual art classes, and occasional free lectures and open studios.

A sampling of classes includes Basic and Advanced Wallglazing, Marble & Metallics, Verdigris & Rust, Cracked Linen Appliqué, Children's Rooms, and a host of others. Classes are usually one, two, or three days, and fees range from $195 to $475, depending on duration and cost of materials.

Masters developed her technique during a 25-year career in the decorative painting business and boasts a large following of interior designers. Call her at 415-695-7844 to ask about upcoming classes, or drop by and pick up a studio pamphlet.


On the fringes of Noe Valley (the corner of 29th Street and San Jose Avenue), you'll find Fastframe, a franchise art framing shop that opened in July. Mother-and-son team Jean LaDouceur and Trent Woods are the proprietors, although if you drop in, you'll likely meet Woods, who runs the day-to-day operation.

Fastframe offers framing services, but not of the do-it-yourself variety. Woods specializes in "preservation framing" -- museum-quality archival framing using acid-free materials. He studied photography at the University of San Francisco, then acquired a Master of Fine Arts degree from Washington University in St. Louis.

Woods says that small (89 x 109) framing jobs start at $40 to $50, depending on the type of frame and matte chosen, and archival framing begins at around $125. Turnaround is generally two days to a week, depending on the availability of materials chosen by the customer. There is also a modest selection of art works for sale -- mainly posters and serigraphs of old French advertisements.

Web surfers can learn more about Fastframe at Better yet, call Trent Woods at 415-282-3620, or stop by the shop (695 San Jose Ave.). Fastframe is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Just across from Fastframe, at 85 29th St., is Kids Cuts, a shop specializing in children's haircuts. Admiring the remodeled and brightly painted facade of the building, you might think the salon opened yesterday. But Noe Valley resident and Kids Cuts owner Catalina Bassehes assures us she's been clipping away at this location going on two years now.

Children's regular haircuts are $12, a dollar of which is donated to St. Paul's or St. James schools, courtesy of Bassehes. Adults aren't excluded from Kids Cuts' services, but they pay a little more -- their haircuts cost $15. Bassehes also offers perms and colors. Kids Cuts (415-643-8582) is open Monday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.


Further explorations of Noe Valley's outer reaches led us to Home Remedies, a Valencia Street furniture store specializing in hardwood classic tables and chairs. Owner Rachel Ambrose opened her doors last February after several years as the San Francisco sales rep for her family's Maine-based furniture business.

Naturally, she carries the family's handmade furniture, which is Shaker-style with simple lines, as well as upholstered sofas and other home furnishings. Home Remedies (415-826-2026) is at 1026 Valencia St. (at 21st Street). The store is open Tuesday through Friday from noon to 7 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.

Four blocks away in this burgeoning area of "Baja Noe" is Thumbs Up Marbles, a gift shop that opened in April at 3422 25th St. (at Valencia). Owner Paul Haugen used to be a partner in the Haight-Ashbury restaurant Friends. But after eight years, he says, "I got burnt-out with the restaurant business."

Thumbs Up carries a large selection of marbles, including handmade varieties that Haugen uses in jewelry. A unique aspect of the "marble jewelry" is that the marbles can be interchanged for a different look. There are many more gift items at Thumbs Up, including soaps, candles, glassware, and other household wares. Thumbs Up (415-920-8964) is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.


We began our roundup with a health center, so let's come full circle by finishing up with another health-related concern. The Integrative Center for Culture and Healing (ICCH) is in Noe Valley's back yard, at 1640 Valencia St., Suite 201 (at Duncan Street). The center, a public benefit corporation associated with St. Luke's Hospital, opened in October 1998.

ICCH offers a wide range of services, including acupuncture, chiropractic, massage, Rosen method body work, hypnotherapy, and Reiki touch therapy. Beginning this month is a new program, "Getting Ready for Surgery," which will focus on reducing patients' anxiety and stress prior to surgery and enhancing the healing process afterwards. (The fee is $280 -- for four imagery and healing sessions, plus customized audio tapes and follow-up. Participants are not required to have surgery performed at St. Luke's.)

For more information on the program or the center, contact Jane Tatum or Claudia McGregor at 415-282-9823.