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Gift It Up For Dad

Finding It in San Francisco

No two dads are the same. Thus, finding that one gift to suit all dads is nearly impossible. I begin my search on the premise that San Francisco neighborhoods reflect shops that cater to certain types of people and hence types of dads. The sampling begins in the Haight.

Up and down Haight Street I find toy robots and skateboards which might work for some dads like Tony Hawk but I keep looking. There’s not much. I get desperate and pull a National Geographic magazine off the shelf at Booksmith Bookstore. It would make a great starter issue for a gift subscription and reading enjoyment on the can.

Going east on Haight, I dip into Hayes Valley and pass the new arrivals of baby clothing boutiques and duck into Flight 001 where I am hoping to land a father’s day gift without much turbulence. I am kindly assisted by a crewmember that shows me the route to take.

Known for its travel accessories, Flight 001 created its own bag, the Space Pak. The line features printed bags of various sizes that tell you what to pack: shoes, toiletries, and my favorite -- a double-sided bag that separates clean and dirty laundry. Starting at $38, Space Pak is great for the dad who is on the go or needs some organizational help.

Just north of Hayes is Lower Pacific Heights where Kiehl’s dispenses secret elixirs for skin, hair and body care. Richard, a sales associate, ponders what would make a great father’s day gift. Apparently the “Close Shavers” Squadron Ultimate Brushless Shave Cream: White Eagle is the men’s best selling shaving cream. The moisturizing cream leaves the skin smooth and cool to touch. Before you ring up the purchase, check out the free samples for your own beauty regimen.

The Muni 45 line stops on Sacramento and I hop on, heading right into the clamor of Chinatown. Amidst the noises of singing crickets and the cable car clang I find silk boxes encased with pairs of silver or cloisonné balls ($3.99) all along Grant Avenue. For the couch potato dad, why not challenge him to exercise these balls in his hands. Originally used by martial artists and later by emperors of China, this gift may step up some much needed blood circulation for dad’s potato joints.

Not far from Chinatown is the Financial District. The only store that catches my eye is Giants Dugout at the Embarcadero Center. Stop inside the shop to find tickets to watch the San Francisco Giants play ball. Unfortunately the team is away on Father’s Day but a number of tickets still exist for other dates.

So who’s your daddy? In less than one day I have managed to cover a sampling of neighborhoods and find some gift possibilities for a number of different dads: the traveler who needs organization, the primper who enjoys beauty products, the couch potato who needs alternative fitness and the sports fanatic who enjoys live action. As for my dad, he is the type who just wants a call. It doesn’t matter what neighborhood I’m in as long as I wish him Happy Father’s Day.