Reporting from CHINATOWN
From handmade soaps, to Chinese knot artwork, to even temporary tattoos of Muni and BART passes, San Francisco’s Chinatown-Rose Pak Muni station activated one of two retail spaces earlier this month featuring arts and crafts made by local artists.
The pop-up shop, Made in Chinatown, is inside the Central Subway station just steps from the escalator and stairs as passengers enter and exit on Stockton Street.
Rosa Chen, director of programs for the Chinatown Community Development Center, said at the opening of the pop-up shop:
“We’re able to open our first ever pop-up store here in Chinatown that focuses on selling handmade craft by local artists who possibly do not have the means to open their own brick and mortar store.”
Artist Misstencil, who has been doing arts and crafts for over 18 years in the city, said:
“This spot is a perfect celebration of my love for the city, my Chinese cultural heritage and my love for public transportation.”
Supervisor Aaron Peskin, who represents the Chinatown neighborhood, said the pop-up will be at the station for three months, adding:
“It highlights the work and creativity of people from the neighborhood many of whom live in single occupancy facilities nearby.”
Kitty Fong, project manager with the city’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development, said opening the first retail store in the station is a “three-fold victory,” adding:
“Not only are we utilizing this space, we’re incubating new business entrepreneurs and we’re stimulating local businesses.”
This is the first retail space to ever open inside a Muni-only subway station, though it is unlikely to be the last. A second retail space remains vacant in the Chinatown station. Officials said the well-known AA Bakery in Chinatown, which is just a block away from the station, had planned to take up the two retail spaces but the plans had fallen through.
Additionally, the 690-foot-long concourse level of the Union Square/Market Street station has two kiosks available for retail purposes, according to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.
Made in Chinatown is open from noon to 5 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday to Sunday.
Jerold serves as a reporter and San Francisco Bureau Chief for SFBay covering transportation and occasionally City Hall and the Mayor's Office in San Francisco. His work on transportation has been recognized by the San Francisco Press Club. Born and raised in San Francisco, he graduated from San Francisco State University with a degree in journalism. Jerold previously wrote for the San Francisco Public Press, a nonprofit, noncommercial news organization. When not reporting, you can find Jerold taking Muni to check out new places to eat in the city.