Street Date: Georgia Street, Vallejo
Stephanie Wright Hession
Thursday, August 21, 2008
The Alibi Clock was originally on San Francisco's Market Street. (Katy Raddatz / The Chronicle)
A breeze wafts across Mare Island Strait down Vallejo's Georgia Street, a tree-lined avenue with restored 19th and 20th century structures, including a stately, columned building with a stone facade and one painted in white and trimmed in nautical blue. The latter reflects the Navy's long connection to this waterfront city, with the former Mare Island Naval Shipyard. Situated in Old Town, Georgia Street contains a mix of attractive, established businesses next to empty storefronts. Whether the potential of this tucked-away treasure becomes fully realized remains to be seen. In the meantime, hop on a ferry and while away an afternoon at an array of spots.
1. Pacific Rim Gallery
301 Georgia St. (inside Georgia Street Plaza): This gallery specializes in pieces from the Pacific Rim: Beautifully detailed wood carvings from New Guinea, including handwoven baskets, a rare two-handled mud drum and full-size doors from the island of Timor. Textiles from the Indonesian island of Sumba include vibrant, three-paneled Ikats featuring animals made using hundreds of shells. Paintings include works by Robert Lyn Nelson and Curtis Wilson Cost. Gallery owner Gary Helm's extensive knowledge of and passion for what he exhibits makes for an educational and enriching visit. Open weekends by appointment. (707) 647-3314. www.thepacificrimgallery.com.
2. Georgia Street Grill
314 Georgia St.: This homey grill serves up traditional American fare for breakfast and lunch, along with locally themed specialties such as Debbie's Delight, a charbroiled pork chop accompanied by two eggs, and the Mare Island Sub, made with sliced grilled chicken, tri-colored peppers, sauteed onions and topped with Swiss cheese. Check out the local, historical, black-and-white photographs embedded in the tables and on the walls. (707) 557-4745. www.georgiastreetgrill.com.
3. Pieced on Earth
340 Georgia St.: The beautiful handmade textiles at this shop range from batik prints on mud cloth created by the Masai people of Kenya to custom designs such as quilts, pillows and wall hangings. (707) 644-6768.
4. Indian Alley Antiques
412 Georgia St.: From its exterior, this shop looks tiny. But step inside and you'll find a spacious, oblong building packed with a cornucopia of reasonably priced, vintage and antique items such as dainty tea cups, furniture, fur wraps, dolls and jewelry. Take the time to chat with owner Fred Menard. (707) 644-6703.
5. Regal Ballroom
406 Georgia St.: Maybe you're a devotee of "Dancing With the Stars" and secretly aspire to take a whirl on the dance floor. This dance apparel shop offers plenty of glitzy ensembles to get you going, from practical dance shoes to sparkly, swishy skirts to grand flamenco dresses. It also offers lessons, so get your salsa on. (707) 552-7177.
6. The Alibi Clock
316 Georgia St.: Stop to read about the compelling history of this clock. Made by E. Howard of Boston in 1914 and originally in front of Burnett Brothers Jewelry on San Francisco's Market Street, it became famous following the explosion of a suitcase bomb that killed 10 people and wounded more than 40 others during a 1916 parade celebrating San Francisco Preparedness Day, which marked the United States' impending entry into World War I.
See the complete story at SFGate.com.