Cultivating Kitsch at Cliff's in the Castro in San Francisco, CA
Whether in the hippie heyday or now, there's nothing like “tripping” in Cliff’s. The man in black, then owner Ernie DeBaca, was the King of Kitsch, though whether or not he knew his taste in bric-a-brac was camp and funky is debatable. His hospitality and patience were virtues since a main form of buying temptation was and is Ernie’s Contraption, an art form unto itself. Switch on the bicycle chains and with a clickety-clack all manner of notions in trays move up and down the wall, then across the ceiling. Only lacking the “toot toot,” it is better than an elevated train set. Once a museum of the tacky, the family-owned store is now more gentrified. Happily, Cliff’s remains a San Francisco institution, with tchotchkes, Victorian doorknobs, and everything for the kitchen sink. Odds are you will find a treasure for your own Art of the Memento installation—knicknacks to make you smile that just may smile back.
- Tory Braden All treasured mementos from Cliff's.
- Megan Cytron (Editor) Congratulations! You won Honorable Mention in the Weekly Worldwide Contest.
- Megan Cytron (Editor) Great photo! Peanut and walnut loving frogs living in harmony.