This week marks the arrival of La Alacran, a new shop specializing in plants and housewares. It opened on Monday at 1701 Haight St., the corner storefront formerly held down by Earthsong until last summer.
Owned by Leo and Landsly Vega, both San Francisco natives, the shop features an array of houseplants, as well as folkloric art from Central and South America.
The former owners of an organic landscaping company (their resume includes wild strawberry plantings in the Presidio and the installation of the stairs at Twin Peaks), the Vegas decided to turn to the indoors for their next chapter.
"We wanted it to feel like our own living room," Landsly said. "We thought, let's try it out, do something indoors with things we like and want to share."
Their overhaul of the Earthsong space, which they did themselves, showcases its prominent woodwork, which Leo said the landlord salvaged in the 1970s from a monastery. They also preserved the original Victorian tile work in the floor, and chose a color scheme that highlights the selection of Aztec and Mayan art on offer.
The plants La Alacran sells range from orchids to small potted trees, skewing heavily towards native and pre-Columbian species.
"We want to expose folks to the culture" of Mesoamerica, Leo said. To source their collection of folk art, they've built relationships with small vendors in Southern California, Mexico, and Peru.
The items for sale, including ceramics, tiles, wind chimes, and painted masks, include a fair bit of psychedelic-influenced indigenous art — "things that bring a different flavor to this same scene" in the Haight, Leo explained.
Leo said that he and Landsly wanted to open a shop in the Haight because of their history with the neighborhood.
"We both have memories of coming to the Haight to buy kaleidoscopes, bubbles, kites, toys," Leo said. "This is our place, our spirit. We believe in real magic."
Thanks to tipsters Denny and Maria for letting us know about La Alacran's arrival. See something interesting while you’re out and about? Text Hoodline and we’ll try to find out what's going on: (415) 200-3233.