I was walking by Valencia Street this afternoon and I've decided to check out Abandoned Planet, a small second hand bookstore. It has been a while since I have been there and I was wondering if it is still around. Independent bookstores are facing a lot of difficulties these days. Naturally I have concern about it.
It turned out the bookstore is still open, but only for a few more weeks. It is running a closing sale right now. A few weeks from now it is going to close for good, to meet the same fate like so many other small bookstores.
Over the years I have purchased a few books from them. The first one is Carlos Fuentes' Orange Tree. It was only a random purchase and a great find for me. Carlos Fuentes' imaginative depiction of the conquest of Mexico still intrigues me.
For me this Valencia Street corner is one of the defining San Francisco experience. When I first come to the city, I was enchanted by this neighborhood with great food and all kinds of cultural destinations, all within close proximity. I realize the economy is always hard on these small businesses. The Roxie Cinema around the corner is another long time institution those end I fear is not far. Business do come and go. But Valencia Street without Abandoned Planet or Roxie is probably not going to be the same. I am going to miss it.