Main Tabs



I was in the San Francisco bay area for a couple of weeks and all I have to show for it is a bunch of charcoal.
Ah, but this is not just any charcoal, behold Binchotan charcoal!  This white charcoal (even though it looks black) is of Japanese origin and boasts not only low temperature cooking heat while burning, but purifying properties which have made Binchotan a desirable material in a whole slew of products.  This brings back memories of treating food poisoning/mystery stomach bugs with charcoal tablets in Thailand-awesome!
Here's what came home with me:

1. Binchotan toothbrush by Morihata
Morihata makes a range of Binchotan based products and I picked up their toothbrush. Ok, I'm a charcoal newbie and this toothbrush is promising to refresh and revitalize my mouth-even before the toothpaste hits the charcoal blended bristles.  Very exciting.

2.  Binchotan charcoal sticks by black + blum
I'm going to use these to purify and filter my tap water into delicious, free urban nectar, but these sticks can also be used to deodorize rooms/shoes, has cooking uses, and when its lifespan is over the charcoal can be used as fertilizer.

3. Deitanseki Soap (clay and charcoal facial cleansing bar from Nippon Kodo
The woman who rang up my purchase raved about this soap transforming her skin (which was pretty awesome by the way).  The packaging lists "carbon powder" and not Binchotan as the charcoal ingredient, if there's a difference, I would not be able to identify that just yet.  Wait til I get my hands on some Binchotan soap...

Bonus SF shopping thoughts:
photo: Miansai

This bracelet: The Miansai screw cuff.  I spotted it, tried it on and fell in love the first day in SF meandering the Mission District.  I catalogued it in my brain and kept wandering.  The next day, while strolling only a handful of blocks on Hayes street in Hayes Valley, I kept seeing the identical selections of Miansai jewelry over and over in the various shops I would pop into!  To be fair, I spotted recurrences of similar selections of Giles & Brother, Erica Weiner, and Catbird but no joke-on the same side of the SAME BLOCK lo and behold THREE shops carried similar selections of Miansai.  Their sales rep had a field day in Hayes Valley!

Now that I got that off my chest, I can say that the retail experience in SF was pretty awesome. Great conceptual stores, good merchandising, and definitely more focused on "lifestyle" shopping.  Get your apparel, your personal care products, a bowl for your cereal and a book for the road.  Be done with it.