Richmond District | KALW

Richmond District

Andrei Dorofeev / "Arguments and Facts - America"

 

As the conflict rages on between Russia and Ukrainian nationalists, thousands of miles away in San Francisco, people are following closely. There are an estimated 3,800 Ukrainians here. But the city is also home to more than 17,000 people who identify as Russian. So, what do they think about what’s going on back home?

 

San Franciscans have always loved hats, since the first half of the 20th century and earlier. Streets were often a sea of hats: rounded bowlers, creased fedoras, wide-brimmed ladies’ hats ornamented with flowers and birds. The hat’s popularity today is a shadow of what it once was, and local hatters have all but disappeared. But there’s at least one place where the local hat-making tradition goes on – behind a nearly 100-year-old storefront in the Richmond District.

An almost forgotten trade

When I moved to San Francisco’s Inner Richmond last year, I found a lot of things to like -- Golden Gate Park, Ocean Beach, even the fog. But when I started telling people exactly where I lived, they only cared about one thing: the turkey sandwiches at the Arguello Market. When I went to check it out, I found that the sandwiches were indeed great -- but that wasn’t all that made the place special.