>> Friday, October 17, 2008
Check out these great new posters for 826 Valencia:
For those unfamiliar with 826 Valencia and its pirate shop, the original organization arose in San Francisco in 2002. Dave Eggers, perhaps best known for A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, started the nonprofit tutoring and writing center at, you guessed it, 826 Valencia (in SF's Mission District). How does the pirate shop relate to a tutoring center? According to 826 lore, the building in which Eggers et al set up shop was zoned as commercial space and thus needed to be used as commercial space.
What better use of a segment of their building than selling pirate gear? Everyone, after all, can use a eyepatch, a parrot, or a glass eye, right? Apparently they now sell literary things, maps, and t-shirts. I don't know if pirates wear t-shirts, but I suppose they occasionally read books and consult maps. I'll have to check with a friend who writes about pirates, err, privateers, on the veracity of these items.
In any event, back in 2002 when I graduated from college, 826 Valencia was definitely a destination on the must-see circuit for those of us who migrated west. I have, indeed, entered the pirate's dominion in the Mission. And so I couldn't help but chuckle when I saw the new posters. I'm particularly fond of the "Cannons don't sink ships; pirates with cannons sink ships" option. To learn more about the design of the posters, go here.
Finally, there are now 7 total 826 Valencias scattered around the country, so check one out the next time you find yourself in San Francisco, Seattle, LA, Chicago, Ann Arbor, New York, or Boston. Each tutoring center has its own store:
San Francisco’s pirate supply store sells glass eyes and one-of-a-kind peglegs, 826NYC’s Superhero Supply Company offers custom-fit capes, Seattle’s Greenwood Space Travel Supply Company sells “rare imports from other planets,” 826 Michigan's [Robot Supply & Repair] specializes in [robot stuff], 826LA features a time travel store, there's a secret agent supply store in Chicago, and a Cryptozoology shop in Boston is in the works! [For more information, go here.]If you live in one of those places, there are many ways to volunteer or contribute. Take, for example, the Skrabbel for Cheaters competition in A2. Creative fund-raising for an excellent cause at its best.