Hanging Out with the Chelster

Chelsea and I have been talking about hanging out for a while, and our schedules freed up this Saturday. There was mention of a pinhole camera project some weeks back, but we decided on bopping around town instead.

The two of us grabbed some coffee at No Friction Cafe and kicked around some places to visit. First on the list was an art store called Genesis. Chelsea had recently taken a workshop on Altered Books and was looking to pick up a few things.

The nerd in me is strong. The first thing out of my mouth was Wow, what a great domain name.

This is located in the small alcove, right when you walk inside.

On first walking inside, I decided I wasn’t going to take any pictures. Then… the more I looked around, I kept seeing a random drawing here, an illustration there… Next thing I knew, I had the camera out.

This is what people call “meta,” right?

I guess you really can’t name your store Genesis and not have a snake somewhere.

I didn’t get a good shot of these, but there are tons of origami crane mobiles, hanging from the lights.

Something I’ve been looking for (but didn’t find here) is a small paper-cutter, the kind that has a blade you can use to “square” things off. I’m not talking one of those huge honking things with the big handles that you used to use in elementary school… this is a smaller device.

Justin got me an origami book a long while back, and ever since I’ve been meaning to get a small papercutter so I could create squares to fold with. I had some mild success prepping things by hand, but a small papercutter would make things a lot easier.

I tried to get a view of all the supplies, and the range of colors… but it didn’t come out as I indended.


This hangs right above the register, facing the rest of the store.

As we were driving around (trying to find a particular antiques store Chelsea was interested in), we happened across Magic, Inc. I of course got all excited, and Chelsea was nice enough to indulge me and parked the car.

Once inside, I asked one of the employees there if I could take pictures. I then ended up talking to the owner (I’ve forgotten his name), and tried convincing him I had nothing but good intentions. Inside a magic shop, where I assume a lot of trade secrets get passed around, I’m sure they have reason to be wary.

I told him my URL, and he went in back to go check it out. After about a minute, he told me that I didn’t seem to have all that much on my site. He let me walk behind the counter and I showed him the rest of the blog (all two+ years of it), and at that point he seemed pretty satisfied. After he gave me permission, we shook hands and I took a few quick pics of the store.

There was one employee who asked if we needed help and, on us saying “No, thanks” proceeded to show us several magic tricks. This guy was pretty good with cards and came on pretty thick with the theatrics… but he was good at what he did.

I always figured you could buy a wand that turned into flowers. But… $200?

Here’s another really cool thing about the guy who showed us all these card tricks… he wasn’t trying to sell us on anything. There was no real push from him for us to buy something. He just went into his thing and asked us to participate, and showed us a few tricks. I think he could tell that we were gawkers and made it a point to provide us with some entertainment.

Chelsea surprised me by mentioning to the guy behind the counter that I was really into Houdini (I was amazed she remembered that about me). I started to spout of random facts about the man, but that didn’t seem to elicit much of a reaction. I think I’m more interested in Houdini the man, and less so his magic/tricks. Once again, I’m reminded of how much I want to go to Appletone, to visit the Houdini Historical Center (even if it is only 2 rooms).

One Meeeeelion Bunnyrabbits!

After the magic shop, we swung around to a nearby antiques place. This wasn’t the one Chelsea was looking for, but we went inside anyways.

Her first impression (as well as mine) was that this statue was St. Francis of Assisi. But in looking over my images, I’m now not so sure. St. Francis was always associated with animals, but this particular statue is holding a small child. I don’t know if this is really St. Francis, or if he’s my “default” whenever I see a statue that looks like it might be a saint.

As cool as these old records look, I’m not sure why anyone would buy them.

This picture spooked me out.

Once more – I’m a sucker for old balloons.

Chelsea, posing by a tiger (at least I think that’s a tiger) outside of a Kung-Fu studio.

This guy looks terribly sad to me.

We spotted this place across the street, and decided we wanted to check it out. I wasn’t sure where the name of this place came from, but my first thought was of The Big Lebowski. For some reason, when I saw the phrase The Cheese Stands Along, I thought of the phrase The Dude abides.

Inside, we looked around a bit (Chelsea’s words were This place is STINKY!). She ended up buying some smoked gouda, and the guy behind the counter (Matt) was nice enough to give us a taste.

I ended up asking to take his picture, and he was kind enough to oblige. When I asked him about the name of the establishment, he told us it was from the childhood nursery rhyme The Farmer in the Dell.

Sign inside a box store.

Chelsea and I grabbed a quick lunch at a nearby Thai place (I’ve since forgotten the name). Instead of ordering Pad See Eiw like I normally do, I deviated and got a seared catfish dish instead (good, but not great, as I spent most of my meal trying to pick through all the fishbones).

We looked over some of the pictures I had taken during lunch and, as I was showing off some of the camera’s features snapped a quick shot.

After lunch, we walked over to a nearby comic book store: Variety Books. Here’s Dr. Doom, looking kinda pissed since we didn’t buy anything.

Inside, the owner wouldn’t allow any photographs (there were some great old comics lining several of the walls that would have made a particularly good shot). But he was really polite about it, and said I could take pictures of the exterior.

View of the mural, complete with front door.

I gotta say – I totally earned my nerd badge on this. There were a few people standing by the bus stop (directly behind me). I had to move back to the point where I was standing in a snowbank to get these shots. On top of that, there were tons of cars waiting at the stoplight behind me. Reading comics is alreay pretty high up on the nerd factor. But taking pictures of a comic book store? I think that shit goes off the charts.

Today was a ton of fun. Reclusive hermit that I am, I often forget how great it is to just wander around and stumble across new places. I had a blast hanging out with Chelsea just going from store to store, without any real agenda or plan, and seeing what each new place had to offer.

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