Our Fair City: Prometheus Esoterica

I love seeing how Orlando has grown and changed since we have moved away and come back. Much life ourselves, we have evolved and morphed and I'd like to think come into ourselves in the last six years. Like Orlando, who we are now was always there, but the passage of time and the experiences around us help shaped our person within into what it is today.

So, like Orlando, we've always been into weird shit. It's Florida, after all. Orlando may not have a rep for being some cool, hip city like my beloved Chicago with lots of unusual places to discover. But, it doesn't need the glory. Orlando is okay having a few small pockets of unusual spots to uncover here or there. And I'm pleased to see that that part of Orlando hasn't smoldered into ash. It's still there.

Which brings us to, Prometheus Esoterica. It wasn't around six years ago. At the recommendation of a friend that worked at the museum with me in Chicago, I made the ten minute drive from my house to this new spot. At a first glance you may want to pass on the "strip mall" where Prometheus Esoterica resides, but don't (Donut King is another great reason to spend some time here). Under an old and charming Barber Shop sign with the classic blue and red barber pole, you'll find blacked out windows and a door to this lovely spot. 

Inside, there's a great collection of items (books, jewelry, gemstones, oddities galore). They even have a little bar top area where they make and serve coffee, the same coffee that you can buy to-go (again, great reason to also pop into Donut King, post coffee for a sweet treat...). I enjoyed the medical oddities on display (and for sale), and even reminisced with one of the owners about the International Surgical Science Museum that sits on the edge of Lake Michigan in Chicago - same vibes here! 

Although we still only moved in to our house less than six months ago, we don't need any more home decor. But, we couldn't help but want to bring something home (I've got my eye on a Papua New Guinea ceremonial mask that I'd love to go back for and bring home with me next time). Instead, we brought home a shadow box of shells. The museum-worker in me loved that instead of "shells" this display case (or, "unit tray" if you are a scientist that oversees a collection of specimen) simply noted that they were a conchology collection from the Florida Keys. They were originally a part of the owner's personal collection, and now these mollusks are a part of mine own. I think I felt an affinity to this little collection partially because I once produced an event for a group of conchologists, and partially because with our return to Florida, shells felt like a very appropriate homage to our new [/old] home. 

I got to speak to one of the owners and it turns out he used to manage the gift shop at the Skeleton Museum in Orlando. Of course I visited the Skeleton Museum years ago before we moved away, but unfortunately, it no longer open. The owner shared my sentiments that having a Skeleton Museum near the touristy part of town (I-Drive) instead of the quirky parts of town (near downtown) was not a smart choice for a place like a museum of skeletons, and it was bound to not last there. That aside, it assured me that these owners are my kind of people. Museum-people, that is. Appreciators of the unusual. Purveyors of the strange. 


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