Monday, July 9, 2012
Serendipitous find from Saturday, The Freakybuttrue Peculiarium
On my way the the PDX Bridge Festival Block Party, a celebration of the 100th birthday of the Steel Bridge, I walked up to this sight at 2234 NW Thurman Street. I admit I jaywalked, after looking both ways, so that I could get this photo and the next two.
I wouldn't have been here if my trip planning through TriMet's Web site had turned out differently. The second of three buses left early. I saw the 15 leaving as I got off the 20 to supposedly wait for it. It left maybe five minutes before it was even supposed to be there. I knew that the next 15 takes a somewhat different route but, when I got on and asked, the driver told me he'd get me as close as he could. So, when I got off, I put the destination address into my Google Maps on the iPhone and started walking. It was hot enough that doofus me, wearing a black Los Lonely Boys t-shirt soon felt a drop of sweat sliding down my back from bra to pants' waistband.
Found on the Web site, peculiarium dot com: Famed and yet unknown Portland adventurer Conrad Talmadge Elwood had a dream, but forgot it when he woke up. Still he spent a life time traveling the globe in search of the inexplicable and the freaky. Established in 1967, The Freakybuttrue Peculiarium is a one-of-a-kind store and snack bar devoted to Elwood’s blurry vision. Under strict instructions, Filmmaker Mike Wellins, Lisa Freeman and Eric Bute have built the Peculiarium to house previously unknown elements of the darker side of Pacific Northwest history. Visitors can discover interactive displays for all six senses, including retro candies, toys, novelties, gags, books, original artwork, tricks one-of-a-kind oddities, ephemera and more. All while having a light snack, complete with edible insects and the likes. In Conrad Elwood’s words, the Peculiarium is a store dedicated to learning and terror.
After I took the close-up above, something just inside the door caught my eye. "What the heck is that?" I wondered. I walked in, seeing no humans at first, just this gigantic hairy-fur-covered form. Then, I noticed a young woman at the register and asked, "What's this?" Her answer, "Sasquatch." Duh, Lynette. She proceeded to answer my question about its height, "Ten feet tall. It's a model based on the biggest one ever sighted." OK, I thought, thanking her for the info and promising to return someday when I wasn't about to be late for a party.