A few weeks ago, Sheri OZ suggested a number of destinations for Nerdling Family Field trips.  One of the suggestions caught my eye and imagination. Woolly Mammoth Antiques and Oddities looked offbeat enough to appeal to my teen geek and close enough to public transportation to not require a car trip.

I didn’t have any trouble getting Trinity up at the crack of 8:30 to catch the train out of the Western Suburbs and head into The City. Nestled in Andersonville, a vibrant community surrounds the shop. I hadn’t been to the neighborhood for probably 20 years. I had forgotten how much good food and cool shops that stretch of Clark Street offered.

We started the day with brunch at Lady Gregory’s.  Trin and I took turns quizzing each other, trying to identify all the music legends that adorn the walls of the mid-scale pub. I greatly enjoyed my Crabcake Eggs Benedict and found the service friendly and attentive.

Down this narrow alley lurks a fun, tiny comic and game shop.

Down this narrow alley lurks a fun, tiny comic and game shop.

Down a narrow passageway, not half a block from Lady Gregory’s, we discovered Alleycat Comics. This tiny shop makes good use of its space, looking clean, well organized, and not cluttered. The store looks out onto a small patio, perfect for reading a few books on a beautiful spring day. I picked up some comics I had missed from my regular subscription before moving back out into the neighborhood.

Not particularly worthy of geek note, Trin and I stopped at resale favorite The Brown Elephant, cruised the local artists at the Andersonville Galleria, and perused the feminist collection of graphic novels at Women and Children First, before heading down to Woolly Mammoth.

Where else could you see a stuffed dog playing the violin?

Where else could you see a stuffed dog playing the violin?

I can safely state that Woolly Mammoth is indeed stocked full of antiques and oddities. Trin and I maneuvered through the small space, stopping every few inches to point out something unusual and likely unique.

We saw a stuffed anaconda, busts of famous classical composers painted as the members of KISS, a two headed calf, shelves filled with the skulls of various small animals, leeches under glass, a clown face that will haunt my dreams for months, and a twelve foot tall Styrofoam sculpture of King Kong.

I’m so glad I decided to actually listen to the suggestions of my editor. Woolly Mammoth did not disappoint and Andersonville gave us enough to do to make a day of it.

Have any more suggestions for geeky outings? We’d love to hear about them in the comments.

Whimsy

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