Tuesday, November 5, 2013

A Retro, Kitsch and Toy Filled Ice Cream Parlor, A Florida First at Florida Creamery


I had no reason to venture into Florida Creamery, the oldest ice cream parlor in Jacksonville, Florida as legend has it, but when I was told the interior was kitschy and retro ("It looks like your house" said my friend, Rudy) and our favorite vegan sweets shop Sweet Theory was closed we finally checked out the neighborhood favorite. (It's a few doors down from equally kitschy The Fox I wrote about before.)


The walls were covered in vintage Florida post cards with a kitschy life-size basking gator to match.


My favorite is this local Jacksonville Florida one with a family on a whale. I wish I could ride a whale at Jacksonville Beach! Let me have it!


There were colorful toys and candy everywhere so I set to work snapping photos like a crazy person. The patient workers let me be obnoxious and snap happy.


I loved the display of colorful candies inside of retro glass reproduction apothecary jars.


There was stimulation everywhere. I especially enjoyed a vintage tourist map of Florida with some sights that are still around and some I wish were still here. (It said there was an "Oriental Garden" in town once. If they don't bring that back I'm going to grow it myself!)


The kewpie-type dolls strewn about and vintage toys added a playful vintage vibe for the kiddies. Love the huge novelty ice cream cone there!


The giant pirate cut-out as a statement piece was much fun to behold, too.


He was the inspiration for my roommate and I to go nuts on a chalkboard against the back wall. I want one of these to go crazy on in my own home now! Damn I miss drawing on these things. Anyone else draw cryptic stuff on the board when the teacher was away? There are some public school teachers who may hate me to this day for that. I regret nothing. Note the fish cow, fish ice cream cones, ice cream pirate, pirate flamingo, angry shark and mermaid!


There were a couple of reminders for me to check out the still-open and super kitschy Weeki Wachee Springs, were you can see live ladies perform as underwater mermaids!


This may be my favorite wall in the shop, I love that you can buy pink flamingos for your yard! One day if I own a home I know where to get 'em if I want 'em!


Though the little still lives of vintage toys were not without their beguiling charms.


I really like this little kitty and cash register, definitely ones I would have gravitated towards as a child.


With mod pink and teal walls and fun post cards this place is worth the stop alone. I cheated and had a sip of my roommate's milk shake and it was the most delicious milk shake I've ever tasted. I may just be saying that because I haven't had one in years but damn! Daaay-uuum! That was a heavenly sip.


And when you're done you can act like dorky tourists and walk down the beautifully crafted Green Alligator shop to behold the colorful toys. To the right you have the enigmatic best friend/roommate I talk about all the time. We've shared the love of doodling all over every surface and playing with toys for seventeen (!) years.


Where's your favorite local stop for a kitsch or food feast? A feast for the eyes is a creative's must, too! I need to check out The Floridian in St. Augustine, Florida next. I hear it's just as kitschy and has ample vegan options.
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25 comments:

  1. You have the most fun eateries in Florida! I need to get off the beaten path a little more here in Texas and find some fun places like this, if they even exist here!
    Love that giant Playmobil man too!

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    1. I'm lucky to live in the kitchiest area of Jacksonville, Florida if not all of North Florida. I have much more to showcase soon, a nearby theatre has murals of "The Creature From the Black Lagoon" and a giant 3D moth on the walls. Editing those pics now for next week :) I'm sure Texas is full of kitsch, too!

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  2. Well holy crap that made me homesick! How weird is THAT??!! I think its the kitsch and super bright colors and the beautiful sun (that may the only similarities between Phoenix and Florida I can think of!...no WAIT old people!!) . I think I need to paint some stuff super happy in my house or I might start crying. And I want you to do something for me. Go back and just run in super quick and grab that vintage fisher price cash register. I'm in love....K thanks! :D

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    1. But I can't paint.....it won't stop raining!!! Curls up into a sad little Phoenician ball.

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    2. Looks like it's rainy around the world. A friend in Amsterdam reports it and it's drizzling on-and-off here, too. I SO miss my bright lime and laguna "green" (laguna green was more like teal) walls from my former apartment! I've been tempted to paint this one but I a) never want to relive the hell of attempting to paint them beige again and b) don't want to go through the hell of painting the tallest ceilings I've ever seen in a conventional apartment. Textured walls, too. Hell no! I'll live with bland beige.

      I should have looked at the toy prices, good idea to have vintage merchandise scattered bout the shop. If my vegan cafe ever comes to fruition you know that's how I'm gonna play. Stimulation and quirky bits everywhere :)

      I wanna visit Phoenix sometime too. I have a friend who moved to Arizona and need to visit him sometime once I raise some more funds for a trip.

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    3. I was totally thinking of your store as I read this.

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    4. Yay! I keep thinking my exact idea is going to pop up but no one's made a stimulating cafe with healthy fare for creatives yet. Maybe one day she'll come to be...

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  3. Replies
    1. Aw, thank you! I'm getting over my hatred of being in front of the camera and trying to show the world I'm not the robot on my icon or something. A startling amount of people still think this blog is run by a team or a man. o_O

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  4. Wow, that is the most utterly amazing shop I've ever seen. The colours, the postcards, the sweets, everything. I suddenly fancy a trip to Florida. I would DEFINITELY get some flamingos for my lawn, we can't seem to get them here in the UK.

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    1. There's lots of kitsch up and down this silly state of ours. I will be exploring and documenting it all as much as possible!

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  5. Oh, you have to go to Weeki Wachi! Its like entering a time warp! And as fun as the mermaid show is, its never been updated, so the mermaids wear the tubes around their necks to get oxygen. Other shows disguise the tubes in the scenery---but not Weeki wachi mermaids. Its old school all the way. And its pretty cheap as far as attractions go. Its an hour drive for us, so if we are bored and don't have a lot of money to spend, we'll go there. I don't think my kids even like it, but we go anyhow.......

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    1. I can't wait to finally see it! I was excited when I learned it was still around and vowed to take the trip to go, need to get down there soon.

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  6. This is so neat - I want to go!!!

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    1. I've got many more colorful joints around here to document. :D Shall be fun.

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  7. I love this place! My daughter had a great time drawing on the chalkboard when we went there for ice cream one day. The antique store across the street is quite fun, too. Albeit pricey, I've never purchased anything there, but it's fun to drool... :)

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    1. I've never actually been inside that big antique store, maybe once loooong ago. It does look pricey from the outside. Window shopping in Avondale is so relaxing, everything in the area is yummy and/or well-curated.

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  8. oh wow, that place looks amazing! I so badly want that picture of the cockatoo on the bike in the first photo! just brilliant!

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    1. I did not notice how amazing that photo was until your pointed it out. I want one, too, now :D !

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  9. Replies
    1. It was! I just heard they have vegan sorbet I'll have to try. Surely not healthy but worth a taste.

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  10. What is it with ice cream shops and kitsch? In San Francisco where I live, there is a local ice cream shop called the Toy Boat Cafe, where they also have a lot of kitschy, retro-type toys - in the windows and inside behind the counters. Haven't been there in ages, but this shop you featured totally reminds me of it.

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    1. I suppose ice cream shops lend themselves to childhood nostalgic kitschery :)

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