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.