Best Weird Gift Store San Francisco 2007 - Paxton Gate
Fossilized shit it's for the man who has everything. But what about the lady? Hmm ... how about the skeleton of a domestic cat? Or a beaver skull, complete with buck teeth? Maybe a penis bone, a dead beetle, or a bird-eating tarantula? A knobby starfish? A civet skull? Perhaps one of artist Jeanie M's fanciful, fucked-up taxidermy mice, dressed like the pope? At the freakishly addictive Paxton Gate, all of these are reasonably priced (most way under $75), but you can also shoot for the moon and get a mounted head both big-game predators and prey or a giant squid crammed in a jar. Founded in 1992 as a gardening store by landscape designers, Paxton Gate soon went insane, stocking natural-science curiosities by the drawerful, with an emphasis on fossils, mounted butterflies, skulls and skeletons, and taxidermy. The store is packed with wonders, but as befits its 19th-century leanings, it's also refined. Among the oddities is a fine selection of tea. Yes, tea they're not savages.