Curiosities and Spanish moss

Maybe Doc Holllywood was on to something.

On any given Sunday, people are drawn to this tiny speck of a town perched along Alachua County’s southern border. There to rediscover the lost art of strolling under ancient, spreading oaks.

To see and be seen.

To meet and commune with the locals.

This is Florida’s oldest inland town, after all. Founded on a Spanish grant. Named for a renown rebel chieftan It radiates its history.

A town that knows where it’s been. And perhaps even senses where it’s headed.

A town all but invisible beneath and amidst the primitive Florida landscape.

But make no mistake. This is very much a town of commerce.

A town of curiosity shops interspersed with cafes.

Where all manner of curios and curiosities are to be had in exchange for the Coin of the Realm.

Where one has only to walk through a door to discover all that is hidden within.

Buy a book, perhaps. And then find a pleasant place in which to read it.

Or discover where the fine arts go to bed down with pop culture.

Once, savage wars were waged on the prairie next door. Now not even the cats and dogs fight.

Where China is decidedly not a country far, far away, but rather an odd form of non-cracker crockery.

And where curiosities may even be found tucked away amidst the underbrush.

This Micanopy. Where kitsch culture has dug into what was once the wilderness that Bartram explored in wonder and awe.

And what, indeed, would Bartram make of this Micanopy? This ancient, modern town of culture, kitsch, contrasts…and above all, curiosities.

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