The coolest shindig around is a little store called Planet of Stuff. I recently visited the store because the owner requested it, but also simply out of well-timed curiosity. I have driven by the store many times, and have always said to myself, “Oh, I wanna check that place out.” Being prompted to show up just made it all the more convenient.
Planet of Stuff is located close to the intersection of Hunter St. and Stewart St.. Although not far from downtown, getting there has a sort of mystique. It is tucked away just enough to feel almost secret, like a hidden gem.
The first thing you see when you walk into the store is a medium-sized sign pointing towards an older style house. The area doesn’t look like one that would house a shop such as Planet of Stuff.
However, the store’s logo, which looks like a combination of an old-school comic book cover and an Elvira-esque B grade movie title, points towards the same house that once felt odd. Seeing the logo smiling back at you from the top of the entranceway creates a warm welcome from a house that looks sort of like your grandparents’.
Once inside, you will be transported to a different time. The store creates nostalgia for a time that some may never have lived through. However, walking through the doors will make many feel connected to or reminiscent of a time long gone.
Immediately to the right of the entrance is a rack of novels, a mixture of television, and movie-based serials, combined with vintage sci-fi, horror, and fantasy authors that have been lost in the shelves of time.
The store’s layout is reminiscent of a simpler time as well: one long hallway with a room directly to the left, a room straight ahead, and a kitchen-turned-office in the middle. Looking around, you can sense the memories of people long passed.
It is almost too hard for me to describe the way the store makes me feel. It is a reminiscent of a time so long ago and so distant from my lifetime, that trying to put the atmosphere of the store in words is almost an insult to the store itself, and the era it’s reflecting.
Each room is filled with – for lack of a better description – the coolest stuff. Vintage figurines are found, both packaged, and unpackaged, but never brand new.
Comic books boxes line some of the floors, board games call to be played, and posters, pictures, and even more books long to be looked at and leafed through. A rack of musty clean t-shirts sit in the entranceway of the first room, as if to say, “You can’t resist. If I don’t get you on the way in, I’ll get you on the way out.”
The middle hallway is lined with a shelf filled with pop culture souvenirs. Coffee cups, glasses, vintage lunch boxes, and plates give reference to eras from the 1950s onwards. The room straight ahead is filled with similar things as the first: books, toys, board games, vintage items, and collectibles.
Basically anything that a collector could want could be found, at one point or another, roaming around Planet of Stuff. It is a store that, although slightly out of the way, is worth going to. It is infinitely cool.
Everybody should take an hour out of their day, take a little walk, and look around at the memories that fill Planet of Stuff. Memories that, although may be not yours, are held by someone else, and call back to a time simpler, cooler, and wholly different than the one we live in today.
Call it old school, nostalgia, collectible or even vintage; Planet of Stuff is actually only one thing: and that is awesome.