Paxton Gate describes its wares as "treasures and oddities inspired by the garden and the natural sciences."
I hesitate to call it a shop. It's more than that. It's an experience.
It's like entering a secret cave, where a wizard lives.
Here are all the magical stones, herbs, crystals and plants that the wizard uses in his sorcery.
There are also lots of taxidermy animals, skeletons and fossils. Creepy and fascinating, yet also funny.
The most memorable display was the flying fairy mice, each one outfitted with a fine costume. These enchanting little mice tell many stories. Frozen in mid-flight, it's easy to imagine that they are under the wizard's magic spell.
Sadly, this display is no longer there, replaced by some punk rock, bride and groom, and priest mice.
If you have a love of the macabre and bizarre, and you are not afraid of the wizard's magic, this is a wonderful place to explore.
Paxton Gate is at 766 Valencia Street in San Francisco.
There's also a Paxton Gate Curiosities for Kids at 824 Valencia Street.