Searching for uncategorizable things I'd never find otherwise
November 15, 2016 8:14 PM   Subscribe

Usually when you ask for recommendations, you have something specific in mind: a particular kind of scifi novel, for example. This question is sort of the opposite of that. I'd like recommendations for all sorts of things- with the only limitations being that they're (1) unique- difficult to put in any sort of category- and (2) almost certainly not something I would stumble upon otherwise. In other words, things I wouldn't even think to consider looking for. Examples of the sort of thing I'm talking about below.

These are four of my favorite discoveries from the past few years, and in each case I stumbled upon them purely in a stroke of luck:
Urban exploration, in particular the book Access All Areas by Ninjalicious
These two hilarious, thoughtful foreign service blogs
The obscure house museums that are ubiquitous in cities once you start looking for them

I'm open to any form this stuff can take- hobbies, books, artworks, physical locations... in fact, the odder the form, the better.
posted by perplexion to Grab Bag (8 answers total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
No specific suggestions, but Atlas Obscura is basically this in website form.
posted by greta simone at 8:52 PM on November 15, 2016 [5 favorites]

Portland's Freakybuttrue Peculiarium is a bizarre and obscure museum/gallery/installation/store thing. Also, they have ice cream.
posted by thinman at 9:21 PM on November 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

Hitting the "random" button on Reddit is a good way to delve into some weird stuff you never knew about, but you do have to have a high tolerance for NSFW/L results. I enjoy it sometimes though.

Your local "city paper" is often a good source for all kinds of weird events. Sometimes it's fun to pick something you are a total outsider to and just go. We ended up at a cat show once because of this. We don't have a cat and had no real interest in the world of competitive cat showing. It was still highly interesting.

Also hit up your local high schools' event pages. We went to a high school musical a few years back, again no connection to the school or the kids. It was SO FUN. It will either be entertainingly cutely bad or, in our case, surprisingly good which makes you feel good about the kids. And you're supporting an arts program that probably sorely needs it.
posted by nakedmolerats at 5:36 AM on November 16, 2016 [2 favorites]

Ella Minnow Pea is a "a progressively lipogrammatic epistolary fable".
posted by Rock Steady at 6:07 AM on November 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

Google's Field Trip app is for you.
posted by veery at 6:11 AM on November 16, 2016 [2 favorites]

Wikipedia has a list of unusual articles. One could get lost there for days.
posted by metaseeker at 8:19 AM on November 16, 2016 [2 favorites]

Martin Rowson's T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land done as a noir detective graphic novel.
posted by clew at 4:37 PM on November 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

Trade publications in fields you know little to nothing about.

Whenever I have a lunch break and nothing else on my mind, I drop by my college's library to browse its collection of magazines about the trades we teach: agriculture, construction, dental hygiene, child development, criminal justice, photography, etc.

I like everything from technical articles I can barely begin to grasp to the last-page columns that often share reflections on the past and future of the field.

It's like a lens that brings focus to stuff that happens all around me.
posted by Caxton1476 at 5:28 AM on November 17, 2016 [3 favorites]

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