Obscure pastimes and hobbies

As an obscuraphile, visiting unusual places has led me to discover and adopt some equally “off the beaten path” type hobbies. The one I’m enjoying most at the moment is old stone rubbing. I’d be curious to hear about what activities you all have picked up as a result of your explorations…


This is fairly run-of-the-mill, but I write down the names of visual art that I like when I see it in museums during my travels, so I can order prints for my apartment. It’s nice to be able to associate a piece of art on your wall with the time and place when you laid eyes on the original.

It’s also a great way to motivate yourself to discover painters and photographers that embody something about their city/country/culture, and to try to describe to your self why it is that their work leapt out to you when you visited the original’s home.

Writing this has reminded me that I’ve been meaning to get a print of something by Akseli Gallen-Kallela, whose work I saw during an extended layover in Helsinki, in 2012.


That’s a great exploration-inspired activity.

I am unfamiliar with Gallen-Kallela, but the image has really piqued my curiosity. That expression on his subject’s face… striking.

I think the Atlas published an article on this (fairly) recently, but I love searching through old books for notes the previous owner left behind. Best hunting grounds are places like Goodwill and other thrift stores that stock more than just books in their inventory – I don’t think employees take the time to flip through them before putting them out on the shelves.

Most cherished thing I’ve found:


I’m big into Vulture Culture around where I live. I’m a taxidermist, mostly working with found materials (read: roadkill and vintage wares). To that end, I’m also a visual artist and sculptor and I focus on animals and the history of science.


That photo is a-m-a-z-i-n-g. Please tell me you have it prominently displayed in your home! :laughing:


@GreyGryphonRampant There’s an artist I’ve been fascinated with lately who seems to have a similar blend of sculpture/fine art/taxidermy with a bit of a steampunk twist. Thought I would share this with you:



Agreed - this is spectacular.

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Well, now I want to get into old stone rubbing. That looks neat!

As for me, I would say that rather than picking up a new hobby, I’ve consistently improved my photography skills in hopes to share pictures with others.


I try to explore and see new places in hope to find something peculiar. My hobby converteed in to something profession and now I am a timelapse filmography. The obscure thing, I do is staring the landscape while setting my canon tripod.

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Be careful with stone rubbing.
Some cemeteries don’t approve because old stones can be quite fragile (which sucks because those suckers are so hard to read sometimes.)


Very true - I always look for a website or call ahead to make sure it’s ok and if a stone seems damaged or fragile when I start cleaning it, I let it be. In the northeast in particular it seems to be prohibited in many if not most of the older cemeteries.