I popped into the Martian Embassy yesterday and bought a can of gravity.
I’ve been meaning to visit the Martian Embassy, which is the shopfront for the Sydney Story Factory, ever since it opened. The idea comes from the absolutely amazing Pirate Supply Store at 826 Valencia in San Francisco which was created by Dave Eggers. It’s all about encouraging writing and creativity in children behind a facade that is entirely engaging. Eggers’ TED talk (which I cannot recommend highly enough) tells the story.
The Martian Embassy shop front is not bad but it is not really worth a long visit in the way the Pirate Supply Store is. The Pirate store is full of engaging knick-knacks and clever interactive pieces. There are display cabinets to open, treasure chests to dig in and if you stand in one spot the shop assistant can drop a pile of mops on your head. The Martian Embassy doesn’t have the depth of activity or even things to buy. I did purchase a can of gravity and a can of black hole for my sons though.
Of course the shopfront is not really what it’s all about. The real aim is to foster writing and creativity. In the six months they’ve been open they’ve apparently had about 600 kids do their courses, which is a great tale to tell. If you’re close enough to Redfern for your kids to do the courses I’d recommend a visit or at least a look at the website.
Somewhat sadly though I can’t recommend a trip to Redfern just for the shop, that’s a story that needs some further development yet.