THE SECRET HISTORY OF

ST AUGUSTINE, FL

 

St Augustine's been my adopted hometown for the last 15 years. This is where my job brought me when I came to the US in 2001, and this is where I was first immersed in American culture.

It didn't take me long to realize that there is something wrong. That there are questions that nobody wants to answer. Of course the city's been diluted by tourists and college kids who are blind to these things and who couldn't care less. But there are the LOCALS. I would catch a glance at the grocery store, or I would notice that the girl behind the cafe shop counter is very nervous, and I would know that I'm in “Old St Augustine”. The one that's not on the maps. Among the historical sites and tacky gift shops, there is a secret city.

I spent the last two years documenting the mystery of Old St Augustine. I set up a fake webcomic, and tried to get the truth out without anyone noticing. But now I feel like I gathered enough evidence to prove that the hidden city is real.

This is the secret history of St Augustine.

This gas station is less than a block from my house. I still see Popcorn from time to time, going through the trash or being petted by one of the LOCALS.

The famous lighthouse. The symbol of the city.

The secret factory under Riberia street. My first apartment was in this neighborhood, and I couldn't sleep at night because I could hear the constant humming of the machines.

Mrs Gail is still active in the Native Plant Society, but she never talks about Betty.

The beach house on Vilano has been rebuilt, I run by it during my morning jogs.

The tax return place on US1 reopened, but their new mascot is just a lady in a Statue of Liberty costume.

I always get the chills when I walk by that blue house on Davis street.

Strangely enough, the fountain of youth is NOT in St Augustine, despite what many of the LOCALS believe.

These are only a fraction of the strange things I noticed over the years. I believe that these are not isolated incidents, and that if you're willing to connect the dots you'll see the secret city. The longer I've been here the more the LOCALS treat me as one of them. And if I stay long enough, they might invite me to one of their secret meetings under the Lightner Museum...

And one day I will uncover the whole truth.