"My brain now is wired in a way where I look at objects and I don't necessarily see them for what they are now, but what they can be," says Rosenbaum.

As for steampunk being mainstreamed, Rosenbaum says the underground community shouldn't worry about selling out. "Taking the best of that time period, taking the best of this time period, and creating something new — the best present — that will never go out of style," he says. "That's not a fad, that's deep. And it can evolve." ^

Ariel Shearer can be reached at shabadeux@gmail.com.

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