Musee Mecanique at Pier 45

musee mecanique

Last weekend, Becca and I pretended we were San Francisco tourists for a day. We walked from her apartment to the waterfront, ate clam chowder at Fisherman’s Wharf, wandered through Ghirardelli Square, and crinkled our noses at the open-air crab market.

We ended up at the Musee Mecanique, a collection of antique arcade machines and animatronic games. There were early pinball machines, mechanical baseball and bowling and golf, silent film reels, fortune tellers, and entire miniature carnivals filled with mechanical puppets.

It was amazingly cool. What’s more, it only cost a quarter or two to start each one playing or dancing or whirling. I only wish I knew more about the engineering that went into them. Some of them sound fantastically complex.

Damn the world for having so much cool stuff to distract me with!


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