Welcome to the machine: San Francisco's Musee Mecanique
Among the busy seafood restaurants, gift shops and tourist trolley and boatriding kiosks of San Francisco's Pier 45 sits a warehouse full of one of the world's largest privately owned collections of mechanically operated musical instruments and antique arcade museums. The Musee Mecanique is Mr. Edward Galland Zelinsky's astounding collection of over 300 items, dating back about 100 years, including coin operated pianos, antique slot machines, animations and instruments (there's lots more about Mr. Zelinsky here). Want your fortune told? Take that up with Grandma, the Gypsy Fortune Teller. Think you're pretty strong? Challenge the Arm Wrestler. Amorous? Put your libido to the test with the Kiss-O-Meter. The Musee, with its grotesque characters and old, old school entertainment, is like stepping into the movies "Hugo" and "Pee Wee's Big Adventure," not to mention a "Twilight Zone" or two. The warehouse is also a tribute to the Playland At The Beach amusement park, San Francisco's beloved seaside version of Coney Island, popular from the 1920s until it closed in the 1960s.
Be sure to check out these marvels of yesteryear if you're ever in San Francisco, where it's free to get in and you can party like it's 1909.
This blog is devoted to old fashioned American roadside attractions... the wonderfully big, bizarre, crazy, wacky, quirky, weird, funny, unique and mundane sites you see travelling cross-country by car in the USA, where getting there really is all the fun!