Friday, January 11, 2008

Musee Mechanique I

We said we were going back to Guatemala, and we did, for a few pictures of buses. And then the staff photographer got wrapped up in some pictures he took while we were in San Francisco for New Year's Eve.

The Musee Mechanique is, for our money, one of the coolest attractions in San Francisco. It is a collection of old penny-arcade attractions from various Bay Area amusement parks of days long past. It was once housed in the basement of the Cliff House, which had two advantages: First, it was in a location you might want to visit anyway, and second, it was in a cramped, dim space that seemed perfectly fitting, as if you were going through an old attic where these oddball delights had been hidden away.

It got the boot from the Cliff House due to renovations or progress ever marching forward or some such, and looked as if it was going to disappear. But in the end, it found a new home in a big warehouse at Pier 45, right next to Fisherman's Wharf. This has the disadvantages of feeling kind of cold and sterile as warehouses do, and of being in a part of The City where almost nobody over the age of 14 would go unless forced at gunpoint. Your staff photographer was the exception.

(The editors would like to point out that we are much in favor of the Musee Mechanique continuing to exist and lure quarters (no longer pennies, alas) from the throngs of tourists ambling around Fisherman's Wharf. It's no Cliff House, but it's better than being homeless.

No comments: