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Saturday, September 26, 2009
The Mechanical Museum SF
One of the big highlights of my late summer vacation in San Francisco was visiting the terrific Musee Mechanique in the Fisherman’s Wharf District. It brought back childhood memories of going to the penny arcade at Lake Arrowhead in the Sixties and having fun. A lot of the attractions appear to be from the 1930’s and 1940’s, some even older. I find it interesting that attractions back then were more adult than they are now: one machine was called “Opium Den” and showed little puppets lying around blowing pipes and passing out (no kidding).
There were many different machines showing various forms of execution (hanging, guillotine, electric chair, etc.). And I loved all the fat, tipsy drunk puppets. But one of the best features was the crying baby who looked more wizened than his hapless Dad unsuccessfully rocking him back to sleep. Frisco still holds that creepy Vincent Price/“House of Wax” vibe for me and this consolidates that psycho carnival atmosphere.
TO GET THE FULL EFFECT OF THE PSYCHO PENNY ARCADE, PLAY ALL THREE VIDEOS AT EXACTLY THE SAME TIME!!!
Special thanks to Kris Casler for taking us to this marvelous slice of trashy Americana. Next time the quarters are on us!