And then there are times when curiosity gets the best of me. There's got to be something to these spots, right? Something beyond the chain restaurants and postcard/trinket/souvenir/who-really-buys-that-stuff shops? Last weekend was one of those times. I actually had both days off, a rarity this time of year, and even though the husband lived walking distance from Fisherman's Wharf for about a year, he never really checked it out. So we decided to be tourists for the day and see what the fuss was about. After getting super lucky with a non-metered parking spot on a Saturday afternoon, we headed over to the Hyde Street Pier to check out the ships. The sun was bright and the sky was clear, which made for some pretty lovely views.
Though the husband was in 80s arcade heaven, I focused on the more bizarre antique games. This little machine is the oldest in the museum. It's a little 1880s parlor game that spins to animate a young girl hula-hooping.
Some of the machines were a little scandalous! A peek inside at the "figure studies" show flirtatious ladies in garters, stockings, and the occasional corset.
And then there were the random weird games. like "Drunkard's Dream." Pop a quarter in the slot and watch as two dragon suddenly emerge to battle it out while a drunk guy rolls around in a barrel. The grand finale? A skull shooting up jack-in-the-box style from the floor.
The strangest of all, I think, was a machine called "The Inquisition." It's a herd of buffalo standing around a dismember Native American. Slip a quarter in the slot and the buffalo move their head as if they're sniffing the corpse. I was literally speechless watching that little machine in action.
And, of course, since we were playing tourist, we had to make a quick stop for a little snack and some margaritas before heading home.
There were still crowds galore to navigate through and the margaritas & guacamole were probably a tad overpriced (okay, a lot overpriced), but it wasn't hard to look past the tourist traps in the area and find the true gems around us. All in all, it was a pretty lovely afternoon.