7.02.2014

Fisherman's Wharf On A Saturday Afternoon

There are times when I intentionally avoid certain places in the city.  You know, the "tourist trap" spots.  The places where people tend to walk slowly down the sidewalk, totally unaware their herd-like group is taking up every available inch of prized cement.  Where every shop is way overpriced and Applebee's, Rainforest Cafe, and Madame Tussauds line the block.  (Fine San Francisco dining, right there.)

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.

"view from hyde street pier san francisco"
"ships at hyde street pier san francisco"
"ships at hyde street pier san francisco"
"ships at hyde street pier san francisco"
"ships at hyde street pier san francisco"


Afterwards, we went for a walk along the shoreline and made our way to the Musee Mecanique.  The museum is basically a crazy huge collection of over 200 antique arcade machines and mechanical musical instruments.  Most, if not all, of the machines are in full working order so you can try them out yourself.  The husband had immediate flashbacks to post-soccer pizza parties pretty much as soon as we walked in the door.  (And speaking of walking in the door, admission is free and most games are only a quarter or two so it's definitely worth checking out if you're in the city.)

"musee mecanique san francisco"
"musee mecanique san francisco"
"musee mecanique san francisco"

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.

"musee mecanique san francisco"

"musee mecanique san francisco"

"musee mecanique san francisco"

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.

"musee mecanique san francisco"

"musee mecanique san francisco"


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.

"musee mecanique san francisco"
"musee mecanique san francisco"
"musee mecanique san francisco"
"fishermans wharf san francisco"
"fisherman's wharf san francisco"



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.

xo


LET'S KEEP IN TOUCH:  FACEBOOK  |  TWITTER  |  INSTAGRAM  |  BOOK A SESSION

Share:

5 comments

  1. I love the San Francisco pictures when there's no fog. Such a treat to have a day like this in the city! Funny you mention "tourist traps". That was one of the first places I "made" M take me when I moved here.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow! It really was a nice day!! Everyone has to do those touristy things at some point!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Ha! You totally relived our day in San Francisco a month ago. We thought that museum was so cool, and wound up spending way more time there than anticipated (like, a chunk of an afternoon). My husband was so enthralled with how all the old machines worked and took so many pictures. I looked at so many of the same games! :) Apparently the museum was featured in "The Princess Diaries" film, too? I don't remember it -- which is odd, given I was obsessed with that movie in high school -- but I want to investigate. :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is sooo funky and freaky - it's something I would expect to see in a scary movie

    ReplyDelete
  5. What?? How did I not know that about the museum? I loved that movie but I definitely do not remember that! Guess I need to watch it again. :)

    ReplyDelete

Tell me more.

© Twentieth Street | All rights reserved.
Blog Design Handcrafted by pipdig