Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Musee Mecanique - Envelope #9

Eerily Happy...  This is how I felt wandering around Musee Mecanique at Pier 45.  It's an amazing place packed with American nostalgia.  Clowns, fortune tellers, wizards, arcade and mechanical music machines breathe a life of their own into this oversized shed.
Oh Look a Cute Clown - Rather Spooky

Row after row of coin operated antique machines.. up to .25 or .50 a play. A child's heaven.  Lining up my shiny quarter in the slot... hearing that click of the metal arm and the clink of the coin is a most satisfying experience.   From Pole Position to a Proximiscope from the 1880's, I long for a simpler point in time.  These machines are handcrafted, one-of-a-kind. Made by men who dreamed of bringing entertainment to others. It's hard to see the profit scheme here.  The love put behind each detail can't be found in the aisles of ToysRus.  Unlike an iPhone ap, these games actually make me smile.

Diorama - I fell in love with these slices of American life, gone by.

The wizard reveals a fortune

 Proximiscope from the 1880's - Persistence of Vision....  a favorite toy gimmick 

Execution - The Arcade Game

Opium Den - Another favorite- I'm twisted, I know.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Bring Your Own Big Wheel

You heard it right - BYOWB - Bring your own big wheel. This wasn't an envelope... But should have been... This event encapsulates the spirit of San Francisco.

The idea: A bunch of adults (quite a few under the influence) grab a big wheel and race down the crooked-est street in San Francisco.   And not Lombard Street... Locals know that Vermont is actually the crooked-est street in SF. These locals bring a flair that you can only experience in this great city. I 'll let the pictures do the talking.

©  2012 by Hayley Thistlethwaite all rights reserved

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Pier 39- Envelope #8

 In 1989, the Sea Lions started frequenting Pier 39.  Their original home was Seal Rock.  Several months before the Loma Prieta earthquake, they suddenly moved.  It is theorized that the seals feel safer  here.  An effort to refurbish the docks has given the Sea Lions more space and they have since settled in.
The pier has dozens of restaurants, an arcade, an aquarium and shops; but the real attraction is the sea lions.  People stand at the side of the pier to watch the sea lions rest, defend their territory, snap at sea gulls and "ARRRKkkk"...
Once we get our fill of the Sea Lion "show", we explore the Pier shops and restaurants. Stepping onto the board walk, there is a welcomed transition... from the smell sea lions to waffle cones. First stop the carousel.  Little Iris charges the 2 story ride with no fear...  
Next stop the Aquarium by the Bay, also on the Pier...   The aquarium features aquatic life from the SF Bay. Sharks, Bat Rays, Eels, Jelly Fish and the diet of the Sea Lions: squids, octopuses, sardines and anchovvy. The kids love the exhibit the touch exhibits.
Pier 39 reawakens my sense of childhood excitement and curiosity. I feel like I am 10 years old again and at Rye Playland.  In my twenties, I might have despised the commercialized pier, but with now with my 2 small kids; it's a perfect Sunday. 

©  2012 by Hayley Thistlethwaite all rights reserved