Thursday, February 11, 2010

californian adventure: the san fran-tastic adventure


oh! i miss being on my californian adventure! not just the room service and the whole 'holiday' thing, but just being in amazing places like san francisco. i could quite easily just move myself into one of those brain-meltingly expensive pretty doll-houses and live happily ever after. who knows, maybe i could even learn to like sourdough bread? it'll be tough, but i bet i could do it.

while in san francisco i got to meet up with the unspeakably gorgeous alex from strawberry lemonade, who along with her (also unspeakably gorgeous) family gave us a v.i.p-extra-special-insider's tour of their lovely city. the first important thing to note is just how cute we looked:

alex, and pilgrim - photo by mr alex

the second thing to note is just how cute we look in a photo booth together. see, alex is so cute the camera couldn't take it all in, and she looks a bit blurry. i promise, she's not blurry in real life: she just can't be captured on film. too much awesome.
after being picked up from our hotel, we were whisked away in the 'strawberry-lemonade-mobile' to the amazing musee mechanique at pier 45, fisherman's wharf. swoon. i think i could've spent weeks in musee mechanique. it is a huge private collection of coin operated amusements dating from the 1800s to the 1980s. most of the amusements only cost 25¢, so you can spend a little money but have a lot of fun. there are tasteful antique music players, mutoscopes (early moving picture displays) and fortune telling machines. and then there were the morbid and macabre attractions such as the drunkard's dream, the various simulated execution dioramas, and the ominously titled 'inquest' (two bisons investigate a dead body. hilarity does not ensue. doesn't that sound like the start of the worst joke ever)? here is a sampling of the treasures on display:



musée mécanique: theatre automatique
beautiful carved french kinetoscope casing



musée mécanique: owl detail
detail from the casing of a fortune telling machine



musée mécanique: palmistry
i love that the 'h' is in a red circle in this palmistry machine. it also featured an amazing chrome wing motif at the top but my camera missed it!



musée mécanique: magic
too busy swooning over that 'magic' script i didn't notice what this was! oy, design geek, much?



musée mécanique: skipping girl
the oldest attraction at the musee, a skipping girl zoetrope



musée mécanique: fairground side show
detail from a miniature fairground



musée mécanique: fortune and weigh teller's questions
detail from a 'weight & fortune' scale (yeah, that's a "thing")



musée mécanique: the opium den
the opium den, featuring shivering addicts, pop up skeletons, lurking dragons etc



musée mécanique: gumball claw machine
and finally, a shot of color! courtesy of a claw machine full of gumballs.



it was so great hanging out with alex and family, and we were so grateful to be given such super special treatment. it makes traveling so much richer when you have a local to show you around and our impression of san francisco is that its a swell town full of gorgeous people!

if you enjoyed seeing these pictures, why not take a look at the whole set on my flickr photostream. you're welcome to add me as a contact if you're on flickr too.

4 comments:

juliette said...

ahh, San Fran! That's my favorite US city. I'm so glad you got to go and enjoy it, esp with a local!

We used to go into the city every weekend when I was a teenager. My sister and my mom would go to the conservatory for her violin lessons, and my dad and brother and I would go run around the city doing different fun things while we waited (4hr lessons, yikes!). I'm dying to take my husband there - he's never been! I think everybody should go to SF at least once in their lives - it's so unique!

Ryan Schulz said...

Wow! That seems like an amazing place. Having someone local to take you around makes a trip SO much better. Here are my photos from San Fran last summer. I missed this place...too bad!

http://rwsphotography.zenfolio.com/places

Pilgrim Lee said...

juliette - oh! 4 hours of freedom in SF would've been amazing for a kid (of an adult)! i say don't hesitate, get you and your husband off there as soon as you can!

ryan schultz - it really was so special having a 'local'. i love you alcatraz photos! we missed out doing a tour, but i want to see it next time, for sure.

strawberry lemonade girl said...

YAY!!!!! I love this post!!!! This was lovely. I just found my photostrip in my purse (i've been tearing up the house looking for it).

You look gorgeous in your new photo btw...i love it!!!

And please COME BACK!

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