Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Musée Mécanique

The Musée Mécanique is a quirky San Francisco institution I love.  There are around 200 mechanical amusements from one man's personal collection, in working order and ready to be played with. Many of them are very old, and you know you are looking at something special when their tiny parts begin to whir.  Many mysterious fortune tellers are ready to predict your future, music plays, puppets dance and tiny dramas are enacted at the drop of a coin. A huge miniature carnival under glass springs to life as lights go on and the rides begin to spin. You can see for yourself the dreadful wages of sin in the "Drunkard's Dream" and the "Opium Den" (demons, skeletons and other miniature horrors pop out to terrorize the inebriated) and the "English Execution"  (a teeny doll is hung from a scaffold). You can test your strength against an arm wrestler, test your attractiveness, or just test if you can truly resist laughing along with giantess Laffing Sal. It's all pretty irresistible!

Detail from the Carnival.
Detail from the Carnival.
Detail from the Carnival.
Detail from the Carnival.
Jolly Jack.
1937 World Series.
The Opium Den.
The Drunkard's Dream.
Barbershop Quartet.
Gypsy Queen.
English Execution.
Laffing Sal.

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