High on a Hill: Musee Mecanique
It really doesn't matter whether you're 5 or 105, the fun collection of mechanical games and toys at Musee Mecanique is 100% sure to please. The decidedly low tech arcade is among the last remnants of Playland at the Beach, San Francisco's long gone oceanfront amusement park, along with the former Playland carousel at Zeum, Camera Obscura, the Doggie Dinner mascot on Sloat Blvd., and the It's-It bar. Some of Musee Mecanique's quirky machines are enough to make a grown man giddy. The mop topped and always happy Laughing Sal, who delighted teenage sweethearts and children of all ages for more than 50 years at Playland, lords over the entire loony collection. All kidding aside, when you see Laughing Sal start to giggle, gyrate, and guffaw it's impossible to be in a bad mood. The museum is free except for all the quarters you'll use here. Astonishingly, the machines are maintained in perfect working order! Musee Mecanique is located in the lower level of the Cliff House near Ocean Beach. (Musee Macanique is being housed at Pier 45 through 2004 while the Cliff House undergoes remodeling.)

Laughing Sal I
Laughing Sal II
Hear Laughing Sal!
Arm Wrestling Machine
Barber Shop "Quart"
Grandma Fortune Teller
Early Hand Organ
Harold Lloyd "On the Beam"
A Message from the Sea
Sex Appeal Meter
Tom Mix, "Quick on the Trigger"

More about Playland at the Beach

Copyright 2001 Hank Donat
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