Friday, April 23, 2010

Pier 39 and Musee Mecanique (SF Trip Day 7)

We spent about half of a day on Pier 39 and really enjoyed ourselves. I really didn't take very many photos as much of what we were doing was shopping. My mom and I both ended up buying jackets and we bought several t-shirts. My mom also bought Alex a charm for her charm bracelet.

We had to try these mini donuts... and they were great! So fresh, too!

From the end of the pier, you could see the Golden Gate Bridge and the Bay Bridge. In this photo, you can see the contruction that is taking place on the Bay Bridge.

You can also see Alcatraz from the end of the pier.

Here is Alex in front of the famous Pier 39 sea lions. I understand that recently they disappeared and we heard conflicting reports about whether or not we would see any. So, we were happy to see them, though there were only about 40 or so.

From the sign titled "Why Are They Here?" These California sea lions "hauled out" on Pier 39's K-dock shortly after the 1989 San Francisco earthquake. The boisterous barking pinnepeds started arriving in droves, taking over the docks in January, 1990. At first they numbered from 10-50, but due to a plentiful  herring supply, the available dock space and a protected environment, the population grew to more than 300 within a couple of months. Each winter season, the sea lion population grows as high as 600. Annually, the sea lions tend to migrate to the Channel Islands 350 miles to the south during the summer months, but now a small group chooses to stay at Pier 39 throughout the year.

This was a homeless man we met and talked to for awhile. His bird is named Talks Alot. I forgot his name, but it starts with a T. He had another friend with him that had a "T", too, and he called them the "3T's." From what he told us, he actually gets enough money each month to spend the 1st 3 weeks of each month in a hotel. Then, he spends the rest of the month on the streets. He is going through dialysis and is also on blood thinners, something I can relate to. I really enjoyed talking to "T" and he asked for prayers. It sounds like he has had a rough life, though I guess you can't always tell from someone's story. He sounded sincere, though. And, it just slowed me down for awhile to think of someone else and where I am and how I have been blessed. So, I'll remember to say another prayer for the 3T's tonight. Since it is near the end of the month, I guess they are probably back on the street tonight.

That night, we had fresh seafood on one of the piers. Then, we stumbled up Musee Mecanique, "one of the world’s largest privately owned collections of mechanically operated musical instruments and antique arcade machines." We had the BEST time here! All of the old games cost either 25 or 50 cents. There were some very old games, too. Some of them were kind of like puppets that just "jumped" up and down. Can you imagine paying money for that? (Well, we did, and I guess people used to do it!) The machine Alex is looking in has 3D photos from the 1906 earthquake. I viewed it, too.

 And, her Alex is playing an old baseball game. It was just amazing to see these old games and I was surprised I hadn't read about it in any of the books or websites I'd read. There was also an amazing collection of antique player pianos with musical instruments built INSIDE of the pianos! Amazing!


Rhonda said...

Your story of the 3 "T's" just touched my heart. You are a good person, Dana. Most people would have passed him by and never known the story of his homelessness. I will be praying for them.

Paula (Belgium) said...

I have never seen these small prison cells. Interesting story!

Liese4 said...

When you went through CO did you go to the penny arcade at Manitou? The old games are so neat, and even the not so old ones (Galaga) are cool to play.

One time when we were downtown there was guy taking pics of the homeless. He paid them and they posed for him, he was making a photo book of Denver homeless. One day if I have enough money I'd like to do that. One lady was still stuck here from Katrina and ws trying to get back to Louisiana. Sad stories on the street and yes, we are blessed.

David Gallagher said...


Thanks very much for visiting the Musee!

I want to tell you that the Musee Mecanique has a new website at

The one you link to is not owned or operated by Dan Zelinsky, owner of the Musee. If you could change the link on your post,. we'd appreciate it!

Robin said...

Oh, my gosh, my heart constricted. I can't stand to hear about such horrible stories. That poor man. I really don't understand how that happens.

I love the little museum. And I'm so glad you added it to your post about "T" because it lifted my spirits towards the end. I'd love to go there because it's so cool to see entertainments from days gone by. I would have tried them all because I'm such a game addict...LOL!

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