Travel Diary: San Francisco Day 3 (Part 2) - Pier 39 and Musée Mécanique

January 21, 2016 (continued): After my tour of Alcatraz and since I was in the area, I headed down to the nearby tourist mecca Pier 39. I don’t have too many pictures since it was mainly souvenir and tourist-y shops, but have to shout out the left-handed shop I spotted, finally us lefties get some love! The famous sea lions of Pier 39 will be getting it’s own mega post in the next one because I went a bit snap happy with them.

_MG_9446.jpg

Of course my main focus was the healthy and nutritious lunch I got consisting of a s'mores filled crepe with a side of fries with a pesto aioli dip. I could feel my arteries hardening just looking at it and was already full after a few bites.

_MG_9459.jpg

I decided to walk off my impending food coma and go towards my next destination the Musée Mécanique, which was in the Fisherman’s Wharf. I was stopped while walking through a pedestrian crossing by a guy saying he was going to give me a ticket but then handed me a sticker saying I <3 YOUR SMILE. Then he asked me to write down my details and give a charity donation. I think I gave something like $5 because something didn't feel right and the guy seemed a little disappointed, which even more-so fueled my suspicions . Later googling I found out my instincts were right and they were panhandlers, I feel worse for the other people who had "donated" $20 - $100. So if you’re visiting in that area, beware!

Heading further towards my destination, I was spotted another attempt at some cash - this time, with a little more honesty.

_MG_9468.jpg

I discovered the existence of Musée Mécanique when I was researching places to visit in this area. I love pretty much anything vintage and these mechanicals were no exception. They had a range of old, interactive arcade games, fortune tellers, to mechanical scenes that played out various stories. Each game ranged from about $0.25 to $2.00.

I don’t know how the Career Pilot game caught onto the fact that I secretly self diagnose myself by googling symptoms through Web MD and think I have some obscure disease.

_MG_9501.jpg

I was also amused by trying out a fortune telling machine that resembled the Bocca della Verità in Rome, the mouth of truth. This game resembled various depictions of this mask where you stick your hand in it’s mouth, here it pops a fortune after, it was funny because I don’t think I realized I pressed another language and my fortune came out in Spanish. I managed to piece together the gist of it though, thanks Google Translate!

The museum is on the small side but I think worth a quick visit if you’re in the area!

Travel Diary: Seattle Day 4 - Museum of Pop Culture (Part 3)

January 18, 2016 (continued): Making my way out the film section of the museum, I came upon the "Hello! Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty" exhibition. I knew Hello Kitty was a phenom around the world, complete with her own hotel room, but I didn't realize the vast amount of different products she came in from tarot cards to Kendo equipment!

Some personal highlights for me was seeing the mini bubble gum machine and coin purse watch that I used to own as a kid, and collaborations with some of my favorite artists like Audrey Kawasaki, Apak, D*Face and Gary Baseman.

_MG_8403.jpg

Other exhibits I visited only briefly, as it was getting on in the day and my legs weren't going to hold out for much longer, was "Indie Game Revolution" (still currently exhibiting), where as it states in it's title you can play a bunch of indie games!

They also have a large music section with an explosion of Fender Stratocaster guitars, to actual recording studios where you get a chance to sing, play music etc. They even have a live band simulator where you and your friends can pretend to play in front of a live audience. There were also instruments from around the world, and of course it was great to see featured ukulele's from my birthplace, Hawaii.

_MG_8393.jpg

Delving further into the music related exhibits, I came across the "Wild Blue Angel: Hendrix Abroad, 1966-1970" (still currently exhibiting), featuring pieces from his tour abroad. Again, it was cool to see his connection to my homeland, Hawaii!

I ended my tour at the "Nirvana: Taking Punk to the Masses" exhibition where it had a major collection of memorabilia from the band Nirvana, including Kurt Cobain's iconic cardigan!

I finished off my day at MPoP with an early dinner at Wolfgang Puck's Pop Kitchen & Bar, mostly because I didn't have lunch and wanted the nearest access to food to stave off my impending hangriness! I had the cheeseburger and truffle parmesan fries, it was pretty good and did the trick.

Overall I found MPoP had a nice range of exhibits, with a bonus factor of a lot being interactive. You could definitely spend the whole day here since they have quite a bit of pieces within each exhibit. I feel it would be worth a visit if you're interested in pop culture and in the area.