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Playing Tourist in San Francisco - Pahavit's Universe

pahavit
Date: 1-8-2013 12:29 AM
Subject: Playing Tourist in San Francisco
Security: Public
Tags:bird, cable car, duck, flower, golden gate park, great egret, lloyd lake, mallard, muscovy duck, museum, musée mécanique, portals of the past, san francisco, sign
Playing Tourist in San Francisco

On Saturday D. and I spent the day in San Francisco playing tourist.  We wanted to do this for our recent anniversary but I was too sick at the time to leave the house for several weeks.  We were finally able to go on Saturday, and I took these pics.

First we visited a place in Golden Gate Park called Portals of the Past, comprised of the marble portico left behind when one of the Nob Hill mansions got destroyed during the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire.  It is reported to be haunted.







Portals of the Past sits beside picturesque Lloyd Lake, ringed with pretty flowers and stuff and full of pretty birds.













This mallard hen displays the blue “speculum” patch in the wing as she prepares to enter the lake.





Pretend-sleeping mallard sees what you did there.





A great egret fishes near a brushy bank of the lake.





Lloyd Lake has a small population of muscovy ducks.  They have unusual faces and coloration.





"Don't hate me because i'm beautiful."





The next place we visit is the Xanadu Gallery on Maiden Lane at Union Square.  It is in a building designed by noted architect Frank Lloyd Wright.  Instead of stairs it has a spiral ramp going up the side of the wall, similar to Wright's design for the famous Guggenheim Museum in New York.  The ceiling is a grid of translucent circles and bubbles, making it seem like a cloud.





The next place on our itinerary is the Cable Car Museum, where we view the enormous engines and 14'-diameter winding wheels, called sheaves, that run the cables that pull the cable cars up and over San Francisco's steep hills.





San Francisco's cable cars are the nation's only moving national monument, traveling at a stately 9 1/2 mph.



Our next destination is the Musée Mécanique at Fisherman's Wharf.  It is a collection of restored antique arcade games (many over 100 years old) and mechanical musical instruments, such as player pianos.











This machine's marionette looks so creepy and sinister we don't bother playing.





This dude tips a bottle into a cup and takes a slow-motion drink when you put a quarter in the machine.  D. says, "They must have been desperate for entertainment back in the old days."





A few machines were built from toothpicks by convicts in prison in the 1930s.





The Kiss-O-Meter measures the thrill of people's kisses.





One machine features pugilistic robots who look like extras from the movie Metropolis.






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