Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Playland at the Conservatory - Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

The Playland model train layout at the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park will be going until April, 2012. Take a look. The miniature landmark buildings and Playland amusement park (long gone from San Francisco's Ocean Beach, but not from our memory banks) are all made from recycled materials. For example, the cages on the ferris wheel are made from old pencil sharpeners--a must-see!

The train this time around consists of cable cars and street cars, a minor disappointment (we love trains), but the layout is lovely with tons of plants from the Conservatory, as always. And there's a cable-car camera that takes you inside the train tunnel, for miniature spooky action. Plus vintage arcade games and fun-house mirrors, and an original Playland bumper car to pose in.

If you really want to experience antique arcade games, visit the Musée Mécanique at Pier 45 at Fisherman's Wharf. Epic kinetic toothpick sculptures, player pianos, moviolas, and Laughing Sal live on at the Musée Mécanique.

Museé Mécanique from Jan Sturmann on Vimeo.

My mom told me that my Grandma Tocha always had to hear this one player piano at the Playland arcade. That was her constant source of entertainment at the park throughout the years. You can experience similar thrills at Playland Not-At-The-Beach in El Cerrito. One admission price gets you unlimited vintage and modern pinball and skeeball plays throughout the museum of fun. There's amusement-park dioramas and magic shows--it's F-U-N.

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