Musee Mechanique - opium dens, honky tonks and more!

One of the great things about living in Los Angeles are the weekend getaways. From the snowy peaks of Big Bear to the vintage chic of Palm Springs, the choices are endless. San Francisco is a bit further out, but every Angeleno has pulled off a weekend there. After all, it's just as far as Vegas as long as you take the inland route. You'll miss the high coastal cliffs that car commercials are made of, but you can at least see the route where James Dean died.

If you've done Alcatraz and Chinatown, there's a little gem in the Fisherman's Wharf area: Musee Mechanique, a penny arcade. It's free to get in, and just 1 to 25 cents to see an opium den come alive (per the video above) - a cautionary tale with skeletons popping from closets and addicts rocking back and forth. A slap-happy honky tonk bar with good ol' boys partying in slow motion. 
J'adore! XXX back then was a girl in a bikini and boy shorts!
When stumbling upon this place, you feel communal pride with the other visitors - all excited to be in on this big, great secret. It's esoteric, Gallic, vintage, funny and sometimes scandalous. What's not to love?

Nancy Regan had nothing on them!

ah, innocence

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