Musee Mechanique (part the first)

September 2nd, 2013, 1pm

Find it in a shack on the end of Pier 45, nestled between bay and rows of squat monuments to seafood tourism. Prepare yourself: you will have to fight through a lot of bodies to get there.

When finally you break free of the throng, you’ll see the doors flung open, the faint sound of gears and chirps and mechanical music boxes leaking onto the sidewalk. Compared to the street, it’s dark inside, perhaps deliberately: each machine and curiosity inside is specially illuminated, enticing you closer, closer.

The Musee Mechanique describes itself as “one of the world’s largest privately owned collections of mechanically operated musical instruments and antique arcade machines.” Everything about it is a little sinister. (Even their website is scored with the terrifying, distorted sounds of children cackling.)

You will want to explore immediately. Don’t fool yourself, though- first, acquire quarters. You will need them. Lots of them. Each carnival oddity, mechanized music box and frozen diorama will beg your change. You will not be able to resist. “What is this unhappy child and frazzled parent?” you might think. “What place does it have in a menagerie of mechanical wonders like this? What could it possibly do?” Perhaps even: “This is silly.” But for 25 cents, you will need to see to the flail of their wooden limbs, the macabre gape of their painted mouths in time to the tinny recording of a baby’s cry.

Once you’re armed with the currency of the place, it’s time to venture deeper.

Cassie, Paul, Jess, Jo and 2 others said thanks.

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Zoelle Egner

Digital literature. Alternate reality games. Science fiction. Cocktails. Octopuses. Excessive pondering. By day I do the technology thing. (Sometimes by night, too.)

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