and Pesco visit the Musée Mécanique

For many people in the Bay Area, Doug McConnell is a familiar face. That's him, below right. For fifteen years, Doug has hosted Bay Area Backroads, a fantastic television show about unique, hidden, and out-of-the-way locales in northern California. Doug takes his viewers down the "road-less-traveled" to see people, and places, with a story to tell. Recently, Doug, his Backroads collaborator Carl Bidleman, and Doug's neighbor and adviser, Jim Wirth brought their wonderful sensibility to the Web. Their site, OpenRoad.TV, bills itself as a "Traveler's Video Guide to the American West." It's filled with video segments, travel tips, and community insights browseable via an interactive map and categorized by interests like history, nature, wildlife, wine, gardens, active adventure, and food. I think the reason that these guys produce such great stuff is because they're incredibly curious people and their curiosity is infectious. It seems that making video is just a perfect excuse for them to get out of their houses, talk to people, and explore their world. Fortunately, they've invited us along for the ride.
Today, OpenRoad.TV has launched a new video blog series called Life Outside the Box. They're accompanying bloggers like Scott Beale of Laughing Squid, Natalie Zee Drieu of CRAFT, and I to some of our favorite real world spots. I took Doug, Carl, and Jim to San Francisco's Musée Mécanique, an incredible penny arcade filled with beautifully-restored antique arcade machines, mechanical music instruments, and bizarre theaters-in-a-box with automatons as the actors. I hope you enjoy the video of our visit! Be sure to check out all of what OpenRoad.TV has to offer too.

Link to OpenRoad.TV
Link to Musée Mécanique

Previously on BB:
• Musée Mécanique proprietor's aluminum pocket protector Link


  1. Wow. Two of my favorite media personalities in one place! I’m a huge fan of Doug and his business-partners Carl and Jim’s work. I’m thrilled you guys have hooked up for this project — I’m a fan of and think their penchant for finding, discovering and sharing their respect of incredible places is very similar to your directory of wonderful thing.

  2. I’m sure David’s office mates will hate this, but they are a variety of Laughing Sal Cd’s for sale. This Canadian park sells a 1 hr. version

    They also claim each Sal had a different laugh track….

    I think I saw that the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk also sells them.

  3. @Mr.Pants. Thanks for that link! Turns out that the Musée Mécanique sells CDs with recordings of the machines too. I’ll have to invest in good headphones. : )

  4. For those who haven’t been, and are planning to be a tourist in S.F. sometime soon, the Mechanical Museum is a must. Its new location at Fisherman’s Wharf makes it very accessible for those doing other “touristy” things in the area.

    @ Bonnie: Great pics! Unfortunately, my favorite exhibit is missing from your photoset: the baseball game with the mechanical pitcher, “bat”, and umpire that calls balls and strikes by lifting his left or right arm.

    I’ll search through my photos and see what I can upload to flickr.

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