The Steampunk World

Being the continued explorations of a living steampunk.

The steampunk world is all around us, lying just out of sight, in a continuous thread of steampunk builders and culture that extends from the Victorian era to the present. You'll find no science fiction here: This is real life steampunk.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

San Francisco

Location: California, USA

It is time once again for me to don the family pith helmet and go out into the wilds of the world in the name of discovery.  I traveled west from Chicago to the port city of San Francisco, planning to catch a steamer to Sydney and points antipodallycontinental.

One of my first stops was at  Paxton Gate is the steampunk's one-stop materiel-shop.  From taxidermied kraken to brass compassi, this place had everything for the lab and garden.  Unfortunately they wouldn't allow photographs due to the somewhat unnerving aspect of the various dead animals dressed up like the cutest little sad goth angels.  And other crimes against nature.  From odd medical glass to the skulls of class insectivora, don't miss this shop.

note- these pictures are really just the tip of the mad science iceberg.

Bootleg Jewelry:

Various rings and necklaces made from watch components and vacuum tubes.  And fingerbones.  Between this and the pirate store I'm beginning to be surprised by how well The Mission caters to my lifestyle.

Also, having a particular interest in paroxysm as a cure for hysteria and wandering womb, I stopped by the Good Vibrations store to view their collection of vintage vibrators extending to the Victorian era:

Follow my flickr stream here:

Cavorting around on what we thought were abandoned diesel locomotives got the attention of the old fellas who, it turned out, were about to start them up and use them.

"You know how to start one of these things?" he said, and then showed us.

Then we checked out the Musee Mechanique (and the nearby Electric Streetcar Museum).  The Musee Mechanique was a collection of Hurdy-Gurdies, Orchestria, and such coin-operated amusements:

Imagine my surprise to find a steam motorcycle there!

Indulged a bit in my love of moving bridges:

Checked out the cable car museum...

Then it was off to a taping of "Chode Warrior", a remake of Road Warrior with only bikes.

Check out my flickr stream for more pictures:

Visited NIMBY, a big warehouse for- like the name says- any project that nobody else wants to house.  It's divided up with containers, some of them shops, some of them houses.  See the flickr stream for rocket scooters and V8 blenders.

I thought this residence had the most lovely wrought-iron staircase:

Wednesday night is the Kinetic Steamworks work night.  They're working on Pops, their second traction engine.

Another steamball?

Why no, it's just a lantern!

This is the life of a steampunk- not a fantasy world of comic books, but a living breathing world filled with traces of the past mixed into hopes for the future.  See my flickr stream for more:

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