One of the benefits of walking a city is discovery. I’m not claiming this as a great insight, as it is a trope of most travel writers. And while it may be a cliche, it is also a fact, and one, sadly, that most visitors ignore in a mad dash to check off as many sites as possible.
Even in San Francisco, a city I’ve lived in for all of my adult life, I’m grateful I can still find something unexpected and new.
In this case–pinball. I was out walking several months ago and took a turn down a street I usually pass on my way to Haight St. And there I found a pinball parlor.
A fair amount of my youth was spent spending my allowance and newspaper route money on pinball. I got pretty good. Not hustler good, but skilled enough for a satisfying frequency of winning free games.
Free Gold Watch (yes, that’s the name) is located a block away from Haight St, and across the street from Golden Gate Park, and 5 blocks away from InoVino, my regular Friday night wine bar.
There are a variety of machines, but my favorites are in a room devoted to vintage games. The older machines are not overloaded with lights, bells, whistles, and traps like the newer models, and the angles aren’t as steep.
Fun for the whole family. If you have kids who haven’t played pinball, this is a good opportunity to introduce them to a possibly lifelong habit.