Playland was this amusement park on the Pacific Coast Highway, the famous Highway 1.

It sat by the Pacific at end of San Francisco hills across the street from the now closed, famous too, Cliff House and the still there, still famous Camera Obscura.

Alas, even the mystic camera cannot see the ghost of the rides and concessions. Now only old hippies shuffle up the sidewalk beside Ocean Beach to look for the Playland ghosts of youth. Don’t even ask about the haunted ruins of the Sutro Baths on the other side of the Cliff House.

Play lands are everywhere. You have yours you slid slides on and took the kids to, some are even still there, dotting cities and suburbs all over. The equipment of childhood is made from mostly bright plastic now, not smooth, black-polished steel from a billion touches or straight board swing seats covered with hard, black rubber flying over gravel, so much easier to jump from than basket seats on rubber coated chains over rubber mats.

Here’s an afternoon vision of a modern play land. Someday, somebody will shuffle up to it, or where it once was looking for ghosts. Ghosts of childhood are the most memorable they say. But I don’t know if there have been any studies done.

Here is that yet un-haunted Playland seen with a 50mm lens.



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