October 04

An Appreciation: Edward Galland Zelinsky
Gridlock, Ferries & Peter Grenell
Amtrak to Portland
Tiburon a town of Grace and Fun
Sprawl Is All Around
SF Taste of Greece Festival All About Choices
Bay Crossings Cuisine
Bay Area Tollpayers Race Clock To Take Advantage of FasTrakTM Discount
Drinkin’ in Dogpatch and dancin’ on the Third Rail
Middle Harbor Shoreline Park Debuts
Fall into Jack’s New Tapas
Port of San Francisco First West Coast Seaport to Install Radiation
Bay Round Up
Barrel of Fun
San Francisco Welcomes the US Navy
Boating Calendar
Berkeley Ferry Service
Community Calendar
Best Alternative for Bay Bridge Replacement Is Awarding Current Bid



Edward Galland Zelinsky
January 1, 1922 – September 23, 2004.

A fourth-generation San Franciscan, Edward Galland Zelinsky passed away peacefully of pancreatic cancer on September 23, 2004. Ed was a co-owner of Main Street Properties in Tiburon. He was active in real estate and property management in San Francisco and other Bay Area communities.

Ed Zelinsky was a very kind man and was considered a visionary and major moving force in the community of Tiburon. Any committee with Ed on it was going to make a difference in the small southern Marin town on the edge of the Bay. It was Ed who dressed up the old clapboard buildings of Tiburon’s historic downtown. Tiburon’s downtown properties are either owned by Main Street Properties or Belvedere Land Company. Both were very gracious landlords who helped people and worked to make the town the place it is today. To that end, Ed, an avid collector, went to auctions and destruction zones of older properties. He brought back bits of brick-a-brack, sconces, deck railings even the black and white horse caddy statues that dot the front of Ark row buildings, from these many expeditions. He succeeded in giving the facings of his Main Street shops both character and charm.

He was the co-owner of the Musée Mécanique in San Francisco, one of the largest private collections of coin-operated mechanical art in the world. In 2002 there was a mad scramble by the Park’s service and City to help find a new home for Ed’s Musée Mécanique collection of mechanical amusement toys. When it was learned by the public of the possible loss of access, there was an outcry that included a petition of over 25,000 signatures.

The Cliff House basement had been the home to the collection for many years. The plan to renovate the Cliff House by the Parks service had been developed over 2-years but that plan did not include Ed and son Daniel’s amazing collection. Reported in Streetwise, in an article by Steve W. LaBounty, April 2002. Steve eloquently said: “ In the burst of attention the Musée received, I found myself interviewed by a news crew. They asked me to explain in a sound bite why a basement full of mechanical gizmos, flip-card movie machines, player pianos and chuckling robots is of historical significance. I said each machine offers a moment our grandparents may have experienced. This isn’t a movie, a photograph, an oil painting hanging in a museum. This is three chances to hit a steel ball against the 1937 World Series team. This is a miniature farmyard of dolls come to life, a Ferris wheel of toothpicks made by convicts, metal-men boxing matches, and Susie the puppet dancing the Can-Can.

What I should have said about the collection that Mr. Zelinsky and his son shepherd into a new century is “Where else can you get a piece of heaven for twenty-five cents?” Due to all of the attention brought to Musée Mécanique, Ed and Dan were approached by Bay Area photographers Pat Mazzera and Catherine Lynch. They asked about creating a book, depicting many of the 300 items in the collection. The book became a reality shortly after the Musée’s move to Pier 45 at Fisherman’s Wharf. Quoted on the facilities website, Daniel who runs the Musée Mécanique is quoted saying, “Throughout the years, tens of thousands of families and schoolchildren have delighted in playing the mechanical games and listening to the lively music. “They get a big smile on their face,” Dan said. “It’s a fun experience.”

Ed Zelinsky began collecting antique automata in 1933 when he won a one-cent penny arcade machine in a raffle. The collection now includes between 200-300 coin-operated machines, ranging from Barbary Coast orchestrians to today’s video games. The permanent rotating exhibit of these fascinating machines, some dating back as far as the 1880s, can be seen 7 days a week located in Fisherman’s Wharf. Long time San Franciscans may feel nostalgia to see Laughing Sal, who delighted (or terrified) visitors to Playland at the Beach from 1940 to 1972. It is all there. Saved for generations today and those to come by Ed and Daniel Zelinsky for the pure joy of seeing people smile.

With his wife Laleh, he co-founded the Tiburon Children’s Film Festival. He was also founder of the Virtual Museum of the City of San Francisco and active in various civic causes including the San Francisco County Fair, San Francisco Film Festival, National Maritime Museum Association, California Historical Society, and the Tiburon Peninsula Chamber of Commerce. The San Francisco Film Festival is dedicated to giving new talent and films not picked up for distribution a chance to be seen and those who win in the festivals are given support for their artistic excellence.

As an ardent maritime-history enthusiast, his interest in old sailing ships began with the restoration of the Balclutha in 1954 and continued with his efforts to save the historic landmark vessel S.S. Wapama and also the Vicar of Bray. He received the American Ship Trust award for distinguished service in 1995 and will be honored posthumously with the San Francisco Maritime National Park Association’s Maritime Heritage Award on October 14. He served as a Trustee of the World Ship Trust of London, England.

Ed was a key character in leading the charge to bring Ferry service back to San Francisco Bay. The Tiburon line is still today the only line on the West Coast that operates without subsidy. Ed approached the Crowley family to have a boat dedicated to taking those from Tiburon who worked in San Francisco back and forth to work. Today the primary boat that serves the Tiburon commuters is called The Zelinsky.

He was man who made a notable mark in many arenas of interest and communities around the Bay. Ed Zelinsky will be missed but remembered with a smile for all history he saved and the smiles he brought to the face of our community. In a speaking with Ed’s office representative I mentioned I’d never met him. “I’m so sorry for your loss.” She said, “He was a fine man who was a pleasure to know.” Thank you Ed Zelinsky and our best to your entire family.

Ed is survived by his beloved wife Laleh S. Zelinsky; his loving daughter Miriam Davina G. Zelinsky; his devoted sister Barbara Z. Abrams of Belvedere; two children from a previous marriage, Dale Z. Jewell of Sebastopol and Daniel Zelinsky of Mill Valley; and four grandchildren.

A memorial service was held in his memory on Wednesday, September 29, at 10 a.m. at the Congregation Emanu-El, 2 Lake St. (at the corner of Lake and Arguello), San Francisco. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to:

C. P. M. C. Foundation
In Memory of Edward G. Zelinsky
Pancreatic Cancer Research
P.O. Box 45234
San Francisco, CA 94145

M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund
1515 Holcombe Blvd.
Box 426
Houston, Texas 77030