Just Be Your Selfie (in blue)

Just Be Your Selfie in Blue

Stopped by the Tacoma Art Museum today to catch the Edvard Munch and the Sea exhibit before it slipped away on 7/17/16. While that was terrific and I learned a bunch about Munch, what I really loved was the Northwest Art Now Exhibit. There are some excellent, thought provoking pieces in that exhibit, included one of my favorites “Just be your selfie” by Dylan Neuwirth. I was at TAM on a brilliantly sunny day and this outside piece was difficult to see, so I did highlight it in blue in the photo (look at me learning Photoshop!) I need to go back in the evening to capture it glowing. More information on the Seattle based artist can be found here.

Below is the photo without my added blue box, Richard Rhodes’ untitled “stone wave” sculpture and a shot of the gallery (again playing with Photoshop).

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There was a famous aquarium at Salter’s Point

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Dear daughter, her dear friend and I were looking for relieve from the heat on June 5 and we decided on a beach. Dear daughter suggested that beach where one goes on a footbridge over the railroad station. So after my online community and I figured out where that was, Salter’s Point at 91 Champion St. in Steilacoom, off we went. The footbridge is now a steep metal affair with gates on both sides of the stairs. It was constructed in 2014 after the prior wooden bridge was damaged and closed. About 60 trains a day pass along the tracks.

I was expecting to find some natural beauty, relief from the heat and perhaps a couple of small crabs. And indeed I found all that, but I also found an interesting history.

The covered picnic area built in 1939 as part of the Federal Works Progress Administration (WPA). Per Wikipedia the WPA “was the largest and most ambitious American New Deal agency, employing millions of unemployed people (mostly unskilled men) to carry out public works projects, including the construction of public buildings and roads. In a much smaller but more famous project, Federal Project Number One, the WPA employed musicians, artists, writers, actors and directors in large arts, drama, media, and literacy projects.”

The remains of a marina and store is located at the southerly end of the park. The property was destroyed by fire in 2009. The fire commanded the attention of three fireboats and more than 50 firefighters from eight fire departments. In 1987 there was a homicide at the store (Wang’s Maritime Marina); two teens killed the store’s owner. In close proximity to the marina ruins was the Soundview Inn and Boathouse, which was a boardinghouse with family style meals. They also had boat rentals.

The site of the Deep Sea Aquarium is also located at Salter’s Point. It was constructed by Ed Bair, brother of Bair (Bair Drugstore). The aquarium featured an extensive collection of sea life including a seal that lived under the porch where it could swim depending on the tide. The aquarium was promoted all over the western states, but closed in the 1930s.

Here are some interesting articles about the location.

A first person account about the aquarium 

“The evolution of Saltar’s Point,” Steilacoom Historical Museum Quarterly, XIV (Summer, 1985) p. l, 3-6.

City of Steilacoom Park Info

Fire destroys Steilacoom Marina and Store

 

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Soap Suds Row, Snohomish

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We had an early start to the morning today, so we kept going up to the City of Snohomish because my dear husband adores going through antique stores. I walked the town, mostly avoiding the antique stores and ended up at the visitor center. The visitor center lady provided walking tour guides which told me about Soap Suds Row, a row of five mill houses used by the women who laundry for the mill workers and loggers. The homes, which were constructed in 1889, are darling little white cottages in a line. Four of the five have been restored and it is my understanding that they are rented to senior citizens, perhaps low income.

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On the same block on the same side of the street is the 1887 Gingerbread House at 223 Avenue A. The walking tour tells me it is the most photographed house in Snohomish County. It is really a delightful residence, The Gingerbread House and the Soap Suds houses are part of one of Snohomish’s two historic districts.

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The Tardis at the Little Road Said Go

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While strolling through Tacoma’s Antique Row, I noticed this little store named The Little Road Said Go at 739 Broadway. Today’s the last full day of operation, but the owner assured me it was a good move for her and she was happy.

My eye was caught by a full side Police Call Box on the stairs going up. And of course we all know that a Police Call Box  is really a Tardis, a time/space mechanism for Dr. Who. I did peek inside, but sadly it did not appear larger on the inside. Probably a clever disguise.

The other interesting part of the store was the stairs that had at one point lead up to a second floor, but now they lead up to the roof. That second floor can readily be seen on the photo at Tacoma Public Library.  The upper level wasn’t usable after an earthquake and the seismic upgrading was expensive so the space was left unused. And then a fire made it beyond repair and the building became as it is today. The structure was constructed in 1904 and designed by the architect Frederick Heath. It has been a sheet metal facilities, a Buick, then Cadillac place (dealership or repair place), various other auto repair sites, a sports center/bowling alley, a novelty shop, a coffee shop, storage center, car rental, a military center, a BBQ restaurant and retail.

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Purple Geranium Greenhouse

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When I went on the University Place Garden Tour one of the volunteers gave me a list of some of the local gardening centers. One of these centers was the Purple Geranium Greenhouse at 12615 47th Ave E, Tacoma, proximate to Canyon Road and 120th Street. Although it is close to my house (about 20 minutes away) it felt like a drive in the country. I was pleased to see that it was a well stocked professionally run gardening center on a lovely site. Their prices were righteous and my IMG_7391questions were answered right away.  Of course it is less extensive than the big centers (Watson’s, Molbak’s, etc.) and there is almost none of the decorative items, but really that just makes it easier. I toured the place, took some photos, got some advice and purchased some plants in about 30 minutes. When I stopped for an iced coffee afterward the cashier asked me what I was up to today and I told her I went to the Purple Geranium. She gushed that it was the best place around to buy plants!

Do be aware that they have a limited season (April 1st to August 1st) and limited hours, so check out their Facebook Page before going.

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Elemental Wood Fired Pizza, University Village

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Dear daughter wanted to see the Amazon Bookstore and I needed somethings up in the north land also so we went to University Village yesterday. Although I love Delfino’s Chicago Style Pizza, we decided to branch out and try Elemental Wood Fired Pizza this time. It wasn’t until I was seated that it occurred to me that I had been in an Elemental Pizza before, the one in Tacoma. It was a good experience with friendly service and tasty individual pizzas (really they could have been shared). Mine was the Truffled Mushroom pizza and hers was the Green Goddess. We each a drink (ice tea for me and raspberry lemonade for her). With the tax and tip it came to just under $50, so this isn’t going to become our everyday pizza place. But it was fun to watch them make the pizza with quality ingredients, so we will consider it as a special treat. I see there is one more location that opened in April 2016 in the Columbia Tower in downtown Seattle.

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I learned something at Election Center for Pierce County

 

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Dear daughter happily sent off her vote a couple of weeks ago, but soon afterwards she received a letter back politely saying her signatures didn’t match. So on Friday, we popped into the Pierce County Election Center to remedy the problem. The man behind the counter was very efficient and pleasant. He showed her the original signature and her current one. College has really made a difference in how she signs her name!

Anyway while we were there, we picked up a copy of the unofficial results to date. Below is a slightly more recent version from the auditor’s office website (which is full of interesting information!) There are also things to be learned on their Facebook Page.

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Things I thought were interesting:

  • Only about 30% of the eligible voter’s have voted. Maybe because we keep hearing that this vote isn’t particularly important?
  • Hillary is way ahead of Bernie.
  • When comparing the two parties, about 10,000 more Democrats have voted
  • The ballot was created prior to Trump being the only real Republican candidate so there are other Republican candidates listed on the ballot, By the time we received the ballots in the mail, only Trump was a viable candidate. But still about 25% of the vote went elsewhere.
  • The Democrats had 193 write in votes and the Republicans had 904. I’d like to know what some of those were!
  • There is a new “Civic Pierce County” mobile app, which works on my phone. It let’s me know my elected officials, voting history, deadlines, a sample ballot and more. Pretty cool.

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The University Place Garden Tour 2016

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Most years I manage to go to the University Place Garden Tour which is spearheaded by The University Place Historical Society (UPHS). This year the theme was “Spring into Summer,” and there were five gardens and the Curran House. Each garden had several docents that were amiable and  knowledgeable. The gardens varied significantly. One was a farm like setting, one was packed with flowers, one had hidden art and a stunning view, one had 100+ rhododendrons and one was a reclaimed barren lot. It was really a delight to visit each one with my friends and daughter. Lunch was an unexpected bonus.

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Perkins House, Colfax, WA

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The drive out to Pullman, WA from Tacoma is a long one and I especially don’t like doing it over a weekend (one day there and one day back). But it was time for dear daughter to come home and off we went. I mentioned that I wanted to stop at Colfax on the way home to see a log cabin. The website I found said “Perkins House, Colfax, built in 1886, an original log cabin.” So I figured the Perkins House was a log cabin. I imagined it would take five minutes to walk around a small cabin, snap a couple of pictures and be on our way.

But when we got there it turned out to be an amazing house and a log cabin, and it was open to the public. Dear daughter happily agreed to a tour (muttering that it was my mother’s day present) and our guide took us through the entire property, sharing the history. Really, it was fascinating, well worth the stop. The property was placed on the national historic register in 1972.

We learned that Mr. Perkins founded Colfax and the local saw mill. He, his wife and their four children lived in the log cabin (built in 1870, the oldest standing building in the county) for a while, but in 1880s moved into the lovely Victorian house. We also got to hear an early record player and listen to the honey bees that live in the wall. We especially loved the wallpaper, which was mostly reproduced based on the original. Oh, did I mention, there is an outhouse with the traditional moon on the door? Our volunteer guide was terrific, so pleasant and knowledgeable. He was also patient with our many questions.

 

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The Barn on Highway 26


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Along Highway 26 between Colfax and Washtucna there is a barn I have often admired and today I pulled over and snapped the photo. Since I know nothing else about the barn, I’m including a photo from the other side of the mountains in North Bend and another random highway scene with a tree.

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