Monthly Archives: February 2012

Coldwater Creek in Gig Harbor

So I printed out a map of a potentially lovely park in Gig Harbor and I grabbed my camera and daughter who wanted a ride and off I went. As we are crossing the Narrows Bridge I tell her that I’m going hiking and within seconds it started to hail! Well, OK then, maybe not a hike. I drop her off at the movie theater and remember that there is a Coldwater Creek in the Uptown Gig Harbor Center (4621 Point Fosdick Dr. NW,Gig Harbor, WA 98335). Great. I’ve had my eye on a scarf/vesty thing that is a requirement for the women in my generation and was waiting for a big online sale to buy it. This was my chance to look at it in person. Imagine my delight when they had it¬† marked down from $49.95 to $29.99, and then it was 60% off! And it was a great fit. Oh happy days ūüôā I bought two (different colors). Part of one is pictured here (the pink border is part of the processing) and there is a bonus Buddha, which was at the center and I thought was cool.




I guess we’ve reached that stage of life where we are looking at colleges. Today is my dear daughter’s birthday and we celebrated by going to visit DigiPen Institute of Technology at 9931 Willows Rd NE¬†¬†Redmond, WA 98052. Digipen has five undergraduate degree programs

The Undergraduate Degree Programs are:

  • BFA in Digital Art and Animation
  • BA in Game Design
  • BS in Computer Science in Real Time Interactive Simulation
  • BS in Computer Engineering
  • BS in Game Design

So, it is a pretty narrow focus, but they have a great reputation for what they do.

Tahoma Indian Center

The Tahoma Indian Center at 1556 Market Street, Tacoma, is part of Catholic Community Services and their website is at

Their website states “Located in downtown Tacoma, the Tahoma Indian Center has met the basic needs of low-income and homeless Urban Native Peoples for more than¬†20 years in a safe, warm, peaceful and drug- and alcohol-free environment. The purpose of the Center is to restore and sustain the dignity and culture of Urban Native Americans in Pierce County.”

This is great old building and it has an interesting history.I’m not sure, but I think it use to be connected to a building on the now vacant lot next door. So, in full disclosure I’m not sure of the history of the property, the lot next door or both. Tacoma Public Library says the Lorenz Bldg. / Sisson House was constructed in 1890. The Astor House opened c.1899 as the first major Japanese hotel in Tacoma. It was also known as the Hiroshimaya Hotel. As of 1946, the property was known as the Columbus Hotel / Yunan Ling Herbal Medicine / Tacoma Jujitsu School. The same year, a petition was denied for the hotel and the headlines read¬† “all colored hotel” closed for prostitution violations.

In 1947 it was Fukui’s Grocery Store (and was “surprised by the police!”).¬† And by 1996 it became the Intertribal Cultural Arts Center. When looking at the spectacular doorway, I noticed that the Lion King is hanging from a coconut over the doorway. I bet there is a story there!

Mud Bay is Open

Mud Bay is a natural dog and cat food store located at 3804 Bridgeport Way (Green Firs Center), University Place, WA 98466. There are 23 Mud Bay Puget Sound locations. The store is cheerful and well stocked and the cashier was very nice. I picked up a card for my friend who is getting a new dog and two treats, one for each dog. (Though somehow the sneakier of the two dogs got both of them!).

Mud Bay’s website can be found here:

Toy Rescue Mission

The Toy Rescue Mission is located at at 607 South Winnifred Street, Tacoma, WA 98465. I remember when I was a Girl Scout leader, we collected toys for this fine organization. Their detailed website states that “Toy Rescue Mission (TRM) is an all-volunteer run, grass-roots organization. It was organized in 1991 with the purpose of providing toys to children who find themselves in unfortunate circumstances, either due to family hardship or an immediate disaster. TRM programs center upon recycling used but still useable toys. Its volunteers are dedicated to its Mission:”

A chance to fly

The moment I saw the Indoor Skydiving/Vertical Wind Tunnel¬†349 Tukwila Pkwy, Tukwila I knew I had to go see it. So today my husband decided that it would be fun to go to Fry’s Electronics (he has an odd idea of fun). I agreed to go if he’d stop with me to see people flying.

It was so cool! The wind tunnel part isn’t oh too big.¬† While we watched one person was in at a time plus the trainer, but I think it can hold more than that. The folks that were flying put cool flight uniforms on and had some training. As each one went into the wind tunnel their legs floated up and with the help of the instructor they were flying. Most of them had some time during their session in which they got the feel for it and flew on their own. It looked safe.

Each flying session was a couple of minutes and most of the flyers had a great time, especially the kids. Though the woman at the end didn’t seem to be overjoyed. Two flights for a beginner cost $59.95 or four flights cost $99.95.

For more information, check out their well considered website


Buffalo Soldiers Museum

The Buffalo Soldiers Museum at 1940 S. Wilkeson, Tacoma was in the news today  My AAUW group was honored to have Jackie Jones-Hook, (one of our own!), tells us about the museum and the Buffalo Soldiers. Her father, William Jones, was a Buffalo Soldier and started the museum. Beginning next month, the museum will be open to the public and school groups by appointment. The buffalo head and buffalo skull are sure to be hits with the children!

Per wikipedia “the term Buffalo Soldiers became a generic term for all African-American soldiers” and indeed the museum covers a range of wars. We got to see most of a video about the soldiers, their bravery and the prejudice they experienced. Some of it was heart retching to see.

More information about the Buffalo Soldiers can be found here



The Kellogg – Sicker Building (Browne’s Star Grill)

The¬† Kellogg Sicker Building at 1112 – 1116 Martin Luther King Jr. Way isn’t the most welcoming of buildings. The 1906 building is named after the builders Frank G. Kellogg and Robert Sicker.¬† Tenants over the years have included Essey & Macksoud Dry Goods, various physicians and dentists, Habid Nasser Dry Goods, Johnson’s Dry Goods & Clothing, Economy Drug Co., Geo. Clark’s Meats, Clark’s K Street Cash Market, Matsumoto’s Fruit Stand, Geo. Skaer’s Butter & Eggs, Fujimura Grocery, Nad Chemical Co., Anderson’s Grocery & Vegetable Market, Vic’s Market, Marshall-Wells Hardware, Coast to Coast Hardware, Cash Market, Marshall-Wells Store and Harold Meyer Drugs. Browne’s Star Grill relocated to this site in 1968 and operated there until September 2005. There is a great mural on the front.

The building now sits vacant and is owned by the City of Tacoma. There is a Facebook Page devoted to saving the building.

War Memorial Park

I’ve often wondered about park that I see when I cross the Narrows Bridge and today I went to visit. I didn’t realize that the entrance was at the end of a park and ride. In fact I didn’t realize that there was a park and ride there. The War Memorial Park “Living War Memorial Park” located at 6th Avenue and McArthur Street.

The park was dedicated  in 1952 and honors the sacrifices of Tacoma area military men and women. It is a 2.5 acre park and is mostly grassy area with areas to reflect on the lives lost during different wars. There is a terrific view of the Narrows Bridges.

The park features the bell from the USS Tacoma, a 1900 protected cruiser ship. There were five other sister ships each named after a city: Denver, DesMoines, Chattanooga, Galveston and Cleveland. In January 1924 the Tacoma broke up in heavy seas, though her bell was saved.



Learning About Ebooks

Today I took an interesting class in ebooks (the way of the future!) at the Puget Sound Educational Service District at 800 Oakesdale Avenue, Renton, WA 98057. It’s a nice office building with plenty of training and conference rooms. They do good work there.

No, I don’t think ebooks will completely take over, but what a great option. I once lifted my dear daughter’s backpack to discover it must have weighed 50 lbs! Putting all of her text books on an ebook reader would have brought that weight down to something much more reasonable. Another plus is that library patrons can read their library books from anywhere.

The website for the PSESD is