Monthly Archives: April 2012

J. M. Marinac Shipbuilders

The J. M. Marinac Shipbuilders at 401 East 15th Street in the Port of Tacoma is visually striking. There are two main shipbuilding buildings and they can support buildings 250 feet long and 48 feet wide. Per their website, since their 1924 beginnings they have constructed “300 vessels, including tuna seiners, harbor tugs for commercial and military customers, oceangoing tugs, factory trawlers, ferries, yachts, U.S. Coast Guard patrol boats and a research sailing vessel”. In February of this year, they won a contract to construct 184-foot Northern Leader at a cost of $25 million. The ship will be the largest new fishing vessel to be constructed in the Pacific Northwest in more than two decades. More information about the most recent contract can be found here

The firm’s website can be found here


Tacoma Glassblowing Studio

The Tacoma Glassblowing Studio at 114 South 23rd Street in Tacoma offers glass art that is lovely and unique. We got there almost at closing and were told that there was no rush. We came for the charity bake sale to benefit orphans in Romania, but ended up with a lovely blue class ball and information on taking a glass blowing class. Dear daughter is pretty enthused about the possibility.

I especially liked the way the evening light made their pumpkin glass pieces glow. They make pumpkins year round and in the fall they have pumpkin patches in different spots. How cool is that?! I’m looking forward to going to a couple already. 🙂

Their website is here

The Panama Hotel Tea and Coffee House

The Panama Hotel Coffee and Tea House at 607 South Main Street in the International District of Seattle has a fine selection of teas and plenty of history. I learned of it because my book group read The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. Though it is a work of fiction, it is based on historical facts about the treatment of the West Coast Japanese during World War II. The book opens with artifacts being found in the basement of the hotel and now a days one can view some of these artifacts through a plexiglass in the floor.


Have a Smiley Day!

Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt in Sunrise Village (10306 156th St E Suite 101
Puyallup, WA 98374) was packed yesterday! It was a lovely, warm Saturday — just right for a frozen treat. I had read an article in the Tacoma News Tribune reviewing all of the new frozen yogurt shops in the area and thought trying out a new one sounded fun. I love Gibson’s in Tacoma (blog entry here and Black Bear (blog entry here Menchie’s staff is wildly friendly. “Have a smiley day”, they gushed at me after I paid. Ummmm. OK. “You too”! I purchased coconut and cake batter swirl with coconut chips and whipped cream and ate it in my peaceful car.

Menchie’s Website says they have 170 locations worldwide. There are seven locations in Washington State and seven more in the works including one in Gig Harbor. While it was a treat to visit, I would just as soon go to Gibson’s or Black Bear for their quirky home grown feel. But even those two will soon be a chain (of two each) since new locations are forth coming. 🙂

The Red Dragon

My husband and I are having a debate about the Red Dragon Oriental Restaurant at the northwest corner of South ‘G’ Street and South 34th Street has been vacant for all the years that we’ve lived in Tacoma. I thought I remembered it being open for business at some point. In either case, it has been vacant for sometime and is in pretty bad shape. I noticed that one of the windows in the glass atrium area were broken out. There is a for sale sign with a phone number and email.

Update, we drove past today (8/21/12) and it was gone! Or at least a pile of rubble. I had also learned that long ago it had previously been an A&W Restaurant and a popular hang out for the Lincoln High School students.

Pochert Building,1112 Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard

The Pochert Building is located at 1112 Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard was constructed in 1908. Over the years it has been a hotel, several shoe stores, a Vaudette Theater, Fuller Company Paint, a hardware store, carpet stores, a thrift store, a beauty store and dollar stores. It is now owned by the City of Tacoma and is either vacant or used for storage.

An older photo of the building can be found at the Tacoma Public Library’s site

William M. Philip Hall

Over the weekend I spent some time at William M. Philip Hall, which is part of the University of Washington Tacoma Campus. The address is 1918 Pacific Avenue. The lower level is occupied by Gyro House and there is also a vacant space that had been occupied by a used bookstore. The building was constructed for the University of Washington. The first building on the site was constructed in 1886 and a later building in 1963. The current building was constructed in 2007. My favorite part was the small balcony that let me watch the Daffodil Parade! The photo below is of the parade.


Kelso Gillenwater Plaza

In front of the University of Washington Tacoma Library is the Kelso Gillenwater Plaza, a small, square plot of land with a lovely, blooming magnolia tree, some other landscaping and a memorial plaque (see below).

The Plaza is listed on the UW-T’s walking tour, which can be found here

Jewell Day Spa

Jewell Day Spa at 2501 6th Avenue hosted a Spring Fling today with various, local vendors. Dear daughter and I cam away from it with amazing caramels, a lovely purse, a box of cupcake bandages and two tickets for the Tacoma Art Bus.

The spa itself looks wonderful and offers a variety of services. Their website is here.

I didn’t think any of my photos did the spa’s ambiance justice. But I did like a photo of a yellow dress that I took a few doors down.