Monthly Archives: November 2012

(Looks like) Chihuly Art at McDonalds

I wandered out on this rainy, rainy night to take a photo of Tacoma’s McDonald’s at 802 Tacoma Avenue South, which has a hanging Dale Chihuly glass art piece. I’m not finding much information about this piece and the restaurant was busy enough that I didn’t want to bother the servers.

Dale Chihuly is a Tacoma native and I have seen him about town at art functions on occasion. He was born here in 1941 and attended Wilson High School and the University of Washington. His website can be found here

Update: It ends up its not Chihuly art! Just very similar looking.

Sarah Bernhardt in Opera Alley

This interesting statue is located at 765 Court C in Tacoma and represents Sarah Bernhardt, the famous French actress. The most interesting thing that I learned about Sarah Bernhardt (1844-1923) is that as an adult she often slept in a coffin! Also she performed at our very own Pantages theater and visited Wright Park. What little information I can find said the statue’s artist is unknown.


Wyland Mural on the Bowes Building

Tacoma has one of the 100 Wyland Whaling Wall murals “Washington Orcas” around the world and its on the Bowes Building at 100 South 9th Street in Downtown Tacoma. Currently the main level of the building is occupied by Big Whiskey Saloon, but the building has a long history. The architect was Edward Heath and the building was  constructed in 1908 in white Vermont marble. The property was added to the National Historic Register and the Tacoma Register in 1979. Edward J. Bowes, the original owner, eventually gained a national reputation as an entertainment figure.

Over the years, the occupants have included: Pacific Bldg. & Loan Assoc., M. Schmidt & Son Merchant Tailors, Tacoma Savings & Loan Assoc., All About Travel, Pacific Rim Restaurant, Zeppo Italian Restaurant, and Seven Cities Restaurant.

Wylan started painting his large murals in the 1980s. This was his 21st mural and I remember taking my lunch break from my downtown job at the time to watch him paint. I was fascinated. There were four Whaling Walls in Washington State, but sadly now only the Tacoma one remains.

Dawg Town Tacoma

I stopped to take a photo of this wonderfully playful mural at Dawg Town Tacoma, 1602 Tacoma Avenue South. It was early in the morning and there weren’t any dogs outside of this doggie daycare, training and grooming facility yet, but it was clear to see that there was a large outside play area. Looking over their webpage (see below), it appears that they also have specially designed inside space. What is extra fun is that there is a webcam, so that one can watch one’s furry friend having fun! When I took a look, there was a guy sweeping up and one dog (maybe his?). The 1935 building was originally the Coast House Materials Warehouse and later Coast Furniture Co.

Nisqually Delta Wildlife Refuge

The Nisqually Delta is one of 23 National Wildlife Refuges in Washington State and the only one in Thurston County. Today I went to visit because I had to get out of the house and into the sunshine. Dear husband got up extra early and opted for a nap and dear daughter was under the weather. I was afraid that the eagles would carry away the dogs (and it turns out they weren’t allowed anyway), so I went alone. I was surprised to see that the visitor center was open and there were only a couple of parking spots available.

The dairy barns above were built in 1934 as part of the large Brown family farm that had been on the site. The eagle below was perched on a tree near the barns. One of the highlights of the hike was an older man with a very nice telescope showed me a Northern Shrike, an unusual bird for this part of the country. Apparently this charming little bird will sometimes eat other birds! Live and learn.


Never Never Land Figures

I remember taking my daughter to Never Never Land at Point Defiance Park in Tacoma when she was young. It was run down at that point, but we enjoyed it in its woodland setting. This evening our family took the Once In A Lifetime Underground Tacoma Flashlight Tour, which was offered by Angela Jossy The tour included several wonderful sites including the entrance to the underground tunnel, the soon to be filled under the sidewalk space and several historic buildings. But to me, the highlight was the chance to see the Never Never Land figures again. They are stored in the basement of a historic building near fireman’s park and I have a vague impression that the exact location is a secret. The smell of basement combined with the layer of dust provided an eerie vibe and dear daughter was more than ready to go outside, but I was happy to stretch out the time and examine each figure.

The park was created in 1964 and by the late 2000s most of the figurines had been removed. The last of the structures in the park (the stack of books entrance and the shoe/slide) were demolished in the fall of 2010.

Locomotive Monument – Tacoma, Washington

Dear husband and I arrived in Tacoma about 23 years ago today. I remember that we had a not very good Thanksgiving dinner on the road from our prior home in Texas, so I might be off a couple of days, but not much. One of the first things we saw as we drove into downtown, through a very different from today Tacoma, was this cheerful, colorful sculpture titled Locomotive Monument. The artist, Douglas Charles Granum, created the piece in 1988 to reflect Tacoma’s railroad heritage.

Best Buy, Black Friday Eve

Dear husband told me on Wednesday that folks were starting to line up at Best Buy at 2214 S 48th St, Tacoma, WA 98409. So today I took a breather from Thanksgiving preparations to drive past and check it out. There were seven tents, one truck with a generator and about 25 people. It was kind of difficult to tell since some of them were in their tents. I was expecting a party atmosphere, but those in line were pretty much just sitting or playing on their cell phones. I have to say that afterwards I was glad to go home and have a nice meal with the family. And I hope the people in line get the treasures that they are seeking.

And here is a bonus photo that more reflects the holiday to me.

Great Mural at Crystal Voyage

There is a great mural on the exterior wall of the Crystal Voyage building at 2601 East D St #201, Tacoma, WA 98421. It is a stone mural triptych created by Macy Jewell, Jody Bergsma and Crystal Stone, the last of whom was kind enough to tell me about it. The elements of this mural form a story for those with “eyes to see”. The mural has many stories to tell, including the elements, native American legends and the Vitruvian Man.

I remember when I enjoyed Crystal Voyage in its Freighthouse Square location, but their current space is especially nice, roomy and full of delightful merchandise. I purchased some trinkets. Really, I need to come back here more often!


Legendary Doughnuts

There is a new doughnut place in Tacoma, Legendary Doughnuts at 2602 Sixth Avenue. It opened about two weeks ago and every time I’ve been by they have had a crowd. But I went at an odd and relatively calm time and was delighted to see an old friend behind the counter! There was some confusion about my Groupon coupon, which said it had been used, but really, truly hadn’t been! Anyway, after we established my trustworthiness I ordered two dozen creative, tasty and unusual doughnuts.When I saw the size of the box, I knew the folks at my job weren’t go to be able to eat all of them. But within an hour they were all gone! I’m sure I’ll be back. The term horde of locusts came to mind. And everybody seemed to think they were delicious!