Monthly Archives: March 2013

Hiram M. Chittenden Locks

8608746132_b795ecaa69_z(1) It was a lovely day at the Lake Washington Ship Canal and Hiram M. Chittenden Locks (the Ballard Locks) at 3015 NW 54th Street, Seattle, WA 98107. Dear daughter and her dear friend had one last day at their Seattle conference and I had time again to explore Seattle. I got wildly lost getting there (darned that GPS woman!) and ended up on the wrong side, but that was just fine since there was ready parking and it gave me more of a chance to stretch my legs. I went down to see the fish viewing area and saw two little bitty salmon swimming gamely along. The causeway over the spillway connects the two sides of the locks and is an invigorating, misty walk. Then on the other side is the visitor’s center and gardens. I walked on through the park to the fish and chips place right outside the gate, then with lunch in hand I returned to a sunny bench in the park for an alfresco lunch.

The ship canal was built in 1917 and connects Lake Washington, Lake Union, and Salmon Bay to the Puget Sound. While I was there, it was mostly pleasure boats. The locks were added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.

There is a wonderful sculpture at the locks named Salmon Waves by Paul Sorey.

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Olympic Sculpture Park, Seattle

8604972732_89d9388de4_bI needed to drive dear daughter and her dear friend up to Seattle for an anime convention this morning and thought since it was such an incredibly beautiful day that I’d finally check out the Olympic Sculpture Park at 2901 Western Avenue, Seattle, WA 98121. The park has its own parking garage (how cool is that?!) and for $10 I could stay all day. There are two building in the park. The first is the PACCAR Pavilion, which has restrooms, a small gift store and several exhibits including the wonderful mural pictured below (Encontro das Águas (Encounter of Waters) by Brazilian artist Sandra Cinto). The second building is actually one of the permanent sculpture pieces, Neukom Vivarium by Mark Dion. That piece features a 60′ nurse log in an 80′ greenhouse building that simulates the original forest ecosystem.

There are 18 sculpture pieces altogether, some permanent and some temporary. Alexander Calder’s The Eagle (1971) is perhaps the most striking sculpture, with its strong lines and vibrant red color showing nicely against the blue of Elliott Bay. Also distinctive is Typewriter Eraser, Scale X by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen (1998-1999). I’ve also included Richard Serra’s Wake (2004), Louise Bourgeois’ Father and Son (2004–2006) and Roxy Paine’s Split (2003). And just because she is so cool, the performance artist at Pike’s Place Market.

There are plenty of chairs in the park and people were sunning, reading, walking, visiting, admiring and jogging. Really, it was a happening place!

Ubiquitous Journey, Tacoma

8604093601_0a1a21e853_bUbiquitous Journey at 2607 Sixth Avenue opened on March 15th. They have a plentiful selection of spices, herbs and teas, as well as a grill and espresso bar. I’d love to come back and try the grilled cheese! Each of the spices and herbs had tester containers to sniff. I walked away with some amazing garlic salt and some dried onion, which is nice to have around for when I run out of fresh onion. I wish them the best of luck in this, their second location. For more information, go here.

Their motto is “Because you deserve the best flavors the world has to offer. Find them at Ubi’s!”


Sears at the Tacoma Mall

SearsSears is located at the Tacoma Mall at 4502 S Steele St #100, Tacoma. Information about Sears is here. Tacoma Public Library’s Northwest Room says that the mall’s original four anchors were J.C. Penney, the Bon Marche, Nordstrom and Rhodes Department Store. I was a little surprised that Sears wasn’t on the list. The Bon was Tacoma Mall’s first tenant.

Tacoma Public Library has a wonderful photo of Tacoma’s original Sears at the corner of South 13th Street and Broadway circa 1950. It can be seen here.

Harbor Greens


8595716395_6a1c8beb28_bHarbor Greens at 2620 Bridgeport Way W. University Place WA 98466 opened on March 1, 2013. Really, its delightful store full of fresh, lovely produce and a great deli. There is also a large wine/beer selection, interesting candy, flowers/gardening supplies and sundry items. Oh, and the people working there were really nice! The original location is in Gig Harbor. Their Facebook page is here and their website is here.


Parkland School

8589736100_d5b7380ba1_bParkland School at 12102 Pacific Avenue in Parkland is the future home of Mount Rainer Lutheran High School. The concrete block school was built in 1908, had several additions over the years and closed in 1982. More recently it has used for counseling offices. Come this fall, it will be Mt. Rainier Lutheran High School.

Special thanks to Tacoma Public Library’s Northwest Room for finding this info for me!


Old Settler’s Cemetery, Lakewood

HarrietThe Old Settler’s Cemetery is located at the Northeast corner of Washington Boulevard SW and 83rd Avenue SW in Lakewood. The almost 5 acres site is partially tree covered with paths leading through the graves. A variety of headstones are there including those flush with the ground, old marble, new marble and wooden. It appears that several of the grave sites are no longer marked. Burials began at the site in 1855 for pioneers and their descendents.

The first headstone I came to belong to Hugh McLeod who died on July 3, 1891 at age 60. His stone stated that he was a native of Scotland. The most recent burial that I’m aware of  was in 1988.

I noticed a bunch of crocuses in bloom all over the site. The explanation for this can be found hereAnother settler of note is James Holt, who came from South Wales and settled in what is now Lake City in 1915. He built many of the houses in Lake City as well as donated the land used for the Lake City Community Church. His daughter Janette is credited for planting the crocus bulbs on his grave that still bloom each year.” Information can also be found here

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Moon Rising Over the Chieftain

SignI’ve often admired other folks’ photos of the sign for the Chieftain at 3015 South Tacoma Way and today I stopped to snap one of my own in the chilly March air (really snow called for in March?!).

The property was originally Victor Sea Food Products and Victor’s Oyster Bar and George Victor was the builder. It was built in 1946. In 1951 it became Ping’s Garden Chinese Restaurant and in 1953 there was a liquor raid with 41 arrested. In 1954 it became a Larry’s Drive-In Restaurant. In 1971 it became the Chieftain.

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Silver Root, Bellevue

8562968517_8cb5a7df91_zSilver Root in front of Bellevue’s City Hall is one of the most wonderful sculptures that I’ve seen in a long time. It is an old cedar root harvested in the 1800s, then cast in bronze and plated in silver. It seems as though the piece is having a small technical problem with the reflecting pool not full and orange cones where the recessed lighting is. Dan Corson is the sculptor. His website is here and shows the sculpture in an intact pool.