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Floating Life Forms, Art in Tacoma

It has been a summer for seal. Every time I have dined on the waterfront, I see their little heads pop up. When I took my very first kayaking adventure, there was a harbor seal nearby. And there they were at the Vancouver Aquarium. And yesterday I found their likeness on some new to me art titled Floating Life forms at 1515 Dock Street. The seals are joined with other aquatic life in a series of six bronze balls by Tacoma artist Ed Kroupa. The News Tribune article tells me that “The Tacoma Arts Commission in 2012 selected Kroupa through its Public Art: In Depth program, which teaches local artists how to make art for the public rather than solely go off their own creative vision.”

The craftsmanship is really worth seeing in person and I love that my city values the arts. There is a fascinating video showing how the art was made and more of Ed Kroupa’s works can be found here.

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Art in the Hilltop

I went back to the Red Elm Café to visit with an old friend and now a new friend. While there I noticed this terrific artwork on the wall of the Basket Nook On MLK Way between South 10th and South 11th. I suspect that the art is temporary until somebody develops the lot and considering the good things that are happening I’m guessing new construction will happen sooner than later. But for now I’m enjoying it.

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Alegre Bakery and Gelato in Tacoma’s Proctor District

There dear husband and I were looking for an afternoon treat and I remembered that there is a new bakery in the Proctor District, Alegre Bakery and Gelato at 3820 North 27th.

It is a little off the main business area, around the corner from the dry cleaner, but it is well worth finding. It was a warm day so we picked the gelato option and both got pistachio. It was so darn good! I also got a jam topped cake that I stuck in my purse (in a bag!) and promptly forgot about it for three days. While I found it this morning and microwaved it and it was delicious!

The space itself is thoughtfully designed and the woman who served our gelato was charming. I’m sure we’ll be back. They have a Facebook Page and I see there is mention of a gelato with wine in it. Now doesn’t that sound interesting?

 

Big Flag at Griot’s Garage, Tacoma

 

I had already taken a photo of the largest flag in Tacoma (Tacoma Screw’s flag), so this recently passed 4th of July I went looking for another large flag. My friend recommended the flag at Griot’s Garage, Inc., 3333 South 38th St., Tacoma, WA 98409. Well OK then. They do indeed have a mighty display with one big American flag and several smaller decorative flags. Griot’s itself is worthy of an altogether different blog entry, so I’ll stop here.

 

 

The Red Elm Cafe is a welcome addition

Red Elm Café at 1114 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Tacoma WA 98405 opened in the early spring of 2017 and Monday, 7/3, I finally got to check it out. I had the chicken + Avo Sandwich ($5.25) and it was very tasty. My friend had a salad and Aussie Toast and both looked great, fresh, interesting and inexpensive! Dear friend and I sat side by side and talked about life and Office 365 (we are both in training). The Red Elm was a perfect spot to meet with a charming interior (I’m a sucker for exposed brick), free wifi and good food. Note to self, they have a private meeting room. My groups are always looking for a private meeting room! More information can be found on their website and Facebook page.

The Café is located in the Pochert Building, which is adjacent to the Kellogg Sicker building, (previously Browne’s Star Grill) which I noticed is also being renovated. A marvelous blog entry about both building can be found at the Historic Tacoma Blog.

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Wapato Lake’s North Loop and Old Entrance

While walking our new pup around Wapato Lake in an effort to socialize him, I found one of the Park’s original entrances off of Wapato Lake Drive. Pup and I had taken the long way around the lake, crossing a narrow bridge and passing the largest field of cat tails that I’ve ever seen. We came out of the minor upper lake path to the site of two entry markers that said “Built by WPA”. The history of Wapato Lake is very interesting and can be found here.

Field of cattails

Lake Wapato

This use to be an entrance to Wapato Lake Park

The new dog, Rhody, a Norfolk Terrier

The narrow bridge on the north loop of Wapato Lake, Tacoma

Dear Daughter Got Hitched: Just Married and Woods Coffee

Just married

So we sent our dear daughter off with our newly minted dear SIL to cross the Canadian Rockies in their rental car.

And then dear husband and I started back home. And the lesson here is always take a rest stop before crossing the boarder. We got a little lost (well hello Vancouver, nice to see you again) and the boarder wait was a tad longer than expected, so we were pretty darned pleased to see a coffee shop, Woods Coffee in Blaine, WA. And really it was a darling little coffee shop with friendly service and tasty treats. I’m now learning that it is one of nineteen in the chain that spans from King County to British Columbia. Their website is here.

Woods Coffee

 

 

Dear Daughter Got Hitched at Queen Elizabeth Park

So on Thursday, June 29th, Dear Daughter married her long time Canadian Beau (now know as Dear SIL). It was a simple and beautiful ceremony with the couple and the immediate families. As you can see  the Queen Elizabeth Park in Vancouver BC has stunning landscaping, amazing views and an ethereal beauty. The happy couple was married by the water with a wooden bridge in the background. Part way through the ceremony several visitors on the bridge figured out what was happening and soon there was a small crowd respectfully watching. At some point I hope to return to Queen Elizabeth Park to wander the trails and explore the arboretum.


 

 

Dear Daughter Got Hitched: Stanley Park, Vancouver Aquarium and Totem Poles

By Wednesday, our small family group expanded to include Dear SIL’s parents and brother and we all went off to the Vancouver Aquarium because dear daughter wanted to touch the stingrays. That is an odd goal that she has … to visit stingray tanks in as many zoos and aquariums as possible. So far she has Vancouver, Tacoma, Chicago, LA and Galveston, TX. The Vancouver Aquarium is justifiably  internationally famous and some of our visit highlights included the jellyfish, the otters and seals (so playful), the educational shows, the frogs and that I got to be there when the penguins were delivered back to their habitat.

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Afterwards we went to see the Totem Poles, which are also in Stanley Park. Interesting facts about totem poles can be found here.

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Dear Daughter Got Hitched: Ocean Concrete, Granville Island

Ocean Concrete is Granville Island’s longest established tenant (1917) and they have a splendid mural on their silos. The mural is by Brazilian brothers Gustavo and Otavio Pandalfo and was created in 2014. Ocean Concrete is an active industrial use in an area that had been primarily industrial, but in the 1970s it began its transition to a mixed use of retail, education and craftfolks. More about Granville Island can be found on their website.

While dear husband, dear daughter, dear (future and now present) son-in-law were on the island, I also discovered a Little Free Library (8963). The LFL’s owner blogged about it here.

And of course there are a couple of more photos because the island is just that wonderful! As you can see in one store front, it was almost Canada Day (7/1). This is a national holiday. According to Wikipedia, “Canada Day (French: Fête du Canada) is the national day of Canada. A federal statutory holiday, it celebrates the anniversary of the July 1, 1867, enactment of the Constitution Act, 1867 (then called the British North America Act, 1867), which united the three separate colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick into a single Dominion within the British Empire called Canada.” This particular Canada Day is the 150th anniversary of the original, so of high importance.

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