When dear husband and I first moved to Tacoma we rented a house right across the street from Jane Clark Park at 4825 N. 39th St., Tacoma, WA 98407. The two of us moved into the house with our two cats and chow dog. We placed our purple camel back couch up against the living room window which had a great view of the above park building. Once a week the park district would offer a dog obedience class and our chow would belly up to the back of the couch and watch like it was a movie made just for her!
Jane Clark Park had its origins in 1935 when the land was purchased in a tax sale. Benjamin L. Harvey provided financial assistance to the park and the park was named in honor of his mother. The park’s amenities include Baseball Field/Softball Field Regulation Lighted,Basketball Court Half Court, Playground, Restrooms, Trails and a summertime Wading Pool.
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.
I 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!
Ben Gilbert Park, located where St. Helen’s and Market Street in Tacoma is a relatively large pocket park. The park is pretty cool with native vegetation carefully planted and labeled, a fun owl mural and a stupendous mural showing a gathering of baseball fans in 1926 Tacoma. The fans were there to watch the results of the seventh game of the World Series between the New York Yankees (Lou Gehrig) and the St. Louis Cardinals (Babe Ruth). The park was dedicated on August 14, 2010. The interesting history of the park can be found here http://www.tacomahistory.org/SpecialProjects/Ben_Gilbert_Park.html#
The story goes that the fisherman fell in love with beautiful maiden, but alas she was turned into a fish (you know how that goes). Eventually they find one another for a joyful reunion and with a kiss she returns to her human form. This statue at Big Catch Plaza (the intersection of 7th Place S. and S. 219th St., near Albertsons in Des Moines) captures to reunion. There was some controversy when the piece was unveiled because the fish has a human female anatomy on top, right where her fisherman is holding on! The sculptor is Richard Beyer and the park, which was created because of a road realignment, was dedicated in 1994. Richard Beyer, who passed away in April 2012 also created, waiting for the Interurban in Fremont.
Dear daughter wanted to go to Seattle’s International District for her birthday this weekend and we wandered over to the International Children’s Park to have a time playing on the dragon, playing the drums and spinning. The park is located at 700 South Lane Street and was established n 1981. The dragon, which I climbed on and successfully got off of, was created by Gerard Tsutakawa. His father was also a sculptor and he design The Lily Statue in Lakewood.
I was delighted to see that the cherry trees in the park had begun to blossom!
Borst Park in Centralia was really chilly when I went there on Friday. It is a pleasing park with a small trout lake, a dog park, a picnic area, sports fields, a 1889 fort building and a children’s play area. Wikipedia says “After the Indian Wars, Joseph bought the blockhouse from the government for $500 and used it as a granary. Originally the blockhouse was located on the Chehalis River just beyond the mouth of the Skookumchuck River in front of the Borst House. In 1919 it was moved to Riverside Park and in 1922, to the present site in Fort Borst Park.”
I was going to walk the trail around the lake, but it was closed part way around for construction. It was kind of cool that there was a large group sword fighting (in a safe way!).
I was lucky to have a little time to myself to explore downtown Edmonds, which is a charming town. I walked down the hill to the ferry landing because I remember going there years ago when I still lived in Texas and seeing sea lions or seals. Let me tell you, it was pretty darn exciting to see something so exotic after the flat inland of Texas! I fell in love with the area.
Brackett’s Landing Park is adjacent to the ferry landing and per the informational sign George Brackett founded Edmonds in 1876. This park was dedicated to him in 1963. In 1970 a 27 acre underwater marine preserve and sanctuary was developed, one of the first on the West Coast. Information about the underwater park is located here http://www.edmondswa.gov/services/education/discovery-programs/edmonds-underwater-park.html The way I understand it, there are a bunch of underwater features, like sunken ships and they can be readily found by divers by following the lines attached to the buoys.
The way cool Hat ‘n Boots Roadside American Art is located in Oxbow Park in the Georgetown Neighborhood of Seattle. Oxbow Park was created in 2003 and at the end of that month, Hat ‘n Boots were installed there. The art was fully installed by the middle of 2005. The art was originally part of a cowboy themed gas station, “Premium Tex”, that was built in 1954. The hat was over the gas station office and the boots were the restrooms (black for the guys and blue for the girls). The station closed in 1988 and fell into disrepair.
The park also includes a community garden, a children’s play area, some nice artistic touches and grassy picnic areas. It was pretty busy on this cold and foggy Saturday.
Update 2/13 there is a model of the Hat ‘N Boots at Seattle’s Museum of History and Industry.