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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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
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
So the World’s Largest Rubber Duck floated into Tacoma this weekend and of course I had to go see it. So I grabbed dear daughter and her friend and off we went. I was expecting a difficult time getting to the duck which is part of the Festival of Sails, but it was a breeze. We found a marvelous parking spot in the free parking garages near Freighthouse Square and the Link came along right away. We hopped off at the Union Station stop and walked down to the waterfront. There was a short line to gain entry to the metal walkway to the docks, but I had advanced tickets, so that went well too. We had a grand time exploring most of the historic ships and taking photos of the huge duck “Mama Duck” which is six stories high. Doing some research I learned that the duck was created by artist Florentijn Hofman from The Netherlands. In addition to US stops it has also appeared in Australia, Taiwan, China, Belgium, Japan, New Zealand, Brazil and elsewhere.
Really it was a great deal of fun. When we went to leave we found a long line to go up the metal walkway, but the line wasn’t moving. The word quickly spread that there was an electrical concern (maybe fire) and the ramp, which was the only way on or off the docks, was closed. The ships on display were without power, making me concerned for the big duck which was set up with a electric propeller fan. So while most folks waited patiently in line, the three of us went back to explore some more and hang out in comfort. In the end the city’s fire boat pulled up at the other end of the dock providing a pathway (evacuation route) to the shore, though that jump at the end was a pretty big one! Happily there were some nice guys to offer a helping hand.
This Easter I was driving past the Puyallup Methodist Church at 1919 West Pioneer Avenue, Puyallup WA 98371 when In noticed their delightfully flowered cross. It had a combination of live flowers and artificial flowers and was really decked out. While there I was drawn to the three peace poles with the words “May Peace Prevail on Earth” in many languages. I also appreciated the Blessings Box, which was similar to a little free library, but larger and full of food. What a nice idea.
Biscuit House at 9702 S Tacoma Way, Lakewood, WA 98499 has been on my ‘to try” list since I first read about it a while back. Dear husband and I stopped in today and I had the full breakfast (Eggs, bacon/sausage, biscuit and gravy) and dear husband has a scone that was fresh out of the oven. The meals were served very quickly and were delicious. The interior of the space is thoughtfully comfortable and the staff (the three women that own the restaurant) were very welcoming. I love that it is possible to purchase a 1/2 omelet for about half the price of a full one. They have a website and a Facebook Page.
And there is a bonus photograph of a cherry blossom because I am that excited about Spring being here!
The Artist & Craftsman Supply Store at 612 St. Helens in the Antique Row area of Tacoma opened in November 2016. Dear husband and I finally made our way down there and really we were very impressed. Dear husband has been in many an art supply store, but he declared this to be the best stocked that he has ever seen. We picked up some Easter basket stuffers, a book, some paint and some photo-transfer sheets. The staff was friendly and knowledgeable and I’m positive we’ll be back.
Artists & Craftsman is an employee owned company with many stores, mostly along the country’s coasts. There is a website for the company. The Tacoma Artist & Craftsman store has a Facebook Page with information on upcoming events and sales. Educators receive a 10% discount.
The building, constructed in 1928, was originally the Wagner Motors Building with Silas E. Nelsen as the architect. It was the dealership for Studebaker – Erskine. It continued to have an automobile orientation until 1949 when it became a carpet distributor. I remember it being the Mandarin Antiques Store. Artist and Craftsman occupies most of the lower level of the building.
Update one week later. It finally stopped raining for a few minutes and I got a photo of the outside of the building.