Category Archives: WA State – Pierce County

More – Year 8 – Tacoma Bible Presbyterian Church

So here we are on the eve of year 8 of the blog (yes, year 8!) and it seems like it is time for a shift. Over the Summer I started the Adventures of Lego Librarian (Reading in Place) and that has been fun and oddly well received. The best place to see all of that series of photos is Instagram. So this blog will be seeing more of Lego Librarian. But not to fear, I’ll still be out and about!

Looking back at this blog so far, I have some new observations. My most popular posts in order of popularity since inception have been:

The home page is also popular.

There are 1,358 blog entries.

The most popular tag by far is Tacoma, followed by Art, WA, restaurant, park, coffee, Lakewood, historic, mural, vacant, store, food, downtown, University Place, Seattle, grocery, avenue, flowers.

And now today’s place is the Tacoma Bible Presbyterian Church at their previous location of S G St, Tacoma, WA 98405. It is in the Stadium District, across the street from Wright’s Park and Stadium Thriftway. This building is slatted for demolition with a mixed use development in the works. From what I could gather, there was a fire in the building and afterwards the City of Tacoma did not permit it to be renovated. The congregation of the church has a new location in University Place and their website is here if you want to know more. The nice folks from the church were having a sale which included several pianos, church pews, kitchen items, books, etc. One of the workers was telling me that the building had a seminary on the upper floor and that young men would watch the 4th of July fireworks from the window in their area.

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Pokemon Wall on McKinley Hill


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Each year the McKinley Hill neighborhood has a street festival fair and I hear that this wall is painted with a new mural. So this is last year’s mural when Pokémon Go was so popular. Notice how the pokeball is actually part of the building?

The wall is in the alleyway next to Fergie’s on the Ave and as of tomorrow the Pokémon mural will be gone. The McKinley Hill Street Fair is August 19th and I’m looking forward to visiting the new mural!


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

An adventure with the Big Duck

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.

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May Peace Prevail on Earth, Puyallup United Methodist Church

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.

The church’s website is here.

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