Category Archives: 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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Artist & Craftsman Supply Tacoma

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.

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Update one week later. It finally stopped raining for a few minutes and I got a photo of the outside of the building.

 

Decline to Sign, I-1552

There was a rally today (2/25) against Washington State Initiative 1552, which would “repeal critical protections for transgender Washingtonians” (Source). The news reports that there were over 2,000 people there and I readily believe that. I was delighted to see many people I know there supporting themselves and their transgendered friends and family. I started at the railing, but moved up to the sky bridge, where the view was better, though it was more difficult to hear (of course).

I was standing on the sky bridge when a young mother came out with her child who was maybe three. They walked over to see the cheering crowd and she turn to her child and said “look how many people love us!”. It was a lovely moment.

Later I found my first Tacoma Rocks Rock which I later hid. Oh and there is a photo of a flower on my table at lunch and some of the old buildings on the University of Washington Campus.

 

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Potato Chip Nachos at Southern Pacific, Tacoma

So a while back Buzzfeed proclaimed that Pacific Southern at 3832 S. Pine Street Tacoma, WA 98409 had one of the best nachos in America. It was one of only thirty restaurants to get this honor and the only restaurant in Washington State.  I made a note to go try them sometime. The Buzzfeed link is here and the Facebook Page for the restaurant is here.  All we ordered for two of us for dinner was the nachos and we ate about 1/2 of them (all the pulled pork). They were delicious and very filling. I hadn’t realized that the nachos themselves were potato chips, so that was a first for us.  I didn’t think to take a picture until we were part way through, but there is a better photo on the Buzzfeed link. Other dishes of note included Waffles and Chicken, catfish, grits and cinnamon roll French Toast.

The service was great. This restaurant had previously been known as the Pinecone and it is across the street from the Tacoma Mall.

The signs of the Lincoln District, Tacoma

Today was the celebration of the Lunar New Year in Tacoma’s Lincoln District and I took the chance to snap some photos of the new signage that reflects the revitalization of the district. An article on the revitalization project can be found here. I love this district and am really looking forward to how the revitalization project proceeds. It was also a joy to see how some of the more recent immigrants are positively shaping the country.

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Art House Cafe

I’ve been meaning to visit Art House Café at 111 North Tacoma Avenue in Tacoma’s Stadium District for ages. And this weekend I finally got around to it. The service was pitch perfect and the food was amazing. I had a bacon and onion stuffed bisquit with an egg on top, It didn’t look huge, but it was so rich and filling that I didn’t finish. The restaurant has charming space with featured art on the walls and an unexpected upstairs with a meeting room. Their website is here.

 

Kids Don’t Float, Life Jacket Loaner Station

I was delighted to see a couple of seals swimming in the icy cold Puget Sound while dear husband and I enjoyed our lunch at Anthony’s at Point Defiance. Afterward lunch I took a brisk stroll and found this Life Jacket Loaner Station. A little research informed me that stations such as these are fairly common. A list of many of them (but not this one!) can be found here.

“Colored” Art Exhibit

I read about the “Colored” art exhibit located in the Carpenters Building at 1328 Fawcett Avenue, Tacoma, on the King 5 News Website. Dear daughter, her friend and I arrived around 4, which apparently was well after it had closed for the day. When I mentioned that dear daughter was returning to college and that this was her only chance to see the exhibit, they kindly allowed us to go through. It was a great exhibit and I plan to go back and spend more time. The murals, by Chris Jordan, were painted in inverted colors. We looked at them normally and then with our iPhones set to reverse colors and the difference was amazing. Chris Jordan even spared us a moment to visit with us about his art.  When I go back I’ll be sure to spend more time and to appreciate the other artists as well.

My understanding is that the exhibit has been extended to run an extra few weeks.

The exhibition space is in the Carpenters Building which had been the Carpenter’s Union Hall which was designed by McGuire and Muri, architects and was constructed in 1955. The Kiro article said “The inside ones (murals) will soon be hidden by the upcoming Carpenters hall renovation“.

#colored2017

 

 

S’mores at First Night

As we often do, dear daughter and I attended First Night to usher in the new year. And her friend, Z, came with us as she so often does. It was extra cold, but not raining, so we were happy and did all of our normal First Night things. This year we were offered long wooden sticks and a S’More packet (two marshmallows, a chocolate square and two graham crackers). It was such gooey sticky fun to make our own.


 

Concrete Fantasia, Spanaway

I really admire those folks with passion and commitment to their art. This roadside attraction at 18212-18414 22nd Avenue, Tacoma (Spanaway) is an example of such personal drive. It is on a private residence with good visibility from the street. The property fronts on both 22nd Avenue (the rose) and 183rd Street Court East and my Roadside America App tells me the work is called Concrete Fantasia.