So, the United States Post Service (#USPS) has an app that converts mailboxes into magical gingerbread houses (or gingerbread mailboxes or gingerbread fireplaces or something!). I downloaded the free app, found a mailbox and the app captured the mailbox and before my eyes made it into a work of holiday art. Things I learned include:
It is always the same piece of art no matter where the mailbox is
It has to be a functioning mailbox, not one that has been painted over
Our kitchen is not huge and we had three people cooking a Thanksgiving feast there, so I finished my part and took off for a Starbucks and some fresh air. I often drive over to the mall on Thanksgiving. It’s pretty close and I find the empty parking lots soothing. But this year the JC Penney’s lot was nearly full! And people were inside and others were rushing toward the entry doors.
So while I like many of the stances that Penney’s has taken over the years, I’m not to sure about this being open for at least part of Thanksgiving. I sincerely hope their employees are getting overtime. Judging by the crowded parking lot, it is probably worth Penney’s time to be open, at least financially. The rest of the mall appeared to be closed (and thus soothing!). And Best Buy across the street had folks lined up, many had tents. But also folks inside. Not sure what was happening there. It was about 3:30.
Great Udon at the Tacoma Hongwanji Buddhist Church
My udon and mochi at Tacoma’s Buddhist Church during their Fall Bazaar were delicious and my husband said his miso soup really hit the spot. Our meal was served by the nicest volunteer waitstaff and our tea was topped off on a regular basis. Really the fall festival was a positive experience.
The Buddhist property at 1717 Fawcett Avenue, in Tacoma, is sometimes referred to as a temple and sometimes as a church. The building, which features a lovely red tile roof and stone lanterns flanking the main door, was originally constructed in 1930 for its current use. It is listed on the city, state and national historic registers. One interesting note to the building’s history is that it was closed in May 1942 for the duration of World War II. Many of the members of the congregation were sent to Camp Harmony (now the site of the Puyallup Fair) and the leader of the church taught Sunday School at the camp. The camp was a detention center for Japanese Americans during the war.
Potter’s Field in Tacoma.Dear husband and I went to the Wheelock Library to attend an interesting lecture about Tacoma’s Haunted History on Saturday and I learned about Tacoma’s Potter’s Field. I hadn’t realized that about 1,600 were buried on this two acre site between the 1880s and the 1920s. These were the people that had no funds to afford a proper funeral and their remains became the responsibility of the Pierce County. There is an excellent article about the cemetery here. We took a driving tour through the lovely Tacoma and Oakwood Cemeteries to finally find the Pauper’s Cemetery situated adjacent to the Tacoma Mausoleum. I recognized the wooden boundary fence from the video in the News Tribune article. The cemetery itself isn’t accessible to the public, but I did snap a shot from an opening in the fence. It was fascinating to me that while there were just a couple of headstones in sight, there are a reported 1,600 individuals are interred here in unmarked graves. Two of the photos show the fence that divides the Potter’s Field from the maintained cemetery near the mausoleum. There are also a couple of photos of the other two cemeteries.
There are four daffodils painted in the street near Washington Elementary School on the corner of North 26th and North Washington Street. I suspect it is an acknowledgement of the annual Junior Daffodil parade that occurs each year in the Proctor District. Really, I would have done a lovely closeup photo of one of the yellow flowers, but the street was very busy and I value my life!
Finally I had a free day to snap a photo of the temporary art installation, Envision. It is easy piece to miss, especially on a sunny day. It is located on the pedestrian bridge (skybridge) that connects two buildings (the Keystone Building and the Science Building) on the University of Washington, Tacoma campus. Envision is one of the installations that make up the Temporal Terminus: Marking the Line exhibit which is in place through the end of November. The project’s website states:
SITE 7: UW-T Pedestrian Bridge
Title: Envision Artists: Jeremy Gregory, Diane Hansen, Ed Kroupa
Gigantic eyes look down on the campus from the pedestrian bridge. Are they benevolent? Visionary? Judging? That depends. The eyes are those of Abraham Lincoln, the visionary whose dream it was to complete a transcontinental rail that would meet the Pacific. Is he overlooking his accomplishment or wondering about this particular route’s demise and our crazy modern lives? Walking over the ped bridge, one experiences a different viewpoint and inspiration for the endurance of vision.
The Water Forest outside of the Museum of Glass was flowing today and made a lovely noise. I was watching folks admire it and almost everybody had to touch the water. I also noted several photographers capturing the moment with friends and clients. I was just reading that the sculpture glows at night. I need to go see that! The artist is Howard Ben Tre’s.
There is a bike stuck in the pier along Ruston Way toward the southeast end. I searched and searched and can’t find record of why it is there or how it got there. I spotted it as I walked from one end of Ruston Way to the other (Old Town Dock to Point Ruston).
I don’t love going to the mall, but today was the day since I had a crack on the protective screen on my phone. It was a Zagg protective covering and when the phone folks sold it to me they said I could have it replaced for a minimal cost if it should break. It cracked at a jaunty diagonal. Since I tend to avoid the mall, I put off getting it fixed. But the lady at the Zaggkiosk was really nice and it only took 20 minutes and there is a Starbucks right there. And it was kind of fun to watch all of the mall patrons walking around. What an assortment they are. There were the parents dragging their tweans around buying school clothes, teen girls with little pink Victoria Secrets Bags, a couple of businessmen in suites, the mall security folks on their Segways and moms with strollers.
The Arby’s at 2612 South 38th Street in Tacoma has the traditional, original Arby’s sign which is shaped like a cowboy hat and says “Arby’s Roast Beef Sandwich is Delicious”. This sign was used between 1964 and 1975 and the logo changed to a more streamlined sign. Abry’s began selling roast beef sandwiches in Ohio in 1964 and there are currently over 3,000 restaurants.