Category Archives: Places of the Spirit

Great Udon at the Tacoma Hongwanji Buddhist Church

Great Udon at the Tacoma Hongwanji Buddhist Church

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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.

Luckily that time is behind us.

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Cambodian Temple, Tacoma, WA

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The Khmer Theravadin Buddhist Temple is located at 1420 East 44th Street in Tacoma. I was welcomed to look around a take some photos. In fact the monk that was there actually offered to take my photo 🙂 and told me that I’d have good luck because I had placed a donation in the donation box.

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Stonehenge

IMG_2549Stonehenge had also been on my bucket list and I was so pleased to hear this world heritage site was part of this year’s tour. It was a little more of a production than I expected with the parking area being some distance from the site. But the folks that run it do provide transportation.

Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument that originated between 2000 and 3000 BC and because of the age of the monument, there is a great deal of mystery. I did learn that:

  • It is a burial site
  • The Druids would hold ceremonies here
  • For the most part, the public is no longer aloud to walk up to the stones
  • That over the years the stones have been straightened when in danger of falling over
  • The visitor’s center opened in December 2013 and I could have happily spent more time there
  • According to some myths, the stone were healing rocks

Here is a short BBC video on this history of Stonehenge and here is the official visitors webpage.

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Notre-Dame Cathedral

IMG_0120Notre-Dame Cathedral is so grandly huge, that I found it impossible to photograph without better equipment and more time. But the church was majestic and wonderful and I was honored to be able to visit it. Besides the obvious connection to the famous book and the Disney movie, I thought the most interesting tidbit was the true Wolves of Paris story about a pack of man-eating wolves that killed 40 people in Paris in 1450. The people of Paris lured the wolves to the front of Notre-Dame and killed them there.

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The Grotto, Portland, OR

IMG_1055The Grotto, also known as  is National Sanctuary of Our Sorrowful Mother, is a 62-acre Catholic shrine and botanical garden which is administered by the Order of Friars Servants of Mary.

The Grotto is lovely and peaceful. By far the most unique part is the elevator, which is built adjacent to the 110′ cliff and has only two stops. I got on at the bottom, the location of Our Lady’s Grotto, a gift store, and the largest of the churches. and got off at the top, the site of the gardens, other smaller churches and religious artwork.  The grotto is a rock cave carved into the cliff and feature a life-size marble replica of Michelangelo’s Pieta.

The complex is free to visit, but there is a $5 charge to take the elevator. It’s well worth it. To learn more, look here.

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Chief Sealth’s (Seattle) Grave

 

13551673333_79569e9b49_b Chief Seattle’s grave site is located at 7076 NE South Street, Suquamish, in the Suquamish Tribal Cemetary just behind St. Peter’s Catholic Mission and north of Bainbridge Island. While we were there, several small groups came to pay their respects and some have left tokens, mostly shells, but also some art and coins. To either side of the headstone are tall, painted carvings. He was buried here in 1866 and the headstone was put into place in 1890. It is obviously from other photos on the internet, that the grave site has recently been improved.

Chief Sealth was born in 1786 and was a Chief of the Suquamish Tribe. The  city of Seattle was named after him.

Saint Peter’s Catholic Church was built in 1902, replacing an older church. The windows of the current church were taken out of the original church.

More about the site can be found here.

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Boehm’s Candy

BoehmsI was driving around Issaquah looking for something interesting and was pleasantly surprised at my choices — a root beer drive in, a restored vintage gas station, cute stores, etc. The day’s winner was Boehms Candy at 255 NE Gilman Blvd. Issaquah, WA 98027. The company began in Seattle’s Ravenna neighborhood in 1943 and in 1956 they moved to their current location. The store is located in the “Edelweiss Chalet”, the first Alpine chalet in the Northwest. In addition to the store and the candy manufacturing facility, there is a replica of a 12th century chapel near St. Moritz, a fountain, a statue of William Tell, a park area with a decorative fountain and an enthusiastic water fountain (water is life).

To order learn more about Boehms or to order candy, click here

It occurs to me that I know nothing about William Tell except he has a theme song. I learned he was a folk hero of Switzerland. Looking over Wikipedia, I remembered that he is know for shooting an apple off his son’s head.  The statue shows Tell and his son, Altdorf and is (I assume) a replica of the original statue by Richard Kissling in 1895.

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North End Community Church

8636807668_632ae7d429_bNorth End Community Church at 3502 N Mullen St, Tacoma, WA 98407 is charming. It was built in 1928 as the Grace Baptist Church. There is a Grace Baptist Church on Vassault now, so maybe the original church moved. The website of North End Community Church is here.

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First Lutheran Church

collage2There is a glorious magnolia tree in front of the First Lutheran Church at 524 South “I” Street, Tacoma, WA. The church was founded in 1882 and their current building was finished in 1929. The church’s original mission was to support Swedish immigrants. There website is here.

The First Evangelical Lutheran Church was designed by Heath, Gove & Bell, arch. The Gothic design is tapestry brick with Tenino stone trim and an oak interior. An addition was added in 1957.

Lutheran Church