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.
Most years dear daughter and I would go to the Lunar New Year Celebration in Tacoma’s International District. I remember firecrackers going off near her stroller and her crying, so it has been a long tradition. But the celebration hasn’t happened for the past five years, until today. At 10 am sharp the firecrackers went off and the festivities began. Mayor Strickland said a few words and a few others (I couldn’t tell who since I was still walking up). There was a very short, but great parade and then the crowd followed the lion dancers to the Lincoln Pharmacy on the corner of South 38th and South Thompson . A string of firecrackers was lite, the lions danced and musicians played. Then we all moved on to the next business.
I noticed that at some of the businesses there was a head of lettuce hanging for the lions to “eat”. Wikipedia tells me that this is the traditional custom of “cai qing“, “plucking the greens”. The lion dance is believed to bring good luck and fortune to the business.
It was great to see the crowds in attendance and the festive atmosphere. The Lincoln District is undergoing a period of revival with big changes in the near future. There were several interesting new businesses that I’m sure to visit, now that I know about them!
The Hong Kong Supermarket at 3828 S Yakima Ave, Tacoma, WA 98418 opened in April 2014, so it has had more than a year to settle into place. It is a large specialty store with a full selection of food items from primarily Southeast Asia. There is a deli and some household items as well. It is good to see a new building/expanded business in the Lincoln District which has quite a few empty storefronts and under utilized buildings. The Hong Kong Supermarket had been located on the corner of South 38th and South Yakima Ave before they constructed their new store in the previous location of Lincoln Bowl. I purchased a treat for dear daughter, but if I had been more adventurous I would have gone for one of the drinks: Pennywort, Chrysanthemum or Basil Seed. Yep, that’s what I’ll do next time!
I was curious about the location of the Lincoln District after hours club that was the scene of a homicide on 9/7/14, so I drove by in the morning hours to figure out where it is. 32-year-old Michael Ward Jr. was murdered that night and as of yet there is no suspect being held. I thought it was interesting that there is no signage, maybe that’s because it is an after hours club (what does that even mean?). The laundromat, which does have signage, has also been shut down. It is Tacoma’s 10th homicide this year. There is a make shift memorial in front of the building.
There is a new restaurant in the Lincoln District in the previous Jubilee place. It is the Amp Coffee House and Frozen Yogurt, 858 S. 38th St., Tacoma and its been open for a couple of months. I finally stopped in and was impressed at how much it has changed, looking more like a sleek coffee shop that it is and less like a hamburger joint that it was. I ordered a Philly Cheese steak (a real treat) and next time I’m going for a Smitty Burger. I hear there are plans for a drive through and a patio.
The Jubilee sign will be removed as soon as it is feasible.
The Rex Theater at 3809 Yakima Ave., in Tacoma’s Lincoln District, was built in 1919 and stayed in business until 1958. It has 650 seats which included a nursery so mothers with young children could see the films. The property owner was Martin Steffen. In 1958 it was converted to the Tacoma Calvary Temple, a church. And in 1980 it again became a theater, but this time it was porn. I believe the property stood vacant for a while and now it is occupied by the New Restoration Christian Ministries.
A movie database site with this picture can be found here http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/9489 The movie on the marquee is Four Hours to Kill (1935, A murderer eludes his guard and escapes into a theater where the lives of those in attendance are affected by the danger of his presence.)
Update, January 2017: I stopped by again today to capture the theater. It is looking pretty sad. I have hopes that it will be fixed up during the district’s revitalization this year.
The Happy Room and the Golden City Cafe at 3812 Yakima Avenue, Tacoma, began its life in 1932 A U.S. Post Office, By 1952 it was the restaurant that its sign promotes. At some point it closed and it appears to be used for storage nowadays. I would have loved to have seen the neon lite!
I’ve always admired this apartment building at 4010 Thompson. There isn’t much public information on it. The Tacoma Public Library shows that it sold in 1938. The Pierce County Assessor’s Office shows that it was built in 1900 (I would have guess later) and has six units. It was foreclosed in 2009, but has since sold.
We hadn’t lived in Tacoma all too long before we discovered Mrs. Frisby’s Bakery at 710 South 38th Street in the Lincoln District. We would go there every so often. I was fond of their moist, delicious brand muffins and my husband like their bear claws. When our daughter was little we would take her to watch the ladies decorating cakes. The bakery had been around since 1930 and closed in 2000. The space was vacant for a long time, but is now occupied by Thinh Xuan Ho, M.D.
The Tacoma Public Library has a photo of the bakery from 1956 here: