The city of Tacoma gets a bad rap around Seattle, whether for its particular fragrance (affectionately dubbed “the Tacoma aroma”) or for its bad fortune at being placed just too far for convenience, and barely too close for respectability. And possibly because it bears an uncanny resemblance to Mordor:

[Port of Tacoma]

Spent a grey and damp morning decompressing and taking photos around town, and while most of Tacoma does seem to be either nondescript or nightmarish, there is a compact and attractive cultural core (Washington State History Museum, Tacoma Art Museum, Union Station and the Museum of Glass), as well as a beautiful and rustic stretch of waterfront between city center and Point Defiance Park (and from which the above photo was taken). Maybe it was just the heavy morning weather, but that drive felt old, familiar, weatherworn — something out of Boston countryside rather than Pacific northwest. I got out and walked along the water, feet sinking into soft soil, wet as the Sound itself, while the city emptied the spoils of industry into the distant skies. It felt good to be away.

Point Defiance Park was nice, a miniature version of Vancouver’s Stanley Park. I didn’t see another soul during my entire time there, as I flitted between trellises, the pagoda, and the water. This is probably because I avoided “destination” spots (the zoo, loggers’ camp & Ft. Nisqually) — wasn’t why I was there, anyway. Instead, I stuck to the magic and wetness of newborn spring: budding flowers, pregnant with dew and defiant of rain, or conclaves of mushrooms:

[Family meeting, or the scolding]

Afterwards, some time gazing at Chihuly’s installations in Union Station and a quick stroll across his Bridge of Glass and around the glass museum (sadly, closed, as it often seems to be during non-summer months). And then, probably too soon, back to Seattle.

Have determined to return in the near future, at the least to see the glass exhibits! In the meantime, you can follow today’s adventures at flickr as I add them.

Lest I forget to mention tea again, word of another free tea for links promotion…

  • phoenix: anything impending, or just speculation?

    pastilla: could be, I didn't see any in Tacoma... ^_^

    Miranda: wish you were!

    Vanlal: probably never, mostly because I can't imagine Tacoma ever getting so big. Like I said, it's probably too close to Seattle to get a completely separate identity, even if the cities themselves are quite different.

  • Free tea for links! ^_^

    Also - This is all interesting to know, in case of a possible eventual move to the Pacific Northwest.

  • pastilla

    But the Orcs still prefer to live in Kent . . .

    (dodges beer can thrown from passing truck)

  • Miranda

    Beautiful writing... reading it I felt like I was there with you.

  • Reminded me of Blade Runner actually...

    How many years before Seattle-Tacoma goes the way of Los Angeles-San Francisco?

  • ^_-

  • Michael Hanscom
    And possibly because it bears an uncanny resemblance to Mordor...

    Best laugh I've had today. Perfect! :)

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