Thursday, February 15, 2007

Soapbox Speeches and Worn Out Sneetches

Been too busy blogging (elsewhere) to blog here ... so I'm importing my recent rant from But by the weekend I hope to be back on the bandwagon ... back highlighting Tacoma "hot spots" (or should-be hot spots) that I do love so -- and finding new ones to support.

The business of Tacomaness

I've been hearing rumblings on other blogs that have developed a theme: folks looking for specific kinds of businesses and lamenting thtat Tacoma doesn't have it all.

My soap box speech, in a nutshell: We've only just begun.

Tacoma's renaissance has not yet matured. It's barely been going on for a decade. It wasn't long ago that city leaders were tearing down the kinds of buildings that we now celebrate and cherish -- in order to create parking lots. That was stopped, and something better began -- but the end product takes time.

And as for the Seattle and PDX comparisons I have been hearing -- "Seattle has it, why not Tacoma? Portland has it, why can't Tacoma get it together?" -- I'd like to point out that Tacoma is, now, in a spot Seattle and Portland saw themselves in decades ago. Still at the beginning of something really big. And current day comparisons can only go so far realistically: Seattle is nearly three times the population of Tacoma. Give it time, give support to local businesses, and you will see the Tacoma you want grow before your very eyes. And you'll be able to say you were there.

So what I'd like to know, is what local businesses in today's Tacoma do you want to see still flourishing in 10-20 years? And what do you think that future will look like?

Or, for those yearning for bits of elsewhere, I'd like to know what it is about those places that makes you lust to bring their essence here? Names and websites only say so much -- forget titles and tell me what made you fall in love? (I don't get to Seattle much.) For restaurants, was it a dish, type of cuisine, specific ambiance, cute waiter/waitress -- or the coffee? for bookstores, was it the selection, or the friendly folks and space to sit in the corner and read? For farmer's markets, is it the food, the crafts, the people? How often do you go during the current farmer's market season? Would you go weekly if there was one every weekend year-round?

Share the essense of your desires, and odds are someone will be able to point you to a place that's right under your nose -- or perhaps you'll inspire would-be entrepreneur looking for that certain "niche" that matches their passions and has a better-than-average shot at success over bankruptcy.

Our actions today dictate the Tacoma of tomorrow.

Help grow Tacoma's Tacomaness.

No comments: