Saturday, June 23, 2007

Just another reason to buy local whenever possible ...

Just got back from vacation, and am now even more invigorated "go local." You might think it was because I spent a week on the lovely and rustic Orcas Island -- where there wasn't a stop light or chain store to be seen ... where we visited a fabulous sustainable farm where the WWOOF interns were a pre-med student from Oregon and a raw foods chef from the Twin Cities (that's Minnesota, for anyone who might think I miswrote Tri-Cities) ... where the hiking in the island's two state parks is fabulous and even friendly to even-mario-style-hopping-hiking 2-year-olds ... where the deer and seals and herons played around us in a way only an island with no predatory animals can. But no. Here's why.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

I don't EMBELLISH the truth

Just wanted to send a shout out to the fantastic folks at Embellish in downtown Tacoma. I ventured in for my first time today and I was oh-so-much more than pleased. Going to get my hair cut and what-not can nearly equate to seeing the doctor in my world-- it freaks me out. I've had wonderful experiences in the past, as well as wear-a-headband-for-six-months experiences. (The latter is so not fun.) The lovely blue-and-green-haired Jade set me at ease quite quickly, and kept me there. She listened to my freaked out I-don't-know-what-I'm-talking-about-but-had-my-hair-screwed-up-
recently jabber and quickly put me at ease. She listened to me, and "listened" to my hair. She did not force a haircut upon my hair's quirks, she embraced my hair's, er, personality -- don't get me started about how my natural "flip" likes to change directions on a regular basis -- and gave me a cut that I do not hate. A cut that I actually kind of like. A cut that I know will be even better once I grow the old hairband-inducing cut out. Color that I've already had compliments on. And all within an easy walk of work. Something that's my lunch break rather than my Saturday.

They call them "daymakers" for a reason at Embellish.

For those who have yet to go there or who haven't been in awhile, it's that awesome and huge purple building just up the hill from the downtown YMCA -- on Court D. It's a fabulous building that I believe owner Patricia Lecy-Davis (not just owner, but president of the Downtown Merchants Group, she's also one of the fires behind Go Local and fellow Tacoma cheerleader extraordinaire) and hubby bought a while back to run their respective businesses in, and I think they might live there, too? No matter yes or no, these are downtown pioneers who put their money and actions where their mouths are. Fantastic business; fantastic people. Complete heart and soul and fabulousness.

Oh, and the space. Completely trendy without being obnoxious. A bit of industrial with urban punk rock chic. But no too much anything to turn anyone off. The staff are wild-haired, but the clientelle runs the gamut. Baby boomers. Nerdy writer girls like me. Wild-haired punk chicas. Sophisticated fashionistas. Musicians. Professionals. And guys, too. And the view of downtown, the mountain and the port is to die for!

So if you're looking for a new place to get those locks loved, you know what I recommend ...

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Sweet, sweet strawberries ...

Today I sliced into the strawberries we bought at the Proctor Farmers Market and danced around the kitchen with glee. These are the strawberries I remember from my childhood, growing up amid fields of strawberries where we could go out and pluck our afternoon snack. Flavor, color ... this is what I think of when I ponder the term "flesh" in terms of fruit. This was sustenance. Substantial sustenance. And the color, oh. I'm spending my day ogling the rich red fruits that will not for long be in my kitchen. The children have found them.

And thus, the following haiku ... much shorter than my last year's ode to dandelions, and a much happier source of inspiration ...

bisected, a dream
deep dark dense ruby velvet
these, were strawberries

Saturday, June 09, 2007

What a week: I'm tickled pink

If it wasn't for a little incident at City Council this week, I'd say it was a banner week for Tacoma. Instead, I'll just share a few moments from this phenomenally fantabulous week that illustrate some of the many reasons I'm so positively tickled to call Tacoma home ...

  • The most spine-tingling moment was a visit to and viewing the video of Daniel Blue reading his Love Tacoma poem. As a Tacoma cheerleader, a writer, and a one-time competitive poetry reader (don't laugh), and heck -- human -- I was moved. I was inspired. It spoke to the essence of why I love it here, and even the basic purpose of why I write this blog. To celebrate Tacoma and all that is here, was here, will be here. The Tacoma of today, yesterday and tomorrow is all part of a rich fabric, and Daniel captured that feeling, and Erik & Derek put it into pictures. Good job guys -- and all else who were part of this process. And to everyone who heard their thoughts, dreams and Go Tacoma feelings echoed within -- keep up the positive thinking, the believing.
  • Erik Hanberg reported on his blog that the Bob Newhart appearance at the Pantages was a good time, and also a sold out show. SOLD OUT! That's fabulous news! Just the other day I'd seen the announcement board outside the theater say something about tickets were going fast, buy them now! And the sarcastic side of me went, um, if they're selling so fast, why are you needing to advertise it? And I cringed at the thought of a decently big name coming to town to an empty house. So I was totally tickled to hear that the room was packed. And apparently there was an awesome moment of Tacoma pride during the show, too ... check out his blog to read more. (And I can't wait for Garrison Keillor next year ...)
  • While wandering the downtown Farmers Market in search of lunch on Thursday, I sadly came across a dwindling selection at Infinite Soups. In other words, it was noon and they'd already sold out of several soups. Sad for my taste buds, but great for them -- and a good sign that Tacoma's downtown farmers market lunch crowd has great taste ...
  • Speaking of farmers markets ... we stopped by the Proctor Farmer's Market today, despite the rain ... and there plenty of people there! Despite the rain! (In fact, I went in part because of the rain ... figuring this was not a week to be a farmer's market slacker ... and now we have yummy asparagus and strawberries to enjoy.)
  • And speaking of today, it was the grand opening of Garlic City Grocery at 56th & Pacific -- the edge of Tacoma's Eastside Neighborhood. A neighborhood grocery, locally owned, with unique offerings at reasonable prices. I wrote about this locale before, and now the bakery has apparently kicked into gear ... or they've found a great place to get their goods from. Oh, yum. There are typical baked goodies, and the donuts are awesome, but there was even some Mexican-styled pastries that I haven't seen since I lived in the boonies, and other out-of-the-ordinary options as well. The coffee was decent, too ... it's no Blackwater, but an awesome addition to this neighborhood. Thanks to the Mayor, Marty, Steve, the Safe Streets folks, a couple City folks, the Tacoma Weekly and other local do-gooders and cheerleaders for joining in the fun!
  • I got to introduce my neighborhood coffee shop and "Latte Linda" to the lovely and talented Lisa Kinoshita -- the genius behind the fabulously intricate and attainable rings, pendants, earrings and more at downtown Tacoma's Mineral.
  • I went to see The Police concert in Seattle. How does that have anything to do with Tacoma pride, you ask? Because while I had a fine time (and didn't have to pay for the ticket), the Dixie Chicks concert I went to at the Tacoma Dome a few months ago rocked much harder. I'll leave it at that.
  • The last week or so has had tons of end-of-school activities. Picnics, auctions, barbecues, spring shows. So a shout out to my daughter's elementary school and my son's preschool. I have no idea how we're going to navigate this mass of annual events once all three are in school ...
  • And Friday night dinner. That was fun. But you had to be there.
And speaking of being there, get out there and experience Tacoma! Let her move you ...