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  #1  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2010, 4:45 AM
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Tacoma, Washington, U.S.

APEX Apartments/Condominiums were built on a hill near the Tacoma Mall shopping area fairly recently. I believe the owners marketed them as allegedly standing higher elevation-wise than any other building in the city:



Trinity Church is the proud owner of a landmark "Jesus Loves You" sign which is highly visible from a number of directions (but is not shown in this photo):



This 2-story Borders Books & Music store is one of the few which was designed and constructed exclusively by the Borders company as a stand alone facility (which is unique, as most lease a pre-existing structure or are situated in a mall). It is also the only Borders store that I am aware of which has never adopted the official company logo lettering for its signs:



Griot's Garage is currently occupying what used to be a Coca Cola bottling plant. While a renovation project of this magnitude would generally not be an attention grabber, the outstanding paintjob, landscaping, and new flagpole was a major improvement for the west edge of Tacoma's retail district.



This is one of Tacoma's long, boring streets that starts in a boring place near downtown and stretches on until it ends in a boring place on the edge of town. Car dealerships, some random light industry, and low wealth retail dominates. South Tacoma Way, as viewed from Union Ave:



Griot's which was featureda bove can be seen in the distance:



Rail line and some empty fields to the west of Union Ave:



Various things in neat rows which belong to Tacoma Utilities and CLICK!, the city's private cable network:



The Tacoma Public Utilities building was built within the last decade or so. The traffic light and street nearest to it were among the first in Tacoma to recieve talking pedestrian signals and yellow flashers embedded in pavement at crosswalks:





Law Offices occupy this house on Union Ave:



Back down on South Tacoma Way, this castle-like, house-like structure is asfixed to a typical industrial warehouse, serving as its primary entrance:



I should know what this is/was as I have probably seen it thousands of times, but I don't:



TGI Friday, a restaurant, once occupied this building in the extended Tacoma Mall parking lot. I don't know if it is worth being photographed, but it is a strikingly pathetic testator to its own better days:

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  #2  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2010, 5:58 AM
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Good thread of non-glamorous stuff!
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  #3  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2010, 9:22 PM
Buckeye Native 001 Buckeye Native 001 is offline
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Kinda looks a little like the east side of Flagstaff
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  #4  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2010, 9:43 PM
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never stopped really in tacoma - well once to get gas and once to get some food at a sharis at 3 am ish
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  #5  
Old Posted Jul 11, 2010, 2:06 AM
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I was there the summer of 1974 as a kid on a family vacation....only thing we did there was tour the Olympia Beer factory....is Olympia still made there???
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  #6  
Old Posted Jul 11, 2010, 2:15 AM
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It's a HELL of a lot nicer than it was a couple decades ago. A downtown branch campus of the University of Washington is probably the top reason.

It's never been ritzy and its downtown has always been lacking. But it's showing more life now. And of course it has fantastic scenery. It's probably 20 miles closer to Mt. Rainier than Seattle is, for starters.
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  #7  
Old Posted Jul 11, 2010, 5:09 PM
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Nice pics!

I think the public utilities bldg is a lot older than 10 years, though.
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  #8  
Old Posted Jul 12, 2010, 5:10 AM
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Thanks for all of the feedback. :-) Hoodrat, I was wrong. The main part of the Utilities building was completed in 1953. I don't know why I thought otherwise. I think that they built a large addition onto it in more recent times, but I can't seem to find any immediate info on that online.

My house is a prime example of the exact type of boring suburban construction that I despise. It is probably worth noting that I rent, and would never, ever, actually buy a house like this:



I think that this scene just screams "Sunday Afternoon". The freeway is always busy, and the big league retailers are usually packed with people, but on the weekend many pockets of the city still look like a ghost town without much traffic or action, except for the occasional person wandering aimlessly:



Lincoln High School:





President Lincoln's stony gaze seems fixated on the overflowing trash can situated in front of him:



Urbanism and philosophy seem to go hand and hand. Plaque reads: "Erected 1913 [with tasteful write-in presumably added some time after that]

'Wisdom is the principal thing: Therefore get wisdom, and with all thy getting, get understanding. - Proverbs IV:7'":



A yard sale is taking place here. When they aren't wading around in plastic swiming pools from K-Mart, this is what Tacoma people do for fun during the summer months:



The oncoming traffic is I-5 Northbound. This is an infamous clog spot, as the 5 lanes of traffic visible to the left merge with the 3 primary I-5 northbound lanes (the ones with lighter colored pavement). The two lanes farthest left connect traffic to the downtown core, north Tacoma, and Highway 7, the main North/South Arterial that runs through the central part of town:



The corner stone of Holy Rosary Catholic Church reads 1910. It would be interesting to get a photo of what it looks like inside, but I rather imagine that the folks there would be less than happy about having a camera-wielding tourist attend mass :





Directly across the street from Holy Rosary is this house situated in the trees:



The 38th Street International District is where oriental people go to buy their ethnic foods and products. On Sunday most or all of those businesses are closed, but during week days it is rather busy with pedestrian traffic:

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  #9  
Old Posted Jul 12, 2010, 6:18 AM
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Lincoln High? I've got to explore Tacoma more! Too bad those Apex apartments are out at the mall instead of near downtown.
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  #10  
Old Posted Jul 12, 2010, 4:20 PM
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Is that white car actually parked on the sidewalk? If so, what an unbelieveable asshole.
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  #11  
Old Posted Jul 12, 2010, 6:27 PM
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I'd take Tacoma over any rusty town in Oklahoma any day.
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  #12  
Old Posted Jul 13, 2010, 7:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhays View Post
Is that white car actually parked on the sidewalk? If so, what an unbelieveable asshole.
That car was parked there. It is a pretty regular occurance in many neighborhoods, and usually people don't seem to mind.

Well anyway, here is my next batch. Most of these shots were taken on or near the South Tacoma Way corridor:

A car dealership on South Tacoma Way:



Well 11-A:



Union Corner Grocery. According to the sign, they have the "Coldest Beer in Town". It must be one heck of a freezer in there:



Railroad Monument with sign which reads, "Recognizing the contribution to our community by the Northern Pacific Railroad Shops and Workers":



People at South Park:



I think this looks like 80's Chicago. The Cadillac out front gives it character. I'm mentally picturing a couple mafia-type guys with hats and suits making some kind of a business deal out back:



South Tacoma Business District - Golden Master Trophies, Art Supplies, and Screen Printing; the Eun Ma Su Saloon (Left Side); "2nd Chance Latter Rain Ministries" and among some other places, including a Subway Sandwich Shop:



Bonair Linen Service, with big piles of linens visible through the window:



Stonegate Bar, a Trophy shop, Musicians Exchange:



Heritage Bank, Elmo's Adult Books, and Vietnamese Noodle Soup, in that order from left to right:



Intersection of 56th Street & South Tacoma Way; Ausbury United Methodist Church, and a Dollar Store; The Dollar Stores in the region all appear to be going out of business at the moment. There is also a Starbucks in the parking lot across the street adjacent to the Dollar Store:



Unless I am mistaken, these folks replaced the flag of the United States with the flag of Mazda:



A dead end road and pile of rocks:



Open roads, green fields, open skies, and a ball game in the distance. You can't get more American than this:

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  #13  
Old Posted Jul 13, 2010, 7:59 AM
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Continued...

Out Field - Let's hope these guys aren't catchers. Actually, they were wandering around out there in the grass the whole time I was within visual range, presumably looking for a stray ball or something like that:



...It was sunny with a steady light breeze and just about 70 degrees at 7:30 PM, and it looked like they were having a great time:





Empty Trailers:



This old grainery is the home of "X-Cel Feed", and according to a plastic sign that was there when I passed, the occasional farmer's market. There were rail cars there and it appeared to be operating when I was there this evening, but I seriously doubt that it is operating at anywhere near capacity:





"Downtown" South Tacoma owes its existence to the rail industry, and this mural reflects that. Tacoma's distinct neighborhoods give it an interesting element. Apart from the downtown core, Tacoma has many small commercial areas which could easily stand alone as the downtown district of a smaller town:



When you order a pizza, this is where its journey to your home begins. I can't help imagining the feelings of futility which must be associated with being a domino's driver, forced to use your own car to deliver junk food to people who are too lazy to drive to the grocery store:



Remember the Porche in Disney's "Cars" calling Lightning McQueen "Stickers"? Well, this brings new meaning to the word "Stickers". Around these parts, you can deface your automobile in this manner and still be considered normal:

Quote:
- "It's Called Tourist Season So Why Can't We Shoot 'Em?"
- "Give Me COFFEE and nobody gets hurt!"
- "Kube 93 FM"
- "This Definitely Wasn't One Of My Three Wishes"
- "I Just Do What The Little Voices Tell Me To Do"
- "Be kind to your kids / They'll choose your nursing home"
- "Money Talks / Mine Always Says Goodbye"
- "What part of NO don't you understand?"
- "Real Women Don't Have Hot Flashes, They Have Power Surges"
- "My Dog Is Better Than Your Honor Student!"
- "STAR 101.5"
- "Girls Rule"
- "CONSIDER: Amateurs Built The Ark / Professionals Built The Titanic"
- "Ever stop to think... And forget to START again?"
- "Go Play Outside"
- "Wife and Dog Missing: Reward for Dog"


"Mouse Meat, Inc." - An Auto Repair shop for Volkswagens; Their business name is so wierd that they have designated a special, prominent place on their website just for people who want to know why they chose to call their shop that:

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  #14  
Old Posted Jul 13, 2010, 8:14 AM
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Continued...

A C-5 Galaxy (Military Transport), one of the many which circle throughout the skies. One probably flies by every five minutes or so. Tacoma wouldn't be Tacoma without them:



God Save the Queen (And the President) :



I like this building:



My just over 5 mile or so walk this evening (Well, it is now 1 AM, so I guess that makes it yesterday evening) ended back at the mall. BJ's Restaurant was built recently (2008) as part of the last Tacoma Mall expansion. I like the almost communist style agricultural murals that they chose:





The food court:



For $2, you can now experience a simulated hurricane in this chamber. The machine wasn't there last time I came through, and the guy standing in front of the machine in the photo wasn't about to use it. He was just going over there to get his little kid who had climbed into it without permission. I think this odd machine is an interesting testament to just how boring our lives have become, and how desperate we are for a cheap (and in this case corny) thrill:



International Jewelers went out of business a while ago, but when they left they failed to turn their sign off. Since then, part of the sign stopped working. Suffice to say, its message changed:



A citizen in his natural habitat:



...and I'll wrap up today's tour with this sign. Police Enforced? No, it's not. (If it was, there would be nobody left. ) Perhaps the greater irony is that whoever did this never imagined that those words would become immortalized on the internet:

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  #15  
Old Posted Jul 26, 2010, 4:12 AM
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Nice shots of a city not often seen on this page!! Thanks!!
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  #16  
Old Posted Aug 9, 2010, 3:33 PM
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Nice pictures of a city that is really underrepresented. You've got an interesting eye for things.

One thing, this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by JHoward88 View Post
A C-5 Galaxy (Military Transport), one of the many which circle throughout the skies. One probably flies by every five minutes or so. Tacoma wouldn't be Tacoma without them:

is actually a C-17 Globemaster III.
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Old Posted Aug 9, 2010, 4:18 PM
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Hmmm I was excited at maybe being based at Ft. Lewis... how are the bars/girls out there in Tacoma? Nice shots though!
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  #18  
Old Posted Aug 9, 2010, 8:31 PM
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Interesting shots. Looking at these pics remind me of Anchorage in Alaska -- right down to the C-17 making routine flights overhead. Speaking of which, we had a C-17 go down recently killing all four crewmen north of Jointbase Elmendorf-Richardson two weeks ago.
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  #19  
Old Posted Aug 15, 2010, 6:46 AM
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wong21fr, Thanks for that correction! I apologize for my ignorance.

FerrariEnzo, I couldn't really give you a fair rundown on the bars and the women inside them, as I am a (possibly excessively) traditional tee-totaler. You'll have to ask the next guy on that one. Believe me, I beat myself up for this, as after you rule out the bars, it is darn hard to find dates.

Again, thanks for the feedback. It is always fun seeing people's comments.

-
A organic produce store on Highway 7:



Uncle Sam's Pawn Shop, also on Highway 7:



The Washington State History Museum, downtown on the North end of Highway 7 (also called Pacific Avenue):



Stairs leading up to the UW Tacoma Campus (the main building pictured, I believe, being the college library):



The visitor center is located inside the Marriott Hotel:



Peter Sandberg Building was entirely remodeled after a long phase of abandonment, and an Umqua Bank used to be Union Pacific Bank:



Sheraton Hotel:



The view from Yakima Ave looking in the general direction of Seattle; the cone of the Museum of Glass is visible, along with old Union Station and the little bridge that connects down to 509 (which runs toward Browns Boint and Poverty Bay):



A rather old-world-looking building which houses a bar, and possibly other things:



509 to the left, and the rail yards:



Of course, more will come. It is just a matter of when I am out walking or bicycling and have a camera handy.
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  #20  
Old Posted Aug 20, 2010, 2:45 AM
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Puyallup Ave. in the foreground against the backdrop of downtown:



The industrial flats:



The Tacoma Dome:

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