Touring Tacoma by hoof and stomach

Don’t put away the antidepressants just yet.

It's springtime in the Pacific Northwest:

Also autumn, winter and parts of summer for that fact. Seasons aren’t measured by the extent of light here, rather the gray skies and rain.

Showers and sunless skies put the kibosh on many a camping and outdoor recreation plan this Memorial Day weekend. Woe to any locals anticipating the holiday as the traditional holiday start of summer.

The somber soggy holiday skies finally give way to a demanding sun in the closing hours of Memorial Day. I jump on the opportunity to soak up uplifting rays and Vitamin D. Instead of south, I head west along the busy Division Street …

Past a mural on the community theater's wall. It ain't Alice in Wonderland. I almost don't shoot it until scene 1 tickles my fancy:

Past the Tusarra cafe. And its two chairs. What happened?

Indeed, what happened?

On past Frisko Freeze. This iconic survivor from 1950 with its flashing neon lights pointing the way to burgers and shakes serves imho not-so-tasty overpriced burgers. Their greasy fare and time-travel machine are immensely popular.

Coincidentally, I read just today that a nomination's in the works to place Frisko Freeze on the Register of Historic Places.

Must be a time-warping pocket for parked across the street … appropo:


The Invicta Buick circa early 1960’s. Perhaps it belongs to a Frisko Freeze employee.

On to Magic Sandwich Maker — MSM — as this famed and infamous little established run by a family (Pakistani) is known. It's considered by many to be THE best maker of sandwiches that Tacoma offers.

It’s actually a divey mini-mart that also sells some 150 imported bottled brews and tempting fare made to order.

Boy do they impress! The sandwich counter is a bustling display of efficiency. A small crew manages a flood of phone and fax orders and in-store business and all (seemingly) without error and always cheerfully. That takes talent.

I do something I never do: Have a meal out. My treat's selected thoughtfully, a lamb gyro:

and porter by Anchor Steam, a longtime favorite brewery:

Nary bite nor sip passes these lips before I pull the journal from my backpack and pen a prayer of gratitude.

I wouldn’t wish poverty and extreme hardship on anyone but I WOULD wish the profound gratitude and wise understanding of the value of a penny they teach – at least for me.

How many people who are employed, and some who aren't, drop $4 at a fast-food joint without a thought? Not a single expenditure in my world takes place without contemplation, thoughtfulness and profound gratitude. That's why this is a meal fit for a king, every bite oh so relished, each sip savored. A television airs a late-afternoon sit-com. It's perfect. It's heaven.

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