Tacoma’s tales thunder in my ear.
They truly do and those I’ve shared here over the years barely scratch the surface. Be that as it is, it’s Tacoma’s fascinating and troubling past that inspire today’s Dougie 17.
What better way to express this passionate yet turbulent love affair gone south than to merge two iconic representations of this City of Destiny. First is the Old City Hall, just up the hill from these port waters.
Built in 1893, this structure of Italian design marked Tacoma’s ascension in the railroad and shipping industries. A little-known fact outside this region is that Tacoma was initially the Pacific Northwest’s supreme hub in transcontinental transportation thanks to its proximity on the water and ambitious railroad venturists.
Nearby Seattle was a distant second-place snot-nosed relative who even then disregarded and dismissed Tacoma’s presence, sought to undermine its success and see that the world paid attention to IT. Some things never change.
In the long course of time and events, Seattle accomplished its goal and to this day delights in badmouthing Tacoma and selling it short. Yet in another era, one not far from memories except perhaps Seattle’s, Tacoma was the region’s original star.
Oh were that the Old City Hall walls could talk! They do but that’s a whole other post. I never tire of looking at this building, which stands mostly unoccupied, forlorn against the grey watery backdrop (except in those annual 20 minutes of sunshine) of a still-leading Pacific Northwest port, a stubborn survivalist in a town that has taken beatings and fails to — or rather refuses to — die.
And this picture …
I’ve blogged before on Grit City’s posters and creative signage. They’re among the best I’ve seen in any town (and I’ve been to plenty)!
This one’s a favorite from Opera Alley, just up the hill from the Old City Hall. Opera Alley, a hotbed of theater and musical performances, illicit activities, a center of foot-stompin’ drinking and carousing and respite for sailors, loggers, railroaders, mobsters and certainly more than a politicians back in the day …
Thing 17: Make something inspired by and/or that goes over an eye (yours or someone else’s).
It wouldn’t be at all inappropriate for Old City Hall to fly that flag:
An Eye on Tacoma