Suitcase Sightings in Tacoma, brain child of project designer Lynn DiNino, starts in September. Great way to get to know the town, map in hand. See all of the -over a 100- suitcases on August 17, at the downtown Marriott's ballroom before they are installed around the city.
How many old city centers in the U.S. have died, lost their business to the -along the Interstate- shopping malls?
Crossing the U.S. in different directions I've seen countless downtown areas turned into ghost towns. For I always veer off the highway, I want to be downtown, I want to breathe the history of the city. I don't care for the recognizable chain restaurants with their blazing signs, their cookie cutter menus, the atmosphere more chilling than the air conditioning.
Tacoma has a wonderfully active art council. If the train to and from Seattle would run more frequently, we would move to Tacoma at the drop of a hat. Monumental buildings reveal the city's past economic importance. Their height reflects the promise of bygone days.
Today you'll find coffee shops, galleries, restaurants, shops, (old) theatres, and the cozy campus of U.W.'s Tacoma branch in what used to be a dead centre of town.
The city's Museums alone make a trip to Tacoma worth your while. The Museum of Glass, Union Station and Tacoma Art Museum cohabit in a convenient triangular "menage a trois". The first two connected by Chihuly's Bridge of Glass which crosses highway and railroad track.