August 30, 2005

Tacoma, a City Reborn

Last night my aunt was in town and stayed with us. She came to Washington for a few days to see Grandpa and then drove over here to spend the night with us before flying back to Colorado. We went out for a drive and some sightseeing in Tacoma, which used to be a dying industrial pit with a decaying downtown. Other than the crime rate, the city was know for the “Tacoma Aroma” because of the noxious spewings from a paper mill that is now closed. There has been a great effort to revitalize the city. In 1990 the University of Washington opened a satellite campus near downtown and has restored many old buildings. Union Station, a brick building in Beaux Arts style that served as the train depot, has been rescued from demolition and made into the courthouse. Next to Union Station, a new brick building was built to house the Washington State History Museum. On the other side is the very modern styled Tacoma Art Museum. Dale Chihuly, an internationally famous local glass artist, is the driving force behind the The Museum of Glass, which includes a glass blowing workshop and school. They are renovating housing and building new apartment buildings downtown so that people can move into the area, making it more active and encouraging business. It hasn’t all been smooth. Tacoma Actors Guild, the only professional theater in the region, outside of Seattle, had great financial difficulties last year and closed down temporarily. With fundraising and the partnership of Bellevue Civic Theatre, they opened their doors again to finish the season. They will open the 2005-2006 season in September with Noises Off. The transformation of the city’s atmosphere is dramatic! Now I would enjoy living downtown or in North Tacoma. There are still bad areas, like Hilltop. That has been an infamously crime ridden area for many years. There is one area of Tacoma that has really nice old homes. Some of them need work and others have been well-maintained or lovingly restored. There are several old apartment buildings with names like “The Whitman” and brick or stone exteriors. The architecture ranges from Victorian to Neo Classical, Colonial Revival and Tudor Revival. We drove around looking at them. It reminds me of Browns Edition in Spokane, where my mother grew up. Her family inherited an uncle’s Victorian house with all the furniture. In fact, I sleep on an antique brass bed that came from that house. Anyway, all of those houses have so much character and distinction. None of them is alike. Just the opposite of boring suburban houses and apartment complexes. We had dinner at a tavern, The Harmon, in the university district. It brews its own tasty ales and has great food. Monday happens to be $3.00 steak night. We didn’t realize that until we had already ordered our meals, though. Dad had fish and chips and everyone else ordered one of their specialty burgers. Mine had blue cheese and mushrooms. We all had a great time on our little tour. My aunt had never been to Tacoma before.

It has been a busy couple of days. I had an appointment this morning at WorkSource. This afternoon has been busy updating and revising some more. Since I am looking to start in a new field, I have to work hard at effectively marketing my transferable skills. I found an opening for a copywriter, but they want a portfolio sample along with the resume. I guess I’ll just have to start a portfolio. Perhaps a short article about one of the development projects in Tacoma!

Still haven’t gotten back to exercising. It’s been quite a while, now.


Jeff said...

I'm not picking on you, but where does God fit in with the whole relocation thing?

Just asking...

Cheryl said...

I don't mind you asking that question at all. God does have something to do with it because I prayed a lot before I made this decision. It was a difficult decision to make since I was so comfortable with my life in Korea. God is also a part of my whole life. I don't separate my life into "religious activities" and "everything else". My faith is a relationship with God, not religious ritual. God has something to do with my job search specifically because I will spend a lot of time each day at my job. It should be something that fits the gifts and talents God has given me. I want to honor Him in what I do. I also include lots of things in this journal and don't limit myself to relocation issues. Thanks for posting your question.