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Urban trek: Tacoma’s far southeast side–and the Thunderbirds

July 20, 2008

Vic and I set out to find an accessible segment of the Pipeline Trail, an urban amenity presumably scheduled for further development.  We mistakenly thought it began at Swan Creek Park.  The trees at the park portal at the end of E. 56th Street were densely foreboding, to say the least. I prefer more open space; it presents more of a challenge to those wishing to stow bodies and the like.

A section of Swan Creek Park, a bit too close to the idea of the ultimate urban experience for us...

A section of Swan Creek Park, a bit too close to the idea of the ultimate urban experience for us...

The surrounding neighborhood, Salishan, deserves better treatment by its landlords and the City. I didn’t wish to embarrass the folks in their own front yard by photographing all the garbage bags in front of their apartment building. All the garbage was neatly tied up in myriads of plastic bags. The residents clearly wanted their trash contained; they simply were not provided enough trash cans or dumpsters. I have no idea why Tacoma Public Utilities permits this disgrace. At the complex next door to the one with all the bags in front, the few cans were inadequate to properly contain the trash. The amount of garbage appeared to us proportional to the number of units in the complexes. So where are the dumpsters? Come on, T-Town, you’re making people look bad who are trying to maintain their dwellings. It’s demoralizing and an obvious invitation to infestation.

The garbage at this apartment building is inadequately contained; the garbage in the complex next door was tied in plastic bags piled up at the front of the property.  We highly recommend the City of Tacoma budget a couple of dumpsters for Salishan.

The garbage at this apartment building is inadequately contained; the garbage in the complex next door was tied in plastic bags piled up at the front of the property. We highly recommend the City of Tacoma budget a couple of dumpsters for Salishan.

We drove around Midland and happened to catch the Thunderbirds in the air at the end of their demo at the Air Show at McChord AFB.

The Thunderbirds over Midland

The Thunderbirds over Midland

I'm a pushover for contrails.

I'm a pushover for contrails.

We picked up the Pipeline Trail further down the line, off 84th Street. The trail is intermittent, with closures for private land and private roads all along the way. Drawn to a vista of Mt. Rainier, we encountered one of them. A fellow on his front porch on the private road suggested I take a picture of the Olympics behind us, but they were hazed in. He didn’t invite us onto his private gravel road. Oh well. Private property, after all, is the right to exclude others. We didn’t consider it a significant letdown.

The Puget Sound region has stayed aloft in the recession pretty well.  While real estate prices have dropped, they haven’t dropped as badly as other parts of the country, and  the region continues to grow.  People here are mostly optimistic…some more than others.  Only one of the 36 or so Starbucks stores in Tacoma is closing, and it’s across from the Convention Center, with several other coffee shops in the immediate area. 

Potential, potential, potential

Potential, potential, potential

 

Toward evening, we headed for the quarter deck at Anthony’s for dinner, where we watched, transfixed, the team of chefs in action. Balancing searing cast-iron skillets right off the fire within millimeters of each other, these guys seemed to fly in as tight a formation as the Thunderbirds.

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