On the Coffee Table: Women Warriors, Dune, etc.

Yeah look at all the cool material possessions

Yeah look at all the cool material possessions

I thought I’d start a regular feature documenting all the cool shit I plop on my coffee table with the intention of reading at some point… most likely by candlelight during a power outage as I’m usually deferring to one of my digiscreens for the entertainsments.

Probably the ultimate in navel-gazing… but hey it’s free content for you right?

Items may or may not have been enjoyed and/or stained with coffee.

So strong... my heroes!

So strong… my heroes!

Women Warriors Volume 1

I don’t remember buying this zine, it must have been from some late night tumblr binge! Upon looking at it the shadow of the memory was happily ignited with a fierce squadron of blade-wielding badasses depicted in a glorious pinkish purple duotone. Highly worth the price of admission if you’re into this sort of thing, which is probably the best evidence of my bisexuality.

Very necessary

Very necessary

“I Voted” Sticker

Not sure how this wound up on the table, there’s an election coming up in Tacoma but I don’t follow local politics enough to even know what the Commissioner does. You’ll have to forgive me, I’m from Detroit and probably have an inflated sense of trust that by contrast Tacoma is doing just fine with its politics. Apparently there’s a controversy about not sending out these stickers anymore. I guess I feel like some people might be reminded to vote if they see this sticker around… the lady that got rid of it said it saved $20,000… but that hardly puts a dent in a municipal budget for a city like Tacoma… but it’s all done by mail here so really shouldn’t someone just fill it out right away?? Stickers are fun tho.

A.K.A. everything I do

A.K.A. my social life

Downtown Tacoma Map

Ahh yess someone busted out the Illustrator and made a cool looking guide to Tacoma’s downtown, Stadium District, and Sixth Avenue areas. Their website is down but here’s a link to Google’s cached version. Hopefully this generates enough interest in Tacoma’s university district that would convince businesses to stay open past 5 on a weekend!

Was going to read it... but it's long

Was going to read it… but it’s long

Dune by Frank Herbert Park

I bought a copy at King’s when the push to rename a local park after the author, a Tacoma local, started with the intention of reading it over the summer… haven’t even cracked it open. In the meantime you should sign this petition if you weren’t aware of it.

Oh I get it, you're putting the modern... in the past!

Oh I get it, you’re situating the modern… in the past!

William Shakespeare’s Star Wars

Getting ahold of advance reading copies through my bf librarian is usually a mixed bag, but this one is a delight. Actor friends from Detroit were in town recently and said they were thinking about putting on a live version of this. I bet it’s possible!

Meatbars

Meatbars

Vice Photo Issue 2013

I hate how difficult it is to get Vice in Tacoma. When I lived in Detroit I had to hunt it down at various boutiques in Royal Oak… now that I’m in Tacoma I usually have to visit Seattle to find it at an American Apparel, despite the fact that there’s tons of boutiques here. Anyhoo, I actually nabbed this copy while visiting a friend in Vancouver. I like what they did with this issue–the theme is collaborations–but it’s extremely flippable and kinda meh. And no Johnny Ryan comic at the back 😦

Apparently newspaper turns yellow?

Apparently newspaper turns yellow?

Mother’s News

Always great surrealist, stream-of-consciousness rag from Providence, RI. Great for taking the mind on a nice swim. Highly recommend the annual subscription to this in the link. Lots of great comics and the ads are actually lookable-at.

Popular PNW destination

Love maps like these

Dash Point Trail Map

Brought the Detroit friends here for some camping nostalgia. I love all the undeveloped nature trails Washington parks have, as opposed to the formerly-improved, now-dilapidated parks of Michigan and Ohio. This was a great trip, although it’s close to a bridge so we could hear traffic and other weird machinery, but it’s always good to be full grown adults walking like children in nature.

I wouldn't have thought I could come up with something dorkier than "Team Discovery Channel"

Not allowed to eat pixie sticks

Dorky’s Trivia Book

Ahh my dearly departed trivia partner has gone off to a better life in California. I paired up with another solo fighter and somehow we ended up with a team name more dorky than my idea of “Team Discovery Channel,” which I gotta hold on to for later. He ended up being stumped on most of the questions but we got third anyway… enough to fund a delicious and nutritious plate of veggies and hummus. Anyway! Click that link to check out my old buddy’s podcast! Search “Gabby Hoffmen” on iTunes and give them a good review! The time travel episode is my favourite.

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Fireman’s Park

Fireman's Park

A worker with a sawblade looks over the urban park, which has a nice view of Rainier, the bay, and the Murray Morgan Bridge.

Fireman’s Park has been offering some gorgeous views these past few days, although lately it’s been a bit more gray.

The park has attracted some attention recently, mostly due to the historic totem pole which has become deteriorated to the point where supports needed to be installed thanks to living outside in the location for over a century.

As mentioned on its Metro Parks profile, the park gets its name from its former occupant: Engine House No. 6. Back in Tacoma’s original heyday around the turn of the century, they formed the town’s original skyline as seen from the bay.

When the Tacoma Hotel burned down in 1935 in the location right next door where the Russell stands today, it took firefighters hours to get to it. There is some suspicion that it was burned for insurance. That sort of thing was pretty common for the depression era.

Visiting the park today can easily accompany a trip to Dorky’s, India Mahal, Pho 701, Matador, or any of the other fine bars and restaurants located around the corner on Pac Ave.

Link to the park on Google Maps.

10 places to check out in downtown Tacoma

Dorky’s Bar Arcade

This is easily my favorite place in Tacoma. They have a number of vintage arcades to play for only a quarter which are surprisingly outnumbered by the selection of beers available. They also have a great lunch menu featuring amazing pizza and a delicious variety of sandwiches made with fresh ingredients and artisan bread. At lunch I like to take a short walk from campus to go there and try to beat the daily high score on the table-top Donkey Kong machine. When the games get tiresome I read one of the local zines they have available and watch Star Trek: The Next Generation or another childhood favorite show they usually have blasting on their TVs. At night they’re also a venue and have showcased some pretty great local bands. Their monthly chiptune night run by local chiptune-ist Tony Pineapple Pineapple has lured artists from as far away as Vancouver, BC.

The New Frontier Lounge

Hands down one of the best bar-restaurants in Tacoma. I like to tell friends it’s the most “Seattle-like” place you’ll find here in town. Lots of interesting local antiques and neon lights on display throughout and the barstaff is quite friendly and features amazing moustaches. The food is quite good, and they feature a cheap eats night with $1 tacos on Wednesdays. The live music certainly has an interesting flavor that you aren’t likely to hear anywhere else. There’s always something going on here.

The Deltan Club

Here in our lovely city you can find the biggest drag venue in the Pacific Northwest with a mighty fine dance floor that has played host to some amazing and unforgettable parties. The Deltan has a great resume featuring over half a dozen contestants from RuPaul’s Drag Race and many other well-known performers from abroad and local. Tacoma’s own burlesque troupe, The Gritty City Sirens recently had quite a successful show there which should lead to future appearances as well.

The Webster

I wasn’t sure if I should mention The Mix, Puget Sound Pizza, or the amazing Amocat Cafe so I thought I’d just list them all at once in the same slot! All three are located in the same beautiful building (where yours truly also resides) and good times are easily had at each. The Amocat is a wonderful one-man operation sure to give you the freshest cup of coffee you can find in our fun little town. The Mix is a great LGBTQIA–or just queer–bar that also hosts monthly community art events. Puget Sound Pizza has some the best slices you can get around here and easily the best karaoke.

UW Tacoma

Another tough call is how to talk about Anthem Coffee and Tea, The Swiss, Tahoma Tea & Co, The Rock, Metro Coffee… and the scores of other interesting little places that have sprung up around our gorgeous campus. Anthem, located across the street from the UW bookstore next to the state history museum and bridge of glass, offers an amazing atmosphere and an equally impressive cuppa joe. The Swiss has great sandwiches and amazing art on the walls, and is a huge venue perfect for the college and local crowd. Tahoma Tea & Co is a hidden treasure with amazing furniture and atmosphere located at the back of thrift store Urban Xchange. Did I say Puget Sound Pizza is the best slice in town? Because The Rock’s punk rock pizza is arguably equal in that status. Metro Coffee is a perfect place to study and when I’m too strung out on caffeine, I like to order their unique all-natural Jamaican ginger beer or try some of their freshly brewed local iced teas.

Graffiti Garages

A feature of Tacoma that comes at no charge and shouldn’t be missed. They’re located right next to the Spanish Steps, central to everything. Evidence that art can be colorful and meaningful, but still quite messy. For more information check out this feature in Post Defiance.

B2 Fine Art Gallery and Studio

An amazing gallery that, even though I lived right across the street, for the longest time I would just walk right past it. Last week I noticed their doors were right open so I sauntered in and found myself in one of the most amazing exhibits I’ve had the privilege to witness. So many amazing works of paint/fabric celebrating the 99th anniversary of the death of Harriet Tubman. Originally planned to end in April, but finally being dismantled to make way for the next show. They also host community events for children and to encourage creativity in local artists. Don’t let this place pass you by!

Modern Cottage Company

This amazing furniture store just moved from it’s location next to the Webster to Broadway near Tully’s and offers hand-crafted items perfect for any Tacoma home. Originally on a city-funded Spaceworks grant, they moved to a cheaper location for the time being to continue serving the public, so don’t miss out on this place after they move to their new location and follow them on Facebook to find out their new name!

Tacoma’s Antique Row

If you haven’t lost at least three days exploring this place you haven’t seen it all… and it’s constantly changing! This veritable mall of antiques offers three huge floors of local artifacts. Within you’ll find several businesses including a cafe, an art studio, a tea room, a candy shop, a wine shop, vintage clothing stores and curiosities like a huge model battleship and an authentic Egyptian sarcophagus.

King’s Books

Last but not least, Tacoma’s impressive independently-owned bookstore was my first stop when I moved to the area. Not only do they sport an “almost a city block”-sized collection of new and used books, they are host to a variety of interesting community events including several book clubs which you can find listed on their website.