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Thursday, December 28, 2006

Still Tacoma

posted by on December 28 at 14:21 PM

Early this morning, for the sake of impressing Jen Graves, I resolved to write at least one nice thing about Tacoma by the end of the day. I decided that this act of kindness would take the form of praise for its relatively new convention center, Tacoma Convention and Trade Center, which was designed by the Bellevue-based MulvannyG2 Architecture, a firm that’s receiving a lot of work from China.

I looked and looked at the building but failed to find anything about it that moved me. All that seems to be there, all that I could see, is a building trying too hard not to be Tacoma. It keeps saying (no, yelling) this: If you thought Tacoma was about old buildings and its faded history, then look at me—I’m a slick future of sensual steel and glass… But let me stop right there. I shouldn’t say something bad about Tacoma on the very day that I resolved to do the opposite.

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Mr. Backwards strikes again!

Posted by The Baron | December 28, 2006 2:55 PM

I don't think it's yelling about the future, I think it's yelling about the 90's... which really isn't worth yelling about at all.

So I guess I'm saying I agree.

Posted by Dougsf | December 28, 2006 3:02 PM

Is it me, or does it look a bit like a pair of electric clippers with a #2 guard on? I think a giant could neatly trim his sideburns with that building.

Charles, if you want to find the "good" in Tacoma, you have dive in, head first. I thought you were a man of the Proletariat? So ignore the buildings, and get with the PEOPLE. Go see Jerry Miller perform miracles on guitar at Coles Tavern (if it's recovered from the fire), Catch a game of pool with the one armed man at bob's Java Jive, or just saddle up to the bar at any of Tacoma's plethora of first-rate dives. If you by chance get to meet Melvin the Mailman, you are in for a treat.

I love Tacoma, but the leveling of Roselli's on 6th ave was a big big loss.

Posted by longball | December 28, 2006 3:10 PM

There are two things to laugh at here: One, the ridiculous design; two, the very idea that futuristic architecture can correct the backwardness of the area (clearly the architect’s intention). And Tacoma is backwards. Nothing about it is in the future.

Architecture, what are you thinking? Futuristic glass and steel shapes sheltering men in clothes suited for saw-mills and bowling alleys? We cant help ourselves: we must hold our bellies and laugh the big, big laugh.

Posted by Art | December 28, 2006 3:15 PM

I could have sworn you gave rave feedback on the Douglas-truth library barly a year ago.

Posted by k. | December 28, 2006 3:52 PM

I could have sworn you gave rave feedback on the Douglas-truth library barly a year ago.

Posted by k. | December 28, 2006 3:53 PM

I'll say something good about Tacoma: they built out a city owned fiber optic network years ago, something Seattle is still in the "process" stage with.

Basic cable for $27, and 8Mbps internet for $60! Who's backward now, bitches?

Posted by Some Jerk | December 28, 2006 7:08 PM

Tacoma is not plagued by the turgid compositions of Mr. Mudede.

Posted by Juliet Balcony | December 28, 2006 7:28 PM

Tacoma may be trying too hard but it's better than not trying at all. I was there for a weekend a month or so ago and stayed at the hotel right above this very building. It does stand out as "New and Not Like We Used To Be! :)" Charles is right.

Tacoma is the rare city whose center really does need some form of gentrification -- obviously not the Tacoma Mall kind. And while many may have aesthetic differences with the results, no one's complaining about it happening.

Tacoma does have the best West Coast Mexican food north of Southern California, though. (Sorry SF, but your mission burritos are bland.)

Now to make the city actually open on Sunday.. you know, one small step to entice people to actually come down and visit. Lots of things are popping up, and it's still a ghost town out there. Maybe there'll be a huge Grand Re-Opening sign over the entire city one day?

Posted by matthew fisher wilder | December 28, 2006 7:36 PM

Charles, you've clearly never been to the toilet there. That's the best part of the whole damn place.

Posted by JTroop | December 28, 2006 9:40 PM

That building looks (awfully) alot like the new Bob's Burger and Brew up here in Bellingham, only on a larger scale. I wonder if it's the same person?

Posted by Rachel in Bellingham | December 29, 2006 7:24 AM

Either way, I didn't see this building on that one episode of Cops in Pierce County, Washington -- you know, THAT one -- so this building obviously doesn't exist.

Posted by matthew fisher wilder | December 29, 2006 9:35 AM

Hey isn't that down the block from university of Washington Tacoma Campus. theres a kick ass Bar with live music there Sweeney or something.
It looks like the museum or concert hall.
Oh and just what in the hell is up in those 1920s buildings anyways down here. College classrooms, or secret hidden office for the Stranger.
Tacoma come on you can do it!

Posted by sputnik | December 29, 2006 3:28 PM

Tacoma's downtown IS getting gentrified. And it's mostly a good thing (whatever you think of the convention center) as long as it retains some of its distinct, old Northwest vibe -- something Seattle has, for better or worse, lost. It's nice that somewhere still has it.

Posted by marmot | January 1, 2007 7:50 PM

Yes, Tacoma is not a pristine city like Seattle is. Any moron that has the ability of sight can drive up or down I-5, take just about any exit to Tacoma or Seattle and notice huge a difference in quality of life, living conditions, ect.

The economy and average income in seattle and tacoma are very different. For example we have the military bases and you have nice places such as Microsoft, Amazon, Boeing and others. Tacoma is a blue-collar/army town. These types of things make cities different.

Not everyone has the income to live in a money sucking place like Seattle, there are always people who can not afford it.

Seattle is not the center of the world, Seattle is the jewel of the northwest, lucky for you Tacoma is a great point of reference so you can reinforce what a grand city Seattle is. But why keep bringing it up? it makes you look insecure. There are plenty of other "crappy" towns in this state but you always insult Tacoma just because Tacoma is in close proximity of Seattle and its the third largest city in Washington you always pick on Tacoma to prove that you are better? in doing so repetitively you make yourselves look like a city full of idiotic, condescending bastards.

Forget about Tacoma, Lets look at things with a broader perspective. On the world stage Seattle is a rather small and unimpressive city. Yes its true, whether you realize it or not.

Seattle is a place for people with higher incomes, Tacoma is not. Not every person in this world has a high income, most people do not. Dont you know anything about the world you live in?
Tacoma is a crappy town but someone has to live there. There are many shitty towns and people with lower income jobs in this country so just realize that, except it, suck on your lattes and shut the hell up!

Posted by juche | January 9, 2007 11:02 PM

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