Pothole Patrol

A City of Tacoma crew fills potholes around Hilltop today. Our tires are thankful.

Live Laugh Love

The graffiti on Tacoma Power's Hilltop Substation is inspiring advice for a new year.

A few months ago we spotted some graffiti on the side of a building at Tacoma Power’s Hilltop Substation. Like other graffiti around the area, we figured it would be covered within a matter of days. That hasn’t been the case, though. It lasted through the holidays and into this new year.

The graffiti reads, “Live Laugh Love.” We like it. It reminds us of some of the Street Sign Project art and graffiti that has shown up all over downtown, positive and fun to read. Some graffiti isn’t so bad after all.

Good Fortune in the Year of the Dragon

Last night we began our Year of the Dragon in a hurry, having heard news that Beautiful Angle’s posters celebrating the Chinese New Year had been spotted. We quickly grabbed pliers and drove to our favorite place to find them at the corner of Sixth and Cedar. We were so excited to get one of the few that were left. It’s our third Beautiful Angle poster and we hope to get many more.

Beautiful Angle's dragon story tells of the arrival of a seven-headed dragon.

We went to bed with high hopes for the morning and set our alarms for before the crack of dawn. Overnight I dreamt we were searching for Monkeyshines and found a planter on Hilltop overflowing with colorful orbs and medallions.

This morning we left the house at 4:45. Wearing rainboots, the only kind of boots we own, we tromped up and down the icy streets of Hilltop with our flashlights. We searched MLK Way from People’s Park to Quickie Too. Finding nothing, we then walked a few blocks up and down both 11th and 12th Streets.

With no success we decided to leave Hilltop, hopped in the car, and drove down Yakima to Lincoln-Eldridge Park. We combed the area where we had found our medallion last year, but found only oddly placed boxes of bananas, green beans, and peas that looked like they’d escaped their fate at the fruit stand.

Green beans frozen by winter's chill seek refuge from tummies in Lincoln-Eldridge Park.

On our way back to the car, another family of Monkeyshine searchers arrived. Not two minutes after they entered the park, we heard a little boy yell, “Dad, I found one!” We felt waves of defeat. Once we got to where they were searching for another, they happily showed us their prize. The little boy’s eyes sparkled as he proudly told us that he’d found the bright yellow orb.

It was time to go home. With frozen toes we stopped at McCarver Park, Ferry Park, People’s Park, and Neighbors Park on our way to get ready for the day. I went to work and Kevin, our photographer, took the kids to school. On his way home he stopped in the Dome District to take one last look. From there he sent me three text messages:

Busted my ass on an icy hill.

Guess I fell into dog poop. It’s all over my jeans. Yuck.

I was walking with a frown and then I looked up and BOOM there it was! My heart stopped and I ran over and picked it up. I’m so happy.

Our dragon Monkeyshine was beneath a little bridge at the Tacoma Dome Station.

In our family we have two tigers, a horse, and a rooster. We are also expecting a little dragon later this year. In the last 24 hours we’ve had great fortune and there’s more to go around if you look for it. Happy Year of the Dragon to you and yours.

Hilltop’s First Snowmen of 2012

The joy a snowman (or lady) can bring is so fleeting. It only lasts as long as the cold and around here, that isn’t very long. Yesterday we saw neighbors all over the hill creating new snowpeople. Here are the ones we were able to capture.

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If you have a picture of a Hilltop snowman in your neck of the hood, send it to us at hilltoptacoma@yahoo.com and we’ll add it to our slideshow.

Happy snow days!

Winter’s Gifts

Yesterday morning we made our daily trek to Northeast Tacoma to visit family. Along the way we saw the progression of a beautiful January sunrise. It reminded us of why we love living here in Tacoma: We get to be a part of a wonderfully artsy city, plus seeing the grandeur of the Puget Sound’s water, mountains, and more, is just a short drive away from the city skyline.

The beginning of a new year always brings hope and little blessings. Little by little as the days get longer, these winter sunrises seem to brighten even the dullest of gray days. They are little gifts that come with the rain.

Deep purples and pinks brighten Hilltop at the corner of 19th and J Streets.

The sun rises with yellows and pinks over Mt. Rainier and the Puyallup River.

*These photos are not edited. Only Mother Nature could paint skies so beautifully.

Christmastime at Fire Station #4

Bright lights and hues of red adorn Fire Station #4 this holiday season.

Kill Yourself

Tagger Meta4 offers words of advice on the eastbound Highway 16 off-ramp at Sprague.