Monthly Archives: April 2011

Propane Has Arrived at Safeway

Propane for your barbecue has arrived at Hilltop Safeway, located at 1112 South M Street. It is conveniently located just outside the store. Safeway is open 7 days a week from 7 am to 11 pm. Their prices are $19.99 for an exchange and $54.99 for a new tank.

Hilltop Safeway has added Blue Rhino propane to its product lineup.

Propane is located at a few other locations around the Hilltop area.

U-Haul, located at Earnest S. Brazill and L has a pay-at-the-pump propane tank. They are open from 7 am to 7 pm Monday through Thursday, 7 am to 8 pm Friday, 7 am to 7 pm Saturday, and 9 am to 5 pm Sunday. Their price is $3.25 per gallon. They will help you refill your tank. You can contact them at (253) 627-6116.

7-Eleven, located at 1901 South Trafton Street, has AmeriGas propane outside the front of the store. Their prices are $21.99 for an exchange and $52.99 for a new tank. 7-Eleven is open 24 hours a day. Their phone number is (253) 404-1718.

AgriShop Tacoma Ace Hardware, located at 2012 South 12th Street, has propane in the fenced area behind the store. AgriShop is open weekdays from 8 am to 6 pm, Saturday from 9 am to 5 pm, and Sunday from 11 am to 4 pm. AgriShop is locally owned. Their prices are $22.99 for an exchange and $59.99 for a spare. You can reach them at (253) 272-9331.

If you have any questions for Hilltop Safeway, contact them at (253) 627-8840 or stop on in.


Corporate Bevrge Fail

Can I buy a vowel? Or two? Seems Safeway ran out when designing new signs.


Plots Available at Hilltop House Garden

Hilltop House Garden, a community garden at the corner of South 19th and Yakima, has plots available for this growing season.

Hilltop House Garden is a community garden on a privately owned hillside lot.

The garden overlooks much of Tacoma, including the University of Washington Tacoma campus, the port, and beyond. The property includes an orchard at the top and garden plots at the bottom. Gardeners gain access by entering through a gate in the alley below.

Access to the garden is through a gate at the bottom of the property.

Hilltop House Garden is administered through a collaboration between the Guadalupe Land Trust and St. Leo’s Food Connection. It has eleven plots. Gardners must be from Hilltop and agree to help care for the property, including the area around the plots and the orchard. Guadalupe Land Trust’s mission is to “acquire and preserve green spaces in our Hilltop Community. [They] believe [their] gardens will help connect neighbors to one another, nourish and sustain [Hilltop’s] ethnic diversity, and serve as an educational opportunity for [Hilltop’s] young and older community members while providing a place to grow nutritious food. Saint Leo’s Food Connection works to eliminate hunger by providing food to those in need in Tacoma and throughout Pierce County. Their mission states: “We believe that God, out of love, has created a world where there is enough food for everyone. We believe that because of this, everyone has a right to enough food.”

Other Hilltop-area community gardens include:

*Gallucci Learning Garden at the corner of South 14th and G.
*Neighbors Park Garden at South 8th and I.
*McCarver/Zina Linnick Community Garden adjacent to McCarver Elementary at 2111 South J Street.
*Leo’s Garden adjacent to St. Leo’s properties at South 14th and Yakima.
*La Grande Garden, close to Hilltop House Garden and also managed by Guadalupe Land Trust, at South 18th and G.

It’s just about time to begin planting seeds. Interested in tending a plot at Hilltop House Garden? Inquire at (253) 327-1710. For more information about community gardens in Tacoma, visit Tacoma-Pierce County’s Grow Local website. You can also visit the City of Tacoma website for additional community garden information and gardening workshop opportunities.

Street Sign Project: 11th & Market

My junior year of high school I sat alone in math toward the back of the room hoping my teacher, Mr. Herring, wouldn’t call on me. I felt so foolish in his class. All of the self-confidence I gained in English and journalism fell away in his room. But Mr. Herring never called on me. He must have known I sucked. I realize that some educators today might say he did me a great disservice by leaving me alone, but that’s not the way I see it at all. While other students asked questions and solved problems on the board, I sat dumbfoundedly pondering a sign on his wall. It was crudely handwritten on yellowed tag board and it read:

“You are the only you. . . You are the best you. You will always be the second best anyone else.” -Leo Buscaglia

To this day I remember that sign, perhaps more than any other I’ve ever seen.

Signs are everywhere. They are so pervasive that we subconsciously ignore most of them. That’s why I was so surprised that an installation of signs on the corner of 11th and Market stopped me dead in my tracks this weekend.

Street Sign Project's installation is at the corner of 11th and Market in Tacoma.

I have seen these handmade signs around town, but was never so touched as I was after parking and stepping out of my car to read this Street Sign Project collection. 

It says (and not necessarily in this order):

“Unplug Everything. Hocus Pocus. Give. Need. Working Overtime. Naked. Read. Question. Sell. Prepare. Brand New. Old. Smell the Roses. Relax. Look at the Sky. Plant. Cook. Think. Barter. Buy. Boring. Blue. Bodies. Thrive. We All Fall Down. Shiny. Bliss. Get Dirty. Going Out of Business. Hug. It Takes Money to Make Money. Sound. History. A Breath of Fresh Air. Empty. There Are No Winners. Walk in the Rain. Dance. Sexy. Want. Future. Eat Your Veggies. Build. Style. Make Noise. Slow Down. Take. Art.”

I could have stood there for hours amidst the hustle and bustle of Tacoma’s city life–reflecting, remembering, thinking about my future.

Street Sign Project is responsible for hundreds of handmade signs all over Tacoma.

According to Street Sign Project’s Facebook page, “it is a collective movement determined to empower individual freedom of speech by encouraging people to install handmade signs in public spaces.” From my perspective, it’s about more than that, though. It’s about art and creativity. It’s about infusing a little bit of personality into the cityscape. It’s about connecting with one another on a level we may not be able to articulate. That’s what art is–creating, infusing, connecting.

We look forward to finding more of these signs around town. Street Sign Project encourages everyone to create and display their own.

For more information about Street Sign Project, including its purpose and more photos, check out the group’s YouTube video and Facebook page.

Forsythia in the Rain

The forsythia, an early bloomer, waits out the weekend's deluge of rain.

Friday Night Lights

Friday night E-1 ventured up 11th Street to tend a call at Hilltop Safeway.

Blank Walls Are Wack

The blue and white garage on the corner of 11th and Sheridan attracts graffiti. Its message, however, is indisputable. Blank walls are wack. In an urban environment they invite mischief. Gang members, taggers, graffiti artists, and anarchists all love blank walls.

Vandals first made the statement, "Blank Walls Are Wack" in June 2010.

The garage at 1402 S. 11th Street is a graffiti magnet. It has been many things over the years, including a car wash, auto security store, used car lot, body shop, and mechanic. When it was an auto security store it was decorated with a colorful graffiti-style mural. When that business closed, garage owners covered the mural with white paint. Now it is a vacant place for the outspoken to color up.

In June 2010, “Blank Walls Are Wack” showed up on the Sheridan side of the garage. Other writing soon followed, including vulgar language and the monikers of local taggers. Toward the end of the summer, owners painted over the mess with a new coat of white.

Recently, the garage attracted the attention of of another vandal who wrote “Blank Walls Are Still Whack.” Shortly afterwards, the Surenos staked claim and anarchists added that “All Cops Are Bastards.”

Recently the wall was again hit by graffiti and left uncovered by garage owners.

This week, after months of being a neighborhood blight, owners of the garage once again covered the graffiti with a new coat of white paint. Neighbors were surprised, as it seemed the problem was going to last forever. The new white wall, no doubt, will again attract vandalism. It’s only a matter of when.

So how do we fix the graffiti problem? Vandals rarely tag murals and the City of Tacoma has a mural program designed to reduce graffiti through community-based art. Currently the Tacoma Murals Project is accepting applications from potential artists. The application deadline is April 25, 2011.

Selected artists will participate in 40 hours of classroom instruction spread over five sessions. They will also collaborate on a training mural in 2011 and have an opportunity to work on a community mural in 2012. This is a wonderful opportunity for budding wall artists.

Check out the City of Tacoma’s Murals Project Call to Artists for more information. Blank walls are wack. Let’s paint them for the art of it.

All over Tacoma, blank walls such as this one beg for murals.