Tag Archives: Parks

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.

Sponsoring the Frost Park Chalk-Off

Yesterday we had the opportunity to sponsor the Frost Park Chalk-Off. We had a blast meeting chalk-off creator, Kevin Freitas, and all the contestants.

As a prize we offered a 2003 hand-blown glass bowl by Hilltop Artists and a gift certificate to one of Hilltop’s favorite restaurants, Fish House. The Hilltop-themed artwork was amazing.

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We look forward to sponsoring another Frost Park Chalk-Off next year. We feel very fortunate to have been involved in such a well-known community event.

Vintage Hilltop Graffiti

This weathered "Hilltop" graffiti is hidden in Ferry Park's toddler play area.

Monkeyshines Upon Us

Tonight with rested feet and rejuevenated spirits, we again took to the streets of Tacoma seeking Monkeyshines Year of the Rabbit goodies. This time we decided to visit parks we had not yet scoured. At dusk we came upon Tacoma’s nicely-groomed Lincoln-Eldridge Park.

Do you know how many trees are in Lincoln-Eldridge Park? It didn’t seem like so many until we walked to the base of each to look up and down and all around. We almost got dizzy walking circles around each tree, peeking into knots and hiding places around the trunks. After much searching, we walked along the S. 37th Street edge of the park. Close to the sidewalk and sitting atop a rock wall, a shiny Year of the Rabbit medallion smiled upon us.

The Monkeyshines Year of the Rabbit medallion sat atop a rock wall.

We had hoped to find one of the Monkeyshines treasures on Hilltop, but are as happy as can be with the prize we found just off the hill. It took many sites and steps to find.

Welcome Year of the Rabbit

We awoke early this morning to hunt around Hilltop for Monkeyshines’ colorful Year of the Rabbit orbs. We canvassed Martin Luther King Jr. Way, People’s Park, Wright Park, Ferry Park, Sheridan Park, and the area around Tacoma Power’s Hilltop Substation. No luck. We didn’t see any rabbits.

Later in the morning, we walked the streets of Downtown Tacoma and various parks, including Frost Park, Fireman’s Park, and War Memorial Park. Still no sign of the orbs.

Then, as afternoon approached, we searched Jack Hyde Park, Jefferson Park, Point Defiance’s rose garden, pagoda shrine area, and the rhodedendron garden.

Along the way, we found two crack pipes and a heroin spoon. We also found something fun in Hilltop’s Sheridan Park.

One of the park tables has a black and white built-in tile chessboard. Seeing it reminded me of Disney Pixar’s short film Geri’s Game, the story of an old man who plays chess in a park against the most difficult opponent–himself.

Not a chess fan? Enjoy the table anyway. The park is somewhat secluded with its deciduous trees and is a beautiful little place to have a picnic.

Hilltop's Sheridan Park has a fun little table with a built-in chess board.

Are we going to find any of the Monkeyshines orbs this year? I don’t know. We’ve read other’s accounts of the search. Some people found orbs in the same places we looked. With sore feet, we’ll retire our search for now. Meanwhile, we are hoping. . . and eating our carrots.