Washington


Captain Bob’s Chowder

Long Beach, Washington

 

Chowder BannerAfter exploring Washington’s Long Beach Peninsula it was mid-afternoon and I waited something to eat but not an big lunch. Bob’s always up for a bowl of clam chowder. A check with Yelp showed positive reviews for Captain Bob’s Chowder in Long Beach; exactly the kind of place I wanted. Captain Bob behind the counter, four high top tables and knowledge of how to prepare seafood.

 

Bob went for a bowl of the chowder which he graded as a B+; he’s a tough grader, I don’t know whose chowder he’d grade as an A. He reports the chowder was full of clams and served with a bag of oyster crackers and a bread stick.

 

Crab RollI wasn’t in the mood for soup so ordered a crab roll – a fresh toasted roll with a crisp leaf of romaine and a generous serving of crab. This earned an A+. I will think about this crab roll for a long, long time. It was perfect. When I commented on the roll Captain Bob said his wife makes them. He toasts the roll in a skillet immediately before serving. Our tab including soft drinks was under $20.

 

Captain BobWe were the only customers at that point in the afternoon and enjoyed visiting with Captain Bob while we chowed down. He told us that he has two chowders/soups every day. Always clam chowder and the other varies – corn, salmon, scallop – a big seller. He even does a corn beef and cabbage for St. Patrick’s Day. The daily offerings can be found on their Facebook page. He reports that lobster chowder is very popular but lobster rolls aren’t, surprising because how popular lobster rolls are on the East Coast. Fish and chips are on the menu but not our choice today.

 

Don’t know when I’ll be back on the Long Beach Peninsula but know I’ll look for Captain Bob’s when I return. Meanwhile, I’ll dream of the crab roll.

 

Captain Bob Fisherman

Tuesday in Tacoma

Forget It

Day 20 and it’s time for a Travel Rant

 

Thinking of going to Tacoma and it’s a Tuesday, save yourself frustration and forget about it. Tacoma closes on Tuesday. Major attractions lock the doors and disappear. One has to wonder who is the mastermind that decided everyone should close on the same day. How does that benefit anyone?

 

The Museum of Glass – Closed on Tuesday

However, the Store is open to part you with your money

Washington State History Museum – Closed on Tuesday

 

Tacoma Art Museum – Closed on Tuesday

Don’t consider going north to the Seattle Art Museum – Closed Mon. & Tuesday

 

 Fort Nisqually Living History Museum – Closed on Tuesday

 

Tacoma History Museum – Closed on Tuesday

 

On previous trips to Tacoma we’ve visited four of the five museums and would love to revisit each of them. These sites offer quality experiences – just, NOT on Tuesday. It’s not like this is a single staff or even one association running the five facilities; it’s beyond my comprehension why anyone wants to see all these attractions closed on the same day.

 

The only power the traveler has is to take their tourism dollar and leave town. Exactly what we did.

Charmed by Chihuly

September 28, 2014

 

Sealife Tower

 

Today was the day to fulfill a primary purpose of the entire trip – to experience the Chihuly Garden and Glass Exhibition in Seattle. We were not disappointed, even better than anticipated.  Many elements of the site deserve more time and space than I have energy for tonight. Therefore just a few photos to provide an overview. Hopefully there will be a time when I share more from an outstanding day.

 

Bob's Starfish

 

My new favorite Chihuly installation is the Sealife Tower. Golden glass sea forms float in the massive blue tower. Stunning. The longer I circled and observed the more enchanted I became.

 

Bob's Snail

 

Eight indoor galleries present the wide variety of Chihuly’s creations. Glass Forest, Norhtwest Room, Sealife Room, Persian Ceilng, Mille Fiori, Ikebana and Float Boat, Chandeliers, Macchia Forest – none should be missed.

 

Glass House with Northwest Sun

 

A number of glass conservatories around the world have hosted temporary Chihuly exhibitions. For Seattle’s Garden and Glass he designed his own glasshouse. A 100-foot long suspended glass sculpture stretches across the top of the 40-foot tall room.

 

Glass House Installation

 

 The 605-foot Space Needle looks down on the outdoor garden installations. At the right time of day reflections of the Needle appear in many of the glass orbs in fascinating juxtapositions.

 

Space Needle Reflection

 

After viewing just a few amateur photographs I hope you agree that the Chihuly Garden and Class is well worth a trip to Seattle.

Back to the USA

Saturday – September 27, 2014

Welcome Sign

 

Depending on your view, the good news – or bad news –  is that they let us back into the country. After an 80 minute wait at the Peace Arch Crossing at White Rock, BC/Blaine, WA we were once again on our way.

 

There was plenty of time for a little ironic political thinking of the roadblocks for citizens to be admitted when our borders are open sieves for illegal entries and terrorists because we wouldn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. Yet the tax paying, legal, upright citizen is given the third degree. Why doesn’t someone call that profiling?

 

We spent the afternoon and evening visiting with Bob’s cousin Walt and his wife Ann, a delight to see them again after many years. We enjoyed lunch in their home and an outstanding dinner at Oyster Bar Restaurant south of Bellingham. The drive south on the old road right along the water was marvelous – narrow and winding but very scenic.

 

Dinner is worthy of an entire story. For now, let’s just say the best meal with the best view and company we’ve had on the entire trip.

Tacoma’s Museum District

Three in One Triangle

Museum of Glass The east end of the Chihuly Bridge of Glass deposits us on the rooftop plaza of the Museum of Glass. Several temporary outdoor exhibits join the permanent Water Forest by Howard Ben Tré along the terraces and reflecting pools. On clear days – yes, you can experience a bright, blue sunny day in Tacoma – Mt. Rainier rises over the city in glaciated splendor.

Clad in stainless steel, a distinctive 90-foot tilted cone symbolizes the city’s transformation from industrial to cultural center. Architects took inspiration from the wood burners found at sawmills when the regional economy prospered from lumbering. A grand staircase wraps down the cone to the museum entrance.

The cone houses the core of the museum’s commitment to glass – The Hot Shop Amphitheater. Tiered seating accommodates 200 visitors while teams of artists experiment, demonstrate and create with molten glass in this arena for art. Cameras transmit live video to large screens providing up-close viewing of the process while a narrator explains terminology, materials and techniques, and answers questions from the entranced audiencHot Shop Audiencee. Not in Tacoma? Watch the Hot Shop in operation live via web streaming.

When entering the working studio we note the heat and roar of gas furnaces where batch glass is melted to temperatures over 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. A team member gathers molten glass on the end of a blowpipe. With the first breath of air we see the magical beginnings of an art form dating from the time of Christ. As the objects are shaped and blown they require reheating in the glory hole to keep the piece malleable. Other team members prepare colors and additional molten materials. The artist keeps the pipe in perpetual Artist in Hot Shopturns using and resisting the powers of gravity and centrifugal force.

The narrator tells us that the artists we’re seeing come from Rhode Island, the Midwest and California, each with 8-10 years of experience. Some observers stay for 15 minutes while others spend hours watching the intricate choreography and teamwork as a fine glass sculpture evolves. Differing perspectives and viewing angles intrigue as we circle the Hot Shop on the elevated walkway – stopping often to observe the action below.

The museum dedicates exhibition space to contemporary art in all medias. In the Education Studio guest artists lead visitors in interactive, experience-based learning activities. Daily docent-led tours focus on either the current gallery exhibit or the architectural structure and outdoor installations.

We pause our museum tour for a restful lunch in Gallucci’s Glass Café overlooking the water. Before leaving we make sure to browse the Museum Store where we find glass art made in the Hot Shop as well as pieces from an array of contemporary artists, a broad selection of books, jewelry and gift items.

Tacoma Union Station The west end of the Chihuly Bridge of Glass leads to additional cultural attractions and city center. The Washington State History Museum relates man’s encounters and influences through multi-media presentations. No dusty shelves of relics here. From early Native Americans and sea explorers to the aviation industry the story of the Pacific Northwest unfolds. We return twice during our stay to this innovative facility to tour the quality permanent and temporary exhibits.

The Tacoma Art Museum completes the museum triangle. Collections include European Impressionism, Japanese woodblock prints, American graphic art and Northwest Art. Not surprisingly, the museum holds a large public collection of Chihuly Glass representing major series of his works from 1977 to present.

Union Station Window An added bonus to the museum triangle is the former Union Station now serving as a Federal Courthouse. The restored Romanesque building features a six-story rotunda – a perfect gallery for Chihuly artwork. A 1,000-piece chandelier hangs under the central dome and a massive arched window is adorned with 27 monumental sized glass creations Chihuly named the Monarch Window.

I used to considered Tacoma the half-sister to Seattle but after spending several days and exploring the museum triangle we found her a worthy sibling rival.

When You Go: The Tacoma Regional Convention and Visitor Bureau is a helpful resource in planning your Tacoma and surrounding Pierce County visit.

Related Blog – Bridging Tacoma in Glass

Bridging Tacoma in Glass

Ceiling Panel DayA - Blog Light streams through thousands of handcrafted glass objects resembling purple sea urchins, red reeds, and ruffled clamshells. We stand beneath a 50-foot ceiling along a portion of the pedestrian Chihuly Bridge of Glass which spans Interstate 705 in Tacoma, Washington. The longer we observe the art forms inspired by the sea the more details surface to our appreciative eyes.

The unique bridge and public art showcase features the creations of world-renown glass artist Dale Chihuly, a Tacoma native son. More than 200 museums hold collections of Chihuly pieces. Here, three distinctive installations reflect the creative leaps Chihuly hasBridge at DuskA - Blog introduced to glass art and sculpture.

Dedicated in July, 2002, the 500-foot-long bridge links downtown Tacoma with the Thea Foss Waterway and the Museum of Glass. Below the structure, railroad tracks and the interstate spur run into the city.

Those walking across the span encounter the glass ceiling of the Seaform Pavilion, two ice blue CryCeiling Panel at NightA - Blogstal Towers jutting skyward, and the Venetian Wall displaying 109 Chihuly sculptures. With traffic zipping underfoot visitors pause to view and photograph.  Someone points to a buttery yellow form almost three-feet in diameter and comments on the undulating rim. Soon, complete strangers join in a show-and-tell of favorite colors, shapes and overlays.

Ceiling at NightA - Blog

                                                                                                                                                            

          Ardent admirers assume a prone position on the walkway, gazing upward. The flow of glass and color seems to pulsate – reminiscent of a gentle tide on a sandy beach. A slightly different angle produces an iridescence similar to an abalone’s inner shell. The ceiling incorporates 2,364 individual glass pieces.

Each of the glacial blue Crystal Towers standing 40 feet above the bridge deck are made of 63 large hollow Polyvitro crystals, not glass. Chihuly comments, “As with glass, it is really light that makes the Polyvitro crystals come alive."

The 80-foot long Venetian Wall showcases a colorful array of creations from three Chihuly series;

  • Venetians – inspired by Venetian Art Deco glass 
  • Ikebana – in the spirit of traditional Japanese floral arrangements
  • Putti – popular 16th & 17th century European art figures representing Cupid – the Roman god of love. Chihuly places his unique Putti atop classical vases.

Wall of Works DayA - Blog Wall of Works NightA - Blog

As fascinating as the pieces are in natural daylight they become ever more dramatic under fiber-optic illumination at night. After dark illuminated colors intensify in contrast to night skies and pieces glow from reflecting headlights. Day or night strolling the Chihuly Bridge of Glass is the most artful way you’ve crossed an Interstate highway.

When You Go: The Chihuly Bridge of Glass is open 24 hours a day. A spectacular free display of original art in public places.

Chihuly Bridge of Glass - Tacoma, Washington
Chihuly Bridge of Glass – Tacoma, Washington

Blue Ice DayA - Blog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Related Post – Tacoma’s Museum District

Cherished Carousel Begins a 2nd Century

Carousel 1 Spokane’s beautifully preserved Looff Carousel begins a second century of delighting children and adults. Built in 1909 and considered to be the last operating carousel created by Charles Looff  the hand-carved wooden carousel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This Spokane treasure is frequently listed as one of the top five carousels in the country and has one of the highest number of riders each year.Carousel - Jaz

Aligned three abreast, 54 horses prance around the wooden platform. All are jumpers, carved in a running position, and move up and down with the rotation of the carousel. This is the only one made by Looff on which all of the horses are jumpers. A giraffe, one tiger and two dragon chariots complete the carousel.

Spokane’s Looff debuted July 1909 in Natatorium Park, operating there until 1967 when the park closed. It was brought out of storage after Spokane’s Expo ‘74 and reassembled in the world’s fair Bavarian Garden building.

Caousel Building

We don’t consider a trip to Spokane complete without a few turns on the historic carousel in Riverfront Park. On sunny summer days, during chilly spring rains or snowy Christmas holidays there’s something magically and rejuvenating about climbing atop a bejeweled jumper, the ringing of the starting bell and music from the band organ. We gallop along at a brisk 7-mph pace with the outside riders Carousel  - Jaz and Nancy stretching out with each rotation in hopes of grabbing the golden ring. Those who succeed receive a free ride. Awaiting our turn we careful scrutinize the passing array of horses. Do we want to mount a red sorrel, dapple gray or strawberry pinto? Each horse is individually painted and adorned in colorful “trappings”, tails are made from real horse hair and color coordinated.

More than a quarter of a million riders experience the Spokane Looff carousel each year. My first ride on this treasure was in 1983; I hope to never loss my enthusiasm for a spin.

Carousel Top Sculpture The Art of the Carousel

In celebration of the Looff carousel anniversary an exhibition of artifacts and artwork is showcased at the Chase Gallery in Spokane’s City Hall. The Art of the Carousel, on display until February 28, 2010, features antique horses and figures, horses under construction, original artworks and historical details. Chase Gallery is open Monday through Friday from 8am to 5 pm.

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