Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Shoes Shoes Shoes

How I get from shoes to Midcentury Modern to downtown parking and Urban Design........(vodka is involved)
Mark and I have an obsession with shoes. Why? I'm not sure. We pretended to be middle class and we went to TGIFriday's and The Mall looking for bona fide tennis shoes for Mark because he is teaching John to play tennis.

TGIF's is decorated in a 1970s era flea market junk on the walls motif....flip through some old Better Homes and Gardens and look for the Faux-Funky Granola decorating of the faux-hip of America's Decade of Last Gasp.

We had a waiter at TGIF's who had a Sleeve Tattoo!!!!!! wwweeeeeeeee!! Yes, the Tattooed Ones are getting jobs in the most uptight places now....Way To Go youngsters!

(as a side note.....since my tat is on display because it's Summer....I'm getting tons of compliments. It's Sailor Jerry so it's a beaut, and the artist was Adam Craven of Electric Rose in Oly. I went there because my youngest daughter Annie, the mother of Ruby, told me he was fab, since that's where Annie got a tattoo.) My next one will be done by the wonderment that is Polly...Dreamer's Chant....coming soon to an upper arm near you!!



Back to our adventure in Middle Class world....The reason we had to have a drink and a snack before going to The Mall......is because it takes alcohol for us to brave The Mall..

Tho Tacoma's mall is a delight for its Mid Century Design !!!!!
It's a dreadful depressing place full of failed American dreams of commerce and excitement. It's everything Mark and I despise about America. We wish we could have gone to the Cascade Room at the Bon Marche.....alas, there is no more cocktail lounges in the malls of Tacoma..... back in the good old days, they understood, Americans needed a drink to shop the mall. There were trying to mimic Downtown. A bar or 2 on every block. From the links just above: Jason said: ...Tacoma's "Cascade Room" with outdoor dining courtyard with more lights-in-rocks and a George Tsutakawa fountain. I'll miss them all dearly...

The Mall, built in 1964, ruined downtown. Then of course, downtown turned into a sleazy war zone. But those days are over because the city and the state has encouraged development downtown. Huzzzah !
For years I tried to move downtown.....every time I saw a space that was affordable (ie..the same rent as a comparable 3 bedroom house)..the landlord went all Straight Laced about people breaking zoning laws!!! yes, it was and is still quite illegal to live downtown unless you pay a lot of money or are willing to get Official Approval.

Since I'm not willing to lie to my landlord....it is Where I live after all.....I went for years without living downtown.....'course I live in the outskirts of dt now....I'm pretty darn happy.
Now if we could just get "affordable" housing downtown.....and we can, but developers don't want to be caught dead doing anything that remotely resembles socialism...they didn't spend all those thousands to get their MBA's for nuttin'!!

If they wanted to do social work after getting a Higher Education, they'd have gone to Evergreen.....

As we approached the back door of the Macy's/Mall entrance we walked over to the fenced in area where the patio of the restaurant used to be, a fellow walked out. Mark asked him what the restaurant is now.....Fellow replied: worker's lunchroom and storage. You haven't been here in a decade I take it! That place closed down a long time ago.
Oh dear! yes, we knew that, I type, as I sneak a peek at my vintage front-strike Bon Marche matches that list all their restaurants in the stores in Washington.
Poke your head in the fenced in area sometime and check out the fountain, and the sweet little slice of paradise that was.

This is what drives me to dislike many of the changes in Tacoma. But I do like living downtown, so welcome condo dwellers! And welcome, cafes, bars and restaurants, oh, and shopping establishments, and arts and entertainment.

Which brings me to my other rant for the day......I got a parking ticket for parking in front of my shop on Broadway. Some days I have to drive since I have to bring fresh merchandise in. But we can only park for an hour !!! In the middle of the day !!!!
Yes ! That made sense when there were 3 places to shop on Antique Row. But now there is so much to do that one cannot do it all in One Frigging Hour !!
My bitch is that : First they invite you downtown, then they make you leave!!! Any wonder that so many businesses don't do well.....unless alcohol is involved?!?!

If you work downtown and only need to bring an iPod, a bottle of Dasani and a box of breath mints, for the love of the Baby Jesus, take public transportation!!
Because workers drive into downtown for no good reason, the city has punished all drivers by limiting us to a measly one HOUR ! Some of us have real lives that require real work, real physical labor, such as involved in running a retail shop.....
Shoppers mostly need their car to pack it full of stuff they buy from the few, tho rapidly expanding, merchants downtown......
It's definitely time for the city get smart about this. I understand they want to force everyone into public trans, and that's good ! BUT, not everything that goes on downtown now is about working in a tall building. It was , for a long time, especially since The Mall ruined downtown Tacoma. But times change. They've changed again. It's time for the city to stop punishing shoppers, but maintain their enforcement of office workers who park on the street, or chain park.
This is my argument I'll be making in Muni Court on November 14, 2008, at 9 am. TGIF !!!!!

1 comment:

fuzzylizzie said...

Oh man, I feel your pain, and I'm way on the other side of the country from you in Asheville, NC.

The Mall killed downtown Asheville and it stayed dead for 35 years. The only businesses were pawn shops, thrift stores and discounters. But there were also people - the elderly in subsidised housing (2 grand old hotels converted into low rent apartments) and the severely down-and-out. But now, people have re-discovered urban life and not only are old apartments being converted into condos, but now we are covered up in new construction. Unfortunately, 2 of the projects block some of the best views of historic landmarks, and a city of one skyscraper will now have about 6.

And the tenants of one very low rent hotel were recently evicted when the building sold to a developer. These were people just one step above homelessness!

All this comes at a very high price. The average price of a downtown condo is over $1,000,000, but you can get one bedroom for about $800,000. And the latest figures show that of all the buyers, only about 15% are actually living in the Asheville area. These are urban vacation homes!

And while there are dozens of great shops and restaurants and bars, parking is such an unfriendly nightmare that people are reluctant to even attempt it. So the bottom line is that our city is starting to exist for those who visit, not for those who actually live here.

Good luck in court. May justice prevail! Lizzie