Published on June 9th, 2015 | by Katy Evans


Humble altars everywhere

So far, 2015 has been moving just a little too fast, stirring up just a little more stress, bringing just a little more change than I anticipated.

In times like this my base tendency is to bitch because bitching is easy; it releases a cosmetic level of stress, it occasionally garners sympathy. But although bitching may be temporarily cathartic, I think most of us can agree that running off at the mouth tends to not encourage change or solutions.

So what does? How do I find some real calm, some real relief? Where in this beloved town of ours can I seek out and relish some moments of zen?

When I force myself to a higher standard (rather than defeatist complaining), I find humble altars everywhere in Tacoma.

Our town is filled with secret and not so secret places where I can reliably make the mundane sacred; where I can, dare I say, transcendentally shake off the stress. (Which basically means I compiled a list of things I like to eat and look at.)

Here are 20 places I go or things I do in Tacoma to feel less stressed; to shake off a pervasive headache; to reset;  really, to just try to be a better, kinder, more considerate person:

1. Walk along the trails at Titlow Lagoon, Point Defiance, or any of our local gulches.

2. Wander the Tacoma Art Museum’s new Haub Family Collection and stop transfixed before the snow-and-donkey-filled painting that fills me inexplicably with affection and delight.

Clark Hulings, Woodbearers of Chimayo, 1954

Clark Hulings, Woodbearers of Chimayo, 1954

3. Dig into a stack of pupusas (I go vegetarian with calabaza, loroco, espinaca con queso) at El Pulgarcito.

4. Hunt orchids in the Seymour Conservatory in Wright Park.

5. Wander the fascinating and extensive selection of noodles, beer, fungus, and vegetables at South Tacoma’s Pal-Do World Market.

7. Headbang to the wild thrill that is Lozen.

Lozen by Kali Raisl

6. Overcome insecurity and embrace difference (while naked with other ladies) at the Olympus Day Spa.

9. Cry while Grace Sullivan sings or smile while Will Jordan sings.

8. Spot a whale or otter or seal or duckling along Ruston Way.

10. Cheer for a ferociously-delivered cadence performed by the Lincoln High School Abes drumline.

11. Savor a particularly well-crafted soy latte courtesy of Valhalla Coffee.

12. Track the progression of neighborhood crocuses or daffodils or tulips or roses or rhododendrons or ferns or quince as they bud, blossom, and expire.


Just a few of the great #TacomaWalks instagram photos

13. Hear the strains of an aspiring and good opera singer or marimba player or violinist when walking under the eaves of the University of Puget Sound music building.

14. Meander through local history at the South Tacoma Antique Mall or Sanford & Sons or the Tacoma Antique Center in Fife or the Pacific Run Antique Mall.

15. Watch a challenging foreign movie alone at the Grand Cinema.

16. Read a King’s Books or Destiny City Comics purchase midday while drinking a refreshing brew at Doyle’s Public House or Pint Defiance.

17. Meet friendly dogs at McKinley Park, much of which is off-leash for our canine companions.

18. Drop by Hilltop’s local nonprofits 2nd Cycle or Fabitat to see kids and neighbors learning together.

A sample of artwork from FAB 5 participants in the Fabitat programs.

A sample of artwork from FAB 5 participants in the Fabitat programs.

19. Share a massive serving of Tacoma Szechuan‘s hand-shaved yakisoba noodles with a friend.

20. Walk everywhere. No really, take a five mile walk around the city and see what you can find.


What about you?

Where and how do you find your Tacoma zen?


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About the Author

Founder and Co-Managing Editor at Post Defiance, Katy writes and fundraises for Tacoma. Follow her @katynicoud.

One Response to Humble altars everywhere

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