Night in Tacoma: a review

By weeklyvolcano on February 16, 2007

I’m afraid tonight’s “Night on the Town” left me feeling cold.

It wasn’t the weather: while it was windy, the rain abated, and the climate was really downtown walking mild.

And while the crowds weren’t surging, I did find individuals I liked a lot at each of the places I visited; the hosts and hostesses were amenable (and yes, the wine was flowing), the art was all really noteworthy, and the vibe was T-Town warm.

All the makings were there for a perfect wine-wobble/art/community-appreciation night, despite the numbers being lower than I remember from October and December.

But I didn’t really get a chance to get into it.

Did I think anything was wrong with the event?

No, in typical Hungarian daughter fashion, I blame myself.  I tried to pack too much into one hour.

Think of it.  One hour.  Not at all enough time to wander from one place to the next, sampling wine, chatting, and appreciating art.

But one hour was all I had, since I wanted desperately to make my voice heard at Coffee and Rhetoric.  So I sprinted.

My starting gate was the Met Vet, where I was greeted by a super cool art car and the smiling and wonderful faces of Dr. Natalie and Julia as well as the wonderful “take me home” kitties in the reception area. The art, by Kelly Lyles, is whimsical and fun, and was the perfect start for my evening. 

Driving by Two Vaults Gallery and Kuture Lab, I saw signs of life and happy art viewing; I drove on, for I had many destinations to go and 43 minutes left.

I peeked in at Embellish, where I was treated to a heavenly hand-spa (dang, those products are cool!), beautiful “Faces,” by Cara Jennings, and music that made me want to sit and stay, especially with the concept Jana Losey posed, an alternative to TV called “Art Warriors.”  And stay I did, for a moment, but I was getting nearer to 7 p.m.

So I drove on.

Parking near the former David’s on Broadway, I sprinted as far as Moroccan Interiors and enjoyed the ambience of the brand-newly opened store.  Despite issues with their POS system, the show went on, in an opulent fashion.  I was offered wine, and nearly cried as I refused it; on I raced.

Into Sanford and Sons Shops I veered, past the former-Mecca dumpsters. The shop spaces are all inhabited and the midlevel feels alive and thriving and I was giddy with the vitality of it all.  Did I stay for multiple sips of wine?  No, sweatily, I had to bid my adieu of the nattily dressed Alan Gorsuch, preparing to read from his book, and the rest of my favorite shop-keeping friends, despite loving the cynical Valentine art set up on the auction-room “gallery.”

I raced on, late, past Rampart, where I desperately yearned to go see and learn and be with the cool kids I’ve heard about and don’t yet know.

But that was not for me.  I arrived, panting, at my car, and made it into the Coffee and Rhetoric Art-straveganza 15 minutes late.

I learned about the Tacoma Party-Art community, and I shared in conversation as to why Tacoma is The Coolest, and how we can make it even cooler.

From that, I learned, “be involved.”

From it, as well, I learned, “It’ s hard to be involved in all of it.”

And that was a liberating concept.

Past that, upon consideration, how cool is it, that we have, within our confines, a vital arts + community event that can’t be experienced in an hour?

Tres cool, I would have to answer. â€" Jessica Corey-Butler