Saturday, August 25, 2012

Pacific Northwest Trip Summer 2010 Day 8 Monday August 2

This is the eighth of a series of posts dealing my seventh trip to Seattle as an adult and second of two trips that year. I’ve made minor corrections to these reports. Also, I’ve added additional thoughts with the hindsight of two years later or to add further clarification.  If there was a morning edition for this day, it’s gone missing. But the evening version was found.

I took a fairly early transit bus (1 hour sooner than planned), lucking into a front seat to Commerce Transit Center in Tacoma, which turned out to be a very good thing as we'll go into in a moment.  From there I took a Piece County bus to a south end stop on S Pacific.  The bus actually dropped me off right at my first stop, a pawn shop called Topkick, which was actually already open even though it was not long after 9 am.

[NOW: The first bus was a 590s series, Sound Transit. I think the Pierce bus was 1.]

On the flip side the *buildings* were missing for the next few places, all in the same area (all pawnshops): Pawnbrokers, Northwest, AAA, Panders, Old Sarge).  Continuing north I ate breakfast at a Subway, then Disc Connection was closed down but at least I found where it used to be.  I visited E-Z Pawn and Pawn X-Change but didn't buy anything, and Uncle Sam Pawnbrokers was closed on Mondays; Uncle Sam doesn't want *you* to visit on a Monday. I passed by Spooner St, a bit afraid to think of what goes on in that street, then Fred Myers had memory cards I wanted but at outdated prices (they’ve come down a lot most other places).

I took a bus from S Pacific to S Tacoma Way, where I visited another Pawn Exchange.  Heading south, right at the north end of Lakewood, Rincon Music and Affordable Electronics was still present in an interesting shopping place called B&I.  Quite the place, and most stores are only minimally separated from one another.  A security guard helped me find Affordable Electronics.; I've have loved to have taken pics but I didn't think security would be okay with pics of the shopping place

[NOW: The bus above was also Pierce Transit.]

Heading south some more, Smart was replaced by an empty lot at that address, which serves as an open market of sorts, but the people in this open air market apparently hang out with Uncle Sam on Mondays and the lot was empty. Sm, a book store was Korean I think and I could locate any books.  Pal Do and Gawison were gone and Sharon sold only Korean books.

I took a bus to Tacoma Mall (thus back in Tacoma) where I visited fye, and, in the outskirts of the mall, Office Max (got memory cards), Half Price Books (got 1 each: cult, documentary, and foreign films), Atomic Comics, and orders.

[NOW: The bus above was also Pierce Transit.]

I took a bus downtown where I ate lunch at another Subway.  Heading north I visited King Books (the cat was too content sleeping for me top pet; forgot to mention yesterday that Ophelia's had two cats but they were eating at the time).  I then visited Stadium Video.  Buy address it's on N Tacoma but physically it's on Broadway on the other side.

[NOW: The bus above was also Pierce Transit. Stadium Video is now gone.] 

Heading south I visited Buzzard's where I could 2 more DVDs.  I then visited University Book Store and the Glass Bridge (mostly concrete but with various glass displays.  One arch as a display on the ceiling either newly added or previously overlooked.

[NOW: Buzzard’s later merged with Stadium and both closed down at the same time.]

I took the free TacomaLink street car to near Tacoma Book Center and then dashed to the Tacoma Dome Station.  I just missed my bus to Gig Harbor so had to wait half an hour for the next one a bit ironic it being an express bus) so I headed to Greyhound to use the vending machine, only it was locked.

A couple of transit police approached me because I was taking pics of the area while I waited for the next bus.  They told me they weren't (formally) asking me not to take pics but would prefer if I didn't.  I'd have been fine with that but before that they got info from my passport, looked at my recent photos, got my address and phone number, and took a pic of me.  Apparently I'm now considered by them to be a potential terrorist whose target of choice is the Tacoma Dome bus station. Sigh, stupid 9-11 turn USA into stupid police state.  Glad I have a year to decide if I want to visit Tacoma next year.  I realize the need for security, but people need to realize that tourists are going to frequent major travel hubs, and if Tacoma doesn't want my tourist dollars there's lots of places in the area that will happily take them instead.

[NOW: I still visit Tacoma but the visits tend to be shorter now.]

Anyway, I took a bus to Gig Harbor, which requires a bit of walking to my first stop.  I took a deliberate detour because the two places I wanted to visit were both landlocked, and I took an indirect route I could get some decent sea books.  Dightman's proved to be a bible store.  I then visited Borders and arrived at the bus stop just before the bus.

[NOW: Thus bus was 102 Pierce Transit.  Borders is now defunct.]

There I fell victim to an unobservant bus driver.  My first try tapped my ORCA card to the fare screen didn't take but the next did.  I started to reach my seat but the driver hadn't noticed so I had to demonstrate again.  By then most of the window seats were taken except for a courtesy seat, but then soon after a wheelchair got on so I missed out on some great shots on the way back to Tacoma because my that point I was understandably shy about shooting over people.

[NOW: This bus was probably the 100 Pierce Transit.]

This bus wasn't express so I had to switch busses at Tacoma Community College.  A woman got on the bus having a loud argument on her cell.  The driver made her talk softer and after she got off complained that she does this all the time.

[NOW: The second bus was also Pierce Transit.]

Back at Commerce Transit Center a very comfortable looking, very highway bus-like bus back to Seattle arrived.  There were very few stops on the way to Seattle so despite the bus being empty I gambled on the courtesy seats again.  My gamble paid off and I got some great front row seats.  I got off downtown and walked to Seattle Center, grabbed some pizza at a pizza place in Center House (they were a bit frazzled due to a complicated order) then arrived at the International Fountain, where the usual dog was playing. That dog may be the one living thing who loves the fountain more than I do. I got some great shots of sunset making the water of the fountain seem yellow, then returned to my hostel.

[NOW: the bus to Seattle was one of the 590s Sound Transit. Center House is now Seattle Center Armory.]

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