Monthly Archives: June 2012

Storytelling at Powellswood Garden

This is a heads up for an event scheduled for July 14, 2012 at Powellswood Garden in Federal Way.

 

I love to see our beautiful local venues diversifying to draw in more guests. It not only showcases the venue, but in this case some very good professional storytellers, too.

Experience storytellers from across the nation who mesmerize and entertain audiences of all ages in their own unique styles. From Seattle, Debra Harris-Branham conveys lively African-American folktales; Joe Hayes, who hales from the Southwest, specializes in bilingual Spanish-English tales of that region and Appalachian master teller Donald Davis brings his audience to laughter and sometimes tears with tales of growing up in North Carolina.

Read about the other storytellers performing on July 14 at the Powellswood Festival site.

Storytelling includes folktales, myths, legends and even tall tales. What better back drop for listening to these treasures than a garden full of colorful blooms and beautiful water features. What better way to introduce computer-addicted children to an ancient art.

And it’s a real bargain:  Adults $10, children $5 and a family ticket $20.

Heather Larson writes about the Pacific Northwest from her office in Tacoma, Washington hoping she can entice you to visit or share your own memories of the region.

LeMay — America’s Car Museum

Row upon row of shiny, gleaming cars await your visit.

Courtesy LeMay Car Museum

A project that’s been talked about and in the works for more than ten years opened earlier this month. LeMay – America’s Car Museum (it’s official name) is a four-story, 165,000 square-foot venue, located in Tacoma across from the Tacoma Dome complete with a preservation shop, galleries, banquet hall, meeting space, car storage, a gift shop and a café.

LeMay is the largest auto museum in North America and should boost Tacoma’s economy with an estimated 425,000 visitors and $32 million in visitor spending and employment locally.

Slot car racing at LeMay. Courtesy LeMay Car Museum

Rotating exhibits tell the story of the automobile. The museum houses 15 display spaces, which include three galleries six ramps (which can hold 12 cars each) three viewable storage galleries and three primary end galleries.

Museum’s Namesake

The museum was named for Harold LeMay who was an “extreme” car collector. His collection made it into the Guinness Book of World Records. Some might call him a car rescuer because according to his wife, Nancy, he bought cars so they wouldn’t be destroyed. So he had a huge variety of makes, models, shapes and sizes. And it was his dream to share them with everyone. Although LeMay won’t see the finished museum, because he died in 2000 at the age of 81, his dream lives on through Nancy and a host of workers and volunteers.

“Harold had a lifelong passion for autos,” says Scott Keller, chief marketing and communications officer for the museum. “What’s unique about this collection is that it’s eclectic and offers something for everyone.”

Courtesy LeMay Car Museum

 

From the 1930 red Duesenberg Model J which sold for a minimum of $13,000 new to the 1983 Mercury Marquis Station Wagon, the collection focuses on America’s timeless love affair with the automobile. Keller says many of the cars have a very colorful history.

Lemay traveled throughout the United States buying cars.

“Harold would see a car he wanted to maintain and buy it,” says Keller. “Part of preserving the autos was caring for them and driving them, although not all of the vehicles in his collection are drivable.”

He was able to buy so many cars because of the very successful waste management business he started, says Keller. At the time of LeMay’s passing Harold LeMay Enterprises was the 10th largest refuse business in the United States.

Heather Larson writes about the Pacific Northwest from her office in Tacoma, Washington hoping she can entice you to visit or share your own memories of the region.

Two Restaurants You Should Try

There’s nothing I enjoy more than good food and this week I had two outstanding meals at two different restaurants.

 

Tuesday I had the chance to dine on some tasty crab dishes at Duke’s on the Tacoma waterfront. Seven Slanted High Balls and Seven Savory Sliders make their Happy Hour happy. The drinks are served in slanted, slightly off-kilter glasses. I’m not sure whether the glasses straighten out after you’ve had a few high balls or not, but I highly recommend the crab slider appetizer served during Happy Hour. It’s a little taste of heaven and goes well with Lulu’s Margarita. Happy hour runs 3 p.m.-6 p.m. and 9 p.m.-close everyday, weekends included.

 

Another palate pleaser has to be the Dungeness Crab “Un” Cakes served with lime aioli, organic field greens and a citrus vinaigrette. The powers that be at Duke’s searched the Northwest for the best crab cakes they could find and after two full days of eating nothing but crab cakes determined that the worst part was the “cake” so they left it out.  The “Un” Cake is an outstanding dish.

 

Today I wound up at a YMCA orientation in Seattle right next to the Lunchbox Laboratory, a restaurant I’ve wanted to try for months. So, even though we’d just eaten, I insisted we at least try one menu item and since I was the oldest in the group, the rest relented. And they were happy they did.

The Mexican Cokes on the beverage list turned out to be a big hit as was the Chips and Dip Classique appetizer of handmade potato chips dusted with a rosemary-romano sea salt and served with a chunky mixture of garlic, onion and bacon for dipping.

Since I don’t know when I might return to this area of Seattle, I opted to share a Native New Yorker Burger with my grandson. Burgers are the specialty at this restaurant.

Their beef patties come from American Kobe-style beef, which tastes so much better than ground beef from the grocery store. The New Yorker lived up to its name complete with Monterrey Jack cheese, thinly sliced onions and sides of ranch and buffalo ketchup. Handcrafted smoked salts are delivered to your table and you’re told they can be added to the sides, like the skinny fries. I put bacon salt on my burger and it added just the right touch of flavor enhancement.

 

For a treat you can dine outside around a fire pit, which you’ll most likely need to keep warm about eleven months out of the year.

What’s your favorite restaurant in Seattle or Tacoma?

Heather Larson writes about the Pacific Northwest from her office in Tacoma, Washington, hoping she can entice you to visit and/or share your own memories of the region.