*Suzanne, I’ll get to the meme later this week.*
There is something about living in the PNW that I love. I’ve lived in the midwest and the southwest, but nothing can compare to the beautiful mountains, the salty air and the blue skies. Mind you our skies aren’t always blue, and when they are it is a shade not common to other parts of the country. People in the PNW are friendly, environmentally conscientious and passionate. I have always love the PNW but I haven’t always loved the city that I live in.
Growing up Tacoma was the armpit of Washington state. It was this stain along I-5 that everyone drove past. We plugged our noses from the aroma of the pulp mill. We laughed and proclaimed it the “Tacoma Aroma.” We were terrified of the crime and gangs. Tacoma was the drug dealers paradise. A depressed town. A city of industry where the industry was fading.
PNW passion emerged in Tacoma in the late 90’s. The residents here got tired of the gangs, the shootings and the drugs. They set out to clean up their city. There is one area here called Hilltop. The homes are adorned with bars on the windows. Old and busted cars line the streets and on a sunny day you will find a lady named Miss Mae sipping tea on her front porch. I wouldn’t doubt that she has a shot gun sitting under her rocker (not likely). It was residents like Miss Mae that asked the police to help them reclaim their city. The police started patrolling local
parks drug dealer hangouts. The crime rate dropped and the people came back.
Today Tacoma, better known to residents as T-Town, is a thriving city. We are rebuilding our downtown. We have areas such as the museum district, antiques row, and the theater district. Neighborhoods are cleaning up and the “hilltop” is shrinking. That word, “hilltop,” no longer strikes fear in the hearts of residents.
Technically I don’t live in Tacoma proper, but it is close enough. The trusty husband and I lived in a loft in the heart of T-Town when we first moved here. I loved it. We watched the light rail get built. We walked to Starbucks on Saturday mornings. In the evenings we would walk around the Glass Museum grounds.
I’m happy to say I’m proud of my community. We may not be Seattle, but who would want to be? I’ve certainly caught the “go local” bug. How about you?
Well, I grew up in a town of 400 in South Dakota. I loved it. I was the good kid during the day (since we only had 18 kids in my class, we were involved in every possible activity), and drank with the not-so-good kids at night. When we go back every five years for our all-school reunion, my husband knows just as many people as I do. Now I live in my husband’s hometown, population 3000. It’s OK. After two years, I’m still getting used to it. We live 40 miles from the next largest city (population like 30,000). What I LOVE is the fact that my kids will be able to play on the streets and not worry about getting hit by a car, ride their bikes downtown or to the pool by themselves, or walk down the block to Grandmaa’s house. In between my hometown and Rob’s, I’ve lived in Europe, two suburbs of Sioux City, IA (pop. about 3000 and maybe 10,000) and a small town in central SD of about 800 people. I’d choose a small town in a heartbeat.
Growing up in a rural town in Ohio, I used to wonder at the fact the my parents moved there on purpose. I couldn’t imagine why anyone would want to move to such a boring place. As an adult, I grew to love and appreciate the community. I left there to marry my husband. I still miss it and would love to raise a family there – unfortunately the job market will probably never allow it.
You were a PIONEER of Tacoma and it’s rebirth – well done. Tacoma or Seattle, it’s all the same…. B E A U T I F U L.
But then, my family left Akron, Ohio in the mid-60’s when Lake Erie was on fire.
Our town needs a facelift and the local government keeps promising but so far nothing. But the surrounding towns and the BEACHES is what keep me here. I love the blue collarness of my neck of the woods, and how real the people are. And did I mention the beach?
I’ve never been to Tacoma, but I have been to Seattle and there is definitely a laid back uniqueness to the PNC.
i love our area (suburb of Portland- you know where we are truffle lady :P, and by the way those were good!! esp. loved the caramels).
but it is growing so fast, just like everywhere else it seems. it still has much more open land then where we lived in so-Cal, but 1 of the fields right by us is already being lined with brand-new houses which are like 3ft. away from each other :/ i *hate* greedy developers… so much land, but yet as my DH says “you could reach your hand out your window & shake hands with your neighbor.” too sad. i guess we can’t talk as we moved here too, but we bought a lived-in house not brand new, we were just taking somebody’s else’s spot who was leaving the state 😉 they went to Salt Lake, they were Mormon.
I’ve come to love Alaska, and don’t want to move anywhere else! I do (often) miss WA, and we’ve discussed moving to OR, but E’s job doesn’t exist in OR, so no go there! It would be wonderful to be closer to family and my high school friends, but that would mean leaving AK, which is now home.