Today I checked out Neighborhood Cafe (no web site yet) on the corner of E34th and McKinley that I'd read about in Exit133. *
It's not exactly in my neighborhood; it's about two miles away from my house but it's a pleasant walk (almost exactly 5000 steps, if you are curious). The cafe was converted from an old house and it's really cozy inside. I liked it a lot. It's also just a few blocks from the dog park and on drier days, I could walk the dogs over there, let them chase tennis balls for awhile and then refresh myself before walking back. Miguel, the cafe owner, is also the head of the volunteer group for the dog park, and he lives in the neighborhood himself. (He may actually own the cafe/house, because I overheard him talking about his challenges about converting a residential property to commercial.)
Any of my knittin' sistahs want to meet me there on a weekend to have coffee and knit? It's a nice place to hang out.
This weekend I'm dogsitting Abbie, my friend M.F.'s dog. We fostered Abbie from the Humane Shelter last year and after talking about the dog during knitting group, M.F. wanted to meet her. I brought the dog to M.F.'s house to meet her, but I think she had already decided to adopt the dog. Abbie settled right in, didn't bother the cat, liked M.F. and her friend who was visiting. Abbie is a gentle, mellow dog, but like most Rottweilers, she doesn't take any sh*t. Seamus, for all his good-natured goofiness, is a bit of a bully toward other dogs. Like all bullies, he's a total coward. When we were fostering Abbie, she had to put him in his place a few times, but he finally got the hint. And he remembered Abbie and is now insufferably whiny. Abbie wants to hang out with me, and so does Seamus, but he won't come near her if he can help it. I swear Abbie is deliberately torturing him by lying in the doorway. He wants to come in the room, but won't, so he just stands a few feet from Abbie and whines pitifully. What a baby! And Kate the Wonder Dog, the ultimate conflict avoider, just hangs out on the couch.
While walking home, I had the most extraordinary realization...Tacoma is starting to feel like home. I have friends now. There are small, indy places that are pleasant to go to. The Grand Cinema. Neighborhood Cafe. The Knitters group at Lamb's Ear Yarn. Hello Cupcake. Our favorite restaurant is Pho on 38th. Harmon's Brewery (except for Friday nights, when it's just a wee bit too loud for my taste.) And let's not forget that the Madrona Fiber Arts Retreat--the best knitting (mostly) convention on the West Coast--is held in Tacoma.
*This is a very good blog about Tacoma, and named for the exit off I-5 that takes you to downtown.