wine by the color

Monday, July 23, 2007

I went from Phoenix, Arizona, all the way to Tacoma, Philadelphia, Atlanta, L.A.

Which one of these places is not like the other? I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt.

It's Tacoma.

Saturday night, an unfortunate choice was made when it was time to select a dinner venue. This led to a robust case of food poisoning, which led to a sleepless Saturday night and a foodless Sunday. Late Sunday, I thought I might be ready to eat a little something, so I set out in my rental car to find a Chinese restaurant, with the hopes of getting a takeout carrier of white rice.

According to Wikipedia, Tacoma is a city of more than 200,000 people. It is part of the airport's name (SEA-TAC - Seattle-Tacoma International Airport). It is the third-largest city in the state.

So can anyone tell me why a city this large does not have a Chinese restaurant? Seriously. I drove for more than an hour, up and down the streets of downtown Tacoma. Nothing.

Back to Wikipedia, which tells us that Tacoma suffered a prolonged decline in the mid-20th century as a result of suburbanization. A local reporter, upon hearing my tale of woe today, told me Tacoma has had a history of trouble with the Bloods and Crips, and that the downtown area's decline is directly related to the Tacoma Mall, which is caused much of the downtown businesses to bail for the suburbs.

I also learned Tacoma is the birthplace of Far Side cartoonist Gary Larson, former major leaguer Ron Cey, actor Blair Underwood and crooner Bing Crosby, and is where serial killer Ted Bundy spent his formative high school years.

The city was recently listed as one of the most walkable cities in the country (no doubt because there's nothing holding you back like other people in the streets, or open businesses to distract you while walking). It also ranked as the most stressed-out city in the country in 2004 (because there is NOTHING to eat and people are hungry) and, in 2006, was named Self magazine's "Most Sexually Healthy City" (I've got nothing here).

Apparently, the city is enjoying a revitalization and I'll agree there are some bright spots. But until this town has a Chinese restaurant, where a sickly girl can get a bowl of white rice to help put herself back together, it will remain on my shit list.



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