November 26, 2007

Wild Orchid Tacoma

Filed under: tacoma — sparkrobot @ 1:14 am

wild orchid tacomaWild Orchid is one of our favorite Asian Cuisine restaurants in Tacoma. Certainly, I’d admit we’re fortunate. There are a number of good, local Asian restaurants in the area. Wild Orchid sits on the northwest corner of 6th Avenue and Cedar streets, convenient from any address in Tacoma, and serves a variety of entrées with a Southeastern Asian theme.

We’ve visited Wild Orchid many times, and always have a great experience — this time was no exception. We ordered fried wontons to start things off along with a lemon basil martini for myself and a Saporro for my wife. My martini arrived ungarnished without frills. I found quite a bite to this one, a piquant basil tone on the first sip but finishing nicely with a lingering citrus and herb-infused flavor. There is nothing quite like fried cream cheese to augment such a sophisticated flavor. I’ll leave it there.

wild orchid tacomaI ordered a Green Curry Chicken (four star spicy) and my wife, the Three Flavor Beef. Both arrived shortly and our server constructed our plates at the table. The Green Curry Chicken was an enchanting arrangement of red bell peppers, bamboo shoots, fresh green beans, mushrooms, eggplant and basil in a green curried coconut milk and served over steamed jasmine rice. Though the Three Flavor beef was served to my wife, her thoughts were spicy, sour and sweet. Mmm, Delicious.

For just under $50, we had dinner with appetizer, two beers and a fancy pants cocktail. We brought home enough food to serve as lunch today.

This outing also provided occasion for me to put to work my new Nikon D300, which is incredible and shoots in the dark with reckless abandon. I would totally make out with it if it were a person and not a camera. (My wife knows, okay? It’s cool.) Check out the photos. Hover over the image to move forward or back through the series.

Side note

We finished of the night with a first visit to the new Crown Bar where we were served by Dino, a very knowledgeable and friendly bar keep who served me my first made with Bookers Manhattan. There’s a first time for everything.

My first thought on entering the Crown Bar was, if you’re going to serve $10 cocktails, there should be a “we don’t have televisions” rule. I know everyone doesn’t, but I LOATHE the people who feel like they have to yell at televisions when their sports team is winning. It’s stupid to pay good money for a drink and have to hear a group of dicks screaming at the TV. I can go to the RAM for that.

November 19, 2007

The Fucking Eagles, Power Solo & Heavy Trash at Chop Suey

Filed under: music,photography,rock,seattle,tacoma — sparkrobot @ 11:56 pm

Stu from The Fucking EaglesI ventured up to Seattle last Saturday to check out Tacoma’s own The Fucking Eagles (photos) opening up a show with Denmark’s Power Solo (photos) for Jon Spencer’s (Jon Spencer Blues Explosion) new project, Heavy Trash (photos).

As always, it’s always reverent to hear completely anomalous questions from Seattle people about drive-bys, meth and aroma. Some of my photos are featured on the Seattle Indie Pop Rock blog, Three Imaginary Girls in a full review of the show from heather b.

October 19, 2007

White Stripes Editions of the Holga & Diana

Filed under: art,photography,rock,tacoma — sparkrobot @ 12:37 am

White Stripes Holga & Diana+ The marketing machine over at The Lomographic Society just dropped limited editions of the plastic lens Holga and new Diana+ in glorious red and white peppermint stripes in coordination with Jack and Meg White of the White Stripes. The Diana+ was recently reissued through Lomo, and the Holga is a 120CFN (with the color flash). They both shoot 120 medium format film and produce notoriously unpredictable results. I have been using a 120CFN for a couple of years. They’re cheap in every way, and it’s a necessity to keep nearby a roll of electrical tape to keep the thing from falling apart. This is all part of the experience. With the ubiquity of digital images, it’s refreshing and surprisingly simple to create unique images experimenting with analog equipment.

The legendary Diana+ and Holga cameras are known for their serendipitous ‘imperfections’ and cinematic qualities. These special editions follow the band’s red, white and black color scheme down to the peppermint swirl on their frame advance dials. Frequent collaborator Rob Jones designed the custom packaging for both sets. Together, The White Stripes and Lomography are taking an analog look at life in the digital age.

For only $180, you too can pick up a $20 camera. But hey, don’t forget, it comes with a bunch of rock memorabilia too. There are only 200 pieces of each the Jack Holga and the Meg Diana+, and purchases are limited to 1 JACK Holga set and 1 MEG Diana+ set per customer.

For the nostalgic, here are some photos of the White Stripes doing an in-store performance at Fallout Records in Seattle back in 2000 taken by Tim Hayes. This was back before they took over the world.

August 5, 2007

Buy My House

Filed under: tacoma — sparkrobot @ 9:58 pm

Tacoma Home For SaleAfter some deliberation, we’ve decided to offer our 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home for sale. If you yourself are looking such a house in Tacoma, or know someone who might be, please send them my way. I set up a website with the details of the house at Tacoma Home for Sale. We’ve listed the home at $249,000. The MLS# is 27127739, and it’s listed on the MLS with Redfin.

July 26, 2007

Western State Hospital Series

Filed under: art,photography,tacoma — sparkrobot @ 8:57 am

A series of black and white photos from the Western State Hospital grounds in Lakewood.

western state hospital

Initially, I thought of posting all the photos here, but I’ve decided against wheel reinventing. So, here’s the Western State Hospital Slideshow. I made these last weekend on an outing with the Tacoma Flickr group.

July 13, 2007

Boss Martians Tonight at Cans

Filed under: rock,tacoma — sparkrobot @ 10:10 am

Friday night, (yes, that’s tonight) The Boss Martians are playing at the Cans grand opening downtown Tacoma, 100 S. 9th Street. You could get lucky. From what I gather, Miller Beer is giving away a Jeep… though I’m fuzzy on those details.

Boss Martians
Photo by, well, me.

Rather than try to come up with some fancy to say while I’m supposed to be working, I’m just going to quote Chris here:

Evan, a UPS alum, has been a pal for a long time, and is no doubt the most entertaining fool on stage. These guys are an amazing power-pop band. No openers, and they go on around 10.

I’ll try to be the most entertaining fool with a camera. These guys always put on a good show. If you’re in Tacoma, you should come down and have a can of beer.

June 25, 2007

Seat on the Edge

Filed under: art,photography,tacoma — sparkrobot @ 11:45 am

Seat on the Edge

McKinley Park, Tacoma.

June 6, 2007

Georgetown Music Festival 2007

Filed under: photography,rock,seattle,tacoma — sparkrobot @ 12:19 am

The Upside Down from Portland at the Georgetown Music Festival in Seattle, WA

I was able to attend both dates of the Georgetown Music Festival in the Georgetown neighborhood up in Seattle last weekend. 47 bands on 4 stages. The two indoor stages at Jules Maes provided the typical conundrum of taking photographs in absolutely horrible lighting conditions. Ouside however, the sun was in full force. Consequently, a lot of the photos from the two outdoor stages turned out pretty well. After reviewing the work from Saturday, it occurred to me a circular polarizer filter would be a good choice. Sunday’s photos as a result were a lot richer as a result. This gets chalked up as learning while living, and taking photos along the way.

Check out the photos of the Georgetown Music Festival 2007 on Flickr.

“This isn’t about Tacoma, what gives?”

Tacoma needs a festival like this in a big, bad way. So the burning question is, who’s putting it on?

May 31, 2007

The Red Hot Beer and Hot Dogs

Filed under: tacoma — sparkrobot @ 3:04 pm

Who doesn’t love beer and hot dogs? The Red Hot, a place specializing in sausage and brews is slated to open on 6th Avenue later this year. The ink on the lease has yet to dry, but the wheels are in motion. Earlier, I asked the proprietor of The Red Hot and author of the recently minted blog Beer and Hot Dogs a few questions about The Red Hot.

Some Questions. Some Answers.

SR =, TRH = The Red Hot

SR: What is The Red Hot?
TRH: “Your new favorite Tacoma hangout”

SR: Where is The Red Hot?
TRH: 2914 6th Ave, Suite B, intersection of 6th and Junett. It used to be the old dollar store. 1 block away from 6th and Pine (E-9, masa, Asado, etc.). Across from Schucks.

SR: What’s the deal with Beer and Hot Dogs?
TRH: Whats not to like?
SR: touche
TRH: Theres wine, pinball, tv, and atmosphere, natch. And nachos. And no lame jukebox
SR: that’s key
TRH: If you want to take your girl out, eat a legit dog, listen to T. Rex, be surrounded by Tacomacentricity, maybe catch a game on the tube, not listen to the horrible sound of a pool cue slapping the ground, and not be surrounded by knuckleheads all at the same time, you will like The Red Hot. Oooooh, and play pinball.

SR: 10-4. Sounds like it will be cool, unpretentious… Tacoma. So, why Tacoma?
TRH: Why not. It’s the city I live in, the city where I’ve decided to stay. There’s not a lot of suburban guilt that you find in Seattle, where a lot of bars tend to preach the blue-collar lifestyle. People who are blue-collar do not need to be reminded they are blue-collar. They just want a cool spot to hang out. And there’s hot dogs there. Whats not to like?
TRH: I. Heart. Tacoma.
SR: Nice. Good idea for The Red Hot teeshirts. I want a 60% cut. We’ll talk about this later.
TRH: what idea
SR: I. Heart. Tacoma.
TRH: thats my idea
SR: not anymore!
TRH: you get a free one, thats it

SR: When do you expect to unleash The Red Hotness on the Tacoma?
TRH: Hopefully mid-summer. I’d like to say end of July, but with waiting on paperwork to be processed, it could be August.

SR: Killer. Your family is to blame for creating the successful martini lounge concept, the One Ten Lounge out in Port Orchard. That’s really cool place. Will there be similarities?
TRH: Yeah. Our family doesn’t take shortcuts in our business. We don’t rip people off, or pretend to be something we’re not. It will have some of the lounge characteristics that are not common with “taverns” or “taprooms”. We try to create something that we would go to. It will be a comfortable place to go to, with atmosphere unlike any in the area. Plain and simple.

SR: So, what are we talking about? ballparks and pbr? let’s talk about beer and hot dogs, let the people hear a little bit more about what they can expect to eat and drink.
TRH: Street style hot dogs…not blistered up tough tubes of meat like at convenience stores. Chicagos, Coneys, Veggies, etc. Natural dogs, and skinless for aficionados of every ideal. Homemade chili (NO BEANS!!!), and homemade southern slaw will be in house. Cheap eats for the lunch-time crowd. Cheap eats for the anytime crowd.

TRH: Yeah, PBR will be on tap, but so will Fish Organic IPA. And other local breweries will be represented. It’s looking like 8-9 handles, with some bottles. It will absolutely have Rainier on tap, ice cold (it should be a requirement for every bar in Washington to serve it, even though it moved away…a matter of principle!), as well as a cider. Wine to be served in glass tumblers, because really…who else in the world serves a drink in a snooty piece of stemware besides America? I hate snooty.

SR: What’s the deal with roller derby in Tacoma?
I’m coach for the Homewreckers, a team on the Dockyard Derby Dames Roller Derby league. We have a exhibition going on during Art on the Ave, I believe, in July. We just had tryouts and got some more talent and fresh faces on the league. My team is now a 15 person squad. The next bout should be going down end of July or August. The Homewreckers are 1-0 so far and I think we’re also sending a League squad down to Vegas for a big derby event.

SR: Rollerderby. Beer. Hot Dogs. What else does Tacoma need?
It needs to keep building its communities like it has been doing…it needs for some people to get the idea of competing to be another Seattle or Portland out of its minds…it needs Girl Trouble to be played out of every church tower on the hour…and it needs for everyone to come down to the Red Hot and hang out.

SR: cool. anything else?
TRH: i dont guess so. my blog is blowing up
SR: i’ll drop that too

TRH: can i read it before you post it?
SR: why? are you my editor?

### end ###

Man, After all that, I’m ready for a beer and a hot dog right now. It’s so damn hot… milk was a bad choice.

May 24, 2007

Carrie Akre Photos

Filed under: photography,rock,tacoma — sparkrobot @ 12:48 pm

Carrie AkreI’ve put up some photos of Carrie Akre and her band from last Saturday’s show at Jazzbones. The band was Carrie Akre (Hammerbox, Goodness) on guitar & piano, Martin Lund – bass, Jared Clifton (Radio Nationals) on guitar and Mark Pickerel (Screaming Trees, The Dark Fantastic) on drums.