I am working on a new book, a history of Washington told through the history of the state’s major cities. I’m doing a lot of walking, early in the morning when the homeless are still huddled under blankets on benches, on rainy afternoons when awnings are welcome, and sometimes along a sunny waterfront. I am visiting museums, historical societies, libraries, and coffee shops, talking to anyone I encounter.
Yesterday, a friend and I roamed Tacoma in the rain, finding solidity among the mists in stone statues. Here are two with some historical significance. The lion guards the entrance to Fuzhou Ting, a pavilion given by the city of Fuzhou and built at the Chinese Reconciliation Park on the waterfront east of Old Town. The park recalls through art and words the expulsion of Chinese from the city once the railroads were completed and their labor was no longer needed. The Goddess of Commerce is a new statue replacing an older one in the Old City Hall district. She is replete with the symbols of commerce that have driven Tacoma’s economy, including crane earrings, not the peace cranes but the dock kind.