Friday, August 11, 2017

Point Ruston Ruby, Theo & David Surrey Survey Of Tacoma's New Waterfront Development

Last night David, Theo and Ruby took me on a roll along the Tacoma waterfront via a surrey with a fringe on top, powered by Fred Flintstonish pedal power.

For several years now I have been hearing about the incredible development which has come to the north end of the Tacoma waterfront, at Ruston, the site of America's biggest Superfund cleanup, cleaning up the toxic residue left from the Asarco copper smelting operation which operated during many years of the previous century.

I remember when the Ruston Asarco zone was an industrial wasteland. Driving through a narrow tunnel, coming out the other end to see the giant Asarco smelter chimney towering like a grimy Space Needle.

That tower came down several decades ago, in a spectacular explosive demolition similar to the fate of the Kingdome a few decades later. The site was cleaned of its lead and copper smelting pollution. And left a sort of wasteland.

And then at some point late in the last century some building action began. There was a slight stall due to the Great Recession, but now, in 2017, that old Ruston industrial wasteland is a boom zone known as Point  Ruston.

A waterfront development on steroids. Both the north and south ends of the Tacoma waterfront have boomed since I last saw those locations, way back in 2008.

Tonight, a Thursday, Point Ruston was busy. as was the rest of the Tacoma waterfront. Lots of people walking, blading, biking and surrey pedaling the waterfront promenade. A huge free parking lot garage makes it easy to visit the Point Ruston Asarco boom zone, along with what were a lot of other people. A giant hotel is under construction to accommodate the incoming visiting tourists who need accommodating.

Normally I would make mention of the fact that this HUGE development has taken place without using or abusing eminent domain. Without hiring the son of a local congressperson to motivate the local congressperson to secure federal funds to fund the development. With this Point Ruston development developing because private developers saw an economic opportunity and so HUGE sums of money, private, non-taxpayer money, is fueling this development.

And did I mention this is a waterfront development, which already has a promenade along the waterfront?

Meanwhile, in Fort Worth, Texas...

But, I don't have time to elaborate on how progress actually occurs in modern parts of America, and how it stymies in backwards, non-modern parts of America, because I have to get ready to head north towards Canada, to Birch Bay.

But before I go, some more photos from last night.

Ruby took the wheel for awhile. Ruby was a good driver, though David got a bit nervous when the steering took us to what looked to be a dropoff into Commencement Bay.

Here Theo took the wheel. Theo was a wilder driver than Ruby.

After an hour, give or take a minute or two, of rolling around in the surrey with a fringe on top, we parked our vehicle and proceeded to seek something to eat. Ruby wanted pizza, but the pizza place had a half hour wait. The burger joint also had a long wait.

Eventually we found a seafood joint with not a too long wait. I do not remember the name of the seafood joint. We had halibut and chips, calamari, fried jalapenos and a blackberry/rosemary/lemon concoction which was quite tasty.

Many of the feeding stations had outdoor dining options, such as you see above, both ground level and rooftop.

While we were pedaling our surrey with the fringe on top we came upon the above tugboat, docked, with people in dressed nice mode getting onboard. A half hour later the tugboat floated by. As you can see Point Ruston, and the Tacoma waterfront features a large urban lake. Only in Washington this is called Puget Sound.

Our last Point Ruston stop was at the Ice Cream Social, where we joined a long line waiting to quickly get some real good ice cream. Above you see Theo, me and Ruby waiting for Mama Kristin to deliver the goods. I have a pair of nephews with elevated refined palates. David likes calamari, Theo likes lavender ice cream, for example. Meanwhile, Ruby's tastes are less exotic, though last night Ruby did get a bit wild and crazy by trying some blackberry ice cream.

Below is a video from last night, in which you will eventually see David, Theo and Ruby, and me, dodging shots of water in a big free spirited, no restricted hours, water feature a town in Texas should have checked out for emulation purposes before installing a pitiful similar thing in their equally pitiful little downtown development pretentiously called Sundance Square Plaza. I did not make note of any pretentious name for the plaza with the Point Ruston water feature...

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