Sunday, May 12, 2013

Chalk Off at Frost Park & Other Friday Fun...

Chalk Off at Frost Park! Sounds kind of ominous, doesn't it: I choose chalk at 50 paces & the winner takes all, the loser? Well, we know what happens to those who lose duels, better not to think about it...The reality, though is far less dire: contestants gather every Friday at Frost park & draw their hearts out, pictures are posted on the Park's FaceBook page, winners are chosen & everyone has fun watching, checking out all the creativity & expressing themselves creatively. What do the winners get? King for the day? The title of best illustrator in the universe (for the week, anyway)? I don't really know, but we all get to enjoy the results & since it's chalk, it's not permanent. I've seen some amazing chalk drawings. There was a castle in Germany that used to host chalk drawing, from time to time (maybe even still does...) & some of the results were spectacular, perspectives that looked almost real, like if you stepped on the drawing you might fall into some huge chasm or be transported to some other world. I've seen specials & YouTube pieces that could just blow you away. Of course, these take more than just a couple of hours to make & I'm not sure you'd be able, during most of the year, to complete something like that here, with all the rain we get, but you can't fault the creative spirit or the fun that is had by all with these weekly events (through fall):
Ask Prom (Pirate Style?) This was a piece created one week & added to the next (by someone else). The event rules state that pieces left from previous weeks are 'fair game' for additions & reinvention. Artist(s) unknown
Smurfette & Bike There seemed to be a lot of cartoon characters visiting...  
Papa Smurf kept an eye out & made sure everyone ate their fruits & veggies, even the  owls...

Where there hipsters in attendance? Maybe, maybe not...

Big Bird & the Easter Bunny reminded us to "Save Our Sonics"
An alien or two stopped by... (some artists signed their work, others did not)
Don't forget Mom...

Or teacher...
Or you might end up swimming with the fishes ;)
An all ages event where everyone can create & have fun. You might even end up as best illustrator in the universe. Where else can you find all that in one place?
Of course, the day didn't end there, we still had most of the afternoon left & hadn't had lunch yet, so we wandered a little bit.
Lunch was at Matador, a dark little spot, filled with amazing  wrought iron fixtures, sumptuous wild west style decor:

Wrought iron & candle sconces, by the Matador kitchen

Above two of the large mirrors that adorn the Matador walls
The restaurant has a variety of Southwestern style dishes that are beyond the norm in flavor combinations, but subtle enough that the flavors blend without overpowering each other, well worth the try. I had the enchiladas roja (the steak version) which came with rice & beans. The only thing that I would say is that the rice is quite bland, especially when compared to the sophisticated blends of flavor in the other items I've tried here, which have all been surprising & delicious. They also have an extensive drink menu (which I have yet to try), that sounds pretty amazing & matches the great ambitious iron work on the bar. There's an outdoor area where you can sit & enjoy the interesting architecture of the downtown area (currently under construction) or your can sit at the fire pit table, located near the bar. Prices are probably best described as moderate. It's a nice place to enjoy an afternoon & treat yourself to a relaxing meal.
Victorian style building, downtown Tacoma, WA
After lunch we wandered through a nearby toy store, Learning Sprout Toys, filled with amazing sights & fun stuff for kids (& beyond). From the outside, it looks like a small, unassuming little store, but like the Tardis from Doctor Who, it's much bigger on the inside & actually has two floors. I loved the science kits & a great build a bug kind of kit, similar to one I had as a child. If you have children, they have great public events (there's a tea party for Mother's Day & a pirate event scheduled for Father's Day, for example) or you can schedule your own private event.
Great Duplo soldier out front & K'nex ferris wheel in the window
What new discoveries have you made in your town?

*All photographic images the property of Shelley McElhiney. Please contact the blog owner for any usage.

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