I don’t know if it’s always this quiet. Or if it was just a Saturday morning mid-August in downtown Tacoma. Quiet streets make good streets for running, though, and I ran Pacific Avenue to the Pacific Brewing and Malting Co., ducking down smaller roads trying to glimpse any water along the way. But this part of Tacoma is blocks of businesses and highways across from container ports and waterways. As the helpful hotel concierge said when I asked about a waterfront running path, you’ll just keep running into obstacles if you try to get close to water. Back up Pacific Avenue I ran to the Chihuly Bridge of Glass and perfectly-situated Anthem Coffee & Tea for my planned post-run latté.
Multi-colored glass flowed in the ceiling above the pedestrian bridge, and glass artworks lined the two sides of the Bridge of Glass. It was overcast, and while the shapes and colors were beautiful, I imagine they would have been spectacular under a bright sun. Crossing the bridge, I connected to the Museum of Glass, distinguished by the angled cone structure shooting upward marking its glass blowing “hot shop.” At the bottom of the museum’s spiraling stairs, I ran a short path along the Foss Waterway, passing new condos (or apartments) on one side and the waterway and marina on the other, the pretty cabled East 21stStreet Bridge spanning the waterway ahead of me as I ran back.
Sitting at one of the scattered outdoor patio tables on the backside of Anthem, I drank my latté in peace, facing the glass bridge and soft red brick of the Beaux-Arts domed US District Courthouse next door. Leaving, I could hear music and voices marking the finish line of The Tacoma Narrows Half Marathon, just past an entrance to the University of Washington Tacoma and a dotting of storefronts and restaurants, joyfully breaking the otherwise quiet of that morning.
US District Courthouse Museum of Glass