dawntown's Blog

comments [22]  |  posted under , Chalk-Off, Frost Park


by KevinFreitas on 6/9/2008 @ 10:59am
Yea, the point is kind of missed in her blog post in that Frost Park did need some positive love. Transients and drug runner using the park is, yes, public use but not good. We came there to be with friends, talk and eat lunch originally. From this has blossomed an amazing weekly display of art that, though temporary, sticks around long enough for passers by to enjoy for a couple days. Oh, and how many people knew that park even had a name before it started being used each Friday at lunch?

This is success when it comes to grass roots change. If the word "gentrification" has be applied so be it. I can't see, in this case, that being a 4-letter word at all.

by Dave L. on 6/9/2008 @ 11:39am
I can't seem to follow funko's point, but Kev, if there's a midnight chalk-off, I'm there, too.

Re: Erik below - Perhaps live coverage from the Winthrop, like the old Radio brodcasts from there.

by Erik on 6/9/2008 @ 11:41am
We came there to be with friends, talk and eat lunch originally. From this has blossomed an amazing weekly display of art that, though temporary, sticks around long enough for passers by to enjoy for a couple days.

In Portland, the place is teeming with so many events, Frost Park would probably not get all that much notice.

They even have huge painting parties where neighborhoods paint intersections each each in a huge community celebratory event.

Here's an article on it:


Pictures from Streetfilms

In Tacoma, however, activity like Frost Park is so rare downtown that it stands out and violates the assumption of deadness. There is no regular outdoor art/community event every week that I know of downtown Tacoma other than Farmers Market itself.

Theres growing interests that are sprouting off the chalking events as well. The quality of the photography seems to be going up each week as well.

Then there is the growing interest in ships at Frost Park:

Who knows where that will go or if there will be other vessels.

Kev, if there's a midnight chalk-off, I'm there, to

Hmmm. Having a live video feed for Frost Park Chalk Offs would be a nice edition. We just need someone with an office overlooking the park.

Perhaps we should look into launching


The cost should not be that high.

by Erik on 6/9/2008 @ 12:06pm
Of course, there are the historical photos in archives:


by NineInchNachos on 6/9/2008 @ 1:02pm
to the humbugs who say things like "yeah, I'd like to see you hang out in the park at 3 am"

I say: "Eat me"

The point of this Chalk Challenge is not to kill all the hobos and drug dealers. Who cares about them?

The point of the Chalk Challenge is to first get people out of their cubicles on their lunch break... to atleast form some primitive bond with a patch of god forsaken concrete in the heart of a city where entropy rules with an iron boot... (covering a foot of ice in a sock of steel wool).

Frost Park offers a start. a tiny seed of something. What? who the hell knows. That is not important.

All I know is You cant kill evil billboard corporations, 'bus people' and drug dealers until you start giving a crap.

by Twisty on 6/9/2008 @ 1:27pm
From mirriam-webster.com

Main Entry: gen·tri·fi·ca·tion
Pronunciation: ˌjen-trə-fə-ˈkā-shən
Function: noun
Date: 1964

: the process of renewal and rebuilding accompanying the influx of middle-class or affluent people into deteriorating areas that often displaces poorer residents

Clearly, Propriatrix doesn't know what goes on at Frost Park while the feedtacoma "gentry" isn't around. That, or she has an aching soft spot for public drunkenness and drug dealers.

OTOH, she might have a nifty idea. Midnight chalking, anyone?

by dawntown on 6/9/2008 @ 1:49pm
I knew my homies, uh, I mean Yuppies, could find the silver lining. I'm up for some high-impact night chalking. Who's bringing the light? We need some live music (acoustic, probably-Izzymania?) And those tripyp glow -n-the dark ropes and cotton candy...

by Erik on 6/9/2008 @ 2:04pm
OTOH, she might have a nifty idea. Midnight chalking, anyone?

Sure. Anything is possible at Frost Park. Of course, if one is lucky to come up with a creative idea its theirs to own and start. That's been the open source power of Frost Park.

Let's see: trying to chalk in the middle of the night in downtown Tacoma in the (likely) driving rain.

Insane by any standard.

Yet, I think it would work. It could be a big event, alot of controversy and exposure and sponsor visibility. We could hit the second happy hour at the Matador or Paddy Coyne's afterward.

I suggest three sponsor spots for the midnight chalking for the following prizes:

1st Place $450
2nd Place $250
3rd Place $150

Several sponsors can join together and split the prizes into several components if they wish. Now we just need the sponsor spots filled and we are ready to go.

by intacoma on 6/9/2008 @ 2:15pm
why so much? Do you all really need such an incentive? Downtown Tacoma is not scary...

by Jake on 6/9/2008 @ 2:17pm
I think the park is closed at dusk...

by Erik on 6/9/2008 @ 2:20pm
why so much? Do you all really need such an incentive? Downtown Tacoma is not scary...

Advertising rates are based on perceived value conferred to sponsors.

Also, why not? I have had roto rooter bills for more than $450. Try getting one of them to show up somewhere at midnight.

This reminds me of the No! Spec conversation:


I think the park is closed at dusk...

Thanks Jake. I am sure you are right. However, you effectively ended a mighty interesting thread.

by Dave L. on 6/9/2008 @ 2:39pm
Hmm, I guess that's a good point about the park being closed. Aside from that technicality, a couple random thoughts (which is often the way I operate).… The fact that the chalk-off is open to anyone to participate is an important fact often overlooked by nay-sayers. (Perhaps that can be made better known on-site, I dunno…) Not knowing where this all goes, but everyone having the power to help chart its course is part of the magic. I could see fountain boat-building being a new facet. (How about those radio-control boat-guys from the Maritime Fest?) I’m almost up for helping head that up, but that frightens me. Plus I can’t be there every week. On the other hand, for this to grow and sprout new branches, we’ve all got to continue to chip-in. I bet Erik could use some help(?). I like the part about continuing to support local businesses, along with the seeking-sponsors part. Personally, it’s more for the fun, not the prizes. Interesting, about the value – I had no idea. I had the same perceived reaction as intacoma. Learning Sprout has expressed interest in supporting, though. With summer approaching, perhaps a kids’ prize-drawing, or something like that. I’d better watch out, or I might end up volunteering to help on that, too. Thanks for those pix of those Portland street activities.

by dawntown on 6/9/2008 @ 3:44pm
I would love to utilize the fountain more. Boat building looks like fun; for children too! If you haven't yet, read my post "To All Our Beloved Tacoma Businesses"

by Heather on 6/9/2008 @ 4:22pm
"Downtown Tacoma is not scary... "

...definitely not as scary as Belltown or Pioneer Square, that is for sure.

by KevinFreitas on 6/9/2008 @ 4:32pm
Boat building and decorating could be a blast for big and small kids alike. And, yea, think you get to run with this one Dave since the idea hatched from your noggin. ;)

As for the park being closed? Who cares? If it's being used for nefarious activity in the middle of the night anyway the City should be happy to have some positive activity going down there some night. I imagine once we pick a non-rainy evening later this summer to do it we can let the City, BIA, TPD, etc know if our plans.

by intacoma on 6/9/2008 @ 4:49pm
belltown is only scary at 2:00am when everyones drunk

by NineInchNachos on 6/9/2008 @ 6:00pm
on the ship building... the kalakala model constructed by mr. Dave L. has brought joy into the hearts of my cubicle bound co-workers.

by Erik on 6/9/2008 @ 9:29pm
on the ship building... the kalakala model constructed by mr. Dave L. has brought joy into the hearts of my cubicle bound co-workers.

Dave L.,

Consider yourself master and commander of the Frost Park flotilla. I am sure others in Tacomans could be persuaded to bring their arcane vessels down to Frost Park. They really add something.

Plus, tall ships are coming.

The Kalakala model also seemed to photograph extremely well.

by jenyum on 6/9/2008 @ 9:40pm
Hmmm, boat building is a hands-on project the working waterfront museum has always done with kids...I'll run it by some people.

by NineInchNachos on 6/9/2008 @ 10:11pm
Dave thought of everything when he built the kalakala.. of particular note is the large bolt tied to a length of monofilament (fishing line) which acts as mini anchor that keeps the tiny kalakala from plummeting over the falls.


by ensie on 6/9/2008 @ 11:11pm
Lets not forget that the fence planned for Frost Park (through our taking back or not) is no more.

by FunkomaVintage on 7/1/2008 @ 1:17pm
wow am I late to this Tressie-Bashing Party or What !! I didn't say don't do it! I said......it all seemed a leeetle bit arrogant......And I already feel the Hate from stating my opinion.....and I still think a very late night chalk-off especially during the summer....would be very wonderful......

I work with, and some family/friends are.. in the non-gentry boat.....so I don't see the point of Taking Back...that sounds exclusionary.......C'mon....artists and techynerds were picked on in juniorhigh....it's time to let it go and be Big Boys and Girls and show love and tolerance for each other.....
...now showing up to make art is cool.....I've been artist all my life apparently......getting cube farmers out into the light is cool. I don't agree with this part---> Showing any kind of disrespect towards people who can't defend themselves....folks who are committing crime should be held accountable.....folks who are hanging out downtown just need a break. It's their downtown as much as any cube dweller.
Can't we all just get along? Or can we have one opinion and only one opinion only? And it did start as a way to move citizens out of a free area for the public....it then became a Chalk-Off......Which is Cool. OK? I was downtown shopping and partaking of TTown for at least the last 25 years.....it has never been the poor and homeless/disabled that have hassled me......
so hate me for having compassion for the abused and depressed. so hate me for having an opinion that isn't lockstep.....um,. isn't that what Art is supposed to be? or is only Thomas Kincaid-style art and opinions allowed downtown.....since it is now some kind of yuppie-condo-gentrification bullseye?