I figure if I’m going to be broke, I’m going to be broke in some place I like. So I came to Tacoma.
Henry’s window overlooked the lawn and the waterfront, and he could see women sunning themselves and children playing ball. From the hotel’s boathouse, a newly painted white-and-blue wooden structure topped with flags that wilted in the summer heat, tourists launched dinghies and small yachts. It looked very picturesque, Henry thought—quite summery, quite American. But to the north, the lawn gave way to mudflats, over which loomed the backsides of factories and canneries.
TACOMA BY IAN DENNING 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 14
Last night on the train, Henry and Lawrence had passed an electric sign every few minutes. “You’ll like Tacoma!” the signs blazed into the night, and the insects that circled the light bulbs seemed to blur and extend the words. This afternoon, with the sun directly above the caravan of press automobiles that bumped along the road next to the railroad tracks, the signs looked gray and fly-specked, sagging iron armatures that dangled wires. They were skeletons looming…