Saturday, June 05, 2004

Reflections on Cordata Area in Bellingham, WA.

Silicon Valley Creeping North

A few weeks ago, I bicycled out Cordata Street. Haven't seen the campus of Whatcom
Community College for quite some time.

It has grown! Bellingham has two major centers of higher learning
now. WCC and Western Washington University, known as WWU.

Comparing Whatcom to Western brings one word to
mind - Parking. The community college seems to have parking, at each
building, while Western is less "car friendly."

I like Western's layout better, being a non driver. Western is a much prettier campus.
It gets a lot of criticism for parking being a long ways from buildings, but bike parking is right near the door..

The Whatcom campus looks like it is becoming a "juggernaut" for a
mini "Silicone Valley." So many firms in glass steel boxes. Light
manufacturing mixed with warehouse style retail. It reminded me of
last summer, biking through Mountainview, California, near San Jose.

One nice thing about Moutainview; it does have lots of bike lanes.
The sprawl has been "retrofitted," for calmer things like bikes.
Also retrofitting for earthquakes.

Codata Street, in Bellingham, was poorly planned with out bike
lanes. Seeds of sprawl, along with all that parking at WCC are
planted. Newer streets, out in that area, have bike lanes.
Retrofitting is happening here also.

"Is the cup half full or half empty?" Or, as some people say, "is it
overflowing?" "Out of control?" Anti growth advocates hate seeing things like Cordata mushroom.

When I was riding though northern California, my radio
practically danced off its handlebar mount with a jingle from this
firm called "Tap Plastics."

The jingle goes "Tap Tap ... Tap Plastics." And there is a full

It's just about cutting plastics to sizes for things like window
coverings. Does it deserve all this fanfare?

Now, Seattle stations ring with the jingle as a "Tap Plastics" has
landed in Bellvue. Will it someday come to Bellingham? Will it be
followed by "Crispy Cream Doughnuts?"

If it does, it would likely land in Cordata area.

Amazing how people's day to day purchases can shape the world.

Business tends to make big deals out of trivial items. That new sofa
cover, paint for the deck.

When I was growing up, in eastern Washington, the entire landscape
seemed covered with signs for "Tiny's." It was a business in
Cashmere, Washington." Little signs would just say,

"Tiny's, Cashmere, WA."

Fence posts had signs, houses had signs, phone poles, bumper

What was "Tiny's?"

When we finally went through Cashmere, my mom looked out the window.
With great disgust in her voice she said, "It's nothing but a big
overgrown fruit stand!"
It's about "making a living." "Getting that new sofa and sun deck."

See more of my Bellingham pictures here.


Anonymous said...

While reading thru your posting here I also remember TINYS in Cashmere. My father and stepmother used to live over in that area and I always stopped on my way to see them and got a jug of CHERRY CIDER and took with me and then would stop on my way home and get one for me. People always commented oh..OH WHERE IN THE WORLD DO YOU EVER FIND CHERRY CIDER...and I would see the signs all over the place and on bumpber stickers??? Well that the TINYS I used to go to..and if you dont know it..Tiny was one huge big man with a heart and I think that is why he had such a well known business.
....bye, Ron

Anonymous said...

Robert, Your comments about Tiny's in Cashmere reminds me of the advertising about 55 years ago for the "Trees of Mystery," an interesting tourist trap in Northern California. This was back before bumper stickers became as popular and common as they did later. At that time I think every auto that stopped in the TOM parking lot had a distinctive yellow and black TOM bumper sticker wired to its bumper. If you happened to be driving down the Oregon coast, you couldn't miss seeing them. Also there were a series of Burma Shave-like roadside signs advertising the TOM for a hundred miles in all directions, and, as I recall, telling how many more miles to TOM. The closer you got to the attraction, the more often you saw the signs. By the time you got there, you just knew you had to stop to see what all the commotion was about. The Trees of Mystery is still there, but its advertising is more subdued than it was in years past. cf

Rick said...

Hey, I lived in Cashmere when I was a little kid in the early 60's. Tiny's was a very big deal; an overgrown fruit stand and roadside curio shop. Tiny was an obese guy, as are most guys called "Tiny."

We'd buy Aplets and Cotlets and Cherry Cider and sno-cones. It was cool.

Thanks for writing about it.

Anonymous said...

Hi Rick;
Tiny was not obese, he was just biiiig. And he was known as the CIDER KING