St Helens District (Tacoma, WA)
St Helens District (Tacoma, WA) Real Estate News
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Amocats and Stinky Cheese, my kind of neighborhood!
Rene Fabre, New Media Marketing (First American Title)

I was in the Triangle District on St Helens Ave, in Tacoma last week. I love this little neighborhood just north of downtown Tacoma. I had a meeting in the morning with my pals and coworkers Chanel Studebaker and Kim Thompson Schildt at the Amocat Cafe. My first time here and it was love at first site. It's so totally authentically Tacoma with a laid back vibe.  

The Amocat Cafe serves well crafted espresso drinks, beer and wine, and tea from the Mad Hat Tea Company. They also have live music occasionally on Friday nights.

Amocat Cafe on St Helens Ave, Tacoma WA.

I'm looking forward to checking out the handcrafted small batch beers brewed in house. Amocat Cafe is home to Tacoma Brewing Company. I signed right up and became an official full fledged member of The Society for a Backwards Tacoma!

The Society for a Backwards Tacoma, membership card.

I haven't been in the Triangle for about two years and was so delighted to see all the new "local" businesses. I'll be back soon. I'm going to have to check out STINK, sounds like my kind of place, old world food and drink! I've heard a lot about and just have to try the warm panini pressed Stinker with peanut butter, blackberry jam, bacon, and bleu cheese. That sounds awesome!

STINK Cheese-Meat on St Helens Ave, Tacoma WA.


Amocat Cafe    Stink Cheese-Meat    Tacoma Brewing Co.

René Fabre

"Where there's conversation, there's opportunity."

Please Note - The views expressed herein reflect only the individual’s personal views and are not the views of the author’s employer.

The Blackberry Chronicles, a blog by Rene Fabre and his travels around the Greater Pacific Northwest and beyond. Connect w/ Rene Fabre on Google+. Rene Fabre on Twitter. Rene Fabre writes reviews on Yelp. Rene Fabre on The Audiorium YouTube Channel by Rene Fabre. Rene Fabre loves digital photography and here are his shares on Flickr. Rene Fabre checks in on Foursquare. Rene Fabre is a musician and composer and shares some of his orginal music and recordings on Soundcloud. Rene Fabre shares his interests on Pinterest.
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My Real Tacoma: My First & Only Place
Marguerite Giguere, Specializing in Tacoma, WA (Windermere Professional Partners)

St Helens Neighborhood in TacomaBy Erik Hanberg

When I moved back to Tacoma in 2002 after four years away, I was blown away by the changes downtown. I loved that it was starting to feel like a real city. When I landed a job downtown, I decided I would take the plunge and move downtown as well. I chose the Bostwick building-the yellow wedge building at 9th and Broadway.





Bostwick Apartments on 9th & St Helens - Downtown Tacoma

It was a small apartment on the 2nd floor, but I felt like I was living a luxurious life. I could see the lights of the Pantages out my window. I had antique hardwood floors, huge bay windows, and 12 foot high ceilings.  My desire to own eventually kicked in. But where was I going to find a house or a condo that had the same things I liked about my apartment but was still within walking distance of my downtown job.  I looked at many places downtown and in the Stadium District. (Actually, in 2003 there wasn't a lot to choose from, so it didn't take long to see what was there.) And that's when I discovered an unassuming four-plex of condos on St. Helens. I'd barely noticed it before I stepped inside the front door.


At first, I was skeptical. I didn't like the long hallway. I didn't like that I wasn't looking over an active street from my living room. I didn't like that it wasn't historic like the Bostwick. In fact, that might be what I disliked the most: it wasn't like my apartment. So I kept looking.  But some of the best features stuck with me. I loved the view of the mountain, the deck off the back, the gas fireplace, the two parking spaces, the huge kitchen, and more storage than I possibly knew what to do with. So I went back. And then I went back again.  The more I went, the more I could see myself living there. I got my keys on October 24 (I can't believe I still remember the day) and I was moved in by the end of the month.


Five years later, what a decision it turned out to be. I'm thankful I went back multiple times because I needed to spend the time there to get over my initial impression. The place was so functional and friendly! Last month a friend house-sat while we were on vacation. When we came back, she remarked that while she had always liked our place, she didn't understand how well laid out it was until she actually lived there for a week.

Erik's Custom Bookshelves
Erik's custom bookshelf.

And because I owned it I could make changes that made it even better for me. With my parents and fiancé, we tore out a partial wall in the kitchen and put in an island. We painted. We transformed an empty corner into a wine rack. We installed bookcases in the TV room and added shelves to the closets.
With two of us living there now, we made it a real home.

This one has a fold down desk. Fancy.

This one has a fold down desk. Fancy.

What I mostly feel is happiness. Happiness that I didn't just try to find a larger version of my apartment and instead saw the condo for what it was and what I could do with it. Happiness that I worked hard enough to find a place that I could imagine being for a long time.


I can't tell you how much I say to my fiance Mary, "You know, I really love our place." Or how often she says it to me. It's been a real joy.


My First And Only Place

Contributed by Erik Hanberg

You can see more of Erik's writing on his blog.

For More information visit Marguerite's Outside Blog at


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