Tuesday afternoon we checked into our hotel, The Montvale, in downtown Spokane, just behind a troupe of musicians, whose manager gave us a handout for their concert the next evening.
The Montvale began life in 1899 as a residential hotel for workers drawn to this northwestern boom town. Dinner, celebrating our 47thwedding anniversary, was at The Steam Plant. This dining and shopping venue bwegan life providing steam heating for the entire downtown. It was a very nice meal in an amusing setting.
We began Wednesday as Trip Advisor suggests with a top attraction, Manito Park. We drove through much of it until we hit the Nishinomiya Tsutakawa Japanese Garden.
From there we got hold of some walking maps of the city’s architecture. What is most striking is the city’s early commitment to preservation and adaptive reuse. As a result, though no one seems to live downtown, it is a vibrant city center for entertainment and commerce.
|Our Lady of Lourdes Roman Catholic Cathedral|
|I thought this Masonic device amusing|
|A back alley|
|The Review Building|
|You think the Empire State Building is in New York??|
|The Davenport Hotel|
We finished the day with dinner at Inland Pacific Kitchen. If you are within a hundred miles of Spokane, you have to eat here. It’s that good. Part of a group of five local restaurant/clubs, our server, who also has a stake, describes it as their test kitchen. When we praised the cauliflower, his response was that they had been refining it for a year. To compar4e we had to go to a tasting menu we had in Barcelona four years ago and a more recent meal in San Francisco at Jardiniere.
And then to bring it all back around, it turned out that Logan Richardson, whose band we encountered at our hotel, were playing around the corner in the same building.
These are the days for which you travel.
Oh, and I got another knife, but no more pens. This one is by a rather obscure, but very fine craftsman, John Hoskins, who apparently also taught at Eastern Washington University, though I can find no mention of him in that regard. It is a lovely knife with what looks like a Box Elder handle and a polished 440C blade, all in a very nice tooled leatherwork sheath.
Thursday puts us southwest to the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon at The Dalles.