Posts tagged Chinese New Year
A Tacoma Annual Tradition Hunting for Monkeyshines: A Look at the Citywide Guerrilla Art Hunt
Anna Osgoodby Life + Biz: A Tacoma Annual Tradition Hunting for Monkeyshines: A Look at the Citywide Guerrilla Art Hunt

It’s Chinese New Year which means... Monkeyshine season is upon us in Tacoma! If you haven’t heard about it before, it’s an annual guerrilla art hunt where local artists hide a couple thousand glass orbs and medallions stamped with the Chinese Zodiac around the city.

Originally, it was started by someone known as “Ms. Monkey” and a friend who wanted to create joy and excitement for residents during our long grey winters. While deciding what they were going to create and hide, they were inspired by Ms. Monkey’s friend’s brass stamp he had created with a monkey on it. With access to a hot shop and donated glass, they decided stamping glass balls was the perfect creation. Plus, it would also pay homage to the city’s glass roots. From there, they created 200 creations and with a cohort of volunteers they hid them around the city. Here’s a peek at what some of them look like!

Their idea was a hit right from the bat, even with some initial confusion. Apparently the finds were being confiscated at first because they thought they had been stolen from the glass museum! After a very buzzworthy first year, Ms. Monkey’s crew decided to commit to hiding what would be known as “monkeyshines” each year for 12 years to complete a cycle (and later another cycle). How fun right?! You can learn even more about the back story of the tradition in this great article from Joanna Kresge of South Sound Magazine including an interview with Ms. Monkey herself.

Since then, the event has continued to evolve and others have decided to join in the fun including, now infamous, Marble Man who leaves marbles and others who leave their own gifts of charms, bracelets, and painted rocks to name a few. Adding even more treasures to be found! There aren’t any formal rules, but you can find monkeyshines in public places around the city and be sure to keep the honor system of 1 per person (that is if you’re lucky enough to even find one!)

Last year was my first year of hunting for monkeyshines and while we didn’t find anything, it was a really fun day of exploring the city — especially because we’d just moved. You could say we fully embraced the original mission of the event! That was also the day we ended up discovering my favorite brewery, 7 Seas Brewing (where I just celebrated my 30th Birthday party at)!

Anna Osgoodby Life + Biz: A Tacoma Annual Tradition Hunting for Monkeyshines: A Look at the Citywide Guerrilla Art Hunt

This year, I was lucky enough to (unsuspectingly) come across a red envelope with a pig charm inside too! I also walked by a guy who found a really gorgeous glass ball in Wright Park! So there are definitely treasures to be found out there! I’ve been keeping up with the hashtag on Instagram of finds too! No matter if you find something or not though, remember to enjoy the hunt and this great city because that’s where the real fun is!

New Years in Chinatown
Anna Osgoodby NYC Living :: New Years in Chinatown

Gung Hay Fat Choy! My boss has a tradition every year of treating our office to a trip to Chinatown to celebrate her heritage with some Dim Sum and I’ve been lucky enough to join over the years. If you’ve never tried Dim Sum before, I absolutely suggest that you check it out! I highly recommend my boss’ choice, the Golden Unicorn!

Anna Osgoodby NYC Living :: New Years in Chinatown
Anna Osgoodby NYC Living :: New Years in Chinatown

Dim Sum is such a cool experience because it isn’t your typical sit-down restaurant. Once you sit down in their banquet room, the waiters come around with carts that you can pick what you’d like to order and then stamp your card. I’ve been pretty lucky to have had my boss there to show us the ropes and suggest some delicious dishes, but now that I’ve been a few times I feel like I’ve figured out some of my favorite dishes! Oh hello little steamed pork rolls and dumplings! YUM! 

After Dim Sum, we ventured a little further into Chinatown for the Chinese New Year parade to celebrate the year of the goat! Or sheep, depending on who you’re talking to!

Anna Osgoodby NYC Living :: New Years in Chinatown
Anna Osgoodby NYC Living :: New Years in Chinatown
Anna Osgoodby NYC Living :: New Years in Chinatown
Anna Osgoodby NYC Living :: New Years in Chinatown

I’m a huge fan of all things glitter and confetti, so you can imagine how excited I was about these confetti launchers — I imagine that’s not their real name, but I’ll go with it. They were like the typical party poppers but WAY bigger, and way more awesome. People were shooting them off everywhere too! I think it’s the one parade I’ve been to where they encourage you to shoot things off at the people in the parade.

Anna Osgoodby NYC Living :: New Years in Chinatown
Anna Osgoodby NYC Living :: New Years in Chinatown
Anna Osgoodby NYC Living :: New Years in Chinatown
Anna Osgoodby NYC Living :: New Years in Chinatown
Anna Osgoodby NYC Living :: New Years in Chinatown
Anna Osgoodby NYC Living :: New Years in Chinatown
Anna Osgoodby NYC Living :: New Years in Chinatown
Anna Osgoodby NYC Living :: New Years in Chinatown
Anna Osgoodby NYC Living :: New Years in Chinatown

It was truly such a fun time and the perfect bit of culture for the weekend!