I don’t hate Seattle and that’s not what this post is about. It’s about that iconic movie from the late 1990’s with Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles. Tere’s a baby Joseph Gordon Levitt in there too. If you haven’t watch it: Stop. GO directly to Netflix. Watch it. Return.
I have loved this movie for a long time, and it is one of my favorite Heath Ledger movies (I’m still not over his death, FYI). I don’t know why it never occurred to me to visit the high school where the movie was filmed and set before, but it finally did on this trip, and my aunt and uncle were kind enough to drive me there. The real school is called Stadium HIgh School and it is in Tacoma, WA. I will say this: it really is as beautiful as the movie makes it look. We were able to go down to the famous stadium field (a location so spectacular that many famous people have used it, such as past presidents and even musicians like Louis Armstrong) and I was so excited in the geekiest kind of way to walk around the place where so many scenes from the movie took place. I mean, the part where Patrick Verona sings and dances away from the school security guards? Come on, that is cool.
After the stadium we walked around the giant red bricked building itself. We learned some interesting history about it, like the fact that it was originally built in the 1880’s as a hotel, but a fire pretty much wrecked those dreams. Then the burned out shell was used a storage before being rebuilt just after the turn of the century. Today it stands as a beautiful and famous high school, although I’m not sure how excited the actual students are about that. We made our way to the main entrance (another popular filming spot) and had to compete with other tourists and a group of skateboarders trying to film themselves.
After touring the grounds we left to explore a nearby thrift/junk/antique shop. My uncle and cousin went to a heavenly smelling burger and shakes place while my aunt and I explored the old treasure crammed into the shop. She came away with a chess set and I found a little UW husky pin with ’89 on it. A pin as old as me, from the university, purchased across the street from Stadium. The perfect little remembrance.
Later that night my aunt and I tiki’d in the brisk PNW winter air, but more on that later.