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Monkeyshines 2012 - The Year of the Dragon

UPDATE With Chinese New Year upon us, this is very obviously the story you want to read right now. Comments are rolling in and a lot of people are reading. Post your stories and, once someone finds that first Monkeyshines, we want to hear about it. Post your images online or send them to us at tips (at) exit133.com and we’ll put it in your comment.

One particularly nice dragon specimen found by a lucky reader

As Chinese New Year approaches we start to get this twitch. We look in newspaper boxes, behind bushes, and in planters. We start to notice all the shiny litter hidden in the nooks of buildings. In spite of the cold and rain (and snow), we walk through the city at night hoping to catch a glimpse of our first glass ball of the year. It’s like a city-wide Easter egg hunt, and it’s not just for kids.

Why? Why now? Dan said it so well in our story last year:

Every year since the year of the Monkey, an anonymous team has conspired to create hundreds of these glass balls and then carefully hide them all over the city. This unique art event has attracted a a slew of devotees, drawn by the beauty of the glass art and the thrill of the treasure hunt. When the first Monkeyshines ball or medallion is found, the news travels quickly. Social networks suddenly spring to life, teeming with the happy declarations and discovery tips of a community drawn together by glass art.

The shadowy Monkeyshines operation is tight-lipped. No one is told when the artworks will be hidden. No one is told where. The artists explained to me that their hope is for finders to have the joy of finding and keeping one piece of art. Should serendipity lead to more, the generous spirit of Monkeyshines demands that the finder join in the secret by telling no one. Someone else will surely find it – the Monkyeshines glass hunters are persistent and numerous.

Chinese New Year is Monday January 23rd. Will it happen that night? Maybe some other night? Given the number of emails to us asking when it’ll be, we seem to think at least a few of you are getting ready too. Monkey shines doesn’t have a webpage any more than the Easter Bunny does, so we’ll have to keep waiting and watching.

Good luck to all our Monkeyshine hunting friends!

As always, post your stories in the comments.

Previously on Exit133: Monkeyshines 2011 – The Year of the Rabbit, Monkeyshines 2010 is now!


Here’s a little more on Monkeyshines … in case you aren’t all out looking right now.

This year’s monkeyshine in its native environment.

More than 500 Hand-Blown Glass Balls Already Hidden in Tacoma for Lucky Searchers

Tacoma, WA, January 23 – For the ninth year in a row, Monkeyshines, Tacoma’s anonymous glass art project, has hidden hand-blown glass balls throughout the streets and neighborhoods of Tacoma in celebration of the Chinese New Year. Now it’s up to treasure hunters to go find them.

Monkeyshines first became a news item in 2003, when they gave away more than 200 glass balls in honor of the Chinese Year of the Monkey. Since then, they’ve hidden literally thousands of pieces of glass art each Chinese New Year. In 2010, more than 500 glass balls and glass medallions were hidden to celebrate the Year of the Tiger. And last year, the same happened for the Year of the Rabbit.

In honor of the current Year of the Dragon, this year’s balls and medallions are stamped with a dragon’s image. The pieces were created by a team of local artists, including students from the Hilltop Artists in Residence glassblowing program. The artworks were hidden throughout the city late last night by a group of bleary-eyed but enthusiastic volunteers. “It’s become part of the fabric of Tacoma,” said one participant. “It feels like its become a bigger deal each year.”

“Celebrating the Year of the Dragon with glass art is a natural,” said Miss Monkey, the project’s official, unidentified spokesperson. “Dragons are all about fire, energy and beauty. And glass floats are beautiful in a way that is so true to a waterfront community like Tacoma. They are the ultimate beachcomber’s treasure. Everyone should own at least one.”

While a few of the glass floats may actually show up on local beaches, don’t assume they’ll all be there. The artists and participants who hide the pieces try to vary the locations to keep the chance of finding one a true surprise. On previous years, the glass artworks were spotted in the branches of trees, throughout downtown, and in clever spots in many Tacoma neighborhoods. The works are meant to be gifts for whoever finds them.

In conjunction with the glass art, local poster artists Beautiful Angle created a dragon-themed poster, which will also be distributed throughout downtown Tacoma.

Monkeyshines representatives want to be clear that the glass gifts are meant to be found, taken home, and shared with friends. “This is an art project that is of, by, and for our community,” said one of the lead participants, “but please take only one. Let others have some fun, too.”

Monkeyshines is not an organization. It is a slightly-crazed art project that may or may not occur again. Keep looking in the low-growing branches of trees for more information.

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blaine valadez

Hey everyone I am addicted to monkeyshine hunting and I have never found one! Last year, my first child was born and I searched the south tacoma area on foot for a whole week without success! This year, we’re expecting our second baby and I will be looking again with the same dedication!, I <span class=“caps”>REALLLLLY</span> hope to find two dragon monkeyshines this year… and trade someone who has a <span class=“caps”>RABBIT</span> from last year. I would <span class=“caps”>LOVE</span> to have a monkeyshine from the two years my kids were born

January 18, 2012 at 9:41 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


If you find 1 Blaine and I don’t find one this year, I would be willing to trade you… If it is one that I like.  An Orb one would be preffered, but a medalion would work… Keep me posted

January 18, 2012 at 11:07 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

Sqeaky Steve

Now that the Asian Cultural Center is in South Park, I really hope more Monkeyshines are dispersed throughout South Tacoma.

If not, then we should start our own tradition down here.

January 19, 2012 at 5:19 am / Reply / Quote and reply


So excited to hunt! Hope we find one this year!

January 20, 2012 at 12:27 am / Reply / Quote and reply


My boys & I are ready! We have been counting down 4 months. No school or work 4 us. Is n e 1 else worried about hunting in the snow??? Will they b buried in the snow???

January 20, 2012 at 1:27 am / Reply / Quote and reply


This is the first year I’ve remembered <span class=“caps”>BEFORE</span> the new year.  I’m looking forward to being out with my little man (who’s great at finding hard to see geocaches), I hope we find one.  It would be a great first year!

January 20, 2012 at 2:27 am / Reply / Quote and reply


this will b year 3 for me. havent found one yet, but 3rd times a charm!

January 20, 2012 at 7:24 am / Reply / Quote and reply


I told my boss a month ago I might be calling in for a day off around the Chinese New Year to look for Monkeyshines.  I was born in the year of the dragon so I’m hoping to find my first one this year. My sister is going “dragon hunting” with me too.  If nothing else, it gave me a great story to tell a co-worker in Hong Kong when she asked if I knew the new year was coming up.  She told me to “go find a lucky dragon ball.”

January 20, 2012 at 12:58 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Hummmm are they out tonight?

January 22, 2012 at 8:22 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Did a quick scan around town – does not look like they are out yet.

January 22, 2012 at 3:34 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


I was out this a.m. too, didn’t see anything.  Then again I couldn’t find Eddie Bauer in a mall yesterday – and I knew where that was!

January 22, 2012 at 3:35 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


likewise nothing found or seen this am

January 22, 2012 at 3:55 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


After my 20 month old woke up at 6am and I saw the post from 1:22 AM – I decided to take the child scavenger hunting.  Two hours of looking in lots of obvious places with no luck.

January 22, 2012 at 4:09 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Bummed – have to fly to DC early tomorrow, looks like another year with no love from the Monkeyshines for me

January 22, 2012 at 4:11 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


I was out for an hour and a half…found nothing.

January 22, 2012 at 4:24 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Oh Ms. Monkey how I long to hear your words…. Went searching this am in many of my favorite spots and nada.

January 22, 2012 at 5:26 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Trying for my 4th year — yes, <span class=“caps”>FOURTH</span> year — to find one! Here dragon, dragon, dragon…

January 23, 2012 at 12:14 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Anyone have a suggestion for a time to start looking?

January 23, 2012 at 1:10 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Lets please start already…….  Im dying to get out and find one so bad.  please let me find one please o please o please.. does anyone know if they will be both balls and medilions?

January 23, 2012 at 1:24 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Went out looking today, no luck! Had waaay too much fun taking pictures of the moustache mirrors at the old Woothworth’s building. Always have so much fun running around the city we love!

January 23, 2012 at 1:52 am / Reply / Quote and reply


BA posters are up, so I’m guessing Monkeyshines won’t be far off!

January 23, 2012 at 1:58 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Monkeyshine, monkeyshine, you’re so hard to find, monkeyshine, monkeyshine, will you be mine?

January 23, 2012 at 1:59 am / Reply / Quote and reply


My brother Terry died last night @ 44 of a heart attack. We are all in shock! He was the one who started our family on the monkeyshine hunt yrs ago. He had the monkey,rat,boar,& rabbit. Im going out with my 2 sons to try to find one for him since he is not with us anymore… going to bed @ 8 so we can start looking @ 5a.m. It will not be the same this yr w/out you Terry but we are dedicating our finds to you. Please guide us on our hunt.

January 23, 2012 at 2:02 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Saw a brief blurb on the Komo website, there will be about 600 of them this year!  Hoping my early morning will not be in vain.  We’re all getting very excite in our house.  Hope it’s tonight!

Sorry about your brother Anita, that’s very sad to hear.

January 23, 2012 at 2:59 am / Reply / Quote and reply

monkey master

fellow shiners

January 23, 2012 at 4:26 am / Reply / Quote and reply


As I read all of your comments and feel your excitement; I wish all of you good luck in your hunt for beautiful glass treasures.  I am sorry for your loss Anita.  Listen to your inner Terry and he will be there to lead you to your dragon.

January 23, 2012 at 5:52 am / Reply / Quote and reply

Peter Peter

Is anybody out there yet? I assume that with the posters up that the games have begun … anybody? Hello?

January 23, 2012 at 10:50 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Getting ready to head out while waiting for my hunting partner to wake up. Will you be joining in the festivities Peter?

January 23, 2012 at 10:58 am / Reply / Quote and reply

Peter Peter

@Jessica – Heading out shortly for a little while. Sleep is unnecessary.

January 23, 2012 at 11:08 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Heading out shortly too, and hoping for a break in the rain!

January 23, 2012 at 11:11 am / Reply / Quote and reply


I’m up and heading out now. Good luck everyone!!!

January 23, 2012 at 11:12 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Good luck hunting, everyone. Just so you know, the folks here at Exit133 know nothing more than the rest of you and have a long history of searching through the night on the wrong nights. So, with that said, have fun out there. I won’t believe it’s real until I see that first photo.

January 23, 2012 at 11:25 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Lots of people out at Reconcilliation park but I don’t think any have been found.  Anyone out there find something?

January 23, 2012 at 11:59 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Found one on proctort! The dragon does exist! Happy New Year.

January 23, 2012 at 12:10 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Woo-hoo!Thanks to the Monkeyshiners on 6th Avenue. We found one!

January 23, 2012 at 12:27 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Been out for a few hours looking. This girl may be getting too little for this big city! Ran in to a few other searchers but no one was very friendly or happy. Hopefully it’s just the weather cause my favorite part of the hunt is making new friends in the wee hours of the morning. Remember to smile people! This is supposed to be fun :)

January 23, 2012 at 12:53 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


After 30minutes, we found a multiple speckled ball at the many squared thing on Broadway!! =)

January 23, 2012 at 12:54 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Lots of people and even a Whale out near Commencement, but have not seen one yet, hope your not teasing us Jessica and Zlanta! Good luck Christina and David!

January 23, 2012 at 12:55 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


How did the MonkeyShiners know I worked at St. Joeseph Hospital. Found a Yellow Ball in a planter as I was goin into work.

January 23, 2012 at 1:10 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


We’ve been out for a couple hours and haven’t found one.  We have found a few friendly faces.  My little monkeys are <span class=“caps”>LOVING</span> this despite the cold, if you see us wave and say hi!

January 23, 2012 at 1:12 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


I <span class=“caps”>FOUND</span> <span class=“caps”>ONE</span>!!!  About 5:55 a.m. outside Old Town Bike Shop.

January 23, 2012 at 1:14 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Found one by the firestation thank you monkeyshines.this is my first year and I’m hooked

January 23, 2012 at 1:32 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


After several hours of searching we were about to give up…then saw a little shine under the bushes at <span class=“caps”>TAPCO</span>. Sure enough, our first one…YEAR OF <span class=“caps”>THE</span> <span class=“caps”>DRAGON</span>!! Thanks to the artists for this great Tacoma event!

January 23, 2012 at 1:39 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

Monkeyshine Project

Dragons-ho!  Make sure you all give a big shout out to the Tacoma Arts Commission for making this all possible, and let them know what The Monkeyshine Project Tacoma means to you.  .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Happy Hunting….there’s a lot out there!

January 23, 2012 at 1:58 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Found one at the globe by Dock Street, saw whale twice by the fishing dock and then found medallian by <span class=“caps”>UWT</span>!!!

January 23, 2012 at 2:02 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


our expedition group has been out for less than an hour and we’ve already found 2!! one at brown bear car wash, and one across the street from vien dong on 38th st!!!!!

January 23, 2012 at 2:05 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

blaine valadez

anyone search around south tacoma area yet? about to head out!

January 23, 2012 at 2:17 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Yay! I found some marbles at People Park! Go marble man! My canine companion was getting sleepy and cold so I promised him one last stop at the glass museum. On the skyway I saw that one of the lights was tinge yellow…..Medallion found! I love searching but one is enough. That’s my rule. If you decide to keep searching maybe you could trade what you already have for the new one, if you like it more?

January 23, 2012 at 2:34 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Found a dragon ball on St. Helens and 6th!!!!!! And awesome marbles at peoples park. Remember, if you find one ball, leave others for someone else to find. Thats the point.

January 23, 2012 at 2:48 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Stuck at home in the boonies because of ice! <span class=“caps”>WAH</span>!!!

January 23, 2012 at 3:15 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


We found one!!!!  Jane Clark park, doing a little hunting before dropping the kids off at school at Sherman.  We were there just a couple of minutes when my Charlie found it.  Way to go little man.  Thank you Monkeshines and Tacoma Arts Commission!!!  We’re hooked too!

January 23, 2012 at 3:19 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


I found a big beautiful dragon ball on Broadway in front of Luna, and my fiance got a medallion at Metronome! Thanks Monkeyshines and Tacoma Arts Commission! You make Tacoma great!

January 23, 2012 at 3:51 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


be careful out there!  I slipped and fell on black ice near Wright Park.

January 23, 2012 at 3:56 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Thank you for my Medallion I found near Lobstershop on Ruston Way, and the ball my husband found in the same area approx 20min before me? Hummmmmmmmm how did that happen? Are they still out hinding them?

January 23, 2012 at 4:14 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

Mrs. Strong

This Mason teacher was out looking all morning.  Found one in a tree near school just as I was about to give up and prepare for the day.  Added lots of excitement for our 6th graders.  Thanks Tacoma!  I love this city!

January 23, 2012 at 5:01 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

The Hunter

Well Blaine, how was South Tacoma?

January 23, 2012 at 5:10 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Found one downtown outside the Y in a planter box after three hours of hunting! Good job Monkeyshines!!

January 23, 2012 at 5:11 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


We looked @ Jane Clark before school too and just missed finding one!:( hopefully after school we can find something, a marble would work too so the boys don’t get disappointed.

January 23, 2012 at 5:18 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

Jordan Foster

Thank you once again Monkeyshines! We found an orb right away – fire station at 6th ave. Then we went and enjoyed breakfast at Hob Nob, mmmmm. Saw a guy find an orb right across the street at Wright Park as we ate… he looked pretty happy too!

January 23, 2012 at 5:23 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Found a medallion around 8:30 this morning hidden in the base of a tree trunk at Wright Park. Monkeyshines time is just so exciting. Thank you, Tacoma Arts Commission. And a big thank you to our secret glass artists, you add magic to our great city. Love my medallion, but, wow, all the orbs I’ve see photos of this year are absolutely stunning. Good luck fellow hunters!

January 23, 2012 at 5:26 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Spent all morning searching with no such luck:(. Keeping my eye out though and staying positive!

January 23, 2012 at 5:26 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


I went searching for an hour this morning – up through <span class=“caps”>UPS</span> campus from Alder to Union and back, but no Monkey Love for me.  I’ll go hunting again once I get off work.  Congrats to all those lucky enough to find something so far!

January 23, 2012 at 5:44 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

Dan Hockaday

4 hours on foot from the dome district to wright park. Finally found one behind the triangular monument to schuster in firemens park. First time doing it, so much fun! Good luck fellow hunters!!!

January 23, 2012 at 5:49 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Thank you MonkeyShines! Found my dragon ball treasure on 19th St. across from <span class=“caps”>TCC</span>…yay for Year of the Dragon!

January 23, 2012 at 5:52 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Searched all morning!  I found a glass piece in the shape of a shell.  Is that something that the monkeyshiners left?  I think a nice couple that I bumped into earlier passed it up for me to find!  After that I drove home excited about my shell but still a little dissapointed that I didn’t find an orb.  Then on my way into work I turned in the community center at Portland Ave Park to do a quick drive-by of the front entrance.  As I was pulling out I saw something shiny poking out of the broken piece of the totem pole! A beautiful orb!!  And I love that the fact that I found it in my own neighborhood.  Thanks all – you made my day!

January 23, 2012 at 6:19 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Found one in a planter at Saint Josephs. We’re expecting a new little one and are so happy to have a monkeyshine for this momentous year

January 23, 2012 at 6:30 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

marble man

thank you ms monkey.  found one saw lots of folks having fun. this is a great thing you and your team do.

January 23, 2012 at 7:01 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


I found a rabbit ball today which was pretty dirty in a tree, could it really be that nobody found it from last year?

January 23, 2012 at 7:08 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Just after 7 this morning I found my first ever monkeyshine on dock street in a bush under a glass studio sign!  Across town at work my husband stumbled across one at the bus stop on the corner of Saint Lukes. Fun way to start off the day!

January 23, 2012 at 7:28 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

monkey master

Unbeleivable!  The first year in three years of hunting I did not find one!  The year of the rabbit I helped others collect thiers when they couldnt find one.  I am seeking to keep my collection up to par, if there is anyone who has found more than one and is willing to part with an extra, let me know.

January 23, 2012 at 7:36 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


I herd about a meeting at round table the weekend after for show/trade/story swapping.  How bout tryin that again?  Saturday the 28th at 1 o’clock?

January 23, 2012 at 7:41 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Headed down to Tacoma after work (I live / work in Seattle but cherish the Monkeyshine holiday from my undergrad days at <span class=“caps”>UPS</span>). Hoping there are still some left!!

January 23, 2012 at 7:43 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Found gold, dragon ball in UW tacoma campus pacific ave in planter box

January 23, 2012 at 8:09 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Found a float hidden in a planter off 9/market area around noon today.  Thanks Monkeyshines, the treasure hunt is so fun!

January 23, 2012 at 8:38 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Had a very nice bartender from Top of Tacoma give me the medallion that he had found.  Made my week!

Thank you to Monkeyshines and a very sweet bartender!

January 23, 2012 at 8:46 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


I found my medallion perched on a store front in the Lincoln International District!

January 23, 2012 at 8:49 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Was lucky enough to find two dragon balls today. As of 1:40 pm, I have re-hidden one of them somewhere on the UW Tacoma campus. Just an <span class=“caps”>FYI</span>…

Thank you ever so much Monkeyshines and the Tacoma Arts Commission!

January 23, 2012 at 8:50 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Still looking… Granted, I’d rather find my own, but is it “okay” to buy one?

January 23, 2012 at 9:16 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Thanks for every1’s condolences!  It was hard for us to do the hunt w/ out my brother Terry. I believe in spirit he was w/ us tho cuz we found 4 orbs and 2 medallions within 3 hrs of looking. Everyone in our car group will get one this year. Good luck to every1.

We found ours @: 2orbs @ the Indian Lady downtown within 1 hr of each other.

1 orb outside the 38th st. police station.

1 medallion on the mckinly playground

1 Medallion on the mans hat outside the museum.

1 orb in a tree on Pac. Ave.

Thank you monkeyshines for giving my family some smiles in our time of grief.

January 23, 2012 at 9:23 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

Alisa Solberg

Yes, thank you so much you Merry Band of Monkeyshine Makers and the Tacoma Arts Commission!  My my son just found a beautiful blue orb at Wilson High School.  Happy New Year!

January 23, 2012 at 9:46 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Found one in the bushes on the street behind North 46th. Had lots of fun! Thank you!

January 23, 2012 at 11:54 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


my kids each found one at Sunnyside in Steilacoom!

January 24, 2012 at 12:16 am / Reply / Quote and reply


This will be my first year for Monkeyshines! My best friend has been doing it for 3 years, into his 4th year. Found one every year so far, I hope he finds one when he goes out tomorrow! I will be taking my 2 little ones with me in the morning, will be showing them pics of these beautiful balls so they know what to look for! Happy hunting all!

January 24, 2012 at 12:16 am / Reply / Quote and reply

Dan Hockaday

For anybody who has found one today or in past years, is there a good way to go about displaying them on a mantle or somewhere to keep them from rolling around?

January 24, 2012 at 12:19 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Hi Dan,

Go buy some rubber washers – they make great stands and keeps them from rolling around.

January 24, 2012 at 12:31 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Thank you Monkeyshines! Found a beautiful blue globe on the Multicare campus near Mary Bridge. Love it!

January 24, 2012 at 12:38 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Today was my lucky day, I have been looking for the past couple years and I found a beautiful golded orb in a down town park early this morning around 6am.  I saw lot’s of dragon hunters out and about and two guys had just walked thru the area where I found mine.  Thank you Monkeyshines for all the fun and exercise.

January 24, 2012 at 12:45 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Found another beautiful orb in a planter on Broadway =) thanks monkeys!

January 24, 2012 at 12:47 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Mu son found his at his hospital this morning as he walked into work. On my lunch break today drove by Zina Linniks’s Park and saw something blue and shiny. Went around the block and drove back to find a large blue medallion and a small brown one next to it under the fence. Happy Chinese New Year and thank you Monkeyshines!

January 24, 2012 at 12:53 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Searched Fern Hill, but came up empty-handed…

January 24, 2012 at 1:14 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Has anyone found posters?

January 24, 2012 at 1:27 am / Reply / Quote and reply


The south end was ripe with monkeyshines this morning!

January 24, 2012 at 1:53 am / Reply / Quote and reply


@hwill: We put that there for you to find because you were so nice, we wanted to make sure you got something, even if it wasn’t an official monkeyshine. I’m so glad to hear you found a ball! :)

We left a few other pink glass shells around, and some real moon snail shells. I hope people enjoyed finding them too! :)

January 24, 2012 at 2:24 am / Reply / Quote and reply


went out at 4:30 this morning; sixth year I have searched and have never found one. explained Monkeyshines to a friendly squid fisherman at Les Davis pier before sunrise. accidentally fell in the fountain at 11th & Broadway around 6. went to work for awhile, but stopped by in person to thank amy mcbride.  continued the search. thought I saw one – but it was the 422nd beer can of the day. going back to the car found the most beautiful dragon ball. persistence does pay off. thank you for a great excuse to run all over Tacoma. and thanks to Beautiful Angle for the coordinated letterpress.

January 24, 2012 at 2:42 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Found ours in old town, on our way home from searching all morning with two little ones and a very good friend. It is so beautiful. Such a great tradition, Big kudos to all the artists that created the Monkeyshiners and the Art grant that help make the 600 out there. See ya next year.

January 24, 2012 at 3:53 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Found my first Monkeyshines tonight at 8PM. They’re still out there, so keep looking!

January 24, 2012 at 4:56 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Found one at the <span class=“caps”>MLK</span> & 6th ave bus stop yesterday.

January 24, 2012 at 1:30 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

Anagram Press

I’m out of the running this year (literally) as I’m on crutches and stuck at home, so I’m living vicariously through y’all. Then, Lo and Behold, some friends dropped by with the gift of a found Beautiful Angle poster, and I’m pleased as punch. Next year I’ll continue the hunt for my first orb—thank you Monkeyshiners, McBride, B.A. and Tacomans for continuing one of our best traditions!

January 24, 2012 at 2:29 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Had a great time with my family yesterday!  Thanks Monkeyshiners! I had my wife, 1yr old daughter, & 2 year old daughter out looking for shines!  We had no luck, but it was priceless to hear my 2yr old daughter chant, “We’re going on an adventure… looking for treasure” over, and over again!  I almost brought home 3 beer bottles just as a reminder of the good time we had!  Looks like a a family tradition has been started!  Can’t thank you guys enough…cherished memories for sure!  Go Monkeyshiners!

January 24, 2012 at 3:45 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

First Base

Went out for the first time this year and found one right at the get go (Monday morning).  I was totally surprised by that.  For me it was the best because it shows that anyone can do it.  It gave hope to my fellow hunter, also on his first trip, that we may find one for him.  Never did find a second one.  But I also have a very small amount of guilt that I found one so quickly when there are those that have been searching for years and haven’t found an orb yet.

January 24, 2012 at 3:59 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


*edit – 3 “empty” beer bottles that were shiny and we thought could be shines!  Some even placed at the base of trees.

January 24, 2012 at 4:07 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Does anyone have the link to the Beautiful Angle Facebook group page? I’m told there is one.  Thx.

January 24, 2012 at 5:10 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


January 24, 2012 at 5:38 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


So are there still any out there? I think i have walked my feet right off lol even though i did not find one i had a blast and am excited to explore some more! but if ya guys have any hints that would be nice, I am a little confused at where ms_monkey is she usually stops by and posts. I hope everything is ok.

January 24, 2012 at 5:47 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


@Moonsnail: Thanks! love my glass shell!

January 24, 2012 at 6:34 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

Peter Peter

@104 – I’m sure there are still some out there. We found some last year several days into the search. The key was to think of great places in Tacoma that aren’t in downtown or Ruston Way. Those places were completely picked through within hours. The ones we found were hiding in plain sight.

January 24, 2012 at 6:35 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


@104 confused…I’m lurking here as usual!  I cannot begin to express the joy I feel when I read this and other blogs.  The Monkeyshiners are a group of fun-loving Guerilla artists, and we know that <span class=“caps”>ONLY</span> in Tacoma will the community come out and hunt, enjoy our beautiful city, and really get the spirit of The Monkeyshine Project.  We are thrilled when we read about ‘Marble Man’ and ‘Moonsnail’ dropping glass treasures for other hunters to find!  Monkeyshines is about everyone’s ability to positively impact our community. Thank-you Tacoma for coming out to play!

January 24, 2012 at 7:06 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


@107 I know the marble man we help him leave presents and love doing it and i am glad to see you are still lurking lol and seeing the enjoyment we all get out of your teams hard work and we emailed amy and let her know we appreciate them to thank you very much i am off to try again and comb the city !!!

January 24, 2012 at 7:18 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


@marie hello there I will head down to jane clark if for some reason nothing is there you can email me and ill let ya know where else i go today .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) hope they enjoy there treasure hunt marble man will be excited to help bring excitment for them

January 24, 2012 at 7:22 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


We are going to walk up s tac way.  so far no luck.  I am happy to see your post Ms. Monkey! Thank you for the years of fun.

January 24, 2012 at 8:16 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


I had my heart set on a ball, but didn’t find one- I did get a medallion though, so I didn’t go home empty handed. ;) Too laid up with my bad back to hunt any more, so I’ll just hope next year will bring a ball my way. :)

Already planning little treasures to leave when we go out hunting next year, too. :)

January 24, 2012 at 10:17 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


After searching downtown last night until 4:30 am I slept and went back out today (my girlfriend found one last night but one didn’t come my way). Walked from 6th and <span class=“caps”>MLK</span> and ended my search with an amazing find in the best location I could have hoped for, The Fish House!! Best fish sandwich in town and where I found my first Monkeyshine, thank you everyone who helps make this happen in Tacoma.

January 24, 2012 at 10:45 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


I looked last night late until 2am. I didn’t find anything yet :) I am wondering.. are there still some out there? I am ready to go again late tonight!!!

January 24, 2012 at 11:18 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Can someone post a photo of the marbles they found from marble man?

January 24, 2012 at 11:53 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


well no luck today think ill dry out now maybe tomorrow

January 25, 2012 at 12:17 am / Reply / Quote and reply


TO <span class=“caps”>THOSE</span> OF <span class=“caps”>YOU</span> <span class=“caps”>ASKING</span> IF <span class=“caps”>THERE</span> IS <span class=“caps”>STILL</span> <span class=“caps”>GLASS</span> TO <span class=“caps”>FIND</span>…………..In each of the last three years someone reported finding a ball or medallion from previous years. I am sure there are much more that don’t share online too. Keep Looking!!!!! I hear the Monkeyshines luck and good fortune multiplies exponentially the longer they are hidden. Monkeyshines isn’t a day, week, or month out of the year. It’s a way of life. Monkeyshines 365 ;-)

January 25, 2012 at 3:19 am / Reply / Quote and reply

Nancy Piercy

woke up at 3:50 am but it was too dark and cold. finally went out in the afternoon to Ruston Way with my son.  parked at the Lobster Shop and started searching. son found a medallion within five minutes leaning at the base of the dock railing.  we walked all the way to the new reconcillation park but found no other medallions or floats. I did find two agates (rocks) on the beach and a $20 bill at the base of a tree so it wasn’t too bad.  I would trade it all for a dragon, well I would probably keep the agates.

January 25, 2012 at 5:16 am / Reply / Quote and reply


found a very cool marble at reconciliation park!

thanks Marbleman!

(Tried to post a picture.. couldn’t get it. how do I do that?)

January 25, 2012 at 1:36 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


God love you all but I’m a bit disturbed by this.  We’re at 118 comments for a hide-n-seek game and have to beg for them on real issues?  I’m sure Monkeyshine is fun and all but…

January 25, 2012 at 3:25 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


A reader emailed us this message and pictures of those marbles we’ve been hearing about (here you go @dragonslayer):

The 4 marbles are from last year. The boys and I found 2 this year so far. The yellow one in Ruston and the Dino on a park pole in Vassault Park. No monkeyshine yet! Thanks Marbleman; we are still on the hunt!

January 25, 2012 at 4:56 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Awesome!!!  Thank you so much!!

January 25, 2012 at 5:18 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


I just wanted to thank Ms Monkey and her amazing crew.  Your work this year to touch every part of our city was incredible! I was inspired to comment by Jesse’s thoughts.  I too have worked on a number of civil rights activities and know how hard it is to get people to even work to help themselves.  But this amazing event allows all of us to add hope, childish delight, and a warm sense of community in such challenging, dark and cold times (especially this last week).  I would truly be much more concerned if there were not as many posts.  It makes my very grateful to be a part of this community.  While I am still looking after numerous very early wake-ups, I look forward to finding my own “shiney monkey” (to quote my daughter).  Thank you all for your great energy!

January 25, 2012 at 7:22 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


I suppose I’ll take the kids to look again, they get so excited.  But you know, every year (since I found a boar one years ago) I think I have more fun reading here about everyone finding Monkeyshines (or better yet, the Monkeyshines finding them) more than I would finding them myself.  Great job, tbsqrd, for re-hiding the 2nd one you found.  And it’s so cool that previous years’ ‘shines are still being found.  Really?  One was found in Steilacoom?  Cool.

January 25, 2012 at 7:34 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


What a bummer I’ve been searching for three days and can’t seem to find anything.  I see others have several.  I guess the game is only for the greedy.

January 25, 2012 at 10:06 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


I am not having any luck there is always next year!

January 25, 2012 at 11:07 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Still searching too.  Don’t give up!

January 26, 2012 at 2:16 am / Reply / Quote and reply

The Hunter

Confused, keep up the search! You are on vacation after all!

January 26, 2012 at 3:08 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Oh Hunter I suppose you are right clever screen name there friend perhaps you have good ideas for me i think i have been throughout the whole city i did find a pad lock so if anyone lost one let me know lol.

January 26, 2012 at 6:12 am / Reply / Quote and reply

Team Franzy

My wife and I have been trying to find one since the Year of the Rat. This year’s search began in earnest on Monday, looking in a lot of the obvious (and picked-over) places.  We were rewarded yesterday, three days in, at Wright Park, with an excellent well-camouflaged orb in plan sight! What a blast it would be to do the hiding!I

January 26, 2012 at 5:03 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


The Dragon balls are all over Tacoma, keep looking!  Also, a <span class=“caps”>HUGE</span> shout-out to Tacoma Glassblowing Studio on 23rd and ‘A’ street for all they do to keep Monkeybusiness going all year. 

Thank-you all for playing.  Thanks everyone who took only 1 Monkeyshine, be it a medallion or an orb, and thanks to the person who ‘re-hid’ their extra.

Thanks glass artists, students, teachers, craftspeople, geo-cachers, friends, studio owners, stamp-makers, Arts Commission and commissioners, and all who devote their time and energy in serving others.  Thanks Tacoma Police Department and all security personnel who protect, serve and don’t hassle we Monkeyshiners ;-)

As always, I suggest you Monkeyshine Aficionados find something you can add to the party, be it picking up trash along the way, figuring out how to make all of those beer bottles ‘collectible New Year’s art’, or just saying ‘hi’ to the other hunters.  Let’s work to make the post-holiday darkness a time of light and festivity in Tacoma, <span class=“caps”>THE</span> City of Destiny!

January 26, 2012 at 5:41 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

The Hunter

I just wanted to thank MsMonkey and the Tacoma Arts Commision and volunteers for all of your efforts! Thins is a great family event that we look forward to. This is our second year and my wife and I found ours Monday and Tues. I found a medallian at Wrights park mon morn and she found a very nice globe on So Tacoma Way Tues night. We are very happy! Thanks again!!

January 26, 2012 at 8:27 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Four days and about ten hours of search time in so far.  I’m still not giving up hope though.  It took me five days last year. Good luck everyone!

January 26, 2012 at 9:17 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


oh my goodness four days in i think my right foot is quiting on me lol amazing how much someone can walk and not realize still no luck for me think i will have to retire for the year although i still hope maybe one will find me

January 26, 2012 at 11:28 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

Bailey June

Havr been looking for about two hours now, still haven’t found anything!:( tips!? Anyone! I didn’t get to start on the day it started because of surgery but I’m out and about looking for one now!:)

January 27, 2012 at 2:35 am / Reply / Quote and reply

purple crazy

does anyone have a purple one or one with alot of purple they want to trade for a blue and green one?

January 27, 2012 at 2:37 am / Reply / Quote and reply


tacoma justin will you email me .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

January 27, 2012 at 2:45 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Gotta love Marbleman! Picked up 4 more marbles w/ boys! Thx! Still on the hunt, seen many parts of Tacoma I

haven’t seen in awhile. Ms Monkey is right about trying to help w/ the garbage 1 bag at a time. Still on the hunt for a dragonball, I know one is out there w/ our name on, not ready to throw in towel yet.

January 27, 2012 at 5:53 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Hey all! This is such an amazing activity! I went out on Monday for 4 hours, but no luck :( Now I have been preoccupied with work, but tomorrow the search renews in earnest! This is my first year, and I so hope to find one :) If nothing else, I have gotten the family outside, been to a couple of local spots that I haven’t seen in a while, and met some cool people. We should have more spontaneous art pop up in the city. I love Tacoma!

January 27, 2012 at 6:43 am / Reply / Quote and reply


well shiners four days in and i found one thank you so much found on pac ave super sweet ball i got off work at 11pm me and my wife went huntin and two hours latter there it was keep up the good work

January 27, 2012 at 6:35 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


sorry using nancys computer this is monkeymaster

January 27, 2012 at 7:18 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Too 139 and 140… Where did you find it on <span class=“caps”>PAC</span> ave. I’ve been looking and. No help or found.

Is there any on south Tacoma way?

January 27, 2012 at 11:29 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


we think someone rehid it there cause it was pretty visible by the skippers we just thought what the heck we will stop by here I am a rooster so if anyone wants to trade me my phone number 253 273 5937

January 28, 2012 at 3:32 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Keep looking late night lookers! I did and was rewarded with my first find. I originally stopped my car to look at an orange orb near a tree. After discovering it was an orange I went around the corner and found another orange orb and to my delight it was made of glass. Thanks Monkey Shine makers and supporters for encouraging folks to get out and discover our great city.

January 28, 2012 at 11:41 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


where did you find one sue

January 29, 2012 at 12:42 am / Reply / Quote and reply


does anyone have a monkey they want to trade?

January 31, 2012 at 3:02 am / Reply / Quote and reply

Sqeaky Steve

Am yearning to know: Blaine, did you find one? 

Also, Becca, I’m curious to know more specifically where in the “south end” you found your three?  Thanks!


January 31, 2012 at 3:20 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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