31 October 2009

A Toast to You ~ Happy Halloween!

On Halloween everyone can find love - even a witch and a ghoul. The pirate/fortune teller bartender is happy to provide bloody drinks & love potions of all types. A nice skull mural behind the bar sets the tone for Halloween romance....

This fun and creepy tableau is on display at Loew's Ventana Canyon Resort - just outside of one of the resort's bars.

(520) 299-2020

30 October 2009

A Ghoulish Halloween Marriage in Hell ~

Who says marriage is hell? This dapper skeleton groom is obviously enchanted with his corpse bride. "'Til death do us part" doesn't seem like quite the right vow, though. What do you think?

29 October 2009

El Tour de Tucson ~ yard art

This huge metal sculpture graces the front yard of a private home. The circle of cyclists never stops, never gives up... I view it as a salute to all of the participants in Tucson's upcoming "El Tour de Tucson," a world-famous cycling competition that will take place on Sunday, November 21. Tucson is a favorite city for bicyclists and now, with the Tour just weeks away, all of Tucson's bikepaths and roadways are filled with bicyclists in training for the big day: 109 miles in total.

28 October 2009

Abandon all hope...

Well I suppose you can hardly hope for a cheerful message in a Halloween yard display but this one reminds me of the inscription to the entrance to hell in Dante's Divine Comedy, "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here." Jeez, I wonder what message they'll want to send to Santa in December - crime scene tape that says, "Do not cross"? Trick or treat, kids?

27 October 2009

Tucson Groundbreaking ~ A day of health!

I attended a groundbreaking ceremony that was held on the Kino Campus of University Physicians Hospital for a new behaviorial health pavilion and crisis response center. Now the citizens of South Tucson will have a state of the art facility close to home. This collaboration involved Pima County, the voters (who approved the funding bond), the hospital's parent entity (UPH), the Community Partnership of Southern Arizona, and the U of A.

As you would expect, the tent was filled with many beaming elected officials (November 3rd is just a few days away!). The tent was also surrounded by an impressive showing of police & firemen - the first responders who work hand in hand with all hospitals to render emergency health services.

26 October 2009

The Tarantula that Terrorized Tucson ~

Got tarantulas? I can assure you that we definitely grow 'em big here in Tucson. Here you can see two giant arthropods planning an attack. Oddly, tarantulas of this extraordinary size only seem to come out around Halloween time...


25 October 2009

Roll out the Welcome Pumpkin ~

I love it when homeowners turn their house into a home with the addition of personal touches. In among the many creepy/crawly houses decorated for Halloween, I walked past this one and it seemed so... old fashioned... somehow. This rustic little bench displays a scarecrow with a "Welcome" sign flanked by fall foliage and a cheerful stout pumpkin.

24 October 2009

Need a generic scary thing? Here ya go ~

So yes, it's true ~ in America you can pretty much buy anything in a "drug store" ~ even a scary thing to hang somewhere around your house to celebrate Halloween. But what particularly struck me about THIS scary thing is its selling label. It is marked "48" Hanging Creature." Has our collective retail vocabulary shrunk so much that we don't use words like "ghoul," "goblin," "skeleton," "corpse," "cadaver," or even "monster" any more? This creepy spectre with its ghastly grin has been reduced to just a... Hanging Creature. Boo.

23 October 2009

Halloween Fine Dining

For an elegant touch at your Halloween dinner party, why not serve your drink of choice in this molded plastic spiderweb goblet? It features a lifesize tarantula crawling up the side. Quite a conversation piece!

22 October 2009

Jack O' Lantern Sunset ~

Tucson is famous for its fabulous sunsets and this one is particularly striking with its fiery pumpkin orange hues. Very Halloween-like, don't you think?

21 October 2009

Ohhhh.....Spooky Ghost ~

I am lucky to have neighbors who put a LOT of energy into decorating for the holidays! This spooky ghost guards their driveway. For most of the year it's just an average round globe street light but in October it's a menacing floating ghost. Trick or treat, anyone?

20 October 2009

Sprouting like...pumpkins?

Two times a year vacant lots in Tucson sprout tents seemingly overnight to sell one of two things: pumpkins & all things related to harvest (gourds, baskets, colored corn cobs) and in about a month they'll be filled with fragrant evergreens. On December 26 the tents disappear, the vacant lots return to empty dirt, and in October the cycle begins again.

19 October 2009

Tucson's Barrio Pumpkin ~

For today I couldn't resist highlighting this pumpkin orange building in Tucson's Barrio district. It is the season, after all, for all things orange... This office building is at Convent & Simpson. Like many of the restored buildings in this area, this one houses a business ~ in this case, a law practice. Tucson's barrio district is also known as Barrio Historico or Barrio Libre.


18 October 2009

Farmer's Market ~ Perfect fall day

A great farmer's market is held every Saturday from 9 - 2 in Rincon Valley... WAY out on Old Spanish Trail. An old barn has been converted and the former stalls are now mini shops selling gifts, food, & artisan creations. Outside tents, too, have more vendors.
Rincon Valley Farmers & Artisans Market

12500 E Old Spanish Trail
(520) 591-2276
Open Sat 9am-2pm

17 October 2009

Baby Blue and Fuzzy Dice, too!

Every Friday night car enthusiasts gather at Harrison & Golf Links (in the Safeway parking lot) to show off their hard work & restorations of classic cars of all vintages. Check out this MINT beauty! Everyone is really friendly and very happy to talk cars.

Tucson:Safeway Shopping Center, Golf Links & Harrison - 6 pm - Bring your old vehicle and join other car enthusiasts - NOT a car club - Everyone is welcome - Info: Joe or Nancy 520-721-1589

16 October 2009

Tucson is all about color ~

This vivid parrot green, sky blue, and red painted door captures the spirit of Mexico. That open door entryway is so inviting ~ enjoy the sunshine and have a cool drink!

15 October 2009

Perfect Sky, Perfect Temperature ~ Ah, Tucson!

We have finally (hurray!) put the intense heat behind us for the next few months. The temperatures now are in the 70's and 80's ~ just old fashioned beautiful weather. Blue skies, sunshine, and cactus - what Tucson is famous for!

14 October 2009


Whoa! This fun trompe l'oeil mural depicts a whole wild herd of animals breaking free of the OK Feed & Supply store on Ft Lowell at Dodge. Careful or you'll be run over by a long horned steer, a horse, a white bull, a dog, an ostrich.... wow what a menagerie! And if you run around the corner to escape, you'll see a life sized horse on their roof.

13 October 2009

Tucson's Parthenon & Pinto Bean ~

Here is another of the fantasy murals decorating the east-facing walls of Bookmans (one of Tucson's best used book stores). We've enjoyed "Mr. Be-header" "Venus de Milo's Sister," and "Tucson's Dragon Slayer" so far. Here is "Pirate Ship + Ancient Ruins." This Spanish Galleon enjoys calm seas as it cruises past the Parthenon. Bookmans staffers tell me that they nicknamed the ship, "Pinto Bean." Go figure.

Bookmanshttp://www.bookmans.com/Grant & Campbell

12 October 2009

Tucson's Back-Flipping Violinist

This mural is quite faded and I enhanced the color as much as I could for this photo image. This nice piece of building wall art depicts a swimmer (?) doing a back flip into the ocean(?). He holds his violin high as he flips. If you know anything about this mural (artist, vintage, title), please post a comment. I'd love to know more about this image at Broadway & Arizona.

11 October 2009

It's De-lightful, It's De-lovely, It's DeSoto!

Chrysler stopped production of the flamboyant DeSoto in 1960 but it hasn't hampered the DeSoto enthusiasts. Check out the official DeSoto website:
Here in Tucson car collectors congregate on Friday nights at Golf Links & Harrison in the Safeway parking lot. Here are the more details:
Tucson:Safeway Shopping Center, Golf Links & Harrison - 6 pm - Bring your old vehicle and join other car enthusiasts - NOT a car club - Everyone is welcome - Info: Joe or Nancy 520-721-1589

10 October 2009

09 October 2009

Hyde Park? Luxembourg Gardens? Guess again ~

This beautiful and charming park entrance is in central Tucson. Yep, it's one of the paths into the Tucson Botanical Gardens. Lovely and GREEN ~ right here in the desert!

Tucson Botanical Gardens
(520) 326-9686

08 October 2009

Gather in the Big Tent ~ a play of the Golden West

Looks like the all American Cowboy hero is about to save the damsel in distress on her runaway horse. This poster advertises "An American Cowboy, a Play of the Golden West." Perhaps this is a replica of a real traveling play poster or perhaps this is just part of the themed ambiance at Trail Dust Town.

Trail Dust Town
(520) 296-4551
Get directions

07 October 2009

A Tucson Treasure - Fort Trail Dust

Fort Trail Dust (or Trail Dust Town) is a favorite place for Tucsonans and visitors to enjoy a themed Western fort and town. The original core of this charming attraction was an abandoned movie set. It now is host to restaurants and specialty shops.

Trail Dust Town
(520) 296-4551
Get directions

06 October 2009

Tucson's Coxcomb Cactus ~

This stately saguaro sports quite a topper - looks like a rooster's coxcomb or a many-fingered hand. This is a rare variant of the typical saguaro "arm" structure. The scientific name for this formation is "crested" or "cristate" saguaro.

05 October 2009

That's one Big Bunny!

This fun bunny bench is an inviting rest stop in the Tucson Botanical Gardens, a beautiful and tranquil oasis in the center of the city.

Tucson Botanical Gardens
(520) 326-9686

04 October 2009

The Kon Tiki Lounge ~ a Tucson classic

A Tucson watering hole since 1963, the Kon Tiki Lounge serves a drink they call the Scorpion, "the largest drink in the world." It's a mix of rum, brandy, gin, fruit juice, and liqueurs ~ whew! And they serve it in a giant bowl with extra long straws. Quite a cocktail! I've never been brave enough to try it but do tell me if you have!

Kon Tiki Restaurant & Lounge
(520) 323-7193
Get directions

03 October 2009

Tucson's History ~ Arizona Territory

Another charming house in Tucson's Barrio District. Click on the "Barrio District" link to see more restored buildings in this area - each one with its own character (and color scheme!).

02 October 2009

Truckloads of "Unique" Nutcrackers ~

A few days ago I posted a photo of some non-traditional nutrackers that I spotted ~ witches, football players, GIJoes, skeletons... I am relieved to see that your basic soldier, king, drum major nutcracker is alive and well and available by the truckload. Special & unique for sure.

01 October 2009

Christmas Reindeer and Christmas DOG?

Don't get me wrong... I'm hardly a Scrooge about the holidays! In fact, my birthday is in December so I celebrate pretty much the whole month long. And I get the lighted reindeer that appear on front lawns. Even lighted polar bears... OK, snow... all that stuff. But lighted Christmas DOGS? (MY dogs would never be seen wearing a Santa hat!)