31 May 2010

Memorial Day ~ honoring our fallen

This important holiday was previously known as Decoration Day when it was customary to pay homage to war dead by decorating their graves. Shown here today is a powerful mural on the north side of Miller's Surplus on Craycroft. (They modestly call themselves the "World's Greatest Store".)

30 May 2010

Tucson's Ax-less Giant ~

This 18-foot Paul Bunyon statue guards the corner of Glenn & Stone. I had to laugh at the tiny little fence surrounding him - is this his holding pen? I know, I know, it's to protect his kneecaps from cars in the parking lot. Currently he is without his ax - stolen, no doubt by some boozed up UA frat boys. Maybe they tried to sell it on ebay... Here's a great story about it:

29 May 2010

Perfect day for a gunfight ~

Tucson's famous Trail Dust Town is a charming & fun tourist area that offers a stroll back in time to a town in the Old West that has wooden sidewalks, hitching posts, and gunfights!

28 May 2010

All that's missing is a cow skull ~

When I saw this bit of old barbed wire fencing and this rough fence post I had to share the image. This embodies the spirit of the Old West and I think it's cool that this parcel of land is just a wee bit off of Interstate 10 - not some remote area as you might think at first glance.

27 May 2010

Arizona's mining industry ~ strange beauty

I'm not sure I have the right term but I think this mountain of dirt is referred to as "waste rock" in the mining industry. This "Mount Dirt" is near the Pinal Air Park (about 45 minutes north of Tucson) where there is an active open pit mine. I was struck by the surreal beauty of this landscape. Unfortunately, the road was devoid of traffic so there is nothing to indicate scale here.

26 May 2010

All signs point to health ~

Tucson's Community Food Bank provides a wealth of services that go beyond distributing boxes of food to the needy. They conduct classes on gardening and composting, they provide space for local farmers to sell their produce, and they run a supermarket, too. In these times they are exceptionally busy trying to meet local needs. For more information, to volunteer, or to donate, click here:

25 May 2010

Tucson's Barrio Beauty ~

Here's another classic Tucson Barrio home - thick adobe walls help insulate against the intense desert heat. Tucson's barrio district (also called Barrio Historico or Barrio Libre) is a treasure trove of charming adobe homes - many date from the 1800's. Adjacent to Tucson's downtown, this small area is now a mix of private residences and offices for lawyers & other professionals.

To see other similar beauties, click on the "Barrio" label and/or the "Doorway/Entry" label below this post. Here's additional historical info: http://southwest.library.arizona.edu/barr/body.1_div.2.html

24 May 2010

Miles of aisles ~ flowers, herbs, cacti

You don't need a green thumb to have a beautiful garden if you shop at Target. In a half hour you can fill your cart with potted flowers in full bloom, fragrant herbs, and vegetable plants. (And when your guests rave about your garden just smile and enjoy the compliments!)

23 May 2010

Live fencing ~ typical Tucson

The beautiful and stately ocotillo cactus is a popular landscape addition - both as an ornamental plant on its own as you see in this photo and also as a fence. These cacti are often seen planted along a fence line to mask the fence and to provide additional privacy and security (they are thorny!). This one is just ready to bloom - the tips of the arms will display crimson blooms - striking!

22 May 2010

Sunset memories ~

Whenever visitors leave Tucson they seem to remember the beautiful sunsets that we enjoy here. And there are definitely favorite spots to watch the sun go down - Gate's Pass, for instance, or Windy Point. This particular image is the beautiful view from my street ~ pink, gold, lavender.

21 May 2010

We are ALL affected by this legislation ~

I never intended this website to be a political forum but SB1070 has rec'd international press (and been the butt of late night TV) so it definitely isn't just a local, Arizona thing. Displayed here is the eastern wall of the Rialto Theatre with the message to Tucson from the hip-hop band, Cypress Hill... pretty strong reaction, wouldn't you say?

The polls claiming a majority of Arizonans support the legislation are definitely flawed... the pollsters state that everyone they polled has "read the law." It's about 12 pages long so I doubt it! This is a divisive piece of legislation. I hope it prompts folks who normally don't vote to be more active in future elections. (And that, my friends, is the conclusion of my rant.)
Read this article for more info:http://www.tucsonsentinel.com/arts/report/051010_cypresshill

20 May 2010

Parking lot in bloom ~

Public parking lots are dull and functional, right? Not the Pennington Street garage in downtown Tucson. Purple and pale green color scheme, colorful potted cacti, and this gorgeous blooming wisteria raise this lot far above your average cement cube car storage. Stylish!

19 May 2010

Looks old but it's very hip ~

Judging by the signage alone it would be easy to assume that this is one of those venerable men's barber shops that has been around for decades in downtown Tucson. Nope. It's a place that is primarily a barber shop but women are welcome, too. And you won't confuse any of these stylists with Floyd the Barber from Mayberry! Check out their MySpace page:

18 May 2010

Tucson's Rare Species - the rock & rebar scorpion ~

We have our share of venemous creatures here in the Southwest - scorpions, rattlesnakes, gila monsters... but I wouldn't worry much if you encounter this rock & rebar scorpion. And if you love dogs but don't want the responsibility, this tin version is maintenance free. The trio of birds? I'm not sure but they might be dwarf coathanger peacocks...

17 May 2010

Tucson's "Good Mother" Dino ~

Not everyone knows that in addition to the ferocious T-Rex that stands guard at the corner of Kolb & Tanque Verde there is a whole dino family in the back parking lot! This 30-foot mom is a Maiasura ("Good Mother") and she guards her twins from the long line of drive through vehicles at the McDonald's that houses them. Hurray that kids can learn something while they eat their McNuggets!

16 May 2010

The lizards have names ~ Lenny, Lloyd & Lizette

I did a little more research on the underpass mural that I posted the other day and can share what I learned. The artist of this fun piece of public art is Brenda Semanick, a Desert Vista High School teacher. Her title for this piece is "Hohokum Lizards" and the three reptiles have names: Lenny, Lloyd, and Lisette! Enjoy...

15 May 2010

Side door to Pair-a-Dice Barbers ~

The Pair-A-Dice Barbers were closed when I spied this mural/graffiti art on their western wall/side door so I don't know what the story is with this guy. Is "YPN" the graffiti artist's initials? Dunno. Anyway, you can't really see this from the street so I thought I'd give you a peek at a bit of hidden artwork.
Pair-A-Dice Barbers
7752 East Wrightstown Road

14 May 2010

Blue skies & blue pots

You saw the spoiled duck from yesterday. Well here is another view of what's in store at the Magic Garden ~ miles of aisles of pots, planters, bird baths... What a great place to stroll around for garden & landscape inspiration!

13 May 2010

Personal pond ~ ahhhh....

Who can complain about Tucson's heat when you have your own water feature? This handsome duck has his own personal pond at a great nursery/landscaping store, the Magic Garden. The staffer I asked told me his name is Mr Ducky Duck. From 22nd Street you have no idea that it is such a large and quiet green oasis! Special spot.
Magic Garden

12 May 2010

Lizards on the loose ~

This gorgeous tile mural is easy to miss and that is definitely a shame! As you head west on Wrightstown Road these lizards decorate part of the overpass where Wrightstown turns into Tanque Verde Road. You get a glimpse of them and whoosh - you're past them before you can even blink. The work is beautiful and the lizards are 3-D!

11 May 2010

2nd in the series of Hoof & Roof ~

Here is the 2nd photo in my series of "Hoof & Roof" in Tucson. For your viewing pleasure is this mighty big cow on the porch roof of the OK Corral Restaurant. Big surprise - the house specialty is steak, steak, steak. Rustic Western atmosphere.
7710 East Wrightstown Road
Tucson, AZ 85715
(520) 885-2373

10 May 2010

In Tucson we like it hot ~

Oh boy... not even the middle of May yet and we almost hit 100 degrees! HOT! HOT! HOT! Just like this great red hot dress on display in front of one of the vintage clothing stores on 4th Avenue. Whatever style or era you like, there's a fashion find waiting for you on this fun shopping street. Vintage clothing, restaurants, bars, shops, food co-op, even a Dairy Queen!

09 May 2010

A floral tribute for Mother's Day ~

Let me share this beautiful cluster of bright pink poppies to brighten your day today! And I would like to broaden the holiday today to honor ALL women who take care of anyone. Your nuturing should be celebrated today. Happy day to all!

08 May 2010

Startled skull ~

This wall mural is across from the Hotel Congress on the east side of the Rilito Theatre building. I'm not sure if it is a piece of guerilla art that will be removed as stealthfully as it was created. You really don't know what you'll see when you walk around downtown - fun!

07 May 2010

And here's the flip side ~

Yesterday you saw one side of this great neon sign; here's the flip side. Dirk Arnold, the artist, really captures the flavor of the heyday of the neon sign as a tourist attraction. This big cactus is a fun beacon on Oracle Road at Drachman (where the roundabout was).

06 May 2010

Tucson's Miracle Mile is coming back ~

Once serving as the major gateway into Tucson for motoring vacationers, the Miracle Mile area had fallen into disrepair. This fantastic 30' saguaro sign (lit up at night it has a real WOW factor) is part of the determined effort to reclaim this historic area. Dirk Arnold is the artist of this heroic cactus.

Here's the front (or is it the back?) of the sign. Tomorrow you'll see the alternate view. Here's a great article that gives more history:

05 May 2010

The office's skeleton is in place ~

Our office construction is progressing - lots of pounding, drilling, whirring, and clanging. The crew has framed out all of the office spaces and it is really beginning to take shape!

04 May 2010

Cowboy must be waiting for fish fry ~

Here's a friendly, unpretentious neighborhood bar where hard working guys grab a few cold ones on their way home. I have heard that the Elbow Room has a line out the door on Friday night as couples, families, seniors, and just about everyone else tucks into their pretty famous fish fry.

1145 West Prince Road Tucson, AZ 85705-3110 - (520) 690-1011
4 reviews
Directions and more »Is this accurate?

03 May 2010

Bookman's Fantasy Murals ~ gone forever

Believe me, I never dreamed that this website would ever serve as any kind of historical record about Tucson but at least in this one case, it really will. Sadly the Bookman's store at Grant & Campbell has painted over all of their splendid fantasy murals to use the wallspace for..... advertising. Bob, Bob ~ what were you thinking???

So, here from my photo stash is the last of the medieval series that once enchanted store shoppers and Grant Road drivers alike. As you know from my previous postings, the staffers had named all of the mural characters. Depicted here is sweet Pip (Pretty in Pink) trapped in the tower as Evil Queen Wendy and Dr. Volt each scheme how to harm her. Assuring her of his love below is... who else but... Romeo.

These murals were a wonderful, quirky addition to the Tucson cultural landscape. I am very sorry that they have been eliminated. To see the whole series, click on the "Bookmans" label on the bottom of this post.

02 May 2010

Tucson's newest resident ~ Jasper!

I am excited to share with you this photo of the newest addition to the family ~ Jasper! He is a one-year old Australian Shepherd and is smart, sweet, and spunky! He arrived from New York and seems quite at home already in Arizona.

01 May 2010

Father Kino ~ a Tucson hero & gourmet

Father Eusebio Francisco Kino is honored throughout the region and this statue of him is located on Kino Boulevard. It is thought that he is the person who named the area "Tucson" in the 1600's. He was a missionary and an intellectual. It is said that he introduced the zinfandel grape and the fig to this region. Bon appetit!