31 December 2011

Tucson sunbathers ~

These two javelina are enjoying the beautiful Tucson weather and getting in some sunbathing time at the Desert Museum. Nice life!

30 December 2011

Courting the devil ~

I came across this unusual image painted on a side street wall in downtown Tucson. The skeleton, on bended knee, is offering flowers to the devil. Anyone have any ideas about this one? Hmmmm.

29 December 2011

Interesting habitat ~

Even though this saguaro cactus is no longer alive, it still serves an important role in the Sonoran Desert as a bird habitat. I thought the ribs formed an interesting silhouette.

28 December 2011

Beautiful place for reflection ~

Throughout the grounds of Tucson's Botanical Gardens there are many beautiful & artistic benches ~ perfect places to sit, rest, and enjoy the surroundings.

27 December 2011

Yes, a bug created from a railroad spike ~




Mighty big bugs need mighty big flowers! This heroic cut steel flower is more than 6' tall and is one of the many flowers - both metal and real - that visitors enjoy at Tucson's Botanical Gardens. Local artist Ned Egen created the flower and the railroad spike bug.

26 December 2011

Holiday burn out? Here's the cure ~

One of the best mottos I have ever seen! Downtown Tucson's Shot in the Dark Cafe is open 24 hours a day/seven days a week. They say, "We never sleep and neither should you!" If the holidays are wearing you out, perk up with a nice shot of espresso - or make that a double!

25 December 2011

Snoozing Santa ~

Well he certainly deserves to rest after all the traveling he did last night! Merry Christmas to everyone!

24 December 2011

Have a wonderful holiday ~

Please accept my warmest wishes for a Merry Christmas and a joyful holiday season! And if you haven't finished your shopping by now you'd better get busy!

23 December 2011

The 3 Little Pigs ~ Tucson Christmas style


Three joyous javelina romp on round red ornaments ~ more great windows at the historic Hotel Congress. Check out the Rudolph nose on the one on the far left.

22 December 2011

Hotel Congress ~ all decked out

As you stroll down Congress Street you will see all of the fun windows decorated for the holidays at the historic Hotel Congress. Saguaro wearing a Santa hat & lights..... it's Tucson!

21 December 2011

Tucson Cowboy Celebrates Hanukkah ~


Happy Hanukkah! Definitely adding a Tucson twist to Hanukkah is a cowboy lighting the menorah on this window display. The Hotel Congress has decorated their windows with wonderful holiday scenes. Learn more about the 8-day Jewish "Festival of Lights" by clicking here.

20 December 2011

Tucson Christmas ~ Scroll down for all 3 ~ Always something different







In the last week I've been posting the different kinds of Santa's helpers that are all over town. Let's see, we had a cow-deer, a buffa-deer and now we have javelina-deer, flamingo-deer, and stork-deer! A site follower from Sahuarita alerted me to this incredible Animal Sleigh in front of Mesquite Valley Growers. How about that javelina Rudolph?? FUN!

19 December 2011

Amazing parade of lights - scroll down for all!






A few days ago I posted a photo of Bobbi and her kooky Mickey Mouse car. She said she would be driving her "Mickey Float" in Saturday night's Parade of Lights and what a show it was ~ just about every kind of vehicle that you can imagine was decked out with lights and joined the parade - motorcycles, flatbed trucks, antique cars, trackers, and yes, even a cement mixer truck! Tucson is definitely a parade-loving town! And a big thanks to Mark Wight for the photos.

18 December 2011

Tucson's only Buffa-deer ~

Earlier this week you saw a rare Tucson Cow-deer decorating a rooftop. Today you can enjoy Fred, Tucson's favorite buffalo. sporting seasonal antlers. He's still wearing his TMNT outfit from a few weeks ago and now he's standing in a sleigh. A lot going on there for Fred....

16 December 2011

Tucson's astonishing traffic stopper ~




Yes, I was amazed to see a huge Mickey Mouse Santa standing on a Volvo stationwagon as I was stopped at a redlight. And Jose Feliciano's "Feliz Navidad" was blaring from loudspeakers! So naturally I followed the car/float and met the driver, Bobbi, who was happily waving to passersby with her Minnie Mouse glove. She said she has been doing this for years - spreading cheer and goodwill wherever she goes. Talk about Christmas spirit ~ yeah for Bobbi!

She said she also drives around for Halloween and broadcasts "Thriller" as she cruises. I wonder if Mickey dresses up as Count Dracula? I sure hope I run into them in October. Bobbi, Mickey, Minnie & Company will be in this Saturday's downtown parade. Here are all the details.

15 December 2011

Tucson City Court's Cafeteria ~

Rain or shine, hot or cold, this hot dog vendor is always parked in front of Tucson's City Court building on Alameda. And this stand is always busy. I guess fighting those traffic tickets can work up an appetite!

14 December 2011

This is definitely DIVING weather ~


We've been having so much rain these last few days that I thought it was appropriate to think of swimming!

This wonderful sign is familiar to everyone in Tucson ~ the diving girl. Recently the sign code law was changed to permit the restoration and re-hanging of these wonderful neon signs. This girl is a perfect example: rusted, deteriorating signs were OK to leave "as is" but previously you could not repair the sign and re-hang it. (Brilliant politicians!)

My hope is that the group who now owns & occupies the Pueblo Hotel (no longer a hotel) will repair this iconic 6th Avenue sign. To learn more about this particular sign, click here. And for an artist's rendering of what the sign looked like in its heyday, click HERE.

13 December 2011

Santa's secret weapon ~ a Cowdeer

With all the flying he has to finish in just one night you KNOW Santa has a back up plan in case one of the seven reindeer is under the weather. Tucson's great cowdeer stands ready to assist!

And a very moo-y Christmas to you!

12 December 2011

Time of year to appreciate a BIG mailbox ~

It's nice to have a big roomy mailbox at this time of year! Who knows what nice surprise might be placed in there for you ~ 'tis the season!

11 December 2011

Back alley cheer ~

These streamers announce the opening of Dragonfly, a nonprofit art gallery at 146 E Broadway. The gallery helps children and families at Amity/Dragonfly Village. The current exhibit, "Flight of the Dragonfly" will run through December 20 and features local artists.

10 December 2011

Tucson's amazing cactus tree ~

Yes, those are golden barrel cacti forming this unique tree. Can't get more Southwest than this, can you? This unusual beauty welcomes guests at the Westin La Paloma Resort. When the holidays are over, this Christmas tree is dismanteled and all of the cacti are planted throughout the resort's grounds. Nice way to recycle!

09 December 2011

Need gifts? One stop shopping ~ delicioso!

I am delighted to tell you about a new wonderful shop that has opened in St Philip's Plaza (River & Campbell): Alfonso. If you enjoy cooking (or eating!) you just must visit this charming store. You will enter a world of gourmet olive oils and specialty balsamics where the knowledgeable staff will guide you to just the right choice. And they offer tastings! Tucson residents Tom & Nancy Alfonso (see Nancy featured in the photo) own this store so shopping with them is shopping local (always good). The products are delicious and beautifully bottled ~ finish your shopping at Alfonso this weekend and your friends & family will definitely thank you.
Phone: 441.9082; www.alfonsooliveoil.com

08 December 2011

Tucson's newest IMAX screen?

Looks like it could be a huge movie screen but it's the east-facing wall of windows on the new Unisource Energy headquarters in downtown Tucson. Beautiful cloud reflections!

07 December 2011

Something a little different ~ YOUR holiday photos!

I've been admiring so many beautifully decorated houses (and lawns!) in the last week or so. Because by myself I can't cover much territory, I am inviting anyone who would like to forward a photo of their decorated house to me and I'll post the photos here for all of us to enjoy! If you want to show off your handiwork, I would be happy to post it! Tell as much or as little as you like about your family traditions/customs. Send the photo to: tucsondailyphoto@gmail.com

Happy holidays!

06 December 2011

Tucson ~ home to traditions of Southern France

I had the pleasure of visiting the Tucson Alliance Francaise for their holiday market and was enchanted with their nativity display. I learned that a typical Provencale creche scene is quite different that the displays most often seen in America. This display of painted terracotta or carved wood santons (little saints) celebrates the entire village - the mayor, the truffle gatherer, the lavender harvester, the baker, the shops, the animals - even the local produce. It is a charming display! After Midnight mass, the baby Jesus is placed into the creche and on January 6 the three kings are placed there to complete the scene.

05 December 2011

French holiday pastry ~ Bouche de Noel



A delicious French holiday tradition is to enjoy a "Buche de Noel" (Yule Log) ~ a cake that resembles a real log. Le Delice is a fine French bakery in Tucson (7245 E Tanque Verde Rd) and you can order one from them. If you feel like making your own, here's a great recipe:
http://www.joyofbaking.com/YuleLog.html Bon appetit!

04 December 2011

From the Golden Age of Car Travel ~

This is the other sign that is on display at the main library (see yesterday's post for The Tropicana sign). There is just something so cheerful and uplifting about these old neon signs! I can understand why historic preservation groups fight to restore them - they are beautiful and fun! For the full story about these signs, click here: www.downtowntucson.org/2011/11/neon-tropicana-sign-lights-up-main-library/

03 December 2011

Tucson's history in neon ~ fun!

The main library is displaying two beautifully restored neon signs from America's golden age of car travel - the 50's & 60's. This one advertised the Tropicana Motor Hotel which was on the famous Miracle Mile. LOVE those great colors!

For an interesting history about this sign and how it was saved, click here:
http://www.downtowntucson.org/2011/11/neon-tropicana-sign-lights-up-main-library/

The Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation is working with community partners and Pima Community College to restore and reinstall, a series of these historic neon signs along Tucson's Mid-Century Modern highway.

02 December 2011

Tucson movie star ~

On permanent display at Tucson's Historic Train Depot, this Southern Pacific Steam Engine #1673 has a long and colorful history. Just one fun fact about it is that it appeared in the 1954 movie "Okalahoma." For info about this train and the interesting depot, click here: www.tucsonhistoricdepot.org

01 December 2011

Tucson treasure ~ yum!

As you would expect, Tucson has lots of Mexican restaurants - the franchise chains, of course, and many family-owned eateries as well. One of the oldest and most famous is El Charro ~ a "must go" if you are visiting and enjoyed just as much by the locals. They have a few locations around town but "THE" El Charro, for me, is the original location downtown. Charming bar area, too!

30 November 2011

Tucson's downtown watering hole ~

A favorite spot for folks working or doing business downtown is Ike's, a friendly, Tucson-grown coffee cafe that serves lunch fare (I wish they would add SOUP!). I like that Ike's is a local company (not like that coffee behemonth from Seattle - you know who). If you are downtown, do check them out! They have another location on Speedway.

29 November 2011

Tucson banking ~ then & now



Happily, some things never change and I'm glad to report that the downtown headquarters of CHASE Bank has retained the beauty and elegance of its original design. Top photo is a slice of the columns supporting the mezzanine; bottom photo shows the banking floor from the last century with same marble columns and even the same lighting fixtures. This is a beautiful building ~ corner of Stone & Congress.

28 November 2011

So green I almost missed it ~

I have a "pony tail palm" on my patio that has some vines sharing the pot with it. Lo and behold, a GREEN CHILE appeared in the pot! So all the time I thought I was just watering another vine I was actually sprouting a chile plant seed that had flown in from who-knows-where. Maybe all the way from famous Hatch, New Mexico, chile capital of the west??

27 November 2011

Dueling rockers ~

Charming & colorful rockers - big and little - are side by side on a patio porch in Tucson's historic barrio. Don't miss the pink flying pig!

26 November 2011

Tired of turkey yet?

If you are tired of turkey sandwiches, turkey pot pie, and turkey soup, get yourself over to the TRULY AMAZING taco stand on 4th Avenue across from O'Malley's! If you have been a follower of this site for awhile you may remember when I spotted this rolling head in a parking lot and didn't know anything about it (Sept 6, 2010). Now it has a home on 4th. Bon appetit!

24 November 2011

Not YOUR turkey today, I hope!

I hope your Thanksgiving meal today will feature more than an uncooked squash turkey with indian corn feathers! But this is certainly a very clever construction from the garden, wouldn't you agree? I wish you a very happy Thanksgiving today and hope you dine well and laugh a lot.

23 November 2011

Thankful ~

This wonderful license plate says it all, doesn't it? I am thankful for so many things in my life and confess that Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday. It combines fantastic food and the whole idea of "bounty" with friends and loved ones. Add in some thoughtful reflection about your own personal blessings and it's a pretty great day! Please drive safe tomorrow - eating that canned cranberry sauce can make some drivers pretty crazy! (: