31 January 2011

Tucson's history & its future ~

After taking the photo of the bikes I turned my attention east and captured this image of the changing skyline in downtown Tucson. The crane is new construction on Toole Avenue and is side by side with the Hotel Congress, one of the historic jewels in the downtown crown.

30 January 2011

Yes, Tucson IS bike friendly!

This bike balcony stack confirms that Tucson is very bike friendly ~ even when El Tour de Tucson isn't in town! Thousands of Tucsonans bike to work and school every day. This is the north side of one of downtown's high rise apartment buildings.

29 January 2011

Something old is new again ~

A few months ago I posted an image of this building while it was still "in the works" of being renovated and here it is now - the Roy Place Building on Pennington & Stone. The building has been restored to its 1928 design complete with cast stone window treatments, cornices, and operable steel windows. Roy Place was an architect most famous for the Pima County Courthouse building. This building will provide space for the U of A College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture.

28 January 2011

Frothy fountain ~

This exuberant water display is another feature at Casas Adobes Plaza, one of the northwest's most charming shopping areas - upscale boutiques & restaurants with an old world feel.

27 January 2011

Shopping with an Old World feel ~

A thoughtfully designed shopping plaza with a nod to Tucson's Spanish Colonial past, Casas Adobes Plaza blends upscale boutiques with a gelato shop and a few restaurants. A charming place to dine & stroll in Tucson's northwest side.

26 January 2011

Flower pot power ~

The mornings are still pretty cold (which doesn't seem to bother my frisky dogs!). I'll be glad when it's warm again and I can leave the hat and coat behind. Here's a harbinger of Tucson spring - flowers and birds. Aren't these flowerpots gorgeous?

25 January 2011

Unusual yard art ~

This definitely tops the list for impressive yard art! Here you have a just-off-the-farm, pumpkin orange tractor as yard art in front of this east side home. Comments? Thoughts? I was amazed.

24 January 2011

Blues skies, blue awning ~

A little charm to start your week ~ here's a sunny yellow Scott Street residence that sports a bold blue awning.

23 January 2011

A Good Ass is Hard to Find ~

As a follow up to yesterday's griffin, here's another interesting metal sculpture to ponder. "A Good Ass is Hard to Find" is the actual title of this equine sculpture of found objects by George Manus. Read more about it here.

22 January 2011

Mystery winged creature ~

Here we have your basic garden ornament - a metal dragon with wings, scales, horns, and flaming tongue. Fierce mythical griffin? What do you think?

21 January 2011

Tucson's Hotel Congress ~

Perhaps one of Tucson's most famous buildings - Hotel Congress is a downtown treasure. It's where John Dillinger was captured in 1934. There's a great bar & fun restaurant in this historic hotel. Purported to be haunted, too!

20 January 2011

Pretend pigs ~

If you've been visiting this site for awhile you'll know that from time to time I post photos showing the result of my occasional javelina visitations. Sometimes they eat every potted plant in my front yard; sometimes they are picky eaters. Now posted here is a pair of pigs (I know, I know they aren't pigs, they're peccaries) that would pose no danger to my floral display. These are cast metal javelina who roam the entry at the Desert Museum. Artist/sculptor is Mark Rossi. Click here for info on the artist.

19 January 2011

Tucson folk lore ~ the Iron Door Mine

The lure of finding Tucson's lost Iron Door Mine has kept fortune hunters busy for centuries. Mural artist Joe Pagac has created a possible entrance to the mine on the east side of the Rialto Theatre. Intriguing realism!

18 January 2011

One bold bloom ~

I love this solo flower's sunny colors. And even though it isn't really being "displayed" for sale (I doubt that tossing it into a giant terra cotta pot was actually planned), its beauty caught my eye.

17 January 2011

The Tucson community speaks ~

Here is the marquee of the beautiful Rialto Theatre in downtown Tucson. This building has a colorful history - opening in 1920 as a venue for Vaudeville, then offering "talkies." Now it is a major piece of Tucson's music scene. This is the eastern side of the sign.

16 January 2011

Good medicine ~ tea & friendship

After our recent trip to the Chantilly Tearoom we decided to host our own tea and weeks ago we selected this weekend for it. It couldn't have come at a better time ~ giving us the chance to share our complex feelings about the shootings in the company of friends.

We did the tea in proper style - several selections of tea (fruity, robust, calming), savory treats, scones, whipped cream with Grand Marnier, and sweets. Beautiful cups, teapots, and serving plates from our families were showcased. There is probably a study about the confirmed restorative power of tea. Add friends to the mix and it is really good medicine.

15 January 2011

Buoyant Balloons & Good News ~

The local buzz centers on the positive medical news about the progress of our favorite Congresswoman ~ Gabby Giffords. She is tracking objects with her eyes and can move all of her limbs. One of her aides, Ron Barber, (who was shot 3 times) has just been released from the hospital. Everywhere in Tucson storefronts display signs offering prayers and words of encouragement to everyone affected by this horrible event.

14 January 2011

Timely message ~

I attended an event yesterday featuring panels of local CEOs speaking about what we can do to invigorate the region to make it more competitive. Immediately afterward I found myself behind this truck with its powerful message ~ I'll fix it. This says it all ~ that every one of us can work to improve things (again - just what the President urged in his speech). Interesting timing, wouldn't you say?

13 January 2011

A calm and beautiful moment ~

After President Obama's deeply moving speech last night I was not sure what to post for today that would echo his words. I wanted to portray beauty and optimism to illustrate his stirring words that urged all of us to live up to the expectations of Saturday's youngest victim. The President is right ~ we can be better and we can all do more to help each other.

Please take a moment today to enjoy this image of the gorgeous and rare Blue Morpho butterfly.

12 January 2011

Constant prayer vigil ~

Perhaps the office of an elected official seems like an unlikely place for prayer but these are extraordinary times in Tucson. Here is another image of the love and energy centered in the area surrounding Gabrielle Giffords' Tucson headquarters.

Memorial services and the President's arrival today will keep the international spotlight on us. The community is determined to permit the funerals to proceed with dignity. Please keep the victims and their families in your thoughts.

11 January 2011

Outpouring of love, prayers, hope ~

There is no one in Tucson unaffected by Saturday's events. Here is a glimpse of the public outpouring of emotion displayed in front of Gabby Giffords' Tucson headquarters. Hundreds of candles and flowers perfume the air; dozens of handwritten signs beg for peace and healing for the victims and their families.
This constant vigil is just one site established for prayer during this difficult time. Tonight there will be a "Healing of our Community" mass at 7pm at St Odilia Church (7570 N Paseo del Norte).

10 January 2011

Tucson's shy superhero ~

I guess the folks at Fantasy Comics have worked out quite the deal. Batman stands guard in their entryway alcove 24/7! This fun mural is tucked away a bit. It's easy to miss as you drive by so slow down and enjoy! http://www.fantasycomics2595.com/

09 January 2011

Big bugs? Butterflies? No - Books!

How fun that the Woods Memorial Library has books flying all over their building! The imagery is terrific - with books your imagination can soar.

08 January 2011

Tucson's haunted train station ~

Yesterday's post prompted a question about train travel and I remembered the stories that I have heard about Tucson's train depot being haunted. Here is a view of the station leading into the depot restaurant. For more photos and details on the ghosts who hang out there, click here:

07 January 2011

Trains, tracks, & transportation ~

Tucson is an important transportation hub ~ moving goods to the seaports in California and Mexico and transporting items north to Canada and all points east. Union Pacific railway maintains a major yard in Tucson. Is it just me or does everyone love hearing the sound of a train whistle?

06 January 2011

A Chorus of Color ~

These metal flowers will give your winter garden a lift! Scoop up a bouquet and you'll be thinking 'spring' for sure.

05 January 2011

Changes colors in the blink of an eye ~

In the course of just a few moments a Tucson sunrise can shift from pink to yellow to blue. I thought this was particularly pretty - like the inside of a seashell or a delicate watercolor painting.

04 January 2011

Skeleton Saguaro ~

Here you get a look at the fascinating "inner workings" of our iconic saguaro cactus - the ribs. Looks like a stringy tree trunk, doesn't it? These ribs are used in beautiful furniture and fencing.

03 January 2011

Heather fields & snow

It's the time of year that we actually get snow in Tucson! Here's a photo of morning light on the snow-capped Catalina Mountains. Low cloud cover throws a silvery veil on the mountain and the portion in shadow looks like a massive field of heather!

02 January 2011

The frozen food aisle ~

Look at the lower left and you'll see a gorgeous Anna's hummingbird examining this frozen cylinder and probably wondering, "What on earth...?" We're having a true cold snap right now and even the hummingbird food is freezing. Right after taking this photo I removed the feeder and filled it with fresh (not frozen!) food.

01 January 2011

Tucson's past and future ~ welcome 2011!

Definite progress is being made on the Unisource/TEP headquarters that is going up on Broadway at Scott. In the foreground is one of the pair of street lamps designed to be a "Gateway" to the beautifully redesigned Scott Avenue south of Broadway. The Hohokam basket is a nod to the ancient culture that influences the region; the steel girders reach into the future. Happy New Year, Tucson!