31 May 2011

Tucson's 4th Avenue ~ colorful & quirky

Anyone who visits Tucson should definitely make the time to stroll around on 4th Avenue. It's a mix of businesses that include vintage clothing boutiques, an authentic "head shop" that celebrates the 1960's, several bars, and an international selection of restaurants.

30 May 2011

Tucson treehouse ~ cool & green

So our temperatures have hit 100 degrees already and it isn't even June - ah, Tucson! I spotted this wonderful treehouse tucked within a massive old growth tree. Looks like it would be pretty cool and shady in there, doesn't it? It has a set of regular stairs (not rungs nailed to the tree) so I bet adults enjoy this retreat, too. Margarita, anyone?

29 May 2011

Canine & feline lovers ~ here you go

For everyone who loves 4-legged creatures, here's a great license plate! 4Pawd - clever.

28 May 2011

Believe it or not ~ one pink leg?

This dramatic beauty is a Black-necked Stilt, typically found near water. This one lives happily at the Desert Museum. And yes, there IS another pink leg but it is tucked up. Amazing! To hear this bird's distinctive call, click here

27 May 2011

Old and new ~ wonderful getaway

The charming Tubac Country Inn combines history and comfort in a relaxing setting in the artist community of Tubac ~ south of Tucson between Tucson and Nogales, Mexico.

26 May 2011

Pretty pottery pig ~

The popular Talavera pottery is everywhere in the Southwest. Here's a big Talavera patio pig. Cheerful, yes? To read about this type of Mexican pottery, click here.

25 May 2011

Heroes of Tucson's Historic Barrio ~

Walking on Meyer Street I saw this gorgeous facade and had to stop and admire it. Turns out it is an office building which houses the Rammed Earth Development group - a group that has brought color, style, and history to life in Tucson's barrio. To learn more about this unique company that specializes in design and construction of fine masonry homes, click here.

24 May 2011

A charming & "artful" setting ~

Tucson's Temple of Music and Art is one of downtown's beautiful gems. It was built in 1927 in the Spanish Colonial style and features a charming courtyard with a restaurant and bar - a perfect spot for a pre-theatre drink or dinner. For the full list of upcoming performances by the Arizona Theatre Company, click here.

23 May 2011

Fantastic water feature ~

Yes, we're in the desert but plenty of resorts and apartment complexes still build beautiful water features to enhance the property. Most (maybe all) use recycled/reclaimed water. This exuberant and sort of futuristic fountain is on Broadway near Pantano at Fellowship Square Apartments.

22 May 2011

The lot of lost cars ~

This is definitely weird. On a well traveled street and right beside a busy post office is a mostly empty lot surrounded by chain link fencing. Inside the fence a few cars are parked - maybe abandoned. This sky blue Chalmers Six has been on blocks like this for months. Is that a vintage Citroen in the background?

21 May 2011

Tucson's highway art ~

As you approach Tucson from the south on I-19 you can catch a glimpse of this fun mural that displays "Tucson at a glance." The icons represent Kitt Peak Observatory, Mission San Xavier, and some native species of plants and animals. I assume the blue ribbon running through it represents our fabulous blue skies year round!

20 May 2011

Muscle car shrine ~

Sir Veza's restaurant (a play on the Mexican word for beer - cerveza) bills itself as a "Taco Garage" and it is decorated inside and out with car-themed items (the door handles are wrenches). A few parking spots are labeled "Hot Rod Parking Only" and this view is their west wall. Their menu proudly boasts, "Tequila - not just for breakfast anymore!"

19 May 2011

Stiletto seating ~

Yes, you can believe your eyes. Fantastic platform stiletto heels designed as chairs. Red, zebra stripe, or just a generic tan print.... take your pick! Fun!

18 May 2011

Monet would have loved Tucson ~

For decades Claude Monet painted the ponds and flowers surrounding his home in Giverny, France. Probably everyone is familiar with his dozens of water lily paintings - water lilies at each stage of bloom and in all weather - sunny, cloudy, rainy. This pretty pond is filled with turtles and koi and, of course, hundreds of lilies.

17 May 2011

Fist full of flowers ~

In sharp contrast to yesterday's saguaro skeleton, this hero is in full flower and in the prime of health. In the bottom photo it kind of looks like it's holding a bouquet there from its left arm, doesn't it? And as you can see in the top photo, the bees love it!

If you're wondering about the many holes, the holes often are habitat for cactus wrens, among others.

16 May 2011

The bones of a saguaro ~

This interesting "tree" is the skeleton of a saguaro cactus. The ribs are used in many decorative ways ~ as furniture accents and as shade. The Sonoran Desert is the only place in the world that this beautiful cactus grows as a native plant.

15 May 2011

Tucson's wonderful YWCA - a pink marvel

I think the Tucson YWCA is one of the cheeriest buildings in Tucson. And the list is long of the wonderful programs that they offer including "Your Sister's Closet" - a volunteer-run boutique where they will help women put together an outfit for an interview. We all know that part of shining in an interview is feeling good about how you look, isn't it?

You can help by donating appropriate work clothes and they make it easy. On any Monday you just drive up and they take your donation, give you a receipt, and off you go. For more information on this service, click here. Clean your closet tonight & drop it off tomorrow!

14 May 2011

An alien army?

Tucson under attack? No worries - what looks like an invasion of little green men (and women!) is just dozens of ceramic pots standing on end.

13 May 2011

Silent and powerful ~ Tucson's ghost bikes

Tucson is a very popular place for bicyclists and these eerie 'Ghost Bikes' remind motorists to be mindful of bikes. Each 'Ghost Bike' serves as a memorial to a biker who was struck and killed by an automobile. This bike is at 22nd and 2nd Avenue to honor Francisco Sanchez. To read more about the worldwide 'Ghost Bike' movement, click here.

12 May 2011

1955 was a very good year ~

The Truly Nolen folks maintain an extensive collection of mint, vintage automobiles and they are displayed all around Tucson. Here is a 1955 Dodge beauty parked in front of the new VFW hall on Old Spanish Trail near Broadway. To read more about the company's fleet of antique cars, click here.

11 May 2011

Combo deal: Religion + Education

The north side of the Edward Lindsey Adult Education Center displays an intriguing barking dog and hissing snake (see yesterday's post). Here's the east facing side - a graduate wearing a standard blue robe and mortarboard and carrying a diploma approaches a green robed person holding a mask. Observing is an Incan/Aztec priest. What do you make of all that??

10 May 2011

A Snake in the Neighborhood ~

Whenever I am in South Tucson I am struck by the amount of art displayed everywhere from the tiled trash cans to the fun bus stop shelters. This mural ~ Barking Dog + Hissing Snake + Shouting Man is on the north side of the Edward Lindsey Adult Learning Center. What an intriguing image!
Lindsey Center - 1602 S 3rd Avenue

09 May 2011

Metal flower farm ~

If you are one of those people who finds that Mother's Day kind of sneaks up on you, never fear. I spotted many vendors on Sunday who had set up roadside stands to solve gift dilemmas for empty-handed sons & daughters. Here's an interesting display of metal flowers for your yard or garden - "planted" on Broadway near Camino Seco. These bouquets would certainly last!

08 May 2011

Man in the Maze ~ religious symbolism

This gate depicting the Tohono O'odham Indians' iconic "Man In The Maze" is on the east side of Mission San Xavier's main entrance. This imagery represents the tribe's belief in life, death, and the life after death. The maze, with its many turns and changes, represents life itself.

For more information on this imagery, click here.

07 May 2011

A peek inside ~

Here is a peek of the interior of yesterday's chapel post. What struck me immediately was how very very hot this little chapel was with all of the lit candles. It was well over 100 degrees in the small room.

06 May 2011

San Xavier Mission's smaller chapel ~

Not photographed as often as the main Mission building, this beautiful small chapel is just to the west of the front entrance. It houses statues of saints as well as candles used for special prayers. I think the trio of bells on top is just lovely.

05 May 2011

Rural Arizona ~

On my way home from a conference in Nogales I stopped for a tranquil moment at Mission San Xavier ("White Dove of the Desert"). The large plaza in front of the church is filled with vendors who sell Indian fry bread. As relief from the intense sun they use ocotillo cacti branches to create a bit of shade. In the background is the grotto hill.

04 May 2011

The wolves are coming to town ~

Later this week Tucson's Rialto Theatre will host the great Latin rock band that hails from East L.A. ~ Los Lobos. Check out the fun & fabulous mural on the theatre's east wall that advertises upcoming shows.

03 May 2011

Astonishing baby horned owls ~

I hope you enjoy this amazing series of 4 photos of a great horned owl family! Obviously, the small size of the photos here only gives you an idea of the beauty of these owls. 

Photos courtesy of John Gentile.

02 May 2011

Tucson Ladies' Tea Club sips again ~

For those of you who follow this site you will remember the first Tucson Ladies' Tea Club tea in January - right after the tragic shootings in Tucson. We gathered to share our thoughts and friendship during that sad time and we have continued our teas. Here is the welcoming table for our recent tea - plated chicken salads & watercress for starters. A selection of teas, blueberry scones (with whipped cream, of course!), various savory bites, assorted sweets, and... a Sally Lunn cake. For a fascinating chronicle of the origin of Sally Lunn cake & buns, click here.

01 May 2011

Let's go for a nice Sunday glide ~

This fun, retro glider would be a great addition to your patio or porch! Gliders are just plain old fun. They remind me when summers had a really slow pace and time seemed to stretch out forever. Lemonade, anyone?