30 January 2014

Outside looking in ~

The Casa Cordova is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and dates to the early 1800's. It's now a part of the Tucson Museum of Art's Historic Block. I thought the colorful string of papel picado (paper cut outs) looked very festive beckoning from the other side of the wooden fence. To read more about Tucson's early history and this remarkable house, click here.

29 January 2014

Reflected history ~

So much is going on here! The sleek modern building in the background is the Unisource Energy building's north facing facade. Reflected in the mirror-like finish is one of downtown's historic buildings. This is the alley between Congress and Broadway, looking southwest.

28 January 2014

Winter Green ~

This cheerful row of restored adobe houses in Tucson's charming Barrio district brightens the block with pink doors and porches. The green exterior looks so nice on a drab winter day!

27 January 2014

Authentic Old West ~

This is the west-facing wall of a charming and interesting group of shops in downtown Tucson. The building dates from the 1800's and is known now as the Old Town Artisans. The complex has an interesting history! It was the stable area for a Fort and later it was a distillery. Now it is the perfect place for a leisurely shopping stroll.

26 January 2014

Back alley view ~

The Hub Restaurant & Ice Creamery is one of the many hip eateries that have opened in downtown Tucson. Its entrance is on Congress St and this is the back patio area. I love the pierced metal box that shields the fire sprinkler connection - itself a kind of urban art.

25 January 2014

Festive Tucson - 24/7

These homeowners are onto something! These fun fluffy flowers decorate their yard's big trees and make their lot look super festive and ready for a party!

24 January 2014

Happy Hour Extraordinaire!

The very famous El Charro cafe has several locations around town but the original one downtown on Court Street is definitely the best. They have a lively happy hour (margarita, anyone?) and a charming open air patio bar, Toma, beside the main restaurant. Cheers!

23 January 2014

A Quiet Spot Downtown ~ (2 photos)

This small respite at 18th and Convent Avenue is a park designed for quiet contemplation. The park was created to honor two little boys who were killed by a drunken driver at this intersection. Here's the original story about how the city built the park. The colorful panels on the wall are based on "papel picado" (paper cut outs) used to celebrate the Day of the Dead. 

22 January 2014

Tucson's Unusual Orange Trees ~

Driving around the Tucson Convention Center area I spotted these wacky orange structures adjacent to the bus shelters. I can't find any mention of them as a public art project and am guessing maybe they are solar panels. You can see "A" mountain in the background ~

21 January 2014

Tucson Igloo ~

We don't get snow very often in Tucson. For those of us who kind of miss snow (occasionally!), we can always visit this Bardiglio marble igloo at the north side of the Tucson Museum of Art's complex. The piece is actually titled, "Dune," and is by Japanese artist Kenji Umeda.

18 January 2014

Holiday Weekend Sale!

For all of you site followers who are planning your gift giving well in advance..... Lots of occasions are coming up - Valentine's Day, Father's Day, Mother's Day, I Hate Mondays Day.....

Even if you have not been a lucky winner in my "Where is this?" contest, you can still be the proud owner of a TDP t-shirt and/or mousepad featuring the (slightly) famous "Monday Already?" ram photo. The t-shirt is all cotton and is a size "Large." The mousepad is 9 1/4" x 7 1/2". Make your friends and co-workers smile! 

Click here to order either or both items! I've put the t-shirt on sale at just 12 bucks! I give part of the proceeds to the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum - the home of this charismatic ram. Thanks!

17 January 2014

Tucson moon-on-roof and rising ~

The Tucson sky with its big moon has been astonishing! I couldn't resist trying to capture it sitting on my neighbor's roof as it was rising. And the second photo is just down the street a tiny bit where there is a break between the houses. Beautiful!

16 January 2014

Black & White and Blue, Blue Sky ~

One more photo of beautiful Bisbee, AZ. Check out this gorgeous vintage car! This is when cars had real style. Love the striped tights and parasol of the admirer!
Photo courtesy of Mark Wight.

15 January 2014

Bisbee's More Hip Side ~

So for the last few days I've been posting plenty of "memory lane" photos of Bisbee, AZ. But let me assure you that the town is not JUST "rustic charm"! Bisbee also has some chic cafes and coffee shops. Check this one out! Love those sliding glass garage doors!
Photo courtesy of Mark Wight.

14 January 2014

Dot's Diner - a Bisbee icon!

Continuing our mini-tour of charming Bisbee, Arizona is this super fun converted trailer diner! Dot's Diner in Bisbee contributes to the town's old fashioned appeal. It's a diner with a twist - fresh local produce and organic ingredients when possible. Kitsch and healthy, too! For more info about Dot's, click here.

Photo courtesy of Mark Wight.

13 January 2014

When cars were king ~

If you saw the photo from yesterday's post you'll know that visiting parts of Bisbee, AZ feel like traveling back in time. Lots of vintage cars and restored storefronts give this small town a big dose of charm. It's a wonderful day-trip from Tucson!
Photo courtesy of Mark Wight.

12 January 2014

Guess what year this is ~

You can remain firmly in 2014 but you can still take a serious step back in time in Bisbee, Arizona. Bisbee is a famous tourist destination and was a boom mining town until the 1970's. In fact, in the early 1900's Bisbee was the largest city between St Louis and San Francisco! Now it's a charming day-trip or weekend getaway for Tucsonans.
Photo courtesy Mark Wight.

11 January 2014

A Matter of Perception ~

This is one of my all-time favorite road signs in Tucson. Way out east by Saguaro National Park someone thought it necessary to post the warning, "Congested Area."

10 January 2014

Oversized Eagle ~

This heroic carved wooden sculpture is a great example of chain saw art. For its size you might think it is part of an art gallery's parking lot but no. It is in the front yard of a family residence. Wow!

09 January 2014

Honky Tonk Dreams ~

Have you ever dreamed of playing piano in a honky tonk saloon or being a saloon girl??? You can have your picture taken with a number of different identities outside the Gaslight Theatre. Just poke your head through the opening and say "cheese" and voila - fantasy realized. Good old fashioned fun!

08 January 2014

Tucson's Fleet of Ghost Bikes ~

There is an international effort called "Ghost Bikes" that strives to raise awareness of bicyclists who are killed by motorists. A white bicycle is placed near the scene of the accident and serves as a memorial. This bike honors little Jose Rincon who was just 14 years old when he was struck by a drunk driver on Broadway near Harrison. These white bikes are a powerful message.

07 January 2014

Cure for the winter blues ~

While much of the country battles snow, Tucson still has flowers blooming! Well, colorful metal ones at least. You can find Yogi, an entrepreneurial metal worker, parked most weekends on the corner of Speedway and Houghton with his blooming bouquets and much more fun yard art.

06 January 2014

Simple desert beauty ~

I loved this combination of real agave side by side with metal agave sculpture on the corner of Houghton and Speedway. A simple view - plants, mountains, Tucson's famous blue sky and - don't miss the little dancing kokopelli!

05 January 2014

Landscaped and ready!

So a few days ago I posted the gingerbread house that I was working on. I finished it with a peppermint fence, snow dusted pine trees and snow on the roof. This was a super fun project! Lastly I will spray it with varnish, carefully store it, and unpack it in 11 months. Wow - nothing like starting a project very late and acting like I'm just planning ahead.... (:

04 January 2014

Hi ho, Hi ho, it's off to recycling we go ~

A wee bit early, perhaps, but this Christmas tree is now headed for recycling. Tucson's tree recycling program provides wood chips to the public - good for mulch. Traditionally, the dismantling of the tree was performed on January 5 (Twelfth Night). Twelfth Night was considered the official end of the Christmas season and was the precursor to the feasting that leads up to Lent. King Cake, anyone?

03 January 2014

Fresh year, fresh paint ~

For many years the wonderful Magic Garden, a nursery on 22nd Street, was painted a really wild hot pink. They then switched to an all-green exterior with blue lettering. As you can imagine, it was really hard to see their sign until this new touch up job. While they were closed for New Year's Day I snapped this view of their yellow striped accent paint. Looks great now!

02 January 2014

Before and After: 2013 and 2014

This may sound like a crazy plan but it is what it is! I wanted to make a gingerbread house this year and somehow I just didn't get around to it until Tuesday, Dec 31 - the last possible moment before 2013 disappeared forever. So I started it in 2013 and I (mostly) finished it in 2014. The "before" shows all of the ingredients I had assembled to decorate this beauty. The "after" shows it 95% complete. The gingerbread man still needs a little more stability (hence the icing spatula propping him up). And still to come I want to dust the roof with sparkly sugar to look like snow. I also am going to add a few little pine trees and probably some kind of candy border. I had never made one before - it was fun! And now I'm ready for Christmas 2014. (:

01 January 2014

The Road Ahead ~

This beautiful antique wagon is on display at Trail Dust Town. It looks like a circus wagon to me with its intricate carvings and colors. Reminds me of Professor Marvel's wagon in Wizard of Oz! Where will the 2014 road lead?