Friday, January 20, 2017

Random and Unrelated

Today I have an assortment of random shots that are totally unrelated from each other.  Just a few things to ponder.

The MetLife blimp passing overhead.  Snoopy is always a pleasant sight.

Our recent weather.  Rain every now and then but grey skies a lot.

Heavy traffic!  I was glad I wasn't in the right lane.

A very odd mishap on this bumper.  I have no idea what could have caused that.

The area along a north Phoenix walking path. I thought there was a simple beauty to it.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Designer Duds for Men

When one grey day follows another grey day, it's time to spend a little time in a Museum and the Phoenix Art Museum always has something to inspire me.  A quick trip through the small fashion design gallery had me wondering if anyone I know would wear these suits.  Frankly, I couldn't think of a single person.  That red one is by Giles Montezin, the black one by Mitsuhiro Matsuda and the grey one is the design of Jean Paul Gaultier.  The description card on the grey one said it was a gift of Neiman Marcus Last Call.  I think that means it didn't sell.

Not to leave the women out of this post, here's the 2005 Kate Winslet Oscar dress designed by Badgley Mischka.  It's quite lovely and must have looked wonderful on Kate.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Beat of My Heart

Remember AZ88, that restaurant/bar in Scottsdale that I frequent especially when attending an event at the Scottsdale Center for the Arts?  If not, check this post from last August and this one of the outside of the place.  David and I stopped in last Wednesday night after the Pink Martini concert and we got to see their latest art work.  If you remember, this is the place that constantly has a changing and very eclectic art concept.  This time it's a beating heart.

They actually ripped a hole in the wall to expose the beating heart.  It doesn't make any sound, it just beats away over our heads.  They really do come up with some of the most clever ideas, but ripping out the drywall to expose the "bones" behind it was genius.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Is It a Spill or Is It Murder??

Last Friday night, I went with a few friends to a blind wine-tasting event at our local Total Wine store.  It was a tasting to see if we could tell the "Old World" wines from the "New World" wines.  Old world refers basically to France and and new world is pretty much anywhere else.  I did pretty good.  I only got one set wrong.  On the way out of the store, I saw this rather ominous puddle oozing out from under the shelving.  I think there might be a broken bottle somewhere under that pile.  Either that or there is a murder victim in the next aisle!  😁

Monday, January 16, 2017

Art for Fun

The latest art installation around the Scottsdale Waterfront are these woven merry-go-rounds.  They are very interactive because you can climb inside and take a spin.  This youngster was asking her daddy to make it go faster!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Town Council

Last Thursday night I attended a special meeting of the Paradise Valley Town Council to see my good friend Julie sworn in as a council member.  Many of my readers remember Julie not only from the many times I've mentioned her on this blog but, from when she used to have the Scottsdale Daily Photo Blog.

Since her blog went quiet, she has moved to Paradise Valley and found herself increasingly involved in local issues.  Last spring she decided to make a run for the Paradise Valley Town Council and she won.  Paradise Valley is located north and east of Phoenix and encompasses much of Camelback Mountain, the iconic mountain that runs between Phoenix, Paradise Valley and Scottsdale.  Julie is very involved in preservation of the mountain and hopes that her work on the council along with the other council members will help to continue that cause.  In fact, there is a petition on line that anyone can sign who is interested in saving the mountain.  The link is here!

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  It's all about traveling under the English Channel.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Pink Martini

I just finished a very busy week with something going on every night.  This weekend is looking quite busy too.  Last Wednesday night I went to see one of my all time favorite groups "Pink Martini" at the Scottsdale Center for the Arts.  I do love this group.  If you remember, I saw them last year on their annual visit to the valley and the year before that too!  The photo above shows China Forbes, the lead singer with Thomas Lauderdale the group's leader and piano player at the keyboards.

In this photo, Thomas Lauderdale is photographing the conga-line of audience members who were invited on the stage so he could post it on Instagram.  And he did, check the link to see it.  It was another awesome show!  I do enjoy their music so much.  It's such a mix of old and new, original and classic.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Doing the Hokey Pokey

You put your whole self in
You take your whole self out
You put your whole self in
And you shake it all about
You do the Hokey Pokey
And you turn yourself around
And that's what it's all about!

Gosh, that felt good!

I apologize to anyone who gets that ditty stuck in their head today!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Pro Freedom

This guy wants everyone to know that he's very Pro-Freedom.  

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Quick Shot

I had to be quick to catch this tiny little hummingbird approaching a cactus bloom.  They are so fast as they flit around blooms looking for the sweet stuff.  One of my favorite things to do at the Desert Botanical Gardens is to watch all the birds who inhabit the area.  They are constantly entertaining.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017


This "iron" saguaro is located on the wildflower trail at the Desert Botanical Garden.  It was created by Jeff Hebets in honor of his cousin Phil.  It's made from the pick heads that are used to salvage native plants.

In 1980, Phil Hebets organized a tree boxing methodology that enabled over one million native plants to be salvaged rather than bulldozed.  The process allowed municipalities to pass ordinances requiring that native plants be saved and replanted.  These actions together with revisions to the Native Plants Laws, championed by Phil, changed the face of landscapes in the desert southwest.

What a fitting honor Jeff created for his cousin Phil.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Being Inspired

At the Phoenix Art Museum last Friday, I got off the elevator to the Contemporary Art gallery and saw these two girls admiring one of my favorite pieces at the gallery.  It's a digital projection of a tree that sort of blows in the wind.  It sways back and forth gracefully as it changes colors for the four seasons.  It's by artist Jennifer Steinkamp and it's called Mike Kelley 13, in honor of one of her teachers.

One of the girls became inspired to move in sort of ballet-like movements along with the tree.  It was a beautiful sight.  When she heard my camera click she turned and was a bit embarrassed but I said "please continue, it's beautiful" so she did.  Isn't that what an art museum is all about?  Inspiring people, making them feel something, making them think...those should be the goals of any good museum.  It's why I go to museums in whatever city I happen to be visiting.  There is always something to inspire me.

I took this photo way back in 2010.  I thought I had posted it before but, it looks like I didn't.  I just loved the way this gentleman was admiring the tree.  It's exactly what I do almost every time I visit the museum.  I always pause to watch the tree move.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

An Eye for Fashion

While I was at the Phoenix Art Museum on Friday I stopped to see the new Fashion exhibit in the gallery that is always dedicated to fashion through the ages.

I fell in love with this suit by the Italian designer Franco Moschino.  It was from the 1990's, just the era when I could have used a lovely designer suit.

Check out the back of the jacket with hooked needle embroidered on. I love it.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I'm featuring my favorite place to stay when visiting Santa Fe.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

One Last Look

I made a trip to the Phoenix Art Museum yesterday to get one last look at the Kehinde Wiley exhibit before it comes down next week.  So, I thought I'd share three more paintings from that exhibit.

The talent of Wiley is most impressive to me.  I watched a video he made about his work while I was there and I found it interesting how he recruits his models and composes the paintings.  He has a book full of photos of classic paintings and he chooses several that he wants to use.  He then poses his models in similar poses to what are in those paintings and photographs them.  He then uses the photos as the basis for his paintings.  Adding the backgrounds and other things like the horses.

This was an exhibit that I thoroughly enjoyed!

Friday, January 6, 2017

Watercolor Skies

All these clouds we've had lately have made for some gorgeous sunsets!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Strange Encounter

Do you ever see something out of the corner of your eye and you just can't believe you really saw it?  That's what happened to me on New Year's Day when I saw this guy hanging from a bar at a little nondescript strip center.  Around the corner I went, just to confirm my sighting.

Sure enough this guy was hanging from a bar on the second floor of this little office complex.  And, he was holding a horn on top of that.

It turns out that it's actually some kind of sculpture.

When I pulled into the parking area so I could get a photo, I spotted this rather rotund figure with a paper sack on its head sitting in a cage-like structure.  Very strange indeed.   I wish I could tell you what it is all about, but I can't.  I walked around the complex trying to see if there was an artist's studio on the premises but, I didn't see any sign of one.

As I pulled away from the center, I noticed this sign that hangs on the corner.  It doesn't say anything. It just has an old phone glued to the center of it.  What a perfect mysterious find for a post on my blog, don't you think?

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Bloomin' Beautiful

I love finding orchid trees in bloom and I found one I'd never seen before in the park at the Scottsdale Civic Center this last weekend.

When I saw those pink blooms on the tree, it prompted me to get in close for a better view.

I hadn't seen one this color of hot pink before and I like it very much.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

The Big Guy Chills Out

While driving around the morning of New Year's Day, I spotted this guy chilling out in spite of the rainy morning.  A few days by the pool with some fruity drinks in his hands and he'll be ready to start the year-long process all over again!

Monday, January 2, 2017

"Raining" in the New Year

This is how Phoenix started the new year, with rain!  Not a bad thing for a desert city.  I took a short drive to some of the high spots in my neighborhood to get a few 'rainy-day' photos.

There is a spot at the top of my street where I can look over the Biltmore golf course all the way to downtown Phoenix.

The palo verde trees where decorated with little rain drops on all the branches and twigs.

And, the clouds just seemed to hang overhead.

Tomorrow I'll show you who I spotted when I was out for this little drive.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Theme Day: Photo of the Year

I reached back all the way to last January for my Photo of the Year and picked this unlikely photo of the drinking fountains at the Scottsdale Center for the Arts.  It may not be the most beautiful photo I took all year but, it was certainly one of the most popular.

If you would like to see Photos of the Year from other City Daily Photo Bloggers, click here.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  Can you "say cheese"?

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Looking Like Fall

I know most of you have experienced snow already but in Phoenix we are just seeing signs of fall this month.  This row of trees was putting on quite the show when I spotted them.

Friday, December 30, 2016

A Week of Eating and Friends

It's been a week full of dinner parties and great friends and there are still more dinners to come.  This dinner party took place Wednesday night and the friends around the table are (from left) Glenda (Julie's mom), Dave, Doug, Julie, and Kim.  Kim and Doug were the hosts and I bet many of you recognize Julie and Dave from their former blogs.

No wonder January is the month that everyone starts dieting.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Looking Festive

A whole row of perfectly shaped poinsettia plants greets guests at the Desert Botanical Garden right now.  They certainly set a holiday mood while visiting the garden.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

My Turn to Cook

It was my turn to do some holiday cooking yesterday.  I had guests over for dinner so that I could get out the holiday china at least one time during this season.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Climbing on Christmas Day

On Christmas Day, I had a wonderful holiday dinner at Julie and Dave's house.  We ate in their newly remodeled dining area which now has a full view of the rock formation on Camelback Mountain called "the praying monk".  While we were eating we noticed some activity at the very top of the "monk's" head.

Dave and I grabbed our cameras and zoomed in on the top of the rock.  Sure enough there were quite a few people up there for such a small space.  If you look closely, you can see one climbing up and about to reach the top.

The group stayed up there throughout our meal leading us to wonder if they were performing a ceremony of some sort up there.

Then gradually the group started thinning out.  The only way up there is to rock climb and the only way down is by repelling.  I was lucky to catch this guy throwing his rope over the side.

And then, down he came.  So, I not only had a fabulous dinner with great friends but, I also got a show to go with it.  You can't beat that for a Christmas bonus.