Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Roosevelt Park and Villa Verde Neighborhoods

I needed my historic neighborhood map to identify the Roosevelt Park neighborhood.  I had not heard of it before and when I got to the location there were no signs up to identify it.  It's not a big area so I drove around it following the streets marked on the map three or four times until I had convinced myself that I was where I was supposed to be.  I snapped a couple of photos of houses none of which looked like they might be historic and when I got home I looked up the information about his neighborhood.  It turns out that the area is historic because the land here was once farmed by the Hohokam Indians long before Phoenix was ever a city.  Around 1924 the area started to become a "gentleman farmer" area with extra big lots for small farming operations.  The information says nothing about the homes here so I'm guessing the original farm houses are long gone.

On the other hand, the Villa Verde neighborhood has quite a few historic homes all of which are around 900 square feet in size.  The architect of the area was Frank Wallace who wanted to create an English Cottage style neighborhood.  You can see those influences in the house above and the one below.

Only five more historic neighborhoods to cover in this series.  Since I used to live in a historic neighborhood and I served on a village planning board for a while, I thought I knew all these places.  It was a lot of fun discovering the ones I hadn't heard of before.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Unusual Sight

I spotted this car in a grocery store parking lot and had to take a closer look.  Those really do look like bullet holes.  This car was obviously in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Birds, Birds, Birds

I took a long walk at the zoo yesterday. I wanted to see the new home for the tigers and I have to say, I was a bit disappointed.  The new facility has a viewing building that is completely surrounded by glass making picture taking almost impossible.  There was another viewing spot away from that shelter but, it was surrounded by a high, chain-link fence, also bad for photo taking.  So, I continued on my walk and found other things to photograph like this very cooperative Great Egret.

This Black Crowned Night Heron was also a perfect model sitting very still in the reeds.

And, I spotted this Blue Heron just outside the zoo hiding in the reeds around the lagoon.  So, the birds won out on this picture taking expedition.  

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Painting Experience

Yesterday morning I joined four friends for a painting lesson on  the patio of the Hermosa Inn.  That's my empty seat on this end of the table and across the table is my friend Emily, her mother and dad and on the far end is my friend David.  As you can see from the photo, the hotel provided mimosas to get our artistic juices flowing.

This is the example picture that our instructor provided as a guide for us to follow while she actually painted another one right next to this.

And, here's how mine turned out.  Not quite like the example but not too bad either.  In fact, I quite like it.  It was a wonderfully fun event and I think all of us enjoyed it so much we may do it again.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  What color do you think dominates the scene in London?

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Lost Shoe

Someone is missing a shoe!  I saw this one little shoe sitting on a bench all alone.  Some mother is not going to be happy when she notices one bare foot on her little tyke.

Friday, November 20, 2015


Olive trees are plentiful in the Phoenix area and every now and then I'll come across one that is full of fruit.  I liked the look of this one because I could capture both ripe and green olives.  I love them both!  Of course it's going to take a bit of processing to get these beauties to the edible stage.  I'll leave that job to the experts.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Look to the Sky

We've had some crazy fall weather over the past few weeks and one night my living room was glowing red.  I stepped out on my balcony and saw a spectacular sunset.  I'm glad I had the camera handy to snap a shot.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Family Dinner

I posted a similar photo a while ago but once again I caught a family having dinner together in total silence.  They had just placed their order and out came the mobile devices. One for each of them.

After they finished eating they were right back at the devices.  They didn't even see me taking the photos.  It really is kind of sad!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Pierson Place and Roosevelt Historic Districts

Pierson Place is a neighborhood dating back to 1934 with homes constructed before WWII.  There are a diversity of styles in this area but, most are single family homes of a modest size.

Obviously, this one isn't one of the historic homes.  In fact it's quite distinctly modern and sort of stands out among the houses around it.

The Roosevelt neighborhood was the first to be designated a historic district.  It was a "streetcar" neighborhood at one time with mostly large California style homes with a few Craftsman bungalows thrown in.  This neighborhood surrounds the Japanese Friendship Garden so I've driven through this area many times and I've always admired the fine homes here.

This one has a grand wrap-around porch. To me this looks more like something one would see on the east coast overlooking the Atlantic rather than in California.  Maybe that's just me.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Frida Kahlo

Yesterday I visited the Heard Museum to see the new Frida Kahlo exhibit of her collection of photos. There were 241 photos exhibited from her collection of over 6,000 that were carefully archived.  Many were taken by her father, some were taken by her and others were photos taken by various photographers.  They were all locked in a room in the Blue House where she lived most of her life and not revealed to the public until 2007.  It was a fascinating exhibit with photos of family and  cherished memories to photos that inspired her art and political activism.  Photography wasn't allowed in the actual exhibit but it was encourage at the entrance where this larger-than-life Frida was on display.

It was a very wet day in the Phoenix area so it was a perfect day for a museum visit.  All that rain didn't stop me from making a quick visit to my favorite sculpture garden at the museum.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

There are no words..... express the grief of the civilized world.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Colorful Phoenix Bird

I discovered another Phoenix Bird this time in a residential neighborhood on the fence of a house.  There is no explanation as to what it is doing there.  I can only guess that the owner of the house found it somewhere and decided it would look good on his fence.  Or, maybe he actually created this himself.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Artistic Tree

When I was at the Phoenix Art Museum for the Arts & Flowers show, I spotted this new artwork in the contemporary gallery.  It's called "Do you Really Want to Hurt Me" by artist Rebecca Campbell.  Do you see those little dots of blue sitting on the tree?  See the photo below.

Little glass blue birds are sitting in various places on the tree.  The description of this artwork says it's constructed from an avocado tree reinforced with steel and fiberglass, covered in velvet with glass birds that are filled with Windex.  Yes, you heard that right, Windex.  It further states:  "Named for a pop song by the British band Culture Club, Campbell explains that its genesis was the sight of a group of burned trees standing in bright snow."

I like it!  It's very striking standing in the center of this gallery.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Fall Blooms

A couple of weeks ago I took a short stroll through the Japanese Friendship Garden after it opened for the season.  I noticed quite a lot of these delicate looking little white blooms.  I don't know what they are called but, I loved seeing them there.

Do any of you know what they are called?  They were very attractive growing in clusters all around the garden.  I'll have to go back again in a few more weeks to see what else might be blooming.  The garden does a great job with fall and winter plants.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Waiting Around at the Mall

The lady in red has found a good place to wait for her friend to join her at Scottsdale Fashion Square.  The lady in the green has been waiting there for as long as I can remember but, it doesn't seem to bother her.  She's very patient.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Oakland and Phoenix Homesteads

I have two more historic neighborhoods today.  The first is the Oakland neighborhood located very near downtown Phoenix.  It was a working class neighborhood with strong ties to the Southern Pacific Railroad.  The houses are mostly bungalows and Spanish Colonial Revival houses.

In addition, this vintage apartment building is also located in the neighborhood.  

The Phoenix Homesteads neighborhood has a little different history.  It started as a subsistence farming housing project built during the Depression under a Farm Security Administration program.  All of these projects used indigenous materials and this neighborhood is one of the few remaining of these properties and the only adobe neighborhood in Phoenix.  All of the original homes were built by WPA Workers.  

One thing that really struck me about this neighborhood was the tree lined streets.  We don't usually see big tall trees like this lining streets here in Phoenix,  

While driving around here, I saw something unusual sitting on the patio of one home so I zoomed in to see what it was.  A dinosaur in a hat is not something you see every day.  

Monday, November 9, 2015

Grand Prix Scottsdale

Something new for Scottsdale, the first ever Grand Prix race with vintage racing carts.  They closed off several streets in Old Town Scottsdale to set up a race track and the sponsored carts plowed through the course.

The event was the brainchild of Andrew Bracanovich and Napoleon Smith III.  Bracanovich is co-founder of the Mesa-based Vintage Car Company and Smith is the executive producer of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Smith brought is famous turtles with him and they were certainly a hit with all the youngsters in the crowd.  

I enjoyed watching the cars race around the track.

But, someone should tell this guy he shouldn't be watching the movie screen while he's driving.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Another Friday, Another Sun's Game

Little did I know when I set up yesterday's post that I would be going to another Sun's game this last Friday night.  I got a call from another good friend who happened to have gotten a hold of two floor seats for Friday night's game against Detroit.  I've always wanted to experience what it would be like to view a game from those exclusive seats and I thank my good friend for thinking of me when this opportunity came up.  The seats are great but they are also a little scary.  Every time the ball came flying my direction, I didn't know if I should duck or trust that someone would get it.

The floor seats come with dinner in the arena before the game with a very nice buffet set up just on the north side of the court and hidden under the north end seats.  Who knew all that was going on behind the scenes.

The Morris twins used to both play for the Phoenix Suns.  I even featured a post with them in it back in 2013.  Now Marcus plays for Detroit and Markieff is still with the suns.  At one point they were side by side on the free-throw line right in front of me.

It this a little brotherly love or just strategic blocking?  Who knows!

I thought I'd throw in this picture just for fun.  It was taken during one of the breaks when the Phoenix Sun's dancers perform.  Just look at all that hair flying around! 

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  Today I visit an architectural gem.  

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Ring of Honor

This is the last of my posts from my busy weekend last weekend. Last Friday night I attended the Phoenix Sun's game with my good friend Janet and we witnessed the Induction of Steve Nash into the Ring of Honor.  Steve was by all means a star player for the Phoenix Suns and I for one miss him on the court.

Steve Nash retired form basketball this year which makes him eligible for this honor.  His photo and name will appear from now on along the Ring around the arena.  In the photo on top you see him giving his thank-you speech and seated on the floor around him are previous Ring of Honor players.

My favorite photo of the night was this one that I took as he was exiting the floor after the ceremony. I love that big smile!

I have another busy weekend ahead of me.  The camera is all charged up and I'm ready to go.

Friday, November 6, 2015

White Umbrellas

While I was in Scottsdale on Saturday, I stopped in to the Scottsdale Center for the Arts to renew my membership.  That's when I noticed the addition of these white umbrellas suspended from the ceiling.

I had a great time photographing them from different angles and directions.  I loved the white on white effect in the top photo and when taken from a distance how the white background becomes grey.

I might have to play around with these photos and add bits of my own color and shape to them.  

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Escape from Earth and other adventures

Last Saturday I went to the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Arts to see what exhibits were on.  I found some interesting exhibits that I enjoyed seeing.  I think my favorite was one called "Orion Tide" represented above by this somewhat fuzzy photo I took.

I snapped a second photo with my cell phone but the darkness and the movement in the display made photography pretty tricky.  The artist is Kelly Richardson, a young woman who "crafts video installations that offer imaginative glimpses into the future and prompt a careful consideration of the present."  She states that Orion Tide is created from a photo of the Texas desert to which she has added the continuos eruption of rocket-like vehicles into the night sky.  She leaves the message open to interpretation but, as I sat there watching it, I had a feeling that it was message of all of us humans escaping the planet for some unknown reason.

The artist had another piece there which was a huge picture of the surface of Mars complete with blowing dust and moving debris that was left there by our explorations.  It was so big, it felt like you could walk right into it and find yourself standing on Mars.  Here is a link to her site.  There is a picture of the Mars piece on the banner of her site.