Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Prickly Subject

In this extra close picture of tip of a cactus, you can see those famous wicked thorns.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Artichoke

It’s not very often that I get to see an artichoke in full bloom. I spotted this one in a neighbor’s yard and went home to get my camera.

I have many photos of ordinary thistle blooms and whenever I see the extra large artichoke blooms I’m reminded that the lovely vegetable I like to dip in lemon butter or toss with pasta is really a member of the thistle family.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Imagine

The City Daily Photo Community has set aside today to show support for the people of Iran and to honor a fellow blogger from Tehran who has been missing for the past week. We are all hoping for his safe return so that he can continue to show us his beautiful city and share his insights.


I thought this image of a poster inspired the words of John Lennon would be an appropriate tribute for today’s post. I don’t believe I need to quote any of the words from his famous song, but if you would like to be inspired by it again, here is a link.

One of the best things about the City Daily Photo blogging community is that it allows a little glimpse into the lives of people from all over the world. We get to see sights in each other’s communities; sights both, old and new, famous or unheard of, public or private. In our comments to each other we reach out with praise, advice, humorous anecdotes or fond memories and in doing so, we make friends all over the world. We all share our love for the photographic image and our pride in our individual communities.


Regardless of our geographic remoteness and our multitude of diverse backgrounds, we exist peacefully and happily in our cyber-world, learning from each other and enjoying each other’s keen eye for beauty. If our real world was more like our cyber-world we would come very close to achieving the vision imagined in John Lennon’s words.

To view what other City Daily Photo bloggers have posted with thoughts of Iran, click here.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

My first blogger meeting!


Last night I had the distinct pleasure of meeting one of my favorite photo bloggers, Susie of Arabia of Jeddah Daily Photo fame. I have been following Susie’s insightful blog since I discovered it about a year ago. I was thrilled to learn that Susie would be in the Phoenix area for a short time and that a friend of hers would host a party for her.

In the photo above you see Julie of Scottsdale Daily Photo, Susie, me, and Dave of Tamarindo Costa Rica Daily Photo. We had a wonderful visit and I thank Susie’s friend for allowing us to come to her home so we could meet Susie in person.

I’ve been envious of some of our European bloggers who meet up with each other on occasion and share their photo experiences. I now feel like I’ve had one of those special meetings and I sincerely hope that more opportunities arise in the future.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Graffiti or Art?

This might look like graffiti but I’m pretty sure it was commissioned to cover the side of this old house that now is used as a storage and/or a workshop for a business that sells a lot of goth items.

Check the link if you aren’t sure what I mean by “goth”.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Shamrock

Shamrock Farms was founded in 1922 and remains to this day a family owned and operated business. In fact, they operate the largest dairy in the southwest of the United States with their very own herd of 10,000 cows. They offer a full line of daily products and have recently added more food items to the product mix.



I fear I'll be aging myself when I say I even remember when they delivered milk to your door. Their little green delivery trucks could be seen in the wee hours of the morning in most neighborhoods.




The top picture shows their headquarters located on the west side of Phoenix.






The small photo shows just a few of their fleet of delivery trucks. If you live in Arizona, I guarantee you’ve seen these trucks on more than one occasion.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Buried Treasure

Cucumberz is one of those places you have to go back to over and over again. They sell used furniture and other items many of which are antiques. However, Cucumberz is not one of those places with neatly displayed glass cases and furniture arranged into pleasant room settings. In fact, the inside of Cucumberz is an explosive riot of floor to ceiling disarrayed treasures. Some might say there is quite a lot of junk disguising the real “finds”. I might answer that what looks like junk to one person might be a cherished memento to another. Isn’t the most fun in shopping derived from uncovering that buried treasure?

If you are a local reader, I suggest you check it out. If you don’t find anything to buy, I guarantee you will see things that will stir up sweet memories and you will return from time to time to see what else has worked its way to the surface.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Dancing Blues

Lately I’ve been reviewing all of the photos I took at the Desert Botanical Gardens when the Chihuly exhibit was here. I’ve decided to make my very own “coffee table” book of all of the photos I took on the many trips I made to the garden.

It’s been fun sorting them and laying out the page designs and patterns. I’m looking forward to a wonderful collection that will give me pleasure for years to come.

I can’t believe that I had never shared the above photo with you. It is one of my favorites. The blue just seems to jump right off of the surface of the photo.

Monday, June 22, 2009

A Favorite Spot

This is one of my favorite little corners at the Desert Botanical Gardens. It’s shaded and quiet and on a path that few people take. That little round irrigation pipe at the end of the bench is always spilling onto the plants below and making a very pleasant babbling sound similar to a mountain stream.



When the Chihuly exhibit was here, this spot seemed to always be busy with people snapping pictures. Behind the bench was a lovely exhibit of green glass that just seemed to belong in this cool and shaded area. Click on the small photo to get a better view of the Chihuly glass that resided in this wonderful spot.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Something new in downtown

I recently attended an event at the new Sheraton Hotel in downtown Phoenix and got my first glimpse of this new facility. The hotel is a 31 story high-rise that has recently thrust its way into the downtown Phoenix skyline.

I was impressed with the beauty of the hotel interior and the outstanding artwork located all over the public areas.

The photo above is of the escalators leading from the second floor meeting spaces to the street level lobby. I love that tear-drop chandelier in the center.



The small photo is a close up of the chandelier.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Grackle

Just an ordinary grackle who really wanted to be featured on Phoenix Daily Photo. So much so that he posed looking straight into the camera.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Corn

Corn stalks and palm trees aren’t usually located in close proximity, but here you see a row of corn and a palm tree at the end. I spotted this corn field in south Phoenix and had to stop to take a picture. Corn is not a crop you would expect to see growing in any part of Arizona. The climate is much too hot and dry. In spite of the adverse conditions, these plants look healthy and hearty.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Another Reflection

In addition to the reflection I featured yesterday, that same office building was reflecting another building located directly across the street from it.

I like this reflection, It’s a lot more symmetrical.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Reflection

In December I did a series on the Phoenix Financial Center and its unusually shaped office building. I spotted this reflection of that building several blocks away relected in an all-glass office building.

Click on the link to see the building that is being reflected.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Clouds

Last week, we had some unusual weather for this time of year. Temperatures were mild (by Arizona standards) and we had lots of clouds. Sadly, it didn’t produce any rain, but I think most Arizonans were enjoying the mild temperatures and the overcast days. All too soon, it will be blistering hot under a blazing sun.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Arizona Theme Day: Arizona’s Hidden Treasures

Arizona is just full of hidden treasures so it’s very hard to pick just one. I chose one located in the city of Phoenix and almost hidden at the base of South Mountain.
Mystery Castle is one of the Phoenix Points of Pride named by the Phoenix Pride Commission.
The building was built by Boyd Luther Gulley who upon learning he had tuberculosis, left his wife and daughter in Seattle and came to Arizona. After arriving in Arizona, Gulley started to build a “castle” for the little girl he had left behind. He spent 15 years building his dream house.

In 1945 shortly after his death, his wife and daughter Mary Lou were surprised to learn that they had inherited a property in Arizona. They traveled here to see what they had inherited, moved into the home and never returned to Seattle. In 1948, Life Magazine did a cover story about the home and the strange circumstances surrounding it. Shortly after that, Mary Lou and her mother started giving tours of the castle.

Mary Lou’s mother died in 1970, Mary Lou still lives in the home and on occasion, when she feels up to it, still leads a tour.

To see what other Arizona bloggers have posted, click on the links below.

Flagstaff Daily Photo
Chandler Daily Photo
Prescott Area Daily Photo
Tempe Daily Photo
Scottsdale Daily Photo
Chandler Daily Photo
Glendale Daily Photo

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Del Monte Market

The Del Monte Market in south Phoenix has been operating out of this building since 1908. There are still hints of the original store signs gently fading on the sides of this unique brick building. This must have been a very remote location when this store opened. It’s only recently that houses have grown up all around the area.

It is quite a busy place. While I was there taking pictures I saw many people come and go.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Rising Phoenix

Last November I posted two photos from the Town & Country Shopping Center. You can see them here and here. I failed to show you this exquisite Phoenix Bird sculpture that has been the symbol for this center all these years. The sculpture is made of steel and stained glass and in the morning you can see the light filtering through the glass as you drive by.

There is a dedication plaque next to the sculpture that reads “The Phoenix, Symbolizing power, beauty, and constant youth. Dedicated to the memory of artist Paul Coze and the City of Phoenix”

Friday, June 12, 2009

All Faith Sam Merantos

The last in my series of unique business buildings is the All Faith Sam Merantos Weight Loss Clinic. This building has a very distinctive southwestern ambiance that separates it from the surrounding businesses. The only thing I know about this business is what is on their web site. It appears to be a spiritual guidance weight loss process achieved through meditation hypnosis.

A unique building structure to match a unique business approach.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Molina Fine Jewelers

I pass this building almost every day and I always get a little longing for Paris as I drive by. This beautiful building is the home of Molina Fine Jewelers, a business with one of the finest reputations in the Phoenix area. Alfredo Molina began his Phoenix jewelry business in 1987 however his dedication to craftsmanship can be traced back many generations to the Golden Age of the Italian Renaissance when his ancestor Jose Molina was doing business in Milan.

Molina Fine Jewelers attracts customers from all over the world because of their unparalleled reputation of excellence, quality, and privacy.

In addition to his fine business reputation, Al Molina and is wife Lisa are well know philanthropists who dedicate both time and money in support of many community organizations. So I might just end this description by saying “Thanks Al and Lisa. You help to make Phoenix a better place to live.”

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Hob Nobs

The distinctiveness of today’s business comes from another era. This little coffee house is located in an area of Phoenix surrounded by historic homes and I can only guess that this building was one of those homes many years ago. To me, it’s sloping roof is more reminiscent of the English countryside than it is of the desert southwest.

Hob Nobs serves beverages and sandwiches to customers who enjoy the cozy surroundings. I haven’t tried it, but people who have seem to enjoy it.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Artistic Tattoo


Today’s business, Artistic Tattoo gets its uniqueness from the distinctive paint design on the outside. If your business is “skin art”, then the “skin” of your building needs to somehow reflect that same artistry. This small, rather plain looking building has been made to stand out from the rest with this “Dante’s Inferno” paint job.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Interesting Architecture

This week I’m going to show you five unique business buildings in Phoenix. They might be architecturally unique or they might be distinctive in the way they are painted or designed.

Today’s business is Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center located in the heart of Phoenix. This building was added to the medical center in 1982 and I’ll bet that my Chicago based readers will recognize some characteristics in the design. The architect for this building was Bertrand Goldberg, the man who is famous for the well known Marina Towers in Chicago. His portfolio of projects includes many hospitals in addition to his living spaces and he almost always incorporates rounded shapes and distinctive window treatments.

Goldberg was known for innovative structural solutions to complex problems especially for residential and industrial design projects. In addition to the Marina Towers in Chicago, he also designed the very unique River City located on the Chicago River south of downtown. He has also designed hospitals in Illinois, Wisconsin, New York, and Alabama.

I lived in Arizona when this hospital building was built and remember how impressed I was with the futuristic design. It has a sort of science fiction look to it.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

My Favorite Restaurant


Last December I told you about my favorite restaurant, Cheuvront’s Wine & Cheese Bar. Last Sunday after spending the morning at the Desert Botanical Gardens, I stopped in to try out the new brunch menu. I had a delightful meal with the usual friendly service and a wonderful Thai mint sangria to wash it down.

I arrived late, so the restaurant wasn’t too busy and I had a great view out the front window watching the light rail trains as they whizzed by. Good food, friendly people, relaxing pace, and something to watch; who could ask for a better way to refresh after a long walk in a desert garden.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

First Friday

The first Friday of every month in Phoenix is called “First Friday” and it is dedicated to the arts in central Phoenix. All the art galleries, both large and small are open late and special exhibitions are announced to the public. Emerging artists can display their works and get noticed. Many cafes, bars, and other business will stay open late to cater to the crowds of people who stroll the galleries.

There is one little corner on 7th Avenue, near where I live that every first Friday supports a group of drummers who drum out a rhythmic beat that is enjoyed by young and old alike. The rhythms entice studied belly dancers as well as people who just get caught up with the music and the moment.

One special feature is the fire dancers who swing these flaming pots to the beat of the drums. It is beautiful to watch and invigorating to listen to. As I write this, my ears are still full of the cadenced and uplifting beat of the drums.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Camelback Mountain

There is a little hill at the Desert Botanical Gardens where you get a fantastic view of Camelback Mountain.

Camelback Mountain gets its name from its shape. It looks like a reclining camel, his head to the left and his two humps in the middle.

If you look to the left where the camel’s eye would be, you will see a little dark slit, almost like a sleepy half closed eye. That is the Copenhaver Castle that I featured last year. Click here to see it up close.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Setting a Desert Inspired Table

These would certainly add some southwestern influence to the dinner table!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Cactus Flowers

Today I’ve put together a little collage of some of the cactus I saw blooming on Sunday at the Desert Botanical Gardens. The colors were brilliant and the blossoms perfect. The area was just awash in color, luring photographers to get a closer look. Not too close, though. There are still those thorns to contend with.

Even the little potted cactus in the gift shop were blooming. See the upper left corner.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Dragonfly

I’ve been so busy extolling the virtues of the wonderful Chihuly glass art that has been displayed at the Desert Botanical Gardens over the past seven months, that I think I haven’t said enough about what a wonderful garden it is without those fantastic art pieces.

On Sunday morning, I went back to the garden along with a good number of others for one last look at the glass installations before they are removed. I must say that I found myself drawn by not only the art, but by the fantastic display of nature also. Thousands of cactus were in full bloom and there were still many wildflowers about. There were birds, lizards, and squirrels about for visitors to enjoy. And, very near the huge Chihuly glass art installation called “The Sun” was this dragonfly flitting between flowers.

So while other cameras were all focused on the extraordinary works of art, my camera was chasing this dragonfly until I was able to capture its image to share with you. I feel much better knowing that the artworks may be gone, but mother nature will still provide her own magic in this very special corner of Phoenix.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Theme Day: Feet

Over the past week I’ve been snapping pictures of feet in all different settings and I must say that none of them really appealed to me. Last Friday I took a late afternoon walk around the Desert Botanical Garden and spotted lines of people waiting to purchase a drink they could take with them to the Friday night jazz concert and I suddenly remembered that I still didn’t have a picture for June 1st that I liked.

I pointed my camera at the feet of those in line and totally ignored the strange looks I was getting. The picture I chose to display was a total mistake. I accidentally snapped the shutter while I was moving and this was the result. As it turned out, this was my favorite of all the shots.