Sunday, November 30, 2008

Blue Sky & Palm Trees

Just of couple of the things that come to mind when thinking of Phoenix Arizona.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Kenilworth School

In a city that is dominated by the new and modern, it is unusual to find buildings with such traditional architecture. This is Kenilworth School, an elementary school that is part of the Phoenix Elementary School District. It is located in the Mid-town area of Phoenix just a few blocks from downtown. With the grand stairs and pillars, this building is very much like the schools I went when I was growing up in Illinois.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Town & Country….again

Earlier this month I posted a photo from the Town & Country Shopping Center. As I said before, the fate of this center is up in the air but, for now it still hosts a number of shops. I thought I’d post another picture from the interior core of the center. You can see the brick walkway and the lush, mature trees that make this place such a comfortable pedestrian place.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is North American holiday set aside to give thanks for the things that keep us healthy and make us happy. Traditionally we spend this day with family and friends enjoying a plentiful meal (or two).

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for the comments you’ve left on my site and making me feel welcome in the Daily City Photo Blog community.
I hope all of you have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Chateaux on Central

With the American economy holding on by a thread, I hesitate to show you this place. This is a very new development conveniently located on Central Avenue in mid-town Phoenix, just steps from the Phoenix Art Museum and the Heard Museum and a plethora of other popular community hot-spots. This development consists of 21, 5-story townhomes all with private elevators as well as other amazing amenities. Each unit ranges from the smallest at 5,100 square feet to the grandest at 8,200 square feet. They went on the market starting at 2.8 million dollars. Yes, you heard me right. I haven’t seen any information to indicate if they are still selling at that price or if they are selling at all. In fact, the development appears to be at a stand-still at the moment. It will be interesting to watch this place and see what happens as the problems with housing, lending, and the economy continue to unfold.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

On the Rocks

Since I was traveling along the Camelback Mountain streets yesterday, I thought I’d bring you one more home perched among the rocks that make up this distinctive mountain. This home is a little more traditional in style than yesterday’s super-modern home, but it’s cliff-like setting in the red rocks make it a striking photo opportunity.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Mountain Home

Today I bring you a rather unusual home perched on the side of Camelback Mountain. This is the kind of house that I would normally associate with Los Angeles, maybe on the slopes of the Hollywood Hills? It stands out among the low-slung ranch homes around it. I like to imagine who lives in it and what the inside must look like. I imagine the views are amazing, the furniture is ultra-modern, and the décor is minimalist.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Pigeon Talk

I think I discovered the all-time favorite pigeon gathering spot in central Phoenix. I stopped to take a picture of some new public art (to be posted later) when I looked up and spotted these guys watching me from the power lines above. I think this is the largest collection of pigeons I’ve seen in Phoenix.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Phoenix College

I think I’ve mentioned before that I live just a block away from the campus of Phoenix College. Today I’m featuring a photo of the Dalby Building on the campus. I sometimes walk on the campus grounds when out for an exercise walk and I always pass this building. In this picture, I caught it early in the morning when the rising sun was reflecting off of the glass and making patterns on the sidewalk.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Security Device

This statue sits in the middle of a church parking lot completely surrounded by a thick growth of prickly-pear cactus. I wonder if the cactus was planted there to protect the statue. I doubt that anyone would attempt to run off with this statue on a dark night with this thorny security device in place.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Corner Market

These types of corner markets are very rare in a city dominated by the huge chains like Circle K and 7-Eleven. I discovered these little markets quite by accident tucked away in the heart of two residential neighborhoods. Seeing them made me think of my childhood when my grandfather would walk me and my sisters down our street to a tiny corner market to pick out our choice of penny candy. It seemed like the choices were endless and as I think back, included a lot things that haven't been on a candy shelf for many years.

With the multitude of chain convenience markets and multi-purpose gas stations, these little businesses have suffered greatly. It’s nice to see that some of them have survived.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Praying Monk

On the west end of Camelback Mountain attached to the “head” of the camel is a outcropping of rock called “The Praying Monk”. That name has been adopted because from a distance this formation resembles a monk on his knees praying. The above picture is taken close to the base of the mountain as near as the road gets to the outcropping of rocks.

The small picture shows Camelback Mountain from a distance. You might have to click on this photo to see it better.
So, what do you think? Does it look like a praying monk to you?
By the way, Camelback Mountain is another Phoenix Point of Pride.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Breakfast Anyone?

This tiny little plain-Jane restaurant near downtown draws huge, standing-room-only crowds every weekend. It’s located near the site of the Farmer’s Market so I pass it on the Saturday’s that I visit the Market and there is always a crowd waiting outside. If you check Matt’s Big Breakfast’s website, you’ll see the menu is pretty basic breakfast fare. I’ve never eaten there but, I’d say judging from the customers, it must be good.

Monday, November 17, 2008

J W Walker Building

When the Phoenix Municipal Court was built, part of the project included the structural and exterior renovations of this building. Built in 1927, this was the original home of a J C Penney Department Store and later the home of Central Arizona Light & Power. It changed hands a few more times until the city purchased the building in 1959 and used it for office space until 1994. When the new Municipal Court building was approved, rehabilitation of this building was included in the project.

The small picture shows a little of the detail on the building.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Phoenix Municipal Court

This court building in downtown Phoenix bears the name of Valdemar A Cordova who served on the Phoenix City Council from 1955 to 1959 and then went on to be a County Superior court judge. In 1979 he was appointed by President Jimmy Carter to the Federal bench making him the first Arizona Mexican-American to hold such a position and among the first nationwide. This building was completed 1999 and holds 38 courtrooms. Included in this building project was the renovation of another building that I’ll show you tomorrow.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Is this Arizona?

I turned down this neighborhood street the other day and had a little feeling of déjà vu. To be precise, I had the feeling I was driving down a street in some Midwestern town. Can this really be Phoenix Arizona? I guess it can because I wasn’t far from Camelback Road in the heart of the city. See, we do have something other than palm trees and cactus.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Art on a Gate

I discovered this art work painted on the gate at the driveway of a large, central Phoenix estate. I’m not sure I grasp its meaning. I recognize the background as Sedona Arizona’s famous Cathedral Rock. In the foreground there appears to be a take on the universal evolutionary representation. I see an artist looking on and a boy taking a peek under the painting. Putting it all together leaves me mystified. Does anyone want to attempt an explanation?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Phoenix Suns

One dimension of entertainment that I haven’t addressed on this blog is sports. I will be honest, I am not a huge sports fan. I can think of only three times that I sat huddled in the frigid bleachers to watch a football game. I’ve done a little better with professional baseball. I have experienced the New York Yankees, St. Louis Cardinals, and both the Chicago White Sox and the beloved Chicago Cubs. And, of course I’ve attended a few Phoenix Diamondback games most memorably a winning World Series game.
However, when it comes to sports, my all time favorite is professional basketball. I am fortunate that I have a very close friend who has had season tickets for the Phoenix Suns for more years than I care to mention here. I am doubly fortunate when she invites me to attend with her. That is exactly what she did last night and I immediately said yes. Unfortunately, the Suns didn’t win last night but, as the saying goes, it’s not always about winning or losing. Sometimes it’s just a good time.
My photo isn't the best but, you can see Steve Nash in the foreground taking a shot and that is Shaquille O'Neal the big guy in the center making his way toward Yao Ming of the Houston Rockets.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Desert Chalet

This house is located in the mid-town area of Phoenix, not far from the busy and commercial Central Avenue Corridor. It is surrounded on most sides by office buildings so it stands out among the standard multi-storied boxes around it. It is a little shabby around the edges but, it’s interesting shape, style, and that magical painting on the front caught my eye. It looks like it belongs on a mountain side covered with snow and surrounded by pine trees where its charm is enhanced by an idyllic setting.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Town & Country Shopping Center

Some people call this shopping center dated and worn out however, it does offer some stores that have a consistent draw. Stores like Trader Joes, Bookstar, and Linen ‘N Things are busy especially on weekends and the Farmer’s Market on Wednesday mornings draws crowds. I think the sad thing about this center is that it has such an old fashioned pedestrian look that hasn’t been used to its best advantage. It would be a great place for sidewalk cafes and art galleries. There are rumors that the owners are currently looking at some redevelopment plans that might include replacing the whole structure with a high-rise building that would match others along the busy Camelback Corridor. I’m not opposed to high-rises (when they are done right) but, I would miss the tile roofs, fountains, and brick walkways of this quaint place.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Dinner was Murder

My very dear friends invited me to attend a dinner event in their place on Saturday evening. The dinner would benefit Actor’s Theatre, a group I featured on a previous post so, I quickly agreed. What I didn’t know was that the dinner would include murder and mayhem. Pictured above are the soon to expire Brock Barrington and his lovely but somewhat shallow bride, Chyna.

The event was produced by Murder Ink Productions, a well established company owned by Marney and Alan Austin. The mystery we found ourselves involved in was called “Die Nasty in Dallas” (pun fully intended) and it was written by Joe Chandler, attorney at law, known this evening as Brock Barrington (pictured above). I even played a role in this little drama as a gossip columnist and author of tell-all, unauthorized biographies.

In spite of the murder and pandemonium that ensued throughout the evening, dinner was served with the usual flair that the host restaurant is known for. You can see our waiter in the small photo arriving with dessert.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Spanish Market

This is the weekend of the Spanish Market at the Heard Museum and I stopped by yesterday to see what beautiful things might entice me. There are over 75 artists who display and sell their artwork with crafts ranging from furniture to painting to jewelry and much, much more. I saw a painting I loved and some beautiful work with thin sheets of metal shaped and pounded into pictures but, I resisted the purchase. I felt concern that the artists might not do so well in these hard economic times, but I was pleased to see that there were a few people who were purchasing both large and small artworks.
This picture is of the strolling Mariachi’s who provided entertainment apropos to the event.
The best part of the day happened when I ran into good friends that I hadn't seen in months. We ended up spending the afternoon together and catching up. Nothing beats an afternoon with good friends.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Jeremiah was a Bullfrog

That’s the song that raced through my head when I found this big guy perched atop a pillar. His home is at the end of the driveway of a grand home on the slope of the Phoenix Mountain Preserve. Do you suppose the doorbell of this home plays that tune?

Friday, November 7, 2008

Remains of the Day

I couldn’t resist posting this photo of a sad little jack-o-lantern who made it through the Halloween holiday with flying colors but, who is a little worse for wear now that a week has passed.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Dodge Theatre

Another theatre venue located in downtown Phoenix is the Dodge Theatre. This space is specifically designed for concerts, family stage shows, and boxing. Isn’t that a strange mix? It is a state of the art theatre that can be configured to fit different performances or sports. It’s one of those places with an “arena” atmosphere including a snack bar in the lobby that is more akin to a sporting event than a theatre performance. Around Christmas, the Radio City Music Hall Christmas show performs here.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Yes We...Did!

Audaciously hopeful we head into the future!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day, VOTE

Today is election day in the United States. I am hoping there is a huge turnout of well informed voters who have listened to all sides of the issues and made their decisions based on what is good for the entire country and not just some special interest.

I made this collage to celebrate today’s events and it is unabashedly reflective of my choice in this very important election. I am proud to be called both progressive and liberal. My life is fuller, happier, and more fun because of it.

Yes, that is me with Barak Obama and that is my hand shaking his. The photos were taken a year ago at a reception before a book-signing event for his book “The Audacity of Hope”. Credit for the photos belongs to City of Phoenix photographer Bob Rink.

Now, if you haven’t already done so, get out there and vote!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Food & Ferris Wheels

What is a state fair without food or Ferris Wheels? It just wouldn’t work. I like this shot of the biggest Ferris Wheel with the Arizona sun shining through one of the gondolas. There were at least four Ferris Wheels of varying sizes scattered around the fairgrounds.

Of course, food was everywhere. I saw Asian, Mexican, Italian, Bar-B-Q, and American burgers. There were pork chops on a stick as well as mashed potatoes on a stick. I waited around to see how mashed potatoes on a stick might look but, no one obliged me by buying any. There were also the old stand-by fair favorites, hot dogs and corn dogs.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Arizona State Fair 2008

Today is the last day of the state fair. These photos were taken a week ago on a bright Sunday morning. The carnival atmosphere was in full swing but, the prize winning pigs and cattle were nowhere to be seen. They must have taken their ribbons and headed home. There were plenty of games, rides, fried food, and silly shows.

I think the silliest show I saw was something called the Banana Derby where monkeys served as jockeys riding on the back of dogs. (Click on the photo, it's worth a closer look.) There were two supposed races but, the dogs just sort of sauntered around the course never even breaking into a light trot. After the race, people queued up to have their picture taken with one of the monkeys at $10.00 a pop. That obviously, was the real money maker.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Theme Day: Books

Books have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I have vivid childhood memories of frequent visits to my grandfather’s small apartment and his heavily laden bookcase brimming with books of all color, shape, and size. If I close my eyes, I can see the clouded streams of sunlight shrouding my shoulders as I poured through the books, feeling the weight of the pages and running my fingers across the passages in search of the imprint of the press. I can still smell the scent of his pipe tobacco mingled gently with the worldly scent of the books. It’s a perfume that I still associate with wisdom and scholarship.

My picture is of one small shelf on the bookcase in my living room containing a few of my grandfather’s books that have made their way into my collection.
Many other daily photo sites participate in the first of the month theme day.