Thursday, July 31, 2014

Blast from the Past

I saw this stack of 8-Tracks at a local antique store.  Remember these?  I remember how there was that short interruption in a song when they had to change tracks.  Does anyone have an 8-track player today?  I'm betting there is a very, very small market for these relics from the past.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Urban Desert

I found this very tall totem pole cactus growing along the street in downtown Phoenix,  It's a tall one but, it's dwarfed by the tall buildings all around it.  All that glass makes and interesting backdrop for a desert plant.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Grady Gammage Auditorium....revisited

I got so many comments about Gammage Auditorium yesterday that I thought I'd repeat a post I did back in 2011.  I think this might be the first time I've ever repeated a photo but, this really is the best one I have that shows the whole building in all it's splendor.

This a Frank Lloyd Wright designed building that was constructed on this prominent corner of the ASU campus back in 1962.  There is an interesting story that goes with that construction.  Back in 1957, Grady Gammage was President of ASU and he wanted an auditorium on the campus that would stand out as a true landmark.  He consulted his good friend Frank Lloyd Wright who dusted off some plans he had created for a center in Baghdad Iraq.  He adapted that design to the university's use  and the plan was put in place.  The sad part of the story is that neither man lived to see the finished building.  They both passed away in 1959.  When construction began in 1962, Grady Gammage Jr. turned the first shovel.

The auditorium is a much loved landmark on the Tempe campus.  It sits on the corner of Mill Ave and Apache Blvd right where Apache curves to merge into Mill Ave.  The the street seems to wrap itself around the this round building.

I've had tickets to the Valley Broadway series of Broadway shows for many years along with my friends Julie & Dave.  You know them from Scottsdale Daily Photo and Tamarindo Costa Rico Daily Photo.   All of the Broadway series productions are staged here so I've been here often.  The theatre is just as beautiful on the inside as it is on the outside.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Gammage Auditorium

I put up a photo of Grady Gammage Auditorium today because I was there last night to see a performance of "Jersey Boys" and what a show it was!  I thoroughly enjoyed every musical number.  It was like taking a step back in time.  I haven't seen the movie but, now I just might have to do that.
What a show!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Student Housing

Student housing for the downtown campus of Arizona State University.  I believe this building is about 3 or 4 years old.

They've provided retail space on the ground floor for restaurants and small shops.

I have a new post Sharon's Sojourns today.  It's a California jewel.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Utilizing a large lot

It looks to me like the owners of this small house took advantage of the large lot and built some condos surrounding the house.

Here's a closer look at the condos.  

Friday, July 25, 2014 the heat

Actually I took this photo a while ago but, I thought it depicted our wilting heat perfectly.  Yesterday's high temperature was 116 degrees (47 c).  It was a record temperature for the day.  I think I need to do a little rain dance to see if we can't get it to cool off a little.  Have a great weekend everyone and stay cool!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Unique Mailboxes

Driving around in a central Phoenix neighborhood I spotted this unique mailbox and had to catch a photo of it.  It makes me wonder if the people living here are retired farmers.

I was really surprised when I rounded the corner and found another unique mailbox.  This one promotes reading which is always a good thing.  I'd say this one is a sculpture as well as a mailbox.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Bringing back memories

When I was a kid growing up in Quincy Illinois, there was a row of houses that were built in this sort of salt-block style that I loved.  I thought of them as "art deco" style but, to be honest I'm not sure the style falls into that category.  I guess that growing up around big, two and three story houses made of brick and block, this style looked modern and sleek to me.  So when I saw this house in one of our historic neighborhoods, it brought back those childhood memories.

I found another one similar to the one above also in a historic neighborhood.  Flat roofs pose a particular challenge for homes in the desert.  Long stretches of hot, sunny weather tends to dry out the roofing materials and when the monsoon season comes and we get periodic rains, that water can seep through some of the cracks and cause leaks.  Many people with houses like these get a special roofing material that can stand up to the heat and brutal sun.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Red Wall

I pulled these two photos out of my archives.  Back in October of last year on a visit to the Heard Museum, I found a garden space with one wall painted red and a flowering vine growing up against it.  I took several shots in different positions and I like how all of them turned out.

I think this one is my favorite.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Playing with my food

I know I shouldn't play with my food but, when the cherries are this gorgeous, it's hard to resist.  So, I put them in a bowl, put them against a white background and fired away.

Then I messed around with some photo editing and came up with all sorts of versions.  I liked this one the best.  Never fear, I am going to eat the cherries.  Their day in the spotlight is over.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Southwestern Style with a bit of Whimsey

I found this house with a totally southwestern desert style so I decided to take a photo of its attractive entrance.  But wait, what is that little flash of pink way off to the left?  What can that be?

So, I zoomed in to find a pink flamingo living among the cactus in the cactus garden.  Those pink flamingos pop up in the most unexpected places.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  Some might call it about whimsical art.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Family outing

I went for a walk at the Desert Botanical Garden early Friday morning.  I hadn't been for quite a while because it's been too hot but, it was tolerable on Friday so I took advantage.  I didn't expect to see baby quail out and about.  I thought it was a bit past the breeding season but I guess I was wrong. This little family was out foraging for food.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Triple Gables

I found two houses in the same Historic Neighborhood with three gables on the front of them.  At first I thought that the builder from that era must have built two similar houses but, they really do have two distinctive looks about them.

I like the look of both of them but, I think I like the porch on the first one the best.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Red skies at night.....

....sailors's delight!  However, sailors in the desert are few and far between.

But we do get beautiful red skies during the monsoon months.  All those clouds and winds stirring up the desert dust help to tint the skies and fuel some gorgeous sunsets.

This one happened Tuesday night and when I spotted it, I grabbed the camera and ran out the door.  The trees are so beautiful silhouetted against such a colorful sky.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Adobe Wall

I found this adobe wall around the yard of a home in one of the historic neighborhoods.  It looks like you enter the yard through this door.  With the wall and the tall plants, I couldn't see the house inside but I like the wall.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The big cloud

It's that time of year again, the monsoon season has begun and the afternoon skies begin to fill up with clouds, big clouds.  Sunday night the cloud build-up actually turned into some wind and rain for the valley.  Very little rain for central Phoenix but the east valley cities of Tempe and Mesa got a lot of rain and some damaging winds to go with it.

The television weather man said that Phoenix wouldn't see any rainfall and that the storm would pass us by heading for the outlying areas.  At exactly 10:00 PM I was sitting in a perfectly quiet house, checking my email when CRASH/BANG, a very loud clap of thunder startled me out of my chair.  I hadn't even seen a flash.  What followed was about 10 minutes of wind and light rain.  Just when I though I might fall asleep to the patter of rain on the roof, it stopped and was all done for the night.

Monday, July 14, 2014


I stopped at my local Safeway grocery store on Sunday and they had a big selection of roses for only $9.99 a dozen.  I decided I liked the yellow ones with the rosy edges.  Of course, as soon as I got them into water, I got out the camera.

They will add some fresh color to the living room all week long.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Count Dracula

I went to my local United Blood Services shop Saturday morning to give blood and look who I saw hanging around, literally.  I guess a blood services center is a good place for this guy to hang out.  I hope he's not drinking up the merchandise.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  It's a look at very unusual piece of art inside a historic building.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Blank Canvas

I started working on my latest "art challenge" yesterday.  I got the brushes and paints out, set up the easel and ready, set, go!  I usually use photography as my art medium but this time I promised myself I'd paint something.  I'll show you the finished product when I get it done.  I have no formal training in painting so it's a true challenge.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Fancy Entrance, Fancy Name

I pass by these apartments almost every day and I always catch a glimpse of the fancy ironwork that decorates the front entrance.  It seems to fit in very well with the exotic name of the apartments, "Zazu Panee".  One of these days, I should stop and take a peek inside that gate and see if there is a little oasis inside.  

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Covered Walk

A few years ago, I posted a photo of this walk taken at night.  You can see it here.  I thought I'd post a day time shot.  It's located on the grounds of the Arizona Center, a combination office and shopping complex in downtown Phoenix.  Those fan like covers are very attractive.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Top Hats

The revolving restaurant on the top of the Hyatt Hotel in downtown Phoenix looks a bit like a hat.  Combine it with one of the downtown street lights and it looks like two hats.  One is kind of plain and brown and the other is more "art deco" and colorful.  But, they make a good pair in this photo.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Coping with the heat

One method for coping with the extreme heat we get here in the desert is with "misters."  The above photo shows the misters along the mall area at Biltmore Fashion Park shopping center.

Restaurants also use misters to cool down their patio dining areas but, as you can see from the above photo, people still don't sit outside when the temperatures soar above 105 degrees (42 C).  We usually reserve outdoor dining for the fall, winter, and spring months.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Modern Home

I found this modern home located in central Phoenix not far from where I live in a neighborhood that is composed of mostly older mid-century homes.  When I first saw it I thought it might be an office for a business but there was nothing to identify it as an office and that driveway on the right side of it seems to fit a home rather than a business.
Even though it has a decidedly modern look, it still seemed to fit in with the neighborhood.

I loved the striped wall that frames an entrance to the home.  It has a very striking look and adds a touch of mystery to the property.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  It's a quick visit to a historic church in Buenos Aires.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

What I do.....

....when it's too hot to go out and take photos.

I buy a bouquet of flowers, take lots of photos of them and then I start playing around with my editing tool.  Here are two collages of some of the things I created with one bouquet of flowers.

It's fun!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Finally some rain!

We had our first monsoon storm of the season Thursday night with some lightening, some thunder, some rain and a lot of wind.  I had dinner at a neighbor's house Thursday night and the walk home was so breezy and cool it was quite refreshing.  We haven't had any rain since March so it was much needed.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Independence Day!

Today is Independence Day here in the United States.  

This house in the historic neighborhood of Cheery Lynn is decorated for the holiday!

I have plans to have dinner with friends high up on Camelback Mountain with views to the north.  We should be able to catch some fireworks from that vantage point.  

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Same day, two shots

I have been wanting to get a photo of this building so I could show you those giant address numbers in front for a long time and I found myself at the right place Sunday just about midday.  The sun was high overhead and even though I tried to shade the lens, the result was this shot with the street and sky and even the parking lot completely white.

I decided to go back in the early evening when the sun would be low in the western sky and get a shot that shows the street in more favorable light.  When I downloaded the second photo and compared the two, I decided to use them both.  The over exposure of the top photo really isolates the building and makes it the center of attention.  The second photo is more natural and shows how the street really looks.

The whole purpose of showing you this building was to show those giant address numbers.  A most unusual way to display street numbers.  I'm guessing that mail carriers and delivery men will not have any trouble finding this building.  That is unless the numbers are so big they look right past them trying to find the normal sized address numbers.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Across town for lunch

A sudden craving for really good Mexican food had me driving across town last Saturday to have my favorite burrito at Barrio Queen in Scottsdale.

Barrio Queen is located in the Fifth Avenue shopping area of Scottsdale among all  the tourist shops.

Now that summer is here, I figured the normally large crowds would be thinned out a bit and when I arrived it certainly looked that way.  It gave me an opportunity to snap a photo of one of the dining rooms.  It was a good thing I snapped it early because the place was packed with customers when I left.

Barrio Queen is only a couple of years old but it has become a popular dining experience in this area and for good reason.  The food is great.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Theme Day: Celebrating Summer

In Phoenix we celebrate summer by heading to the nearest pool to cool off.  Either that or we get in the car or get on a plane and head to cooler places.

Click here to see how other City Daily Photo bloggers celebrate summer in their corner of the world.