Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Idylwilde Park and La Hacienda

I thought I'd close out the month of September with two more historic neighborhoods.  I decided to do this project as a summer pastime and here it is swiftly approaching October and I've only covered 20 of the 35 neighborhoods.

This first neighborhood is called Idylwilde Park and it was built in a years old concept of creating a central park and having all the houses back up to the park.  That keeps the park private for only the adjoining neighbors to enjoy.

I drove around the two streets several times and couldn't get a glimpse of the park inside but my historic neighborhood documents say it's still there and very much alive.  The houses in this neighborhood are Period Revival style small homes.

The next neighborhood is called La Hacienda with homes dating back to 1927.  The neighborhood is small and contains both Period Revival and Early Traditional Ranch style homes.

The fully mature landscaping makes this area feel secluded and cooler than the busy high-rise mid-town commercial area that is only a few blocks away.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Garfield and North Garfield

The Garfield neighborhood is an area that is still struggling to make a comeback.  It's located just east of downtown Phoenix and is comprised of very small homes some dating back to 1883 but, most from the 20's, 30's and 40's.  It was one of the first additions to the original Phoenix town site.
The little house above has been freshly painted and is now ready for some yard work.

The owners of this little bungalow have done quite a bit to enhance the front with plants and planters and even a fountain.

The North Garfield neighborhood is adjacent to the Garfield area and contains similar houses dating back to the early part of the 1900's.  The one above has that distinctive Spanish style.

This one is built in the "salt-block" style I've seen in other historic neighborhoods however, this is the only one like this that I saw in the North Garfield area.  I recently featured a Phoenix Bird that is located in the Garfield neighborhood.  You can see it here.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Rubbish and Fire

On Saturday I located the last three historic neighborhoods that I needed to photograph for my series and one of those neighborhoods was located in an area that was pretty run down.  I'll say more about that when I get to that neighborhood in my series.  While I was driving around I noticed that there was quite a lot of trash piled up in various places and I realized that it was a neighborhood clean-up project.  The city does that in designated areas upon the request of residents and then hauls away all the trash at once.

I decided that since we city daily photo bloggers are always picturing our cities in the best possible light, it doesn't hurt to show some of the less desirable sights.  This pile of rubbish was particularly big so I snapped a photo of it.

A little way away from the first shot, I found this house or building all boarded up after what looks like a fire.  I hope no one was hurt when that happened.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Exotic Architecture

While searching out some of the historic neighborhoods I've been doing a series about, I found this place with the very exotic architecture.

Once I saw the place, I remembered that I had seen it before but it was many years ago. I learned that it was going to be a Sikh Cultural Center.  It was under construction when I first saw it so I didn't take any photos of it at that time.  I thought I'd wait and come back when it was done.

Sadly, it still appears to be under construction and frankly it looks much the same as it did when I first saw it all those years ago.  I wonder what happened.  Maybe it's just a matter of shortage of funds after the recession.  It will certainly be a striking looking building when it's completed.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  Take a look inside the gardens at the Getty Villa.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Tiny Poser

Yesterday I was leaving my house to run an errand and as I approached my car I could hear the sound of a humming bird close by.  I looked over at a shrub growing by the walk and saw this guy sitting on a branch.  My first thought was that I'd never get my camera out in time but, I tried anyway.  I had to set down the cold drink I was holding and set down my purse and then get the camera out.  The whole time I did all that this little guy held his pose while keeping an eye on me.  I popped off 5 shots before he decided that was good enough.  I'd say this tiny creature is either a good sport or true ham.

Friday, September 25, 2015

All About Design

Sometimes the oddest things catch my eye or at least that's what my friends tell me when I point something out that no one else has noticed.  I was at the Scottsdale Fashion Square mall last week and I happened to take a staircase that very few people ever use.  On the landing I spotted this arrangement.  It's probably there to add a little pizzaz to a small space but, I found it quite attractive.  I took this photo of it and one each of those arrangements on top of the table.

When I left the mall and found myself at a traffic light just outside the parking garage, I decided to snap a photo of this tower structure on the end of the garage.  It just houses the stairs that lead to all the floors of the garage but, I think is does a beautiful job of hiding those metal stairs and hand rails.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Stylized Phoenix Bird

Another one of our many Phoenix Birds today.  I'll bet that many people who live here don't even realize that this is a depiction of that famous mythical bird.  It's a very modern, stylized version that sits in front of a high-rise office building on Central Avenue.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Fairview Place and F Q Story

Two more of our 35 designated Historic Neighborhoods today.  Both of these I've featured here before.  They were fairly close to my old neighborhood so I drove around in these areas many times.  Fairview Place is made up of middle class homes built in the 1930's and 1940's.  The one above is in a Spanish style.

This one looks more eastern to me.  I do like the front arch and the brick trim.

I've featured homes in the F Q Story neighborhood a few times before.  It's a great little neighborhood close to downtown.  I love the look of the one above with the awnings and the trim around the entrance.

This one has a little front courtyard and an arched front door.  This neighborhood also dates back to the 1930's and 1940's.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015


I love to walk one of the trails at the Desert Botanical Garden that goes past the desert lagoon where a little reed and cattail filled pond is alive with all kinds of interesting life.  I always stop at the pond and look for the bullfrogs that live there.  They aren't easy to spot.  I have to really study the water but when I see one then I start to see the others.  This one seemed to be looking right at me.

This one was looking the other way.  As I walked away they started talking to each other in the deep baritone song they make.  My dad used to say it sounded like they were saying "jug-a-rum, jug-a-rum".

Monday, September 21, 2015

Outdoor Exercise

It was nice yesterday morning to see so many people outdoors getting some exercise and fresh air.  During the hot summer months, Phoenicians tend to do their exercising indoors where heat stroke is less of a problem.  This last week, the mornings and evenings have been nice enough to be out and people were out in force.

I saw cyclists and runners and walkers and shoppers and children playing in playgrounds.  We are finally getting our outdoors back!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Living in Phoenix....Las Vegas Style

I was prowling around the neighborhood just to the east of me one Sunday when I discovered this house.  It was so large that my wide angle lens couldn't get the whole front of the place in the shot.

The driveway was gated and this huge fountain was just on the other side of the gate with the drive circling around it.

I drove around the block and discovered that the property extended to the next street over and the back of the house was just as elaborate as the front.  This pool area made me think of Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  Take a look at a gorgeous house of worship.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Family Dinner....'s not what it used to be.

David and I were having dinner one night recently when this family arrived and was seated next to us.  They were very quiet and it was easy to see why.  Each and every one of them is studying some type of electronic device.  The father is hidden by that bottle of wine but, I can vouch for the fact that he too was looking at his cell phone.  It was too good of a scene to ignore so I snuck this photo.  No one at that table saw me.

Friday, September 18, 2015

The Gradual Cool Down

We had a big rain (and wind) storm last Monday evening and it seemed to tip the scale on our desert heat.  We haven't reached the 100F (38C) all week.  In fact it's been kind of pleasant.  Still too warm to be out in the direct sun mid-day but, the mornings and evenings are nice.  I decided to take an evening walk at the Desert Botanical Garden to get some exercise in.  The garden was very quiet with only few other people there.  I was pleased to see this fishhook barrel cactus in full bloom.

The early evening sun makes some great back lighting to light up all the thorns on a cholla cactus.  You don't want to trip a fall into this plant.  That would be quite painful.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

The Phoenix

Here is another depiction of the Phoenix Bird.  This on is the mosaic style sign on the side of an apartment building that goes by the name "The Phoenix".

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Men at Work

Early one morning I saw this guy and his ground team preparing to do some tree trimming.  He works for the power company and when the trees get too crowded around the power lines, it's time to trim them back a little.  He spotted me with my camera right away so he gave me a big smile and a wave.

You can see from this shot that he was pretty far up there when I zoomed in on him.

And, here he is in the thick of the tree working away.  I'm quite sure I couldn't do this job.  My fear of heights would kick in and I wouldn't be able to last 10 minutes up there.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Encanto Palmcroft & Encanto Vista

Encanto Palmcroft is probably the historic neighborhood with the highest real estate values.  The area is made up of large homes on curving, tree-lined streets with little pocket parks scattered about.  It abuts on the south Encanto Park, one of the city's largest and oldest parks.  I've cruised around in this area many times and have published photos from this neighborhood several times.

The houses in Encanto Palmcroft are all unique in architectural style with well manicured green yards.

The Encanto Vista neighborhood is also next to Encanto Park and just a few blocks away from the Encanto Palmcroft neighborhood.  However, this area consists of more modest homes in size and architecture.  The one above is showing it's tidy brick facade.

This one appears to be block construction and has adopted a unique yard style.  Those rock-wire walls seem to be very popular right now.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Hollow Eyes

Back in June I posted a mural I found and the artist was there working on it at the time.  You can see it here.  That mural was on a long wall in a narrow passage way and there was a series of murals all along the wall.  This is another one of the murals on that wall.  This one is closest to the street so it can be easily seen when driving past.  I'm not sure what it represents but the artist is Tyson Krank.  His murals tend to depict figures with rather vacant eyes so this one fits his style perfectly.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Patriotic Message

While I was walking among the memorial flags that I posted about yesterday, I noticed across the lake and on the other side of the freeway is this building that houses the headquarters for First Solar.  This side of the building is covered with panels and I noticed that they had arranged the panels to spell out USA.  I had never seen those panels arranged that way before so I'm assuming it was done in conjunction with the memorial that was going on in the park.

I have a new post today on Sharon's Sojourns.  Picture a nice refreshing walk on the beach.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

9/11 Tribute

I drove out to Tempe yesterday to see the 9/11 tribute, 2977 flags flying along the Tempe lakefront.  It was a very moving experience.

Each flag was adorned with a card with the name of a person who died that day.  Some cards just had the name and where the person worked while others had loving comments about the person.

This photo gives an overview of the scene and even this doesn't encompass all of the flags that were out there.

Although it was very moving to walk among the flags, I didn't tear up until this guy played taps.  Everyone who was there stopped to look in his direction.  I'm glad I went.  It was a good way to mark the day.

The Tempe Town Lake is right under the flight path for Sky Harbor International Airport and the majority of morning flights are taking off to the east right over this area.  It was sort of a surreal experience to be standing among all those flags while one plane after another roared overhead.

Tomorrow I'll show you what else could be seen from this location.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Big Trees

I've been noticing the shapes and sizes of some trees around town.  This one is simply enormous.  It pretty much covers the front of that building.

I just liked the shape of this one.  It's a little heavier on one side giving it that wind blown look.  

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Returning to Phoenix

I flew to California last Wednesday but I drove back with Julie and Dave on Monday.  Arriving in Phoenix, since I wasn't driving this time it was a perfect opportunity to snap a few shots of the Phoenix downtown skyline from Interstate 10 as we arrive in the city.  There aren't many places in town where you can get this view.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

California Dream'n

I just got back Monday evening from a fabulous 6 days in California with my wonderful friends Julie and Dave.  Thanks Julie and Dave for a fantastic week of activities and beautiful California coastal weather.  What a way to cool off after the hot Phoenix summer.  The above scene is the ocean front view of Laguna Beach, a wonderful place to visit and enjoy everything a Pacific Ocean get-away has to offer.

Just look at this young one racing to shore on a green surf board.  Sometimes I wish I could do this and other times I just enjoy watching.  This time it was the watching (and photographing) that occupied my time.  It takes a lot of patience for that short little ride to the shore.