Sunday, January 31, 2016

Old West Atmosphere

I was in Scottsdale yesterday and visited two museums.  I'll have more about those visits in the coming days after theme day.  Traffic in this city has gotten a little crazy lately with all kinds of events in town especially the Barrett-Jackson Auction which draws huge crowds.  I did a few posts about this show/auction with a few  photos of some pretty fantastic classic cars back in January of 2013 (remember the Batmobile?).  However, traffic didn't seem to bother this guy who was waiting for some passengers he could tour around old town Scottsdale.

Across the street from the stagecoach was another old wagon sitting on top of the Blacksmith shop.  Yes, there is a real blacksmith shop in old town Scottsdale but there isn't much horseshoe work done there.  It's mostly antiques and art piece that can be found in this place.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  Take a quick tour of the National Gallery in Washington DC.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

A Different Perspective

I thought I'd post a few more photos from the David and Gladys Wright House with a little different perspective.  The photo above was taken on a cloudy day just before sunset.  This view is from the guest house to the north of the main house looking south.

This is a night view taken from the center of the house.  The walkway leading to the front door is behind me and the large window is looking into the living area.

This view is also from the center below the house looking at the master bedroom.

This last shot shows the design that is used to represent the organization that has been created to preserve the house.  I LOVE everything about that design!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Inside a Great House

Continuing from yesterday's post, today I'll show you the interior of the David and Gladys Wright House.  Above is the living area.  The owner who saved it from demolition is Zachary Rawlings and he has done an outstanding job of bringing the home back to life.  Much of the original furnishings had been given to museums across the country so new ones needed to be constructed.  Even that gorgeous carpet was recreated in the original design.

The master bedroom was located at the very end of the home in that circular area that is cantilevered out.  The headboard for the bed was built right into the wall (where that photo is located) so that the bed was positioned for maximum views.

Here is a close-up of the photo so you can see the position of the bed in this room.

This is one of the guest bedrooms with windows facing the west. 

Here is a photo of the kitchen.  The stove was behind me as the wall curved around.

To bring things full circle, Sarah Levi, the great-great granddaughter of Frank Lloyd Wright is now the Scholar in Residence.  So the home is still occupied by a member of the Wright family while being open to the public for tours that are scheduled by reservation.  

I for one am hoping that Mr. Rawlings plans to turn the property into a cultural and educational center are fulfilled.  He is currently drawing some heated opposition from some area residents who are worried about noise and traffic.  Mr. Rawlings is working very hard to create something that will benefit everyone and preserve an incredible historic structure with as little neighborhood disruption as possible. 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Story of a Great House

In October of last year, I got my first look at the David and Gladys Wright house in Phoenix.  I actually poked my lens through a fence to snap the above photo.  My first thought was that it was the most amazing Frank Lloyd Wright house that I had ever seen in person.  Little did I know that I would soon become even more familiar with the place.  Through a series of friends, I've had the pleasure of touring the house on several occasions.  (The above photo is take from west looking east.)

Over the past four years, news of the house has been circulating quite rapidly especially on my side of the city, close to the actual structure.  You see, the home was days away from demolition when a local businessman purchased it in 2012 and saved what is deemed one 20 of Wright's most important buildings of his career.  In fact, when the contractor hired to demolish the house saw it, he became concerned that an important FLW house would be destroyed in error and he called the city and the demolition permit was voided.  (The above photo is taken from the east side looking west.)

David Wright was the son of Frank Lloyd Wright and when he purchased the land he asked his father who was 84 at the time to design a home for him and his wife.

And, what a design he created.  The home sits like a coiled snake on the property rising upward to take in the spectacular views of Camelback Mountain.  In 1952 when the home was completed, there were citrus groves surrounding the home and from the windows you could see Camelback Mountain over a carpet of green from the trees.

The walk that encircles the house goes all the way up to the rooftop where the wide view of Camelback Mountain can be seen in all it's splendor.  That building just below is the guesthouse which was completed on the property a few years after the home was completed.

Come back tomorrow and I'll show you some photos from inside this fantastic architectural beauty.  

The theme for City Daily Photo bloggers on February 1 is
"A Scene from a Cafe or Coffee House.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Mesa Arts Center

I drove out to Mesa on Friday to have lunch with a close friend I hadn't seen a while and I decided while I was there to stop by the Mesa Art Center to take some photos.  It really is an impressive art center with not only performance spaces but places for workshops and classes too.  It has a very contemporary design with a lot of attractive features.

One of the great features is this stream of water that runs from one end of the center's campus to the other.  You can see a little of it in the photo on top too.

And here you can see where the stream begins with the water gushing from those pipes above.

This photo shows the performance center from the Main Street side of the facility.

Near the back of the facility, the stream ends and this covered walkway takes it's place artistically mimicking the look of the stream of water.  

I took a whole lot more photos at this place so I'll throw a few more in here and there.

The theme for City Daily Photo bloggers on February 1 is
"A Scene from a Cafe or Coffee House.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Party Crasher

I pointed my camera up on Camelback Mountain to get a look at a house that was under construction.  Then I noticed the house below it and it appeared there were a lot of people there.

So I extended the telephoto out even further and found out I had just crashed someone's pool party.  I think I'm far enough away that nobody minds!

The theme for City Daily Photo bloggers on February 1 is
"A Scene from a Cafe or Coffee House.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Be an Angel

There is a store called "The Angel Store" in old town Scottsdale where every passerby is encouraged to be an angel by standing in front of these wonderful wings and having a photo taken.

They were a little high for me.  My head would have been there in the middle somewhere.  I waited to see if anyone would stop for a photo but no one did so I just got a photo of the sign.   Next time I'm in Scottsdale I'll have to see if I can find someone willing to be an angel for me.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Dog Days of Winter

Saturday was "Dog Day" at the Desert Botanical Garden and I joined my friend Glenda and her dog for a stroll around the park among a very large number of furry friends.  This family group was taking a break in a quiet place to rest.

This was the first time I had attended this event and I loved every minute of it.  All these cute creatures taking their people for a walk was a treat to see.  The English Bulldog in the upper right corner was wearing his Arizona State University Sun Devil's jacket.

I love the bloodshot eyes on the dog in the upper right and the freckled face of the one in the lower left.   And, the Boston Terrier stuck out his tongue for his photo op.  That's just like a little kid!

There were Great Danes mingling with much smaller dogs and a very handsome Boxer who posed beautifully for his photo.  And, down there in the lower left is Stella, Glenda's dog.  She insisted on carrying her frisbee with her on the walk.  I'll have to watch for this event next year.  It was certainly a lot of fun.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  Check out the heart of the city of Florence Italy.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Glass House

Inside the lobby of the Scottsdale Center for the Arts is a beautiful artistic piece called Glass House.  It's by glass artist and sculptor Therman Statom.  Statom was drawn to art at an early age and at one time worked with Dale Chihuly where he learned the limitless possibilities in glass blowing.  He has since made a career of glass sculpting and more importantly teaching the joys of art to a younger generation.

The glass house consists of panels of glass, some painted, some frosted, all fused together to form a unit you can walk right through.  Within the glass walls are more glass objects, some created and some found objects.  It really is a beautiful piece.  Click here if you want to learn more about the artist.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Things that Catch My Eye

I think I've mentioned before that patterns catch my eye and draw me in.  Well, if those patterns happen to be on something shiny, I'll be hooked for sure.  I saw this set of drinking fountains inside the lobby of the Scottsdale Center for the Arts.  You should have seen the strange look I was getting when I lined up this photo and snapped away.  Of course that didn't stop me.  Let them wonder!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Public Art & Private Art

I found this sculpture in a very small public space in old town Scottsdale one weekend.  I tried to find something to indicate the artist but none was found.  It's located near a lot of galleries and especially one that has other sculptures outside it's doors.

This sculpture of a saguaro cactus is located on the gallery property.  I didn't see a sculptor's name on this one either and it has been bolted to the ground so I think it's there to stay.

Both of these sculpture add to the artistic atmosphere of this Scottsdale area.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing...

...In Perfect Harmony

Remember that jingle?  If not, check out the link.  That's what popped into my head when I saw this shiny new Coca-Cola delivery truck parked outside a grocery store.  There is no missing this bright red truck, that's for sure.  

It wasn't long after I saw that truck that I spotted these dusty coke bottles.  I don't know about where you live but, here in Arizona you don't see bottled Coca-Cola for sale in six-packs like this any longer.  We do however see bottles of Coca-Cola in some restaurants that have been imported from Mexico.  People here like to drink them because they are still made with real sugar and not the high-fructose corn syrup used in the U.S.  

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Filming from the Air

Sunday was the Rock and Roll Marathon here in Phoenix and although I didn't go out to see the runners, I did hear the distinctive sound of a helicopter overhead.  I saw this one from my balcony hovering over the race site a block away from me.  It looks like there was some filming going on with that camera hanging down in front.  There is no television station markings on this helicopter so I'm wondering if this one was hired by the marathon organizers.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Patterns and Colors

At the Scottsdale Center for the Arts I found this exhibit of art works all illuminated with LED lights and all created by very young artists.  The show was called "Archilumen".  I loved this panel of designs that changed colors as the lights behind them changed colors.

It was a fun display all created by talented young artists!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Houses in Many Styles

While returning home from a few errands, I took a turn into a neighborhood near my house to see where the road would take me.  What I found was a neighborhood of splendid homes in a variety of shapes, sizes and styles.  This one above is rather modern with an equally modern landscape.

This looks like it might be new.  There was an open house sign in front and I was tempted to go in but, I was afraid they ask me what my budget for a new house was so I didn't.

This one has a wonderful yard with big trees and it's southwestern look is very appealing to me.

Going in a completely different direction, this one is very stark and plain and looks a bit like a fortress.

This flat-roofed house was constructed of brick and is covered with vines.  It also has an appealing look.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  A weekend stay and a New York luxury hotel is in store.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Tall Trees and Tall Tales

This house looks quite stately with those very tall palm trees framing it.
I thought a picture of a house was the perfect segue into telling you about the movie I saw last Thursday evening.
I went to see the movie "The Big Short" based on a book by Michael Lewis.  I had never read the book but, I knew enough about the 2008 economic meltdown to wonder how such a sobering set of circumstances could be put into a movie.  I would say that the screenwriters (Charles Randolph and Adam McKay) did an outstanding job.  They were able to explain the tedious and complicated details of the investment deals with rye humor and eye-catching wit while getting across the seriousness of the situation.  I liked the movie so much, I ordered the book.  I'm very interested in learning more about the real people that the characters were based on and trying to understand if they really tried to open everyone's eyes to what was going on or if they just figured out a way to profit from the illegal actions of the banks and investment firms.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Fire Station

I spotted this cute little fire hydrant in front of a local fire station.  I love it!  Those big eyes, floppy ears and goofy smile put big grin on my face and those red Adirondack chairs behind are a perfect backdrop.    

Thursday, January 14, 2016

More West Side Art

Here a few more of the art pieces I found along Grand Avenue last weekend.  I especially liked this shade cover with the flowers and grapes hanging from it.

There were trees covered in knitted blankets or robes and other knitted creatures hanging from the wires above the sidewalk.

Here's another covered tree.  This one is covered with pom-pom like groups of yarn.

And one of the trees had these lovely flower balls hanging from it like Christmas ornaments.  

There was a lot to see on this one little stretch of street.  

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Back on the West Side

On Monday I posted a mural I found on the west side arts district of a human heart.  Today I'm posting the lungs to go with it.  This street planter was found along Grand Avenue along with several others but, on closer look at this photo I see a signature, Dambrova.  I looked it up and sure enough found the artist for both this and the heart is one Bill Dambrova.  If you are interested in his work, click the link.  For those of you who found the heart a little disturbing you might want to pass.  The artist states: "Painting allows me to explore, and share worlds that would normally remain unseen.  ....I am mystified by the inner workings of living things and the events that take place in our bodies and minds."  Indeed! His art definitely has a "vascular" look to it.

Here is another one of the street planters.  This one has a flower theme that is quite attractive.  Tomorrow I'll show you some of the other art I found along the street.