Sunday, September 30, 2018

Night at the Station

I was waiting for the light rail train in downtown Tempe late one evening when I noticed how deserted the station looked at that moment.  So I snapped a shot while I waited.

When the train heading in the other direction arrived, I snapped another shot.  It wasn't long before the train heading my way arrived and whisked me back to Phoenix.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  It's all about my day at Le Cordon Bleu.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Amusing Assortment

Today I have another amusing assortment of random photos.  First is a painting at the Phoenix Art Museum that always makes me smile.  It's by Ed Ruscha and it's called, appropriately enough, "High Speed Gardening".

To left is a shot I took yesterday at the Scottsdale Fashion Square mall.  The mall is still under heavy construction and a total remodel but that hasn't stopped them from putting up the holiday decorations.  I'm guessing the covering is to keep the dust off.

An interesting combination of fencepost decorations that I found at a home near downtown Phoenix.

Above is the skywalk that connects the two Convention Center buildings in downtown Phoenix.  I don't usually see many people in it when I'm downtown.  I must have caught it when a big conference was going on.

There is a shopping center on the east side of town called Tower Plaza because there are two tall radio towers located in the parking lot of the center.  Here's one of them.  I'm betting they aren't relaying any signals any longer.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Notable in the Neighborhood

I was early for an appointment in north Phoenix one day so I took a drive around the neighborhood looking for interesting things to see.  It's an area of town I don't visit often.  On one street full of houses I came to one that stood out from all the rest.  It was surrounded by an extremely large plot of land and completely surrounded by a fancy white fence.  It almost looked like the house itself might have been there long before the other houses filled in the area.  It also looked a bit isolated behind that fence and set apart from everyone else.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Decorated Dumpster

I found another decorated dumpster recently.  This one was behind a gallery just west of downtown.  I bet one of the artists who frequent the gallery painted it.  I think it's a great idea to paint these when allowed.  It sure beats the utilitarian ugliness of them when they are unpainted.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Fountain Grass

There was a slight breeze blowing when I spotted this ornamental grass by the side of an office building.  I loved how it swayed in the wind.

So I got out my camera and took a few shots.  I think this might be purple fountain grass but I'm not sure.

I just like the way it shimmers and dances!

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Ever Feel Like This?

I discovered a new piece at the Phoenix Art Museum recently.  Or, maybe I had just never seen it before.  It's called "Companion, Passing Through" and it's by an artist who goes by the name "KAWS".  His real name is Brian Donnelly.

Donnelly is an interesting fellow. His artistic career began in the 1990's and he has developed into quite a phenomenon.  His art is sought after by museums, by cities, by businesses and by individuals.

Check out his Wikipedia page for more info.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Give Us a Salute

There is a new building on the campus of the Arizona State Veterans Hospital and Medical Center.  I'm not sure if this is really a mural.  It appears to be a sort of screen around the building.

It appears that all branches of the military services are represented here.  A nice tribute to our veterans.

Sunday, September 23, 2018


Anybody remember the 1944 play called "Harvey"?

That's what I immediately thought of when I saw this giant white rabbit on a street corner in Scottsdale.  At least I think I saw it.  😗

I guess I should ask someone else if they saw it!  😁

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I'm looking at some amazing artifacts from Greece, Egypt and Rome.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

A Different View

Two years ago I posted a photo of this building from the other side and on a very cloudy day.  This is the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law building in downtown Phoenix.  When I was downtown recently I caught sight of it from a different viewpoint and decided I needed to get another photo.  I think it's a very attractive building.  What a beautiful tribute to Justice O'Conner!

Friday, September 21, 2018

Wind Turbines

When I was on the ASU campus last Monday evening, I walked right past this building but I was stopped by the appearance of those huge fans on the roof of Wrigley Hall.  I hadn't noticed them before.  It turns out they are wind turbines.  Wrigley Hall is home to the School of Sustainability and the Julie Ann Wrigley Institute of Sustainability.  It is the home of the first School of Sustainability in the United States and was founded in 2007.  I wonder how much energy those turbines generate.  We do have windy days from time to time but, we aren't normally a windy spot.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

History Lesson on Constitution Day

Monday was Constitution Day here in the United States.  It's the anniversary of the ratification of the U.S. Constitution.  It's not something that is heavily celebrated but the ASU School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership arranged a special speaker, Richard Brookhiser so I went.  In the lobby of the building, they had arranged a display of some pretty impressive books and papers.  Above is a first edition of the Federalist Papers.

This is a hand written first edition of the Gettysburg address.

And here is Richard Brookhiser, journalist, biographer and historian.  He delivered a very interesting talk about Abraham Lincoln and the founding fathers who inspired him.  There were a lot things he talked about that I don't remember learning in school.  It was another great learning experience.  

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Beloved Beasts

The exhibit at the Shemer Art Center that I mentioned yesterday was called "Beloved Beasts" and all of the works were themed around animals.  There were some pretty amazing pieces in a variety of artistic disciplines.  The one above is called "Social Anxiety Too" by Ellen Nemetz.

This fierce looking fellow is a painting by Karen Leibrick and it's called "Rogue One".

He certainly is a handsome fellow.

This piece is a 3 dimensional painting called "The Stare Down" by Dadra Hunt.

The cat in the front is separate from the bobcat who is also away from the background.  Very cleverly composed.

This last piece made me laugh.  I love how whimsical it is.  It's a sculpture called "Trois" by Matthew Werner.  Werner works with wood and is known for his handcrafted furniture.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Furry Friends

Last Saturday, the Shemer Art Center had a special festival called "Furry Friends".  Artists were on hand selling their works all themed around the lovable creatures we live with and guests were invited to browse along with their pets.  I was surprised to see such a huge crowd of people on a day that had record heat for this time of year.  The temperature soared to 109F (43C).  That is not the best weather for our furry friends.  After all, they can't take those coats off.  I got there around 11:00 AM and it was already too hot to be outside.  People were departing with their four legged loved ones as I came in.

I missed out on what the artists were selling because all of the booths were outside and it was just too hot to stroll around.  I did view the exhibit inside the museum.  Tomorrow I'll show you some of the things I saw.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Desert Ranch

This mural is on the side of an antique store.  Actually, I hate to call what they sell "antiques" because it's all mostly from the 50's and 60's.  That would make me an antique! 😊  The mural was painted by Roy Miranda.  I love those saguaro cactus behind the purple fence.

The store is called Retro Ranch.  Why don't you "swagger on in"?

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Burger Therapy

After the lecture at ASU last Monday evening, my friend and I were hungry so we decided a burger would be nice.  My friend knows that I love trying new burger places so she took me a place called Rehab Burger Therapy in old town Scottsdale.

The burger was delicious and the atmosphere in the place was friendly and fun.  The burger didn't upset my number one and number two choices for best burger but, I would definitely go there again.  The burgers have a great char-grilled taste to them with some wonderful combinations of toppings.  I chose the Hatch Chili burger and loved it.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I'm visiting the legacy of one of the world's richest men.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Suicide of the West

Last Monday evening was the first lecture in the 2018-2019 series that I've been attending at Arizona State University's School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership.  The speaker was Jonah Goldberg, the senior editor for the National Review and a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.  Both of those organizations tend to be politically conservative so I wasn't sure what to expect from this speaker but, I could have listened to him for hours.  The title of is talk was "Suicide of the West" which is also the title of his most recent book.  He was a brilliant speaker who had a colorful and energetic way of illustrating his points.  His topic was a good one to set the tone for this year's theme of "Polarization and Civic Disagreement" in society today.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Sandstone and Glass

I've been wanting to get a photo of this art piece for a long time now and I finally was in the right place at the right time to get it.  It's a sculpture created by artist Otto Rigan.  It's composed of seven sandstone pillars in varying sizes and each inset with heavy glass.  I've been admiring this piece located right on Scottsdale Road just outside the Scottsdale Fashion Square shopping center for a while now.

One day recently I joined a friend for lunch at the Neiman Marcus cafe inside the store when I spotted this sculpture in the menswear department.  It looked so similar to the sculpture above so I used it and the wall plaque describing it to track down the artist.  This piece is labeled "Sanguine Marks" and it's part of the Neiman Marcus Art Collection.

Another thing I discovered is that Otto Rigan has a number of art pieces scattered throughout the valley.  When the weather gets cool enough to be outside I'm going to go exploring to track them all down.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Airport Art Gallery

As long as I can remember, the Phoenix Airport has had a small art gallery featuring works from local artists.  The new gallery is even bigger and since the gallery is celebrating 30 years at the airport, it's great that they have a space that draws attention.

I stopped in for a look around and saw several pieces that I admired.  The one above is called "Food Yet" by Baje Whitethorne.  I'm a big fan of Whitethorne. I've owned several prints he's made.

To the left is a weaving by Helen Burbank and it's called "Flight".  Perfect for an airport gallery, don't you think?

To the right is a mixed media piece by artist Jeff Falk called "Sky".  It's composed to two fragile looking wings against a painted background.

In the top photo you might be able to make out a large mural on the back wall of the museum space.  It was painted by Hopi artist Dan Namingha.  It's a beautiful landscape that is 26 foot wide.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Featuring Local Businesses

About four years ago, the Phoenix Airport did a major rehab and along with some of the decor, changed out all of the businesses located in the airport.  The aim was to highlight local businesses as opposed to national chains.

So now most of the restaurants featured are all locally owned like the one I mentioned yesterday and this one called Chelsea's Kitchen.  Chelsea's Kitchen is a popular restaurant located close to where I live now.  I meet friends there every now and then for dinner.  As with Cheuvront's that I mentioned yesterday, I haven't tried this airport location but, the restaurant near me has great food.

Along with the eating establishments, they changed out some of the shops too.  Roosevelt Row is a section of downtown Phoenix that is full of art galleries and small shops.  This shop highlights items from the different shops on Roosevelt Row.  Many of the items are hand made works of art.

I wonder how well shops at the airport do.  They appear to be thriving.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Change Location - Change Clientele

Around 5 years ago, I used to be a regular at a restaurant/wine bar called "Cheuvront's"  It was right on Central Avenue not far from where I used to live.  I knew the owner and most of the people who worked there so it was a fun place to go for dinner or a drink.  About 4 years ago, the owner got a contract with the City of Phoenix to open a spot at the airport so he closed his local restaurant and moved the business to the airport.  I've never been back.

With all my recent travels, I'm in and out of the airport often but I never stop here because it's usually early in the morning or late at night and I'm either in a hurry to get to my gate or in a hurry to get home.  Last Friday I had an appointment at the airport so I went early so I could wander around.  I snapped this photo of the bar which seems to be popular with some guests but there was no one there I knew so I didn't stop.

This place used to be a neighborhood place where everyone knew each other and met up with friends.  Now it's a travelers watering hole with customers who rarely return!  Somehow that seems a shame to me.

Monday, September 10, 2018

The Ever-changing Mural

Last year I had photos of two murals on the side of this building that houses the store called "Just Blaze".  It's a smoke shop - street art store that sells smoking paraphernalia and the paints used by street artists.  I drove by last week and saw a new mural on the side of the building so I had to stop and capture this one too.  This mural is signed A Bomb but, I can't find any information on an artist using that name.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Hayden Flour Mill

Here is a relic of the past that sits right in the heart of downtown Tempe.  The Hayden Flour Mill dates back to the 1870's however the mill standing today was built in 1918 after fire destroyed the first two versions of the mill.  These days, the mill is on the National Register of Historic Places and people can now take tours of it.  Although work at this site ceased many years ago, the Hayden Four Mill still is in business today.  They are devoted to making flavorful flours from heritage grains.  I caught this shot of the mill one late afternoon with the setting sun giving it a golden glow.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  Did you know there was an Arizona Gold Rush?

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Cozy Corners

Sometimes I see little corners in a restaurant or business that look inviting.  Just a little place to sit and relax for awhile.  I found the one above in a restaurant in Scottsdale and the one to the left in a restaurant in Phoenix.

They both had an certain peaceful appearance.

This little corner is an outdoor one on the ASU/Skysong campus in Scottsdale.  It looks like a great place to take a break from work or studies but, I bet those seats aren't the most comfortable.  I suppose that is an encouragement to get back to work!

Friday, September 7, 2018

The Mysterious Ambulance

I pass by this house almost every day and about the same time those "For Sale" signs showed up, so did that truck in the yard.  The truck caught my eye because from this angle it's painted just like one group of local ambulances.  I began to question this after seeing it in the exact same spot for around 6 weeks now.

It caught my eye because I had never seen one of these ambulances with the back painted like an American flag.  So, I was now puzzled by two things, why the fancy paint job and why is it just sitting here in the same spot and basically out of service.  I finally stopped to take a photo and that's when I noticed that window opening on the side.  It's not an ambulance after all, it's a food truck or some kind of vending truck.  I wonder if it's for sale along with the house!

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Very Good Italian Food

Last year close to this time, I posted a photo of a brand new apartment complex that opened up on Central Avenue, directly across the street from the Phoenix Art Museum.  It is called The Muse.  In that post, I mentioned that the ground floor of the building was reserved for retail space.  Since that time, several businesses have moved in to the ground floor locations.  One of the best is this Italian restaurant call Forno 301. They make outstanding pizza in a wood fired oven along with other tasty Italian treats.

The inside is modern with a few antique touches scattered about.  The best part is the food.  It's excellent.