Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Happy Halloween

I found a pop-up Halloween store at the Scottsdale Fashion Square a few weeks ago and I went inside to see what they had and found some pretty scary stuff inside.

All of these horrific looking creatures were triggered by movement and would growl and snarl and pour out hideous laughter as you walked past.

If I had seen things like this when I was a little kid out trick-or-treating, I don't think I'd ever go out again.  Dark nights and scraggly, leafless trees were enough to scare me back then.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Pumpkin Land, Part Two

More of the pumpkin vignettes at the Desert Botanical Garden as part of their annual "Strange Garden" event for Halloween.  It looks like See No Evil, Hear No Evil, and Speak No Evil are back again.

This couple was enjoying a seat around the camp fire.

A little Mariachi Band was performing in one corner.

And a couple of cute Hula dancers were doing their thing.

It wouldn't be a full-on Halloween display without a witch or two flying through the air.

This daredevil was jumping off the high diving board into that tub of water.  Brave soul!

This is such a fun display.  I'm glad they started doing this every year.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Pumpkin Land, Part One

I went to the Desert Botanical Garden yesterday to see their 2018 "Strange Garden" displays that are set up for Halloween.  The event was only scheduled for the evenings of the 26th and 27th so I had my fingers crossed that they would still be there.

First up, a cute couple out for stroll with their toddler in the stroller.

Here's a couple of "kids" on their skate board and tricycle.

This fellow appears to be doing yoga!

A couple of young lovers were spotted sitting on a rock and holding hands.

This youngster is jumping rope.  

I'll have a few more of these adorable pumpkins tomorrow.  

Sunday, October 28, 2018

They're Back!

I took a drive over to the old neighborhood on Friday to see if that scary horde of skeletons were back for the holiday season.  They were!

And, they were all dressed to be seen (and photographed).  It really is amazing the trouble these people go to for the two weeks leading up to Halloween.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I've revealed a little secret.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Journalism...A Very Important Profession

My post is back in Phoenix today and I'm featuring another building that is part of the downtown Phoenix campus of Arizona State University.  This is the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism.

Journalism plays such an important role in any democracy, it's good to know that students are pursuing careers in the field in spite of current political state of affairs.

Friday, October 26, 2018


I have four more New York photos today.  Once again, they are all iPhone photos.

To the left is a museum I visited for the first time, The Morgan Library & Museum.  I actually thought I'd be there for only hour and ended spending most of the day there.  It's spectacular.

The Guggenheim was also a first time for me.  I can't believe how many times I've been to New York and never visited this museum before.  They were showing an exhibit of paintings by Hilma af Klint, an interesting and very talented woman I had never heard of before.  It was fascinating.

Of course, the Metropolitan Museum of art was also on the agenda.  In fact, I visited here twice.  It's one of those places where you will never see it all which is why I manage a visit every time I'm in the city.

Another favorite of mine is The Cloisters run by the Met but located about 6 miles north of the city.  It's a little more difficult to get to but well worth the effort.  The museum is dedicated to Medieval art and architecture.

Not pictured in this post is the Met Breuer, another offshoot of the The Met where contemporary art is shown.  We only had a short time at that museum but got to see an interesting exhibit about a connection between art and conspiracies.  The other museum was MoMa (Museum of Modern Art).  I was awestruck by the selection of works by the likes of Monet, Renoir, Picasso, Van Gogh and so many more.  When I get my photos from my camera downloaded and sorted, I'll have posts about all of these places on my travel blog.

I must be addicted to art museums....I love them all.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

October in New York

I'm posting a few iPhone photos from my trip to New York today and I'm starting with this great Halloween display I saw one evening on my way to dinner.

I had a wonderful time and I didn't even step into one department store or retail shop!  I spent most days in some pretty fantastic museums and most evenings either enjoying an extraordinary dinner or going to the theatre.  I saw three fantastic plays, each different from the other and all very enjoyable.  I saw "The Band's Visit", a Tony award winning musical, a British comedy called "The Nap" and "American Son", a very intense drama about a very timely subject and starring Kerry Washington.

Our hotel was right on Times Square so all that neon was right outside the door.  The view above was from the room.

I count that I visited 6 different museums and had three dinners at highly rated restaurants.

I haven't downloaded my photos from the camera yet but I just checked; 468 photos to edit.  I'll tackle that this weekend.

As always, it was a great trip but, it's good to be home.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Back in Phoenix

I'm back in Phoenix and getting back into the swing of regular hours and work.  I hope you enjoyed my week long tour around some of the cities and towns that make up what we call the Valley of the Sun.  Some of those posts brought back lots of memories.  Today my photo is looking down Central Avenue in downtown Phoenix.  You can see the light rail tracks as they curve around the corner behind that car.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

The Old and The New in Tempe

Tempe is another city where I used to live and work.  In fact, I worked in this building that used to be a branch of the old Continental Bank.  I'm not sure what the business is that is located there now.

Tempe has changed a lot since I used to live there back in the 70's.  It's a land-locked city so it hasn't grown in area size but it has grown in population.  It's now a city full of modern high-rise buildings.  In fact, Tempe changes so quickly that I find new things every time I visit which is often since I attend theatre productions there all year long.  Much of that growth can be attributed to Arizona State University, a school that has grown by leaps and bounds.

This is one structure that has remained the same for all those years, the huge power plant on the east side of Tempe.  It is the Arizona Public Service Ocotillo Power Plant and it has been dominating the skyline near the Salt River for many, many years.  It's one of those landmarks that when you see it, you know exactly where you are.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Places I've Worked

Prior to moving to Phoenix, I used to live and work in Mesa Arizona, a city east of Phoenix.  It's a large city and I was proud to be involved in quite a few community activities serving on boards and commissions.  My first job in Mesa was as Assistant Manager of a bank branch for the locally owned Continental Bank in this building that is still there today.  The bank passed through couple of different owners and is now part of the Wells Fargo system.

From my position at the branch above, I was promoted to Manager of the Fiesta Mall Branch when it opened.  That branch was located in this building that is now a dental office.  Where that fence to the right is located used to be the drive-up window and those bells in the bell tower actually played music from time to time.  Continental Bank bought a carillon so we could play Christmas music during the holidays to entertain all our neighbors.

Thanks for letting me take you down memory lane!

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Irrigation and Showing Off

Glendale Arizona is a sizable city located adjacent to Phoenix in the northwest valley.  At the Glendale Main public library stands this sculpture commemorating the agricultural history of the city of Glendale.  Irrigation played a key role in agriculture in the desert and still does to this very day.  This sculpture shows the people using the short hoses that would siphon water from canals and into the fields.  The sculpture was created by Debbie Gessner.

If you are walking around the library grounds you will also likely see a few peacocks who roam the area.  This one was a bit of a show off.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  Take a look at the gorgeous architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

A Wilderness in an Urban Area

Gilbert Arizona is located southeast of Phoenix and is home to the Riparian Preserve & Water Park, a wonderful place to hike and bird watch.  The park is full of trails, lakes and streams.

On a visit there you will see all kinds of birds that are attracted to the water like this beautiful snowy egret.

Or this black necked stilt.

And you will most likely run into a few ground animals too.  Like this cute rabbit who was kind enough to pose for me.  It's a great place to experience nature without leaving the valley.  

Friday, October 19, 2018

The Power of Thought

Fountain Hills is another community that is part of the Phoenix Metro Area.  It's located east of Scottsdale and gets its name from the famous fountain located in the man-made lake at the center of the town.

On a drive out to Fountain Hills, I discovered that a sculpture that I admired back in 2010 was now a permanent fixture at the Fountain Hills Civic Center.  It is called "The Power of Thought" by artist Victor Issa.

I featured this sculpture in a post back in 2010 when I first saw it at the Celebration of Fine Art and at that time I said I hoped it would be purchased and displayed permanently somewhere in the area.  I'm thrilled to see that it was.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Frontier Town

Cave Creek Arizona is located right next door to Carefree (featured yesterday) in the far north of the valley.  It's quite a tourist location with a Frontier Town shopping center located at it's heart.

Here you can shop around for all kinds of interesting items most of which would remind you of your days in the desert southwest.

I kind of like this rustic furniture but, I didn't take any home with me.  

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Balanced Among the Rocks

Carefree Arizona is part of what is called the Phoenix Metro Area.  It's located north of Scottsdale.  The landscape in the area is full of huge boulders and many of the houses in Carefree are nestled between or on top of the rocks.

There are a lot of big homes out this way and the surrounding rocks make them very attractive.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Up, Up and Away

I'm flying off to New York today and will be gone for one week.  I'll be enjoying all the wonderful things the the great city of New York has to offer.  I might not be around to comment while I'm gone but I have posts up for the week.  I'll be posting about some of the cities that surround Phoenix.  Have a great week everyone!

Monday, October 15, 2018


Along a section of 16th Street in Phoenix is a variety of murals painted by a selection of artists with roots in Mexico or Central America.  The murals are part of a project called "Calle 16", a project that is designed to bring the neighborhood (or barrio) closer together. This particular mural is called Bienvenidos a Arizona and it was painted by Gennaro Garcia and an artist called DOSE.  The artist Garcia grew up in Mexico and now lives in Phoenix.  He is known for his ceramics.

You can view more murals from around the world by clicking here.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Wet Weather

This was my view of Camelback Mountain yesterday morning.  You can barely see it.  It was raining pretty steadily all morning long.  We've had some very unusual weather for this time of year.  We went from 106 degrees down to 80 degrees in one week and then we've had several torrential rain falls.  As I'm typing this, the temperature is 65 degrees (18C).  Normal for this time of year is right around 90 degrees (32C).  The weather everywhere is just getting a bit crazy.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I found a great place to stay while in Seattle.