Thursday, January 31, 2019

Broken Shutters

There is a parking garage near the Scottsdale Civic Center that I hardly ever use but one day recently I parked there and that's when I saw these windows with the wooden shutters on the back side of a building that used to be a restaurant.  The building is vacant right now and has been for quite a while.

The wooden shutters are in various states of decay but they make interesting photos, don't you think?

If anyone ever moves into this building, I wonder if they will fix these windows or just leave them looking rustic and old.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Mystery Photos

I have an old Sony digital camera with three really nice lenses but I haven't used it in a few years.  It's too big and bulky and my little Nikon does everything I need it to do.  However, this last weekend, I decided to get out the Sony and shoot a few macro photos of some flowers I bought.  I had to recharge the batteries and reset the date and time but I finally got it ready to take the shots.

I took about 18 shots of the flowers and then downloaded the photos to my computer and these three photos were in the group I downloaded.

I checked the date on them and they were taken May 20, 2017.  I have no idea what they are.  They are a complete mystery to me.  I have a pretty good memory but, I have no recollection of taking these photos.  I'm not even sure what this is.  It looks like  a big bowl of broken glass but I can't imagine why I would have had or seen a bowl of broken glass.  It's just a mystery.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Random Observations

I have a few random observations today.  First up is this row of pictures on the wall at my doctor's office.  Don't those photos look like something I would have taken?  That gives me ideas!

A stack of vintage western magazines on display at the Phoenix Art Museum.

And, to the left, a tree with a very colorful trunk.

Some very pretty glass objects that I admired at the Desert Botanical Garden gift shop.  I was really tempted to purchase one but, I took the photo instead.

And, here is this rather strange thing I found in an alley behind some shops.  At first I thought someone was standing there until I got close enough to see it.  It was surrounded by a lot of trash so I think it was fated for the junk heap.  It did make me wonder where it came from and what it was for.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Heavy on the Chocolate

I had friends over for dinner Saturday night and I made a new recipe I found on the David Lebovitz website.  His recipes are always good.  This one was called French Chocolate Cake and it was made with a LOT of chocolate and very little flour.  I served it with a scoop of Talenti Madagascar Vanilla Bean ice cream, a drizzle of chocolate sauce (also a David Lebovitz recipe) and I topped the ice cream with a chocolate wafer.  It was chocolatey deliciousness.  The recipe is worth keeping.  I'm sure I'll make it again one day.

I was so busy cooking and serving that I forgot to take photos of the food but I did snap a photo of the cheese plate just before my guests arrived.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Night Divers

Last Thursday night after attending that lecture I mentioned in yesterday's post, my friends and I walked to a restaurant conveniently located on the ASU campus for dinner.  On the way we spotted this scene.  I wish I had whipped out the iPhone earlier when there were three young women getting ready to dive into the pool (hidden behind the wall) below.  One had just jumped from that highest platform.  We stood and watched them.  We were all wrapped up in coats against the 50 degree (10c) chill in the air while they were in wet swimsuits.  Brrrr...  It made us glad we were headed for a warm restaurant and a glass of wine.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I'm showing the wonderful features of Millennium Park in Chicago.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Two More Lectures

Last week I attended two more of the lectures at Arizona State University that are sponsored by the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership.  They both were exhilarating.  The first one first one last Tuesday was the Second Annual Martin Luther King Jr., Lecture and there were four speakers, all scholars who have studied different aspects of King's life and works.  Above are two first edition books by King with autographs.  We learned that the school (SCETL) has received an endowment to purchase books that fit in with the mission of the school.  These by Martin Luther King  Jr. are now part of the collection along with he Federalist Papers that I showed you here.

The second lecture was Thursday night and the speaker was Arthur Brooks, President of The American Enterprise Institute and soon to be Harvard Professor.  His talk was entitled "Bringing America Together" and I have to say, he was an inspiring speaker.

Everyone in attendance got a copy of a chapter of his newest book "Love Your Enemies".  I'm looking forward to reading it.

It was a busy week but, very enlightening.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Hilltop Living

I moved to Arizona in 1970 and in those first years in Phoenix I had a friend who lived in north Phoenix while I was living in central Phoenix.  When I would drive to her house I would pass by this set of apartments and they always caught my eye.  I thought living on top of the hill would be a wonderful experience.

I recently drove by those same places which I believe are now condominium units and I thought they were looking a little sad.

The years haven't been kind to these hilltop homes.  In my mind, I can still picture them as I drove past and thought how great they looked all lit up at night overlooking the city below.  They don't have the same cachet they once did.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Automotive Speacialists

I have one more post from my adventures at the Barrett Jackson auto auction.  This time I'll showcase some of the vendors who surprised me.  That vehicle above is made by a company called Saleen Automotive, a maker of high performance sports cars.  I'd never heard of them before but, their founder Steve Saleen was due to sign some autographs later in the day.  I didn't return to the area to catch a glimpse of him.   However, I did admire that fantastic paint job on this car.  Isn't that a gorgeous color?

This vendor takes new corvette engines and frames and makes them look like the 1960's version.  If I had lots of money to spend, I might have been tempted.  After all, when I was a teenager, this was my dream car.  The crush I had on the stars of the old TV show "Route 66" had a lot to do with that.

This last vendor takes different off-road vehicles and turns them into luxury machines for roaming the desert and the mountains.  This one has a dull finish and a very utilitarian look to it.  They also had a few highly polished versions with all kinds of modern amenities inside.

There is certainly a lot to see at this event.  It's not all collector cars!

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Neon, Sculptures and Vintage Attire

There is more to see than just cars at the Barrett Jackson auction event.  There are nearly 1,000 vendors under those tents selling all kinds of wares and services.  The neon sign vendor was showing off some great old signs that I'm sure aren't really old at all.

This sculpture artist was making some interesting sculptures from spare parts and pieces of metal.  I liked that lady in the upper right corner who appears to be falling with her blond hair flying above her.  Mr. Potato Head was not bad either.

One vendor had some vintage radios that looked very much like the one my grandfather had when I was just a little kid.

And this lovely lady was there at a stand that sold hot dogs and other snacks.  She was dressed perfectly to go with the 40's - 50's theme of this food stand.

I didn't expect to find a jungle inside the vendor's tent.  This place was selling all kinds of fake plants all made of metal.  I guess if you don't have a green thumb, this might be an option.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Huge Crowds

The Barrett Jackson annual auto auction draws huge crowds of people, some to bid on cars and most, like me, to just look.  See all the people looking around out side?  There were three times as many inside the bidding tent.  The parking at this event is so huge that shuttles are required to and from the parking areas.  I had lunch at that upper deck to the left where I could look down on the staging tent where cars were lined up waiting to make their way onto the bidding stage.

While eating lunch, I could look down on the staging area in the top photo and also watch the cars as they made their way onto the stage on the big screen TV.  It was a great location.

I saw this one down below getting some last minute polishing and then I saw it on the TV screen as the auction was going on.  You can see that the bidding was at $90,000 when I snapped the photo.  It ended up selling for well over $100,000 in the end.  These are cars that command a lot of money.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Cars, Cars and More Cars

I spent most of Saturday at the Barrett Jackson auto auction admiring all the beautiful cars and fighting the crowds of people.  It's an annual event that lasts a whole week and brings in collectors from all over the world.    I just go to look!   This 2012 McLaren High Sport caught my eye.  Look at those fancy wheels!

Here is a Mercedes Roadster that was once owned by John Lennon.  The sign says the it comes with ownership papers with John Lennon's signature and pictures of the car with it's famous former owner.  It says one picture was taken in front of Abbey Road Studios with Ringo Starr in the background!

I didn't see as many really old cars as I did the last time I went to this event.  This 1937 Cord Westchester Roadster was one of the oldest.

I didn't realize they had retractable headlights back in the 1930's!  I'll have more photos from this event over the week.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Elegant Homes

When I took that walk to photograph the tree from yesterday's post, I also snapped a few photos of the incredibly large homes that fill that street in what is known as the Biltmore Estates.  This yellow one is looking very stately.

Of course I like this Tudor style home.  Anything with a bit of Tudor styling is always appealing to me.  However, this one is a bit too large for me.  (Actually, it's a lot too large.)

I had to grab another photo of my favorite house on this street.  It's the one that makes me think of the Italian or French countryside every time I see it.  It's secluded behind trees that surround it but the gate was open when I passed so it gave me an opportunity to sneak a photo.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I'm visiting a place in the heart of Santa Fe.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Inspiring Tree

I was headed home and almost there when I spotted this beautifully shaped tree with its leaves all turned brown.  So when I got home, I put on the walking shoes and walked back to get a photograph of the tree.

In my minds eye, I could picture that tree with its leaves all taking on a beautiful fall color.  So, I edited the photo and changed the brown to red.  That tree would have been a stunner if the leaves had all turned red.

Then I thought, why not turn it into a painting.  So using a different application, I gave it an artistic flare.  What do you think?  Which version appeals to you?

Friday, January 18, 2019


This is a fairly recent acquisition at the Phoenix Art Museum.  It's a sculpture called "Heech" by Parviz Tanavoli and Iranian artist.  Tanavoli is considered the father of Iranian modern sculpture.  He lives in Canada part time and Iran part time but, at one time he taught sculpture at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

This piece is located in the lobby of museum.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Just One of Those Things....

....that catches my eye.
Chairs set up at the Phoenix Art Museum in an area that is used for events.  There was just something about the simple pattern of the chairs with that giant circle behind them that caught my eye.  I used that giant circle as a back-drop once before when this room was being set up for a wedding.

This time the room appears to be set up for a meeting or a lecture or perhaps a performance of some kind.  If you are a regular reader, you know that I do love to discover interesting patterns.  This is just another of those observations.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Textures of the Desert

When I was at the Desert Botanical Garden last week, I took a few photos of different cactus and I got to thinking about all the different textures and patterns these plants made.

So I created these collages to try to show off their different shapes and sizes.

Some are prickly and some are smooth and they are all so very different.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Waiting for a Treat

I stopped at the Farmer's Market last Saturday and saw this very patient Golden Retriever and his people at the Dog Treats stand.  He has his full attention on that bag being passed over.

They tried to get him to pose for me but he wasn't about to take his eye off that bag of treats.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Three Years Late

Three years ago, I posted a photo of this new feature at the Desert Botanical Garden before it was complete.  All those circles were in place but, they were open.  You can see it here.  In that post I told you that I would show you the finished piece but, I failed to follow through.  I will be perfectly honest, I probably didn't follow through because I didn't really care for it when I first saw it.  I wasn't happy with the colors they chose for those glass pieces.

However, I've grown used to it over the past three years.

It does look good at night all lit up.  

When I took a walk there last Friday, I noticed how the afternoon sun was shining through the glass and creating colorful patterns on the ground in front.  Now that I like very much.