Thursday, February 28, 2019

A Bit of a Rant

I think I mentioned last summer that I bought a new Mac computer at my local Apple store at Biltmore Fashion Park.  That store was very convenient to where I live and it was always busy, busy, busy.  So, imagine my surprise when about two months ago, I went there to look at something and found the store closed with a note on the door that they had moved to Scottsdale Fashion Square.

Sure enough, they moved the store from Phoenix to Scottsdale and located it at the east end of the shopping center in a spot where Barney's of New York used to be.

The new store is a huge, two-story glass enclosed spot with all kinds of room for classes and demonstrations on the lower floor.

I have to admit, it's a beautiful store but, it leaves Phoenix with no Apple store while Scottsdale as two.  That hardly seems fair to me.  After all, Phoenix is the bigger city.  Anyway, I filed my complaint when I visited the new store knowing full well, that my voice will have little impact.  I just hope that more people have been doing the same.

So, that's my rant!  Come back to Phoenix Apple people!

While I was taking these pictures of the new place, I couldn't resist zooming in on the guy with his dog waiting outside the store.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Potpourri of Houses

Today I have some photos of houses that caught my eye for a variety of reasons.  I found this house (above) on the west side of town backing up to the Encanto Golf Course.  I hope it has some windows on the back side facing the golf course because it looks pretty black here.  That long, thin window has a metal shade screen over it making me wonder if the owners of this place are only here part time.

This house sits in the Camelback Mountain foothills and is taking advantage of a higher elevation with all that glass in front.  However, I did wonder about that large metal pole that seems to run through that room and press up against the glass.  What could that be?

This house in South Phoenix reminded me so much of houses I've seen in the midwest that were built many, many years ago.  Those houses used to have stables for animals on the ground floor and living quarters above.  The warmth of the animals helped to heat the living quarters above.  It makes me wonder if this was a similar arrangement at one time in its history.

This place caught my eye because of those window-style air conditioners on the second floor.  I don't see many air conditioners like that any longer.  When I was a little kid, we had several in our house in Illinois to cool down certain rooms when the summers got too warm.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Snow on the Mountains

I went to Julie and Dave's house last Saturday evening for dinner and I was there in time to see some snow on the surrounding mountains.  Right across from their house on Camelback Mountain, I could see a dusting of snow on the mountains of the Phoenix Mountain Preserve.

And, the mountains just slightly east of the top view.

And then, further east, the McDowell Mountains were covered in snow.  The sun has been shining steadily since then so I'm sure this is all gone by now.  It was fun to see from the high vantage of Julie and Dave's home.  

Monday, February 25, 2019

Flowering Hair

I'm not sure this counts as a mural but I'm using it anyway.  I found it over the weekend inside Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall.  It was on a wall surrounding a store that is undergoing a makeover.  It's such a beautiful way to hide the construction going on behind.

To see other murals from around the globe, click here.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Stormy Skies

When I made that short errand on Friday, I took the opportunity to snap a few more stormy-sky photos while I was out.  The gray cloud really makes the white of that house stand out.

Here is a favorite house of mine.  It's located very near the Hermosa Inn not far from where I live.  Those rustic doors and open windows lead to a courtyard perfect for relaxing when the weather is right.  I love that adobe style brick too.

The desert landscaped yard next to the house looked quite attractive with that gray sky background.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I'm following up on my visit to the Cloisters.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Gray Day

I only went out yesterday for a short period of time to run an errand but, I did make a sweep around Camelback Mountain to see the low clouds.

It was a very gray day with moments when the clouds would thin and sky got brighter.  But, those were only moments.  It was a perfect day to curl up with a good book which is exactly what I did as soon as I returned home.

Friday, February 22, 2019

It's Not All Blue Skies...

...and palm trees.

The rain and cold have come back to the desert southwest.  We can certainly use it but it does make for long and dreary days.

Cloudy days do give some interesting lighting.

At least it doesn't look like this!  My sister sent this photo of her backyard.  She lives just 90 miles north of here.   Brrrr...

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Another Optima Complex

I've shown you Optima apartments before here, and the Optima high-rise here.  Here is one I haven't shown before.  These are Optima condos that sit right on Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale.  They have that classic Optima looks of plants tumbling off of balconies.

This sculpture sits right on the street in front of the complex.  I tried to find an artist for it but with no luck.  It is a modern, abstract looking metal sculpture and I do like the bright colors.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Artistic Fabric

Here are two more designs from that fashion exhibit I saw about a week ago at the Phoenix Art Museum.  These two were created with fabric that features existing art.

Do you recognize that face on this dress?  It's from the 16th-century painting by Giuseppe Archimboldo.  It seems Archimboldo's work has inspired a lot of other art.  Remember these?

Other parts of this dress come from art works by Abraham Mignon.

This one features art by Makoto Takahashi.

Both designs are created from inkjet printed fabric and both were designed by Rei Kawakubo.

The design of these two pieces do not appeal to me at all but the fabric is certainly interesting.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Shopping Mall Make-over

I think I mentioned in a post sometime before Christmas that Scottsdale Fashion Square was undergoing some remodeling.  Most of the work inside the mall is done now and here is how it turned out.  Plants and some Jetson's-style furniture in the center of the mall.

And a fancy new silver tower on one end of the mall.  Everything is looking sleek and modern!

Monday, February 18, 2019

Early Blooms

There were only a few things blooming at the garden last Saturday.  This pretty, purple bloom was on the Arizona Sophora tree.  I thought it was Texas Mountain Laurel when I saw it but the sign said Arizona Sophora.  So, I looked it up and it looks like it's from the same family.

This one is a favorite of mine.  It's called Purple Coral Pea vine.  The garden has it planted so that it tumbles over a tall wall.  I do like purple flowers.

The aloe are blooming too and since the garden has a huge selection of them, there are blooms similar to these everywhere you look.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Dramatic Sky

There was a big celebration at the Desert Botanical Garden yesterday!  It was the garden's 80th anniversary!  I attended a brunch at the garden and then walked all of the trails!  The whole time I was there, I thought it would pour down rain on us but, it never did.  However, we had some pretty dramatic skies.  I took this profile of Camelback Mountain with those wonderful clouds above from the highest view point in the garden.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I have photos from The Cloisters!

Saturday, February 16, 2019

More Rain for the Dessert

We've had more rain in the Phoenix area since last Thursday.  

It's a blessing for the dessert.  It helps to make the spring flowers bloom!
I'm looking forward to some dessert color coming our way.

Friday, February 15, 2019


I was driving around the Camelback Mountain foothills when I spotted this rather tall mail box holder.  Someone has created an artistic twist to an everyday occurrence.   I wonder if the home owner gives this straight-edged fellow a "high-five" when they gather the daily mail.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Happy Valentines Day!

I bought this pretty little tart simply to photograph it to use for my Valentines Day post.  
Then of course, I had to eat it myself.  Oh the things we bloggers do for the sake of our blogs!  😁

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Recognizable Art

I thought since I had a post about some questionable art/fashion yesterday, I should have a post today that included some art that is easily recognizable as such.  This wall-sized painting called "Processing Sheep" by William Franklin Midgette fits the bill.  There is no denying this life-sized painting is a true work of art.

I hadn't been over to the South Wing of the museum in a while so it was refreshing to browse around the European and American art pieces.  And, you can tell from the second photo that I almost had the place to myself.  I'm not sure why this wing was so quiet last Friday but it was certainly a relaxing visit.

I added the painting to the left because it really struck my curiosity.  I don't remember seeing it before and I think it is quite beautiful with that handsome young man reading his book in a lovely garden.  The description card said that the artist was unknown but that for a time it was credited to Camille Pissarro.  I like it very much.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Is It Fashion....or, Is It Art?

Last Sunday, I told you about the Fashion exhibit that was at the Phoenix Art Museum and I posted the one design I thought was wearable.  Not by me of course, but by maybe a tall fashion model.  And, it was also artistic in it's own way.  That is more than I can say for some of the others in the show.

This ensemble to the left is created by a fashion house called Maison Margiela and it is what I'd call "off-the-wall" crazy.  It's not what I would call wearable so is it art?

I did a little research on the fashion house and I learned that they are known for deconstructive and avant-garde designs using unconventional materials.

I cropped the photo down to the shoes so you could see how the shoes are covered in hosiery that is bunched up around the heel and across the front of the shoe.  Very, very strange.

However, that wasn't as strange as the fashions from the same design house that were playing in the video the museum had on display.  I snapped a couple of photos to show you.  This lady looks like she has put on every coat in her closet.

And, this lady looks like she's wrapped her self in a bolt of fabric and is carrying the whole bolt with her.  The information I read about the design house also said that they tend to hold live shows in unusual settings and the model's faces are often obscured by fabric or goggles.  Supposedly to direct attention to the "clothes" and the designs.  (I put "clothes" in quotes because I'm not sure they actually qualify as clothes.)  I was able to find the actual video that the museum was using and I've put a link to it here.  It's well worth a peek even if it's just for a laugh or two.  The bracelets to hold cell phones are a clever addition on some of the models in the video.

I think this type of design is an aspect of fashion (or art) that I just don't get.  However, if the purpose is to get one talking about it, then it worked.  That is exactly what I'm doing.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Those Flowering Pear Trees....Again!

Every year at this time, I always show you a photo of the flowering pear trees and I always think they are blooming way too early.  However, looking at my older photos, it's always been around the start of February.

They are looking smashing all over the city but, this year I found an office building that has them lining the entrance.  It's a jungle of white blooms!  There are even several on the grounds where I live and they are also in full bloom right now.  I just love seeing them.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Ultracontemporary Fashion

There was a second exhibit at the art museum that I wanted to see.  This one was all about fashion.  Ultracontemporary fashion that is.  Actually, I'd call it pretty far out.  However, this outfit by Gucci was pretty eye catching.  It is described as a whimsical garment of colorful wool felt with a trope l'oeil ruffle.

I'll show you some of the other pieces from this show in the future.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I'm visiting another Arizona mining town.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Wondrous Worlds

I went to the Phoenix Art Museum yesterday to see the recent exhibit called Wondrous World: Art & Islam Through Time & Place.  It features a vast collection of objects from the Newark Museum representing nearly every corner of the globe.

 I thought I'd show you my favorite pieces from the exhibit.  Above is just a scene I liked of two people watching the video that showed different mosques from all over the world.  They are sitting against the backdrop of those two colorful weavings.

To the left is a figure that was placed in a tomb.  It comes from China between the 8th and 11th centuries.  Isn't it exquisite?

This last piece is not as old as the one above.  This is a  textile made to commemorate the Festival National de la Jeunesse, a national youth festival in Agadez Niger.  It is from 1982.  It shows a figure wearing the blue turban and robe typical of the Tuareg culture.  The Tuareg are nomadic herders that graze animals in regions from Niger to Mali, Burkina Faso, Algeria, Libya and Mauritania.  In other words, they travel very long distances.

It really is a beautiful exhibit.