Tuesday, January 23, 2018
You might remember that back in June I posted a photo of a mural on the back of the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Phoenix called "Melinda's Alley". The mural was named for a speakeasy type of bar that used to exist many years ago and has recently been reincarnated in the basement of the hotel.
It doesn't open until 9 PM and you have to enter through a door in the alley that is actually part of the mural. There is a red light above the door and when it's lit, the bar is open. When you enter, you sign in at a little desk and then descend the stairs into the basement. That's where I saw yesterday's wonderful mural. It's located just outside the door to the bar.
Once inside, you find a room awash in red light and full of vintage furnishings and people who have also found this secret place. The bar only serves a very small selection of drinks that change on a regular basis. You have to consult the chalk board to see what's being served that night. It's quite an experience! It felt almost decadent being there. I loved it.
Monday, January 22, 2018
I found this mural in a most unusual spot. It's not outside as usual, it's inside at a place where not many people get to see it. It's signed by an artist that goes by the name of "Perry" but, I couldn't find anything about the artist. I love the mural! Tomorrow, I'll tell you where I found it. In the upper right corner you see a glimpse of the underside of some stairs. Just a little teaser.
Sunday, January 21, 2018
Last Friday I joined two friends for a drive out to Queen Creek Arizona to have lunch at the Queen Creek Olive Mill. I hadn't been there for four years when I ventured the 50 miles out there to shop for olive oil. (Luckily for me, they have shops closer to me now but, if I want to enjoy the restaurant, I have to make the drive.) It was a beautiful day, perfect for a picnic under the olive trees.
We were all amazed at how busy it was and we had to chuckle at one of the workers who told us we were smart to come on a Friday when it wasn't so busy. We asked if it got busier than it was that day and she said "Oh yes, much busier". They had that Canadian flag up because they were having "Canada Week" at the mill. They even had a special Canadian menu for those who wanted to partake.
I'll confess, we did try the Canada inspired "Maple Piglet" gelato which was flavored with a combination of maple syrup and bacon. It was surprisingly delicious.
While we were eating our lunch under the olive trees, we reminisced about how we traveled out this way some 20 years ago to visit a friend who lived in Queen Creek at the time. Back then, we had to drive some long distance through the desert and farm land to get there. Now it's all solid city all the way! It's amazing how much the east valley has grown and spread out.
I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today. I found a great little hotel in the city of lights.
Saturday, January 20, 2018
Friday, January 19, 2018
Last weekend I did a little shopping out in north Scottsdale at the Kierland Commons shopping center. There is a Sundance store in the center and I went inside to browse around. That's where I spotted these rather whimsical creatures making themselves at home on a table in the center of the store.
This fluffy flamingo was looking pretty cute sitting on that big wooden tray.
This little masked critter was on the other side of the table looking quite content to be there.
But, my favorite character was this guy. He just looks so frazzled and sort of whacky. I loved him. It took all my will power not to take him home with me.
Thursday, January 18, 2018
When I was at the brewery last Saturday to hang art work (see yesterday's post), I stopped in to the ladies room before I left and was surprised to find an artistically designed facility dominated by this huge daisy-like chandelier.
I take my readers to all sorts of unexpected places.
Wednesday, January 17, 2018
My Art Challenge Club had the opening for a new show last night at the Mesquite River Brewery in Scottsdale.
These photos were taken last Saturday when we were there hanging the pieces for the show. In fact you can see an enlargement of my "fire in the wine glass" shot on the far right of this photo.
Here is Ted hanging a set of photos from Julie on a wall together.
Tuesday, January 16, 2018
I mentioned on Sunday's post that I'd show you a few people I caught on camera at Friday's Phoenix Suns game. First up is Michael Phelps the most decorated Olympian of all time. He holds a total of 28 medals, 23 of which are gold.
Next was Bubba Watson. I'm betting you golfers out there will know who he is. I'm not a golfer but, I do remember seeing the video of him whacking a ball out of the sand trap and straight into the hole.
I don't know who this guy is but his flashy and sparkly jacket was a real eye catcher. He did attract a lot of attention but I'm not sure if he is someone famous or if that jacket was the draw.
These shots don't do that jacket justice. It sparkled like an ice skaters tutu!
Monday, January 15, 2018
Speaking of the Phoenix Suns (as I did yesterday), I found this mural on the back side of a little restaurant called Pocho's on 24th Street near McDowell Road. You can't see it from the street. You have to be in the parking lot to see it. The artist is unknown on this one but I'm guessing the restaurant owners are fans.
Sunday, January 14, 2018
The Phoenix Suns have been celebrating their Fiftieth Season this year with all kinds of events. My friend Janet took me to one on Friday night to honor the 92-93 season when we came a hairs breath from winning the championship for that year. They had a sort of "meet-and-great" event at a local hotel. I took the above shot before the room filled up simply because I like their Fifty emblem and way I caught it reflected in the mirror.
This is the group of players who were at this event for a little question and answer segment. From left to right, the first guy is the moderator, next is Wesley Person, in red is Richard Dumas, in white is Oliver Miller and on the end is Paul Westphal the coach during that season. I really enjoyed listening to these guys. They had a spirited and humorous conversation going. After this event was over we headed over to the arena for the game. I'll show you some of the people spotted at that game in another post.
I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today. The Italian Alps play a role.
Saturday, January 13, 2018
I haven't posted a Phoenix bird in quite awhile because I had captured all the ones that I knew about. However, recently I found this one at the entrance to housing area that is attached to the Phoenician Resort. He looked pretty good against that cloud spattered sky.
His partner was on the other side of the entrance with a large tree behind it. I'll keep my eyes open for more. I never know where I'll find one.
Friday, January 12, 2018
Whenever I'm out with my camera I will run across some odd things that aren't necessarily scenic or indicative of my city but, they just beg to be photographed nonetheless. Today I have a assortment of such photos. Above is a jar of mayonnaise left at a bus stop. I've seen clothes left a bus stops before but never a jar of mayonnaise.
These two green bikes caught my eye. They aren't the exact same shade of green but they are green and the were chained together. I couldn't help thinking that it might have been a mother daughter outing.
I passed by this pile of barricades several days in a row until I finally couldn't control the urge to stop and snap a picture of them. They were in the same spot for at least a week but I never saw any construction or any other need to use them.
Finally, a trip through the car wash had me wondering what a photo through the windshield would look like. Next thing I knew, I had my camera in my hand.
There it is, an assortment of silly shots. We can't be serious all the time.
Thursday, January 11, 2018
A few weeks ago I took a long walk heading in a different direction than I usually take. I was walking through a neighborhood of modest homes that have been there for many decades. In fact, I used to live on one of the streets I walked on back in the 1970's. However, the neighborhood has changed a lot since then. The older places are still there but there has been quite a lot of in-fill construction for multi-housing units squeezed in between the older homes. The one pictured above certainly has a rather stark, almost prison-like look to it. But I like the way the symmetry of it makes a nice photo.
Just a block down the street from the first one was this condo building with a very traditional, almost colonial looking facade. There is certainly an eclectic mix of architecture along this street.
Wednesday, January 10, 2018
When I stopped at the Japanese Friendship Garden last week I got kind of excited at the sight of two swans in the little lake. I had never seen swans here before. As I snapped a couple of photos, something in the back of my mind was saying "something is not quite right here". Sure enough, upon closer inspection I saw that they were plastic swans floating on the lake. Why on earth would they put plastic swans in the water? I have no idea. Do you suppose they are supposed to attract the real thing?
Tuesday, January 9, 2018
I was taking a walk at the Japanese Friendship garden when I spotted this fellow watching me from behind a large bush.
Then I moved a little so I could get a better view. He stayed put and posed beautifully while I snapped a few photos.
Then he decided I had taken enough and he flew up into a nearby tree. I snapped one more before he flew off into the distance.
I'm so thankful that I live in a big city with all the amenities it provides but I still have so many options for communing with nature. It's a perfect combination.
Monday, January 8, 2018
The trees in the Phoenix area are finally turning golden and shedding their leaves. Scenes like this remind me so much of growing up in Illinois. The only difference is, it happens about four months later than the midwest.
On an entirely different subject, I went to see the new movie "The Post" last weekend. I highly recommend it! Especially if like me, you were around in 1971 when the Pentagon Papers were published. In addition to the obvious storyline, it subtly shows a glimpse of the gender roles that were normal for that era. It is almost shocking to see even though I'm someone who was building a career and navigating those norms at the time. Steven Spielberg is a genius filmmaker.
Sunday, January 7, 2018
I've recently become acquainted with a pianist who happens to be a graduate student at ASU working on his PhD. I was invited to attend a recital at which he was playing for a group of students from around the country who were being hosted by ASU for the weekend. They were all opera singers who could very well have been performing in any major production. I mean to say, they were all FANTASTIC! I'm going to keep this photo that I took at the end of the performance because I'm betting I'll be seeing more from these talented young people very soon!
After I took the top photo, someone in the audience yelled "now for the silly shot" so I snapped another photo to catch them in their dramatic poses! What amazing talent in all of these young singers!
I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today. Are you someone who likes to escape the cold of winter?
Saturday, January 6, 2018
Lot's of color and many, many patterns.....all the things I love! During the last week of December, I went back to the Phoenix Art Museum to see the show featuring Brazilian artists one more time before it came down. I was captivated by this painting by Beatriz Milhazes from Rio de Janeiro.
It has all those elements I like in contemporary art works. The description says it has an atmosphere of Carnival and evokes Brazil's lush landscape. I think it does that and so much more!
Friday, January 5, 2018
A few years ago I encountered a very large gladiator being transported in the back of a pick-up truck. You can see it here. A few weeks before Christmas, I spotted this guy sitting on the loading dock of a used furniture store.
Well, I guess they pretty much sell used everything here. But a gladiator?? I wouldn't think there would be much of a market for used gladiators.
Thursday, January 4, 2018
When I took that walk on Mill Avenue in Tempe last week, I happened pass a wonderful old book store. It's called Old Town Books and they sell used books of every type. Doesn't it have the perfect cluttered charm of a vintage book store? Shakespeare & Co. in Paris came to mind immediately when I stepped inside the door. If you've been there you know what I mean.
The window display is what stopped me but, browsing inside was pure magic.
Wednesday, January 3, 2018
I tend to mention the two Davids in my life quite often so I thought it might be helpful to identify the two of them so you can tell them apart. David on the left has been a very close friend of mine for over 20 years. We worked together in various locations including the time I spent consulting in St. Louis, Chicago and San Francisco. I always refer to him as "David". On the right is Dave, Julie's husband and you might remember that he had the blog of Tamarindo Costa Rica Daily Photo for a while. I always refer to him as "Dave". We were all together with a large group of friends on New Years Eve so I snapped this photo of the two of them together so I could make a proper introduction!
Tuesday, January 2, 2018
I haven't partied on New Year's Eve in ages but, I was thrilled to join a group of friends for a fantastic celebration for the 70th Anniversary of the Phoenix Symphony. It was so much fun! We had a fantastic dinner that was topped with the spectacular dessert pictured above. That chocolate piano was delicious.
The Phoenix Symphony entertained us with some wonderful music and I thoroughly enjoyed watching some very adept couples waltzing beautifully to Strauss' "On the Beautiful Blue Danube".
Before and after the symphony performance, we were entertained by The JJ's Band. They were so good that almost everyone at the party was on the dance floor including me.
It was the perfect way to welcome 2018!