Thursday, March 01, 2018
Long winded analogy aside and among the birth of our child, international travels, layoff, the start of new jobs, moving (twice), death of our beloved dog, the publishing of a momentous book, and the explosion of a start to a documentary, we decided it was time we needed a mortgage. To a house. Were we'd all live. Forever.
Fast forward 12 months, to right about now, and we're still renting.
So, as with any other reasonable blog, I decided it was a good opportunity for catharsis on the long painful journey (swim?) (for us) of house hunting. We've learned not only a lot about ourselves, but about ourselves house hunting in Tucson. Most of it good, possibly useful, and occasionally funny. I will try to highlight both of those in coming blog posts to a category of Tucson Querido, entitled imaginatively "Casa Querida."
Please stay tuned...
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
Sunday, May 12, 2013
Conner Park (3 min. walk) Shady picnic tables, bathrooms, playground and grassy softball diamond.
Tahoe Park (15 min. walk) Shady picnic tables, playground, tall palm trees and a gorgeous view of the Catalinas.
Blue Willow (10 min. walk) They serve "American classics." I would especially recommend them for breakfast. Go for patio seating and set aside some extra time to get lost in the gift shop.
Lovin' Spoonfulls (15 min. walk) Best vegan restaurant in town. Get the Stroganoff Supreme.
Amelia Grey's (17 min. walk) Fantastic, new cafe in the neighborhood. I was so sad when they shut down their location in the Copper Country Antique Mall, but so thrilled when they re-opened right in our neighborhood. Perfect for lunch, breakfast or high tea. Yes, I said high tea. They have an absolutely precious teacup collection, and you can pick your own cup. I recommend the crème brûlée tea and the monte cristo.
Umi Star (11 min. walk) The newest kid on the block, it calls itself a "Street Style Asian Food Bar" and includes sushi and "tapas" on the menu. I'll have to update after visiting, but the place looks very hip and cute from the outside.
Yoshimatsu (13 min. walk) Self-proclaimed "Healthy Japanese Eatery," they do great sushi and more. Modern ambiance.
Brushfire BBQ (12 min. walk) Yummy. Friendly. BBQ. Totally casual.
Kingfisher: (15 min. walk) Upscale, sophisticated, great service, excellent wine list. Best place pretend you're a mobster and eat oysters. They also have one of the most famous burgers in town. Also, they have a reverse happy hour.
Ted's Country Store (7 minute walk) Quality lunch sandwiches.
iLuv Pho (11 min. walk) Tiny, casual, cheap pho place. They often have Groupons, making them an amazing bargain. That and proximity win them points, but if you are willling to go up the road a few miles, Miss Saigon is the queen of Vietnamese food in these parts.
The Curry Leaf (13 min. walk) Very decent South Indian food, although not the best in town. Still, can't beat how close it is to home.
Raging Sage (12 min. walk) Great coffee and even better scones. One of my favorite work spots is on the little patio under the trees. Weird note: no WiFi until after 4 p.m. (probably due to limited space in this tiny adobe).
Cartel Coffee Lab (10 min. walk) I personally don't think their coffee is as good as Sage's, but their baked goods are equally delicious. The hipster factor is high in here, so be warned. This place is often packed, but so is Sage and Xchange.
Coffee X Change (13 min. walk) One of the only 24 hour coffee shops in Tucson; not the best, but can certainly get you out of a late night pickle.
Beyond Bread: Soups, sandwiches, bread and beyond.
Sauce: Salad, pizza and pasta.
Dunkin Doughnuts: You know. Oh yes, you know.
Yogurtland: Fro-yo and fruit!
Jamba Juice: Juicy.
Five Guys Burger and Fries: What it sounds like.
Aqua Vita: Crunchy granola health food store. I like it here.
Albertson's: I hate this place, but it's a supermarket within walking distance.
Plaza Liquors: Probably Tucson's best boutique liquor store. The beer selection is especially impressive. Great people work here.
Yoga Oasis: Life-changing yoga studio, I'm not exaggerating. Good meditation classes, too.
Bookman's (used books and media) A great place to hang out with Tucson's friendliest geeks. Dog friendly, great bargains.
Mac's Indian Jewelry (jewelry and artifacts) One of Tucson's best stores for authentic native jewelry and artifacts, particularly unique collection of Zuni fetishes.
Ross They sell clothes and household goods you find at department stores for a fraction of the price. I do almost all my clothes shopping here. I love their business model so much that I bought some of their stock, and it's doing pretty well!
Campbell Spa Nail Salon
Saturday, November 03, 2012
We were so busy that Labor Day weekend surprised us this year. Andrew has so little time off that we decided we had to take advantage of the holiday to get in a little road trip, even though it was the last second. We wanted to go someplace cooler, dog-friendly, within driving distance, and that still had room.
In my opinion, any trip to Prescott should begin at the Sharlot Hall Museum. This darling museum gives a great overview of the history of the region and honors a pioneer woman who loved and fought for Arizona: Sharlot Hall. I relate to her adventurous, free spirit and passion for this land. This is an excerpt from her poem, "The West":
The wanderers of the earth turned to her, outcast of
the older lands--
With a promise of hope in their pleasing, and she reached them pitying hands;
And she cried to the Old World cities that drowse the Eastern main:
"Send me your weary, house-worn broods, and
I'll send you Men again!
Seed of Man--Seed springing to stature and
strength in my sun--
Free, with a limitless freedom no battles of men
One such primitive road I love to explore in the Miata: Williamson Valley Road (Yavapai County Road 5) between Prescott and Seligman. It's one of Arizona Highways's Scenic Drives.
Our drive culminated in a very private hike down the Oaks & Willows Trail in Prescott National Forest. This was also an Arizona Highways suggestion. We got a little confused trying to find it, being that the Walnut Creek Ranger Station they use as a marker in the directions hasn't been there since the nineties!
Saturday, August 27, 2011
Saturday, May 07, 2011
Being that the only two posts of 2011 thus far have both come on the heels of tragedy, in a sense, I think it's time to lighten things up a bit.
Tonight we went to see Super at The Loft.
It's a little weird because it borrows from a few different genres, making it feel at times like a movie that doesn't know what it wants to be.
The excessively graphic violence is congruous with the comic book genre, for example, but perhaps the more tender, human moments make scenes where heads get bashed in or blown apart even harder to stomach. (For more relevant theorization on the topic of violence in film read "Masculinity as Excess in Vietnam Films" by Susan Jeffords.)
I was hoping the presence of Ellen Page (playing the side-kick) was an indicator that the film does something beyond typical Hollywood gender roles, (I'm thinking about Hard Candy) but...meh, not so much. The side kick is just that, a side kick. In this case Page's character, Libby, is played like an overly enthusiastic junior antihero-cum-sacrificial lamb. Liv Tyler plays a whore of circumstance who needs saving. Pretty predictable female roles.
What I do like, however, is that the film has some "heart," if you will. Frank, (played by Rainn Wilson of The Office fame), starts out as someone who can only recall two perfect moments in his life. By the end of the film things have not gone the way he wanted, but he gains something precious: he has collected an arsenal of perfect moments. He represents them in naive-style drawings but we aren't compelled to belittle them. Instead, we are brought to acknowledge that this really is the magic stuff of life: any chance we have to share and connect with others, a scene as quotidian (and moving) as a moment of affection between a person and their pet rabbit.
Having seen this movie shortly after, Megamind, I have to wonder if the antihero is on the rise. I'd like to believe films like these are a sign of how collectively tired we are of oversimplified "bad guy/good guy" constructions in current-day dominant media representations related to war situations in which the United States is currently embroiled. I mean, I'd like to believe that.
Thursday, May 05, 2011
The person standing in the blue shirt is a a good friend of mine. A Ph.D. student and a gentle, non-violent guy. This is a photo of him being brutalized by the police. These are his words: "Yeah, we're fine. The cop seems to have had a good strategy. The first thing he did was smack me in the face and almost break my glasses. My automatic reaction was to try to pick them up off the ground, which made me break the chain... not to mention... that he was standing me up by my hair!"
There was no official warning to disperse. The cops just started right in with their violence.
Meanwhile, Tucson Police Chief Roberto Villasenor has stated that "No one was dragged, no one was pushed or forced, no injuries of any kind."
At the beginning of the meeting board president Mark Stegeman said the police were there for student safety, but obviously they were there to intimidate and control the opposition. They didn't protect anyone. What really happened was they arrested students, the parents of students and brutalized students. (There is an Abuse Clinic being held this Friday. It's urgent that we attend.)
Here is footage of the first arrest.
There were 100 police there, many in riot gear. There were also motorcycles, paddy wagons, patrol cars, a trailer and a dog unit. I also have footage of a police helicopter that flew over several times. THIS WAS A SCHOOL DISTRICT BOARD MEETING. As I looked around at the display of force, I had to ask myself "Where am I? I thought we were in the United States, you know, land of the free?"
Not to mention, given the state's financial crisis I'd like to know how much all that so-called security cost.
I don't care what you think about Ethnic Studies. I'm not even going to touch Ethnic Studies. This is a post about the sanctity of PROCESS.
The students and their parents want to have their voices heard. They want their opinion to be counted in regard to the fate of a program that means so much to them, (regardless of what it means to anyone else.)
The students are the ones who are the most effected by this issue, and ironically they are also the most powerless in this process. Too young to vote, how else can they have a chance to be heard, especially when board president Mark Stegeman has orchestrated a perfect situation in which he doesn't have to listen?
Open meeting law states: “All meetings of any public body shall be public meetings and all persons so desiring shall be permitted to attend and listen to the deliberations and proceedings.” Less than half of the 500 people who showed up were allowed inside the boardroom. It was a terribly inappropriate venue, and what they should have done was re-schedule and re-locate the meeting as soon as that became evident. Instead, the meeting was dragged on for four hours so that by the time Stegeman started pointing out people to be arrested, much of the crowd was gone. Also, it was conveniently more difficult to record the police brutality outside under the cover of dark.
The mountains of data that were trotted out during the meeting were just a stalling technique. Stegeman had packed slides of data on what the programs cost, but when asked what percentage of the student population is Hispanic, for example, he didn't know. (It's 60% by the way!)
If he gets to drone on and on about data without making a point, then shouldn't everyone who wants to speak get whatever amount of time they want? If Open Meeting Law is not clear enough about this, then it needs to be changed.
Tom Horne says ethnic studies promotes ethnic chauvinism, but what I saw on Tuesday was essentially people of color and their sympathizers silenced and forced into obedience by white people through brutal police force. Let's not pretend we live in a post racial society.