Thursday, June 26, 2008

Tuesday Night Ride Goes to Dia de San Juan Fiesta

Photo from

This Tuesday's ride took a somewhat dangerous route across Freeway to make a stop at Tucson's 11th Annual El Día de San Juan Fiesta, which "continues the tradition of celebrating the beginning of the "season of monsoon rains". I suppose it was apropos that we were showered with water balloons all throughout the ride.

In case you want a heads up for next year's date, it was celebrated on Tuesday, June 24, from 5:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. at West Congress St. at the Santa Cruz River (south side, west bank).

The fiesta featured the Traditional Procession and the Blessing of the Altar. The public is welcome to join in the procession followed by a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the site.

El Día de San Juan Fiesta features charros and escaramuzas performing on horseback; mariachis, folkloricos, live music, games and activities for children and families, and booths and tables offering information on services available to area residents. Food and refreshments were sold and attendance was free.

The celebration of St. John's birthday was once one of the most important and colorful events in Tucson and the Southwest. It was brought to this region by the Spanish missionaries in the 1600s. Residents of Tucson's west side neighborhoods resurrected this tradition in 1998 and proudly continue a celebration that helps us remember the importance of water in our desert. St. John the Baptist, the patron saint of water, was asked that he help bring the rains so the crops would be plentiful. Legend says that on June 24, 1540, Spanish explorer Francisco Vasquez Coronado stood on the banks of the parched Santa Cruz riverbed and prayed for rain. It rained, and in an ardent declaration of faith, Coronado deemed that from that day forward the summer rains would come on the 24th day of June, and according to tradition, this begins the monsoon rain season.

El Día de San Juan is sponsored by a partnership of public, private, and neighborhood organizations.

Info from media contacts,
Lillian Lopez Grant, Chair: (520) 791-0925
Rose J Nenninger: (520) 573-7138
Carlos Romero, Ward 1: (520) 791-4040

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Tucson Dives: The Silver Room and The Bay Horse

Killing time before/after a wedding yesterday, we went to The Silver Room and The Bay Horse.

The Silver Room is remarkable because: it's the only bar on Plumer, (we caught a Rush Soccer game afterwards); its wood paneling makes it feel "lodgey"; if they open up the divider, you can see right into the restaurant next door - which as seen in the photo above - sometimes hosts kids birthday parties. Most importantly, everyone there is nice, even if you are overdressed.

The Bay Horse Tavern is remarkable because: they have a cozy little beer garden with misters; they have a gigantic wooden chair - as pictured above - in which you can have your picture taken and then tacked on the wall; they have an old-timey wooden phone booth with a working pay phone in there. However, they are not as nice to overdressed strangers. (I was curtly advised that we should clean up after ourselves. I guess that beer glass I left next to the MegaTouch was just the last straw. BTW, Tres Tigres - that's us with the highest score in Photo Hunt, thank you very much.)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Girls Bike Out Ride and Photoshoot This Sunday!

Girls Bike Out is happening this Sunday, June 22. Dress up to cycle in style. Ladies only. (They say "heels + wheels = fun time", but I've biked in heels before and it's a pain in the ass. However, the idea of ladies dressing up for ladies is highly appealing. Meow.)

Time 6:30

Place: Time Market

Venus Zine which calls itself "the leading source for coverage of women in music, art, film, fashion, and DIY culture" is looking for pictures of ladies and their snazzy bicycles. Bring your hot bikes, hot looks and hot cameras. Here's a notification from their blog:

"Calling all lady bike riders: We're working on a photo-spread for the Fall issue of ladies and their customized bikes. We're not talking just fixed gear here; we're talking streamers, sound systems, sparklers, crazy paint jobs, double-deckers – the whole shebang!...If this sounds like you, or if you know of some rad lady in your town with a bike that's impressive, let Venus know at: Please send us a couple photos and a brief description about why your bikes so awesome."

My bike is really boring but I'd like to take photos. And while I'm at it I might put on a dress or something.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Tucson Querido is Boycotting GoDaddy

I know Go Daddy's advertising has been considered "edgy", and I even chuckled at the Beaver Commercial above, but CEO and Founder Bob Parson's Video Blog bugs the crap out of me. I even wrote Danica Patrick an email:

"Dear Danica,

I've been using Go Daddy as the Registrar for my websites until recently. When I saw this Video Blog posting by their CEO, Bill Parson's, (Episode #9) I decided to take my business elsewhere:

It's offensive to me because:

1. It assumes a predominately male heterosexual audience, again. It ignores me as a female consumer of Go Daddy services. I'm not gaining pleasure from the buxom brunets. (I am one, and get to see myself in the mirror every day so this isn't exciting to me.)

2. It's patriarchal. Mr. Parson's "advice" to the Go Daddy girls is ludicrous and patronizing. The girls are only there so men can have a laugh and a chubby at their expense.

3. It makes you look bad. I know that it must be hard to straddle the line between professional race car driver and sex symbol and be taken seriously, but in this Video montage, your image clearly gets shoved to one side of the line. To see you - a female pioneer in racing - lumped in so casually with a bunch of Barbie dolls! This wouldn't happen to a male driver. Is Danica Patrick a "Go Daddy Girl" or a professional race car driver? Please don't ignore this double standard.

Divorce this sponsor!


Eva Romero
Tucson, AZ"

I did a little Google searching on Bob Parsons and GoDaddy and found that sexism isn't the only reason to boycott. There's also the issue of censorship (GoDaddy Silences and condoning torture(Does your Web Host condone torture? does!).

FioRito's FEIJOADA Summer Special This Sat. June 21

Good Brazilian eats alert!!! (If you can't afford to spend Summer in Brazil, at least you can bring Brazil to your taste buds...)

The complete FEIJOADA with all the trimmings is now $ 11.75.(including, soda,coffee or tea). VEGETARIAN FEIJOADA is available, too.

Brazilian drinks:
Caipirinha $4
Guarana (traditional Brazilian soda beverage) can $l.80
Maracuja (passion fruit beverage) can $1.60

Brazilian desserts:
Pudim de leite (flan) $4
Goiabada com queijo fresco $4
(guava and fresh cheese)

Come experience these "sabores" of Brazil (eat in or take out)

Saturday: June 21st

12pm to 3:30pm


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Jose Saavedra's Farewell Show

A message from Pepo:

"After several years of being part of this beautiful and supportive music scene it is time for us to say goodbye. Me and Elise will be moving from our beloved old pueblo and heading towards the east coast. Come and join us in our farewell show this Friday at Plush. Two of Tucson's greatest, Leila Lopez and The Jons will also be on the bill. There will be a $5 charge. There will also be CDs available."

9:30 Leila Lopez

10:30 Pepo Saavedra and La Desgracia Music Ensamble featuring: Elise Dubord (Violin), Michael Hummer (Drums) & Becca Hummer (Viola)

11:30 The Jons

Thirsty Thursday with the Tucson Sidewinders

POSTDATA: If the photo above is any indication, Thirsty Thursday turned out to be as fun as predicted, especially considering the shenanigans of Sexy Sandy - our favorite flirty side-winding mascot. I think I've never watched so little baseball at a baseball game before. The stuffed reptile courting ritual was way more entertaining. Plus I had babies to visit, tamales to eat and several beer runs to go on...

There are a few early summer activities that get less and less bearable as the heat creeps even further into the evening in Tucson. That's why I invite you to take advantage of the $1 beers at the Thirsty Thursday Sidewinders game. Like the Sidewinders say, it's a Tucson tradition! Enjoy $1 beer, lemonade and soft drinks for 2 hours after the first pitch. It's practically your duty as an American.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Party with a Purpose at Dr. Dan's Saturday

POSTDATA: I took the above photo at Dan's. It's Elise listening to Pepo after her violin part was over. I think it captures the intimate mood of the evening, and some of the bittersweetness in knowing that this was one of their last performances in Tucson.

Saturday, June 07, the place to be is Dr. Dan's house for "Playa Guacamaya."

When: Saturday, June 7th 9PM

Where: North First Avenue near 8th Street

What: Live Local Music, Snacks, and Beer (a keg)

Suggested donation: $5 to $10. All proceeds will go toward eyeglasses, reading glasses, eye drops, sunglasses, and other medical supplies for the people of La Guacamaya, Honduras.

Local musicians will play intimate acoustic sets all night long.

Jimmy Carr
Leila Lopez
Nowhere Man and a Whiskey Girl (almost for sure)
John De Roo
Andrew Collberg
Jose Pepo Saavedra

A Message from Dr. Dan about the medical clinic in Honduras:

Guacamaya is little town in Honduras that was hit hard many years ago by Hurricane Mitch. In 2001/2002, an optometrist from Washington helped to build a medical clinic in Guacamaya, and now the University of Arizona College of Medicine has become involved. In June and July, a bunch of doctors and medical students will go there to provide health care for the needy. I will be holding an eye clinic from June 28th through July 4th. I will pay my own airfare and hotel, but I need money to buy eye glasses, sunglasses, eye drops, and medical supplies. I am accepting donations of old eyeglasses too.

Small Musical Aside: This Sunday is one of the last chances to catch the Tucson Pops Orchestra in Reid Park this year, there are only two more concerts: this Sunday June 8 and next June 15th. You HAVE to go this Sunday: Nancy Davis Booth is going to sing selections from The Great Muppet Caper (1981)! Free, dog friendly event!

Thursdays at Cinema La Placita

Isn't this photo by A.T. Willett gorgeous?

We went to Cinema La Placita for the first time last night. We watched A Star is Born (1976) and it was hilarious. First of all, after the organizers rattled off a list of rules, (Don't drink, don't smoke, don't do illicit drugs, don't be loud and obnoxious, etc.) The film proceeded to roll and Kris Kristofferson's character does ALL that!

Then Barbara Streisand's character keeps saying things that are supposed to make her this hip woman connected to sexual liberation and "Woman Power", but from today's vantage point "Strawberry Douche" is only an endless source of off-colour jokes. So is "I want you to come life." Also, the fact that she's part of a trio with two black female back-up singers called "The Oreos" is wrong in so many ways.

Yes it was funny and wrong, but slow, so actually we found ourselves forced to go to The District for shots after the second intermission. You gotta get all that seventies out of your system somehow. (By the way, the jukebox at The District is sort of awesome.)

For more about what happened at The District from the viewpoint of a Pima County Occasional Dater, click here...

Here's the Film Schedule for JUNE:

June 12: Forbidden Planet (1956) Starring Leslie Nielsen, Anne Francis and Walter Pidgeon

June 19: Pillow Talk (1959) Starring Rock Hudson and Doris Day

June 26: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) Starring Marilyn Monroe, Jane Russell and James Coburn. Directed by Howard Hawks. Sponsored by THE CRUISE PLACE.

Footnote: This is a dog-friendly venue :)

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

The Tucson Tusday Night Bike Ride

POSTDATA: Now that it's HOTTT later into the day, the ride is meeting at 8:00 instead of 7:00 p.m..

I did the ride tonight and it was so fun! Talk about cheap, environmentally-friendly, community-building thrills. You can read up on it at Tucson Bike Lawyer or read "Tucson on Two Wheels" from the Tucson Weekly.

Generally I just want to stress the following: the event is not as much of a boys' club as it might appear to be at first glance, (especially when your first glance is the above footage). You don't have to have a penis or do fancy tricks. You don't even have to be in shape to keep up (a few "rebels" even smoke on the ride which is kinda like taking a crap right after a shower but whatever). The point is you don't have to be hard core at all. You only need to have just enough control not to run into anyone.

The ride is lovely at 8:00 pm when the temp is nice these days. It's great to just be a part of the pack, not even knowing (or caring) about where you're going - just go, just be, just ride, one pedal at a time.

The route tonight was diverse which kept it interesting. There were a few bottlenecks but I think that just adds to the flavor flav.


Bring bike lights. (Do as I say not as I do.)

Don't zig zag if you don't want to get rammed. Give the person in front of you a little space.

Stay in one lane, away from oncoming or passing traffic. Duh.

Respect the trolley tracks because otherwise you may biff so fast you won't even know what happened.

Bring some water. And cookies to share. (I heart birthday cookies, thanks Sara)

If you find yourself going up a ramp or something try as hard as you can not to put your foot down!


The World Naked Bike Ride is this Saturday, June 7. Nudity encouraged, but not required. No pix without permission, please. Gather at 7:00 pm at 10th Ave. and 4th St. Email tucsonnakedbikeride[at]gmail[dot]com for more info.

Rice and Beans benefit for Renato's "ecological round-the-world trip" this Sunday, June 8th. Event starts at Dry River Radical Resource Center at 4:00 pm. Join world tour Brazilian cyclist Renato Campinho in a neighborhood bike ride. Rice and beans served at 5:00 pm. The event will conclude with a sideshow of his trip.

Wilko (Park and University) does pre-ride bike lubes next Tuesday, June 10 from 6:00 - 8:00 pm to raise funds for their liquor license.

POSTDATA: In case you haven't noticed the recent media flurry, local officials have their panties in a bundle over the potential nudity of this Saturday's World Naked Bike Ride. Know the law before you take off your bra!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Tucson Webcams

This shot is from The Arizona Webcam.

If you read Foucault you may be familiar with some of his ideas about being watched and feeling like you're being watched... We recently installed a surveillance camera in one of our windows: an unblinking eye gazing upon our courtyard 24-7. We hoped it would deter bike theft, but really I think all it has done is make us into voyeurs. On that note, here's a list of Tucson web cams for your voyeuristic pleasure:

University of Arizona Webcams:

Arizona Webcam is a bird's eye view of the University of Arizona campus.

The Student Union

East Mall

Old Main

Athletics Facilities Construction

Family and Consumer Sciences

College of Law

Rec Center Construction

Tomatoes. I'm not kidding.

Tucson Panoramas Maintained by Pima County

City of Tucson Webcams:

Tucson Freeway Cameras - there are 12 of 'em!

The following cameras are so freaky; you can control them by zooming in and our or even right to left and up and down...

Presidio Park

Fourth Avenue Construction Web Cam

Downtown North East

Downtown South East

KVOA's CityCam located on Tumamoc Hill

Downtown North West

Downtown South West

Downtown West

Downtown East

Iowa City Summer 2008

These pix are from the Sutliff Bridge, near Iowa City.

My baby brother graduated from high school in Iowa this month, so we ventured out north to celebrate. I just have to give props to him for surviving high school in small town Iowa, but also to give props to some of my favorite Iowa City establishments:

The Soap Opera: They have a shit ton of soap.

Prairie Lights: Great independent bookseller.

Giovanni's: We never go back to Iowa without eating the Gnocchi d'Oro

Whitey's: Such good ice cream, it makes me wanna puke.

John's Grocery, aka Dirty John's: Nestled in a historic building, the charm begins at the door. Their owners call it "a marriage of the traditional corner grocery store and epicurean oasis". Personally, I call it one of the best liquor stores ever. I mean, it has a BEER CAVE!

Granny's: Best re-sale jewelry, antiques, plus so much other stuff and so CHEAP! But Granny is retiring. I can't stand it. I wanna cry.

Also, this trip we made a new discovery. About 30 minutes drive from Iowa City (along lovely winding, country roads) is the Sutliff Bridge. This bridge made of iron and wood is over 100 years old. Deliciously located in what is now sort of the middle of nowhere, it's a charming, quiet, lush, green setting for leisurely drinking a PBR LIGHT. I had no idea that PBR light even existed, but I have proof now. See the photo above.

The Sutliff Bridge Tavern not only serves this unheard of PBR light, but pub grub at historical prices. Just look at the menu.

POSTDATA: I'm sad to report that since the time of this posting, the 110 year old historical Sutliff Bridge has been mostly washed away by the disastrous 500 Year Flood in Iowa. I feel fortunate that I got to enjoy the bridge at least once in my lifetime, but to see the loss is still heartbreaking...and I don't even live there...

Jamie Lidell in Tucson

So last night we went to see Jamie Lidell at The Rialto. We had not heard of him until my friend Andrea invited us to the show. (Read Annie Holub's interview with Lidell in Tucson Weekly.)

To say the least, I was pleasantly surprised. The soul and energy of the show lived up to expectations. The sound deconstruction that threatens to converge into pure chaos was present, too. The VJ was awesome. Bottom line: Catch Lidell in a city near you!

Ballot for Best of Tucson 2008

Best Nail Place: Golden Nail Spa. You see that flower? That's hand-painted, baby.

Once again I'm making my ballot for Best of Tucson public, just for shits and giggles. (That's such a weird expression, isn't it?)

Bee tee dubs, there's still time to vote before June 4. Click here to vote online.

Best Local Blog: Tucson Querido shamelessly self-promotes here.

Best Annual Festival: Tucson Eat Yourself

Best Park: Reid. Recently as I was flying back to Tucson I noticed just what a huge green patch it constitutes in the middle of our desert town.

Best Local Advocacy Group: Borderlinks

Best Radio Station for News: KUAZ

Best Bowling Alley: Lucky Strike. Cosmic bowl rocks!

Best Hair Salon: The Coyote Wore Sideburns

Best Yoga Studio: Yoga Oasis

Best Fine Art Gallery: DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun. I love it because of DeGrazia's incorporation of native elements, but I also have a problem with some of the rhetoric found there, such as the idolatry of Kino as beneficent Indian savior, etc.

Best Art Museum: The Center for Creative Photography

Best Local Performing Artist: Jose Pepo Saavedra. Last chance to vote for Pepo, because by the end of this summer he won't be local anymore. Boo hoo. Well, before he moves closer to the city that doesn't sleep, he's giving a last show on June 13.

Best Indoor Venue: Club Congress

Best Movie Theater: The Loft

Best Lowbrow Bar Ambiance: The Buffet

Best Nightclub: Club Congress

Best Margarita: El Charro

Best Wine/Liquor Store: Rum Runner

Best Burger: Lindy's

Best Sandwich: The Asian Sandwich Deli

Best Pizza: Zachary's. Two pieces does me. Plus, I dig the weird beer garden in the back.

Best Ice Cream: Frost. But actually it's gelato.

Best Sonoran Hot Dogs: Tanque Verde Swap Meet

Best Fish Tacos: Rubio's. But they are not as good for you as you think.

Best Empanadas: My friend Derek's but otherwise, Mama Llama's

Best Diner: The Grill

Best Indian: Sher-E-Punjab

Best Italian: Giacomo's

Best Sushi: Sushi King

Best Thai: Vila Thai

Best Casual Dining: Zemam's

Best Outdoor Seating: Cushing Street. Try the Sueño Burger.

Best Late-Night Eats: The Taco Shop Co.

Best Vietnamese: Miss Saigon

Best Mexican: Crossroads, for the nopalitos.

Best Vegetarian/Vegan: Lovin' Spoonfuls

Best Veggie Burger: Bentley's

Best Birthday Party Place: P1 Kart Circuit

Best Fun for the Whole Family: Tanque Verde Swap Meet

Best Used Books: Bookman's. Duh.

Best Video Store: Casa Video

Best Fashions: Toque de Pasion

Best Resale Clothing: Buffalo Exchange

Best Home Furnishings: The Paris Flea Market

Best Pet Supplies Store: Muttropolis

And now for my own categories...

Best Tapas: Casa Vcente. Okay, probably the only tapas in Tucson but that shouldn't make light of their quality...

Best Laundrette: Campbell Coin Laundry and Cleaners. Their slogan is "Where Cleaning Your Clothes Can Be A Pleasant Experience". It's true. The owners and employees have always been nice. Andrew and have our "laundry date" there every two weeks, combining clean clothes, sushi, video games, enchiladas, frozen yogurt, manicures and other fun things the strip mall has to offer.

Best Nail Place: Golden Nail Spa. They are kind, they have a nice locale, the prices are competitive and they are very careful, professional and talented. (See hand-done pedicure art above.)

Best Sunset Watching and Post-Sunset-Watching Drive Into Town: Gates Pass

Best Place Spiritual Historic Site to Take Nudie Pix Not That I've Ever Done It: Signal Hill