Friday, July 17, 2009

Bike Rides from Central Tucson

These are photos of the Mercado District taken by Andrew Haberbosch.

This summer I find myself getting up at 4 or 5 in the morning to ride my bike. It's not the first summer I've developed what some of my friends call a hard-core habit.

I don't find it hard core. I roll out of bed, but on some clothes, pack in my wallet, phone, sunglasses, water and a breakfast bar. It's a five minute stumble. I usually take a nap later.

The moment I start pedaling it's all worth it.

The streets are quiet except for the birds. It's a cool 80 degrees. The sunrise is lovely.

I'm always hungry for new nearby routes (by that I mean ones I can begin around campus and complete in under 2 hours, that avoid major traffic, that are scenic or charming...) Suggestions?

Here's a description of a few favorite routes in no particular order:
(Check out the Tucson Metro Bike Map to orient yourself)

Santa Cruz Park
This is a shared-use path, and it is not highly used. I'm curious about why I usually come across mostly homeless people. (This is not a problem, in fact, they have been better at controlling their dogs than "mainstream" people.)

The wildlife is usually great, since this path is near the edge of town. I just saw two Ferruginous Hawks this morning.

The path ends sadly at a women's prison. I feel so free when I bike, seeing my sisters behind bars is a stark contrast.

Some of the cool side stops are the award-winning Mercado District (Gracias por mostrarmelo, Erika!) and The Garden of Gethsemane.

Aviation Bikeway
This shared-use path is super convenient for me. I just zip south on Highland to Aviation Bikeway and take that nearly all the way to Davis Monthan.

I like the view of the Catalinas near the end, and the wildlife around Freedom Park.

I like the privacy of this bikeway, especially if I just want to think. It's not very highly used and doesn't involve very much interaction with a.m. traffic.

River Park
This is yet another shared-use path. I take Mountain all the way up, and then follow the Rillito to La Cholla, I haven't make it all the way to the end yet. This is a marvelous path with quaint bridges and tree cover, but it's wildly popular with everyone--cyclists, walkers, runners, etc. NOT everyone knows how to share, either (I'm talking to YOU, path-hogging cyclists!).

Arroyo Chico/Reid Park a.k.a Dream Neighborhoods Ride
For a shorter ride, I like to take in some of desert oasis neighborhoods of Tucson by starting out east on 3rd St. First I let the Sam Hughes million dollar homes boggle my mind. Then I head South around Dodge and delight in El Montevideo historic neighborhood. I make a loop around the Randolph Golf Course (don't forget to take the shortcut with the duckies!). I then follow Arroyo Chico through Colonia Solana (another place I wouldn't mind living!) and then on to Campbell which I take home. This loop is easily expandable by taking Mountain up to Rillito, taking Rillito east, coming back down on Dodge all the way to Reid Park, etc.

I'm pretty familiar with every downtown route combination from doing the Tuesday Night Bike Rides, so I don't make this a morning target very often. My favorite parts involve Basket and Snake Bridges, La Placita, and Armory Park del Sol.

My Birthday Massage by Tania Rhodes

Dear Maisa,

The above is a picture of my birthday cake courtesy of Maynards. It was a great dinner.

However, what I really want to write about is the massage you gifted me. But I don't have a picture of that. Probably a good thing.

It was the first professional massage of my life, and it was transcendental.

I may have already been in a bit of a reflective mood after the hike from that morning, thinking about my life--all 31 years of it. But the massage took me to this nearly meditative state.

To me, the message became a ritualistic celebration of each of my limbs, muscles and organs. As Tania carefully tended to each one, I savored the sensation and thanked each part of my body for the work it has done for me, for its strength and beauty. I thanked God for my body and my life.

Being that I'm studying for comps, I find myself in my head a lot, and it was great to reconnect with this corporeality that is such a big part of my life, also.

And the fact that it was a gift from you made it all the sweeter.

Gracias, mi amiga del alma.



Thursday, July 02, 2009

On the Set of Public Enemies

It all began when Andrew and I were walking down a street in Chicago last summer. We were killing time while our friends were at the hospital with their baby for a routine check-up. We were walking down this street when I noticed how odd the signs were. Definitely retro. And "Tourists Welcome"? Weird. (See above.)
The next thing I noticed were the prices at this bakery. The food looked great and for 30 cents a dozen, what a steal!
Okay, so before we both totally tripped out and asked ourselves if time travel really is possible, we realized that the upon closer inspection, things were out of order. Peak past the baked goods to see that this was really a book store.
What detail! Here's a pic of a set designer in action.
This really was a modern pharmacy on the inside...
After asking around, we discovered that we were on the set of the John Dillinger movie, Public Enemies, which opened yesterday. I guess Michael Mann has a thing for shooting on location (but see my complaint below). He wanted to shoot at the exact spot where Dillinger was actually gunned down.
Lovely period-correct art deco design....

A convincing clothing store...

...but some tiny details go "unstitched"
The alley where Dillinger was shot. That cobblestone looks convincing, but it was fake! Made of rubber or something...
The Universal Studios sticker on a semi parked nearby.


Everyone in Tucson knows that Dillinger was finally captured here at Hotel Congress. It's the Chicago cops who let him escape.

I've always liked Tucson cops better, anyway.