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Friday, September 3, 2010

Postcard from Tucson

Postcard from Tucson
September 1, 2010

At lunch yesterday my friend Yosh said that I don’t really write blogs; I write essays and then post them. So, I thought I would post a more postcard like blog to mix it up.

Tucson is a mini-me version of LA. By that I mean that the public realm is almost non-existent and that the private realm is where the beauty is. Unlike Los Angeles, the view is up. Up to the mountains that rise in every direction and up to the big sky with its sculptural clouds. For whatever reason Tucson remains relatively free of smog so the sky and mountains are visible almost every day. Like LA, it is an unfinished city. Besides the sunshine and nature that is the good news.

The Lawn at the Arizona Inn

We stopped by the Museum of Contemporary Arts to check out its new home and visit with Anne-Marie Russell, the Executive Director. (There will be another blog about the museum soon.) This year they moved into a surplus brutalist firehouse downtown. There are endless possibilities for all kinds of art in the great bays where the fire trucks once lived. MOCA’s inventive approach to sharing art (and its new plaza) is one move towards creating an authentic public realm.

The old firestation

Anne-Marie Russell in her element

Art in the old firetruck bays

Interrogation room at old firehouse

We spent a great deal of time at our favorite hotel, The Arizona Inn. The magic of the place lies in the fact it is still owned by the descendants of the founder, Isabella Greenway. There is no spectacle, just comfort. It is one of Tucson’s great private realms. Just when we were about to go for an evening swim lightning struck. We got out of the pool and sat on the terrace and watched the monsoon hit. I thought the pool was going to overflow. And then it passed. Everybody back in the pool.

Lobby at the Arizona Inn

Gateway to the pool

The pool at the Arizona Inn

The terrace outside our room

On Sunday I got a massage out on the Westside from someone named Eve. To my surprise Eve turned out to be a man with a horse in the backyard. I think there is a novel title in there... “A Man Named Eve.”

One of the funniest moments from the weekend was a conversation I had with a young friend who is ten. It went like this:

Uncle Kenny, are you Victorian or Modern?

Isn't there anything else?

No, the choices are Victorian or Modern. Which are you?

Well, I guess I am modern.

What's Paul?

Well, he is definitely a Victorian.

Then, how can you be married?

The Victorian cools off.

1 comment:

Sam Harvey said...

Your words are perfect. Where is that fire station? I do love those jellies too. I am so lucky to have found you! Yeah for us! The Victorian by the pool. lol.