Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Under the Tucson Sun

The Colors of Tucson, 2005

It may be that Tucson’s as gritty and venal as anywhere else. But when I first visited I was charmed. Not by the rambling suburbs, mind you. Nothing there for me. Or the dreary outcroppings of pueblo-style retirement villages. Not there yet, either.

Rather, I was taken by Tucson’s human scale and walkable downtown. I’ll go so far as to suggest that Tucson’s a little like Savannah; not exactly bypassed by time or progress, but a little more prosperity would probably ruin it and make it look too much like, well, Phoenix. Like Savannah, the charm and authenticity of downtown Tucson lies in its roots, its environment and in the preservation of its rough edges.

I was especially taken by the color, scale and rakish appeal of Tucson’s Barrio Historico. You can drive through the whole neighborhood in a few minutes if you’re the kind of person who prefers to do your walking in hermetically sealed malls or on manicured golf courses. I spent a couple of hours meandering up and down the streets and alleys, soaking in the color, listening to conversation and music spill out of windows and imagining just how good a cool drink would be here at the end of the day in a quiet little backyard garden.

You can see a series of photographs of the Barrio Historico here.

1 comment:

  1. You really got some gorgeous photos while you were there. You have a great eye, and you captured all the brilliant colors, and the stark light vs the deep shadows. They're wonderful!