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Photo Essays: March of the Mini-Dorms

About 10 years ago, a new kind of student housing started popping up in neighborhoods around the University of Arizona. Developers were buying old houses, doing interior and exterior renovations, and adding a second story on the back. Then they rented them to groups of five or more students. These structures became known as mini-dorms….

Photo Essays: From liquor store to school

For many years, the northeast corner of First Avenue and Lester Street was home to a convenience store that sold little more than liquor. Place was a magnet for drug buyers, sellers, and other nefarious types. We neighbors weren’t too pleased with the goings-on, and most of us steered clear of the store. There wasn’t…

Bicycle Photography: Swapping and Racing

Yesterday was one of those “can’t miss” days for bicycling in Tucson. Not just for the warm, sunny weather, but for two wonderful events. The morning started with a Tucson classic, the Bike Swap Meet, which has been around since the 1980s. Matter of fact, I can remember attending the spring 1988 edition, which was…

Photo Essay: Empty Houses, Tucson, Arizona

The nationwide real estate meltdown has hit Arizona hard. Our state has one of highest foreclosure rates in the country. And you don’t have to look very far to find evidence in central Tucson… If it’s not the signs announcing foreclosure, it’s the empty houses. Not all have been taken back by banks. Some may…

Nature Photography: Green at Last

Back in early February, a hard freeze hit Tucson and southern Arizona. Daytime highs just made it into the forties, and the nighttime lows were in the teens. The extreme cold was quite rough on the local plant life. Frozen prickly pear cactus dropped their pads or fell over. And our hardy mesquites made like…

Photo Essay: Shoefiti, Tucson, Arizona

Shoefiti is one of those things that isn’t unique to Tucson. It’s the practice of tying a pair of shoes together, then tossing them at overhead wires. The goal is to get them hanging up there for all to see. This example of accurate tossing can be seen along North Fourth Avenue… Which begs the…

Event Photography: Cyclovia Sidelines

My previous Cyclovia Tucson post focused on notion that streets aren’t just for cars. People traveling under their own power also have a place. This post will cover one of the greatest benefits of self-powered travel: An enhanced ability to see and hear what surrounds you. With this thought in mind, let’s look at the…

Event Photography: Solar Rock 2011

Cyclovia Tucson riders had a special treat awaiting in Armory Park. The Food Conspiracy Co-op’s annual Solar Rock concert offered a musical feast that was 100% powered by the sun. Tucson’s GeoInnovation furnished the 800-watt solar array that kept the tunes coming. This array can generate 4 kilowatt-hours per day… Performers included Robyn Landis… …and…

Bicycle Photography: Cyclovia Tucson 2011

What happens when you throw a streets-closed-to-cars, human-powered mobile party and 10,000 people show up? You get Cyclovia Tucson, that’s what! The second annual Cyclovia drew bicyclists, bladers, skateboarders, runners, walkers, and wheelchair users to the streets of Tucson and South Tucson yesterday. Cyclovia Tucson was truly an event for everyone — didn’t matter if…

Photo Essay: Homeless Hideouts, Tucson, Arizona

One of the more visible signs of our tough economy is the increase in homeless people. To be sure, Tucson has long been a wintertime magnet for those who are down on their luck. After all, where would you rather be on the streets in January? Minneapolis? Or here in Arizona? In central Tucson, our…

Photo Essay: Euclid Avenue, Tucson, Arizona

Euclid Avenue isn’t one of Tucson’s glamorous thoroughfares. It’s a workmanlike street that takes you past apartment complexes, strip shopping centers, schools, and sturdy little houses, some of which are a century old. While much of central Tucson’s transportation improvement efforts are centering on the Grant Road widening project, Euclid is still, well, Euclid. No…

Bike-tography at the Bicycle Races

My previous post described this past Saturday’s UA Criterium bicycle race on the University of Arizona campus. This post is about the logistics of getting one’s photo gear to and from such an event. As mentioned before, I get around by bicycle. Which means that all of the photo gear goes with me on the…

Bicycle Photography: UA Criterium 2011

Saturday was a great day for indulging my passion for bike-tography. I pedaled my bicycle and camera over to the east side of the University of Arizona campus, which was blocked off for the UA Criterium. This closed-course event drew bicycle racing enthusiasts from hither and yon, but there were plenty of good spots to…

Bicycle Photography: The Spokes-Hopper

Thirty years ago, I was living in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and growing ever more restless. Ann Arbor is home to the University of Michigan, and the place fit like a glove during my college student days. But two years after graduation, I was longing for a place I reverently called The Road. I’d gotten to…

Nature Photography: Land of the Frozen Cactus

Here in Tucson, we have been experiencing a weather spell that would be better suited for northern climes. We’re talking daytime highs that barely make it past the 40-degree mark. And the nighttime lows? Well below freezing. A couple of mornings ago, the wind chill made the air feel like it was four degrees above…

Nature Photography: Dormant Plants in Winter

Like much of the rest of the eastern United States, Pennsylvania just got walloped by another big snowstorm. According to family reports, thick hats, heavy jackets, waterproof boots, snow shovels and plows are now the height of fashion. And will be for some time. Although my Westtown, Pennsylvania family and friends may find it hard…

Event Photography: Weatherization Workshop

If you’re like most Tucsonans, you live in a house that does a lousy job of keeping the winter’s cold outside. Which means that you’re left with the uncomfortable choice between living in an icebox or dealing with heating bills that rival your mortgage payment. Almost all houses inside the Tucson city limits were built…

Nature Photography: Goose Farm

One of the most memorable features of a southeastern Pennsylvania winter is that it’s highly variable. You can be deep in snow and shivering in sub-freezing temperatures, and then the weather warms up to the point where the hats and jackets are unnecessary. Such was my recent trip to the Land of Winter Variability. Not…

Event Photography: Giffords Goes to Rehab

Today was a big day for Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. She’s made remarkable progress since suffering a gunshot wound to the head during a January 8 assassination attempt. Recent reports have noted that Giffords is able to stand with assistance and use an iPad. This morning, she was discharged from University Medical Center. Giffords was then…

Nature Photography: After the Blizzard

My recent trip to southeastern Pennsylvania featured no-problem air travel and foul weather that didn’t materialize until after I was on the ground. What the weather forecasters billed as a blizzard turned out to be underwhelming. We didn’t even get half a foot of snow. After the weather cleared, it was time to go exploring….

Event Photography: President Speaks in Tucson

This past Saturday morning, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords hosted a “Congress on Your Corner” event in the La Toscana Village shopping center at the corner of Ina and Oracle Roads. As has been widely reported, a 22-year-old man opened fire on Giffords and others. Six people died, and 13 were wounded, including Congresswoman Giffords. Yesterday, President…

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