Sunday, August 31, 2008

Reflections of Prescott

The day of the big Prescott Photo Walk, one of my ideas was to take pictures of Prescott sights as seen in display windows along our route. In a few cases, the idea worked. More or less. The Grill has strong enough lines that it overwhelms most of the paintings in the window of the gallery across the street.

What I call The Building With Green Awnings also stands out (as does the traffic. But then traffic has its own way of dominating the world).

What I saw in the window if I looked into it from the other direction. The Chase Bank all the way back to Batterman's.

Another stretch of Gurley, this time seen via the florist's window. Neat how that rose plopped right between Brian's Irish Pub and Esoji.

One of the more successful shots: Gurley looking to the east. Clean. No pushy cars hogging the limelight.

Gurley was easy; the reflecting windows and I were in the shade and had no competition from the sun. Capturing the Courthouse was another matter entirely. If you look into the depths of the Prescott Brewing Company, beyond those cars, you might see a wee bit of the Plaza. A wee bit of Whiskey Row, too.

The Courthouse bandstand is right next the steam table at Caffe Express in the St. Michael.

Ah, here it is. Peeking out between two themed Tshirts for the tourist from the desert who wants to declare that he/she visited Prescott.

A car window is as good a place as any to immortalize two of the Whiskey Row pubs. As for why this mirror sits in a shop on Montezuma (below), your guess is quite as good as mine.

It's only logical that a classy Prius would create an exclusive set of reflections...

...whereas I'm quite pleased with the "awning" that just happened to shelter the cars and bikes above. They were free and clear, unlike the bikes below, not a rally but miniatures parked in the window beneath the reflected post office building.

Turning the corner from Montezuma to Goodwin Street, I found the windows at the Galloping Goose were peachy-keen mirrors. Above, the view south on Montezuma, and, below, a rather spectacular way to observe the Arizona Pioneers Home up on the bluff.

Of my experiment, I'd say it was good clean fun -- but a far cry from Art.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Resale Row

It's been a long time since I've been to the Fair Street Fry's, I guess.

Because the last time I looked at this big guy, he was advertising real estate. In fact, he had advertised real estate for as long as I can remember -- 20 years or so. Suddenly, it's used books, words far more likely to get my attention. Of course, times have changed. Used books are no doubt a lot easier to sell than houses in the current market. According to the young lady in the shop, it has been operating as a bookstore for some five months! And I thought that my antennae were in good shape.

Outside, throw-away titles 10 for one buck. Inside, shelves of books occupied four rooms of the little cottage, including one room devoted to religion (primarily LDS -- I believe that there had been an LDS bookstore in this building previously.) Did you notice the neat ship models in the corner? Here they are close-up (below). 50 cents at a yard sale, I was told.

At this point, I decided that the groceries could wait. What is evolving on the south side of Fair Street and environs is a thrift shopping mecca; the St. Vincent de Paul store is right next to the bookstore...

...complete to a lovely shrub covered with showy lavender blossoms at the entrance...

...and a clutter of donations to the back of the parking lot.

However, the interior has been completely de-cluttered and reorganized. Looks a lot more appealing, but my impression is that upscaling always brings higher prices. Thrifts are no exception. What is it about resale shops and baskets, by the way -- this store and NOAH both feature an extensive collection.

The final element in this thrift/used goods center -- the Once Again consignment shop. Unfortunately, I was running out of time and did not pay a visit.

And speaking of used, how about this well used fence bear and his companion. I spotted them as I was walking along Fair to get a better shot of the consignment shop. I'd guess the fellow below has been resting for a long, long time. I hope he has enjoyed great dreams.

Muffler Men: That appears to be what the giant figures such as our Fair Street guy were in the beginning. They are spotted all over the country, apparently, and there is, of course, a site where sightings are listed. The history of the Prescott statue is told here; apparently he is one of many that were originally featured at Phillips 66 gas stations; he (and his fellows) each held a rifle in the outstretched arms.

Friday, August 29, 2008

No photos please

Can't figure this guy out. He runs a small shop on Whiskey Row that's chockablock full of hats. For the cowboy, the biker, the hiker, the golfer. You name it, he has a suitable hat. Even for Dr. Seuss' famous feline. You'd think he'd like publicity, exposure, getting the word out. And pictures on the Internet. But no way! Look at those signs plastered on the door. The act of photography somehow falls in the same category as soda pop (or beer) and sticky candy. The drinks & food I understand. But photos??? I can't believe that he offers totally custom, one-of-a-kind toppers that might potentially be copied by a spy serving a factory over in China. I guess one can't be too careful these days.

PS -- I did get some pictures inside last fall when the Aussie Bro was visiting. He bought himself a fine cheesecutter, which I'll show some day when I do my HATS post.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Georgia O'Keefe moment

OK, that's a bit pretentious on my part. But the fact is that my datura has blossomed five times in the past month and I managed to follow the action on one evening. Come watch one of these rather spectacular flowers unfold.

In the beginning, the action takes place over about a week to 10 days, with buds emerging and growing bigger -- here about 5 inches long... which point the sepals begin to open. Call this Day 1.

The next day, Day 2, the blossom is beginning to emerge.

On the third day, the tightly wound flower-to-be is almost ready to open. When you spot it at this stage, the blossom will open the same evening -- starting at dusk, about 7 to 7:15 p.m. In the process, the plant will periodically emit puffs of a lovely fragrance. And, yes, the light is beginning to wane, as you can see in the next pictures.

The pinwheel begins to unwind.

The trumpet is about to begin opening.

Partially open.

The trumpet is beginning to take shape, but the light is fading. Unfortunately, it's difficult to get a good picture with flash working so close to the blossom, though PhotoShop did come to the rescue for the two images below.

Shortly after 7:30 p.m., the datura was about as open as it was going to be. My neighbor held a flashlight for this exposure, and then I quit for the night. Mosquitoes.

Apparently, at least one hawk moth or other night pollinator made an appearance, as the blossom was quite spent the following morning. But notice that if another critter were to show up, there's still an opportunity f0r more seeds to be fertilized. Not one of the five flowers lasted into the next day, a big disappointment...

...which will nevertheless result in a good supply of seeds. Above, a pod beginning to develop.

And, miracle of miracles, I discovered this new seedling yesterday. Perhaps my luck with the deadly datura has changed.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Official alley tour

It took Saturday's Prescott Photo Walk to show me the many features of Whiskey Row Alley.

Would you believe that in my several years of wandering downtown Prescott, I've never done the back side of Whiskey Row? Certainly not because I eschew alleys; as the underwear of a city, alleys are usually full of Great Stuff that wows the picture taker in me. It turns out that this particular lane has been quite gussied up for the tourist crowds, no doubt due to the comparatively new city parking garage and the nearby mural.

Be that as it may, it is certainly photogenic, from the back brickwork and fire escapes of the Hotel St. Michael at the Gurley Street end... the back entrances to the handful of saloons that remain in business on the Row, including Matt's, Moctezuma's or is it the Bird Cage?...

...and, of course, the Palace, which includes pleasant outdoor seating (for smokers, I presume).

These are some of the Old Tyme signs that decorate the Palace outdoor patio.

Galleries, too, make themselves known at the back door.

Of course, these old brick buildings date from days when air conditioning was a pipe dream at best; now many of the windows that once furnished needed fresh air are boarded or bricked up. I tend to consider this too bad; in my world, the more windows, the better.

There are two structures on the alley that are new since I moved into Prescott. One is the city parking garage...

...the other is the thoroughly augmented and very R.E.D. Old Firehouse Plaza. Don't you like the idea of formal gowns showcased on the second floor facing an alley? The plaza, which is at the Goodwin Street end of Whiskey Row Alley, has entry gates on both the street and the alley.

This big, busy power pole is the final punctuation mark putting an end to this segment of Saturday's walk.

Oh-oh! Prescott Style caught a not quite literate sign over at the high school.
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