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  #21  
Old Posted Feb 17, 2021, 4:20 AM
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Originally Posted by ChrisLA View Post
I’ve heard good things from many people about Tucson and only once have I heard anything bad and that was from my younger sister which was quite surprising since she loves Southwest architect.
Maybe your sister was disappointed that Tucson wasn't as "Southwest"-looking as she was hoping it would be?

My partner and I discussed this while we were there; he was actually expecting Tucson to have more of a southwest look to it, like Santa Fe. The only thing "Southwestern"-looking that we saw was Barrio Viejo. And it seems only recently that the look of Barrio Viejo and its historic significance has become more appreciated. I'm not even sure that it's even considered a protected historic district. In fact, I'm guessing no, because we didn't see signs that indicated that it was a historic district, just El Tiradito Wishing Shrine was a landmarked thing.


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Originally Posted by muertecaza View Post
sopas ej caught the best of Tucson in the excellent photo collection. But I've always felt like Tucson was sort of a missed opportunity. It has a lot going for it--in many ways a more walkable downtown than Phoenix, for many years the more prestigious university (although my impression is that ASU is more or less equal now), only one major highway/freeway in town, generally better weather than Phoenix, and more history, a strong draw with its bike culture, unlike Phoenix on an active Amtrak route, etc. I wish the city leaders had had the foresight to lean into the "Old Pueblo" thing, and try to make Tucson at least visually be sort of a Sonoran/adobe version of what Santa Barbara did with the mission look. More like Santa Fe maybe. Instead, like sopas mentioned, you got huge swaths of Barrio Viejo demoed for a convention center, and most of the city (on the other side of the tracks from downtown) kind of looks like a worse Phoenix.
I agree with you, the thing about Tuscon city leaders embracing (or not embracing) the adobe look. It makes me question the attitude of the non-Hispanic whites who moved to Tucson (and Arizona in general). Because in California, early in the 1900s, the look of the Spanish Missions began to be embraced even by the non-Hispanic settlers who moved to California, and that's how the whole Mission/Mediterranean style became a thing in California. Didn't many Southerners move to Arizona? I think that might be where the whole conservatism/right-leaning thing AZ has, stems from. Didn't the Arizona Territory support the Confederacy, while the New Mexico Territory supported the Union? This could be why New Mexico embraced the whole adobe style and aesthetic, whereas Arizona has less of that look and more of the Anglo-white settler look, because Southerners probably looked down on Hispano-American culture and the look of adobe construction, thinking it "inferior" to their tastes.

Just a thought.
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  #22  
Old Posted Feb 17, 2021, 4:34 AM
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Originally Posted by xzmattzx View Post
You ate at three Gastronomy places and didn't mention what they were?!?
Oh, sorry!

We ate at Boca Tacos Y Tequila, Seis Kitchen, and Reforma.

You can Google the complete list of certified Tuscon UNESCO Restaurants of Gastronomy. There's like 20-something of them, all meeting some kind of criteria.

And just an FYI, the UNESCO City of Gastronomy designation doesn't mean that Tucson is full of fine dining restaurants or "Michelin-rated" places (which I think is subjective crap, BTW); it's about the whole food culture of a place, how a city values its food, the authenticity, the originality and creativity of its cuisine. When Tucson applied for the designation, they mentioned how people in the Tucson area have been continuously doing agriculture there for about 4,000 years, or something; Tucson claims to be one of the oldest continuously inhabited areas in the US, or maybe even North America. The fact that they've been doing agriculture there for thousands of years helped it get the UNESCO City of Gastronomy designation, I think.

Looking it up on Wikipedia, this is the criteria:

-Well-developed gastronomy that is characteristic of the urban centre and/or region

-Vibrant gastronomy community with numerous traditional restaurants and/or chefs

-Endogenous ingredients used in traditional cooking

-Local know-how, traditional culinary practices and methods of cooking that have survived industrial/technological advancement

-Traditional food markets and traditional food industry

-Tradition of hosting gastronomic festivals, awards, contests and other broadly-targeted means of recognition

-Respect for the environment and promotion of sustainable local products

-Nurturing of public appreciation, promotion of nutrition in educational institutions and inclusion of biodiversity conservation programmes in cooking schools curricula
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  #23  
Old Posted Feb 17, 2021, 6:00 AM
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Originally Posted by sopas ej View Post
Oh, sorry!

We ate at Boca Tacos Y Tequila, Seis Kitchen, and Reforma.

You can Google the complete list of certified Tuscon UNESCO Restaurants of Gastronomy. There's like 20-something of them, all meeting some kind of criteria.

And just an FYI, the UNESCO City of Gastronomy designation doesn't mean that Tucson is full of fine dining restaurants or "Michelin-rated" places (which I think is subjective crap, BTW); it's about the whole food culture of a place, how a city values its food, the authenticity, the originality and creativity of its cuisine. When Tucson applied for the designation, they mentioned how people in the Tucson area have been continuously doing agriculture there for about 4,000 years, or something; Tucson claims to be one of the oldest continuously inhabited areas in the US, or maybe even North America. The fact that they've been doing agriculture there for thousands of years helped it get the UNESCO City of Gastronomy designation, I think.

Looking it up on Wikipedia, this is the criteria:

-Well-developed gastronomy that is characteristic of the urban centre and/or region

-Vibrant gastronomy community with numerous traditional restaurants and/or chefs

-Endogenous ingredients used in traditional cooking

-Local know-how, traditional culinary practices and methods of cooking that have survived industrial/technological advancement

-Traditional food markets and traditional food industry

-Tradition of hosting gastronomic festivals, awards, contests and other broadly-targeted means of recognition

-Respect for the environment and promotion of sustainable local products

-Nurturing of public appreciation, promotion of nutrition in educational institutions and inclusion of biodiversity conservation programmes in cooking schools curricula
Thanks! I'm going to look up that list, but was interested in seeing the places you had gone to.

Regarding the Civil War, I am not sure of the antebellum period. Southern Arizona may very well have been settled by southerners. During the Civil War, southern Arizona and southern New Mexico were briefly the Confederate Arizona Territory. Northern Arizona and northern New Mexico were Union-held. The Confederate territory was short-lived, though; the Union won it back in the Battle of Glorieta Pass in 1862. Like much of the US, there was a split. From what I remember, Anglos mainly sympathized with the Union, and Hispanics and Native Americans mainly sympathized with the Confederates. The sympathy with the Confederates was born out of their distrust or disdain for the US Government, not that much unlike the British support for the Confederacy.
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  #24  
Old Posted Feb 17, 2021, 7:22 AM
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Originally Posted by sopas ej View Post
Because in California, early in the 1900s, the look of the Spanish Missions began to be embraced even by the non-Hispanic settlers who moved to California, and that's how the whole Mission/Mediterranean style became a thing in California.
Spanish Colonial/Mexican Colonial became a thing in Southern California beginning in the 1880s for two primary reasons: one, a massively popular book that became something of a foundational myth called Ramona, and two, the railroads connected the nation to Southern California at that same time, and promoted the Ramona myth--along with real estate developers--as a way to make some money off of a naive America that bought the faux mystique hook, line, and sinker.

Tucson's Barrio Viejo looks much more authentically Spanish/Mexican colonial than any large district that I can think of here in California, but I'm always open to learning about such places.
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  #25  
Old Posted Feb 17, 2021, 4:15 PM
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i had very little idea of the history of this area in the civil war era and also had zero idea of unesco world heritage gastronomy, i thought it was just for buildings and neighborhoods. all very interesting, so err, gracias amigos!
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  #26  
Old Posted Feb 17, 2021, 6:28 PM
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Originally Posted by sopas ej View Post
Maybe your sister was disappointed that Tucson wasn't as "Southwest"-looking as she was hoping it would be

I agree with you, the thing about Tuscon city leaders embracing (or not embracing) the adobe look. It makes me question the attitude of the non-Hispanic whites who moved to Tucson (and Arizona in general). Because in California, early in the 1900s, the look of the Spanish Missions began to be embraced even by the non-Hispanic settlers who moved to California, and that's how the whole Mission/Mediterranean style became a thing in California. Didn't many Southerners move to Arizona? I think that might be where the whole conservatism/right-leaning thing AZ has, stems from. Didn't the Arizona Territory support the Confederacy, while the New Mexico Territory supported the Union? This could be why New Mexico embraced the whole adobe style and aesthetic, whereas Arizona has less of that look and more of the Anglo-white settler look, because Southerners probably looked down on Hispano-American culture and the look of adobe construction, thinking it "inferior" to their tastes.

Just a thought.
The Phoenix and Tucson suburbs are absolutely dominated by stucco Mediterranean or Spanish themed. That look has just kinda started to fall out of appeal based on new subdivisions but everything built between the late 70's and like 2010 is tacky stucco blandness lol

The "southerners" that moved to AZ would have been in relatively tiny numbers back in the late 1800's and other than the names of streets (which has a shockingly Irish flare) their influence was long since bred out by masses of Midwestern Transplants over the last 60+ years and now California Transplants.
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  #27  
Old Posted Feb 17, 2021, 7:17 PM
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This is a great tour! Thank you.
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  #28  
Old Posted Feb 17, 2021, 9:03 PM
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Originally Posted by sopas ej View Post
Maybe your sister was disappointed that Tucson wasn't as "Southwest"-looking as she was hoping it would be?

My partner and I discussed this while we were there; he was actually expecting Tucson to have more of a southwest look to it, like Santa Fe. The only thing "Southwestern"-looking that we saw was Barrio Viejo. And it seems only recently that the look of Barrio Viejo and its historic significance has become more appreciated. I'm not even sure that it's even considered a protected historic district. In fact, I'm guessing no, because we didn't see signs that indicated that it was a historic district, just El Tiradito Wishing Shrine was a landmarked thing.
You really should have gone to Nogales (Sonora). You'd also be disappointed in how unMexican Mexico looks--it looks essentially "third world". It takes a lot of money to render modern middle class commercialism into something that "looks like" what we expect it to. Disney manages it--and spends big bucks to do it. Places like Santa Fe do and they become enclaves for rich people. As I've said, Tucson is basically a college town full of immigrant Mexican-American, less than affluent college students, middle class retired people and the military (Davis Monthan AFB). It's built environment is basic and practical and not very fancy.

Quote:
I agree with you, the thing about Tuscon city leaders embracing (or not embracing) the adobe look. It makes me question the attitude of the non-Hispanic whites who moved to Tucson (and Arizona in general). Because in California, early in the 1900s, the look of the Spanish Missions began to be embraced even by the non-Hispanic settlers who moved to California, and that's how the whole Mission/Mediterranean style became a thing in California. Didn't many Southerners move to Arizona? I think that might be where the whole conservatism/right-leaning thing AZ has, stems from. Didn't the Arizona Territory support the Confederacy, while the New Mexico Territory supported the Union? This could be why New Mexico embraced the whole adobe style and aesthetic, whereas Arizona has less of that look and more of the Anglo-white settler look, because Southerners probably looked down on Hispano-American culture and the look of adobe construction, thinking it "inferior" to their tastes.

Just a thought.
Tucson's leaders are focused on bringing jobs and business to town. Tucson hasn't got enough of an industrial/business base. It is dependent on the U. of AZ and the military. Even some of what local industry there is like Raytheon is military-centered. There's also some jobs focused on "extraction"--mining--and while those pay pretty well, they destroy the scenic nature of the landscape and people who don't have those jobs hate the mines. Tucson really doesn't have the money to spend on making itself attractive.

On the other hand, outside of town, you will find plenty of private homes and businesses that DO "embrace the whole adobe style and aesthetic". The adobe style is very common in private architecture.

In my area, you see a lot of this kind of thing:


https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/2.../8647103_zpid/


https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/9...zpid/?mmlb=g,2

Houses in my own neighborhood go more for the "Territorial" look:


http://www.esperanzaestates.net/images/st-2.JPG
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  #29  
Old Posted Feb 17, 2021, 10:49 PM
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Yes to Demonstrate

The oldest of the old, Wild West times buildings late 1800's (only a handful exist)


Legitimate old school stucco & Craftsmen styles from 80-100 years ago (about as old as Phoenix Gets in any quantity)


Mid Century, if Phoenix has a dominant style its Mid-century


80's and 90's "stucco" Mediterranean/Spanish/ Adobe styles This is probably the 2nd most common type of style in the Phoenix Metro . Not my favorite



Slightly less awful Stucco from late 90's to roughly 2010




And modern styles have taken a totally sideways move completely away from southwestern styles into something more Mid-century/universal style. Most new communities are either still some form of stucco but increasingly its this: (which I like but I am a basic bitch)



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  #30  
Old Posted Feb 18, 2021, 3:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Pedestrian View Post
You really should have gone to Nogales (Sonora). You'd also be disappointed in how unMexican Mexico looks--it looks essentially "third world". It takes a lot of money to render modern middle class commercialism into something that "looks like" what we expect it to. Disney manages it--and spends big bucks to do it. Places like Santa Fe do and they become enclaves for rich people. As I've said, Tucson is basically a college town full of immigrant Mexican-American, less than affluent college students, middle class retired people and the military (Davis Monthan AFB). It's built environment is basic and practical and not very fancy.
Yes. Santa Fe was actually largely built in the territorial-brick style, but adopted the pueblo-revival style later to accommodate perception of what the southwest should look like, and as sort of a gimmick to draw commerce/tourism.

Of course, the "gimmick" was done back around the 1910s/20s, so the quality of finish was very high, and the result in Santa Fe is something beautiful and unique.

But, it was cultural appropriation done at a mass scale, something many local New Mexicans don't view in a positive light. For more insight, read "The Myth of Santa Fe", and look up John Gaw Meem, the anglo architect that popularized the pueblo revival style.

The "look" of Tucson is actually much more representative of the Sonoran-Hispanic culture than Santa Fe, which is not only anglicized but based on northern New Mexico (Old Spain) and puebloan influences.
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  #31  
Old Posted Feb 18, 2021, 4:20 AM
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^Santa Barbara did the exact same thing in the 1920’s. It used to be quite Victorian. Now it has its own made up architectural style.
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  #32  
Old Posted Feb 18, 2021, 10:48 AM
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I moved down here to the "Blue Island of the Southwest" 2 and half years ago from "City Of Endless Walls" Las Vegas. I love, love, love this city, shockingly very friendly, after 22 years in the coldest, unfriendliest city of Las Vegas.

Your photo's were award-winning!

I always wanted to retire as close to the Mexican Border as I could afford, and this was the place, only 65 miles to Nogales, for dental, medications, brilliant doctors.

I live in Midtown, near Crossroads Festival, where most of the homes in this region are all brick. This area has more urban amenities than downtown Tucson. From my home, there's 12 restaurants within 3 blocks of my house, 2 grocery stores, a 9-screen movie house, and Tucson Medical Center, a short walk away. The most paradisical area I've ever lived in.

Let the high tech industries go to Phoenix, and leave us be down here!
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  #33  
Old Posted Feb 18, 2021, 4:04 PM
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Originally Posted by IMBY View Post
I moved down here to the "Blue Island of the Southwest" 2 and half years ago from "City Of Endless Walls" Las Vegas. I love, love, love this city, shockingly very friendly, after 22 years in the coldest, unfriendliest city of Las Vegas.

Your photo's were award-winning!

I always wanted to retire as close to the Mexican Border as I could afford, and this was the place, only 65 miles to Nogales, for dental, medications, brilliant doctors.

I live in Midtown, near Crossroads Festival, where most of the homes in this region are all brick. This area has more urban amenities than downtown Tucson. From my home, there's 12 restaurants within 3 blocks of my house, 2 grocery stores, a 9-screen movie house, and Tucson Medical Center, a short walk away. The most paradisical area I've ever lived in.

Let the high tech industries go to Phoenix, and leave us be down here!
Thanks for your comments!

I also get that Tusconians (Is that the proper demonym?) are nice and friendly; I think people in Phoenix are nice too.
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  #34  
Old Posted Feb 18, 2021, 4:11 PM
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Thanks for your comments!

I also get that Tusconians (Is that the proper demonym?) are nice and friendly; I think people in Phoenix are nice too.
Zoni's inherited niceness from the midwest.

But Tucsonites and Phoenicians hate eachother

And everyone hates the West Valley, and Flagstaff hates everyone, and Jerome is stoned.
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  #35  
Old Posted Feb 18, 2021, 4:28 PM
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I'm glad you enjoyed your time in Tucson! As an active member of the Tucson forum here, I'm always on the lookout for local representation in My City Photos, which is unfortunately less frequent than I think the city deserves.

A few notes:

You may have seen already but it was announced last week that Maria Mazon, the owner of Boca, is going to be a contestant on the next season of Top Chef. I believe she'll be the first chef from Arizona on the show and she's rapidly becoming a Tucson icon so it's a pretty big deal for us.

There's been some good discussion of architectural styles here, which vary from neighborhood to neighborhood around downtown Tucson, so I figured I'd link a brochure the city published a few years back detailing the styles by neighborhood. All of the illustrations are of real homes and you can easily see the progression from our oldest neighborhoods like Barrio Viejo to the more midcentury styles that predominate in midtown Tucson.

Finally, one architect, Josias Joesler, was responsible for much of the revival style architecture seen throughout Tucson. He came to Tucson by invitation of a developer in the 1920s upon the recommendation of George Washington Smith.
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  #36  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2021, 3:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Ted Lyons View Post
I'm glad you enjoyed your time in Tucson! As an active member of the Tucson forum here, I'm always on the lookout for local representation in My City Photos, which is unfortunately less frequent than I think the city deserves.

A few notes:

You may have seen already but it was announced last week that Maria Mazon, the owner of Boca, is going to be a contestant on the next season of Top Chef. I believe she'll be the first chef from Arizona on the show and she's rapidly becoming a Tucson icon so it's a pretty big deal for us.

There's been some good discussion of architectural styles here, which vary from neighborhood to neighborhood around downtown Tucson, so I figured I'd link a brochure the city published a few years back detailing the styles by neighborhood. All of the illustrations are of real homes and you can easily see the progression from our oldest neighborhoods like Barrio Viejo to the more midcentury styles that predominate in midtown Tucson.

Finally, one architect, Josias Joesler, was responsible for much of the revival style architecture seen throughout Tucson. He came to Tucson by invitation of a developer in the 1920s upon the recommendation of George Washington Smith.
I really did enjoy my time in Tucson.

Actually, I did read about Maria Mazon right before we left for our trip, when I was looking up news articles about Tucson. And while we were there, I saw either a promo for Top Chef on TV in the hotel room, or it might've been a local news teaser about her being on Top Chef. Good luck to her!

Thanks for posting that brochure link.

I definitely wouldn't mind going back to Tucson to explore other areas around the city and other areas just outside the city---and to eat at more restaurants!
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  #37  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2021, 5:52 AM
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Excellent thread!! I was blown away by this one!! I visited Tucson back in 86, but I was in high school, so I have very few memories or any kind of appreciation for the time I was there. Today, just on this thread alone, if the unlikely event ever rose up where I moved to Arizona, Tucson would be near the top of my list!! Thank you for showing the true life of this city, instead of what looked like a rather boring downtown skyline!!
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  #38  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2021, 10:09 AM
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Another oddity I love about this city is the "dimness". Due to having a big telescope on top of the Catalina Mountains, there's an effort to keep the lights to a minimum. Having had cataract surgery, everything seems to appear brighter.

In my neighborhood, there are residential streets with no single street light, and if you walk down the street at night, you're at the mercy of porch lights on houses.

I love it!
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  #39  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2021, 4:57 AM
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Originally Posted by IMBY View Post
Another oddity I love about this city is the "dimness". Due to having a big telescope on top of the Catalina Mountains, there's an effort to keep the lights to a minimum. Having had cataract surgery, everything seems to appear brighter.

In my neighborhood, there are residential streets with no single street light, and if you walk down the street at night, you're at the mercy of porch lights on houses.

I love it!
You probably know this but it's more than an "effort": It's a law:

Quote:
The purpose of this code is to preserve the relationship of the residents of the City of Tucson, Arizona and Pima County, Arizona to their unique desert environment through protection of access to the dark night sky. Intended outcomes include continuing support of astronomical activity and minimizing wasted energy, while not compromising the safety, security, and well being of persons engaged in outdoor night time activities. It is the intent of this code to control the obtrusive aspects of excessive and careless outdoor lighting usage while preserving, protecting, and enhancing the lawful nighttime use and enjoyment of any and all property. It is recognized that developed portions of properties may be required to be unlit, covered, or have reduced lighting levels in order to allow enough lumens in the lighted areas to achieve light levels in accordance with nationally recognized recommended practices.
https://www.tucsonaz.gov/files/pdsd/...ting_code_.pdf
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  #40  
Old Posted Feb 24, 2021, 9:41 PM
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Wow! Tucson has come a long way since I visited in 1994. It was really run down and I am glad to see lots of TLC has gone into Barrio Viejo and the new development in the Downtown area. It has blossomed into a unique and beautiful city. Beautiful pictures!

On the flip side driving though but not staying about 5 years ago I was saddened by all the newly built sprawl into the virgin desert north of the city along Interstate 10.
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