Tucson seems a mix of small towns with a generic university plopped in the center, dangerously tilting the status quo toward young and white and affluent. Downtown there is the fantastic Congress Hotel and city-owned but NPO managed Rialto Theatre (Cat Power played the other night!). Too many storefronts are dim – and most of the town is quite and dark after sundown.

A Borglum bronze sculpture of a local pioneer John Campbell Greenway stands guard outside the Arizona State Historical Society. Nearby on campus is the Arizona State Art Museum. They might be worth visiting – I don’t know.

For artsy fartsy, visit 4th Avenue – the Epic Café, the Salt Crystal Palace, and several large murals of rockstars of a generation ago. Overheard a small pack of hippies exclaiming this town is no fun because the cops + jails are tough on itinerant potsellers. Oh well.

This one, without title or attribution, shows local characters dreaming & pondering while they play out their mortal roles. Tourist treasure.

Art challenges travelers. Some art can be grasped in a glance. Just a glance and you’ve captured as much as there is, all on the surface waiting for your instant attention and gratification. Some you have to take home with you , hang on an empty wall and wait for it’s somethingness to start happening. Could take a week or a month or a year beofre your discover you love it and need it or find it a place in your closet. Towns are the same. Some creep up on you slow.

Another mural dresses a military surplus gives the old red white + blue. Quaint.

But for beauty – skip the town and head out into the ancient Saguaro National Forest and find the Hohokam petroglyphs. The infinite heat has roasted these rocks for a million years, and nobody knows what these ancient drawings signify.

Just another human climbed this mound and sat on these rocks perhaps a thousand years ago and stared out over the deathly desert. What can you see out there, in the sky in the stars in the future?

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