Tuesday, March 30, 2010

March 30, Springtime in our backyard

Well, yesterday was not exactly a treat for the eyes. But then I don't think we can blame that on Mesa. Intersections are, well, intersections. Places where people going four directions temporarily congregate and for the most part fail to interact. When they do interact it's usually not a good thing. That brings to mind a statistic I saw not that long ago giving Mesa (or was it the entire metro Phoenix area?) the distinction of having the most intersection interaction by means of red light running in the nation. Not something the chamber of commerce is likely to trumpet in its pamphlets.

Like yesterday time is limited, so my choices were no entry or Very Close To Home entry. I chose the latter. Spring is the season, summer, that dominating and way too long season of scorching temperatures is getting oh so close, but right now it is Spring, the season of buds, blossoms and blooms. Oh, and it's a good time to get a new roof.

Those of you who have followed my other blog may recall periodic references to my battles with The Tree That Would Consume Mesa. Well, that's it. The gentleman you see on my neighbor's roof is quite possibly a member of the group that some here are afraid will indeed consume all of America. And they are not at all shy about sharing this viewpoint. All I know is the music they (there were two others working up there) were playing on the radio was toe-tapping stuff.

That is a bamboo plant in the far corner. We put it there in an effort to block the view of a huge satellite dish antenna one of our neighbors had in their backyard close by our fence. We were under the impression the bamboo would shoot skyward almost from the moment it was planted. Not so. It hovered at about the same height for years after it was planted and only began its promised growth spurt after the satellite dish was removed. Go figure.

I planted something like twenty bulbs in one bed of my garden and this is the only one that came up this spring. It's pretty though.

We just emptied the lemon tree of the last of what seemed like thousands of fruits it produced this past winter. And now it is gearing up for the next production run.

And on the other side of the yard the key lime tree is promising its own nice harvest.

Shame on me, I don't recall the name of the vine we having growing along the garden fence. I love that shade of purple and hope I did justice to it in this photo.

Even the weeds are blooming. This might be one you'd like to click on to make bigger. That was as close as I could get with my camera. I do have to report that this was, even more than most flowers, a transitory type of beauty as right after I snapped the picture I yanked the thing out of the ground and gave it to the compost heap.

There is not much about summer here that I anticipate with anything approaching enthusiasm. But in May the blackberries should be ready for the picking. And that is sweet indeed.

Have a great day. And so long from Mesa, Arizona.

Monday, March 29, 2010

March 29 The corner of Gilbert and McKellips

I'm thinking that we'll do "corners" every once in a while. Just a quick look at what can be found at a particular intersection. This one is on my way home from work, and since I was more than a bit worn out by then a corner was about all I could handle. Honestly, the toughest part was crossing the street four times. We've got some wide streets here in Mesa.

Pretty exciting, eh? Next time we'll try for something a bit more visually interesting. But what we've got today is as true a bit of Mesa as anything else. A Circle K, a fast food place, a car repair shop, a bank, a drive-by coffee shop and a grocery store.

Friday, March 26, 2010

March 26, Downtown. Main St between MacDonald and Robson

Here we have the other block that constitutes Downtown Mesa Proper. At the other end there is the Mesa Arts Center, which can easily be claimed by downtown, but I will likely make it subject of its own little photo study.

Once again the time was around 9:00 AM to 9:30 as I strolled this stretch of Main Street. Breezy and sunny; today we are looking for a high around seventy-five. About the same amount of foot traffic as yesterday, but I did happen on one business owner as he was setting out the tables for al fresco dining at Cucina di vita restaurant. I introduced myself, and he told me his name was Mark. I asked when the restaurant had opened. January 12th, he told me, just over two months ago. And how was business so far? Better than expected, trending above their business plan projections. Nice to hear. I didn't take a picture of it, but almost directly across the street is another pizzaria, this one with no discernible activity so far, although they may have been making dough in the back.

I do feel the need to point out that the young mother and her child are not part of the famous Main Street statuary.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

March 25, Downtown. Main Street from Center to MacDonald

Downtown Mesa hasn't changed a whole lot since the 1960's. It is true that many businesses have closed, to be replaced for the most part by others. No New York fashion names, no California Pizza Kitchens, all small businesses like all Main Streets in small towns across America used to have. One significant survivor over the past decades has been Milano's Music, now properly called Linton-Milano Music. Many longtime Mesa residents, including myself, have taken lessons at Milano's.

Today we going to have gorgeous weather. High of 80 degrees. It was about 60 degrees as I strolled Main around nine o'clock this morning. Foot traffic may improve later in the day, but while I was there the Main Street sculptures outnumbered pedestrians by a wide margin.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

March 23, 2010

Until recently this was an Albertson's grocery store. Soon to be a fitness center.
Northeast corner of Stapley and University

The rather majestic Battalion HQ for Mesa Fire Dept. Corner of Mesa Drive and First Street.

Mesa Public Library Main Branch, on First Street.