Friday, April 30, 2010

April 30. The Eastern end of Main Street.

Mesa is a pretty big place. Heck, when my family moved to Mesa the place where we live now (which isn't that far from the Olde Family Homestead), was pretty much all orange groves and two lane roads.It was where you went to get away from the big city of 30,000. Well this morning I had to do some driving to get to the eastern edge of Mesa, which according to the map I downloaded from the City of Mesa website is Meridian Road although I am beginning to wonder if I was misled by the map, as many of the businesses I photographed on my way back west identify themselves belonging to Apache Junction. So who knows? Maybe I strayed out of bounds today.In any case I drove to the edge and turned around to see what the rim of the place looks like and this is what I saw.

A Walgreens.

So I got back in Cooper and headed back west. It was obvious there was no way I could do the on foot thing here. No sidewalks, massive distances, and really, really wide intersections with really, really pedestrian oblivious drivers doing a steady ten miles an hour under the speed limit. So we just cruised along with the Buicks and Caravans and pulled over whenever something caught our eye and we had a reasonable chance of not being rear-ended in the process.

Superstition Ranch Market was busy. Lots of cars in the parking lot.

They had lots of salsas and AZ honey and such, along with a fairly large produce section. Lots of shoppers in those sections.

Not quite so many perusing the quality souvenirs offerings.
Across the side street is a place to ones purify soul

And your water.

The Opry sign is what caused me to pull over. But under it there was a sort of neighborhood rummage sale going on that had its own attractions.

Sadly, I was short on funds and unable to take advantage of any of the enticing offers.

Now this sign juxtaposition really caught my eye. But I couldn't stay to take many shots. Some "What the Hell" patrons were beginning to arrive and giving me the hairy eyeball. I briefly considered passing out my "Mesa 2010" cards, but had a vision of them being tossed on the asphalt and run over by Harley tires.

Lots of folks have this idea that east Mesa is nothing but one trailer park after another. Well...

Maybe. But they've got a nice view.

So long from Mesa. See you next time!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

April 26 and 27, McKellips and Lindsay

Gee, I didn't think the flash that I used in order to balance out the fact the sign was in shadow would give it such an Area 51 sort of look. Anyway, note the absence of a sidewalk on this residential street just off Lindsay. That seemed to be the norm in this area of large lots with, on some side streets, a semi-rural feeling. Meanwhile, the traffic buzzes by on both Lindsay and McKellips, both of which, thank goodness, had sidewalks. During the forty-five minutes or so I was out, I saw three other pedestrians, one bicyclist and a bit of horse poop. The pedestrians were skittish looking so I didn't try to take their pictures, the fellow on the bike buzzed by on the other side of Lindsay so fast I couldn't get a decent shot, but the horse poop very nicely posed.

I guess there was a good reason why I didn't see any buses.

One side of the Walgreen's marquee

and the other side.

The sidewalk on the other side of Lindsay. No horse poop, just mesquite petals and little rocks from the desert landscaping.

And there is culture to be found.

So long and all the best from Mesa, Arizona.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

April 25, Back to MacDonald and a bit of 2nd Street between MacDonald and Robson

Well, I just noticed that I neglected to take a shot of a street sign today. So we'll go with this shot looking east down 2nd Street from Robson. Not very many streets in Mesa have the sort of setback sidewalks and landscaped medians you find in this part of the city "center", which is actually a whole lot closer to the western edge than the middle anymore.

This house on 2nd Street is really getting the complete makeover. Or at least I hope that is the case. Check out the up close shots I got from the porch. Normally I won't wander on to anybody's property to get my pictures, but in this case I hoped it would be okay.

The porch was the only part of the place that looked like it was habitable.

So it kind of looks like this property is connected with Mesa Southwest Museum.

On the NW corner of MacDonald and 2nd Street. I couldn't find a working link for the Lone Pilgrim congregation, so here's the wikipedia page for the Primitive Baptist Church.

One thing we noticed (my wife was with me on this little jaunt) besides the variety of architectural styles and state of repair we found in this neighborhood was the low lying power lines. They practically drape the place in some areas.

I'm thinking these folks have an interest in Pete's Fish and Chips.

Christine Place Senior Housing. A three story building for seniors? Hope they have elevators!

On MacDonald, just north of Main you'll find Jerry's Barber Salon.

Try clicking on this one to make it big enough to read. It's all about the gentleman who had MacDonald Street named after him. His name, curiously enough, was MacDonald.

Arizona Museum of Natural History. It's a pretty cool place.

Meldrum Mortuary has been in Mesa for a long, long time. And for a second I considered ending this installment with this shot. But I think instead we'll go with.....

Zuzu's Petals

I know I have spent quite a bit of time in the downtown area and Mesa, with about 170 square miles, has a lot more for me to try to get to if this is going to be any sort of look at the place as a whole. I've got to admit that there have been two things that have kept me coming back to downtown. One, it is interesting. Not terribly exciting, mind you, but interesting and it may just be on the verge of becoming exciting and I want to capture how it looks today and then maybe go back in a few years to document the changes. And two, it is easily walkable. I've been paying a lot more attention to how this city is laid out these past few weeks and there is a good reason why you seldom see pedestrians. Ninety-nine percent of this city was built for automobile travel. Plenty of sidewalks, but very few incentives to use them. So I'm going to have to figure out how I'm going to approach most of the rest of the place. I won't be able to just park, take a short walk and expect to find much. We'll see how this works. 

All the best from Mesa, AZ.*

*I'm still working on a good sign-off for this blog. If you have any ideas for me, drop a note!