Monday, December 30, 2013

Garden of Gethsemane

I last visited this special little place (very small!) in 2007. It's an isolated spot just west of I-10. Though a sign at the entrance says this place is under renovation, it's open... and as peaceful as ever.

The City of Tucson lists this as a Tucson Special Place. I like the description on the website, from the Tucson Convention and Visitors Bureau:
“In return for prayers answered during World War I, Tucsonan Felix Lucero began work on sculptures depicting biblical scenes. The result: this lovely park at 602 W. Congress St. on the west bank of the Santa Cruz River. Now it's city-maintained and open from dawn to dusk. You'll find shade trees and, across Congress St., Tucson's official largest eucalyptus tree.”

I took these photos on April 17, 2007.

Location: Just west of I-10 and the Santa Cruz River on the north side of Congress. (Note: both Google Maps and Bing Maps currently have the wrong location. Mapquest gets it right.)

Hours: Around 8 AM to dusk. (A City worker comes to unlock and lock the gate.)

Update (April 29, 2015): Good news and bad news. The good is that I found a City of Tucson video published on March 4, 2014 titled Gethsemane Statuary Restored. The sickening news, less than a year later, is the City press release The Garden of Gethsemane Closed Due to Vandalism.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Parque de San Cosme

Back on December 30, 2011, I posted an entry to the Tucson Murals Project blog about Parque de San Cosme, a new little park south of the city's new fire station complex. Click there to see the great murals at the park.

But there's much more than murals in this little gem. One is that it's close to downtown... and the new streetcar will stop close by. (From the stop, you can hop on your bicycle and cruise the bike path that runs by the park.) Until the streetcar opens for business next year, you can also drive to the park (though the address is listed as 496 West Cushing Street, the park is actually just south of there on Simpson Street). Here's a Google Map with the marker on the spot.

The park's listing on Tucson's Parks & Rec “Special Places” webpage says it well:
Located near Cushing and Simpson, and next to the little chapel of San Cosme, this park includes a gazebo, a colorful mural, pathways, desert landscaping, orange trees, and a memorial to Barrio Viejo. A historic railroad photo exhibit sits along the pedestrian/bicycle path that follows the preserved El Paso-Southwestern Railroad tracks. The gazebo can be rented...
Update (March 3, 2014): A few photos showing the church, benches, the gazebo, and part of the mural (which you can see better in the Tucson Murals Project entry I mentioned above):

Location: 460 Simpson Street, a few blocks east of the I-10 east frontage road.

Hours: 6 AM - 10:30 PM

Monday, December 16, 2013

Jacome Plaza

November 24th, on the very familiar walk near the main library to the Tucson Museum of Art (where I volunteer as the museum's event photographer... if you'd like to see photos of one especially fun evening, click there), I passed through the western end of Jácome Plaza.

If you've walked through the Pima County Courthouse (with its bright dome), you've probably seen this pocket park. (If you haven't, here's a satellite view from Google Maps.)

The most fun part for me is the set of “viewers” — for instance, the one in the first photo that shows the same scene through various lenses. (You can click on the photo for a larger view.)

Here's a photo of this part of the plaza:

The page About Joel D. Valdez Main Library - Jácome Plaza has much more information, including the history of Jácome’s Department Stores. (You can even book the plaza for special events.)

Location: Downtown, just west of the main library: on Church, half a block north of Pennington.

Hours: You can walk through anytime, though the plaza may technically be “closed”... there may also be homeless folks camped out on benches, etc. Daytime is probably most fun, anyway, because there's more to see with the viewers.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Bicycle Park (and former air pump)

As you may have seen on other blogs of mine, I ride my bicycle around Tucson's back streets to find art… and Pocket Parks. So, imagine my delight when — on June 30th — I came across this tiny park for bicyclists:

It's tucked away, in a neighborhood between Campbell and Treat, a block north of 6th Street. It even has — well, had — an electric air pump for bicycle tires:

(Brass part stolen, I'm guessing, by metal thieves. Sigh.)

Monday, December 2, 2013

Sunny strip on 22nd

Earlier this year (I think it was …), I noticed earth-moving equipment along the north side of 22nd between the railroad overpass and Tucson Boulevard. By July 28th, the scene looked like this:

I don't know whether there are plans for more development, but it already looks like a pocket park to me!

Location: Northwest corner of East 22nd & Tucson Boulevard

Hours: Probably always open. (Not much light here at night, though.)