Monday, May 6, 2019

Prospective Pocket Park near Grant & Country Club

Back on February 18th, I saw the KGUN 9 TV story Midtown neighborhood association aims to keep vagrants out of nearby parklet. The neighborhood was planning a pocket park; the video showed what looked like an empty lot with some bushes and trees. If the neighborhood was strong enough to call for help and be on TV news, I thought the spot might be developed soon. So I waited a few months to see what happened.

I stopped by yesterday. The bushes were flowering, but not much else seemed to have changed. The video showed an interview with the neighborhood association president and mentioned that the parklet is owned by the Tucson Department of Transportation.


For now, you'll want to bring your own chairs, etc. The trees don't provide much shade.

Location: Take Edison east from Country Club or Rita south from Grant.

Hours: 7 am to 7 pm (the neighborhood seems to be serious about this…)

Parking: Street parking

Monday, February 4, 2019

Parklet patios and art-filled walls at TMC

Where can you find 10 or 20 parklets within a couple hundred feet of each other? That would be the main hospital building at Tucson Medical Center. Most of the patient rooms surround landscaped interior patios, and all of those patios are accessible from the main hospital hallways.


Some patios have a theme. For instance, the Hummingbird Patio is designed to attract hummingbirds; there's information along the wall inside. As time goes on, more patios are being landscaped in special ways — thanks to TMC Foundation donors.


If it's a hot day, TMC is a place to come for the great art that's being added along the hallways — again, thanks to donors. A curator chooses the art, and it's high-quality.


Want to stretch your legs? Pick up a map at one of the information desks, or use their website and app from tmcaz.com/findmyway to navigate the endless air-conditioned hallways. There are several cafes, and the main cafeteria has a salad bar that's been fresh and tasty every time I've tried it. (I asked the curator of the art program; she says that there's currently no map showing where the art is. I think they're adding it so quickly that it's hard to keep a map up to date!) Here's a section of the map showing a number of named patios:


I took the photos on May 25, 2018. The website screen shot was made January 29, 2019.

LOCATION: The main hospital building, north of Grant between Beverly and Craycroft. The entrance at the southwest corner is almost directly across the street from the parking garage, but it's closed at night.

HOURS: 24 hours (though Security may ask questions if they spot you wandering the halls late at night). A fair number of patios are unlit, and remember that there are patients trying to rest in the rooms surrounding some patios.

PARKING: During days and early evenings, you'll probably have the best luck at one of the parking garages. The small surface lot near the southwest entrance is best left for Emergency Room patients.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Eastside City Hall Outdoor Enhancement

Not far from the previous parket, this “outdoor enhancement” to people in Tucson city government (as it's named on a plaque) is a “parklet” to me. David Aber, who found the place and sent photos on August 9, 2018, mentioned that the building also serves as the home to City Council Ward 2.

Let’s start with an overview showing the three wooden benches, ashtray and a mosaic stream on the east side of the main entrance. A tree (just off the left edge of the photo, behind the closer bench) gives some shade:


The mosaic “pond” underneath the (metal?) “pussywillow” has desert flora plus a Gila Monster and turtle:




There are other clever places for art in this little spot. One is a utility payment drop box with a sheet metal cut-out of a saguaro. Another is a utility box with a mosaic mural and a big sign about dumping…


The plaque I mentioned lists, along with the people who helped create this place, the artist as Mark Flickinger.

Hours: During the day, at least

Parking: Street parking

Location: On the north side of Speedway, a few blocks east of Pantano Wash