All posts tagged: Arizona

There’s No Place Like Home

As I captioned the above photo on Instagram, things are always changing in Tucson, but also remaining exactly the same. I spent 24 years of my life living in the same city. I was born there, went to school there, fell in love there, made friends there, lost friends there, had loved ones be born there and die there. And when I moved away I had no idea what it would feel like to come back home. When I’m in Tucson I’m bombarded by familiar smells, sounds, and feelings. The air is different, the stars shine brighter, the birds chirp louder. In the summer there’s the smell of creosote and the sound of cicadas. The fall starts off warm, but a coolness eventually rolls in. The winters are chilly and dark and there’s something wonderful about feeling cold in the desert. In the spring the Texas Rangers bloom with bright purple flowers and the smell of sunscreen fills the air as people flock outside before it gets too hot again. While I wouldn’t trade living in …

Revisiting My Undergraduate Thesis Film

As I enter my last year of graduate school, I’ve found myself reflecting on my undergraduate years, almost longing for that simpler time. I’m only 25, yet I’ve been feeling far older, like my age is a scary number that keeps getting larger and larger and more overwhelming. But that’s a different story – one that I may return to in a separate post. This sentimental reflection on my past has led me to revisit some of my older work, such as my senior thesis film, Fruition. So much has changed since I started making Fruition in 2012, and although I haven’t made a notable short film since, I know that my perspective as a creator has evolved significantly. On the one hand, I’m not as naive and am instead somewhat disillusioned and overwhelmed by how little I understand about life itself. On the other hand, I feel more empowered and able to embrace who I am and my unique perspective. I know that I’m somewhat smarter and more equipped to understand others and the world around me. That being …

Bisbee & Tombstone, AZ

Two weeks ago I was in Tucson visiting friends and family, and I took take a day-trip with my sister and headed south to Bisbee, AZ. Bisbee is an old copper mining town that is known for its art, antiques, and eccentricity. And on our way back to Tucson we briefly stopped in Tombstone, the location of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. If you’re ever in Tucson, Bisbee is just a 1.5 hour drive south, and on the way to Bisbee you can check out Tombstone for a walk around an authentic Western town. Bisbee is best experienced over a couple of days, but if one is all you’ve got, it’s still worth the trip. Be sure to check out Discover Bisbee Arizona and Tombstone’s informational website.

Barrio Viejo, Tucson

Last weekend I was searching through my computer and rediscovered these photos I took in Tucson just a little over a year ago. Before moving to Los Angeles, I tried to visit places throughout town that were important to me or that I felt retained a deep connection to the city’s spirit. Barrio Viejo, a neighborhood in downtown Tucson, is one of those places. According to Barrio Viejo’s website, the neighborhood is considered to be the largest collection of 19th century adobe buildings in the United States. In addition to its history, Barrio Viejo’s character and charm is what draws me to the area; each street is brimming with color and energy. It’s also a place where community, family, and supporting local commerce is of the utmost importance. If you ever find yourself in Tucson, I recommend parking in the neighborhood and going for a stroll. And after that, you can discover the rest of what Tucson’s eclectic downtown has to offer.

Video of the Day: Arizona Monsoon

By definition, monsoon refers to a seasonal wind in South and Southeast Asia that brings ample rain, but those of us native to Arizona call our summer rains monsoons too. Last week I was lucky enough to head home to Tucson during spring break, and although it didn’t rain, returning to the desert made me realize just how much I’ve been missing monsoon season. I write about Tucson quite often, but growing up in the Sonoran Desert is a gift that I’ll never take for granted, and I’ll use every opportunity I have to share its character and beauty. I recently came across Monsoon II by Mike Olbinski and couldn’t help but post it. Enjoy, and be sure to check out more of Olbinski’s work on his blog and Vimeo.

Revisiting “Cowtown Keeylocko”

After graduating from The University of Arizona, I landed a dead-end job that I held onto until I found the courage (and opportunity) to move to Los Angeles. One day at work I was feeling especially apathetic, and a charming older man came in to the office and completely brightened my day. His name was Ed Keeylocko, and he had the type of joyful energy that could not be ignored. For business reasons I needed his address, and he told me he lived in Cowtown Keeylocko, AZ. I had never heard of such a place before, so I asked him about it. He said it was his town, and as ridiculous as that may sound coming from someone, I knew he was telling the truth. This guy was special enough to have his own town. After he left the office I decided to do a little research. Where is this Cowtown Keeylocko, and what’s this guys story? I typed his name into Google and found article after article, recounting the story of the man, the myth, the …

College Reflections

This weekend my boyfriend graduated from The University of Arizona, bringing any academic connection I had to my undergraduate experience to a close. I am unbelievably excited for him, but the moment was still a little bitter-sweet. Yesterday we stopped for brunch at a restaurant near the university, and after our meal we decided to go for a walk along the iconic mall that runs down the center of campus. It was an especially wonderful desert winter day and we found ourselves reminiscing about the many years we spent on campus, even before we attended school there. For most Tucsonans, including those who didn’t attend The U of A, there’s something wonderfully sacred and significant about our school. Not only is our campus beautiful, but it’s a sanctuary where anyone can come to learn, explore, and try new things. Whether you’re riding a bike down a path, watching a basketball game, studying, or playing frisbee on the mall, visitors can seek refuge in that wonderful place of discovery. Although I graduated 1.5 years ago, our final walk through campus gave me the closure I …

My Thesis Film

My senior year of college I set out to make a thesis film that reflected my sensibilities and personal aesthetic. Fruition is an experimental short film in which a young woman experiences and perceives abrupt changes in her existence. It’s about the journey of life, which is particularly turbulent between adolescence and adulthood. Fruition screened at I Dream in Widescreen on May 11, 2013 at The Fox Theatre in downtown Tucson, AZ. At the screening it received honorable mention for cinematography, which was done artfully by Santiago Bahti. It has been almost a year since I completed my thesis project and it still boggles my mind just how much work goes into a six minute short film. In retrospect there is so much (I repeat, so much) I would change about my thesis short – but isn’t that the point of school? This project was a lesson (one of many I hope) and I look forward to learning and developing more as I grow into my own style. Heck, I’m even still trying to figure out what I want to spend the rest of my life doing! All I know is, I …

Home

I love where I’m from. If I had to chose one thing that inspires me the most, it would have to be the spirit of Tucson. The people, landscapes, food, culture, art, music – everything. Some day soon I will move away, but my heart will always be here. What makes Tucson amazing is its imperfections. There are ugly parts of town and off-the-wall people who inhabit this city – but without the weirdness I don’t know if it would be as beautiful. There is a sense of community here that I’m not sure if I’ll find anywhere else. As a city we collectively respect our culture, our landscapes, and our history. Growing up in Southern Arizona will always be my greatest inspiration and I am so thankful to call the city of Tucson my home.