All posts tagged: Tucson

Fundraising in Honor of My Dad

Join me & my family in our efforts to support the Liver Life Walk in honor of Kit Van Valkenburg. My dad died from complications due to his liver transplant in August, 2018. He had been diagnosed with liver disease over a decade earlier, but his doctor believed he had likely been suffering from the disease many years before then. According to the American Liver Foundation, millions of Americans have liver disease but don’t know it. As participants in the Liver Life Walk, my family and I are hoping to help in the fight against liver disease in honor of my dad, and raise funds to support the ALF’s mission to “promote education, advocacy, support services and research for the prevention, treatment and cure of liver disease.” Every dollar we raise will make a difference in the lives of the millions of Americans living with liver disease. By making a donation in honor of Kit Van Valkenburg, you will be helping the American Liver Foundation provide critical funding for public education, patient support services, and …

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 …

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.

Moving Away From Home & Easing the Transition

It doesn’t matter what point in your life you find yourself, moving away from home can be extremely difficult. Although I’ve been in Los Angeles for four months now and absolutely love it, I’m still dealing with the complications of a transitioning lifestyle. I thought moving to California would be a simple change because I came with my boyfriend, already knew a few people in the city, and am just a quick flight away from home. I visited often enough to be absolutely sure that I wanted to call Los Angeles home (thank goodness I didn’t move and discover I hate it), but I completely underestimated the fact that such a substantial change would come with a few bumps in the road. No matter how old you, where you’re going, or where you’re coming from, uprooting and forging a new path can be complicated, lonely, and stressful. Based on my experiences thus far, here are a few tips I have for anyone moving away from home: 1. You will probably be spending more time alone, and that’s okay. Before moving, and especially during college, I was …

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.