Tucson: There's More to It Than Tragedy
|Tucson: Isn't she a beaut?|
That's a shame.
You see, our neighbor to the south is much more than a place where six people lost their lives and Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was severely injured. Arizona's second-largest city, which is the perfect marriage of big-city conventions with small-town attitude, boasts a heavy-hitting cultural scene that larger cities tend to swallow and quaint towns can't ever sustain.
Located approximately 120 miles from Phoenix, Ansel Adams, the most popular American photographer of our time, thought Tucson was cool enough to create a place for his archives. Today, the Center for Creative Photography, established in 1975, is the best photo archive in the States and one of the tops in the world. This is the place that you go to see both famous and obscure works by Adams, Edward Weston, and Garry Winogrand.
|A work by Tucson-based artist Lisa Robinson|
"[Tucson's] art scene is very close-knit, supportive, and unified," says Carol Panaro-Smith, a Phoenix-based creative type who's represented by Etherton Gallery, one of Tucson's most legit contemporary art venues. "There are a number of really talented people there that I plan on showing in Phoenix."
Getting the feeling that Tucson is pretty cool?
The town can also brag about housing larger cultural institutions. The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum has been lauded as one of the nation's best zoos while the Pima Air and Space Museum, site of the famed "airplane graveyard" scene in Can't Buy Me Love (the 1987 flick was filmed in Tucson), displays more than 250 historic air vessels.
|The scene at El Presidio Historic District, Tucson's oldest 'hood.|
Combine that with a stroll through neighborhoods like the Spanish-built El Presidio Historic District, a bike ride through the cycle-friendly city, or a night out alongside strolling minstrels in one of the country's top mariachi hotbeds, you've basically got all that and a bag of chips in the Old Pueblo.
This is what Tucson should be known for.