0584 A Different sort of American City (USA 103—revisit)
Tucson Travel Blog› entry 8 of 92 › view all entries
For all of my youth,
See, being an American living in
And yet, as I struggled in
Anyways, back to
There were some hilights from the visits I made to
But the memories that stick in my mind the most are memories of walking down streets with no signs of life to them, along identical looking boulevards, past strip malls with all the exact same corporate franchises on them… feeling like I was in some sort of futuristic world where humans never step outdoors.
I know this sounds very biased-- I know that there are plenty of folks in Tucson who lived exciting, adventurous lives and appreciate the outdoors… but this was the impression I had, and it was this impression that kept me from ever moving here permanently, no matter how rough things got down in Mexico.
And now, 10 years since my last visit, I’m back again.
Now, of course, the fear of getting trapped here is gone… So I should be able to look at this city with a new set of eyes. This is just another city to discover. Another city that I’m sure has something unique about it and a culture that I can appreciate.
The Long Hike to
I could just catch a bus from the airport to the center of town, but that would be to easy. I want this to be a conquest, an adventure… so I’m going to hike all the way from the airport to the city. “Southside neighborhoods of
Right in front of the airport terminal, a couple of Asian tourist are excitedly taking pictures of each other in front of a cactus. Of course… if you’ve never seen a desert before or a saguaro cactus, I guess this place probably looks pretty amazing.
I continue on north, past the typical car rental lots and hotels, on through a section of scrub with an occasional warehouse or industrial building. Even way out here, the streets are in a perfect grid like pattern, with dirt roads going out at perfect perpendicular angles. It almost seems like the plan is to ultimately turn the entire state of
I finally reach a residential development, which is completely walled in. Why? Are they really in danger of thieves and burglars way out here? After my hike through
This stretches on for a couple of miles. I head west for a bit to see if the next boulevard over is any more interesting. Off in the middle of a barren field, I see a little portable taco stand with a couple of tables around. I’m tempted, but I decide I need to wait until
Maybe I look scruffier than I thought…
Finally I reach a non walled off neighbourhood where I get a good glimpse of a typical Tucsonian home.
After living in the
I’m actually intrigued by this new “culture” I’ve discovered. A culture where no one is trying to impress their neighbors and where-- at least in terms of lodging-- people are perfectly content with the absolute basics… This is a whole new side of
Now, I’m sure there there are very fancy neighborhoods here in
I pass one house where the owner takes it to a whole new level-- he actually uses all his miscellaneous household junk as a sort of modern art display-- arranging and hanging it “artistically” all around his front yard…
I’m actually starting to like this city a little bit.
I pass a grassy, pleasant family park with a bit of activity going on-- but I decide to pass it up… I really want to find a place to take my video clip before dusk, just in case this is my only day touring
I continue on north past the rodeo grounds and up through a Mexican themed neighbourhood with some brightly colored shops… But even here there are just clusters of shops in between huge barren fields. Technically I’ve been hiking through the “city” for several hours, and yet, it never really feels like “city”
Here there are a bunch of shuttle van businesses, offering a quick ride to
Not much farther, I cross Interstate 10, the main artery that connects
… This ends up being the end of my