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May 28, 2015


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The most notable thing is the number of trees visible unlike today. Picture just cuts off my wife's childhood home at 1st ave. and Coronado.
We "old" Phonician's can only lament the demise of the real Phoenix.
Sic Transit Gloria

The most notable thing is the number of trees visible unlike today.

Well if so it is even more horrid than I thought. At least in the foreground it's all palms. Which cast a spindly shadow....

I've seen ratios that compare beef, pork, chicken, and cultured fish protein per the amount of land they use and methane they spit out. Chicken is easily the ecological "best".

Be curious to know if there is a similar ratio for trees:

Shade thrown off per gallon of H2O

I suspect the thirsty palm would be a huge loser....

Thanks Koreyel, Palm trees are my very least favorites.
Favorite: Desert Willows and Mesquite. And the shade of a mighty Sahuaro. Thete are a number of "Downtown" spots that could be miniature Desert Botanical gardens.
DESERT Botanical Gardens in the Papago Preserve is a great place to walk fall, winter, spring, first summer and Monsoon Summer. No reason a shory spur of the lite rail couldn't go to the zoo, the park and the garden and also south into the Salt River.

The palm trees were beautiful and a much better water investment than sprawl and lakes.

Central and this part of the city was very shady and delightful, all the way through the 1970s when I left.

When I came back, palo verdes and no shade.

Lowbrow city.

Just what the city needed, an idiot using social media to hold a Muslim baiting event.

Done with Dr. Appointments, time to leave crazy town and head back to the high country.

Thanks for the coffee/beer. See you in October.

Ruben, was good to see and visit with you and the others. Hug a tree for me. Meanwhile I got to go to Quartzsite to pickup the camel I left tied to a palm tree at the Old Tyson Well. (Tyson holes in the ground I think showed up in one of Jon's Mapstone Books.) Got to rescue the camel as I heard that a group of from Luther Iowa that winters in Quartsite, decided it wasn't a Christian camel.
Cal from the Shade of a Sahuaro listening to the Quail and Day dreaming about Frog Mountain. Maybe I can buy Dudas a cup of coffee in the shade of Sahuaros near Frog Mountain?
Hasta Luego Amigos

I have yet to see a "beautiful" palm tree big or small. They provide slightly more shade than a Sahuaro. Palo Verdes are fine as long as you live in a one story adobe house and seldom if ever trim them. When I lived in the Slope I much prefered the desert as opposed to the European imposed "Dowtown" landscape and the building construction imported from a different world. You need that stuff move to Europe. Maybe Italy. Now instead of the Small "Oasis" called Phoenix there is a dark ugly and forbiding Canyon. A lone hawk circles high above, a tear forms in his eye, as he circles an sees no sign of prey on the asphalt desert floor.

Jerry ck your emails

I will risk using the old cliche about not seeing the forest for the trees. A careful examination of the background areas of the photo shows many trees other than palms. The palm trees are for aesthetic reasons.
Homes in Phoenix before the wide spread arrival of refrigerated air conditioning used as much foilage as possible to help cool their homes.
Mulberry and Ash trees were ubiquitous.
Central Avenue further north toward Cal's beloved "Slope" actually had trees that virtually formed a canopy over it.
Phoenix, of course, was much smaller and could afford the water use then.

Ramjet, Central Avenue trees were Cottonwoods fed by irrigation on both sides.Thus forming a virtual Tunnel from Bethany Home to The Arizona Canal (halfway between Northern and Dunlap)
There are numerlus pockets of Phoenix that still practice irrigation and have large areas with trees some very huge. Not many irrigation ditches around Cityscape. Maybe a lead in from France where Commercial buildings are required to have rooftop gardens or solar.

I like “low-rise” cities. That is, buildings restricted to the height of a tall tree. Buildings taller must be of significant beauty and in keeping with the TRADITIONAL style of the city. Note that almost all European cities are low rise – with an occasional tall cathedral or government building. Washington D.C. has height restrictions and has given it a pleasant, unique and livable (well at least in some parts) environment.

A CBD with “tall” commercial buildings is OK. But even the CBD needs a height restriction; in the case of Phoenix this should have been at 16-20 stories.

Note the article photo: the foreground largely meets the criteria – except for the church bell tower. The bell-tower is of sufficient beauty to qualify for an exception. The white building next to the church slightly exceeds the criteria.

Interesting timing of the photo (early 60’s). You can see the influence of the god-awful international “style” setting in. Note the civic center; flat roof boxes, no ornamentation, common inexpensive skin, etc. The only non-international features would be the slight eave on the roof and color. Remove the eave and make it white, black or beige and it’s international. Note that there is nothing that would indicate what the buildings are; they could just as easily be office buildings or a school.

I don’t see a single pedestrian in the photo. Even by the early 60’s, Phoenix was car-centric for the most part.

WKG, a good post. I forgot to mention that a cool adobe house is one story that hugs the desert soil and has a dirt floor and plenty of windows that open.

@Cal: I’ve always liked the adobe style – in the right context – like Az. or N.M. Don’t like so much in the wrong context.

In the wrong context, it can be interesting, but problematic. In Birmingham, there’s a neighborhood known as “Hollywood”. It was built in the late 20’s and early 30’s. It is noted for its “significant for the Mission Revival and Spanish Colonial Revival architectural style of surviving houses and other buildings”. There are 412 buildings (mostly houses) in the neighborhood.


I like the neighborhood and it’s interesting to walk around in. Houses there are very expensive. But, all in all, it just seems out of place.
I’ve seem articles about a desert style of house I find interesting. The houses are built in the shape of a squared off “O” with an interior atrium. Then the whole thing is sunk into the ground.

Low-rise cities I like: Savannah, Charleston, Saint Augustine.

Let's talk cottonwoods. They were truly ubiquitos. Every lateral ditch (mile division) i.e. lateral 14, 15, etc had huge cottonwoods because of the availabe water. I personally did not like them because they blew my allergies away.
Adobe houses had walls that were at least a foot thick. It was called natural insulation.
P.S. Posting after a bunch of "cervases"{ requires a lot of editing

Pax to all

OOPS the lite rail does go to the Salt.

A more recent photo of Central Avenue looking south toward downtown:


The photo was taken in 2010 so there are many mid-rise buildings missing (e.g. Roosevelt Row, ASU/UofA Downtown campuses, etc.). There are still plenty of palm trees in Central Phoenix and it remains very green. Central Avenue is not as studded with palms as in the past but Central no long is a 6 lane parkway thanks to light rail and wider sidewalks.

Beautiful Palm trees. In the 50's I picked low hanging dates from Palms near the Arizona Republic Newspapers Ranch on east Camelback Road. The groves were thick and provided shade rather than the thin poles used for "aesthetic" reasons on Phoenix streets. Attached are photos of various Palms and how they can be incorporated into real shade vegetation.

Palms, another great thing brought to the Americas by the marauding religious priests sent by the their queen.


Phoenix from Westward Ho Hotel, 1930

and one of my favorite movie houses.

Some green:

Just for Jon,

High rise city pollution.

And Salt Lake

One of Jon's local supporters is Stacey Champion. She is a fine person, dedicated to helping people. Here is a couple of her issues.
Stacey Champion, who founded sustainability group Rogue Green, recommended that cool roofs be part of the city code in order to mitigate the urban heat island effect, a phenomenon in which human activities cause a metropolitan area to be warmer than the surrounding rural area. Cool roofs ...

The Planet Earth: Will you leave your grandchildren a place to live.

I like palm trees, although maybe not so much in orderly rows. To me, Palm Canyon is spectacular. I don't object to invasive species, since I am one, but eucalyptus and oleander is nasty. The Carobs and the Aleppo pines in the older neighborhoods are both aesthetically pleasing and provide excellent shade, although carobs do have that smell; can't remember how long it lasted, but who could forget that smell? I'd still have one if I lived there, though.


"In the 50's I picked low hanging dates."

I didn't know bra burning started that far back.


Ruben I figured u would pick up on that

That picture of SLC looks almost Beijin-ish.

That should read, Beijing-ish.

Petro I posted the Planet Earth Philosopher page just for U and anticipate a response that will make me ask a lot of questions?

Cottonwoods, canals, laterals, roads, Denny Gleason and his old Ford SW loaded with paint.

cal, I'll check my emails today! Safe travels Ruben.

Here's a fun link:


AZ racing for the lead (bullet and otherwise).

my old stomping grounds. note the abundance of trees and grass.

My old high school where I rumbled with the Pachucos and the White Russians. Note the height of the landscape and buildings.

A good site for old valley photos.


first central avenue bridge over salt river.


View of my old home from South Mountain in one of the routine dust storms.


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