Raw Arizona



I didn’t have a particular goal for my last day in Arizona. It was a sorta grab-all day for things I had missed, like the saguaro cactus, the Frank Lloyd Wright residence in nearby Scottsdale and otherwise touristy things (botanical gardens and contemporary art centers and such). I would have done those things too if I didn’t sleep in again (they’re top of my last day in Arizona list for next time). Instead, I chose to do something which had really wanted to do but the perfect weather had prevented: capture a time-lapse in Arizona. Phoenix, by default, would be where I got it.

Arizonans don’t like Phoenix, or perhaps what it represents: The city. Driving through the city, I personally found Phoenix to be a perfectly fine, if not somewhat visually utilitarian city. Many of the homes were built in the Spanish or Adobe styles, with some blending elements of both. The adherence to style and color was impressive if not somewhat oppressive in how well it’s done. Coming from a city like New Orleans that’s built on a marshy-crescent and utilizes conflicting cardinal directions as well as confusing nomenclature for its streets, I appreciated the grid-style, “vulcanesque” sensibilities inherent in Phoenix’s city planning. Leaving the business district and inner portions of the city in the suburbs, this “monochromatic” impulse pays off in that if you get high enough, you can see that some areas are designed in shapes–grand circles, crosses, and even ripples. Sometimes things are more than what they seem. Perspective is everything. I’m sure Wright, with his iconic sense of style, understanding of spirit and form in architecture, understood and accepted this about Phoenix, his final resting place.