Saturday, December 13, 2014

Skelita is proud of her new hat

Sophie's been thinking of opening a boutique, but she's worried that rents in the Scottsdale Arts District will be too high. So she's checking out the neighborhood on a gray Friday afternoon. Skelita is along -- and is potentially the first employee -- because Sophie's heard that the fashionable women are all social skeletons.

Are you sure you don't want to stop for ice cream, Skelita? 
Hollywood has its stars on the walk of fame. Scottsdale has sidewalk squares for writers of Westerns, in keeping with its theme of "America's Most Western Town."

Honestly, I thought Riders of the Purple Sage was an alt-country band
Apparently all writers of Westerns had a cabin in Arizona at some point. Zane Grey's was up on the Mogollon Rim, so if he ever set foot in Scottsdale, it was probably by accident, as there was not much here during his lifetime. Scottsdale was a small market town amidst fields of cotton, though Phoenix had offered to send a streetcar line out that-a-ways and been rebuffed, an impasse that continues to this day.

There are already several boutiques and few vacancies, so the gals take a moment to rest by the fountain.

A horse is a horse, of course, of course...
This is the Bob Parks' horse statue, Scottsdale's most photographed landmark. It is not set in Bob Park, though I wouldn't put it past the locals to give a full park name to a piece of land roughly the size of a large hot tub (or even to decide the "hot tub" is the basic unit of measurement instead of quarts and gallons). Bob Parks is the name of the artist, also owner of an art gallery in Scottsdale. (The location of his cabin is unknown.)

After sitting for a few minutes, Sophie and Skelita decide to take the Downtown Trolley over to Old Town.

We rock, and we ride together, you and I, neither here nor there.
The trolley has a route about as logical as tangled knitting, but it reliably fetches up by Bischoff's every now and again. Bischoff's is the region's closest approach to the Jackalope, and it's not really very close, but it has free samples of prickly pear jelly, so there's that. (We in Arizona would like y'all to believe that we live on a hardtack diet of cactus [boiled], steak [wrangled by hand], and nachos with extra jalapeño, but we mostly serve those things to the tourists and order pizza.)
Trolleys have names such as Ollie, Molly, and Rolly.
The gals were quite smug about finding something labeled The Old Mission, since I'm always on about how the Valley of the Sun did not have missions. And yet here's an adobe church, just like in Albuquerque.

Can't you just hear the Franciscan friars chanting... I wonder what they called it?
Mission San Lorenzo del Algodón?
The Old Mission was built in 1933, as Our Lady of Perpetual Help. It was a church for only about 50 years before the parish moved to larger facilities further east. If anything in Scottsdale looks historic, it's fairly safe to assume it was built in the middle of the twentieth century but made up to look ancient.

Across from the not-a-mission is where civic art from the early 1970s goes when it needs a warm winter.

A horseshoe, a W brand, maybe a large rusty scorpion?
Skelita inevitably is fascinated by the stone rose.

It seems somehow... wilted, Sophie.
For a cheerier mood, Sophie and Skelita then repaired to the Mexican Import store, where you can buy a coyote.

How much is that coyote in the window?
The price tag is a tip-off that the coyote is plaster. I'm mostly relieved it wasn't one of those realistic bunny-fur fake animals.

Skelita bought a little skull-patterned pin for decor and her very fine hat, which she's wearing as she waits for the trolley to take her and Sophie back to Fashion Square, where it meets a bus that will take them home.

¡Adiós, amigos!


  1. Hello from Spain: beautiful pictures in America. I like your pictures very much. Your doing a great job. I really know the American history. Keep in touch

  2. Hi Smaller Places, I love to go around with your girls!
    About the Arizona diet: We suspected something like that when we visited two years ago, but the steak was excellent.... LOL
    Skelita has found quite a great hat!

    1. As long as the steak was good... :-) The prickly pear martinis are usually pretty good, too.

  3. Hi Smaller Places! Prickly pear jelly sounds interesting. Hmmm ...

    I LOVE Skelita's hat. Sophie's dress bursts with color.

    Thanks for your outdoor photos. I get to enjoy the sights of Arizona through your lens. There is so much sky. I LOVE the City (Philly) and urban life, but it's pleasant to see a different landscape.

    1. Thanks! Prickly pear jelly is actually quite good. It tastes pink. Barbie probably stocks up when she has layovers at Sky Harbor in her stewardess job.

  4. That coyote is surprisingly realistic - I scrolled by without reading first and assumed he was someone's actual pet!

    1. Equally so in person -- it took me a couple minutes to figure out that approaching was safe!

  5. *clap clap clap* Another wonderful travelogue! I do so enjoy your posts.

    1. Thanks! We're coming up on the season when it's pleasant to be outdoors, so I'm trying to plan more.

  6. Oh, Gosh, beuatifull photos! I have an Skelita too and she plays Death in my MH parallel universe. I was perusing your blog, it is awesome. I recently donated my Moxie Girl because I cut her hair too much... not too much for some else to play with it, but too much for me... what a disaster.