Today started off with a clap of thunder and a brief down pour. Then the skies cleared and the wind rushed in. It was really blowing hard, so much so that bicycling was taken off the table.
This is the Mercado San Agustin. It's near the tracks of the modern street car and is a delightful place for coffee. My one knock on it is the complete lack of grab and go sandwiches or something like what you see in the coolers at Starbucks. There are two excellent restaurants there, but if you're on a bike ride it's too much food and too much time.
There is a new neighborhood near the Mercado that I've been wanting to look at since last year. When I think about living in Tucson, this is what is in my mind. The sterile monochromatic brown neighborhoods are just not doing much for me. This is what I'm thinking about.
Although the houses look like they're touching each other, they aren't. There is an inch between them so they are stand alone. Construction is cement block with stucco over the blocks. Each house is unique; the owner designs the house with one of the two architectural firms that are working the development. How do I know all of this? We were walking down a street and a home owner flagged us down and invited us in to see their house. It's just gorgeous. They have a beautiful covered patio in the front and a small courtyard in the back. It's designed so that when they are old and rickety, all living can be done on the first floor. Currently they're using both floors, but when the day comes they can stay in the house. They even did a wheel chair accessible shower.
The mural is on the side of one of the houses. Garages are in the back, so they're long houses front to back. The neighborhood is designed to be walkable, and people know each other.
Jim and I engage in an on going discussion of "the final resting place." Where do we live when we become too rickety to live in the bus? So far, Tucson is the least worst place, but summers are just brutal. Then again, if you're that rickety, odds are that you'll be inside a lot. We waffle between buying a house, just waiting it out and going from the bus to assisted living, to some sort of orbit between two houses. To add to our indecision, what's going to happen to the economy? What if our new administration kills the dollar? What if we get nuked because our foreign policy is so heinous? We're loathe to spend any money in case I can't get on Medicare (one year away). I feel like I'm stuck with permanent brain freeze.
Anyway, this neighborhood is really cool, with the following caveats. An apartment building will be going up right next door to it. If it's occupied by UofA students that will be bad. The U makes no effort to mitigate students' bad behavior and its effects on the neighborhoods they infest. It's also pretty close to a very low income part of town. I don't know if I would feel safe using the modern street car after dark. So, despite its high coolness factor, I doubt we'll move on it.
On the other hand, you're able to walk to the Mercado and eat at Seis, a Mexican restaurant. We split this torta for lunch and it was just to die for. The green thing peeking out of the torta is a battered and fried green chile. It was all so good. Fortunately we had the good sense to split the order.
So that was today, it was very pleasant strolling and lunching out. We went out to Summit Hut to try on hiking boots, but there was no joy to be found. My evil feet could not be satisfied with anything.