Tempe, Arizona is home to Arizona State University and located in the heart of the Valley of the Sun. I am no stranger to Tempe, graduating from both high school and University. Many years later, I am back to walk down memory lane and explore my hometown. Tempe is no longer just a college town in the shadow of Phoenix and Scottsdale, this little town has grown up! Offering an amazing variety of excellent independent restaurants, shops, and activities, Tempe is a wonderful blend of modern and hip fitting along the rich history of the town.
Visiting twice in the last two months, I have discovered some new and wonderful activities and am reminded of the spots that are better than ever. Here are my recommendations for the Best of Downtown Tempe Activites, Shopping, and Dining.Continue reading Best of Downtown Tempe, Arizona→
Casa Roig is more than a museum, it is a glimpse into the life of a wealthy sugar plantation owner, an architectural first in the region, restoration in progress, as well as a lovely exhibit hall for local artists.
Sugar production shaped the Caribbean culture in many ways including wealth distribution and overall agriculture. Casa Roig is a unique Prairie House style architecture build by renowned Czechoslovakian architect Antonin Nechodoma in the Frank Lloyd Wright influenced style of building. This house was unique to the region and would appear modern, futuristic even compared to the local buildings at the time.
Located in the heart of Humacao, Puerto Rico, Museo Casa Roig is hidden on a small street. A street that I have hurriedly driven down, not noticing this delightful two story former plantation owner’s home now restored and converted into a museum and art gallery. Continue reading Casa Roig Museum→
Perched on top of Cleopatra Hill in the heart of Verde Valley, Arizona is the old mining town of Jerome. Once a bustling copper mining town, Jerome officially became a ghost town in the 1950’s and finally a National Historic District in 1967.
Jerome is a family favorite for me since the 1970’s. Every time I visit Jerome, there is something new to see! This little ghost town is a hidden gem bustling with activity. There are hotels, restaurants, wineries and tasting rooms, art galleries, museums, and old fashion saloons!
The views are stunning throughout the town! Customers line up at the various restaurants and wineries that showcase the view. One of the most popular spots is the delicious Haunted Hamburger restaurant.
This little town is full of eerie sights and locations haunted by former residents from the days as the “Wickedest Town in the West”. These spirits continue to offer ghost hunters more questions around the strange apparitions and unexplained moving objects. The town’s Community Center is also known as Spook Hall due to a resident ghost and her odd behavior. The former brothels on Main Street are still popular for sightings of phantoms. These spirits continue to offer ghost hunters more questions around the strange apparitions and unexplained moving objects.
Puerto Rico is known for amazing beaches and a variety of rum drinks, including the famous Pina Colada. What about Art? Today, I set out to explore the art scene in Puerto Rico, starting with the capital of San Juan.
My first stop was the Centro de Bellas Artes de Puerto Rico. The building is surrounded by outdoor sculptures, murals, and paintings (FREE Activity). Early morning is the best time to visit, it is quiet, cool, and empty. I had the entire plaza to myself, with The Muses. These eight bronze female life-size sculptures are dedicated to the types of arts and culture found within the center; music, theater, literature, dance, films (my favorite pictured below), architecture, sculpture, and painting. Inside are three main concert and theater halls for plays, ballet, operas, symphony, concerts, and festivals. With a bit of planning, a performance here may be in my future.
Joined by Brenda from Traveleira, we ate a delicious brunch nearby, then walked to the Museo de Art de Puerto Rico, home to an eclectic assortment of local art. The docents (gallery workers) are polite, multilingual, knowledgeable, and passionate about the art. There are some beautiful, and thought provoking pieces which the docents are eager to discuss and admire with you. Paintings, sculpture, contemporary pop-art, modern art, impressionism, and more are represented in the gallery. With such a variety of styles, there are pieces that I immediately connected with and others that are not to my liking. The building itself is a simple design in a bright, whitewash surrounded by palm trees. The same air conditioners and humidifiers that protect the art, also are a cool refreshing break in the heat of the day. The cost of admission is very reasonable at $6 for an adult, with student, children, seniors, and other discounts. Continue reading Museum of Art Puerto Rico→
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