Thursday, May 28, 2009

Arizona driving tour, day six

After Bisbee we drove back up to Phoenix, gradually making our way back to Las Vegas and our plane ride home.

After a few hours of shopping and eating a surprisingly lackluster meal, we showed up at the legendary Pizzeria Bianco at 4:30. That's half an hour before they open, and there was already a pretty long line. By the time it was our turn to give our name the estimated wait time was around 3 hours. No matter, we made sure not to come hungry.

Most people wait around at the various outdoor tables, drinking wine provided by Bar Bianco nextdoor. This is how we spent most of our wait (minus the wine--we're not that sophisticated). But first we took a walk around the neighborhood.

The restaurant is about half a mile from the Arizona Diamondbacks baseball stadium. Look at how happy Dave is! If only there were a game going on. At just $5 a ticket for the upper deck seats, that would be a pretty fun way to wait for your pizza.

But you better not do spit tobacco. Can I join the No Chew Crew?

Outside the stadium there is a huge audiokinetic sculpture by George Rhoads, in which small metal balls move around a labyrinth of twists and turns. Our first introduction to his work was a much smaller one inside the lobby of the Jacob Burns Film Center, which is captivating enough. But there's so much going on, so much to look at here.

At some point the snake eats the ball and then it travels through his body.

These guys do the wave (I forget what triggers it exactly).

This guy in the middle is my favorite.

After dragging Dave away from the sculpture we walked back down to Roosevelt Row, though it was a little too late to visit any of the shops and galleries. For some reason there are all these empty lots, which kind of look like they once contained buildings that have been recently razed. Either way it gives the place a spooky bombed out look (not that this is inherently a bad thing).

And I don't know why, but palm trees always make run-down areas feel even seedier (and that's not some kind of a silly tree-related pun!). Maybe it's the contrast between the tropical paradise they're supposed to convey and their actual surroundings.

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