February 04 – The Rialto Theater

02-04 Rialto post

The Rialto Theater is one of the most recognizable buildings on Tucson’s most recognizable street. Situated on Congress Street across from the famous Hotel Congress, The Rialto opened its doors in 1922 with silent films and vaudeville performances.

I moved to Tucson in 2001. At the time, the University of Arizona was a construction zone, as was a great deal of University Boulevard. Congress Street felt like a ghost town during the daytime, but a handful of businesses kept the heart of downtown pumping – especially The Grill, which only recently closed its doors.

Paying the university a premium for the privilege to listen to jackhammers and to perpetually circumnavigate rent-a-fenced holes in the ground are but two of many disappointing experiences. The 24 hour availability of tater tots at The Grill and the wonderful performers that The Rialto attracted would be the other side of the coin; the downtown scene was among the greatest things I remember from those early college days.

Today’s ‘photograph of the day’ wasn’t made with a vintage camera like the others. It was made with what we’d consider a toy camera. Weighing in at only twelve ounces – the most forgiving weight of any camera – my first plastic “Holga” model camera cost about twenty bucks brand new. The unpredictable exposures, light leaks, and low-tech aesthetic these cameras produce have seen them grow in popularity over the past twenty years. When I last checked, the same model camera I’ve been shooting with costs somewhere in the neighborhood of fifty dollars.

Film isn’t dead. Neither are Daguerreotypes, for that matter. Historians, enthusiasts, and hobbyists will always keep these old methods alive. Thanks to Hollywood directors who prefer to shoot on film, popular low-tech products like the Holga (which attracts photo nerds like myself), and the infinite resource that is the internet, film will always be out there – even if it’s lost its relevance.


January 18 – Farewell, Glenn (take it easy)

Glenn Frey post

“You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.”
– – –

I don’t care how Jeff Lebowski feels about it, I’ve always loved The Eagles.

I was hiking along the Kansas River again this afternoon waiting for the sun to go down, hoping for some good color in the sky and some glassy reflections in the water. I looked at my phone and saw the notification from The Associated Press that The Eagles founding member Glenn Frey had passed away; he and drummer Don Henley formed the band in Los Angeles in the early 1970s, along with guitarist Bernie Leadon and bassist Randy Meisner. He passed away in New York in the company of loved ones. He was 67 years old.

It seems like a cruel joke to have so many beloved artists and musicians dying in such quick succession. Lemmie, Bowie, Rickman, and Frey are on a lot of minds right now, and the world seems a little colder knowing these people have left us. We’re all in the process of learning how to mourn in a way that we hadn’t a generation ago. Our rituals are changing, and social media is playing a significant role; it’s a magnificent engine that drives sad news into viral proportions in faster-than-light speed.

As with the previous deaths over the past week, I present you tonight not with a photograph of the day, but an illustration in commemoration of our friend. As with Bowie and Rickman, Frey will remain with us in our mix tapes and records, on the screen, and in our memories.

And I feel it important to echo what a friend of mine wrote earlier today:
“Someone needs to get a team of doctors to [keep an eye on] McCartney, Mick Jagger, Simon, and Taylor stat! We demand wellness checks!”

Now turn on the radio. Live in the fast lane or take it easy. Whichever makes you happy.