Ten years ago on a road trip with friends, Carina Auler stopped at the Cup Café at the Hotel Congress for a drink.
"We ended up staying for a week and fell in love with this city," says the German photographer. Every year, she returns to the States, hauling her 30-year-old Pentax camera. "It's one of my favorite countries to visit," says Auler of the wide sky and extremes of colors, shapes and silences, as well as the general dynamic of the place.
Auler always stays at the Hotel Congress when she comes through town, and the quirky landmark seems to figure in many of her pictures. I Love Tucson: A Photographic Journey reveals her love for this particular dusty end of the country and its landscape amidst the vastness we call home.
Auler admits that she likes the idea of her pictures rousing emotions. It makes sense that she'd feel that way, considering her life is split between her passion for photography and her work as a clinical psychologist.
Come meet the Dusseldorf clinician with a shutter box eye at the opening reception for her show. You can view her work through Oct. 30 any time you like. The hotel's lobby is always open.
Stand in your living room; take a long, deep breath; and fill your lungs with refreshing air.
How many deadly indoor environmental pollutants did you just suck up? Many more than you think. Mark Sneller's new book, A Breath of Fresh Air, is a reference manual for the lay person to discern how to clean up that toxic waste site in your own home.
Sneller has worked in cancer and allergy research at several major universities before he began his indoor air quality company in Tucson in 1979. You'll be happy to know that he currently guides folks in New York's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene as a bioterrorism consultant.
Sneller's interest in air quality is buttressed by decades of evolutionary new technologies. Our lives may seem easier, but as a result, we're breathing in a lot more toxins. Respiratory health has taken the biggest punch. The air inside our houses and offices has become heavily contaminated by the conveniences of modern living. Dr. Sneller has sniffed out ways we could all become better informed about the invisible foes that make us seriously ill.
Find out how to reduce the fumes from cleaning products you use every day. Discover how to breathe easier around your pets. Check out if your indoor air is giving you a terminal disease. Learn why household products aren't even regulated for air safety.
The reading and discussion are free.
Where were you in 1977 when you saw your first Chevrolet Corvette Stingray? (I was probably listening to Earth Wind & Fire and wondering if high school was ever going to end.)
You could be the lucky winner at 5 p.m. when the folks at the annual Casa Car Show select a name from the mess of raffle tickets. Apparently this Corvette has only 90,000 original miles, the original factory interior, T-tops, factory air conditioning and a premier sound system installed by The Specialist (whoever he is--and you know it's a guy).
But the real reason people go to the annual event is to see the cars. Awards are presented for the best vehicle prior to 1960, 1980 and after 1981. Car clubs vie for the best display. There are more than 800 specialty cars to ogle at. Plus there's live entertainment, an international food festival and activities for the kids.
Proceeds benefit all the good services and programs at Casa de los Niños. Suggested donation is $1 for adults. Kids 16 and younger get in free. Raffle tickets cost $5 apiece or $20-$100 for multiple packages.
Words like "virtuoso" and "harmonica" don't usually sit together in the same sentence.
Mike Turk developed a passion for harmonica in his early teens, learning licks off albums by leading Chicago blues harp players Paul Butterfield, Little Walter and James Cotton.
Born in the Bronx, Turk moved to Boston in the mid-'70s to study at the esteemed Berklee College of Music. He's still there on the faculty. Toots Thielemans said of Turk, "He's a fiery player who makes a harmonica statement that should reach out beyond the harmonica audience."
He prizes the spontaneous over the formulaic and uses his command of the harmonica to convey every possible nuance of feelings. His treasure trove of expressive riffs has livened the soundtracks of films such as City of Hope, Lonestar and Dick Tracy. Turk has also recorded with the big guys--from the Temptations to the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
The Tucson Jazz Society pairs Turk with the Jeff Haskell Trio featuring three of Tucson's acclaimed jazz musicians--Haskell on piano, Fred Hayes on drums and Ed Friedland on bass. Tickets for the outdoor concert cost $12 for adults, $8 for TJS members, $5 for students and $3 for TJS JazzWerx students. Call to reserve a seat or buy tickets an hour before the concert at the door.
Zeitgeist launches its seventh season in its emerging voices improv jazz series. This week, if you're quiet and ready to take in the never-predictable riffs, you'll hear something wild seeping out of Tucson's Amilcar Guevara and his Latin Jazz Sextet.
Pianist and composer Guevara has been standing out in this town's Latin jazz scene for the past two decades. Now he's leading his own gig. The band includes other local lights--Matt Mitchell strums his seven-string guitar; Greg Armstrong blows soprano and tenor sax and the flute; Adam Levy's on the electric bass; Gil Rodriguez bangs on the drums; and Bob Moreno organizes the percussion section.
The series gives voice to local and regional improvising artists, mostly on the first Monday of the month--not to be mistaken with Zeitgeist's Jazz at the Institute concert series that brings touring artists from all over to Tucson during their seven-concert season. Never a dull (or quiet) moment at the Institute.
Tickets cost seven bucks at the door.
It's a visceral image seeing the black, vinyl, zippered pouch that holds the remains of someone who's died--whether it's remembering body after body heaped out of Vietnam (our first televised war) or the small but growing number of images of dead U.S. soldiers seeping out of Iraq.
Fernando Suarez de Solar, of Escondido, Calif., lost his 20-year-old-son, U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Jesus A. Suarez de Solar Navarro, in our current military invasion on March 27 (at least we were still "at war" then). Fernando had doubts about the morality and legality of the U.S. invasion. He kept them to himself. But now, he's become a national spokesman for pro-peace and counter-recruitment activism.
The event is sponsored by many local and national organizations including Tucson Counter-Recruitment Coalition, Alliance for Peace and Justice in the Middle East and Desert Vista MEChA. Find out what Suarez thinks about the military's offer to award his son citizenship posthumously. Bring a few kids who think joining the military might be a fun way to spend their post-high school years. Suarez has a few myths to debunk about the reality of military recruitment.
Suarez has recently lost his job due to his outspoken mission for peace. Your $5 donation offsets some of his financial needs.