Best Of Tucson®

The BOT Interview: Gary Patch and Darren Clark

Gary Patch and Darren Clark are partners in Patch and Clark Design, a multimedia and interior-design firm which has done work at Hotel Congress, the Rialto Theatre and the Tucson Weekly midtown bureau.

Best way to swap and shop with your neighbors?

Darren: Brush-and-bulky pickup. It's cathartic.

Gary: You can get rid of your shit, but you can get more shit.

Darren: And you also get insight into your neighbor's private lives that they wouldn't readily share. I go around looking to see what people are getting rid of.

Gary: I've picked up stuff because you can.

Darren: Or you call friends and say, "I've found a present for you." It's shopping for friends on the cheap.

Gary: Sometimes, when it's not brush-and-bulky week, if I have something nice to get rid of, I'll put it on the sidewalk with a "free" sign, and it's gone.

Darren: One time, we were giving away an old end table that still had some life in it, and it stayed outside for, like, two weeks with a "free" sign on it, so then I put a $10 sign on it, and it got stolen just like that. There's a certain psychology to getting rid of your trash.

Best drapery shop?

Gary: La Cortina Drapery Shop (3221 S. Dodge Blvd.). Lorraine Lee is the best drapery maker in the city. She's run a little shop for 25 years.

Darren: She does excellent work, and she's committed to it until the end. She knows fabric.

Gary: And she's just so sweet.

Darren: She is sweet, and she has two little mean dogs that will bark at you.

Gary: When I get my bills from her, there's always writing on the back of them. She recycles every piece of paper. And she takes a lot of her leftover pieces of fabric and donates them to theater groups. She'll take them to high school theaters and leave them with people.

Best place to eat when you're down to your last dollar?

Darren: The cheapest, cheapest food in town is at Mary's Lucky Dollar (1555 S. 10th Ave.). It's only for breakfast and lunch, and it's Mexican food.

Gary: It's great. I don't know how to describe it. ... It's an experience. This woman—it's almost like an act of charity, because there are people who can't afford to go to a regular restaurant and eat, but they can afford to go there and get a cup of coffee and sit down and feel like they've gone to a restaurant. There are always great characters.

Best place to see a triple-feature?

Darren: The Century Park on Grant Road near Interstate 10. They post all their movie times on their doors, so it's very easy to schedule a triple-feature when it's 120 degrees.

Gary: And if you go for the matinee, it's like $5 or something, and you just go from theater to theater. It's great.

Darren: There are, like, two people who work there. They're just happy to have anybody there.

Gary: They've gotten so desperate that they don't sell tickets at the front window anymore. You go in and buy your ticket from the popcorn maker.

Darren: And the marquee says: "Yes, we're still open." They don't list the films; it's just, "Yes, we're still open."

Gary: I suspect you could just walk in, and nobody would care.

Darren: But if you're doing a triple-feature, you gotta give them something.