Monday, May 01, 2006

Desert in Bloom

I sensed that familiar spicy-smell, upon getting out of my car at King Tut's. "What a surprise?", I thought, "my wife suggested a Nargila bar." We had just arrived in Phoenix late at night and joined all the trendy youth hanging out at "Tut's". We had a great meal and I was constantly reminded of all those great times I had in Jordan. The next day we hung out at the hotel pool and I almost finished Eats, Shoots, and Leaves. Amazing! No children to interrupt me, just me and my book. In the evening we joined the start of the festivities for a good friend of ours that was getting married the next day. This evening was the rehearsal dinner at the Wrigley (yes, that family) Mansion. The night was a complete blessing and conversation flowed easily at our table. The only puzzling fact was the Flemish-style artwork on the walls of a hacienda. These seemed dark and out of place among the bright walls, creosote wood, and terracotta.

I really do love the desert; like putting on familiar clothes, it feels comfortable. Fortunately, the next day we went to Taliesin West and had the most amazing experience. In the desert stands Frank Lloyd Wright's winter residence and school. This place does blend in with the natural environment just as he intended. In addition, just like floor lighting and drive through banks, his innovation of organic architecture was years ahead of his time. One recent building was built from a plan of his that was sixty years old and the structure blends in beautifully with the modern skyline. Highlights were the piano niche, cut glass to accommodate vases on a too-narrow shelf and the canvas roofs. Learning of his mentoring approach also made a deep impact on me. Despite the long journey, my wife and I felt particularly invigorated after this trip.

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