I recently read an article in the AZ Daily Star “East side has so much to offer” by regional editor Tiffany Kjos.
So I started pondering about what I liked about central/midtown Tucson, where we have lived (two apartments, one home) for over 25 years. So here’s my informal list of 10 things I like about Midtown. Click on the blue hyperlinks if you are new to Tucson and need more information.
1. Himmel Park (south of Speedway, between Tucson Blvd. & Treat Avenue), has tennis courts recently resurfaced, an open air pool now open again for the summer, lots of grass, playing fields, an outdoor grass amphitheater for plays/concerts. A Shakespeare in the park performance of “The Taming of the Shrew” is performing there opening tonight, for three weekends at 7 p.m. $5 suggested donation, to benefit El Rio Theatre Project.
2. Himmel Park Branch Library, oldest branch library of Pima County (built in 1961), children’s storytime, teen activities, Senior Games (including mahjong), films & lectures, lots more, even books to borrow.
3. Reid Park at NE corner of E. 22nd St. and N. Country Club, much larger park with an outdoor performance center & stage, ramadas, playground equipment & stone turtles for children, a rose garden, dog run, a duck pond & gurgling streams, artistic sculptures, etc.
4. The Reid Park Zoo for the children and out of town guests: elephants, tigers, bears, (oh my!), even unusual anteaters and a capybara.
5. The Loft Theater, 3233 E. Speedway, independent and creative movie showings, plus a promised expansion and often freebies during special events
6. Casa Video, 2905 E. Speedway, terrific collection of recent and old DVDs and videos, plus free popcorn whenever you drop in (open daily 10 a.m. to 1 a.m.)
7. Yoshimatsu/Sushimatsu at 2660 N. Campbell – authentic Japanese food in two unique restaurants, plus a very cute gift shop of Japanese items, toys
8. Bookman’s on Grant (SE corner of Campbell): a used book store and much more – gift items, art paraphernalia, current magazines, musical instruments, electronic stuff, even jewelry. And a new Bookman’s is coming to E. Speedway near Camino Miramonte.
9. The University of AZ, between Speedway & E. 6th Street, between Euclid Ave. and Campbell, not only an undergraduate & graduate university, but a resource for the community with art displays, outdoor sculptures, lectures, musical & dance performances, festivals & workshops, intellectual stimulation for all ages. Starting tomorrow an 8-day Chinese Culture Festival, event schedule at www.confucius.arizona.edu.
10. Bicycle path on E. 3rd St. runs from Wilmot Road westward through midtown past lovely, small Miramonte Neighborhood Park (NW corner of Richey Blvd.), one block south of Himmel Park aforementioned (Treat Ave. and Tucson Blvd.), right through the University of Az (on University Blvd.) through to 4th Avenue and Stone Avenue, with several bicyle-friendly “hawk” crossings to help bicyclists cross the major intersections. For more info on bicycling and bike maps in Tucson, go to Tucson Pima County Bicycle Advisory Committee website (click here).
These are the 10 things that make my life more enjoyable and fun in midtown Tucson. What are yours?