Monday, December 13, 2021

Historic 4th Avenue and A Change in the Weather

Corona de Tucson

December 13, 2021

There doesn't seem to be much to write about for this post.  But here goes...early last week, we made the trip "to the city" to take care of a few things.  At the top of the list was gifts for the two youngest grandkids.  

Mildred and Dildred has been our go to place for finding all kinds of unique and fun gifts for any age from infant to teenage.  They wrap and ship so its a one stop shop... perfect!  It is locally owned, not a big-box store, with lots of selections that encourage imaginations and learning.  That's the Kindergarten/First Grade  teacher in me that still lingers after all these years !  

I had my heart set on sending our youngest granddaughter a doll.  Edith just turned 1 so it had to be a special that is soft and cuddly. Happy to check that off the list as the gifts have been delivered and are under the tree. 
 We don't usually do the "mall thing", but Joe needed to try on long pants.  Ordering them usually means returning them and that is such a bother.  So, we found ourselves at Tucson Mall.  It was practically empty !  And just a little depressing...

so unlike years past with he hustle and bustle of folks.  At least the Christmas music was playing.

We did spot one famous person.  What a surprise to learn after all these years that Santa likes Panda Express !

No more cookies for you!

This past Friday, we met Randy and his daughter Stacie on 4th Avenue.  

It's not just any 4th Avenue, it is Historic 4th Avenue in Tucson...home to the 51 year old tradition known as The Street Fair.  The district known as Old Pueblo hosts the fair and proceeds are used to support the avenue's infrastructure and invest in local neighborhoods.  Local artists and musicians as well as those from all over the world come to show and sell their goods.  

These natural wood (no stain) chopping boards were gorgeous.  The pieces come apart offering different sizes and configurations for cutting and dipping. Most were the lazy-susan style.  

All kinds of bird feeders, but these small hummingbird feeders caught my eye.

These solar lights age beautifully...if you like the patina look which I do.  All different shapes and heights...we stood here longer than at any other booth discussing, but in the end decided not to buy.   

Traffic is barricaded for The Street Fair and covered canopies line the middle of the street for several blocks.  The Avenue began in 1916 as a commercial district.  It has seen many changes thru the years.  As big shopping centers began to dominate,  the buildings were practically left empty in the 60s.  By the mid 70s,  small businesses and restaurants began emerging. Today, characterized "by a myriad of unique small businesses", 4th Avenue is listed in the National Register of Historic Places for its history and architecture and includes 50 contributing properties that date between 1903 and 1967.  The highlight for the day for me was lunch.  Randy's daughter Stacie (whose husband is Kevin and our realtor) has lived in Tucson for most of her adult life. She suggested Caruso's Italian.  Caruso's is the oldest Italian Restaurant in started in the 1930s and has remained in the family at the same location since that time.  The original family owner who began the restaurant passed away at age 100 in February '21.  He was the one responsible for the interior layout, the patio, and most of the food prep.  The heart of the restaurant was and still is the "big copper pot" visible from the main dining room.  It has contained all of the Caruso sauce served since the first days in Tucson.  

The food was wonderful and the service was very friendly and beyond satisfactory.  

Boutiques and antiques, along with  book, candle, jewelry, and novelty stores line the streets.  One interesting store was Pop-Cycle where piggy banks, jewelry and other fun things are created from scrap metals. 
The Avenue also offers a very wide variety of restaurants and bars to choose from.

 At the oasis, we are enjoying Christmas.  It is such a special time of year with all the lights, smells and music.  I realized the other day, I can see our Christmas tree from every room in the house except our bedroom, master bath and guest bath.  

Last week I made a new to me goodie.  Joe likes peppermints and I like chocolate so I found a recipe for White Chocolate Peppermint Patties.  They are yummy and very "rich" as my mom would say. 

Friday we woke up to a chilly, rainy day.  This isn't our usual view out the patio door. The pups were in shock and didn't want to go out, but I thought it was a nice change...

...and perfect for white chili.  It's my favorite chili with lots of grated cheese, jalapeños and corn chips.  It is even better the next day !  I love left-overs !  Rainy days in Tucson are special and don't usually last long.

That wraps up another week.  They sure go by fast.  

As much as I love to go places and do things, I have decided that the best part of going anywhere these days is coming home.  Until next time, 



  1. That intricate woodwork is awesome - just might get Joe inspired with a Christmas idea.

    1. I wish! These pieces ( the small simple ones) started at several hundred dollars. Joe did some inlay many years ago when he acquired some beautiful walnut. I’m thinking it might be hard to find the wood these days.

  2. We will have to try the 4th Street Fair one of these years. Was it crowded? Love your Christmas tree photo. And I'm with you, I like a bit of rain and cooler weather once in a while.

    1. Thank you Janna! We don’t get out much so it seemed like a lot of people to me. Most were respectful of personal space. I want to stroll down 4th Ave again without the fair. The shops look fun & there are so many choices for lunch.

    2. When we bought our first motorcycle, we purchased our leathers at a shop on 4th Avenue--a looong time ago!

  3. I love when a street fair has high quality artisans. The work you shared is beautiful. Love your tree. Our weather has cooled, as well. We purchased cool weather biking gear so we can continue to ride. But it is great hiking weather.

    1. Thank you Pam. I am a pottery junkie & I didn’t post those photos, but the choices were beautiful as well. Enjoy your biking!

  4. I think you found plenty to blog about after all! Thanks for taking us to the street fair, it looked like a really good one with quality items in a very interesting area. I love that you can see your pretty tree from everywhere, they are only with us for such a short time we need to enjoy while we can. I guess I'm in the minority....I'm not a fan of dunkle days. We had too many of them in Western New York, enough to last a lifetime. Give me the sun!

    1. Thank you Sue! Back in Georgia, I had to brace myself every year when March rolled around as we never saw much of the sunshine the entire month. I dreaded it so bad! It’s alittle different here as the rains come and go very quickly followed by glorious sunshine. That I don’t mind so much for myself or the desert plants. I totally understand how you must feel…

  5. When Mom was alive and living in Tucson she and I loved walking 4th Avenue and enjoying the variety of little shops! Chocolate Iguana has changed locations on the street but continue to offer delicious coffee options! Haven't done the Fair though and it looks like something worth doing - love the hummingbird feeders. Your tree is beautiful - definitely one of the pluses of being in a house!

    1. I didn’t know your Mom loved in Tucson. That is so cool! We are waiting to after the holidays to enjoy 4th Avenue. I will definitely be looking for Chocolate Iguana! There is a spring version of the fair, but I don’t know the dates yet. I would not give anything for the RV years, but I have so enjoyed being “at home” this year. Hope things are settling down for you and you have a Merry Christmas with those sweet boys!