Cooler in Tucson

In the lower 70s today with a little haze. As evening came on, I changed into long pants and wore a long-sleeved shirt.

This evening, I drove downtown to Maya Catzal, one of my favorite restaurants in Tucson. A little hole in the wall, it serves Gautemalan fare. I had the chili rostidatos, which is a chili stuffed with cheese, potatoes and nuts, then covered in gravy. It came with rice, black beans and salad. Very, very hearty.

Afterwards, I wandered around the 4th Ave. area, which is a funky part of Tucson. Lots of panhandlers, buskers, people talking to themselves. Gone are the days when I used to enjoy a good conversation with a crazy person on the street. I don't make eye contact anymore. I don't lack sympathy, but I just don't care to engage.

When I got onto the back streets where it is quieter, you could hear the crickets chirp. The sun had set. The temperature was in the lower sixties. Perfect.

An odd thing about the desert: It absorbs sound. So does adobe. So, you don't have to get too far from a busy street before you can't hear a thing. The silence of the desert is one of its great attributes.

Another attribute of Tucson, as I have noted here repeatedly: They control the amount of night-time light pollution so you can always see the stars. There are people living inside the city limits who are renowned amateur astronomers. They set up telescopes in their back yards. Some of the most jaw-dropping astronomical discoveries have been made by astronomers inside the city limits of Tucson, including the guy who found the asteroid that eventually plowed into Jupiter.

There is only one freeway in Tucson, and that is I-10, which runs diagonally through the city. The rest of the city is on a grid of mile squares. Traffic ambles. It rarely stops cold, like it can in Phoenix, where freeways are everywhere. I don't know why, but somehow, Tucson manages to keep traffic moving, if at a slower pace. I find it relaxing, once I get used to Tucson traffic rules, both the official ones and the informal ones.