Jan 122011

ISO 80; f/5; 1/640; 39.4mm; 3:48pm (Canon SX10)

When you come to Quartzsite, it is traditional to stop at Silly Al’s for pizza and a beer and maybe even some Karaoke.

I like this photo because we can see that Silly Al’s has only been here since 1987, which may not seem like long enoughfor a tradition to be instilled but since the town of Quartzsite only incorporated until 1989, well there you have it.  It is a long time tradition for here.

I also like that you can see a “new” tradition that the town has been working on for two years… and that is to have local artists paint rocks, set them out in front of local establishments throughout town and at the end of the season auction them off to raise money for local charities and events.

And finally, the traditional symbol of the Sonoran desert (and of Arizona) is the Saguaro Cactus.  This one is probably at least 100, maybe even 150 years old.  That is, far older than the official town of Quartzsite, and most likely older than even the state of Arizona, which joined the union in 1912.

Then behind all this we have the mountains… which really puts in perspective just how short lived this “tradition,” to hang out at Silly Al’s when visiting Quartzsite, is.

Post processing done in Aperture, little bit of everything.

  14 Responses to “5. Traditional”

  1. The saguaro and the dry folded mountains put the photo right into its southwestern context.

  2. ‘A long time’ is relative! Looks like a fun place :)

  3. Judi, the whole idea of your town is so intriguing and I’m glad you accompanied this photo with a bit of local history and flavor. I like that you caught a restaurant visitor in your photo – it brings it to life for us. Like Tammy, I’d love to see the inside too….

  4. It looks like such a down home place with the cactus and sign. Only thing it needs is bowling! Fun to hear the story!

  5. How does the town cope when it is invaded by all those RV visitors? I really love all the history you’ve provided, it’s good to learn about how the rest of the world sees things.

  6. I would love to eat there. The mountains in the background are terrific.

  7. I think I would love a pizza and beer with that view! Wow! Sounds like a fun little joint w/ a lot of history lol

  8. Definitive Desert Dining!

  9. What a fun place to sit back and enjoy a pizza, beer and good company. Your story added to the enjoyment of the photo.

  10. I love kitschy places like this. As a New Yorker who went to U of A for 2 years (go, Wildcats!), I was sad that I never found good pizza in the whole state. Even the places which were owned by New Yorkers said it wasn’t the same because of our water. Ah, well. It’s a nice shot, and I like how the cactus seems to have its own fence.

  11. It is never too late to start a tradition. I really liked your story about Silly Al’s. What is Quartzsite?

    • Hi Deena… Quartzsite is the little town that I’m currently living in… it is an RV mecca with about a million visitors in January and then only a couple thousand people here in the summer months (when it gets as high as 117F). It is located on I-10, 20 minutes from California (where I do my grocery shopping and drink Starbucks coffee). To the east, Phoenix is 2 hours away, heading north Lake Havasu (where the London Bridge is) is 90 minutes and 90 minutes south of here is Yuma. There is also a rock called Quartzite, which the town is supposed to be named after, but the Post Office stuck in an S in the name and that of course has stuck for good.

  12. This looks like a fun place to hang out! Very “Arizona” setting, too!

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