As I was compiling my Round Robin entry last night, I found myself getting bogged down with what one might call the kitschy, Roadside America end of the public art spectrum. I spent at least an hour searching for my photos of dinosaurs and giant lumberjacks, and although I didn't find everything I wanted, I still ended up with far too much material for a single entry. So here we go: Public Art, Part Two: Prehistoric Pitchmen and Other Outdated Artifacts of Advertising Art Americana. Or something like that!
First stop on our tour of Tucson's roadside art: the Dinosaur McDonald's at Grant and Tanque Verde:
(Thanks for Sara for the nickname suggestion.)
Look at the evidence. He waves an American flag on the Fourth of July, and at Christmas he wears antlers and pulls a sleigh. Nice lizard! On the other hand...
Not content with the cameras that record red light runners at key intersections, the city has hired our friend to take more drastic measures as needed.
Around back is another dinosaur with her babies. She's a Maiasaura (meaning "good mother lizard").
And here are her babies. I don't why the mother and baby both get the eye discharge. Maybe it's genetic. Or maybe they're both just upset about something.
Next stop: El Toro, the Brave Black Bull. He and his matador have been hanging out in the Casa Molina Restaurant parking lot (on Speedway near Wilmot) since the late 1940s.
He currently needs a new coat of paint, and I wish people would stop giving him star spangled...um...well, see for yourself.
Nearby is another large herbivore, the Winged Bison of Copper Country.
I previously showed you the bizarre bison when he was in a silver space suit, standing next to a flying saucer, in honor of the UA Lunar and Planetary Laboratory's Mars Lander. This week he's thanking our nation's military by standing on a red, white and blue boat.
He's not one to pick a look and go with it, our winged bison friend. The first time I saw him, he was hot pink!
I made a number of other stops today, including Fort Lowell to see a somewhat more traditional statue, and OK Feed and Grain, where a painted pony stands on the roof. They don't quite fit my criteria for this entry, so those shots will have to wait for another time. And the full complement of critters and mythological figures is still at Magic Carpet Golf, months and months after the place closed. You can see a bunch of shots, some of them from past RRPCs, by following my Magic Carpet Golf tag. And of course there's also the Kon Tiki, the classic tiki lounge that I've photographed at least twice before, including an outdoor tiki head. But no tour of Tucson's roadside Americana-style public art would be complete without a pilgrimage to two more local landmarks:
*See Roadside America for the story of the muffler men.
Okay, I take it back. He is both a Paul Bunyan and a muffler man, and he's never hurt anyone as far as I know. I've told his story before. His name, Glenn Stone, comes from the fact that he stands at the corner of Glenn and Stone. At the moment, his shirt needs cleaning (birds, you know), and his face needs a touch up. Also, his right arm looks as though he's undergone Tommy John surgery. Or something.
The last one I had trouble finding. I couldn't remember which street it was on, anywhere from Oracle to Campbell, from Grant to Roger. It eventually turned up on First near Grant. Behold: the giant concrete wine bottle!
I could swear it used to look much more interesting.
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