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PPAC #17: Walking Behind Scottsdale’s Arty Freeways

Public art is encompasses any form of art you see in a public place, large or small, statues, murals, graffiti, gardens, parks, etc. The art should be visible from streets, sidewalks or outdoor public places.

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Cee had a marvelous response from all of you on last week’s PPAC #16. I want to say thank you to each of you for joining along in our challenge.  Here are the featured bloggers for this week.  Their posts really grabbed my attention. They are all worthy of a second or third look.

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Please check out my PPAC (Photographing Public Art Challenge) to check out more of what this challenge is about.

  • Seasonal Displays
  • Graffiti or Murals, Wall Art
  • Statues and Sculptures
  • Store Windows
  • Car Shows
  • Artistic Construction (Bridge, benches and buildings)

A Visit Behind the Scenes in Scottsdale

Most freeways in my experience have been dull at best, littered, dirty, and exposing the back sides of factories at worst. In Scottsdale, not only are the freeway sides of the walls artsy, but so are the back sides.

During an overnight stay in Scottsdale, my husband left me alone for a few hours so he could go play poker. Housebound for a month, this was a perfect opportunity for an adventure. Leaving the parking lot, I inched my way along Pima Path bordering the Pima Highway 101 Loop and watched the blue sky turn pink. The heavy coral air enveloped me like a protective blanket and made me feel cozy and healthy.

On the other side of the gate I discovered this attractive park and walk area which doubles as a basin during monsoons. This year has had record levels of rain.

No homeless staying here. This particular underpass would be deadly in a time of a flash flood. It made me a little nervous to walk under there. It was about 6:00 and deserted, but I was curious. Amazing there was even public art under the bridge. This design went along both sides of the underpass. What I didn’t capture was all the debris from a recent downpour stuck in the fences on the other side of the bridge.

You can tell how much it has rained by the healthy color of the grass and bushes. The temperatures in Scottsdale stay over 100 degrees during the summer, with the lows being 102 or so. In most places with temps like these, green grass would be artificial.

The vegetation in some places was so overgrown, it was hard to photograph the art but I found one open flower..

Driving freeways is a way of life in the West. It’s nice to slow down and enjoy an artistic walk, unseen by the hustle and highway hum of cars and trucks zooming to get somewhere fast.

Quick Health Update

Deep Vein Thrombosis is a serious health threat especially for those of us who sit more than we should, have had surgery or an injury, or take long trips without breaks. Women over 65 or pregnant are in a serious risk category. (I only fit one of those two choices.)

It’s been 21 days since my leg doubled in size from my thigh to my toes overnight and sent broken clots into both lungs. After two surgeries and nearly a month of blood thinners, my lungs are clear and I can finally wear a compression sock on both legs. That helps me walk and keeps the blood moving. I blog from my recliner now to keep my leg elevated although I can sit or stand for short periods of time. Even so I try to move every hour or less.

Thanks for all your kind words and well wishes and thanks always to Cee for carrying PPAC so that you have a place to share photographs of public art from around the world.

Now it’s your turn.

You amaze me with all the different forms of art each week that you find in your travels and at home. We live in an imaginative world, and your pictures capture it in unique ways and turn it into art of a different form. Thanks for playing along.

108 replies »

  1. Oh Marsha, didn’t know you were going through all of that! I’ve been quiet on my blog for a good while myself due to madness at my house. Mine came in 3s!!! So much drama.

    Anyway, good to see you back. Stay strong.

    Re post: would love to have been around to witness that work going up. So interesting. I think sculpting as I look at them. Nice post.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Jazzy, It’s been a crazy month for us both, I guess. I hope your madness is calming down. It’s like being in a long tunnel and all of the sudden you can see the light. Yay! I wish you well as well. I would imagine that it was a plaster coating covering the cement, don’t you? Under the bridge must have been a mold they used when they poured the cement. Are you a sculptor?


  2. It just goes to show that concrete doesn’t have to be unadorned and grey.
    I’m glad you’re healing. I had a deep vein thrombosis almost 10 years ago (long story) but after five years it could not be detected anymore on ultrasound check-ups. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that you’ll be all better soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, you’re the first person I’ve met that had it, Elke. That’s a long time to go for follow-ups. It’s almost like having cancer! I’m glad you got over it. Thanks for letting me know. Do you still have to take blood thinners? They are super expensive! I’m hoping that I don’t have to take them too long. 🙂

      The freeway system in Scottsdale isn’t as beautiful as many of the PPAC entries we have, but, as you say, it’s better than a gray unadorned wall. 🙂


      • My husband had one (before me), my sister had one (also before me). No, I took blood thinners for a year. Then for another year only when I knew I was going to sit for a long time (in a plane or car). And I make sure I drink enough (my thrombosis was the result of a completely unrelated illness which left me in bed and not drinking and eating). Since I live in Germany, we have medical aid and they pay the blood thinners so I wouldn’t know about the cost. I hope it works out well for you!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Ali. Yes, I am improving every day. It’s about a six month process from what I’ve been told, but I’ve past the dangerous time. Many people just drop dead without ever knowing what happened. I was blessed to have my leg swell up and signal that there was something wrong. God works in mysterious ways! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, you’ve been very fortunate. My dad has had two DVTs, both happened when he came over to visit from the UK, luckily he went to the GP with the the first one. He thought it was a spider bite! And he recognised the second one. You will have to be extra careful when travelling now

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yes, especially long plane rides. No more trips to Australia or Europe, most likely. I’m glad your dad was okay. Long trips are killers, for sure. Thanks for sharing his success.

          Liked by 1 person

          • That’s such a long trip, and yet it seems one that many Australians make. I think Australians are much more global than Americans, for the most part, at least many of my blogging friends are. They may not be the norm. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

    • Can’t wait to get better and have you and Jack come visit us. I guess you had some guests attending Foster’s wedding. Carson came to Jean’s to attend his wedding, too. 🙂


  3. Welcome back – thank you for the update – happy you are on the mend! I have been a lazy blogger for some time, and didn’t know what had happened to you. Thank God you understood what was happening.
    Some great art shots and an interesting challenge.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh dear Marsha – I knew you’d had to take a break but not the details of your illness! It sounds like a scary and unpleasant time, so it’s good to hear you’re coming out of it now 🙂 And great to see you back blogging! I really like how someone has taken the trouble here to make the utilitarian look attractive 🙂

    I’m a bit late with my contribution this week (been out and about more than usual) but I hope you’ll enjoy seeing some street art from Seattle:

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Welcome back! When I was pregnant, I learned about Deep Vein Thrombosis. I knew I was doubly at risk since my job is in an office and I had spent a lot of my time sitting. Also, it was COVID time so I could not get up and walk around my work (I work in a hospital). I had to make a conscious effort to exercise when I got home and keep my legs elevated when sleeping.

    I’m surprised how green it is. But I believe it’s about monsoon season in AZ?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, Julie, I’m glad things turned out well for you. DVT is a nasty and dangerous issue to deal with. AZ is very green this year. We’ve had record or near record rains. It looks more like spring than fall here. 🙂 I hope you have a wonderful week. 🙂


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Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, a retired educator and wife of a retired realtor. My all-consuming hobby is blogging and it has changed my life. My friends live all over the world. In November 2020, we sold everything and retired to the mile-high desert of Prescott, AZ. We live less than five miles from the Granite Dells, four lakes, and hundreds of trails with our dog, Kalev, and two cats, Moji and Nutter Butter. Vince's sister came with us and lives close by. Every day is a new adventure.

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