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Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Electric, Eclectic, Funk-tastic Vibe Of Bisbee

What can I say about Bisbee? It gets ahold of you. Gee, it's been over a week now since we detached ourselves from its Velcro tentacles (rrrriiiiip!). Such Neon Dreaminess... psychedelic madness reminiscent of the good ole 60's. Bisbee's blueprint should be a model for burned out, falling down mining towns throughout the entire west... a place hippies and misfits can run to when their town get's Tubac'ed out from under them. You won't see new town home/condo developments ruining Bisbee proper because there's no place to put them, excluding the "Lavender Pit," a most colorful 300 acre, one thousand foot deep copper mine.

Around the turn of the previous century Bisbee was "Queen of the copper camps," with one of the richest mineral deposits in the world. It was the largest city between St. Louis and San Francisco, populated by 20,000 "relatively cultured" residents. It shows in the detailed and ornate architecture of dozens of homes and buildings. 

The mine faltered in the 60's and had to close down in the 70's. As with Jerome and many other places of mass exodus, starving artist hippies filled the vacuum. The town was revitalized but never lost it's soul. Free spirited people, young and old, now call Bisbee home. It is a feast for the eyes, too. Houses literally cling to the sides of steep mountains... a few actually losing their grip to the effects of time, gravity and erosion. Retaining walls bulge into already narrow lanes where Parking is an "art." And then there are all those stairs to climb. 

Usually known for fear and loathing of stairs, It seems an unlikely place for senior citizens to retire. In fact, many homes can only be accessed by climbing 50 to 150 stairs... a long way to carry groceries, let alone furniture. We actually met several enthusiastic retirees who wouldn't think of living anywhere else. Former Flower Children, no doubt, San Fran expatriates looking for a little piece of "heaven." At least they are familiar with hill-living and steps.  

It's five o'clock somewhere. This old timer had his whiskey and his oxygen supply going at one of the local pubs. 

Keep track of this talented Art Metal Artist. She owns and operates the Vixen Gallery on Main Street Bisbee. Beautiful... and her art is nice too :)

More Bisbee coming, so stay tuned to the BCB!!! 


  1. Excellent post just love the atmosphere in Bisbee, certainly a place to see and so interesting.
    Thanks for bringing back memories of our visit there.

  2. Great light and color in your pictures! They sharpen my impatience to sell my house and wander for a while where the sun isn't shy and the air isn't thick.

    Thanks for sharing.

  3. Love Bisbee ! Excellent pictures.. Had a few meals at the High Desert Market/Cafe... REALLY good....One of my favorite places.
    Even the library is interesting...
    Wonder if you go a chance to go to the Bisbee Breakfast Club?


  4. Fun murals, you should link them up to Monday Mural, it's become an obsession of mine! http://oaklanddailyphoto.blogspot.com

  5. Great pictures. We felt comfortable in Bisbee, too.

  6. Still can't quite believe we were in the same place at the same time and I totally missed meeting you! Oh well. excellent shots of Bisbee. We were totally enthralled by the place and still didn't even scratch the surface of what there is to see and do here. You've managed to capture many gems we didn't see.

  7. The "It's 5 o'clock somewhere" (old guy at the bar) is my favorite. It's off-kilter, which fits in perfectly with the beer-goggles that the old boy at the bar would have after awhile. Therefore the photograph presents the main character's point of view, not the viewer's point of view. This really helps the viewer leave himself by melting into the photograph.

    Make those vertical lines follow a plumb bob, and the photo would lose its magic.

    Several cinematographers have been famous for using this trick. The classic is Carol Reed's "The Third Man".

    But the real trick is to use it in the right photo and not to dilute it by overusing it. I'd say you chose perfectly.

  8. Apologies for the porn spam. This is why I should not own a gun... For if I could hunt them down I would be sorely tempted to shoot!
    Please ignore as best you can... Till I can get home from Meh-hee-co and try to get my spam catcher to do what it's supposed to do.

    Its enough to make a guy quit blogging... Bastards!

  9. That porn spam is one reason we blocked anonymous comments from our blog.
    Your Bisbee photos are great. We had excellent pizza at the High Desert Market and Cafe.

  10. Dude. You are so totally sophomoric. One hand on the breast.... the other with a dildo in the sack. Grow up!

  11. Eric & Carrie Ann in ChicagoMarch 21, 2013 at 9:29 PM

    Bisbee, AZ, the femme fatale's hometown in LA Confidential

    Way, way too long since I've checked in with BCB. Been busy logging miles on the 'ole life treadmill and getting numbers to lenders so they can tell us just how much of a slice of heaven (by Colorado Springs standards) we can have, phew! But how great to come here and see you and Bobbie roaming around living life on your own terms. It's a virtual breath of fresh air, a lifeline of color, a momentary escape from a grey Chicago sky. And I thank you for that!

    Incrementally Inching West,
    Eric & Carrie Ann

  12. Anon Coward,

    First of all, that's a baget of garlic bread in my right hand

    Second of all, I'm a "Senior," not a sophomore... so I have grown up. Getting old is no reason to loose your sense of humor. Go read someone else's blog before my readers gang up on you and kick your lily livered butt.
    Mark !!!!

  13. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  14. Apparently, Anon Coward is one of the low life spammers out there. Due to his elevation of "rhetoric" I have enabled comment moderation.

  15. Recognized many of our favorite spots in good old Bisbee. What a great little place that is & this is the first year we have not made it there since back in 06. Great description of the town & great photos as well.

    Too bad about the low life so called Anonymous commenters. I have a fellow RV Blogger who uses phony names to get around my 'Anonymous' block to periodically leave his rude, sarcastic, & jealousy driven childish comments on my blog..........

  16. We thoroughly enjoyed your Bisbee posts. Been thinking we need to get back there. Good times. I see the wine cork canoe is still around. I never figured how to liberate the gold and minerals from the BOA office.

  17. I grew up in the Bisbee/Douglas area and have a lot of the same feeling about what the "art community" has done to Bisbee that you expressed when writing about Tubac.
    Douglas has remained much the same as it was in the 50s and 60s with its steady regression to being part of Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico.

  18. Geo and Suz,
    Thanks. We love to visit Bisbee every few years, just to see that in retains its funk. :)

    Oklahoma Mike,
    Nice opening comment line... you need to start a blog and write that stuff down :)
    Thanks for commenting!

    I could get fat eating at the High Desert Cafe... there are too many pies and cookies, all home baked.
    We missed that entire street till we were leaving. it looked like we stepped back into 1950. Next time I will photograph it for sure, and try the breakfast club. Thanks for you comment :)

    Pam and Wayne,
    I didn't get to half the murals in town. Just more color for a colorful town. thanks!

    Good Luck Duck,
    So comfortable was I that I went looking for real estate. I could live there for about 6 months a year.

    Wheeling It,
    I know... next time I'll recognize your rig and toad. He hiked and biked the town top to bottom... but there is always more nooks and crannies for next time. Thanks.

    Wow... a rare compliment, and on a photo no less!
    Gee, now I'll have to say something nice about you... when I come up with something I can live with :))
    Seriously, tho, thanks. I'm glad one photo caught your critical eye and stopped it.

    Jim and Gayle,
    I know... It was tolerable until the last couple of weeks. I felt bad I couldn't get to my Mac to delete those comments... I was in Mexico getting dental work done. Between those two things, it wasn't a good day. Thanks. Hope to see you back out west this year, and for sure in Zion come November... a month of glorious hiking and biking and fun.

    Eric and Carrie Ann,
    Yes... treadmills can suck, but get back to the BCB, I'll take you away from all that for a few minutes a day. :)) As for Living Life on our terms... it is sweet, but money is the trade off for starting young. Oh well, can't take it with you.
    Keep on inching west... and stop by if you get to Lovely Ouray.

    Bayfield Al,
    Thanks Al, I can't get enough of Bisbee either. Good thing film costs are no longer around, eh?
    As for spam and rude commenters, i'm going to have to make some changes I'd rather not make. Thanks Al.

    Delta Mike,
    When you do figure it out, call me :))

    I understand what you are saying... I'm sure it has changed into a tourist town to the original "owners."
    I really love it tho... it's just cool and colorful and different... the buildings are incredible. Thanks for commenting.

  19. Walden creek rv steveMarch 23, 2013 at 10:14 AM

    Mark- left comment the other day- must have gotten lost in space??????


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