Tucson Is Bust, but Tonight We Eat Steak!


Little Jake, 1933 Remington-Rand Monarch (Remie Scout) On patio duty tonight as I warm up the grill for the steaks.

Little Jake, 1933 Remington-Rand Monarch (Remie Scout) On patio duty tonight as I warm up the grill for the steaks.


Majestic Saguaros wave to us as we whisk by at unholy speeds. This particular example is most likely a couple hundred years old. It certainly predates Arizona statehood.

Majestic Saguaros wave to us as we whisk by at unholy speeds. This particular example is most likely a couple hundred years old. It certainly predates Arizona statehood.

The Dairy Queen "THING?". Yeah, I don't know what it is either.

The Dairy Queen “THING?”. Yeah, I don’t know what it is either.

Dust Devil prepares to assult freeway traffic ahead of us. These guys were out in force in the summer heat.

Dust Devil prepares to assault freeway traffic ahead of us. These guys were out in force in the summer heat. “Dust Devils”, “Haboobs”, etc. You can tell we are a desert people because we have as many names for dirt blowing in the wind as an Inuit has for snow.

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Mmmmmm, steaks! :D

Mmmmmm, steaks! :D

Updated: July 9, 2013 — 8:22 am


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  1. Those steaks look really yummy.

    I wonder what happened to all the Tiki bars and resturants? I did not pay much attention until I read this post. I’ve not seen or been to one here on the East Coast since I left Roanoke, where there was one: Fiji. I spent a year travelling the USA a few years back and I do not recall seeing any either. I usually look for unusual places rather than the national chains and normal steak houses.

    The DQ Thing… now I need to visit one of the local ones after lunch today.

    Oh, this is about typewriters. I think our local GoodWill stores do the same. Not only with typewriters if they get any, but with most things other than books and clothes. Much more exposure and maybe higher prices, at ShopGoodwill.com.

    I look forward to seeing the rings.

    1. It’s somewhat outdated, as usually is the case with books written to catalog specific niche eateries, but James Teitelbaum’s “Tiki Road Trip” is an excellent catalog of pretty much all of the Tiki spots still in existence (and provides great remembrances of those that have recently passed). I highly recommend it if you are taking another trip around the country again. (:

  2. That’s a cool mod boomerang ahstray, congrats.
    Now I want some steak!

  3. Ah, this reminds me of Chicago’s late, lamented Ciral’s House of TIki.

    Not even wedges? Now that’s sad. My own local thrift has had very little in the way of typewriters recently, though there are some massive electric things. The store is also carrying remainders from Home Goods.

    1. Ohh, sadness for Chicago, Ciral’s looks like it’s about the same sort of dive as Kon Tiki, but the KT does a brisk enough trade with UofA students to stay alive and thriving at night (and no Chicago Mobsters). We usually go during the day and the place is a ghost-town then. We do have other Tiki Bars in this state, specifically a pretty newish Trader Vic’s and the Drift in Scottsdale. Unfortunately they are modern establishments with absurd prices and decor that is more “Target” than “beachcomber swank”. There’s also Hula’s Modern Tiki, where the first Phoenix Type-In was held, but that one also is more modern and upscale than I generally think a Tiki Bar ought to be.

      If you want the ultimate vintage Tiki experience, I absolutely recommend the Tonga Room in the basement of the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco. It has to be seen to be believed. :D

  4. I was afraid that was what Goodwill was doing. I can definitely see the tattoo rings, we thought of those too when our employer was going to make everyone remove them, then they backed off.
    Tacoma has a new “Craft Tiki Bar,” whatever that means, which I’ll check out for you some time.

    1. ooh, take lots of pics! :D

  5. A VERY interesting site near Tucson is Biosphere. Easily worth several hours. Maybe you could manage to stop in and let us know what has been happening there in the last few years. Put your new camera to good use.

    I share your apprehension about Goodwill abandoning their localities; it’s happening here in Maine, too. Lots of new packaged imported stuff. I _never_ see any good photo gear; I’m sure Sum Gai made an arrangement with them to hold it back for him, as that particular dearth has been noticeable since before shopgoodwill.com. Of course, I’ll never know what doesn’t show up because it has been sent on to auction vs what was never donated in the first place…

    OTOH, they are a fund-raising org and the junk could tie up a lot of shelf space for a long time, so can we really blame them? I always ask a staff person if they have any typewriters in the back room, y’know, before they can ship ’em out or put them on the floor during the weeks before my next visit. That tactic scored me four typers in a single visit at a Salvation Army store.

    Anyway… love your posts.
    == Michael Höhne

    1. That’s a good idea, asking at the counter. I need to try that today. I’ve been depending on my luck of being there at the right time, but I think the time for that kind of sporting hunt is nearing an end.

      Supposedly, Goodwill folks are not allowed to hold items back for “Sum Gai”, their employment terms specifically forbid it. I dunno if that actually translates into them not doing it, but at least in this town I do see typers and camera gear quite often, and not much sign that anything is held back.

      Re: Biosphere II, it’s rather infamous in local memory for the cheating they did during the actual experiment that the station was built for, and we kind of think of it as a tourist trap. I will have to see it someday (just like I need to someday see the Grand Canyon and Meteor Crater) because you just can’t live your entire life here without seeing these things, but it seems like anytime I feel the need to drive a zillion miles into the desert to see something, it usually ends up being Paolo Soleri’s Arcosanti. (RIP: Soleri just a couple months ago)

      1. I sure agree that there’re (just had to throw that in here to inflame the “there”/”their”/”they’re” confusion, although for the life of me I can’t understand why there should be confusion)… anyway, I agree that there’re a _lot_ of attractions within a zillion-mile radius of you. I just mentioned Biosphere because it’s pretty close to Tucson and now that you have extra time while you’re there since it’s no go at the thrift stores….

        Yeah, I’m sad about the Biosphere II scandals (I think there were two big ones?) but the thing is still impressive in its ambition and scale. Oh, and don’t you have to go right past Taliesin on the way to Acrosante? Yea, Arizona!

        Have Fun!
        == Michael

  6. Goodwill stores in the Sacramento area seem to be gradually shifting more towards shopgoodwill.com, which is especially unfortunate for us typewriter-hunters.

    I remember that stretch of highway from Phoenix to Tucson very well!

    Am glad to hear that the Tiki bar is alive & well.

    I’ve never seen a typewriter at any thrift stores in Tucson, come to think of it. Maybe you should try Craig’s List the next time you’re going down there?

  7. Lovely post!! May I ask what typewriter was used for this particular typecast? Love the cool type style, very Art Deco and reminiscent of Vogue!

    1. It’s the typewriter in the first shot up top; “Little Jake”, 1933 Remington-Rand Monarch (Remie Scout).

  8. I see, thank you! I always thought it typed only in upper case. Beautiful, thanks for sharing!

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