A lot of sun makes people amuzing and happier. A lot of heat makes them slower. It's well seen in Tubac. When I was in Tubac on a lazy, sunny, business day in April 2003 there were probably more shop keepers than visitors in town. Hmm... there are almost 1,000 Tubacans (is it correct name?), where did they hide?
Twice I was very surprised to stroll around quite large stores which were opened but no-one was inside :-). I even shouted "is there anybody there" and silence was the only reply. Warning for thefts: don't go to Tubac, big brother is watching, I am sure. Once I woke up a shop keeper taking a midday nap on a garden bed. But she smiled and undoubtely was very happy to see maybe the first human beings that day. They don't advertise lunch break in Tubac, they practise it :-).
However some shop keepers lock a shop door and display a clock like in my picture with marked hour and writing "I will return." Well, I was in this store half past 11 and it was still closed :-). Some clever shop keepers leave a phone number and ask to call them. It seems that some local shop keepers have what I call "southern approach to time." Lucky folks. That's why I couldn't personally meet an artist painter of Polish name, Irene Wisnewski (see pictures 2-4). It's a pity I didn't see her paintings.
Although most stores I visited were open keep in mind that some shops and restaurants open at 9 am, some at 10 am, the others at 11 am. They are more predictable at the end of work and mostly close at 5 pm. Few shops are closed on Sunday, more on Monday. Isn't Tubac an art museum? Some shops are open only 3-4 days a week. And quite many shops are closed or open shorter in summer (July - September).
If you are a visitor to Tubac and especially if you are non-American and travel by air keep in mind how large and heavy shopping you do. I travelled by car and air but despite that Urszula, my wife, wanted to buy a huge, almost as tall as I, pottery in shape of round-bottom laboratory flask (see picture) but with a large hole in round, bottom part. What's that? A kind of ceramic oven/grill? Well, surely Urszula was joking about that buy. Although they always may send that huge pot to your home.
IS TUBAC EXPENSIVE?
If you like quality, handmade craft, especially made by some at least locally known artist be prepared to pay fortune. There is a lot of expensive and very expensive such artworks in Tubac's boutiques - nice to see, hard or impossible to pay. But I was lucky to find a lot of quite pretty handmade craft unknown artisans at reasonable prices.
IS A LOT OF KITCH IN TUBAC?
No. It is not that much as in say Tijuana, Mexico or in some highly touristy spots in the USA.
I haven't found ATM in Tubac but all major cards (see picture) are accepted in each shop and restaurant. Well, I think it has to be at least one ATM in Tubac. Believe or not, there are almost 1,000 Tubacans; is it correct name?
At least Tubac is a civilized town :-). No, no, it is not a town, it's a CDP! It's an American invention: a census-designated place, an area identified by the United States Census Bureau for statistical reporting. CDPs are communities that lack separate municipal government, but which otherwise resemble incorporated places such as cities or villages. Does it explain some pretty "chaos" with, say opening hours, in Tubac far from its rulers? Well, they proudly fly Arizona state flag at a few places, as I noticed (see picture 5).
Some minor streets or rather completely empty roads are unpaved in Tubac. Expect a lot of dust in the air in case of any traffic there that is probably twice a day :-) - see my pictures 2-4.
I can't say that I have found a lot of ugly, silly or worthless art and decorative objects in Tubac. However I have surely found some items which I didn't like (you surely may like them :-), but for sure much less than in say Tijuana, Mexico a few days before. I mostly don't take pictures of what I dislike but there are a few examples in enclosed pictures:
- figures of Indian warriors in red colour
- cut glass (crystal?) decanter - it cost $90 without tax (picture 2)
- dancing Kachina that's Indian doll; I generally disliked them (picture 3-4)
- bright red cactus, yes red :-), mailbox flag (picture 5).
It does NOT change my general opinion that Tubac is a great place for every lover of art, especially Native American and Mexican art, but Spanish and Anglo-American art as well. I mean mainly pottery and generally home/garden decor.
Strolling around arists' colony of Tubac I saw a lot of pottery in numerous boutiques and shops. Some of them are mentioned in my shopping tips. This colorful, glazed pottery in my pictures was called Mexican in Tubac. Bright yellow, orange and green colour ruled there. Personally I don't like pottery, pots and bowls, finished with colorful glaze.
And I don't think it was handmade Mexican pottery, rather casual and cheap mass production for tourists. Well, maybe even it was produced in Mexico and imported to Tubac, as surely labour has to be less expensive in Mexico than in the USA. But for sure it was not traditional handmade Mexican pottery which should follow designs and patterns typical for pottery found in Mexico by archeologists and made for years by local people including the Olmec, the Maya and the Aztecs. Follow the links below to see what I mean.