Entries by Mary Murphy

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Zagreb revisited

Zagreb hasn’t featured on my list of cities to return to. I remember being singularly unimpressed with it, the last time I was there …. for a Leonard Cohen gig back in 2010. Is it that long ago?  Granted, few cities are at their best on a Sunday evening if you’re not staying in the […]

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Salvation Mountain and its message for me

Speaking from a Christian perspective, we live in a time a  time when overt expression of religious faith makes many feel uncomfortable. Bible verses and vocal expressions of the word of God aren’t exactly crowd gatherers. Not diverse crowds anyway. Salvation Mountain stands strong in defiance, attracting people from all over the world, of all […]

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East Jesus – the art in trash

Before we hit the dirt roads heading out of Niland towards Slab City, I lost the picture I had in my head of the East Jesus Art Gallery we were heading to see. I’d imagined East Jesus as a quaint little town with perhaps a boutique hotel and lots of wooden-floored gallery spaces where local […]

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Off the grid in Slab City CA

The snowbirds who gravitate to Slab City in the Sonoran Desert in California are not your usual run-of-the-mill types that have condos in the Coachella Valley. But snowbirds, those looking to escape their harsh winter climates by moving to a desert locale for the winter, come in many variations. Those who turn up in Slab […]

Tucson Arizona – a city to revisit

I fell for Tucson Arizona. I didn’t have nearly enough time there but it was long enough to know that of all the cities I’ve visited this trip, this is one I want to get to know better. Brief history of Tucson Arizona About 115 miles (185 km) southeast of Phoenix, the city of Tucson […]

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Casa Grande Ruins, Coolidge, AZ

The desert never fails to conjure up images of Western movies. I expect to see Indians in full battle regalia on horseback on each ridge, and spot the dust plume kicked up by cowboys, with lariats on their saddles and spurs on their boots. There’s an other worldliness to it all that defies explanation. The […]

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Electric desert and desert unplugged

I like flowers. I like plants. I like shrubs. But spending a few hours in a botanical garden isn’t quite my sliver of bark. It’s not something I’d choose to do unless it had something quirky about it. Taking the boat to Garnish Island in Bantry Bay off the coast of Cork was an experience. […]

Striking a musical chord in Phoenix AZ

I have a vague memory of visiting Phoenix AZ many moons ago. That it’s a vague memory says a lot about my impression of the place. I think we were supporting some Irish dancers who had travelled to the city for a feis. I know we met up with the brother of a girl I’d […]

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Driving the Mother Road to Williams AZ

Driving along the iconic Route 66 is an experience I’ll never tire of. The longest remaining stretch of the road that once stretched 2488 miles from Chicago, IL to Santa Monica, CA sits between Kingman and Seligman in Arizona. Dotted with long-deserted gas stations and dance halls, towns like Valentine, AZ are ghostly reminders of […]