Posted on Jan 7, 2014 in Tucson | 0 comments

An arroyo in Tucson

An arroyo near my inlaws’ house. Arroyos are channels for the flash floods that can happen during heavy rainfall. The water can’t seep into the bone dry ground, so it needs a place to run off. I am fascinated by these large structures, examples of urban industrial engineering with their own particular beauty. In this drawing, I captured two kids riding through the arroyo on skateboards, an illegal activity. Also, street people sleep and live under the bridges, which obviously increases their already-high vulnerability.

This one is worth seeing large, I promise! Click on the image to see it bigger on Flickr.

Also check out the sketch of a bigger arroyo I made back in June 2012. I had to do this one early in the morning before it got too hot:

An arroyo in Tucson, Arizona

A street person, who had probably been sleeping under the road-covered culvert I was standing on to draw this, walked into my picture. It gave me both a great way to show the size of this arroyo as well as serve as a reminder of the parallel life that goes on in cities. In Vancouver, the street people walk the alleys, here they walk the arroyos. The utilitarian tracts of the city become used and inhabited by those who are not part of mainstream society. These people live literally on the fringes. They don’t feel welcome on regular streets, sidewalks and neighbourhoods, so they escape to places of their own which were never designed to be inhabited.