Prescott was the original capitol of Arizona. It’s an old town that’s tucked into mountains high enough to support snow in the winter. This weekend there were broadleaf trees that had turned to bright, brittle yellow. The smell of autumn leaves was unmistakable; I haven’t smelled it since I left the East Coast.
Prescott is a lovely town, a town that shows art to anyone who wanders into The Raven (either the cafe or the pen-and-paper shop) or Van Gogh’s Ear, one of the art shops that line Whiskey Row.
Prescott also puts out its own art, the town as it is, for anyone to enjoy. Cortez Street is packed with antique shops that are stuffed with vintage, old, worn, odd, and delightful objects.
The Armadilla (yes, it ends with an ‘a’) Wax Works is a candle factory with a retail shop. It’s at the top of the hill that makes Cortez Street, before the antique shops take over.
This candle factory is in the building of a former bank. Arizona produced a lot of copper in the old days, still does, so the entire front of the store is still home to the old vault and safe.
The detailed copper molding that is both bold and delicate, and a sun-mirror that is rich and polished to match the older copper safe wall with the dentil and decorative molding. In some light, you can see the copper has taken a lot of polishing, but it’s thick and hefty and won’t wear out any time soon.
On the opposite wall was a grouping of candles and grasses with blossoms. The sun was at the right angle to make it a perfect photo all its own.
The Raven Cafe is a wonderful old building. I’m a fan of the collages that sprout in bathrooms, and this was no exception. This one seemed to be planned–it had originally been created, quilt-like, a block at a time, then mounted on the wall and continued with paint and pen.
This garage was graffiti’d and then painted over unevenly. The resulting unfinished raw art is perfect the way it is.
The next building was painted when it was too cold. Half the paint popped off in the dry air, leaving a great pattern that looks like an angel food cake.
Prescott has art around every corner, great weather to enjoy it, and astonishing rock formations around the town. A great place for a quick getaway. If you have time to drive up from Phoenix, don’t take the Freeway. Nothing against I-17, but the scenery is not spectacular. Take a bit longer, go through Wickenburg and Yarnell and see mountains and thumb buttes that will astonish you.
Out of Yarnell, don’t take the switchback road that 89 turns into. Turn left onto Kirkland Road and go through Skull Valley and into Prescott. It’s 10 miles longer and worth every inch.
–Quinn McDonald rides a motorcycle and takes pictures with her iPhone.