A city of contradictions-- both sprawling and intimate, bohemian and patriotic, rough and artistic-- Tucson is nestled in between several mountains in the lushest desert in the world. In the summer daily temperatures soar beyond 100 degrees Fahrenheit until the monsoons arrive, dropping hot rain on Saguaro cactus, adobe houses, coffee shops, taquerías, warehouses and strip malls.
Only an hour's drive from the border, Tucson struggles with xenophobia, drugs and violence, but is also home to a thriving community of activists. Every November, acrobats, puppeteers and drummers take to the streets as part of the largest Dia De Los Muertos festival outside of Mexico. In February, the city celebrates the Tucson Rodeo Parade and in Spring, the Yaqui Indian Easter Festival goes late into the night for several days.
Tucson is a town where cowboys and day-laborers, miners and engineers, street kids and Buddhist monks can dine together on chile relleno and french fries.