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Updated Tuesday, March 16, 2016

Time changes all things, especially on the ever-growing campus and the surrounding city of Tucson.  If you're wondering if a building, business, or landmark is still in existence, just drop us a line (tht@email.arizona.edu) and ask!  We'll post the information here for everyone to read.

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Wonder Diary Entry Feb 2016 "Arizona Daily Star" An Arizona Daily Star slideshow of Photos: Then and Now Around Tucson (long one but well worth a look) -- Photos of buildings, streets, and landmarks around Tucson from 40, 50, and 60 years ago, and the same viewpoint today. You may spot a favorite hang out or two.

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Wonder Diary Entry Feb 2016 "eegee's" I can't wait to taste a lemon eegee's...brain freeze! Are they still around?  Yes!  Eegee's, founded in 1971, is still around with 26 stores in and around Tucson and Casa Grande. Eegee's continues to be a mainstay of local area school and sports events, campus mixers, and summer pool parties.  Flavors have gone way beyond "just lemon" with lemon, strawberry, piña colada, and skinny berry available all the time, as well as a "flavor of the month" special.  Yum, anyone up for a watermelon pineapple splash?

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Wonder Diary Entry Mar 16 2016 "Flandrau Planetarium"  Someone told me Flandrau Planetarium is gone. I can't believe that!  Ah, another name change.  "Planetarium" was changed to "Planetarium and Science Center," so now the entire building complex is more commonly known as the Flandrau Science Center.  Flandrau's mission has expanded beyond astronomy to showcase a diverse range of science and technology related exhibits (see Flandrau Planetarium's history).  Current interactive exhibits continue to inspire our local K-12 visitors, and daily laser shows continue to mesmerize audiences of all ages.  The "Hector Vector Star Projector" you may have known and loved has been replaced by 21st century technology--industrial high resolution video projection with a Dolby sound system--that now allows "fulldome 360o" projection.  In fact, it's so good you may want to bring along some Dramamine.  See entry under "M" below, UA's Mineral Museum now located at Flandrau

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Wonder Diary Entry Jan 2016 "Gaslight Theater" Are students, faculty, and staff still going to those funny Gaslight Theater musical melodrama shows?   Sadly, no.  Even though the Gaslight Theater is still thriving and selling out for most of their shows, there hasn't been a Hydrology and Water Resources group organized since the late 1990s. Perhaps someone should revive that tradition.

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Wonder Diary Entry Jan 2016 "Lerua's" Is Lerua's still making green corn tamales?  Yes!  They're a short walk or drive from campus at 2005 East Broadway.

Wonder Diary Entry Feb 2016 "The Loft" The Loft on 6th Street is gone!  Is the art film culture dead in Tucson?   Well, yes and no.  Both the Old Loft--an establishment dedicated to the (ahem) adult art film--and the New Loft--screening mostly European art films--are long gone, but the former New Loft evolved into something truly wonderful.  In 1991, The New Loft--renamed The Loft Cinema--relocated to 3233 East Speedway just east of Country Club and now boasts 3 screens (including an outdoor screen), sells an amazing array of concessions (along with beer and wine), and hosts an amazing line up of community and film events.  With a Box Office now over $1 million annually, The Loft Cinema is truly a stalwart of the Tucson arts scene.  It was 1 of only 9 US cinemas invited to participate in Sundance USA and is 1 of only 2 US cinema members of the International Confederation of Art Houses.  And, yes, The Rocky Picture Horror Show is still educating our youth and runs on the third Saturday of every month, 39 years and counting! 

Wonder Diary Entry Jan 2016 "Lucky Chinese Restaurant" Is Lucky Chinese Restaurant on Park still cranking out crab puffs and egg drop soup?  Sadly, no.  Lucky Chinese closed a few years ago to make way for a trio of new high-rise dorms on Park Avenue called The Hub.  (Yes, they're dorms, not hotels.)

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Wonder Diary Entry Feb 2016 "Magic Carpet Golf" Where is that Magic Carpet Miniature Golf course? I thought it was on Speedway.  Alas, Magic Carpet Miniature Golf is no longer with us, but it's quirky rebar-and-concrete-sculptures live on in parks and private backyards throughout Tucson and the local area. Serveral of the one-of-a-kind sculptures found a home at Tucson's Valley of The Moon art/fantasy park, which is now on the National Register of Historic Landmarks (2011).

Wonder Diary Entry Mar 16 2016 "Mineral Museum" I was surprised to learn that the Mineral Museum is no longer next to the department's main office. What happened to it, and where did it go?  No worries, the museum is still on campus, although it's no longer in the JW Harshbarger/Old Geology Building.  You can visit the UA Mineral Museum on the lower level of the Flandrau Science Center, 1601 East University Boulevard, corner of University and Cherry (details about parking and visitor info).  There is a new special exhibit, the American Mineral Heritage: Harvard Collection, with some absolutely stunning specimens on display, most never before seen in Arizona--just in time for your visit to campus!  [We really do miss being able to wander through the museum on lunch hours, though.]  See entry under "F" above, Flandrau Planetarium and Science Center

Wonder Diary Entry Jan 2016 "Mirror Lab" Are  they still making those big mirrors under the football stadium?  Yes!  Steward Observatory's Richard F. Caris Mirror Lab is busier than ever. Tours are often available during the week, but you'll need to check the calendar--best to purchase tickets in advance or arrange a specific date.

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Wonder Diary Entry Feb 2016 "Pima Air and Space Museum" Please tell me the Pima Air and Space Museum and the Davis-Monthan AFB Boneyard is still open for tours!  Yes!  This private, non-profit museum is still going strong after nearly 50 years.  The Arizona Aerospace Foundation operates the Pima Air and Space Museum and Arizona Aviation Hall of Fame in Tucson, Arizona, and the Titan Missile Museum in Sahuarita, Arizona.  If you decide to make a visit to outdoor or indoor attractions, wear comfortable shoes and bring a hat!  For those more inclined to recline, take a Virtual Tour!

Wonder Diary Entry Jan 2016 "Posner's Art Store" Is Posner's Art Store that was located near Lucky Chinese Restaurant gone forever?  No, Posner's is still near campus!  In fact, Posner's celebrated its 100th anniversary in Tucson in 2013.  When construction on The Hub began, Posner's relocated to 944 East University Avenue, an area now known as the Main Gate Square--but perhaps it's always been known as the Main Gate Square!

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Wonder Diary Entry March 8 2016 "Starbucks" I hesitate to mention it, but how far will I need to travel to get my daily Starbucks  Ha!  Not as far as you think!  You can get your daily non-fat no-whip mocha caffè latte or your caffè Americano with an extra shot or your (fill in the blank) just steps from the department!  Starbucks is located inside the main campus bookstore which is located on the west side of the Student Union complex, the side closest to the Harshbarger Building.  Enter the bookstore from the Main Entrance--not the side door on Rogers Way (North Campus Drive), or all kinds of alarm bells go off.  Walk around the corner to enter through the automatic, open-sesame doors, and immediately turn right. If the line ahead of you isn't too long, proceed to buy your beverage and/or snack of choice. If the line looks too long, turn around, leave the bookstore, and turn right and walk a few yards further to try the equally excellent but not as famous CC's Coffee House (aka Canyon Cafe Coffee).  Just walk along the outside of the bookstore to the far south corner (you'll be walking through the "SUMC Canyon" and you'll understand why it's called that when you see it). The CC Coffee House is on the west side of canyon, directly across from the USS Arizona and Alumni Heritage Lounges (east side of canyon). Okay, okay, here's a map of Level 2, Starbucks on the north end and CC Coffee House on the south end of the building.  And, yes, we're a bit continental here--Level 2 is the main (ground) floor. Level 1 of the union is down below, exactly where The Cellar should be, right?  

Wonder Diary Entry Feb 2016 "Swimming Pool, Student Union, Student Rec Center" I was looking for the Old Swimming Pool behind the student union.  Where did it go?  In fact, where did the entire "back" of the student union go?  Is the back now the front?  Good observation!  The old swimming pool--originally built (in theory) as a reservoir for irrigation of trees and plants--has gone the way of the dodo bird.  When construction of the new 440,000 sq.ft. Student Union Memorial Center began in 1999 (through 2003), the pool was demolished.  The exposed crater was enlarged, creating space for a foundation for the multi-story Second Street Parking Garage and also tunnel access for the Union's underground entrance (delivery and sanitation trucks only, seriously).  Thus, entrances on all sides of the new Union--north, south, east, and west--became "fronts."  Still looking for a pool?  Try the new Student Recreation Center on Sixth Street for all your aquatic needs--definitely not your mother's (or even father's) rec center.  And as far as Student Unions go, we're really proud of our SUMC

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Wonder Diary Entry Feb 2016 "Tack Room" So...is that fancy 5-star restaurant, The Tack Room (Vactor Dude Ranch), still in business?   Sadly, that bastion of special occasion, date night, and family celebrations is no longer with us.  The Tack Room restaurant closed in May 2003; however, the Tack Room Boot is still intact and can be seen at the Vactor Ranch subdivision on the east side of Sabino Canyon Road south of Tanque Verde Creek.  

Wonder Diary Entry Feb 2016 "Tanque Verde Swap Meet" It's the weekend, I'm at the corner of Tanque Verde and Grant, and all I see is a huge Tyrannosaurus Rex (!) about to consume a traffic light and a line of cars waiting to buy french fries...what happened to The Tanque Verde Swap Meet?  In 1987, commercial development on that corner necessitated a move a bit further south to 4100 South Palo Verde Road.  Even though the location changed, the name remained the same.  The Tanque Verde Swap Meet is still a major urban recycling spot and incubator for small craft businesses.  In 2015, TVSM celebrated 40 years in Tucson.  Its business hours still follow the weather patterns, opening summer nights and winter days every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  

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