Hi, I'm Angi
Welcome to my corner of the internet! My passions include travel, photography, books, music, Japanese language and culture, Italian language and culture, and art.

Here at Abbott Lane you'll find my thoughts on these topics and much more. Thanks for stopping by to visit!

More Arizona: Arcosanti

I know, I know...more Arizona. But I can't tell you how much I enjoyed this trip. I've traveled a fair amount outside of the country, but my domestic travel is sadly anemic, particularly in parts of the country that look completely different from what I'm used to here in the Midwest. So for me, Arizona was like being on another planet. It was incredible to be in the desert surrounded by boulders, canyons and red earth, and it's a trip I won't forget any time soon. To see all of that beauty and wide open expanse was really special.

One of my favorite day trips while there was our visit to Arcosanti. It had been recommended to me by a cool, artist friend who had spent some time living there many years ago. We drove down from Prescott, not quite sure what we were in for. All we knew was that it was a kind of urban ecology center/artist outpost and that they had daily tours. We turned off the highway at our exit, followed a long gravel road, got out of the car, and were immediately a little disappointed. The view from the parking lot left much to be desired - a big junk/scrap yard, and some random buildings scattered about.

But there's a reason you shouldn't judge a book by its cover. Once we got inside and started the tour, we came to realize what a special and incredible place Arcosanti is.

Arcosanti is an experimental urban ecology and environmental "lab" started by architect Paolo Soleri. A team - each member bringing different skills to the site - lives there and studies architecture, the environment, and how to combat urban sprawl through innovation. The site is made up of numerous buildings, and many of the workspaces are open to the elements to take advantage of the sun and wind.

Arcosanti is known for its cast iron and ceramic bells, which Soleri began making during the site's early days, and which ended up bringing in more money than he anticipated. To this day, many of Arcosanti's projects (it's still incomplete and there's much more to do) are funded through the sale of these bells, which are handmade by resident artisans. Each bell is unique in design, shape, and sound, and can be found all over the site, catching the breeze. Everywhere we walked, we could feel the love and passion that the residents feel for their unique little community.

They also sell the bells, which are reasonably priced and which you can try out to find your perfect "match" in the main gallery. If you're ever in Arizona, Arcosanti is a must see! The tour is fantastic, and it was one of the most peaceful places I've ever been.