by Sarah Jacoby
Tana Kelch has lived in Tucson since 1973. In 2003, she opened the consistently quirky art emporium Bohemia. Dedicated to promoting talented local artists and creating a community around locally produced art, Bohemia has managed to capture Tucson's unique Southwest style without bringing in the coyote motifs or turquoise Kokopelli designs.
Best Annual Festival?
My absolute favorite festival is the All Soul's Procession. It is just the most amazing combination of mourning and celebration, costume and puppets, and fire and music. Flam Chen puts on an incredible finale every year. It is a cathartic ritual that has become a habit for me every year. I love dressing up to honor those I have lost the year before, doing the skeleton makeup and making the trek from Fourth Avenue to downtown, (with the event) ending with a jaw-dropping fire show. It is just amazing!
The B Line on Fourth Avenue! I kind of feel like their old-school rotating pastry case has something to do with the goodness of their treats—or it could be the mousse.
Roma Imports at Vine Avenue and 17th Street. This hidden gem is the ultimate Italian market for big dinner needs, and they do a great lunch menu. Hand-filled cannolis are a wonderful complement to their incredible sub-style sandwiches. And they offer great veggie selections!
I love the mural at Stone Curves. It is fantastically whimsical and a great representation of the strong flavor of Tucson art!
I adore the quaintness of Himmel Park. ... Great swings, too!
Rosa's Mexican Food at Fort Lowell Road and Campbell Avenue. I have been enjoying them for many, many years, and they do it right! Rosa is still making the delicious salsa that is a perfect complement to the sweet-and-sour delight of their house margarita.
Best Japanese Restaurant?
I have been a fan of Yoshimatsu since they opened their doors. They offer the most unique blend of Japanese cuisine and nutrition in the quirkiest dining room in town. The staff is great, and the food is always good.
Best Fashions (Locally Owned)?
I have to make this one a tie, and even these choices were tough to make! I think Preen and Zoe Boutique are the places for fashionistas in this town. Preen has the vintage you need, and Zoe offers the freshest trends. Both are owned by fine local women and give back to the community by supporting the local art and music community in their own special ways.
Best Independent Bookstore?
Antigone Books on Fourth Avenue, all the way! Not only can you find great books in most genres every day, but they offer great gift items and terrific customer service. I've ordered books in the morning, and they have arrived in two days!
Best Video Store?
I love Casa Video. I could get lost for hours searching the well-categorized shelves of new and old favorites, documentaries, foreign films and experimental wonders. I even cancelled a short-lived run with Netflix, because I missed visiting Casa all the time.