We're going out on a limb here to provide you some education and entertainment. Got a few hours downtown? Got a few days? Watch the justice system. We're not crying for a return of the Sob Sisters. Nor do we think you should have some ghoulish appetite for someone's misfortune. (Leave that to us.) Nonetheless the courthouse is a great place to pass time, observe and learn. Unless you are already downtown and in one of the court buildings, chances are you are not going to see a calendar of cases for the day or for the coming days. You may have to rely on the daily papers or even some television talking head to find out if there is a trial you want to attend. Calendars are available in Superior Court on the first floor at the information center. Calendars are posted, by judge, at federal court, the new building named for the late Evo DeConcini, the judge and father of the former U.S. Senator. Besides the type of case, you want to watch for talent. Stanton Bloom, Michael Piccarreta, Alfred "Skip" Donau and even old Bob Hirsh are top defense lawyers. Richard Grand is a successful personal injury and wrongful death lawyer. He carries around a portfolio of his newspaper clips that he uses to intimidate the opposition. Make a day or several days of it. The best bet is to ride the bus. There are stops in front of each building. Justice Court, where it's amusing to hear the excuses for speeding and the like, is under the mosaic dome of the Old County Courthouse. If you have to drive, parking is available under the Main Library, across the street from the Old County Courthouse, at the Public Works Building at North Stone and Alameda, at the Radisson Hotel on Congress or the La Placita garage at Stone and Jackson. You can come and go, but you have to follow decorum established by the judge. No cell phones, no newspapers or books, no food or drink, and in some courtrooms, no gum. You cannot be a distraction. No slobs, either. Dress appropriately. If it gets a little tedious--Law & Order
doesn't show you the squabbles over mundane motions--grab some lunch early at La Placita. Mauro at I Golosi will take care of you with pasta and pizza and refreshing San Peligrino Limonata. He'll make you feel like you're in his native Milan. The next day try Tamalez or Deb's Coney Dogs. And go where the judges and lawyers go--for a shoe shine at Raul's. The mayor of La Placita, Raul hears all and knows all.
Of Mythic Proportions: Beginning in early February, go to Hi Corbett Field and the baseball annex at Randolph Park south of Broadway to watch the Colorado Rockies practice, or to the Kino Sports Complex, at 2500 E. Ajo Way, to watch the Chicago White Sox and Arizona Diamondbacks.
OF MYTHIC PROPORTIONS: A friend of ours visits from Denver. He's a real neighborhood guy who cherishes how Denver has preserved and strengthened its neighborhoods. When in Tucson, after his runs through the UA and Sam Hughes, he dashes to the Rincon Market, 2513 E. Sixth St., for iced tea or water, some fruit and maybe a pastry. And he lingers. Soaks it up. Can stick around 'til it's time to order lunch. In fact, some days he likes to have his three squares at Rincon. A beautiful display of food in a relaxed neighborhood market.