Au Revoir, Tucson

Sometime tomorrow, I’m leaving Tucson for my road trip to D.C. My best friend from UA just graduated and is moving back home, so I’m joining her on the long drive, and we’re stopping in a few southern states on the way. I fly to Paris from there. It should be an interesting journey.

I’m writing all this because I never in a million years thought I would cry at the thought of leaving Tucson for the summer. As I freshman, I would have laughed out loud at this prospect. I always got upset when I had to come back to Arizona and leave beautiful northern California for several months. How times have changed in two years.

But I’m devastated, to tell you the truth. I’m going to miss all my UA friends, the heat, the cacti, the weird people wandering around campus, writing for the newspaper, studying, meeting new people, going out on the weekends, and everything about the University of Arizona.

Thankfully, I’m going to be in Paris with twenty other UA students, so I’ll have some connection to home. I want to thank everyone who has faithfully read my blog this academic school year, and just remember that I’m going to keep up with it as much as possible. You’ll see a lot of updates in my study abroad blog, which is among the blog roll links. Thanks for all the support and for encouraging me to keep writing in all circumstances.

I am thrilled for the summer, but I know I’ll be ready to be in Tucson at the beginning of August. I’ll be a senior in the fall, and God knows how much of a struggle I’ll have with that realization. It hit me when I turned in my British Literature final. I realized that I finished the hardest academic year of college. From here on out, I have 12 units a semester to throw myself into. It won’t be that hard.

Anyway, I’ll miss you guys, and I’ll miss even the most inconvenient, annoying things about Tucson. If you stay this summer, think of me when you drive by the UA or even when you’re hanging out with your greatest friends, because I’ll be wishing to be in your place.

Casa Video: A Tucson Treasure

logoWith Blockbusters going out of business and Netflix becoming increasingly more popular, it’s nice to see a family owned video store in Tucson maintain success.

Casa Video is probably one of the best mom-and-pop video stores in existence. The movie industry has struggled long before the economic recession. People have always been trying to pirate films, and new technological advances have made this easier. It’s possible to watch new theatrical releases on the internet. Even Netflix users have been known to rent a DVD and burn it so the movie has basically become their own for a cheap price. Some of my friends laugh when they find out that I still purchase movies the old, honest way.

In spite of the competition, Casa Video seems to be a successful source for renting movies. The owner has gone the extra mile to keep his store in business. Everyone who walks into Casa Video can pick up a free bag of buttered popcorn. Then, they’re welcome to browse the immense store, which has every film you can possibly imagine. Judging by the dark atmosphere reminiscent of a movie theater projection room, it’s clear that Casa Video has been around for many years, and there’s a lot of character to each section of the store.

Last year, my Shakespeare professor repeatedly mentioned that Casa Video has the greatest film selection in Tucson. I was told to watch 12 specific French films before my summer abroad trip this May. As to be expected, the French department did not enforce a DVD return policy, so I was unable to see all the required films for my summer class.

Thankfully, Casa Video had the movies I needed to watch, among thousands of other foreign films. Casa Video also has an interactive website that allows users to check film availability and if all copies are rented or in store. Casa Video can even mail-order movies to customers.

Employees have even taken to writing blog entries about new and old movies on the website. Three-day rentals are $3.50 and due back at the store by 1 a.m. on the fourth day as opposed to Blockbuster’s $4.50 price for 2-day rentals due back at noon on the third. You can get some films for as low as $2. Casa Video is open from 9 a.m.-1 a.m. every day, unlike Blockbuster, which closes at 10 p.m. on weeknights in most locations.

Best of all, Casa Video has a collection of VHS tapes if you’re into that sort of thing. Even though times are changing, it’s really nice to step into a large video store. It gives me hope for other venues such as used and new bookstores, even. I really hope Casa Video stays in business for a very long time, even though technological advancements will make it even easier for everyone to get movies in an alternative way.