16 Oct My Phoenix Story: Jonathan Carroll
I didn’t choose to live here. I was born here. I was born a Phoenician. I was born and will forever be an Arizonan and I love it. Why? There are too many reasons to list, but I will talk about a few that are the most important to me.
It’s fairly well known that a phoenix starts a new life by rising from the ashes of its predecessor. Well, this is exactly where the city of Phoenix used to be 10-15 years ago – a dusty ghost town that no man or woman wanted to be associated with. It’s a fact. It’s the truth. I hate admitting it. Those who were employed here years and years ago didn’t have a choice on location. In the present, the city of Phoenix has indeed risen from the dustbowl, so to speak, and transformed itself into an amazing city that keeps growing day after day.
Considering how large the Phoenix Metro Valley actually is, it’s amazing to see how small Downtown is. I spend most of my time on Roosevelt & 3rd Street. I feel like I live in a small town that just happens to be based in a big city. Even on the outskirts of Roosevelt Row/Evans-Churchill neighborhood, people all around know each other and I still don’t understand how.
The community overall is passionate about shaping Phoenix into a bigger, safer and better place not only to reside in, but more importantly, to get to know those around you and share similarities and/or differences over a cup o’ joe. Even though we might not always agree on certain topics of discussion, it’s never a bad idea to talk about them and come to a logical resolution – this is exactly why I love Phoenix and the creative people that surround it and keep it alive and kicking like never before.
I don’t know the studies. I don’t have the statistics. I don’t care about obtaining them. I don’t care about large “chain” corporations and their customer base. I do, however, care and support small businesses. What makes this city great is having the opportunity, passion, dedication, creativity, stamina and hard work to start your own business. It’s small business that keeps us motivated to change the city one new entrepreneur at a time and I want to keep it that way.
Phoenix is all about knowing someone and getting to know that individual because you never know when you’re going to need them in some shape or form. Networking is key and essential. It’s what drives us to be better, learn from one another and succeed in the long run. Small business is a main reason why Phoenix is now a great place to meet new and aspiring people, to grasp and learn new concepts and to grow and be a better and productive person. We’re like Portland’s newborn, yet we’re growing up faster than anyone thought we would.
Food & Coffee
I can’t stress it enough. The food and coffee in Phoenix is fantastic. Sure, 5-10 years ago, we had our fair share of 4-5 star restaurants, solid pizza joints and coffee houses. Now, we’ve pulled a complete 360. There are so many amazing choices to choose from that it’s become more difficult every time my wife and I want to dine out somewhere. For example, on any given night, this is what we have to choose from: Pomo Pizzeria, Cibo, The Parlor, Short Leash Hot Dogs, Bragg’s Factory Diner, The Vig, Durant’s, Phoenix Public Market Cafe, Angel’s Trumpet, Vovomeena, Bliss Re-Bar, Tuck Shop, Astor House, Coronado Cafe, Rice Paper, Barrio Cafe, China Chili, Crudo, Comedor Guadalajara, Coup Des Tartes, Le Grande Orange (LGO) and more.
The coffee culture in Phoenix has grown so much and each shop provides a unique experience with something different for its clientele, especially the Roosevelt Row/Evans-Churchill/Roosevelt Neighborhood – Lola’s Coffee, Fair Trade Café, Jobot & Songbird Coffee & Tea House are located here.
In midtown Phoenix sits Lux & Shine Coffee. Head up to 7th Avenue and you’ll find a gas station transformed into Copper Star Coffee. Phoenix has a great coffee atmosphere and business owners that truly know what they’re doing. It’s an ever-growing coffee community where not only small business thrives, but the customers fluctuate from coffee house to coffee house in order to expand their creativity and help small businesses succeed for the future.
Divided We Fall
As Roger Waters, bassist, vocalist and lyrist for Pink Floyd wrote, “united we stand, divided we fall”. It’s true. We are the ones that can transform this city into something great – nobody else. If we fight, disagree and never come to terms on anything, nothing will ever be accomplished. We’re here together, united and part of this amazing Phoenix community, supporting and doing our best to keep the city vibrant and full of life as we watch small businesses all around us blossom into memories that will be part of us forever.
Onward and upward, Phoenix. My city. My home. My reality. My dream.
[box]This is the first in a series of what we hope to be many “My Phoenix Story” posts from different members of our community. They will explore the various people who live here, how they found themselves in Phoenix, why they decide to stay here, and what the city means to them.
We are looking for more storytellers, so if you want to tell your story, contact us![/box]