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midtown Tag

Phoenix's Third Places
14 Apr

Home Away From Home: 6 of Phoenix’s Best Third Places

My introduction to the real Phoenix came at the hands of a coffee shop. It was a month or two into the school year, and I went with some of my friends to First Friday. Afterward, we stopped at Jobot for iced toddies. I'd never been in a local coffee shop before — raised in the suburbs, I was much more familiar with Starbucks — and I was fascinated by how many people were hanging out in those three small rooms talking and laughing and making friends. It's not something you see in a Starbucks, where if someone is at one of three tiny tables, they're in a suit, on a laptop, and don't want to be bothered. In the years since, I've grown to appreciate the value of third places — those crucial spots that facilitate socialization and interaction outside of home or work. Ray Oldenburg outlines just why third places are important in his book The Great Good Place: Cafes, Coffee Shops, Bookstores, Hair Salons and Other Hangouts at the Heart of a Community. They offer an "escape or time-out from life's duties and drudgeries." They serve as a pick-me-up, and create new sets of acquaintances.
Yvette Hughes
07 Apr

My Phoenix Story: Yvette Hughes-Duenas

The Beginning

My story starts in a small town in London, England, where I was born. My mother, also born in London, had met my father, originally from Nigeria, while he was passing through on his way to America. His dreams to reach the land of opportunity were quickly delayed. My early childhood was spent traveling back and forth from London and Nigeria, which gave me a good idea of what I liked and didn’t like about the two countries. When I was nine, we finally made it to America the beautiful, the great, the desert…

Where is America?

It wasn’t until I was in high school that I realized we were really in America. We had been living in the place my father spoke so highly of. I couldn’t believe that this was it. The weather was hot. It never rained. I couldn’t wear my rain coats that I adored in England. There was no canal like the Regent’s Canal by my grandmother’s. No Broadway Market. I didn’t feel the freedom like I felt in Nigeria. The food wasn’t nearly as good as the food I was used to. The only thing we did downtown was to go to Woolworth's, a general store...what fun.
Aga Westfal-Conboy
10 Mar

My Phoenix Story: Aga Westfal-Conboy

Poland to Arizona!?!

Yes. It's true. When I was eleven years old, my parents decided to migrate to The Land of Opportunity from Warsaw, Poland to start a new life. As excited as I was, I had no idea of what that meant. All I knew about America was from shows my mom and I watched, like "Dynasty," "Full House," and my favorite – "Beverly Hills 90210". I once asked my dad why people in America drive convertibles and never seem to lock their cars in the movies, he jokingly said: "That's because everyone can afford a car so no need to go stealing another person’s car." Cool!

Growing up in North Phoenix

Friday, Dec. 13th, 1994 – the big, scary move. I remember getting off the plane, getting in a car and soaking up the views of Phoenix at night. I noticed large freeways, lots of open spaces and cactus! We began our life in North Phoenix, which seemed cool to a foreign kid at first; but then the summer came. What are you supposed to do in this damn heat!? Luckily our apartment had a pool, so that was my life.
22 Sep

Matt & Rebecca of Sutra Midtown Yoga: This Is How They Do It

Screen Shot 2014-05-07 at 10.00.18 PM There are some influential people in Phoenix that just really stick with you. Whether it's community activists like Kimber Lanning, DJs like Sean Watson, or the smiling face that always greets you at your favorite coffee shop , they are the type of people that make you think: They are what makes Phoenix cool.  Matthew and Rebecca Fritz of Sutra Midtown Yoga are those people. Ever since I stepped into Sutra a three years ago, I was in awe of their daily motivation to give back to their community, their positive attitude, and their aspirations for Phoenix. When I learned a little more about their Phoenix story (they dropped their big city 9 to 5's to start a business and a family in the Coronado Historic Neighborhood), I realized they weren't just those people to me, they were a major inspiration to everyone that came in contact with them. So, I asked Matt from Sutra to share what it was like to start a business and raise a family in Midtown Phoenix with This Could Be Phoenix. The following is what he wrote. -Courtney Craig, Outreach Director of This Could Be PHX.