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phoenix Tag

Phoenix Preservation
24 Apr

A History of Advocacy and Preservation in Phoenix

This week marks one month since the demolition of 222 E. Roosevelt, a former bar and lounge and local art gallery, and home to what were murals by famed Arizona painter Ted DeGrazia. The building had been slated for demolition for months, despite community outcry — there was an internet petition with more than 1,600 signatures to save the building and murals, and a Superbowl-weekend mock funeral for the neighborhood. There were plans to preserve the building by moving it to a new location, and then there weren't. And on March 20, bulldozers moved in. It was a sad story to watch unfold, but not all of Phoenix's preservation struggles end in a heap of paint dust and broken brick. Over the past decades, historic preservationists and Downtown advocates have had many successful moments in saving pieces of Phoenix history. Check out a few of the biggest ones below.
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.
02 Apr

My Phoenix Story: Lisa Parks

Ten years ago, I left the San Francisco Bay Area and moved to Phoenix to live closer to my parents. They had retired to the Verde Valley from Michigan and I hadn’t lived near them in sixteen years. As beautiful as it is, San Francisco never felt like home. That place was reserved for New York City, where I spent most of my twenties and half of my thirties. It still feels like my hometown, even though I lived in Michigan until just after college graduation. I felt like I really grew as a person when I reached Manhattan and I fell in love with that city. But as friends got married, had children and moved out of NYC and to neighboring Boston, I found myself following them there, enjoying a wonderful two-year stint. Having lived in all of these great places, it was easy to compare Phoenix to them when I first arrived and wondered what on earth I had just done.

The Heart Grows Fonder

My first exposure to Phoenix had me seeing sprawl, freeways, huge arterial streets, little in the way of public transportation and no walkability. Having spent many years without a car, I wasn’t thrilled to have to drive everywhere. But I wanted to be closer to family and so I was committed.
Troy Farah
24 Mar

My Phoenix Story: Troy Farah

I was born, perhaps even raised, in the Valley of the Sun. Aside from a few short periods in my life where I’ve lived elsewhere, I’ve always considered Phoenix home. I likely always will. I want to travel endlessly, but I hope to die here, or at least hope my remains find a way back here. For good reason, many people have accused me of hating this place, demanding that I leave rather than complain. But I don’t actually dislike it here at all! I am very happy in this place, most of the time, and I rarely, if ever attribute my well-being to location. But let’s be honest: Phoenix sucks. It’s true, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Phoenix doesn’t suck in the way that other cities suck. Traffic is generally light, people are generally decent, crime is generally nonexistent, half the year the weather is too good to be true, and I don’t see myself moving for anywhere else.