This Could Be Phoenix | urban culture
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urban culture 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.
Mapping Downtown Phoenix Growth
26 Mar

Mapping the Growth of Downtown Phoenix

If you've spent any time Downtown recently, you know that Phoenix is booming. This year it ranked 11th on Forbes' list of fastest-growing cities in America, and is projected to be the fourth largest U.S. city by 2020. This growth is perhaps most visible in the sheer amount of construction taking place, especially in the housing industry. Last month a Phoenix City Council subcommittee voted to recommend a request for proposals for a mixed-use residential and commercial development just south of Fillmore Street. A couple weeks ago developers broke ground on Union @ Roosevelt, another mixed-use development that will include commercial space at the street level and residences above. Portland on the Park is set to break ground at the end of this month. And last week, 222 E. Roosevelt was demolished to make way for a new residential tower being developed by Baron Properties. We could go on...
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.
Parking in Downtown Phoenix
20 Mar

8 Parking Problems Downtown Phoenix Faces

A few weeks ago, we asked for your opinions on our Facebook page: What's the worst thing about parking in Downtown Phoenix? You gave us various different responses, and were extremely helpful in understanding the community's perception of what it's like to park in Downtown Phoenix. Let's face it: Parking is a touchy subject that lies at the center of a clash of lifestyles. It's a complex issue, and we get that. As part of our exploration into the topic of parking, we'll attempt to understand and explain some of its many facets in future blog posts. We want to do this thoroughly and factually so that we (and hopefully you!) can fully understand the problems our city is facing.