It’s been exactly one month since my last post. I apologize for that. I’m going to get on a disciplined writing schedule (tomorrow…or next week) and actually post things of value. Right now though, let me tell you about this season.
I’ve moved into a studio apartment in downtown Phoenix, I’ve got a new job, I’m writing for CST again, there’s cool stuff happening at Hope House Farms. I haven’t danced at the Duce yet, but that’ll come.
I’ve been in this apartment for sixteen days. I have a new baby pet rat named Japhy and I signed this lease all on my own.
You know how I like fresh starts. I like this one especially.
I showed up at the farm last Saturday and Johnny grinned. “You finally made it downtown. Welcome to the neighborhood.”
Downtown Phoenix has a crooked smile and dirt under its fingernails. You can see its rib cage and it needs a haircut.
But its slitted eyes are bright with hope. Phoenix plays guitar and paints murals and eats locally grown produce. It speaks Spanish.
Phoenix seems to hold up its arms with a smirk. Yeah, we’ve got a messy past, and yeah, it gets real hot. What of it? Love me or leave me.
A lot of us love it.
I love this little tongue-in-cheek city for its inhabitants and their gritty camaraderie. I love that it’s not as frat-y as Tempe feels, not as phony as Scottsdale or as ‘merican as Cave Creek. I like our murals, are locally brewed coffee, our defiant little patio gardens. I like that we’re a city built on a grid, and then comes Grand Avenue slicing through the whole thing because fuck you, that’s why. There’s a little desolation, and there’s a little hope. The place buzzes with potential energy. I like the sirens, the grime, the farmers markets everywhere, the food trucks, the Spanish music from across the street, the bold colors against the dilapidated brick and pavement. There are palm trees everywhere, which seems like a joke. It’s an island paradise, get it guys? Get it?
I’ve wanted to live downtown since my friend Meg brought me to Nami to recover from my 21st birthday initiation. I felt the energy, nodded acknowledgement at strangers, and fell under this place’s spell.
Arizona is the kind of desert that gets under your skin and seeps into your bones. Arizona has an attitude; we don’t care about daylight savings time, we’re super arrogant about our sunsets (they are the best ever in all the world) and we walk around with weapons just ‘cuz. This is the wild west, kiddo, and downtown puts a twist on this state of mind with a more progressive lifestyle.
It’s just a little city and there are others with more to offer, I’m sure. But this is my city. This is my home and my desert, and I love it, so I’m not leaving it. I just got here, anyway.