Where’s our Art?

Posted: September 4th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Where’s our Art?

“I want to sleep in a city that never wakes up / and ramble about nostalgia”

Last night was First Friday, an evening when the entire downtown wakes up and celebrates the Arts District.

It’s a great evening with new shows, extended hours, open artists studios, live bands, community, and tons of chatter about what events are going on and where to meet everyone at. First Friday was one of the first events I attended over a decade ago that made me want to move downtown.

….but it only happens once a month.

Where’s the art that confronts us outside our expected, allocated time for it?

Where’s the street art that makes us think, makes us acknowledge the problems we’ve been ignoring?

Phoenix has a lot of great artists, why can I only see them in a gallery? Art is to be shared, ingested and discussed, not hidden in a room and available only during viewing hours.

We’re a great, young city, jam-packed with all the elements of a great melting pot. Let’s start letting it spill over and celebrate our creativity.


Don’t Miss the Present

Posted: September 2nd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Don’t Miss the Present

Here and now, the days we’re living in will have an incredible effect on the rest of human history.

No, I’m not talking about an election or a war or a protest or even the economic collapse.

I’m talking about the regular everyday work that hard-working, possibly honest people do every day.

You go to work, you do your job, and then one day you figure out how to do it better, easier, more profitably, less costly, more sustainable…whatever. Five years from now you’ll be doing your job better, and someday between now and then you’ll make that discovery, or first in a series of discoveries that leads you to that.

Seems simple enough, but then extrapolate that times 6,000,000,000 people on earth. Better than any super-computer, the combined human efforts on this planet lead to advancements that no singular entity could have realized.

…and yet at the same time there are people who still go about their daily lives, considering themselves drones or cogs in the machine, content to drive their commute, work in their box, keep their head down, drive back home, watch reality TV on Fox all night and just watch themselves slowly decay on their own couch.

Now, I am very certain that I’m one of the laziest people I know when it comes to procrastination and under-achieving. However, the first step is getting out of your turtle shell, seeing what going on in the world around you, and march towards playing an active role. Get involved in your neighborhood, your city, your kid’s t-ball team, whatever. If every action can make a difference, what has your inaction done?

I’m sure Einstein didn’t start off thinking he’d discover so many things. He probably just realized he was a smart guy and working in a coal mine was bananas.

The City We Deserve?

Posted: August 25th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Warning: plenty of opinion below.

This morning as I exited my building, walking to the Light Rail stop, I spotted a bright green flyer announcing a public hearing to discuss the razing of an old, abandoned building to make way for the creation of an interim parking lot.

Previous notices about this topic were ignored by me, because the appeal to “save a piece of mid-century history” didn’t hit home. To me this seemed like one of the several run-down, decaying buildings that dot parts of Downtown. In truth, “mid-century history” didn’t seem remarkable to me, and coupled with the intent to build a new ASU Law school in the heart of the city, it seemed VERY replacable.

However, what I do not agree with is the “interim use” for the space, another huge, likely vacant parking lot. Ignoring the arguments about how the land was bought and purposed, the concept of putting yet another parking lot in an area that needs in-fill and vitality is incredibly stupid.

What I take away from it is that someone honestly thinks we want this. Whoever has the responsibility, authority & accountability in this instance, really thinks that we, the citizens/workers/shoppers all want another parking lot.

If it’s on a 5-year plan, I’d much rather see a park, or a community garden, or hell, make the parking lot, but make it underground and make it to spec with the law school that will go over it someday.

It’s not a huge area, but it is a good opportunity, and could be a symbol, a new jumping on point of the many urbanists that our city needs in order to grow in stature and vibrancy.

Yes, I’m biased because I live downtown, but why should I want to live next to a parking lot? If that was appealing to me, I’d move to the suburbs and live between the Wal-Mart and the car dealerships along the freeway.

Instead of greenery, or history, or creativity, we’re trading a dilapidated building for a heat island. And when we all let this happen, maybe that’s what we deserve.

what we deserve