Monday, June 22, 2009

The PHX Wild West, an All-American Staple

It has finally happened. Sure, we locals know that downtown PHX is one of the friendliest areas around--a small town in the 5th largest city in the country. We know our neighbors, work together and collaborate everyday. It's nothing extraordinary, that's simply how we do it here in the Wild West. It just so happens that there is an award for community members, government, businesses and nonprofit organizations who work together to address critical local issues. Over the years, 500 cities towns, counties, neighborhood and regions have earned the All-American City Award. This year PHX was chosen as one of the 10 winners out of 29 finalists in the 60th annual competition in Tampa Bay last week. We were the only AZ finalist of the country's most prestigious community recognition award thanks to a committee of 60 people, including 40 community members and 20 city employees.

The Phoenix delegation included Mayor Gordon, Councilmembers Michael Johnson and Michael Nowakowski, City Manager Frank Fairbanks and Deputy City Manager Rick Naimark, along with several community members including our very own Greg Esser, the Executive Director of Roosevelt Row. Thanks so much to everyone who worked hard to get the word out about this big small town embarking on uncharted territory everyday.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Business Week Ranks Phoenix #1 City For Recent Graduates

Business Week analyzed 30 major cities and compared available entry-level jobs, average annual salary, cost of living and unemployment rates.

The conclusion? "The job market in Phoenix is apparently as blistering as the desert heat..." Read the full story here.

Wait, There's More!

The article does not address the affordability of home-ownership in today's market, the opportunities to start your own business or the fact that we host one of the largest free monthly First Fridays events in the nation, attracting more than 15,000 people every month. Homes located within the new downtown Phoenix arts district, especially in the Garfield neighborhood, are currently selling for under $100,000. The monthly mortgage payment on a $100,000 home at 5.5% interest is about $570 per month. That is less than the price of housing in Laramie, Wyoming.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Happy Hour Doesn't Hibernate

There's a secret about downtown PHX that many of you may not know. It seems to be time to let the cat out of the bag--even if it means we lose our favorite seat at The Lost Leaf or have to wait an extra 15 minutes at CIBO. Here it is: after First Friday, we don't all hibernate for the rest of the month. In fact, the hustle and bustle continues every other Friday... and every Saturday or Wednesday for that matter. There are great things happening here every weekend and a new spot for lunch or happy hour every day of the week. Take some time to check out that great spot that was too packed on First Friday and bring some friends. Fridays in PHX happen every week and we want to help you find the latest happenings. Don't miss out on everything this city has to offer.

Some fun thoughts for Friday, June 12th:

Outdoor Movie Night at Civic Space: Casablanca
Hosted by Councilman Michael Nowakowski and the city of Phoenix Parks Department
424 N Central Ave

Modified Arts presents Daniel Francis Doyle (TX), The Present (NY), DJ Set by Queensm, Cardiac Party, and Treasure Mammal
407 E Roosevelt St

"Jack Rabbit & the Desert Tortoise" at the Great AZ Puppet Theater
302 W Latham Street
$6 for kids, $8 for adults

Happy Hour:
Carly's Bistro
128 E Roosevelt St
4pm-7pm, 10pm-12am
$1 off draft beer & wine, ask about drink specials

Moira Sushi
215 E McKinley
Sushi and cocktails starting at $5

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Patio Lounging at Local Breeze

Although the summer heat has certainly arrived, last Friday was a nice cool blip on the weather radar. Even when the heat is in full force, nothing beats a downtown PHX outdoor patio and Local Breeze was the perfect spot to spend a Friday afternoon. This new restaurant at the Caveness House is doing its best to slowly build a locally-sourced menu as they build their clientele. Hearty sandwiches and local brews got us their for lunch and the staff was so nice, we decided to return later to finish out the work day with some locally roasted organic coffee filled with local Shamrock Farms creamer. They gladly took our suggestions to partner with the Downtown Phoenix Public Market for locally grown produce and get stronger wifi so we could lounge on the couches with our laptops whenever we wanted a more social work afternoon. Get out of the office and get to know your neighbors with some good food at this great new addition to the Row.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Civic Space: Connecting the Dots

If you haven't been to the latest and greatest addition downtown, you are way past due for some quality grass lounging in Civic Space. The opening day last Thursday was a monumental moment for downtown. This was first time since the Light Rail opening that I felt a truly overwhelming sense of progress. Everyone coming together, enjoying the outdoors and seeing how the dots are finally being connected made me think just how far things have come. The hard work of so many community members and the City for so long has clearly paid off. Here's a huge thank you to everyone who helped pave the way to make downtown PHX the unique city that would demand a shady solar-powered park including historic renovation, a space for live local music and events, a huge public art piece and hopefully some independent businesses to come. This is pretty cool place and it's just going to get better from here, I can't wait.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Growing Community, Growing Shade

On Saturday, May 28th, Roosevelt Row partnered with the Mayor's office to execute the second annual tree planting this year. Around 40 new Evergreen Elms were planting along 5th and 6th St off of Roosevelt with the help of Valley Forward, SRP, ASU students and the Roosevelt Row community. With everyone's dedication to a cleaner Downtown, putting trees in seems like one of the fastest, simplest and greenest solution to beautiful streets and bit of desert cooling. Thanks again to everyone who helped grow a closer community by growing some shade!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Choosing Comminity in '09

It's no secret that the economy has taken a nosedive with no clear surfacing to in sight. Fortunately, there are still a few secrets out there on how to cope with it. It seems as though when times take a bad turn, it gives you a chance to reevaluate your day to day choices. Even simple choices like going to the grocery store can make an extensive impact in your community without you even realizing the depth of it. Here are some examples of choices you can make that will ripple the surface until we reach smoother sailing ahead.

Good Groceries
Walk or take public transportation to the grocery store. It'll make a world of difference.
This creates a pedestrian atmosphere that attracts others to do the same. You can interact with your neighbors and get more people wanting to live downtown in one fell swoop.
Not only are you saving gas money and getting exercise, you are reducing our carbon footprint. Take it a step further and bring a canvas bag to the grocery store.
Not only will you be giving your sales tax back to your community, you can make the choice to spend that money at a locally-owned grocery store such as Bashas or Ranch Market. The more money we rack up in monthly sales tax, the less likely we are to lose important funding for our schools, streets, and services.

Free Fun
There are loads of free events and projects happening in PHX every week, take advantage of them!
Without a lot of support, there is a good chance that these festivals will stop receiving the funding and sponsorship they need to exist. Just for attending a free event, you are keeping PHX active and vibrant.
Ride your bike to the event and enjoy the outdoors. It is incredible how much time we spend indoors considering our famous AZ weather.
Not only is this free for you but there is a chance that you will end up finding local businesses, artists, vendors and restaurants that you wouldn't have known about otherwise. Birthday gifts from First Friday vendors are sure to be one of a kind.

These are just a couple of thoughts on how to soften the blow. Eat locally, say hi to your neighbors and get outside. You'll be making PHX a richer community with every small choice. Feel free to post more thoughts and suggestions on how you create community everyday.