He said: ‘I am but one small instrument.’ Do you remember that?
As Jim Adkins rifled these melodic words into the crowded Arizona night, I realized that history was in the making. What that history is exactly remains to be seen.
The creaky floorboards of Modified Arts trembled in the wake of a rock that has become all too familiar. The lyrics were shouted back with fervor and angst that seemed to settle in the room’s thick air. This was the place to be, Phoenix. For a “secret” show, it sure was let out of the bag. As Jimmy Eat World had tweeted earlier in the day, “If you live in PHX and have plans for tonight, cancel them.” This seemed like a fair warning at the time.
Jeff Bufano of Reubens Accomplice, the supposed headliner before the news broke, crowed, “[You must] have that Twitter thing on your phones or something.” Perhaps that is the truth, as the masses started assembling as early as 3 p.m. for a 7 p.m. start. Who says Twitter isn’t powerful?
Upon arriving at around 6:10, the line wrapped entirely around the place; to the point that it began to wind back up to the front entrance. It didn’t seem long until the cry was let out that it was sold out and the lines weren’t getting in. “Extremely limited space” is not a joke.
The lineup for the night included Ian Stupar of El Oso Negro, Source Victoria and Reubens Accomplice. For the most part, the opening bands were making way for the much-anticipated headliners to take the stage. Stupar opened it up with a few original songs and finished up a mellow set with covers of Reubens and JEW songs, respectively. Source Victoria took the stage with melodic guitars and harmonic vocals to tame the room. “You guys are here for Reubens, right?” was the joke of the night from our openers. Once Reubens Accomplice took the stage, you could feel the room on the edge of its seat. Reubens threw some eagerly anticipated songs at us. As far as their several-years-in-the-making album, Bufano joked, “We’ll release it in four years. But, it will have 176 tracks and you guys will be blown away.”
By the time Jim Adkins and crew took the stage, the eagerness was dripping off the walls. There was definitely something special about this “secret” show. You could feel it in the room. Even though I did not have the privilege of growing up here, this concert felt like it was drumming up the spirits of 10 years ago. Everything was perfect in that regard. From Adkins beckoning Sam Means (The Format) to the stage in jest, to the strained voices in the back crying out for “one more song” or to “play all night,” this night belonged to the fans, the bands and this city. “Bleed American” began the shouted refrains and huddled, rhythmic masses in their dance with the night. Once “Goodbye Sky Harbor” echoed in the room, you could feel the excitement that this city has, not just for its most notable band, but for its music scene.
I can still feel the guitar riffs pumping through my veins. I imagine that I will for days. If you were not one of the privileged to get inside the doors, I feel that an important message was passed down. Adkins, at the chanting for an encore, returned to the stage. He said something that I think all of Phoenix needs to hear: “If you love the arts and the music, support them. Go to the shows. Support the bands.” This seems simple enough, but it is something that we as a community need to do perhaps now more than ever. We need to coddle these young, talented musicians and venues and treat them like the treasure they are.
So, the big “secret” show wasn’t about how popular Jimmy Eat World is in this place, but more about how much these little places, artists and stages mean to our community.
Modified Arts’ final three shows of the Kimber Lanning era are tonight, Friday and Saturday. See its website for full details.
I decided to brave Phoenix’s version of a hurricane to venture out and try one of our supposed best kept secrets: the $3 burger at Maizie’s.
Tucked away in the shadow of the Landmark Tower resides Maizie’s Café & Bistro, a unique bistro that knows how to attract the hungry — offer their delicious burgers for $3 from 4 to close on Mondays. I had heard that these were pretty amazingly good. I must admit that the line coming out of the door and the smell emanating from this place surely comforted any trepidation I had about the burgers.
I suppose the chaotic weather kept the crowds a little smaller than they normally are. Hearsay was that the wait would be quite extensive, but we were seated fairly quickly. The wait staff obviously holds the ability to read minds; or they have just served up their fair share of burgers on Monday nights, because the waitress only needed to ask what was required on the burger. So, I selected the pepperjack cheese and a cold Blue Moon to wash it down.
As I was awaiting my cheap treat, I noticed the dining area was extremely packed. It seems that the extensive patio that Maizie’s possesses falls silent on nights of inclement weather. Good thing this is Arizona and rain is about as frequent as a viable Elvis sighting.
The wait for the burger was not too long. As it arrived in its splendor, I almost expected an angelic chorus to erupt. For $3, I was expecting a Krystal (or White Castle, for you Midwestern folk)-sized burger, but I was pleasantly surprised. I could hardly wait to sink my teeth in. Each bite was better than the first. Any form of ravenous hunger I had owned before this was wiped away. This burger was top-shelf quality with a shoestring budget price.
So, if you find yourself scraping the bottom of the piggy bank on some lonely Monday night, forget about the fast food malarkey and go to Maizie’s. You will definitely get more than you bargained for.
Maizie’s Café and Bistro is located at 4750 N. Central Ave. in Uptown (light rail station at Central/Camelback). 602.274.2828
Note: Below is some good writing, which obviously means that it isn’t mine… Please enjoy a wonderful piece on ASU’s role in the development of Downtown Phoenix written by Beth Wischnia. I’ll be back next week with some fresh work. — Sam
The once-lifeless capital city of Arizona has taken on a new look and feel recently, complete with a bustling Arizona State University campus in the heart of Downtown. The influx of students on ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus has directly affected the development of Phoenix.
The campus includes nationally recognized schools such as the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and the College of Nursing and Health Innovation. The campus opened in fall 2006, however it was when the Cronkite School opened in fall 2008 that many more students relocated to Phoenix.
Paul Martinez, manager of local restaurant Hanny’s, said the Downtown Phoenix campus has brought multiple businesses to the community because of the “youth’s energy.”
A Starbucks is in operation on the first floor of Taylor Place and Hsin, a Chinese restaurant, is expected to open in Taylor Place in the near future. Other recent additions to the Downtown Phoenix area include Fair Trade Café and the Phoenix Public Market Urban Grocery and Wine Bar.
Arianna Heet, a sophomore nursing major, has been working at Starbucks in Taylor Place for more than a year. The job sparked her interest because of the “convenience factor”, which allowed her to wake up and walk downstairs to work. In addition to the convenience factor, Heet said she enjoys the atmosphere of the student-friendly on-campus Starbucks as opposed to off-campus locations.
“We have a different dynamic,” Heet said. “We have a strong student-based business.”
Armark, the company that manages the various dining options in Taylor Place, owns the location in Taylor Place, unlike most Starbucks. Heet said the location she works at is a licensed store and not a corporate store. The Taylor Place baristas are employed by Armark and simply buy their product from Starbucks.
“It’s essentially the same business, but run by another company,” Heet explained.
Hanny’s, an Italian-inspired restaurant located just a few blocks away from the Downtown Phoenix campus, draws in customers by combining great food and service with a “historic piece of property,” Martinez said.
The building that is now home to Hanny’s was built in 1947 and underwent a restoration process that took three years. In addition to the unique building’s historical significance, the location is ideal, as it is located adjacent next to the area’s developmental milestone, the light rail.
“The light rail and us were opening about a month apart,” Martinez explained. “It was exciting to have that advancement next to that historic piece of property.”
Lenni Rosenblum, a sophomore journalism student, lives at Taylor Place because she was elected into a leadership position in a residential program. Rosenblum has been living at Taylor Place since the building opened in fall 2008 because of its convenient location. While she enjoys living Phoenix because of what it has to offer, she recognizes there is room for improvement in the development of the area.
Despite some new development in Phoenix, many students who lived at Taylor Place last year chose to live in Tempe this year. Sophomore communications major Amy Gauvin said that part of the reason she no longer lives in Downtown Phoenix is because of the lack of city development in comparison to Tempe.
“After class you can walk to Mill and go shopping, or you can go to Barney’s and get food and go to happy hour. Downtown Phoenix doesn’t offer any of that,” Gauvin said. “I would literally go to class then go back to my dorm until my next class.”
City of Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon addressed the effect the students have had on the Phoenix community during his State of Downtown address on Nov. 17, 2009 in the city’s new Civic Space park, which was built by a partnership between the city of Phoenix and ASU.
“I want to highlight the steady heartbeat of Arizona State University, which continues to pump life into Downtown Phoenix, continues to generate revenue to the state,” Gordon said, “and continues to do what universities are supposed to do: educate our residents and prepare them to change the world for the better.”
“ASU has brought that fun, youthful life back to Downtown that we didn’t have before,” Martinez said. “We are trying to help pioneer the movement of revitalizing Downtown by taking a local business owner, restoring a building and giving people a place to congregate.”
Samuel Richard, a senior nonprofit leadership and management student, calls himself a “defacto community activist” in Downtown Phoenix. Richard lives and works in the community. He also was part of the team that reimagined the Downtown Phoenix Journal in January of 2009 and is a weekly contributor. He is optimistic about the future of Phoenix because he said that community development takes time.
“Our civic and business leaders have showed a renewed interest in developing the heart of our city,” Richard said. “Thankfully, ASU has been able to play a large part of this renaissance.”
“The area is now seen as a stable, desirable place for the community to be,” Panetta explained. “It’s more attractive for those who might want to live in the area or open a business.”
Also pioneering the revitalization of Downtown Phoenix is CityScape, a multi-use destination blocks away from the Downtown Phoenix campus that will feature retail, restaurants and entertainment. The complex will feature The Breakfast Club, a taqueria bar, Lucky Strike Lanes and an Urban Outfitters, to name a few.
John Matthews, senior leasing associate of RED Development for CityScape, attributes snagging the prime, central location to being at the right place at the right time.
“After reviewing what the city and state had done with getting the ASU campus Downtown, the time seemed to be right,” Matthews said. “Rarely do you get three blocks in the center of a downtown that are available to develop.”
Matthews said the students on the Downtown Phoenix campus were like a “built-in population”, which is an additional reason CityScape is in Phoenix.
“It’s a huge benefit being near a university campus,” Matthews said. “That, and the diversity downtown has to offer.”
Panetta said the ASU Downtown Phoenix campus acts as a “catalyst for development” in an area that was previously underutilized. He explained such a high concentration of students in a relatively compact area creates an economic effect on the community.
Panetta said the indirect impact students have had far exceeds the direct impact.
“The area is now seen as a stable, desirable place for the community to be,” Panetta explained. “It’s more attractive for those who might want to live in the area or open a business.”
“With an increase in the student population comes an increase in the number of students who will locally rent apartments, go out to dinner and attend local entertainment events, for example,” Rosenblum said
Gordon and Martinez said that ASU’s existence Downtown has helped the city appeal to potential Phoenicians who are looking for an enriching environment to live in.
“We have seen a huge surge of people interested in the Downtown area whose businesses were once solely located in the Scottsdale area,” Martinez said. “They’re starting to branch our because they see more people focusing on Downtown.”
“It’s [ASU] attracted…businesses, restaurants and galleries,” Mayor Gordon said.
“ASU has been in Tempe since 1885, and in Downtown Phoenix since 2006,” Richard explained. “If the community at-large can gain a little perspective and patience, our future will be brighter.”
Martinez said that with increased student population comes increased activity in various businesses located in the area.
“Anytime that you bring in the youth and that kind of energy, especially in large amounts, businesses tend to flourish as they strive to provide for the youth,” Martinez explained. “ASU brought dollars and young energy to support and help the Downtown area grow.”
Arizona State University has “long-range plans” in place to accommodate the projected student growth rate at each campus. Panetta said plans include retail opportunities and more student housing, adding there has been a strong trend for convenient food spots on and near campus.
“Additional retail opportunities will likely emerge in the campus and neighborhood, as well as office and residential projects that will desire proximity to the Downtown campus and the energy and activity it generates as well as the market stability it can help foster,” Panetta said.
Richard said it is a combination of multiple sources that creates a successful Downtown area. Additionally, all major development takes time.
ASU President Michael Crow spoke about the Downtown Phoenix campus during a forum held on Dec. 1, 2009. Crow explained how the city of Phoenix and ASU Downtown have an ideal partnership.
“The Downtown campus is a perfect example of a university and a city with objectives that overlapped with each other,” Crow said. “The city was looking for enterprise and we were looking to expand from the Tempe campus.”
Crow added that there are plans for expanding the Downtown campus’ programs and facilities because it has proved to be a successful campus so far. Additional future plans include moving the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law Downtown, building a third residence hall and creating more retail space.
“We’re at the end of phase one,” Crow said. “We need to finish our planning for phase two.”
Contact Beth at email@example.com.
We’re no Seattle (or New York, or Chicago or Portland), but it’s no secret that Downtown Phoenix is supporting a decidedly growing coffee culture. In full disclosure, I consider myself more than slightly addicted to coffee, and the thought of going to get a cup right now sounds enticing. I’m always intrigued to hear of new spots opening, and this year has seen its fair share of notable openings. Sure, there are locally owned coffee spots all over the Valley, but 2009 has really been the year of the espresso shot in Downtown Phoenix.
There’s an ever-growing list of hipster hangouts, java-scented corners and makeshift co-working locations. Is it over saturation, or is it a growing indication that this is a relevant place (something that’s seemingly debated on a day-to-day basis)?
Despite mainstays like Lux and Conspire, this year we’ve seen a bevvy of new coffee locales: Fair Trade Café‘s second location in Civic Space Park, Royal at the Market‘s arrival in the Urban Grocery and Wine Bar, Lola Coffee‘s instant success in a booming Uptown strip center and Urban Beans‘ laid-back vibe on 7th Street.
There’s only a few weeks left in the year, but we may have three brand new places to get our first coffee of 2010 if opening dates hold up.
Cartel, the reigning king of independent coffeehouses in Tempe, is opening a location across the street from the CityScape site. The space, which was once another coffeehouse (Hot Shotz), opens in mid-December, and is bringing the infamous Clover espresso machine from the other location along for the ride.
UPDATE: Cartel is officially open at 1 N. 1st St. as of 12.08.09.
Matt Pool’s notoriously delayed but very much anticipated Giant Coffee seems just about ready to open, but we’re not quite sure he has the menu down just yet. Preview events of the space have yielded positive reviews, and Pool’s latest projection has the space inside the Link building (home to [merz]project) opening sometime before Christmas.
Then there’s the second outpost of Lola Coffee (the first has barely been open six months) in the historic Gold Spot Building. After Calabria deli unexpectedly closed up this summer, it seemed the Gold Spot was a doomed locale. Now that Lola and Pita Jungle have both started the move-in process, this could be the most happenin’ corner in Roosevelt. Since it’s the closest java place to Fort DPJ, expect to see me there often. Probably too often. Details on an opening date are mum, but there are whispers of a late December opening.
UPDATE: Lola Coffee is open at 1001 N. 3rd Ave. as of 12.18.09.
So, my New Years resolution is to drink more local coffee. See you all out there, sipping your joe.
Previous week’s games
11/27/09 SUNS 120, Timberwolves 95
11/29/09 SUNS 113, Raptors 94
12/01/09 Knicks 126, SUNS 99
12/02/09 Cavs 107, SUNS 90
Next week’s games
12/05/09 SUNS vs Kings, 7 p.m., Fox Sports Arizona
12/06/09 SUNS @ Lakers, 7:30 p.m., My45
12/08/09 SUNS @ Mavericks, 6:30 p.m., My45
Originally, I had planned in my head (because that’s where I plan things) to write this week’s Suns Spot about Jason Richardson. I was going to talk about the trade last year and how he performed then versus how he’s performed now. It was going to be good. Then the Suns played the New York Knicks and looked like the New York Knicks. OK, fine, one loss, no big deal. Last night, though, the Suns played the Cleveland Cavaliers and looked like the New Jersey Nets (at least in the first half; the second half actually had some positives — mostly the play of Goran Dragic). Needless to say, the Jason Richardson blog has been put on hiatus for the time being.
About halfway through the Cavs game, I came up with the idea for this week’s blog. Below is the first rough draft I had written for this week about the Knicks game:
No defense… lack of hustle on the boards… ever heard of boxing out? Danilo Gallinari scored how many points?! The freaking Knicks?!!!! Under 100 points?!?!?!! Seriously?
Here’s what I had for the Cavs game:
I hate Lebron James! Now Shaq gets those calls?! Grrrr!
After listening to City and Colour to calm myself down a bit, I decided to rethink my blog. I don’t want to be one of those negative Suns fans (and we’re going to start to hear from a lot of them now). All those chicken littles will show up talking about how we need to trade Amar’e or do this or do that or Robert Sarver is cheap or Steve Kerr is terrible, blah blah blah. Instead, I decided to put a positive spin on things. Here’s what I came up with.
One, the Suns needed some adversity. All teams face it. The good ones overcome it. Now the Suns have their chance. It’s only a two-game losing streak. Phoenix is still sitting at 14-5, which is nothing to hang your head about, especially considering the expectations for this season. The important thing is how the Suns bounce back. Luckily, the Suns get that chance at home (Saturday against the Sacramento Kings), where they’ve been dominate, especially in the last three contests. Last year, Phoenix didn’t do too well with adversity — they weren’t able to bounce back. With Gentry at the helm this time around, I think things will be different. As long as the Suns just shake off these last two games and move on, all should be well in the Valley of the Suns.
Two, we did get to see some positives in these two losses. In both games Goran Dragic never stopped fighting. He continued to be aggressive, even when his shot wasn’t falling and the game was well out of hand. He played his usual solid defense and when Knicks players looked to have some easy layups in the fourth quarter Tuesday night, Dragic wouldn’t have any part of it, committing good, hard, quality basketball fouls. Alando Tucker also shined in the fourth quarter of the Knicks blowout, scoring 14 points and getting to the charity stripe eight times. It was good to see Tucker come in and be aggressive. He could come in handy with Leandro Barbosa out two to four weeks with the ankle sprain.
Three, well… I couldn’t think of a third one, but those first two are pretty solid, especially that adversity one. Let’s see how this Suns team handles it.