Every year a new crop of ASU students stream into downtown Phoenix and begin to “explore the core” as they navigate their way to class and their new home.
At DPJ, we encourage these urban adventures and are launching a fun social media hashtag campaign to encourage this discovery of the the people, places, and events that bring our urban core to life: #My1stTime.
Students, as you explore downtown, we want you to tweet us at @dtphxjournal, or post on Facebook or Instagram, a photo of yourself enjoying your very first time visiting downtown restaurants, parks, stores, art galleries, and events.
Be sure to include the hashtag #My1stTime. We’ll share our favorites.
What can fellow community members do? Help activate this campaign!
Those of us who have been here for a while can look for these hashtagged updates, welcome these new residents and encourage them to continue their urban adventures.
#My1stTime @dtphxjournal. It’s fun. It’s easy. And your mother will approve!
Eating is very important for a thinking, doing person. Sometimes, rapt in a creative fervor, one forgets, and ends up grazing on odds and ends left in the cabinet or fridge: the bottom of a cereal box, a questionably old apple, a bag of flour.
Forced breaks are good. Getting up from the desk, the computer, the studio, and venturing out into the world where people bring you food is one of the wonders of living in a city. Being able to stay put at a table for hours without the staff angrily tapping their fingers is also a relaxing blessing.
My favorite place for a midday work break used to be the Urban Grocery at the Phoenix Public Market. You could get a half sandwich, soup and a drink next door at Royal Coffee for under ten dollars. Sadly, since they closed, I realized how important it was to find a place where you could take a break and eat or where you could work all day and have good food available to you.
Aaron Chamberlin’s Public Market Café has stepped up to fill the Grocery’s shoes with small nutritious meals and a great indoor or outdoor seating environment. Even on the hottest days, it feels comfortable and welcome to sit outside in the shade under the misters. Refillable iced tea and hours until 10 p.m. make it possible to cover all your meals, should you choose to stay there all day, or at least be available for a reliable break at any hour.
For so long I’d been searching for a place where I could work in relative peace and possibly have a beer without having to fight (sometimes perhaps literally) with downtown sports enthusiasts and banners advertising Budweiser or Blue Moon. Angel’s Trumpet has answered those prayers. Not only is the staff super friendly and knowledgeable but the place is also large enough that you can carve out a corner to set up and write, work or computerize. They are also open late with food served all day, so you can easily drop in for a lunch or break from work.
If these places seem a bit too pricey and you just need a place to eat and not work, La Tolteca, on Van Buren cannot be beat anywhere in the vicinity. The menu is huge, the staff is friendly, there’s always seating available and you have the added benefit of hovering over the baked items while you wait for your food. Al Pastor tacos, ceviche for less than six dollars, a giant cup of jamaica and a great salsa selection make this place a must-stop for all artists and musicians trying to save a buck, but have tons of food. I dare you to try to eat the entire burrito at once (please don’t).
Other locations that do wonderfully as eat/work or break/eat places include Fair Trade Cafe, America’s Taco Shop, Jobot, Bonjour Vietnam at the Hotel San Carlos, and Athenian Express (cheapest breakfast anywhere!).
Don’t forget, too, that most of these places are likely staffed by budding artists, musicians and performers. Working in a restaurant provides people somewhat flexible schedules so they can make a living and still be able to create their work. This comes in handy for occasional “hey I know you” discounts for artists or, for non-artists you have the opportunity to boost an artist’s ego by asking what they do.
DPJ’s Bike Chic series by Nathan Simpson. You may see him around town scouting locals who not only ride their bikes but look dapper doing it.
Occupation: Barista at Jobot Coffee/ASU Journalism Student
Her neighborhood: Tempe (but she works and plays in Downtown Phoenix)
What’s your favorite thing about Downtown Phoenix? The culture. I’m from a smaller town in southern California and I didn’t expect it…but there is so much culture here, especially Native American and Latin.
What are your favorite places downtown? Even though I work there, I hang out at Jobot a lot. I really love Lawn Gnome; I go to a lot of the events there. I also go to Carly’s a lot because it’s open late.
What’s would you consider your style? Is thrifty a style? I’d say it changes up from day to day, but it ranges from indie to vintage with a lot of bohemian looks.
What are your favorite places to shop for fashion? I actually shop at Ross and T.J. Maxx a lot but also thrift stores. The boutique shops on 6th Street (GROWop, Cellar Door) are also some of my favorites.
Biking fashion tips? When I wear a short skirt, I wear bike shorts under it. When I wear a long skirt, I’ll tie it in a knot to keep it from getting stuck in the chain.
Biking Essentials: The bike is Skinny Benny, which I’d never heard of before but it has this kind of gangsta dollar sign on it that I’d like to cover. I’ve only had it about a month, but I’m going to add a water bottle holder and a lock mount. I also want to add drop bars because I got pretty addicted to them from my last bike.
What she’s wearing: I got the dress from Marshall’s. The boots, I think came from Khol’s. I got the bag at Buffalo Exchange. I love fringes. I got my rings from swap meets and street shows. Turquoise jewelry is my thing.
Name: Kiesha Locklear
Occupation: ASU Graduate student in architecture
Her neighborhood: Roosevelt
How often do you bike? I’m from New York and when I moved here, I purposely moved near the light rail, so I’m car-free.
How do you get involved Downtown? I haven’t had a lot of time lately, but I’ve been involved with the Hance Park Conservancy and the Downtown Voices Coalition.
Biking fashion tip? When I bike in a skirt, I attach a binder clip to the hem to weigh it down and keep it from blowing up.
What she’s wearing:
- Shirt from Old Navy
- Vest purchased in Berlin
- Steve Madden shoes
- Glasses by Vue dc
- Men’s Electra Townie (She’s tall)
- Coffee cup holder
- Huge bike basket (Which she sometimes uses to transport her dog Momo)
Here at DPJ, it’s our goal to help you “go where the locals go.” And now ,with social check-in app Foursquare’s new “Best of Phoenix” lists, we can tell you exactly where locals love to be in downtown Phoenix and beyond.
Phoenix is one of 30 cities in the U.S. included in Foursquare’s “Best of” guides. The rankings are based on a 1-10 scoring system that factors in things like check-ins, tips, likes, dislikes, popularity and loyalty.
The lists include restaurants, bars, coffee shops and cool things to do and of course greater downtown(*) is well represented! Here are just a few of the “best of’s” you should check out for yourself:
1. Jobot Coffee*
2. Lux Central*
3. Giant Coffee*
4. Urban Beans*
5. Copper Star Coffee*
6. Fair Trade Cafe*
7. Lola Coffee*
8. Cartel Coffee Lab*
9. Royal Coffee Bar
2. Maizie’s Café & Bistro*
3. Hillstone Restaurant
4. Armadillo Grill
5. The Arrogant Butcher*
6. District American Kitchen & Wine Bar*
7. Seasons 52
8. BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse
9. The Garage Restaurant & Bar*
10. Beckett’s Table
1. Gallo Blanco Café*
2. Carolina’s Mexican Food*
4. Los Taquitos
5. Dick’s Hideaway*
6. Valle Luna
7. Barrio Café*
8. La Condesa Gourmet Tacos*
9. Los Reyes de la Torta
10. Rito’s Market & Mexican Take Out*
1. The Vig Uptown*
2. Carly’s Bistro*
3. The Lost Leaf*
4. The Duce*
5. The Roosevelt* (now closed)
6. Sandbar Mexican Grill
7. Angels Trumpet Ale House*
8. Half Moon Sports Grill
9. Rips Ales & Cocktails*
10. Brigett’s Last Laugh
1. Postino Winecafe*
3. Duck & Decanter
4. Portland’s Restaurant & Winebar*
5. Sportsman’s Fine Wines & Spirits
6. Cheuvront Restaurant & Winebar*
7. My Wine Cellar
1. Phoenix Zoo
2. Civic Space Park*
3. Echo Canyon Park/Camelback Trailhead
4. Arizona Science Center*
5. Piestewa Peak
6. Steele Indian School Park*
7. North Mountain Park Trail 44
8. Hubbard Family Swim School
10. Shaw Butte Hiking Trails
1. Herberger Theatre Center*
2. The Torch Theatre*
3. Space 55*
4. Conspire Arts Cooperative*
5. Phoenix Theatre*
6. “CYPHERS” The Center for Urban Arts