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.
Her Neighborhood: Historic Roosevelt
Favorite thing about living in Downtown Phoenix: I like going out on my bike at night. I ride around the jail and government buildings where the streets are empty. It feels like your own city.
How do you get involved in your community? I sing in a band (Hot Birds and the Chili Sauce). Every few months we have a jam session at our house. We put out flyers and invite everyone in the neighborhood. I’m really proud of the events because they promote community and bring people together and promote some of what the city has to offer.
What she’s wearing:
- Dress and belt from Buffalo Exchange
- Feathered earrings from vendor at McDowell Mountain Music Festival
- Ring purchased in Redondo Beach
Her biking essentials:
- Bike salvaged from alley
- Front and rear baskets
- Bike repairs done by Derrick at Hood Ride
Name: Megan Salisbury
Occupation: Student at ASU Downtown, Intern at Arizona Coalition to End Homelessness, Volunteer
Her Neighborhood: Medlock Place
What you love about downtown? The diversity of the community. The fact I don’t have to drive to get my everyday needs met, and it seems like most everyone I interact with is committed to buying local, and finding creative solutions to the changing society (such as with Valley of the Sunflowers). I like the urban component, the murals, the coffee shops, and the fact I can walk to great dining, an improv theatre, and my mechanic without trouble.
How you are involved in the community? I do a lot of work with the homeless. I am passionate about ending homelessness and aspire to live in a community where we can all have our basic needs met.
General biking ensemble: I tend to travel light because I’m clumsy. I definitely don’t wear flip flops while biking. I’ve learned my lesson with that.
- Vintage Schwinn Breeze – scored at a yard sale
- Helmet – Nutcase bought on clearance from REI
- Hello Kitty Bell – gift and tribute to a friend who passed away last year
- Light- headlamp fastened to the basket
What she’s wearing:
- Shirt and pants from Goodwill
- Shoes – simple flats from REI
- Earrings from Frances
It’s no news to anyone who lives in downtown Phoenix that there are a ton of vacant lots. I am deeply familiar with all of the ones in my Garfield neighborhood. I have photographed them, walked across them and located the remaining debris of homes on them. They are a very real part of the structure here and are more than just undeveloped areas of desert. They are built-upon, once-used, stripped clean, recovered with gravel and continuously trimmed and maintained pieces of land.
When talking about these bits of patchwork that stretch throughout the city, the tendency is to talk about how these areas can be “developed.” We want someone to “do something” with this space, to fill it, or to make practical business use of it. We might think “store,” or “community garden.” Most developers might already have their eye on it as a place with increasing or decreasing property value that can be turned over for a profit and don’t care what it becomes.
More often what I tend to see is free, open space—a fact of the landscape that we regularly interact with on many different levels. I see a platform situated tightly within a community that could make relevant, temporary use of it. Why all this clamoring for indoor, stifling “art” space when we have a wide, vast outdoor venue that is just waiting to be drawn back into the city?
Some organizations and individuals have already begun to do this. Roosevelt Row CDC’s A.R.T.S. program managed to cultivate an entire field of sunflowers; INFLUX and the City of Phoenix are planning and realizing numerous arts projects on vacant spaces and even Mayor Greg Stanton has gotten involved by utilizing the space adjacent to Steele Indian School park for education, community farming and arts projects. “The Lot: What Should Go Here” poses the question to the community to think about what they’d want next to monOrchid. These people and organizations see the availability of this land as an opportunity to beautify our spaces and utilize them for the community’s creations.
These spaces also hold the potential for different types of work. Rather than putting the spaces through the same process of application, review and execution, individuals have the opportunity at any moment to interact meaningfully with this part of the landscape. An impromptu performance, a shortcut walking from one area to another, a place to fly a kite, an area of soft ground to run on (it’s more acceptable to run around a track?)—these allow us to see the land as less “vacant” as it is continuous.
While some areas may be fenced off and monitored, many others are available and have been for some time. What’s to stop someone from launching an impromptu, temporary and litter-less artwork? What would prevent us from inviting people to converge on a space for one hour to be part of a new performance, action, or participatory piece? New York-based 596 Acres has managed to organize a massive project that identifies all the vacant spaces in the city along with a path to activating them.
While the calls for proposals from places like INFLUX or the City of Phoenix ask us to consider a space, we also have the power within us to determine where to enact a project, with or without an organization’s approval. By regularly being present in these spaces, we can address them as something other than an off-limits area that should be looked at or treated differently. We create, through them, the same as what we have done with the once unpopulated sidewalks and streets of downtown Phoenix. By being physically present, we transform the space.
DPJ’s Wire series delivers news and information straight from the source without translation.
Second Inspired Soles, A stiletto shoe auction to benefit Artlink Phoenix
Back by popular demand among patrons and local artists – it’s the Second Inspired Soles stiletto art show and auction to benefit Artlink. If you’re one of the artists/designers who participated in this show last year, we hope you’ll do it again. If you’re new to this event, just know this was a blockbuster success that generated widespread news coverage and traffic at our gallery’s official grand opening. Artists loved it because it was a packed house, and they made some great new connections with clients.
It’s easy and fun to participate! Just like last year, we’ll provide the stilettos. You provide the inspiration!
What: Inspired Soles – a stiletto art show and auction to benefit Artlink. Throughout the month of April the gallery will showcase stilettos created by local artists, designers and celebrities!
Who: Custom-decorated stilettos are being procured from local designers, artists and celebrities. The show is being produced and promoted by BJC Public Relations and Torres Marquez Communications, two women-owned public relations agencies that really know how to draw a great First Friday crowd. They also share office space in the two levels located above the 6th Avenue Gallery.
When: The stilettos will be unveiled and auctioned on April 5, during First Friday in Downtown Phoenix. The stilettos will remain on display throughout the month of April. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Artlink Phoenix, a nonprofit organization dedicated to linking artists, business and the public to better understand, appreciate and promote the thriving arts community in Central Phoenix.
Where: The 6th Avenue Gallery is located on the southwest corner of Sixth Avenue and McKinley, one block south of Roosevelt. The gallery is in the basement level of the building.
A GUIDE FOR PARTICIPATING ARTISTS
Here is a step-by-step guide for your participation in the stiletto art show:
____ Order your stiletto shoe by calling BJC Public Relations at (602) 277-9530, x232. If your design requires more than one stiletto, please let us know how many, and we’ll do our best to provide what you need.
____ BJC Public Relations will deliver the shoe to you.
____ Design your stiletto. Enough said!
____ Complete the “Art and Artist Information Form” (ask BJC Public Relations to forward one to you)
____ Return your stiletto and the “Art and Artist Information Form” to:
BJC Public Relations
650 N. 6th Avenue
Phoenix, Arizona 85003
(602) 277-9530, x232
____ TIP #1: if you ship via FedEx – select the 3-day option – it’s cheaper and often arrives in a day
____ Email or call BJC Public Relations with the TRACKING number of your shipment. Our email is: firstname.lastname@example.org
____ Stiletto submissions are due Friday, March 29.
____ TIP #2 (EARLY BIRDS GET THE WORM). If you would like your stiletto art featured in our publicity efforts, we need to have your submission in our hands by March 15. So do yourself a favor, and create your work of art the minute you get inspiration. And be sure to get some home videos of YOU creating your work of art that we can share on our Facebook page.
Images provided by BJC Public Relations.
UPDATE: DPJ was just informed Scratch will be opening
next week TOMORROW, March 9!
is about to get a bit sweeter.
Scratch, a Scottsdale based French restaurant and bakery run by husband and wife team Duc and Noelle Liao, is set to open a second location in downtown Phoenix. It will be one of a handful of restaurants to occupy the long-empty Canvas space, on 3rdStreet and Roosevelt. La vie en pastries!
Originally from France, owner and chef Duc Liao whips up beautiful creations in the kitchen and behind the lens, as a professional fashion photographer whose work can be found in everything from Vogue to Vanity Fair (and DPJ). The transition from beautiful images to beautiful pastries may seem a far stretch, but to Liao, it makes perfect sense.
“It’s all about expressing yourself,” he said.
Perhaps the sweetest part of the deal is the revitalization of empty downtown real estate into a vibrant epicurean hub, featuring Asian, Mexican and American dining options, not to mention luscious French dessert. As a surprise and treat to Phoenicians, Liao will be simultaneously opening a dedicated French pastry café next door to Scratch restaurant.
“We tried to have something that exists everywhere, at least in big cities, but not here in Phoenix yet. A really dedicated volume and space to pastries, so people can drive miles to find something sweet. Because I used to do that, in Paris.”
Renovating the space came at the perfect time for Liao, who says he’s thrilled to have a presence in the growing downtown area.
“We love downtown Phoenix. It’s a place where we couldn’t afford to be before, but now that it’s more developed, it’s an amazing time for us to be here.”
Liao is also reworking the lunch and dinner menus to feature playful twists on classic American fare, as well as French staples that remind him of home.
“Lately we’ve been developing a lot of burgers. I think that this is an amazing texture,” Liao said.
Creating complements to the traditional burger has resulted in a wide variety of flavors, Liao said, including variations on Kobe and crab burgers.
“People are responding amazingly to those differences.”
If you go:
What: Scratch French Cafe
Where: 1011 N. 3rd Street