Help an (ex-) Tucsonan learn to love Phoenix
June 25, 2016 2:44 PM   Subscribe

I'll be spending time in Phoenix the first week of July. I'm ready to see Phoenix with new eyes. What should I look at?

I lived in Tucson from 1992-99 and have been back to southern Arizona to visit maybe a dozen times since moving away. But despite having a brother- and sister-in-law in Phoenix, I've never really gotten to know the city. Beyond frequent drives or flights through the Valley on the way to somewhere else and visits to the several neighborhoods where the in-laws have lived, my experience is limited to a few obvious destinations like ASU/Tempe, the Heard Museum, the DBG, and the trail up Camelback. And I'm sure I assimilated some of the Baja Arizonan's knee-jerk dismissiveness of the big cousin to the north ("too big & sprawling, too conservative, too many green lawns" etc.).

The in-laws are hosting a family celebration next weekend, so my wife and I have decided to spend some extra time in the Phoenix area before heading south--and this time I really want to give Phoenix its due. I'd be interested in hearing from Mefites who live in or care for Phoenix about a place to visit or something to do that is a first thing that comes to mind when asked "Why do you love Phoenix"? I'm not really talking about tourist destinations or New Times "Best Of" winners (which in any case were covered well in a earlier question this year), but more things like a neighborhood or park or retail block or a cultural phenomenon or art installation that resonates as uniquely Phoenix. For example, if I were offering suggestions for Tucson, I might cite the Bike Church or one of the pocket parks or wandering around some of the historic neighborhoods. In other words, it's fine if it's something low-key, idiosyncratic, or just plain your favorite thing or place.
posted by Creosote to Travel & Transportation around Phoenix, AZ (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
The desert botanical garden is interesting and beautiful, but it seems incredibly hot there now for anything outside. I was there in Dec and enjoyed it. I have relatives in Phoenix but live on the East Coast so am not used to that kind of heat.
posted by mermayd at 3:47 PM on June 25, 2016

Best answer: I love seeing foreign, art house, or classic films at Filmbar. It's tiny and intimate. You can get the tamales if you want to make a meal of it and hang out at the bar before or after your film to enjoy the wall art.

Roosevelt Row is cool and you might be there in time for the First Friday art walk on the first. Be sure to check out Burton Barr Library on your way, as they have constantly rotating exhibits. Unfortunately, yes, it will be way too hot. I would start your night within the air-conditioned Phoenix Art Museum (which is also great) and then go out into the street after sunset. Be sure to see the Yayoi Kusama installation while at the museum. It's amazing.
posted by Alexandra Michelle at 4:38 PM on June 25, 2016

Response by poster: Thanks, Alexandra. A little discouraged that no other MeFites from Phoenix weighed in. But if they're all in San Diego taking a vacation from their computers that's OK.
posted by Creosote at 4:46 PM on June 27, 2016

When I visited last September several documentaries were released in theaters at the same time as NY and LA.
posted by brujita at 11:52 AM on June 29, 2016

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