Here at DPJ, we’re all about sharing what we love about downtown. We often come across things that catch our eye, tingle our senses or have us dancing in delight. “We Like…” turns a brief spotlight on the little treasures, places, and things that make us smile, with helpful links so you can share in the fun.
For more than a year, Jim McPherson, a committed downtown Phoenix advocate, volunteer President of the Arizona Preservation Foundation, and one of downtown’s key connectors, has been quietly sharing his keen eye for the small but important details of our mundane world: the tangible nuts and bolts of our surroundings that can be easily overlooked, yet color how we experience our “specifically Phoenix” urban core. These are spaces we pass by, or step into, over and over, day after day but don’t really look at very carefully: parking lots, alleys, sidewalks, and storefronts.
We can become blind to the spaces we move through every day, but old familiar spaces are made new when we take a minute to stop and look at them with discerning eyes. And that’s what McPherson has done in his delightful storefront snapshot series, “Storefronts I Like,” (which he shares in an album on Facebook).
Here is how he describes Thai Basil’s storefront:
“Clutter-free, clean windows. An awning, which was rolled up when this photo was taken despite the fact the restaurant was open. Pots with live plants. Circular sign that ties-in with window graphics. Nice touches of Thai flag at corner and sculpture greeting you at door.”
McPherson captures inviting entryways of downtown businesses and with each post provides short, but enlightening commentary on why they work and what makes them soothe, entice, and welcome us to step across their thresholds and become a part of what lies beyond their doors. In addition to posting the fun photos and evaluating why he likes what he sees, Jim has made it easy to for us to play along by providing a handy “Storefronts Checklist” we can use to evaluate what we like about the storefronts that appeal to us.
Sometimes he even adds helpful suggestions for small improvements and the conversations these postings inspire demonstrate how much people actually do notice and appreciate the thought and care that goes into making these small business gateways inviting.
If you are as inspired as I am by this project, you might find yourself a little more tuned in to the world you move through at street level each and every day. So, why not stop and snap your favorite storefronts to share with all of us who love downtown? Here’s my first contribution:
Alterations & Creations
This small dry cleaner and tailoring business on Roosevelt just east of 3rd Avenue has a clean-swept sidewalk, with nice shade from trees and shrubs, a well-placed street light, a bright yellow awning and uncluttered, but informative windows. The extra winning touch is the simple welcoming bench in front.
How to Participate
Take a moment or two to really notice the buildings you pass by in downtown each day.
When you see a storefront or entryway you like, take a minute to snap a photo.
Ask yourself what you like about it and share your image and thoughts with us. If you post on Instagram or Twitter, be sure to tag your photos with #dphxj #StorefrontsILike and #DowntownPHXDetails.
Want to share your love? Send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us what YOU like.
We’re looking for writers who can help us tell the story of downtown Phoenix: where we came from, where we are and where we’re going. We say “we” because at DPJ, we are more than just observers of downtown. We are active participants, engaged with the people and places that make it what it is and what it will be. We are invested in and excited about the future of this vibrant, fun and ever-evolving community. In short, we love downtown Phoenix. Do you?
If you would like to help tell the story of the people and places that make downtown Phoenix great, we invite you to apply to be a contributor to DPJ. You can find the application below.
We look forward to hearing from you!
A Little About Us . . .
“DPJ caters to residents who support our downtown and savvy visitors who want to Go Where the Locals Go. Whether it’s community news, food, shopping or sports, think of DPJ as that friend in the big city. Our site is filled with everything you need to know as it relates to the urban lifestyle. We offer a friendly, straightforward insider’s view of all things downtown, from world-class restaurants and museums to events to plan your day around. We’re here as you Explore Your Core™.”
Now A Little About You . . .
In recognition of National Independents Week, Local First Arizona will honor locally owned and independent businesses across the state from Saturday, June 27, through Sunday, July 5. The nationwide Independents Week campaign, coordinated by the American Independent Business Alliance and known as “Indie Week,” takes place during the week of Independence Day with the purpose of enlightening consumers to the importance of supporting local businesses.
“Independence Day is a time for us to reflect on what makes our state and country great,” says Kimber Lanning, Director of Local First Arizona. “Arizona’s independent business community is the backbone of our local economy and the driving force behind what makes us proud to call Arizona home. Up to four times more money stays in the local economy when consumers choose an independent business over a national chain. Independents Week is our way of drawing attention to the important role independent businesses play in our daily lives.”
This year’s Independents Week will feature the return of the Golden Coupon, an Independents Week contest with great prizes, and fun events with local businesses in the Phoenix Metro area and across the state:
TAKE THE ‘BUY LOCAL’ PLEDGE
Arizonans are encouraged to take the pledge to ‘Buy Local’ and support Arizona’s independent businesses during Indie Week. Anyone can take the pledge by visiting http://localfirstaz.com/independents-week/ and filling out the simple form. Pledgers can choose to publicly have their names listed on the Local First Arizona website or remain anonymous. All pledgers will be entered in a raffle to win a Phoenix staycation package, which includes a one-night stay at the Clarendon Hotel, a $100 gift card to the Vig and admission for two to the Phoenix Art Museum.
THE GOLDEN COUPON RETURNS
The popular Golden Coupon, printed by Think! Graphic and Printing Solutions, is the ticket to saving 20% off purchases from hundreds of locally owned establishments including auto repairs, home furnishing stores, boutiques, florists, restaurants, yoga studios, nurseries, and more. Individuals can simply print out the Golden Coupon from the LFA website or download the coupon on their smart phone and use it at as many participating locations as they please throughout Independents Week. The Golden Coupons present the perfect opportunity for consumers to visit participating stores that they have wanted to try and to find new spots they may not have known about, all while spending locally and saving money.
INDEPENDENTS WEEK EVENTS
Independents Week is always accompanied by several events celebrating local businesses:
5th Somewhat Annual Phoenix Independents Bowl: Grab your friends (and a ringer or two) on Sunday, June 28, and set up your teams for this sometimes annual bowling tournament supporting Local First Arizona. Organized by Steve Chilton of Psyko Steve Presents & LFA, this is a fun get-together at locally owned Let It Roll Bowl in Phoenix.
“Painted Skies” by Lisa Olson & Terry Pisel at Modified Arts: Lisa Olson and Terry Pisel invite you to join them in celebrating the striking beauty of Arizona. From the sprawling spectacle of the Grand Canyon to the gridded streets of Phoenix, Arizona holds a dramatic and ever-changing variety of landscapes. Native Arizonans, photographers, friends, and collaborators, Olson and Pisel use their photographic skills to showcase some of the unique features of our state set against its biggest asset—the sky. Using hand-transferred photographs altered using unconventional mediums, the artists portray a series of wide-ranging scenes: from cactus to pine tree, city to mountain, valley to mesa. Their wood panels feature interpretive regional landscapes giving homage to the forests, deserts and majesty of our home. Opening reception is Third Friday, June 19, at 6:00 p.m.
Independents Week Pub Crawl: Local First Arizona is taking over Old Town Scottsdale on Friday, July 3, for our annual Independents Week Pub Crawl. Hit the streets with us as we trek around sipping libations in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale. Each local stop along the way will feature one $4 drink special exclusively for attendees. Attendees can participate in a scavenger hunt throughout the evening for the chance to win prizes. Pub Crawl stops include Brat Haus, Craft64, 5th and Wine, and Hula’s Modern Tiki. Free to attend, guests are responsible for purchasing their own beverages. Find more details on Independents Week at http://www.localfirstaz.com/independents-week/
DPJ’s Wire series delivers news and information straight from the source without translation.
The Newton Showcases Local Food Makers at Indoor Artisan Food Fair
Featuring Local Fill-Your-Pantry Food Vendors Including PB Americano, Grass Fed Beef Crisps, Mama’s Cold Brew Coffee, and More
What: The Newton will be hosting a local food fair from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday, June 7th, 2015, highlighting local packaged and “pantry” food items for summer. The fair will be located in The Commons, The Newton’s 2,000 square foot main event space. This event will spotlight a wide range of foods available from popular and new local food makers including:
- Brat Haus stone hearth baked pretzels
- Delighted by Hummus sweet (and trendy!) dips
- Dust seasonings and rubs
- Fire Lips hot sauces
- Fluff It Marshmallows
- Gilbert Olive Oil infused oils and vinegars
- Grass Fed Beef Crisps jerky
- Herbescent Organic Tea & Botanicals
- Mama’s Cold Brew coffee and handcrafted cremers
- No Glutes About It gluten-free baked treats
- PB Americano nut butters
- Pickled Perfection spicy pickles
- Portobello Foods pasta sauces and more
- The Proper Beast additive-free Arizona sausages
- Sprouted Kids organic superfood cookies
Who: The Newton is a mixed-use commercial space, currently home to the Phoenix location of Changing Hands Bookstore, Justin Beckett’s Southern Rail Restaurant, Southwest Gardener, and Christofolo Schermer Consulting. The Newton, which opened in Spring 2014, is an adaptive reuse project by Venue Projects, designed by John Douglas Architects, housed in what was formerly Phoenix’s iconic Beef Eaters restaurant.
When: Sunday, June 7th from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Where: The Newton, 300 West Camelback Road, Phoenix, Arizona 85013
Images courtesy of The Newton.
DPJ’s Wire series delivers news and information straight from the source without translation.
Exhibition features more than 70 stilettos transformed into art
INSPIRED SOLES – A WELL-HEELED EXPERIENCE
The 4th Annual “Inspired Soles” art show and auction features the inspiration of local artists – using stilettos as their blank canvas – manifested into works of art. More than 70 participating artists and designers have volunteered thousands of hours in this annual event that has become an organic showcase of local soul.
The Arizona Republic photographers’ works are also incorporated into the show, featuring “Inspired Souls” they have captured over the years and favorite digital images. Photographers will be on site to capture images of event attendees at their photo booth for an online photo series, which will appear on AZCentral.com.
The one-of-a-kind pieces will be sold to the highest bidders in a silent auction that takes place Thursday, April 2. The shoes will remain on display First Friday, April 3.
Proceeds benefit Artlink Inc. a nonprofit organization dedicated to linking artists, businesses and the public to better understand, appreciate and promote a thriving arts community in central Phoenix.
Luhrs Tower City Center, 11 West Jefferson Street in downtown Phoenix, 85003
Thursday, April 2 2015, 5 – 8 p.m.
Inspired Soles Silent Auction to benefit Artlink Inc.
Open to the public, but for serious buyers only! This is your opportunity to mix and mingle with artists who created this year’s Inspired Soles works of art, and bid on your favorite piece.
Refreshments and appetizers will be served
First Friday, April 2, 2015, 6 – 10 p.m.
Inspired Soles Exhibition
If you’re an art aficionado on a tight budget, this night is for you. You can look, without the temptation to buy. If you really want to buy, come on Thursday so you don’t miss out!
A LITTLE MORE ABOUT “INSPIRED SOLES”
“Inspired Soles” was the very first show hosted by 6th Avenue Gallery in downtown Phoenix.
Now in its 4th year, the show has outgrown the quaint, lower-level gallery and has moved to the space at Luhrs City Center to accommodate the growing number of participating artists and attendees. Over the last three years, the event has raised more than $6,000 for the organization. For more information or sponsorship opportunities, visit www.inspiredsolesaz.org and view updates on the 6th Avenue Gallery Facebook page.