This city gives us so much to be thankful for throughout the year: from beautiful weather, to the opening of new places to gather, to the people who work to make it such a great place. In the sprit of the Thanksgiving holiday, we at DPJ share the things we’re thankful for in our beloved downtown Phoenix.


April Atwood | Contributing Writer

I’m thankful for the weirdos. Downtown Phoenix has a certain charm to it that’s difficult to capture in a given article, but is innate knowledge for all of us who love this city. It’s my belief that those weird, eclectic few who bet big on downtown – the artists, chefs, small business owners and adventurous city dwellers – are what bring that atmosphere of electricity to life.



Robert Hoekman, Jr. | Contributing Writer

I once abandoned this place. My hometown. My neck of the woods. I was gone just long enough to see it with fresh eyes upon my return. Now I’m more invested than ever in the cultural development of this fantastic city-on-the-rise. This year — every week, every day — I’m grateful to be able to ride these downtown streets, be part of Phoenix’s fast-growing literary community, host our fine city’s premier short fiction reading event (details at, write for DPJ, and walk the dogs hand in hand with the love of my life through the historic Coronado district, the neighborhood we call home. Happy T-day, everyone.

RHJ_spillers 2


Kammie Kobyleski | Contributing Writer, Style 

Thankful for my fabulous friends & family, a great job at ASU, fun artistic side projects creating & selling my art & writing for DPJ. I love being an active community member in the vibrant & growing desert rose we call Phoenix.



Jesse Perry | Contributing Writer, Arts

Despite the noise, the mess and even the loss of some of our buildings, I find myself thankful for all the new projects going up in the downtown area. Not only because new buildings means new faces and new blood, but because new buildings means new walls, which means lots of new mural opportunities for Downtown Phoenix!



Leslie Pico | Contributing Writer, Urban Playground

This year I am thankful for every good book that has helped me to escape for a few hours, my doting partner and his selfless undertaking of the role of Dad to my daughters, cocktails and that continuous string of green lights when I am unsurprisingly running late to wherever I am going. It has been a beautiful year.



Lauren Potter | Contributing Writer, Eats & Drinks

Three years ago I created a vision board that read, “Live, work and study in downtown Phoenix.” I never really thought that day would come. But it did, and I’ve been living in Roosevelt Row for more than a year. I love my life in downtown Phoenix — it’s simple, it’s beautiful, it’s vibrant and diverse. There is beauty around every corner in downtown Phoenix, and I’m thankful that I get to explore our urban core by foot. Living in a wonderfully walkable community has given me the opportunity to slow down and truly appreciate the small details that make downtown Phoenix such stunning place to live.



Rhonda Zayas | Contributing Writer, Downtown Design

Phoenix is home. No matter where I travel, landing at Sky Harbor brings a giant smile to my face, which I’ve never experienced anywhere else. Phoenix is not my birthplace, or any of the other places I’ve lived, so my perspective is of someone who has chosen this city to be home. Looking back over the years and thinking of why I am truly grateful to call Phoenix home boils down to the people. The art scene has evolved dramatically, many people left to pursue their careers in other, larger cities, yet there is an incredible core of people who have stayed here and helped build Phoenix. They could have easily gone to a more established city, yet chose to grow their own roots, as well as the roots of this city. Those are the people I am thankful for. I believe there is magic in the desert and Phoenix continues to present a unique opportunity to be a part of something alive and growing, the improbable desert, gently incubating into something larger than us all, and it’s happening, and it’s wonderful.



Jill Bernstein | Contributing Editor

I am deeply thankful for all of my friends and acquaintances who make downtown a real community, especially my DPJ peeps!



Courtney McCune | Managing Editor

I’m thankful for the place my hometown has become: a fun, vibrant community with an appreciation for beauty and creativity and a palpable excitement for the future. And I’m especially thankful that I get to help tell its story.



Catrina Kahler | Publisher

I’m thankful for friends and family who have created so many treasured memories, and for the experiences the future has yet to offer. This is a special time to be a member of the downtown community and I am grateful for the opportunity to spend it with people who possess incredible talent, courage and vision.

FullSizeRender (2)