50 Reasons We're Thankful to Live in Phoenix

To be honest, our thoughts on Thanksgiving tend to align with Wednesday Addams circa 1993. We know we're not alone there — nor are we alone in recognizing the holiday as, well, super problematic. (Please see Chescaleigh for further explanation.) But with mild pyromania and general rage at bay, we know there's a lot to be happy about. In no particular order, here are 50 reasons why we're feeling thankful to live in Phoenix.

Choreographer and dancer Nicole Olson shares her creative perspective — and kicked off this year's 100 Creatives series.EXPAND
Choreographer and dancer Nicole Olson shares her creative perspective — and kicked off this year's 100 Creatives series.

50. The Valley is home to countless creatives — and every other year, we're lucky enough to talk with 100 of them.

View across a sunken courtyard at Mesa Arts Center toward the new El Mac mural and Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum.
View across a sunken courtyard at Mesa Arts Center toward the new El Mac mural and Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum.
Jim Louvau

49. Seemingly against all odds, Mesa is developing quite the vibrant arts scene.

Are you ready for Santarchy 2016?
Are you ready for Santarchy 2016?
Benjamin Leatherman

48. Every December, Santas run rampant through Scottsdale.

Dangos by Jun Kaneko exhibited in the Rental Car Center at Sky Harbor International Airport.
Dangos by Jun Kaneko exhibited in the Rental Car Center at Sky Harbor International Airport.

47. Phoenix Sky Harbor has the best airport name ever — and it showcases stellar art. 

Postcommodity artists Raven Chacon, Kade L. Twist, and Cristóbal Martinez during Repellent Fence pre-installation.
Postcommodity artists Raven Chacon, Kade L. Twist, and Cristóbal Martinez during Repellent Fence pre-installation.
Lynn Trimble

46. Postcommodity, an art collective with Phoenix roots, will show at the 2017 Whitney Biennial.

Grant Street Studios in the Phoenix warehouse district.EXPAND
Grant Street Studios in the Phoenix warehouse district.
Craig Smith

45. The warehouse district just keeps getting artier, thanks to ASU and Michael Levine.

Sephora opened at Biltmore Fashion Park this month.EXPAND
Sephora opened at Biltmore Fashion Park this month.
Becky Bartkowski

44. Finally! There's a full-blown Sephora within city limits

Nail artist Jimmy Nguyen reinterpreted the work of Joseph "Sentrock" Perez.
Nail artist Jimmy Nguyen reinterpreted the work of Joseph "Sentrock" Perez.

43. Speaking of beauty, our nail artists continue pushing the boundaries of the medium (and cuticles, too).

Woman with Cat Ears by Jonathan Read on view at Art One gallery.EXPAND
Woman with Cat Ears by Jonathan Read on view at Art One gallery.
Lynn Trimble

42. Scottsdale gallery Art One has been supporting up-and-coming local artists for 23 years.

Clyde Tombaugh at a Zeiss Blink Comparator in Flagstaff, 1935.
Clyde Tombaugh at a Zeiss Blink Comparator in Flagstaff, 1935.
Lowell Observatory Archives

41. Some pretty stellar scientific discoveries have been made in our backyard.

Created in Phoenix, rubberized asphalt concrete (RAC) is used on many highways throughout the state.
Created in Phoenix, rubberized asphalt concrete (RAC) is used on many highways throughout the state.
ADOT

40. And our inventors are impressive, too.

Willo's got the stuff to back up its reputation.
Willo's got the stuff to back up its reputation.
Evie Carpenter

39. Our neighborhoods are gorgeous. 

The inaugural PHX Zine Fest took place at the Icehouse.EXPAND
The inaugural PHX Zine Fest took place at the Icehouse.
Marna Kay

38. We have an entire festival devoted to zines.

City of Phoenix planter, with comment written on nearby sidewalk.EXPAND
City of Phoenix planter, with comment written on nearby sidewalk.
Lynn Trimble

37. It's been a year of tough transition for Roosevelt Row, but at least those god-awful planters are gone.

Fall, is that you?EXPAND
Fall, is that you?
Nina Buday/Shutterstock

36. Fall means highs of 80, a.k.a. dreamy light sweater weather.

Experience Phoenix's natural beauty (and maybe get a little sweaty) at the Desert Botanical Garden.EXPAND
Experience Phoenix's natural beauty (and maybe get a little sweaty) at the Desert Botanical Garden.
Desert Botanical Garden

35. Our tourist attractions are so dope we visit them regardless of towing along out-of-towners.

Randy Slack's installation for "Chaos Theory 17."EXPAND
Randy Slack's installation for "Chaos Theory 17."
Randy Slack/ Photo by Lynn Trimble

34. Two words: "Chaos Theory."

Mellow out at one of Phoenix's top spas.
Mellow out at one of Phoenix's top spas.

33. And anytime we need a break, we know our spas offer world-class treatments.

Carrie Marill's Open Without Force, 2016.EXPAND
Carrie Marill's Open Without Force, 2016.
Lisa Sette Gallery

32. Twenty artists with ties to Arizona will show work during Art Basel in Miami Beach this year.

Día de los Muertos is coming. Here's how to celebrate.
Día de los Muertos is coming. Here's how to celebrate.
betto rodrigues / Shutterstock.com

31. We do Día de los Muertos right.

El Peezo's ode to Donald Drumpf.EXPAND
El Peezo's ode to Donald Drumpf.
Janessa Hilliard

30. From wheatpaste to digital art, our creative set is ready to take on Donald Trump. 

"We have a lot to say. We want to say it in a funny, interesting way and we want other women to be able to do that too," says Meredith Howell of Overtly Sensitive.EXPAND
"We have a lot to say. We want to say it in a funny, interesting way and we want other women to be able to do that too," says Meredith Howell of Overtly Sensitive.
Shaunté Glover / Courtesy Overtly Sensitive

29. Feminist comedians are taking the Phoenix scene into their own hands.

Taliesin West was the house Frank Lloyd Wright used for his winter home.
Taliesin West was the house Frank Lloyd Wright used for his winter home.
Evie Carpenter

28. Phoenix is a hotbed for stellar architecture. These iconic properties are all the proof you need.

Max Lawrence, Paige Davis, and James Gleason in ATC's An Act of God.EXPAND
Max Lawrence, Paige Davis, and James Gleason in ATC's An Act of God.
Tim Fuller

27. It was touch and go for a minute, but Arizona Theatre Company got the funding it needed to produce its 50th season.

Meet Tempe teacher and YA author Suzanne Young.
Meet Tempe teacher and YA author Suzanne Young.
Dawn Goei

26. From fantasy to sci-fi, our local authors are worthy of a spot on your nightstand. 



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