Note: this post has been updated to include up-to-date tour information.
A scene from last year's Jane's Walk, which focused on Phoenix's warehouse district.
Nick Bastian via Flickr
If you check out any of the three different Jane's Walks that will be taking place both in Phoenix and Mesa during the first Saturday in May, you might learn that the first buildings constructed in Sunnyslope in 1911 were only a handful of tents and cottages, or that a part of Mesa was originally known as Stringtown.
Equal parts historical walking tour and hip urban excursion, Jane's Walks are annual jaunts through vintage Valley neighborhoods that offer attendees some exercise, enlightenment, and a chance to uncover and explore unique parts of their city.
It's exactly why local blogger/activist/social media guru Yuri Artibise brought a Jane's Walk (which have taken place in cities across North America since 2007) to Phoenix a couple years ago.
Three different Jane's Walks will be held during the first weekend in May, covering neighborhoods in both Phoenix and Mesa.
The first walk takes place on Saturday, May 7, in Sunnyslope and features a two-mile jaunt through the neighborhoods south of Dunlap Avenue between Seventh Street and Central. Hosted by Plante and Ed Lebow from the city of Phoenix's Public Art Program. The walk starts at 8 a.m. at the Sunnyslope Transit Center, 8927 North Third Street, and will cruise by numerous art displays like the Dunlap Avenue Streetscape created by Kevin Berry and the Barbara Grygutis-designed North Central Gateway. (More info about the route can be found here.)
The Mesa walk will also be Saturday, May 7, and will encompass the city's downtown area and surrounding neighborhoods. Starting at 9 a.m. from the Mesa Arts Center's Shadow Walk, 1 East Main Street, the journey is led by photographer/artist David Crummey and will include a trip to the top of the nearby US Bank Building and visits to businesses and throughout the area. (Click here for more details.)
The third walk, on Sunday, May 8, highlights 16th Street.The group will depart from Way Cool Hair Salon, 1524 East McDowell Road, at 8 a.m.. The walk will be led by architect/urbanist Taz Loomins and painter Hugo Medinaand will feature many of the vibrant murals of the Calle 16 project and the various Hispanic-oriented businesses and homes along the way. (Route info and stops can be found by via this page)
Jane's Walk Phoenix will take place on Saturday, May 7. Participation is free. Click here for more info.