Best Street of Dreams (2009)

Mill Avenue

We are so over Mill Avenue. We are so over Mill, in fact, that we're even done complaining about it. These days, we're just feeling a little sad over what are becoming such distant memories of the heyday of Arizona State's main drag — just about the only spot in metropolitan Phoenix that ever had hope of hopping.

In the past year, things got even worse. Tempe Marketplace sucked pretty much what was left of the retail off Mill. Even Coffee Plantation bailed. Now, it's mostly a lot of empty storefronts and buildings a, testament to the worst of the failed local economy.

But don't call code on the patient quite yet. Just recently, we've started hearing word that things might finally turn around on Mill. The new director of Downtown Tempe Community Inc., Nancy Hormann, is rumored to be a real live wire (in a good way) and MADCAP Theaters (www.madcaptheaters.com) has moved into the old Harkins movie house at Centerpoint, planning to turn it into alternative performance spaces. Then we heard that Tempe finally has its own farmers market, Market on Mill (www.marketonmill.org).

At this rate, Mill Avenue might just get there. And that would have us dancing in the streets.