Best Twist - 2009
Seventh Avenue, between Indian School and Camelback Roads
In a city built on a grid, it's no surprise that one of the few major stretches of twisty, kooky street is the best block in town. The winding road that is Seventh Avenue between Indian School and Camelback practically foretold this neighborhood's quirky style and severe case of The Funk. When city assessors were scoping out Phoenix and drawing lines that would become streets, a miscalculation created what came to be endearingly dubbed "the curve." Now home to a slew of restaurants, bars, vintage shops, music stores, and a pet shop named The Pampered Parrot, this block boasts some of the best shopping in central Phoenix. Unlike other parts of town, where older buildings are so yesterday, here they're celebrated, restored, and renamed to reflect their history. Like the Wagon Wheel building, which houses Melrose Pharmacy; Copper Star Coffee, where patrons fill up on caffeine instead of gas; or Exposed Gallery, where you'll find art hanging in what was once a giant vault. Melrose on Seventh always seems to have something going on, and that's why it is, indeed, the best stretch around.