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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.

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

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

48. Every December, Santas run rampant through Scottsdale.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

40. And our inventors are impressive, too.

39. Our neighborhoods are gorgeous. 

38. We have an entire festival devoted to zines.

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

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

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

34. Two words: "Chaos Theory."

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

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

31. We do Día de los Muertos right.

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

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

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

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

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

25. From silent book clubs to literary readings, Phoenix loves stories — including the ones featured at our own event, Bar Flies.


24. In need of retail therapy? The Valley's full of amazing places to shop.

23. Charlie Levy's opening a downtown Phoenix arts center.

22. From casinos to comedy, there are plenty of places to find entertainment.

21. Phoenix Comicon is one of the biggest pop-culture conventions in the nation. This year, attendance broke records.

20. So it's no surprise that our cosplayers are totally badass.

19. Artists are coming to Phoenix — and staying. 

18. Laura Dragon, Robert Gentile, and Michael Viglietta are expanding Grand Avenue's artistic offerings.


17. The only — yes, only — Last Chance is located here. 

16. Once a year, we get to live out our Walking Dead dreams/nightmares when zombies are unleashed downtown

15. Covering topics from the Myers-Briggs personality test to Golden Girls, our podcasters are pretty impressive.

14. Looking for a new page-turner — or a rare vintage pressing? Our best bookstores run the gamut.

13. And we finally have a Spanish-language bookstore.

12. Beautiful fall leaves are just a short drive away.

11. Same goes for snow — and we don't mean that fake stuff, either.

10. From the longest running skate shop in the state to a plethora of parks, we're pretty serious about skateboarding.

9. From Tilt Studio to Cobra, our arcades are not playing.

8. Our murals are inspiring — and give pause to anybody who thinks all our walls are taupe.

7. It's easy to spend time outdoors, even if you're a hiker who's just getting started on the trails.

6. As Roosevelt Row deals with gentrification, creatives are flocking to the nearby (and blossoming) Garfield neighborhood.

5. Phoenix's museums are stellar resources for contemporary art, musical instruments, and more. 

4. Even a ride on the light rail is an artistic experience.

3. Downtown is now home to a boutique art hotel

2. Arizona Commission on the Arts doubled its grant funding for the 2017 fiscal year.

1. Hamilton is coming. (Insert all exclamation points here.)


Editor's note: This post has been updated from its original version, which first appeared in November 2015.
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