See also: A Downtown Phoenix Wish List: Maple Bacon Donuts and Eight Other Things We Desperately Need Yes, downtown Phoenix has a (growing) culture of its own -- and plenty of spots that make us happy and proud to claim it as our own. But the grass, er dirt lot, could always be greener, and along with Chow Bella, we've come up with a few wishes we have for the hub we call home.
Here are a few arts/culture-related wishes we have for downtown Phoenix, inspired by lofty wishes, places we've been around town, and drool-worthy spots around the country. (And if we miss anything, feel free to add your own wishes in the comment section.)
7. The Strand See also: Tempe's Changing Hands Bookstore Is One Step Closer to a Second Location in Phoenix
Negotiations between Changing Hands and Venue Projects, which took over the Beef Eaters building on Camelback Road and Seventh Avenue in Phoenix are still "positive" according to Changing Hands staff, but the need for a Downtown bookstore is no secret.
Sure, Lawn Gnome on Fifth Street is a great spot to catch a few indie titles and self-published zines, but we want the floors, and aisles of New York-based Strand bookstore with an endless supply of paperbacks and hardbacks.
It'd be a place to really escape on a lunch break, a day off -- or anytime really --and find a new book.
6. Wet Paint If we could convince local artist Jessica Jordan (who also owns Wet Paint in Tempe) to open up shop Downtown, there'd be no excuse to be distracted or lacking resources for our next creative endeavor - and there'd be all the more supplies for Downtown-based artists to spruce up the neighborhoods and galleries.
See also: Wet Paint Artist Supply to Stay Open
Jordan almost shut down the Tempe staple earlier this year - citing competition with big box Utrecht Art Supply and online art supply sales -- but says she's decided to keep the doors open for a little longer.
5. A Newsstand We could do without subscriptions to our favorite publications, which is exactly why we need a newsstand. Give us single issues of the latest Real Simple, Juxtapoz, Entertainment Weekly, Good, Wired, or Sunset, and we'll be happy as clams to visit, peruse the latest issues, and pick up a few new favorites.
4. The Return of CADE Gallery/Arcade Old-school arcades have long-been hangouts for the geek community, who spent their lunch money on Pac-Man and Asteroids. Weston Henry and painter Nathan Ross opened CADE Gallery last year, only to see it close after six months. Since they've been gone, we've heard nothing but long sighs and longing wishes for a cool geek hangout and a spot for vintage gaming. The pair still owns more than a dozen games and are keen on reopening CADE somewhere else in the future. We promise we'll stop by (and bring more than a few friends) if it pops back up on Roosevelt Row.
3. The Phoenix Typewriter Exchange Bill Wahl has operated the Mesa Typewriter Exchange for decades, and while he has no plans to move Downtown, we all know a hungry hipster audience that would be more than happy to bring in their latest junk store find for service or pick Walh's brain on the history of the iconic writing device.
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2. Art One Gallery For years, Kraig Foote has been the support system of young emerging artists in Phoenix. His gallery, Art One, sells only the work of artists just getting into the local art scene - and he sells all the work for a fair price. Art One's been in Scottsdale for more than 20 years, and while he's a huge asset to the Scottsdale art community, it couldn't hurt to have a satellite in downtown Phoenix, where the number of emerging artists continues to grow and provide us all something great to check out every First and Third Friday.
1. Phoenix Camera Arizona is the birthplace of hundreds of photographers who continue to be inspired by its landscape, people, culture, and current issues. Sometimes, these photographers need to get their camera's fixed. And while the community is huge and continually growing, there's one spot every local photographer knows - Tempe Camera.
The local photo experts know how to fix, clean, upgrade, and school customers on the basics of models -- both digital and film. Tempe Camera is definitely a resource the arts community could use Downtown, and ewe can think of more than a few vacant spots where they could fit.