Best of Phoenix

The Creatives: Jeremy Briddell & Cyndi Coon

She plays with rickrack. He plays with clay. And they make a living. Don't you hate them? Then you must not know Cyndi Coon and Jeremy Briddell, the artists who make up Laboratory 5. It sounds so mysterious, but Lab 5 (www.lab5shop.com and www.laboratory5.com) is really just the showplace for Coon's amazing line of greeting cards and other handmade crafts (including an enormous gray felt bird for your wall) and fine art, and for Briddell's incredible bowls, plates, and vases. These two have fancy art school pedigrees, and impressive current resumés — Coon's cards are sold in fine paper stores in New York City and San Francisco (and here in Phoenix at MADE art boutique) and she's created a D.I.Y. mixed-media arts book for Scholastic; Briddell is represented by Costello-Childs Contemporary Fine Arts in Phoenix and his work has been shown around the country — and they're nice people, to boot. So's their kid, Olive.

Jeremy Briddell

I arrived in Phoenix hot and angry in 1997.

When I’m stuck in traffic, I tell myself I am glad I am not in L.A.

One thing my mother doesn’t know about me is how on Earth I pay my bills every month.

On Saturday night, you can find me surfing the Internet.



My favorite thing about summer in Phoenix is cicadas.

If I could redo my first kiss, I’d kiss someone over 15.

The one dessert I refuse to eat is flambé.

If I was mayor of Phoenix, I’d create water restrictions.



In high school, I was the kid who sat in the back.

In another life, I was a turtle.

The one place in Phoenix I don’t want anyone to know about is ASU salvage (www.surplus.ASU.edu).

On my nightstand, you’ll find a stack of unread books.

The fictional character I’m most like is Anthony Michael Hall, king of the dweebs in Sixteen Candles.

One thing I want to do before I die is figure out what causes Duck Butter.

The best thing about Phoenix is November through March.

Cyndi Coon

I arrived in Phoenix during August monsoons of 1997 with only a bicycle. Oops!

When I’m stuck in traffic, I listen to the iPod, though I am rarely stuck in traffic since I work from home.

On Saturday night, you can find me playing in the studio with my girlfriends over, with a cocktail in hand.

My favorite thing about summer in Phoenix is leaving.

The one dessert I refuse to eat is chocolate-covered bugs.

If I was mayor of Phoenix, I’d declare March 12 to be Statewide Cupcake Day.

In high school, I was the kid who was mean to other kids. I blush with shame!

In another life, I was a dancer.

On my nightstand, you’ll find a lamp, hair clips, night cream, foot cream, Chap Stick, CD player, headphones, clock, notebook, pen, something I pretend I am going to read, picture of my husband and daughter.

The fictional character I’m most like is Lisa Simpson.

One thing I want to do before I die is walk the Camino.

The best thing about Phoenix is the surrounding hiking.

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Amy Silverman is a two-time winner of the Arizona Press Club’s Journalist of the Year award. Her work has appeared on the radio show This American Life and in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Lenny Letter, and Brain, Child. She’s the co-curator of the live reading series Bar Flies, and a commentator for KJZZ, the NPR affiliate in Phoenix. Silverman is the author of the book My Heart Can’t Even Believe It: A Story of Science, Love, and Down Syndrome (Woodbine House 2016). Follow her on Instagram (@amysilverman), Twitter (@amysilvermanaz), and at amy-silverman.com.