Do you remember Mill Avenue back in the early 1990's? The lively strip was riddled with couch-surfing urban hippies, runaway punk-rock teens and, lots of other destitute people who were actually homeless.
I remember those days. I was an unruly teenager and Mill Avenue was our favorite place to loiter. I'll never forget sitting for hours with the ridiculous Goth kids at Java Road, sipping a lemon water because I was totally broke. I always got embarrassing feelings when we strolled by the kids who lined up around the then super-dingy Valley Art Movie Theater for midnight screenings of Rocky Horror. And I vividly remember the warm blast of live music that jiggled my arm-hair as I would walk by Long Wong's.
Of course, times have changed and no one can deny that Mill Avenue has lost its indie, scummy charm.
But there's a smidgen of hope on the horizon.
Downtown Tempe Community, Inc and the Phoenix Permaculture Guild have joined forces to breathe a little life back into Mill Avenue.
Tomorrow night, from 5-9 p.m., is the official kick-off of the new Market on Mill. This mash-up of equal parts farmer's market, art walk and mini music festival will happen every Thursday from here on out. The market takes place outside the MADCAP Theaters (formerly Harkins Centerpoint), tucked behind the P.F. Chang's on the northwest corner of University and Mill.
Oh, and it's a green event. Local farmers, artists and musicians will set up booths using only energy-efficient LED lighting and recycled materials whenever possible.
See? All is not lost...
Market on Mill is tomorrow, Thursday, September 3rd (and every Thursday after) from 5-9 p.m. in front of MADCAP Theaters, 730 S. Mill Ave, visit marketonmill.org.