7.) The Cool Index: Ten Years Later, Phoenix Is Still Hot. But Is It Finally Cool?
By Amy Silverman:
The other day, I spoke on the phone with a woman named Taz Loomans. She stepped out of a coffee shop in Portland, Oregon, into lightly falling rain to take my call, which sounded pretty romantic considering that I was hunched in my car in the parking lot at Scottsdale Fashion Square at the time, air-conditioning blasting against the early November heat.
Loomans, 37, moved to Phoenix with her family from Mozambique when she was 14. She earned degrees at Arizona State University, becoming a licensed architect and then a disillusioned licensed architect, quitting a corporate gig in 2009 to buy and rehab a couple of foreclosed duplexes in Central Phoenix. She started her own firm called Blooming Rock and became a one-woman cheering squad -- on her blog and in several other online forums --for historic preservation, adaptive reuse, and other buzzwords for making Phoenix a better city.
Then she left. A few months ago, as she tells it, Loomans was going through a divorce when she took a four-day vacation to Portland. On the third day, she decided to move there. Her decision was big news in certain circles: New Times wrote about it, and KJZZ, the local NPR affiliate, did a series of essays based on it. Social media buzzed for weeks. Continue reading.