All Around Downtown

Chilly reception: I just got finished reading your "Cool Index" ("What's Cool," Amy Silverman, December 4) and I want to let you know how utterly disgusted I am by it. It is this sort of fawning, shoddy "journalism" that makes the downtown community look like a joke. What were you thinking? The story reads more like a grade-school crush letter then a newspaper article. Ms. Silverman, I accuse you of being high -- under the influence of Richard Florida -- and I suggest you check yourself into rehab ASAP!

I find myself so enraged that I can't find a place to start picking apart all its flaws, so I'll just hit the first couple before going to scrub myself clean.

The tipping point? You missed it; it ain't Lux (no one I know really likes that snotty place anyway), it ain't Modified, it wasn't even M.A.R.S. Phoenix started its climb to legitimacy before most of you were even here. The secret to the "rise of the creative class" is that it never starts, it just keeps evolving and refining itself. We're just lucky enough to be living in this current boom.

Here's an idea: Let's stop navel-gazing and get to work keeping it going and enjoying it! No one ever made it to the top of the mountain by talking about how great a climber they are, or by looking at the ground they covered on the way up.

Who's cool? Not you, Amy. And not me, and not Wayne, and not Kimber, and not Kim and Dana, and not any of the people who you designated "cool." Fact is, none of these people would amount to spit in the desert if it wasn't for the person working/living next to them. It is a collective effort. We are so sick of everyone trying to crown the king and queen of downtown.

I'm sure you've hurt a lot of feelings by failing to include some really great people, but I'm just as sure you've embarrassed and upset a lot of the ones you did include.

I've been in downtown Phoenix a long time, and we've survived stadiums, master plan art districts, Colangelos, Raineys, and God willing, we will survive this current fever of interest. That is, if our heads don't swell so full of hot air that we all float away.

Let's get to work, everybody, have fun!

Jack Sakes
Via e-mail

Frozen out: In Amy Silverman's recently released "What's Cool," I found it to be laughable at best. Even more amusing was the insert of a downtown map showing places to eat, drink, live, and to see and be seen. Has Silverman even been to any of the places she threw onto that "I wanna be cool" map? Some of those places are frequented by the plastic "I'm so important look at me" slugs of Snottsdale. Even more amusing was that she smeared New York at the top of the map as if trying to give people the impression that Phoenix actually has a cultural heartbeat of some kind.

Sure, Silverman's massive list of "I'm cool" places looks impressive, but it's just another moronic attempt at a Phoenician trying to illuminate the murky depths of a deserted concrete pit that has more trash and stench than a Salt River dump site. Phoenix will never be a real city because real cities don't demolish their history to put up buildings that sit vacant or are simply erected to give the illusion that there really is life down there.

Name withheld by request

Best kept secret: Downtown Phoenix has pedicabs ("Clan of the Bike Men," Susy Buchanan, December 4)? Wow! The things I'm missing by rarely (if ever) going to downtown Phoenix! (Being said with two fingers in mouth and tongue out.)

Terry A. Gardner
Via e-mail

Race way: I enjoyed your article "Operation Mickey Mouse" (John Dougherty, November 20). Having been born and raised on the south side of Milwaukee and doing my undergraduate work at Marquette, I too have seen the best and the worst of big city life.

My thoughts regarding taxpayer money for sports and entertainment venues are simple: It needs, unequivocally, to make good economic sense. I remember when I was the board chairperson for WESTMARC, and we were working on getting the new bridge over the Gila River in order to service Phoenix International Raceway. It was like pulling teeth, even though there was also a significant public safety issue linked to the economic benefits. Most people failed to realize that PIR, over the course of its yearly scheduled events and testing, generates the same revenue as three Super Bowls each and every year. And the major improvements made since the sale by Buddy Jobe to the France family has all been done with private money. Now that's an investment to be proud of.

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