Love Phoenix Or Leave Phoenix

By Jonathan McNamara

Last week we asked why Phoenicians elect to stay in this dusty desert instead of heading out into the world. Check out this first entry from Phoenician and New Times reader Matt Self:

I grew up in the East Valley where the land is flat and dry, the people are white, the roofs are red, the cars are brown, and conformity is a virtue. I longed for cool rains and old red-brick buildings I'd see in movies -- you know, places with trees.

After marrying at the age of 32, I finally had the opportunity to escape to northern California, like I'd always threatened. They have more trees than people, it's acceptable (maybe even preferable) to be a person of color, and stuff doesn't shut down when the sun goes down. I experienced a place with a history and culture older than me, for once. It's a commuting culture, not a car culture.

At first I couldn't imagine ever moving back to Phoenix, but a month later I found myself craving Los Dos Molinos and Whataburger. I actually missed the summers, where humidity is a foreign tongue and rain is a reason to dance in the streets. I longed for wide, new, *clean* freeways and "The Grid" which any newbie could navigate. Living out in the Sacramento Valley, I experienced the hottest, most miserable summer of my life. I missed moving from air conditioned house to air conditioned car to climate controlled building.

I looked out my window last night and watched a pack of coyotes roam down the street like they belonged. Tell me where else you can do that while drinking a fresh mojito from the comfort of your own home.

- Matt Self

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Jonathan McNamara