A picture is now worth 500 words. At least, that’s the going rate in the heart of downtown Phoenix, a heart represented by ghostwriter Joey Robert Parks’ brainchild, “26 Blocks.” The show, which opens Friday, May 7, pairs photographers and writers, assigns the pairs a specific city block, then sets those 26 duos free to interpret and represent their blocks. Why 26? Letters in the alphabet.

In researching his block, writer Dave Tyda, who’s paired with architectural photographer Dan Vermillion, discovered a coffee bar owned by an old friend he’d lost track of. Another pair is focusing on a nonprofit located on its turf. Participating writers include novelist T.M. McNally as well as poets Sally Ball, Andrea Avery, and Steve Price. To top off this grid-tastic frenzy, visual artist Raphael Navarro captures his perspective on all 26 blocks on four-by-four wood, um, blocks.

Mondays-Fridays. Starts: May 10. Continues through May 28, 2010