Phoenix

   

Breakfast at Waffle House; the trip was already getting better. Then, we covered Phoenix and assorted suburbs from all angles. It’s amazingly easy to drive in Phoenix; the freeways may be crowded, but even at rush hour, there’s more than enough capacity on the surface streets alone. And it’s all a big grid, so it’s a really easy place to get around…

   

For a variety of reasons, some of which would become apparent later, this was the most photo-intensive day of the trip. As expected, I saw lots of interesting 1960s and 1970s architecture, and surprisingly little which was much older…

  

I’m intrigued by the Uptown area of Phoenix. It’s very close-in, and yet it all seems to have been developed in the past 30 or 40 years. This is an area that — in most cities, even smaller and newer ones — would contain most of the old bungalow neighborhoods and streetcar suburbs from the 1910s and 1920s. Not so in Phoenix; there didn’t even seem to be any evidence that these neighborhoods had once existed and later been bulldozed. Usually, there’s at least a TRACE of something old, but not here. All the same, it also seemed much too large an area to have been a standard urban renewal tract. I don’t quite understand, and we looked without success for a good book on Phoenix history which might have explained it…

  

It being Tuesday, we had our traditional pizza night at a New York-style joint on Camelback and then drove around some more. I finally read the Phoenix paper, which used to be well-known as a quality paper but its now a miserable, Gannett-owned piece of shit. I didn’t know it at this point, but almost every other paper along I-10 is also a miserable, Gannett-owned piece of shit…

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