Monday, June 27, 2011

Dear Phoenix: It's Over

This is a breakup letter to a city I never thought I'd leave.  In the words of Neko Case, "I'm sick of doing your dishes, town--I'm out." 

   Dear Phoenix,

   This isn't working.
    I'm tired of having to make new friends every three years when your economy turns over. I'm tired of your dead downtown and your 1800 identical Walgreens.  I'm sick of your white-collar hamburger values and and I can't stand your perfect f*cking freeways for another minute.  I'm sick of having to carry around a sweater in July to deal with the schizophrenic difference between your indoor and outdoor climates, and I'm sick of you getting dark at four o'clock just when your outdoor temperature finally becomes tolerable.  I'm sick of the cum trees. 
    I'm sick of your quaint little goat farms getting bulldozed for tract housing and not being able to go to a single restaurant that I went to when I moved here because you can't put together a functional community.  I'm sick of trying to talk over your terrible music on your terrible outdoor patios at your terrible dank-lit bars to your terrible dank-lit temporary residents.  I'm tired of you trying to pass off "shitty" as "ambiance." 
    I'm tired of your contradictory politics and your platform flip-flops.  I'm tired of you trying to cover up your B.O. with citrus body spray.  I'm tired of your classist snap judgments and the way I can't use the sidewalk to go anywhere without you making me feel weird.  I'm tired of all your goddamn trucks. 
    I'm sick of the way you spend so much money on psuedo-midwestern landscaping but you won't lift a finger to help out the arts or your city parks.  I'm sick of your HOAs and also all your empty downtown dirt lots.  I'm sick of your ugly-ass autoplexes and your terrifyingly homogenous apartment complexes.  I'm sick of the bars you put down the middle of your city benches.  
    I'm sick of the fact that it takes your public transportation TWO HOURS to get me from one suburb to another, and then you complain about the gross brown pollution cloud.  I'm sick of your bitching about the heat.  It's the desert.  It's f*cking hot.  STFU about it already.  At least we don't live in a barren cultural landscape devoid of any neighborly feeling---oh, wait.  Yes, we do. 
    I'm sick of how hard you try to be like L.A. without investing in any of the things that actually make L.A. kind of sweet.  I'm sick of your obsession with new cars and big houses and fenced-in yards.  If I see another cement-block wall, I might throw up.  I'm sick of your weird fusion chain restaurants and your uncomfortable seating.  I'm sick of your disgusting man-made turquoise lakes, and your total waste of potable water in the form of misters and decorative fountains.
       In short, Phoenix, I got to know you better than almost anyone else, and you kind of suck.  Good luck with all that.



  1. How can you say you knew Phoenix better than anyone else when you lived in Tempe? Tempe, a suburb that fits your description as does Scottsdale and the other surrounding towns but isn't actually Phoenix. As for downtown you never really got to know the gems, especially the people, did you? There are a lot of people there that are doing a lot to improve things and some amazing places have popped up recently that show that. There are some who see and embrace the potential and do something about it. And then there are some who leave. It happens.
    But the best part of this whole rant is that you opted for Tucson? It's like breaking up with the dysfunctional guy to start something with a guy who's trying real hard to be just like the dysfunctional guy.
    Well there's one thing that Tucson has that Phoenix doesn't and that is you. What will you do when you have to face Tucson's shortcomings? Best of luck!

  2. Haha, this was more about the Phx metro area than downtown; if I'd stayed I def would have moved downtown. Great stuff happening in that area. I was madly in love with that city for seven years but after year eight I needed a change. This post is just a Dear John letter to the location love of my young life :)