I love my city. I’ve called Downtown home for 10 years. I’ve seen my share of successes and failures down here. (Monroe’s will always hold a special place in my heart.) When I first joined the Downtown Pioneers, the energy Downtown was like a few sparkling grains of sand. You found a grain at the Web Theater, you picked up another grain or two over at the Bentley Projects or Lodo, and on the right night a golden handful at Modified Arts. If you weren’t careful or if the wrong person breathed on it, the sand would blow away, leaving nothing to show for your dedication and no way to prove to the naysayers that what you found was unique and worth nurturing.
Well, my fellow Downtown Pioneers, we have our victory at long last! The community we’ve cared for and lovingly nurtured with scraped and bleeding hands has finally come to life. Its energy is palpable, heavy in your hand. You can breathe it in like fresh herbs or your favorite corner restaurant. And we can laugh in the faces of the naysayers as they now scramble for a plot in our beautiful urban garden.
If you would like to experience what I have just described then I say, “No more excuses!” You will not find a better example of what Downtown has become than this weekend, which just so happens to be my favorite weekend of the entire year. Want to know why? Here’s the rundown: The P.F. Chang’s Rock N’ Roll Marathon will bring at least 40,000 bodies Downtown. AMA Supercross will bring another 50,000 inside Chase Field, and another 10,o00 taking part in the FanFest all day Saturday before the racing begins. The Herberger is playing host to one of the best musicals ever written, Ain’t Misbehavin’, and will surely bring another few thousand people Downtown for the last shows of the musical’s wildly successful run. Kathy Griffin is in town at Dodge (5,000 people there), Master Peter’s Puppet Show’s Don Quixote will pack 2,400 into Symphony Hall, Disney On Ice has four shows scheduled at US Airways Center with 9,000 attending each one, and the World Music Festival is bringing two acts and 2,400 people to the Orpheum Theater.
That doesn’t include the great family activites at Arizona Science Center, the Saturday market at Phoenix Public Market, Third Fridays Concert at Civic Space Park, or any of the restaurants and bars that will be spilling over with people.
So… remember that Downtown energy I mentioned earlier?