Category Archives: Humor

Add the “downtown is ovah” tee shirt to your collection


What’s all this talk about downtown Phoenix being “ovah?”  Read all about it at the Downtown Phoenix Journal blog.

Viewpoint: How to drive in Phoenix, Arizona

Okay, this is one of those chain e-mails from a friend.  But it’s all about Phoenix.  Which is what we communicate here.  And we can’t be serious all of the time, right?  So here goes: How to drive in Phoenix, Arizona…

  1. “Phoenix ” actually consists of Scottsdale, Chandler, Tempe, Mesa, Gilbert, Glendale, and half of border with Mexico.
  2. The morning rush hour is from 5 a.m. to Noon.  The evening rush hour is from Noon to 9 p.m. Friday’s rush hour starts on Thursday morning.
  3. The minimum acceptable speed on most freeways is 85 mph.  On Loop 101, your speed is expected to match the highway number.  Anything less is considered “Wussy.”
  4. Forget the traffic rules you learned elsewhere.  Phoenix has its own version of traffic rules.  For example, cars/trucks with the loudest muffler go first at a four-way stop; the trucks with the biggest tires go second.  However, East Valley, SUV-driving, cell phone-talking moms ALWAYS have the right of way.
  5. If you actually stop at a yellow light, you will be rear ended.
  6. Never honk at anyone.  Ever.  Seriously.  It’s an offense that can get you shot.
  7. Road construction is permanent in Phoenix.  Detour barrels are moved around for your entertainment pleasure during the middle of the night to make the next day’s driving a bit more exciting.
  8. Watch carefully for road hazards such as drunks, dogs, barrels, cones, cats, mattresses, shredded tires, rabbits, vultures, javelinas, roadrunners, and the coyotes feeding on any of these items.
  9. Maricopa Freeway, Papago Freeway, and the “I-10” are the same road.  SR202 is the same road as The Red Mountain FWY.  Dunlap and Olive are the same street too.  Jefferson becomes Washington, but they are not the same street.  I-17 is also called The Black Canyon Freeway as well as The Veterans Memorial Highway. The SR 51 was renamed to Piestewa Freeway because Squaw Peak Parkway was too easy to pronounce.  SR 101 is also the Pima FWY except west of I-17, which is also The Black Canyon FWY, and The Veterans Memorial HWY.  Lastly, Thunderbird Rd. becomes Cactus Rd. but, Cactus Rd. doesn’t become Thunderbird Rd. because it dead ends at a mountain.
  10. If someone actually has their turn signal on, wave them to the shoulder immediately to let them know it has been “accidentally activated.”
  11. If you are in the left lane and only driving 70 in a 55-65 mph zone, you are considered a road hazard and will be “flipped off” accordingly.  If you return the flip, you’ll be shot.
  12. For summer driving, it is advisable to wear potholders on your hands.

Commingled names give metro Phoenix ‘hoods hip ID

[Source: Scott Craven, Arizona Republic] — All fashionable cities have them: those too-cool abbreviations that define neighborhoods based on where they’re located.  There’s Lodo (Lower Downtown) in Denver, Soma (South of Market) in San Francisco, and the most famous, New York’s Tribeca (Triangle Below Canal Street).  It’s time for the Valley to join the urban hip.  First to take the leap: Noca (North of Camelback), a restaurant that gets its name from defining a particular neighborhood in Phoenix.  Here are fun names we came up with to coin other popular areas of the Valley:

  • Lirador (Light-Rail Corridor): Commuter heaven.
  • Camo (Camelback Mountain): A place to live, and a bad fashion choice.
  • Slonomo (Slopes of North Mountain): Life in the fast lane.
  • Unmaco (Unincorporated Maricopa County): The place to live if you love Sheriff Joe.
  • Weva (West Valley): Now it’s cool.
  • Dope (Downtown Tempe): If we didn’t think of it, you would.  Besides, it’s pronounced doh-PEE.
  • Squanoje (Square North of Jefferson): Formerly Copper Square.  Not as lyrical as Tribeca, but vaguely Native American.
  • Cavefree (Cave Creek and Carefree): That bit where the two towns seem to mingle.
  • Lobu (Lower Buckeye): If chef Nobu Fukuda moved in, imagine the possibilities.
  • Corgi (Core of Gilbert): Why does that sound familiar?
  • Sogoo (South of Goodyear): Nothing much there, but it feels “Sogoo” to say.

[Note: To read the full article and online comments, click here.]

Viewpoint: Phoenix city mottos dear to our urban heart

Downtown Phoenix[Source: Arizona Republic] — Much has been made of downtown Phoenix’s new brand, announced last week. Actually, much has been made of how much Downtown Phoenix Partnership paid ($160,000) for said brand, which was “Arizona’s urban heart.” The good news is that it fits on a bumper sticker.  But if you had $160,000 to lure people downtown, why not 16,000 free-lunch coupons?

We, too, thought we could come up with better branding at a drastically reduced price — say, 75 cents, the cost of the newspaper. Since it’s not too late to rethink “Arizona’s urban heart” before it winds up on T-shirts, placards, and perhaps the launching subject of a book (“Arizona’s Urban Heart: Bland Brands and Other Underwhelming Civic Efforts”), here are our ideas:

  • “Come to the island — the urban heat island.”
  • “Look for us on Google maps.”
  • “Home of the few useful stops on light rail.”
  • “If we weren’t cool, would ASU be here?”
  • “A nice buffer between east and west sides.”
  • “On the 33rd parallel and proud of it.”
  • “Home of many tall buildings.  No, the ones to the south.”
  • “Copper Pentagon — now with one more side than Copper Square.”
  • “When you want to see more than red tiles and pink stucco.”
  • “Where Hooters meets the Catholic Diocese.”

In downtown Phoenix, “Israeli Banana” sells fruit for a song

Erez Kessler sings to sell fruit and other items in downtown Phoenix (Photo: Allison Gatlin)

[Source Allison Gatlin, Jewish News of Phoenix] — Vending-machine snacks had better watch their backs — there’s a fresher, sexier snack in town: fruit.  Donning a banana suit and a guitar, Erez Kessler, also known as the Israeli Banana, helps at The Fruit Stand on Second Avenue and Adams Street in downtown Phoenix by attracting customers with his unusual garb and songs.  Kessler has spent summers in the Greater Phoenix area since 2003, serving as a shaliach (emissary) through the Summer Shlichim Program sponsored by the Jewish Agency for Israel. The fruit stand is owned by his former “house dad,” Ray Eveleth, with whom Kessler lived during the summers of 2004 and 2005.

Kessler, 30, from Dimona, Israel, traveled with the program to various sleepover and day summer camps around the country as someone who could teach children about life and tradition in Israel and make the lessons entertaining through song.  “I came here every summer to deliver the culture of Israel to the children at the summer camps,” Kessler says. “In return I was able to take back some of the U.S. culture with me.”  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Phoenix commuters celebrate “No Pants Day”

[News Source: KPHO Television, Video Source: Brian Shaler] — “Your underwear is showing” was a theme taken to the extreme by one group of Metro Light Rail riders Saturday afternoon in Phoenix, KPHO reported.  Nearly 100 Valley residents celebrated the global “No Pants Day” by hitching a ride on the new rail system and “forgetting” to wear pants.  For the past seven years, national group Improv Everywhere has held an annual “No Pants Day” on which the group rides pants-less on the New York City subway system, and this year, the event went global.  

Jeff Moriarty, the Phoenix event’s organizer, said the new Metro Light Rail system gave the Valley an opportunity to join in.  “We think it is a fun way to celebrate Phoenix’s light rail, and give people a chuckle along the way,” Moriarty said.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Happy Cabbie gives you a tour of downtown Phoenix

Take a 17 minute tour of downtown Phoenix with Happy Cabbie. “We got statues.”

Phoenix Demands Donuts (don’t ask us why)

On April 16, 2008 at the southeast corner of 15th Avenue and McDowell Rd., “the people of Phoenix” (well maybe ten tops) gathered to “demand donuts” and “spread the word about the rising discrimination and hate towards (fattening) donuts.”  Their mantra, “Donuts FTW!” (We assume that to mean “Free The Wishill’s!”)

WABAC Machine: Ladies fashions in ’50s Valley of the Sun

Click on the photo to watch a 1950s “infomercial” on women’s fashion wear in the Valley of the Sun.

Who needs light rail… when you can JUMP?

Jumper, Brian Shaler Jumping - ShalerJump in  Phoenix, AZ by ACME-Nollmeyer.

First of all, “don’t try this at home!”  It seems that Phoenician Brian Shaler is quite adept at jumping, leaping, whatever you want to call it.  And as shown in Adam Nollmeyer’s photo above, Brian’s doing his thing during a photo shoot in downtown Phoenix (with the historic City/County Building and Maricopa County complex in the background).  Why does Brian do it?  Click here for answers!