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May 07, 2015


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The new Changing Hands at 300 West Camelback has a nice bar inhabited after 5PM, week days by sharply dressed young professional females and male CPA types. Attached is a classy resturant that has shining silverware and CLOTH napkins. I find the this book store does not do for me what the Tempe Changing Hands (old and not so old) store does for me. I feel a lot less nervous in the Tempe store as I find folks North of Camelback not in my class. Was at Tempe store today to pick up my signed copy of Willie Nelsons new diatribe.

The red line for personal and commercial insurance runs from South Mtn up 48th street to Camelback to 59th ave. back south to South Mtn.

Those lines have been there since the 70's. They will be there indefinitely.

Indian School is the red line starting at 44th Street and going east into Scottsdale. The drop in property values walking south from Indian School through Thomas and on to McDowell is drastic.

Note to newbies who have lived in places such as Portland, DC, Manhattan or the Bay Area with true public transportation systems: Don't walk into a retail establishment north of the redline wearing a backpack. You must be shoplifter or worse to the locals.

Rogue writes,

" Like most Arizona "headquarters," it means only 40 employees, but the symbolism is telling and depressing."

Outstanding! LOL

Many more keen observations by Rogue in this commentary. Bravo

Anyone see their juvenile selves turning around in the parking lot of Uptown Plaza and heading south to the library parking lot...all freaking night long? Maybe that McDowell boundary was a form of redlining; even then, we were probably drawn by the perceived glamour and relative safety of the newer part, totally sucked in by those gaudy clusters of backlit palm trees. Someone older than me might remember whether or not those boundaries were the same in the forties and fifties, or if cruising (without lowriding)gradually shifted north by half or one mile increments.

The "loop" in the fifties was The Polar Bar (Central & Thomas) to the NorthTown (Central&Camelback) with a detour to my "office" The Three Palms 7th Ave south of the Canal. I probably put many miles on it. It also included Bob's Big Boy at Central& Thomas. They are, of course, long since gone. Ah Nostalgia!

The FBI moved and an excellent charter school, Basis Phoenix, moved in. Additionally the Arizona School for the Arts is at 3rd Street and McDowell. There's a lot going on South of Camelback and just because Beefeaters was on the North side of the street doesn't make Changing Hands stuck up... it's certainly better than the East Valley strip mall version that replaced the original on Mill Avenue. In fact I'd say the biggest red line in Phoenix is still streets vs avenues, and even so, those are mostly fine until you go West of I-17.

Let me Guess Brad, u r one of those button down number guys maybe even almost a CPA? And maybe a Snottsdale groupie. I'm a forever loyal Changing Hands fan since their inception.. But book wise and for the folks I get along best with, it's the crowd at the Tempe store. And i get my coffee in a paper cup along with a paper spill bib at the Wildflower next door. And in my 64 years in phoenix i seldom went to the Beef Eaters, as it was way out of my class. Rather slide my 59 Chevy into Jerry's Drive in on east McDowell or all those places Ramjet mentioned.

Ruben, I posted u a desert reading list on the previous blog " writing off the news"

My chey’s loop was any place in AZ. Whether it was being passed by Gus Stallings in his 58 Gull Wing coming off Sunset Point towards Black Canyon city or cruising rapidly past a few angry acting Pachuco’s from Glendale with ms. Moreno shoulder to shoulder with me on the bench seat working the four speed on the floor while I toyed with the clutch and let my pipes back off between the building on Central and Thomas. Famous Arizona motorcycle rider and cop Jon Sellers (Also the lead detective on the murder of Don Bolles Arizona Republic white collar crime investigator.) gave me my second ticket at Bob’s drive Inn for loud pipes. Loved Bob’s hamburgers. Last nite my friend Senora Morena (ms. Moreno of the 50’s died last year. She and I worked the fields of lettuce and grapes at John Jacobs farms), left the Downtown Cafe and cruised Central from Van Buren to Central and Mountain View and made the loop from the end of Central and turned west to 3rd Street and back to Mountain View past the 900 square foot house I lived with four other folks in 1950. My lady friend said as we drove past Bob’s that she had never had as good a Hamburger as she had at Bob’s. And she had her first one at the California start up. We dropped on back to her place in Historical Coronado. It was a great cruise, the windows down and a good breeze. Then these two historical folks (combined a 154 years) turned in for the nite.
Hasta Manana Baby.
And pre the Chevy it was the 50 Ford or the 50 Dodge business coupe that took me to such exotic places as the Caverns and Marias Cantina in Nogales.
The valley of the sun’s decline began with the invention of the Truss Joist in Phoenix and the arrival of home builder John F Long. And today the valley continues its decline by building steel and concrete canyons in the area of Central and Jefferson. Nothing better than a horizon in which man’s edifices do not appear.
Time for the delicate ones to leave town as, The heat Cometh!

Hopefully lightrail will make that empty building on Camelback and Central useful again. Its a nice structure that never should have been built for sure, but it is across the street from light rail. Nice bailout for the owner.

PS I've lived near both Changing Hands and can't decide which one I like better. The bar next to the Tempe one is nice and the bar in the one on Camelback is very convenient.

Different crowds for different folks but it seems we all have one thing in common, Reading real paper books.
Changing Hands and Mikes Book Gallery at 3600 E Indian School are better any day than Barnes and Nobles.

Should have been turned east to 3rd street

Sure wish the military would hurry up with that Operation Jade Helm, I thought they would have occupied the state by now.

I think everyone has their own personal “Redline Map” – at least with regard to: Would I even consider moving to such-and-such area? The simplest would be a yes/no/maybe list. Then the practical matters such as 1) can I afford to live there? 2) commute times, etc. come into consideration. Obviously such things as amenities, shopping, crime rates, etc. going into the initial screening. To even be considered a “yes area implies” that these issues are at least minimally satisfied.

My personal “Redline/Yes” area (in declining order) would include Tempe, Chandler, Gilbert, Scottsdale (Southern part only) and (a small part) of Phoenix (South of Camelback BTW). Off-the-table would be anything west of I-17.

RC’s Redline is almost exactly the opposite of mine – but we would be in agreement about Midtown and/or any neighborhood adjoining Central Avenue.

Cal may have Redlined the entire Metro.

Would any sane person have Maryvale not Redlined?

These 4 million +/- Redline “maps” integrate into the answer: What does a house cost in this neighborhood? Democracy at its finest/worst – depending on your point of view.

RC’s article is mostly about the location of tall buildings. It is my tentative conclusion that these follow the “center of mass” of wealth. This center moved slowly North out of downtown via Central Avenue and then East at Camelback. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a “quantum leap” to South Scottsdale or Tempe.

Maryvale is an exciting place for the courageous, brave and those seeking a sense of adventure. I feel more at ease in Maryvale than in Troon. And I speak the Marvale language of love, music food and laughter not the Troon, serious hateful denial of the rest of the other 99 percent of the human race as I smack my little white balls with a Krupp Iron weapon.

WKG and Emil, U all catch this from a blog or two ago.
WKG, Suggest you locate a copy of Desert Cadillac by Marc Reisner, its got lots of water numbers.

WKG, The San Rafael Cattle Ranch was the location of 17 movies. One of my favorites is Tom Horne. There are two stories of Horn available in book form. I was in that country and Mexico a few days ago.
A small book called “A Slow Trot Home” by Lisa Greene Sharp is a nice read. I have stayed at her place near Tubac in the past and My Friend and Green Valley Cattle Rancher, John Hayes is married to a Sharp, also owners of the San Rafael. The US part of the old Spanish Land Grant is now owned by the Nature Conservancy and the State of Arizona (a shame as the state has shut it off to the public to allow HLS to OCUPPY the place.) I got threatened with trespassing last time I visited and tried walking around the ranch house.

a friend and I watched a DVD of Pepe Le Moko, we both enjoyed this excellent 1937 melodrama.

Emil, The "East Valley" pretty much calls the shots in AZ. AZ Legislature is the right wing subdivison of Utah

And folks, re Baltimore “riot” how about this farfetched conspiracy theory, it was initiated by HLS, NSA, DEA, the FBI and wealthy folks that would benefit by having a “looting” and criminal riot compared to a political protest?

Emil: intresting Ensia article on salt to fresh water…forward osmosis


Travel north up Central to Dunlap and you get to another red line, Sunnyslope. Well, to the west of Central that is. We're on the "wrong" side of that line but the light rail is being built up 19th Ave and will be walking distance from our place when it's done. Wonder how that will change things.

WKGINBHAM: more engineering! We can keep increasing the human population and keep trying to solve it's problems or we can decrease world population and engineer the problems that come with less people.
Desalination is nothing but a expensive energy sucking temporary solution.

Well, to be fair, Cal, if Phoenix residents ever get rationed down to a few gallons of water a day, you know they'll be wanting that expensive energy sucking temporary solution right away. There's no Carl Hayden to get federal funding for it, and...well, McCain, Flake, whatever; so users will have to foot the bill for the whole thing. We'll be too dead and gone to wallow in the schadenfreude, though.

@Donna re “light rail is being built up 19th Ave and will be walking distance from our place when it's done. Wonder how that will change things.” I suspect not much – at least in the “short term”. Those currently riding buses will switch to street-car – maybe a slight increase in transit usage. Could actually result in a decrease in transit as buses are pulled from service to cover the costs of the street-car.

Any objective analysis of street car systems would show their performance to dubious, at best. Portland has invested heavily in its system and has hardy seen transit usage budge. One thing that has happened is an explosion in the cost of running their transit system. If you’re interested in transit the best answer is “more buses more frequently”. A good compromise is Bus Rapid Transit (BRT).

Maybe the worst example of the “field of dreams” street car would be the line running up and down Central Ave in Phoenix. But you built it; you bastards.

If you insist on street cars, the route needs to be along a route that has intensive bus utilization now.

Not exactly off-topic since RC raised the issue of AJ’s renovation and De Soto Central Market. I don’t want to brag, but Birmingham is so much ahead of the curve (compared to Phoenix) that it’s almost pathetic.

For those who haven’t gone to the link, De Soto Central is a food court. I didn’t look up the exact location – but I’m assuming the primary customer target is downtown office workers. If the geography works, it can be wildly popular. Similar operations in Atlanta and Birmingham are very successful. However they are strictly Mon-Fri breakfast and lunch operations. They are not “draws” on their own. They are amenities for downtown workers – and important ones at that.

In town revitalization is a very slow process – almost imperceptible at first. The importance of Gays, Hipsters, Artists and other marginalized populations in this process cannot be overstressed. You need pioneers; pioneers with an attitude. An attitude of “we’re just fine, thank you. We don’t need your “help”. In fact, if you’d just bug-off entirely, we’d be most happy.”

A significant event in Bham recently: Publix (a regional moderately up-scale supermarket chain) announced that it is building a downtown store. With interesting architecture; the first floor will be the store itself. Then there are two or three stories of parking, then two or three stories of apartments on top of that. Talk about mixed use! This is almost the equivalent of the checkered flag in a car race.

I agree with Wkg's comment about 4 million red lines. Everyone sees it differently.

Personally I lived briefly adjacent to the Camelback corridor and I hated it...the traffic in through there is just awful and it's just crowded, busy, too much crammed into not enough space for it. That light at 24th and Camelback, is my vote for easiest place to see red-light runners. People coming north on 24th run the red arrow every single time, two or three cars at a time. Where are the police? They probably realize the whole area is so clustered with bad traffic and inadequate infrastructure that pulling people over would only make it even worse. I would absolutely, positively never move back to that area.

I used to live on what I felt was a red line in the Arcadia area. It was not Camelback, but Thomas, and at that juncture of E. Thomas, there was a huge difference between home values on one side of the street and the other. These lines do exist, but often it's tied in with where is there commercial zoning, apartment complexes, etc.

Regardless, as it serves Arcadia, I definitely do not think Camelback is a red line. Many, many beautiful, expensive neighborhoods south of that boundary. I *would* move back to the greater Arcadia area, as I feel there is still some nice character in many of those neighborhoods, and the traffic and development aren't as onerous, particularly as you get further east away from all the overbuilt development from the 51 to, I don't know, 44th Street on Camelback.

Ultimately anyone who draws distinctions based on a parallel rather than the character of individual blocks and neighborhoods is just kind of a dumbo, which I suppose is Rogue's point.

I live in Scottsdale and personally if you get too far north of FLW/Bell, your options for dining, shopping, entertainment, community, parks, etc., get pretty predictable and limited.

I do like the chaparral and higher elevations north of the freeway, but I don't think there's any neighborhood livability because you're basically in subdivisions surrounded by chaparral and just about anything you want to do is going to take significant drive time. To me, that's a little isolating and inconvenient.

I like being able to go for a walk in my neighborhood, or run to the store/shopping in a couple minutes time. But I guess I do prefer a more suburban lifestyle because I grew up playing outside, being able to walk to school, ride my bike all over the place, etc.

I wonder if Rogue has ever written about gated communities. My personal take on gated communities is, if you really feel like you need a gate to protect your community, then my "witty" rejoinder would be, wow, well your house must not be in a very nice area if you need a gate and a guard to keep you safe. :-)

Also, personally speaking, just the idea of a guard knowing every time I leave the house and go somewhere, and checking me (looking at me / visual confirmation / whatever) every time I come back in ... just rubs me the wrong way. Something about it seems to run counter to my idea of personal freedom to come and go as I please. I wouldn't like to have to stop and be confirmed by a guard before I can proceed to my house.

But some people just love it. To each their own I guess.

And of course gated communities without guards do not even offer a legitimate safety advantage. If you are looking to enter the community without proper access, it's the easiest thing in the world to get in past a gate without a guard. Thousands of people know the code, and if they are ever changed, you can just wait and follow a car in. And once you're in, the gates to leave open automatically so you're home free. So what security is in that?

So I guess I would say, a guard is an intrusion on personal liberty, but it is a somewhat effective security measure. And a remote-control gate does nothing for security but...makes people feel better, I guess? Like they're somehow exclusive, maybe? I don't really get it since it has no safety advantage in my mind.

All this chatter about Red Lines sounds rather elitist. Where should one go not go, live and not live. Borders, lines, boundaries Kinda like a war among the low land and the highland gorillas.” It’s all bull shit and its bad for you. Reminds of a recent incident wherein a number of ladies were having some great discussion and I heard the word fuck come up a few times. As I was leaving I said you Gals all have a great day. Bad move Lash, Gal is a word that is over the border. I have lived in 38 locations in my 74 years and they were all as good as I made them. But I must say my best times have been living among the poor.
Red Line was a good book by Charles Bowden and illustrates my point that the only RED Line is the one on my TACHOMETER.

"Some of them might be suburban developer or private equity thugs. I don't mean to stereotype, but..."

This might be one of the most cleverly written lines in a column that I have read in a long time. Nice work, Jon.

Mark in Scottsdale wrote: "I wonder if Rogue has ever written about gated communities."

Sir, you have a lot of catching up to do. May I suggest you start by reading this entire blog?

Many of you are missing the point. The red lines are drawn by insurance companies, banks, mortgage companies. They determine who gets the money. Wrong side of the line? Too bad. No money.

You can draw your personal red lines wherever you want. They have meaning only for you.

The real red lines impact millions of lives and billions of dollars.

There's the insurance companies' red lines, then the social red lines.What I heard in the 50's and 60's was that none of"them" would be able to move north of McDowell. Latinos moving into area around Coronado Park was sign of progress. When a prominent citizen sold his house on Alvarado between 3rd&7th in thee early 60s and a black cardiologist tried to buy it the entire block including the Monte Vista side got together and bought it at over market value and resold, presumably at a loss. Ours was one of the few families who didn't participate. I went to HS with the MD's son. Good student, good guy, now a PhD and a college teacher. The hispanics who bought a vacant lot on Monte Vista built a very nice ranch home in mid 1950's were great neighbors. Daughter was homecoming queen at virtually all-white North High. Son was a good friend, NHS homecoming king, great athlete, played MLB for a few years before rotator cuff injury did his career in. I don't know what obstacles, if any , they had to overcome.

Code blue, code blue.
Too late, the planet just Flatlined.

WKGINBHAM Hooray, MIT ENGINEERS A Solar powered Desalination plant.

@Cal: Please quit scaring me like that. Rushed out onto the balcony to check the state of the universe. Nope. Just another wonderful day. Actually better than usual as the high-pollen season is pretty much over. Really, you need to leave Phoenix for good. A lot, if not most, of the county is actually very nice. Some places take a little getting used to.

Plant some sahuaros in Birmingham.

Best time of year coming to the desert.
Hot dry burning sands cleanse the earth.
I almost stayed in Bryson City NC, once upon a time.
Too sweaty in BHAM.
I do like the Outer Banks in a winter gale. Stark.
I avoid places where grasses and ragweed grow.
To remind Jon where his roots are, I always send him xmas card with a big Sahuaro on the front. They are blooming at this time

@Cal: Interesting article about Old Tucson Studios


WKG, here one back to you. Sea to saltless.

Hope you all do not take me serious here as this is my entertainment along with books and chasing away the javelinas at nite. My day is filled with driving at least a 100 miles to tend to seriously ill relatives and friends, so I come here to spear(Emil would say foil) by posting outrageous stuff.

Thanks WKG, I do know Tucson well, from traveling through there since 56 to Mexico and from women and wine and lived there for a time and from conducting PI Surveillance for a number of Clients in old and new Tucson. Tucson was likely laid out by a drunken conquistador and consequently I always added an extra PI and car for surveillance's (one less in Grid Phoenix). Should you get to sand country in Tucson I recommend the Sahuaro Nation Forest and then off to the old Barrio, west side of the river, for one of Pat's Hot Dogs.

Cal knows that I only lurk here, but I can't help but comment on this one. Exactly what is wrong with redevelopment in areas that were rapidly becoming distressed, even if they are north of Camelback? 16th St & Bethany Home was virutally abandoned after Bashas' moved out. That neighborhood has been completely revitalized. That was the start. The way I see it the benefits are heading south and already are moving south of Camelback. Does anyone here realize that the complained of restaurant in the Newton has a sister restaurant on Indian School? And it's owned by a long time Central Phoenix family. How is that unwelcome?

Redevelopment of Central Phoenix, in many cases by the longtime local residents, is good for everyone, even those south of Camelback. Further redevelopment is already heading that direction. What about 7th St & Osborn Road? I didn't realize that was north of Camelback. I can name more.

I, for one, am a proud Central Phoenix native. My family moved to Phoenix in 1910. I'm thrilled that Central Phoenix is experiencing a renaissance. It won't stop at Camelback Road. Those of you south shouldn't view us as the enemy. That can be found easily enough in Scottsdale. We are locals who love Phoenix and want to see it revived.

Cal, perhaps you should hide your face the next time you visit my office north of Glendale (heaven forbid).

A belated but important reply to "theintellectualassassin" regarding the Baltimore riots (why and how they actually occurred, who was at fault, and who will suffer most as a consequence) has been posted to the comments continuation page of that thread, readable by clicking on this link:


All questions and challenges answered civilly, but also with compelling insight. Not just a rehash of old commentary.

A reply to Drifter answering his request for information about East Valley electronics and aerospace investment has been posted here:


Jack, Thanks for your accurate post here. No need for us to hide. You have always been there to assist my understanding of the world's rules. I knew your dad from the Downtown YMCA. As I sat the steam with famous and infamous gangsters, attorneys, CPA's, Doctors and Olympians such as Jesse Owens. A quite and nice guy that even as he defeated Hitler best athletes, smoked and died from lung cancer. I did know that the resturant at Changing Hands was the child of the hidden secret upscale resturant at 3600 e Indian School, just East of Mike ' s Book Gallery and a great Antique store. Good places do not have to be at Central and Jefferson to be Good Phoenix. One of the Best laundermats is at 3700 East Indian School. And Then there is the Chicago Hamburger place at 3800 east Indian School.

WKGINBHAM I have no plans to leave the Sonoran Desert. I intend that my ashes shall be distributed up wind of Edward Abbeys. Just to the left of his head stone "No Comment".
Maybe you should join me in the desert where the mind is freed from thought of buluding more empires and all about survival

Regarding Jack. Good thoughts maybe we can grow Phoenix South from Camelback.

If cheap oil enabled urban sprawl and suburbia,it would seem logical that the way to encourage in-fill projects would be to make gas more expensive and use tax policies to discourage land speculation.We could also make sprawl pay more for the infrastructure improvements such as utility,sewer and water lines.Nah-makes too much sense and nobody would support politicians that would advocate these things.

Emil, Thanks for the reply on tech companies in Metro Phoenix.

Cal, The Sonoran Desert is a magnet for me. The energy enhances my well being making it difficult each time to drift away. I am an urban being however and never liked relying on a car. Can Portland be transported to the Sonoran Desert? :)

@Cal Re “Birmingham makes me sweaty”. I wanted to go “but….but”. But I guess so. I think you sweat just as much in the desert, but it evaporates instantly away. I know they say “it’s a dry heat”, but 105-110 F is damn hot.

If you’re avoiding grassy places, the Southeast is definitely not for you. On the flip side, a lot of Cali is becoming much more amenable to your tastes.

Re: “Plant some sahuaros in Birmingham.” Think I’ll pass. About as pointless as planting a magnolia or peach tree in Phoenix or Nogo.

Actually I do take you seriously, even though sometimes a little (or a lot) over the top. Didn’t Goldwater say something like “extremism in defense of _______ is not a vice.” I have to admit I reel it in a lot. I can’t be arguing every little thing I find objectionable.

We have an expression in the South; “like me like my dog.” I can like you fine (In fact I find you compulsively likeable) even though I want to tear out what little hair I have left.

Here’s one thing I especially like about you: You’re a people kind of guy. I don’t like much of anybody.

Re: “My day is filled with driving at least a 100 miles…” Well that bites. I don’t think I do a 100 miles a week. Unfortunately that is going to change for a while. Moving to Central Florida for family reasons (the place is a total armpit). Seriously looking at a Honda Fit or other small hatch back.

If your looking for Cargo space, the Fit has plenty and all but the drivers seat fold down.

This may be a bit off topic but it does pertain to some thing that have been mentioned recently.
Some good read recommendations:

Elixir - A History of Water and Humankind by Brian Fagan

A Story That Stands Like A Dam by Russell Martin

Colussus TheTurbulent,Thrilling Saga of the Building of Hoover (Boulder) Dam by Michael Hiltzik

Finding Abbey by Sean Prentiss


If you buy a product that used to be $3.00 for one pound and now it's $3.00 for 14 ounces does that still mean we have no inflation?

Peach trees do pretty well in Nogales, Wkg: way up in Navajoland, too, Kit Carson had his troops and Ute Scouts destroy Navajo's orchards in Canyon De Chelly as part of the campaign to starve them out. The Mormon pioneers started peach orchards all over in the high desert canyons of the southwest, and they still produce to this day, even when abandoned.

Midtown is making progress, albeit slower than Roosevelt and Camelback, but progress nonetheless.

It looks like The Edison is happening right across from Park Central Mall. In addition, their appears to be an effort amongst the owners of Park Central Mall to come together to redo the former mall into a mixed-use development with residential.

You mention Banner moving and the fine restaurants that continue to pop-up. Uptown Plaza is being redone and BMO is moving out because the owner wishes to develop the building into residential units.

Portland on the Park will help fill the gap in the skyline between midtown and downtown as residential development continues to creep north on Central between the 7s. Take a look at all the zoning signs. The Lennar project, although not great is breaking ground soon on McDowell and Central and the Viad Tower was rebranded just as many other of the towers undergo remodeling.

I realize the "tone" of the blog is cynical, but take a look around, momentum is building at an ever-accelerating pace. Midtown will be a great place to be in the next five years.

The Edison is south of Thomas, not "right across from Park Central Mall," which is no longer a mall. Unless the developers have changed the announced location. I know with AZ the facts sound cynical.

@RogueColumnist There were two proposed projects by Deco for Midtown. The one across from Park Central was called something else. It looks like they changed the name for this one to Edison and have shelved the plans for Thomas: http://liveatedison.com/

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