On the Streets: Melrose

I am spending the holiday season in Phoenix, Arizona. I brought my camera with me, but I haven’t gone out shooting much. Spoiled by getting to see family while enjoying the sun.
But I have managed to get back to a neighborhood here that I really like – Melrose. It is a historic district, bordered on the north by Camelback and on the south by Indian School. 7th Avenue seems to be the center point, but I’m not sure what the actual east and west bounds are.

I can’t remember now how I first discovered the neighborhood. I think on a visit I was looking for good tacos or burritos and stumbled on the Phoenix Burrito House. That was a good stumble. Some time after that I found Copper Star Coffee, and I’ve been going back every time I am in town.

Copper Star Coffee is housed in a repurposed old gas station. And I mean old. The kind of gas station you found in the 1970s, ones you can only find now in small towns. It is a perfect place to sit for a long time over coffee and read, write, or talk.

One of the problems with getting to know a place like this really well and then subsequently visit only sporadically is that the staff turns over. Not uncommon with restaurants, but it’s one of those staffs where you find yourself wondering where the ones who left went. What grand new adventures are they up to now. I always get intrigued by the choices people make, especially when it comes to pursuing new opportunities or moving. I want to know where they went and why they chose a particular location.

Melrose is an eclectic neighborhood. Independent restaurants and diners, vintage clothing and furniture shops, tattoo parlors, and several gay bars. In Phoenix terms, it seems fairly walkable. I noticed that there is a new apartment being built, and one of the vintage shops has either gone out of business or is re-locating. I suspect that Melrose is on the cusp of change, bursting with potential. That usually brings good and bad, but if a neighborhood is doing the right things, almost inevitable. If I lived in Phoenix I think I would try to buy something here.

A closing note. I wanted to test WordPress’s mobile friendliness, so I’m posting this with my phone. Took the photos with my Fujifilm XT2, used wifi to transfer them to my phone, and then uploaded them here. I purposely left my laptop in Seattle – wanted to see how well I could do with just my camera, phone, and old iPad. So far so good, but I don’t see a “save” option or the means for posting a Featured Image.

I thought about adding an “if you go” section here at the end, but I realized that I have only scratched the surface of Melrose. The exploring, then, is up to you-

  • Phoenix Burrito House
  • Copper Star Coffee
  • Fry Bread House
  • Joe’s Diner
  • Thai Long-An
  • Melrose Kitchen
  • The Refuge Cafe
  • Stacy’s @Melrose
  • Los Compadres
  • Toasted