blog

On the Streets: Melrose, Phoenix, Arizona

I’m in Phoenix visiting family over the holidays. Several years ago I discovered Copper Star Coffee in Phoenix’s Melrose neighborhood. It’s a great coffee shop in a converted old-timey gas station. I liked it immediately.

Copper Star Coffee, Melrose, Phoenix, December 2018.

Copper Star Coffee, Melrose, Phoenix, December 2018.

I try to make it there a few times during each visit. The stretch of 7th Avenue between Camelback and Indian School is lined with quirky vintage boutiques, auto repair shops, restaurants, and bars. On both sides of 7th there are historic neighborhoods with awesome houses.

Melrose, Phoenix, December 2018.

Melrose, Phoenix, December 2018.

Retro Ranch, Melrose, Phoenix, December 2018.

Retro Ranch, Melrose, Phoenix, December 2018.

Twigs and Twine, Melrose, Phoenix, December 2018.

Twigs and Twine, Melrose, Phoenix, December 2018.

During those first visits I thought that I was seeing an artsy neighborhood that was about to take off. I doubt I’ll ever move back to Phoenix (I’m not built for the summers), but I thought that if I did, it’d be smart to look at houses in that area. (Only in theory, of course - banks tend not to lend money to flailing freelancers.)

I think my real estate instincts might not be very strong, though. The neighborhood hasn’t exploded the way I thought it would. During this most recent visit, I saw that the restaurant that used to be Harley’s Bistro, which then became a grilled cheese place and maybe something else after that, was now a hot dog and doughnut place. I looked around some more and saw that the pink liquor store and a few of the vintage clothing boutiques were closed, too.

Melrose, Phoenix, December 2018.

Melrose, Phoenix, December 2018.

Melrose, Phoenix, December 2018.

Melrose, Phoenix, December 2018.

Joe’s Diner, Melrose, Phoenix, December 2018.

Joe’s Diner, Melrose, Phoenix, December 2018.

I was a little sad to see all the closings. Who knows, maybe discreet developers are buying everything up. I doubt it, though.I decided to grab some quick documentary shots with a few film cameras. I think I shot these with an Olympus XA, a Pentax K1000, and a Fujifilm Quicksnaps disposable. The photos aren’t great, mainly functional, capturing that stretch of 7th Avenue at the end of 2018. (There are some individual photos and then a slide show - slide shows are faster to load when posting in Squarespace.)

Medina’s Automotive, Melrose, Phoenix, December 2018. I’ve waited a long time to get a photo of this place without a car directly in front of the building.

Medina’s Automotive, Melrose, Phoenix, December 2018. I’ve waited a long time to get a photo of this place without a car directly in front of the building.