A quick non-essay: A picture from midtown Phoenix of storms over the far far west Phoenix metropolitan area. Who’s for lightning?
A quick non-essay: This picture is from last night’s storms over the far far west Phoenix metropolitan area. The mountain range you see is the White Tank Mountains, located about 27 miles (43 km) west of my flat in midtown Phoenix.
A desert downtown lacks shade: the one thing that will make it immensely more walkable year-round.
[editor’s note: This is not the post-Downtown Phoenix Podcast essay promised for Friday. That’s still coming, you guessed it, tomorrow.]
Yesterday, some friends of mine and I went to the afternoon matinee Diamondbacks game at downtown Phoenix’s Chase Field. Despite a D’backs pitching meltdown and more Detroit fans present at the game than Diamondbacks fans, it was a fun afternoon. Leaving Chase Field, though, it became very apparent that we have one major design flaw in our downtown: there’s no shade.
Yep, in a desert city, there’s no shade. And when it’s 115º F (46º C) outside, walking in full sunlight is not a fun thing to be doing. It’s also downright dangerous.
So while we keep thinking of new ways to make downtown Phoenix — and all of our urban environs — if we deny the fundamental fact that we need lots of natural shade, what’s the point? Metal shade doesn’t count. And palm trees, despite being a part of Phoenix’s historic character, provide no environmental benefits to pedestrians.
Some pictures from my collection of an unshaded downtown Phoenix…
Something that I’ve done on Facebook but have yet to publish to edwardjensen.net is a yearly Spotify playlist of A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols. Based on the formula out of Kings College Cambridge and broadcast all around the world (including tomorrow morning at 8am on KBAQ 89.5 FM in Phoenix).
Watch my one-on-one conversations with the candidates for the Phoenix City Council District 4 seat.
A project that I have been working on in collaboration with Downtown Voices Coalition is a series of one-on-one conversations with candidates for Phoenix City Council. This post contains my conversations with the Phoenix City Council District 4 candidates, Laura Pastor and Justin Johnson. The District 4 seat is currently occupied by Tom Simplot.
IN CONVERSATION WITH LAURA PASTOR / recorded 4 October 2013
Laura Pastor is the Director of the Achieving a College Education program at South Mountain Community College and is the daughter of U.S. Congressman Ed Pastor. She serves on the Governing Board for the Phoenix Union High School District.
IN CONVERSATION WITH JUSTIN JOHNSON / recorded 7 October 2013
Justin Johnson is a building developer and contractor and is the son of former Phoenix councilman and mayor Paul Johnson. He serves on the City of Phoenix Planning Commission.
Show Notes: Toward the end of my conversation, Mr. Johnson references a book but he cannot think of a title. Following our one-on-one conversation, he sent me, by text message, the title of that book. It is The Metropolitan Revolution by Bruce Katz and Jennifer Bradley. In addition, the City Council meeting in which the future of the Temporary Sales Tax on Food is discussed is on Wednesday October 16 at 3:00pm at Phoenix City Council Chambers.
Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring premièred on this day 100 years ago. Perhaps this recording won’t be as riotous as a century ago.
100 years ago today, a work by Igor Stravinsky received its première performance at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées. That work was his Le Sacre du Printemps, something that we Anglophones call The Rite of Spring. Needless to say, the performance didn’t go over all that well. The Parisians “hissed” the new work, according to The New York Times‘s reporting.
In the century since that fateful night in a Parisian theatre, the work has since become one work of the symphony orchestra’s canon of music. It’s performed far more in a concert setting than in ballet form. Still, at 100, there are always new recordings of the work. One that crossed my computer screen is this cool visualization of the music. For those without a score of Le Sacre in front of them or for those who aren’t musically inclined, this shows the music in an accessible form: shapes.
Even caught on an iPhone, a Boeing 747 is still a thing to behold.
As seen from a few meters away: the daily British Airways (callsign: Speedbird) flight from London to Phoenix lands at Sky Harbor International Airport. Even caught informally by an iPhone, it’s still an impressive sight to behold.