How to be a Good Phoenician!

Editorial StaffNovember 4, 2021
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Dobbins Lookout at South Mountain; Photo by Kevin Kaminski; Model: Vanessa Siren/Ford Robert Black Agency
Dobbins Lookout at South Mountain; Photo by Kevin Kaminski; Model: Vanessa Siren/Ford Robert Black Agency

Are you tired of division, isolation and the soul-numbing toot-toot of the global media calliope? Yeah, us too. We don’t expect the following 14-page magazine article to solve these things, but maybe something in it will resonate with you. A recipe for solid Valley citizenship, in seven simple and not-so-simple steps.

By Keridwen Cornelius, Niki D’Andrea, Jason Keil & Craig Outhier
Photography by Angelina Aragon, Kevin Kaminski & Mark Lipczynski
Illustrations by Eric Cox & Mirelle Inglefield

Step 1: Get Out of Your Cultural Bubble

Meeting new people. Walking in someone else’s shoes. Un-othering the “other.” These are all sound practices, whether you live in Phoenix or Fortaleza.

11 New Scenes

Ever been to a vegan market or a speakeasy-style stoner lounge? How about shopping at a Black Christmas Expo or touring an Islamic center? Not your thing? Maybe that’s why you should.

“Pushing ourselves out of our cultural comfort zones to engage with perspectives and practices that are unfamiliar to us is highly beneficial. It makes us think and feel differently, loosens the grip of our prejudices, and helps us to see the world – and ourselves – in a new light,” says Adrian McIntyre, a Phoenix-based anthropologist who studies the relationship between language, culture and identity.

Not sure where to start? Here are a few suggestions.

1. Phoenix Pride Festival

The LGBTQ+ community’s main event takes place November 6 and 7, with more than 150 performances on six stages (headliner: Indie rockers Neon Indian) and 300-plus exhibitors filling Steele Indian School Park.

Phoenix Pride; Photo by Leaked Glass/Courtesy Phoenix Pride
Phoenix Pride; Photo by Leaked Glass/Courtesy Phoenix Pride
PHX Vegan Saturday Night Market; Photo by Angelina Aragon
PHX Vegan Saturday Night Market; Photo by Angelina Aragon
2. PHX Vegan Saturday Night Market

Valley vegans visit this open-air market every second Saturday evening of the month from 6 to 10 p.m. 909 N. Central Avenue, Phoenix

3. Arizona Jewish Historical Society Events

A monthly book discussion group and documentary film series explores Jewish history and culture.

4. The Black Christmas Expo

AZ Black Women’s Expo hosts this holiday shopping event on December 4 highlighting over 50 black-owned businesses.

5. Melt Lounge

Stoner subculture is alive and high at this exclusive club, where members enjoy events like game nights and pizza-and-pajama parties.

6. Heard Museum

An institution dedicated to Native American culture, Heard Museum hosts events like the Indigenous People’s Celebration in October and Holidays at the Heard.

7. Asian Moon Festival

Early October in Chandler’s Tumbleweed Park means a celebration of Asian food, dance, music and arts.

8. Christian Music Festivals

Jesus rocks for righteous music promoters like A to Z Christian Life, which is presenting the “Ignite the Fire 2022” music fest on April 9, 2022; and Extreme Faith Productions, which puts on the Elevate Music Festival every June, among other events.;

9. DÍa De Los Muertos Festival

Held every year in late October at Steele Indian School Park, the Dia De Los Muertos Festival celebrates one of Mexico’s national holidays, when the living are said to commune with the dead.

10. Islamic Speakers Bureau of Arizona Faith Tours at Islamic Center of the Northeast Valley

Scheduled tours of the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix are part of the religious group’s “Finding Common Ground 2021” outreach.

11. Phoenix Pizza Festival

Who doesn’t love pizza? Find your people – along with more than 20 pizzerias – November 13-14 at at Margaret T. Hance Park in Downtown Phoenix.

Pizza Festival; Photo by Zee Peralta/Courtesy Pizza Festival
Pizza Festival; Photo by Zee Peralta/Courtesy Pizza Festival
Illustration by Mirelle Inglefield
Illustration by Mirelle Inglefield
Viri Hernandez
Executive Director, Poder In Action

Attacking Inequality
Hernandez says good Phoenicians should learn about the city’s checkered past with minorities. As concerned citizens marched in the streets to protest the deaths of Dion Johnson and Breonna Taylor at the hands of police in 2020, Hernandez’s Maryvale-based organization Poder In Action used social media to focus the debate locally, particularly in the realms of law enforcement oversight and funding. “We have a responsibility to each other to collectively fight for a city that is healthier,” she says. “Every year, the Phoenix City Council decides on the budget, and we have to advocate for the resources needed to ensure everyone has a good quality of life.”

Kate Gallego
Mayor of Phoenix

Rock the Vote
Even before she was elected mayor of Phoenix in 2019 and started her tenure on the city council in 2014, Kate Gallego thought that being a better Phoenician began with walking the walk before she talked the talk. An asthmatic, she started her career in public service as the longest-serving chair of the city’s Environmental Quality Commission to help herself breathe easier. But her advice for self-improvement doesn’t necessarily involve City Hall: “Be a part of your faith community, a parenting group that works together, or a local nonprofit in your neighborhood [that] builds a stronger community for us,” she says. “And I highly recommend voting.”

Illustration by Mirelle Inglefield
Illustration by Mirelle Inglefield
5 Ethnic Communities in the Valley You Probably Didn’t Know About
1. Armenia

The Valley has an estimated population of 5,000 to 8,000 Armenian-Americans, concentrated mainly in North-Central Phoenix and Scottsdale. November brings two annual soirees – Armenia Fest ( and the Scottsdale Armenian Festival ( The cultural and especially culinary delights of Armenia are on full display, along with historical perspectives and contemporary crafts.
2. Bhutan

The Valley’s population of around 2,500 people from Bhutan – a tiny landlocked country in South Asia – consists mostly of ethnic Hindus who were expelled from the country in the late 2000s. The Bhutanese Community in Arizona ( was founded in 2012 to help Bhutanese people come together and share their culture with others.
3. Iran/Persian

An estimated 6,000 Iranian-Americans call the Valley home, celebrating at such fests as the Persian New Year Festival in March. Though temporarily closed out of COVID precautions, the Arizona Persian Cultural Center ( in Scottsdale still offers events online, including language lessons and calligraphy classes.
4. Romania

More than “85,000 ethnic Romanians” live in the state, according to the Arizona American-Romanian Cultural Collaborative (, many in Glendale and North Phoenix, where the St. John Romanian Orthodox Church can be glimpsed off the 101 Loop. The community can be explored via events like the annual Romanian Food Spring Festival in March and the Romanian Festival and the Arizona Romanian Film Festival in November.
5. South Sudan

Refugees from South Sudan number around 1,800 in the Valley, including the roughly 400 young men famously dubbed the “Lost Boys.” Resettled mainly in West Phoenix, some have taken roles at the Lost Boys Center for Leadership Development (, while others have opened local businesses showcasing Sudanese culture, like Goat Meat Store on 27th Avenue.

— Niki D’Andrea

Step 2: Give back a little.

Yeah, it’s a cliché. So what? It’s a good one.

Photo courtesy Adobe Stock Images
Photo courtesy Adobe Stock Images
How To Choose A Cause

Unsure where to volunteer? Professor Robert Ashcraft from the Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation at ASU shares some ideas on where to begin.

Pursue Your Passion

“The giving of time, money and energy is a marriage of sorts. If it’s aligned with the wrong mission, you don’t receive [much in return].”

Use the Internet

“One well-known website is, where you can navigate by your skills or location. Another network is”

Ask a Friend

“The No. 1 reason why people volunteer is that somebody asked from an informal social network of friends, family and acquaintances.”

Illustration by Mirelle Inglefield
Illustration by Mirelle Inglefield
Danielle Leoni 
Executive Chef and Co-owner of The Breadfruit 

Know Thy Neighbor
Leoni says that for her, being a good Phoenician is knowing and recognizing the productive efforts of her Valley fellows – for example, knowing who grows and sells the food on the menu of her award-winning restaurant. But the philosophy applies outside her establishment, as well. “Being a good Phoenician is as simple as knowing your community, who owns your favorite local hangout and even the people who work there. Being a good Phoenician is knowing enough about where you live, so you appreciate the people and the place. It’s as simple as saying hello to the people you see on the street when you’re walking your dog or going to school or work. It’s incredible how such a small gesture is a catalyst for conversation.”

Volunteer: Five Unique Local Organizations

Serving the community doesn’t just mean sending money during the holidays. Here are some charities that need a helping hand.

1. Barn House AZ

Located on a farm in Peoria, this shelter finds felines loving homes. The organization is looking for volunteers to help clean up after the furry friends in their care.

2. André House

This Catholic-based organization serves 700 meals a night to the homeless in Downtown Phoenix Saturday through Thursday. Volunteers are needed to help with dinner, sort through donations, host fundraisers and help with daily duties on an extended basis.

3. Free Arts

The mission of Free Arts is to empower children to use creativity to transform the trauma that they’ve experienced from abuse and neglect into expressive experiences. The organization will soon be enlisting adult volunteers to help support youth as they work to find their artistic voices.

4. Rosie’s House

Studies show that teaching music to children can boost their confidence and academic performance, but not everyone has the opportunity to learn an instrument in school. The mission at Rosie’s House: to give underprivileged kids access to quality musical education. Volunteers are needed to help with fundraisers, open houses, student concerts and other events.

5. Benevilla

Disabled adults and seniors in the West Valley are struggling to maintain their independence. Benevilla provides more than 10,000 people a helping hand. They currently need volunteers to help with food deliveries, assist with special events or give people a ride to the doctor’s office.

Follow the Money

Donating money to a charity is easy. Knowing how wisely and ethnically the organization uses the money is more difficult. measure how efficiently nonprofits funnel donations to programs versus administrative costs. Here are three Valley organizations that made the top of its list:

St. Mary’s Food Bank

More than 95 percent of donations feed local families. Very low administrative costs relative to program spending.

Arizona Helping HANDS

Funds accrued by this Phoenix charity help provide essentials to more than 14,000 local foster children.


Founded in 1970 by siblings Luke and Gerald Tupper, this Phoenix nonprofit uses contributions to provide essential health services in some of the world’s poorest areas (Bolivia, Mozambique, Nicaragua), but also here in the Valley.

Photo courtesy Adobe Stock Images
Photo courtesy Adobe Stock Images
Jogging for a Cause!
The 46th Annual Phoenix 10K and Half Marathon

November 14
Looking for a way to support a good cause and burn some wicked calories in November? Founded way back in 1976 by longtime Valley physician and all-around good guy Dr. Art Mollen, this nonprofit Downtown-to-Tempe road race has enticed more than 250,000 runners to strut their stuff over its five-decade history, amassing more than $1 million in charitable earnings for children’s health. On your feet, people!

—  Jason Keil

Outside-the-Box Giving:
Start Your Own Charity

Here’s how chef and founder of The Joy Bus and The Joy Bus Diner (and Chopped winner) Jennifer Caraway built the Valley nonprofit, which delivers delicious, organic food to homebound cancer patients.

Fill the Need

“When I couldn’t find a place that could bring food to my friend Joy on days I couldn’t visit, I created it.”

Get Friends and Family Involved

“In the beginning, it was just me and my kids. They were really all I had for the first few years. When we opened the diner, I told them they had to work their way up to front of the house.”

Hustle Every day

“It’s a lot of work. You have to hustle money, and there’s the overhead of a restaurant. You need staff, and there’s a lot of operational costs involved in executing this.”

Be Patient

“After a decade, we’re finally at the point where people with money want to be involved.”

Be Stubborn

“I don’t think there was ever a point thinking I couldn’t do it, but there were struggles. I remember when we first opened the diner, I couldn’t cover payroll. My daughter gave me all of her quinceañera money out of her bank account. I didn’t even ask her, and it was so sweet.”

Photo courtesy The Joy Bus
Photo courtesy The Joy Bus

Step 3: Conserve and Protect

Wouldn’t you know it? Being a good Phoenician often means taking care of Phoenix and its wondrous but vulnerable ecosystem.

Photo by Mark Lipczynski
Photo by Mark Lipczynski
Greenlighting Businesses

At the governmental level, efforts to protect the environment move forward with the speed of a hibernating Gila monster. Fortunately, businesses and consumers are taking it upon themselves to spearhead sustainable practices, and they’re getting support from Local First Arizona’s Green Business Certification Program.

“Local First wanted to develop a really dynamic program for businesses to engage in practices that conserve our precious resources,” says sustainability program manager Nick Shivka. “We’re living in an age of transparency. People want to be aligned with value-aligned companies, and this is a way for tourists and residents alike to search for these businesses and support them.”

The program is helping Stardust Building Supplies in Mesa implement low-flow fixtures that will reduce its water use by 50 to 75 percent. It worked with Ivan Martinez Photography to transition to energy-efficient lighting and power-saving software. And it partnered with Sole Sports to improve its recycling and shoe donation programs, plus eliminate plastic bottles by installing a water refilling station.

Twenty Valley businesses have been certified through the program, which is available to any local company and free to those based in Phoenix, Tempe and Mesa. Customers can find green businesses at

On the Water Front

When it comes to curbing water use, even small changes can create a huge ripple effect. The average person in Maricopa County uses 202 gallons of water per day, and if every Valley resident curbed their H20 use by just 10 percent annually, we’d save enough water to serve a city of 75,000 for a year.

If you have a pool, use a cover to reduce evaporation and energy waste. Instead of draining and refilling your pool every few years – which flushes away 15,000 gallons of water – Aquaman Pools in Scottsdale will recycle and purify your water through reverse osmosis.

70 percent of a household’s water use is outdoors, so save water by installing a gray water system, which diverts water already used for dishwashers, clothes washers and showers into a drip system for your garden. Though harmful to freshwater marine life, the phosphates in shampoo and soap are actually good for your garden.

Instead of watering your plants directly from the tap or hose, save and reuse water from other activities, like washing your fruit and veg, changing your dog’s water bowl and waiting for the shower to get hot.

Harvest rainwater, either in a barrel or by installing gutters and downspouts that funnel rain to your plants.

Sources: U.S. Geological Survey, Phoenix Water,

Illustration by Mirelle Inglefield
Illustration by Mirelle Inglefield
Erinanne Saffell
Arizona State Climatologist

Enjoy and Protect Our Ecology
The Arizona State University-educated Ph.D. is heartened when Phoenicians are “proud of what our city and our state have accomplished” in the realm of resource management and sustainability, particularly in the way “we manage our water supply in a way that we can assist a lot of communities… [which is] meaningful considering we’ve been in drought for over 20 years.” To that end, she urges Phoenicians to participate in the state’s innovative climate programs. “Individually, that may be taking part of one of the shade tree programs and keeping energy usage low in your house.” Finally, her personal formula for solid citizenship involves “taking time to visit communities across the state” and savoring the simple ecological pleasure of living in the Valley. “I love how seasons change in Arizona… I love it when the dew points drop after monsoon season because then you can start to feel that cool snap of fall in the air.”

Monarch Rescue: Plant Milkweed

In recent years, monarch butterfly numbers have plummeted 80 to 99 percent, mainly due to habitat loss and pesticides. Luckily, Arizonans are in a unique position to revive these mind-bogglingly talented migrators.

Every year, monarchs journey around 3,000 miles to their wintering grounds in Mexico and California. Because their lifespans are so brief, it takes multiple generations to complete the odyssey. How they manage it is a scientific mystery. Roughly divided by the Rocky Mountains, the Mexico- and California-bound butterflies travel in separate groups, and both pass through Arizona. So Valley dwellers can protect both populations from extinction. All we need to do is lay off the pesticides and plant weeds. Specifically, milkweed – the only thing monarch caterpillars eat.

Photo courtesy Adobe Stock Images
Photo courtesy Adobe Stock Images

Arizona is home to 30 native species of milkweed, a pretty plant with purple, white or orange flowers. Creative Environments, a Tempe-based landscaping company, is on a mission to help clients imaginatively incorporate milkweed into their yards. Once you’ve planted a butterfly salad bar, Desert Botanical Garden recommends documenting your monarch observations through its Great Milkweed Grow Out program. “Everybody can help,” says Dr. Kim Pegram, DBG’s director of pollinator conservation, “and it can really have an impact on monarchs and pollinators in general.”

— Keridwen Cornelius

Step 4: Become Valley-Literate

Know thyself, Phoenician. Steep yourself in the culture and customs of the Valley, and our sprawling Sonoran history.

Required AZ Reading

It’s safe to say that Marshall Trimble has devoured as many books about our state as anyone, but when you’re Arizona’s official historian, it’s all part of the job.“[Reading] is about all I do,” he says. “I’ve got a library that just won’t quit.”

The prolific writer and entertainer has also penned several books on the 48th state, ranging from roadside attractions to Wyatt Earp. He was gracious enough to offer some recommendations of his own for those curious about Phoenix’s past.

Photo by Brendan Moore/Courtesy Marshall Trimble
Photo by Brendan Moore/Courtesy Marshall Trimble
Photo courtesy Arizona Historical Foundation
Photo courtesy Arizona Historical Foundation
Arizona Pageant: A Brief History of the 48th State 

by Madeline Ferrin Paré with the collaboration of Bert M. Fireman
Arizonans of a certain age may recall reading this book in their history class in the ’60s and ’70s. You won’t find it in any bookstores, but you can track it down in a local library with a brief internet search. In short yet detailed chapters, Paré traces the state’s history as a mining hub, its role in the Civil War and how water changed Phoenix from a farming town to a thriving metropolis. 

Photo courtesy University of Arizona Press
Photo courtesy University of Arizona Press
Arizona, Its Place in the United States

by Jay J. Wagoner 
If there’s a more complete, edifying book about our state’s history, Trimble isn’t aware of it, he says. In fact, he routinely consults Wagoner’s literary oeuvre for research and writing projects “Of all the historians that have influenced me, Wagoner is No. 1,” he says.

Photo courtesy University of Arizona Press
Photo courtesy University of Arizona Press
Phoenix: The History of a Southwest Metropolis

by Bradford Luckingham
For those interested in how the arid Salt River Valley grew into one of the largest cities in the U.S., Trimble says Luckingham, an Arizona State University history professor who died in 2008, picked up where Wagoner left off.

Illustration by Mirelle Inglefield
Illustration by Mirelle Inglefield
Jerry Colangelo 
Former Owner of Phoenix Suns and Arizona Diamondbacks 

Lead and Believe
When we posed our question on how to be a better Phoenician to the local businessman, he told the story of when he moved to the Valley from Chicago in 1968 to become the Suns’ general manager, the youngest person in professional sports at the time to hold the title. He said transplants like himself should commit themselves to the surroundings, buy into what makes the Valley unique and work to improve things. “People look for leadership and commitment,” he says. “You have to recognize the circumstances and want to make them better. Then it’s up to you to do it.”

Arts & Culture Hall of Fame

Photo courtesy
Photo courtesy

Jackson Pollock
Before he took the art world by storm with his drippy abstract expressionist paintings, Pollock grew up on a farm located between Phoenix and Tempe (1913-1917).

Photo courtesy
Photo courtesy

Stephenie Meyer
The Glendalian’s Twilight series has reportedly sold more than 100 million copies worldwide and inspired five hit movies.

Photo courtesy
Photo courtesy

Stevie Nicks
The Fleetwood Mac chanteuse was born at Good Samaritan Hospital and picked up the music bug from her dad, Jess, who owned the now-defunct Compton Terrace rock venue.

Photo courtesy
Photo courtesy

Emma Stone
The La La Land Oscar-winner began honing her acting chops as an 11-year-old thespian at Valley Youth Theatre in Downtown Phoenix.

Photo by Gage Skidmore/courtesy
Photo by Gage Skidmore/courtesy
Film Directing

Steven Spielberg
Possibly Arcadia High School’s most famous student, the E.T. director debuted his early film Firelight at the Phoenix Theatre Mainstage in 1964.

Valley Dictionary

Bat Cave n.

1. Storm culvert near 40th Street and Camelback Road that is now home to thousands of Mexican free-tail bats.
2. Cheaper than Out of Africa.

Illustration by Eric Cox
Illustration by Eric Cox
Illustration by Eric Cox
Illustration by Eric Cox
The Stack n.

1. Freeway interchange of the I-10 and I-17.
2. Place of migraine headaches and colorful extemporaneous vulgarities. 3. metaphor: that which is perpetually jammed.

The Mini Stack n.

1. Junction of the I-10, State Route 51, and the Loop 202.
2. metaphor: also jammed, but less so.

Haboob n.

1. Intense summer dust storm that befouls pools but makes for excellent amateur photography.

Illustration by Eric Cox
Illustration by Eric Cox
Illustration by Eric Cox
Illustration by Eric Cox
Snowbird n.

1. Seasonal visitor who flies home to the Midwest when temps hit the triple digits.
2. Poor or clueless driver.

Wash n.

1. A channel that fills with water during the monsoon.

Ladmo Bag n.

1. Swag and prizes containing sugary snacks from popular Valley TV program The Wallace and Ladmo Show, which ran from 1954-1989. 

Flag n.

1. Phoenician term for Flagstaff.
2. A good way to out yourself as a non-local when visiting Flagstaff.

MVD n.

1. Motor Vehicle Division, which most Arizonans usually visit once before they turn 65, the age when their driver’s license expires.
2. Acronym that DMV-reared Californians can never quite remember.

Flood irrigation n.

1. Grandfathered water rights that allow many Valley homeowners to long-soak their lawns during our sweltering, grass-killing summers.
2. Why Phoenix is greener than Tucson.

Old Town n.

1. Shorthand for the original downtown of South Scottsdale.
2. adj. That which is both bougie and vaguely tacky, e.g. “That’s so Old Town.”

Illustration by Eric Cox
Illustration by Eric Cox
Ozone pollution n.

1. Secret sauce to our glorious sunsets.
2. Driver of Flovent sales.

— Jason Keil

Valley Knowledge Quiz

Do you think you know everything there is to know about the Valley? Then good luck getting a perfect score on our quiz on all things Phoenix.

1. Name of the Valley radio station once co-owned by Dick Van Dyke.

2. This 1996 movie comedy culminates in Sun Devil Stadium.

3. The design of the Arizona Biltmore resort was influenced by this famous Scottsdale architect.

4. Name this unusual Valley landmark.

5. What early Tempe band influenced the soundtrack to the videogame Sonic the Hedgehog 3?

6. The former Dodge Theatre is currently known as?

7. What Phoenix neighborhood has tried (and failed) four times to secede and incorporate?

8. What Tempe band wrote the theme song for TV cartoon King of the Hill?

9. Name this famous Downtown Phoenix public artwork.

10. Name the starchy vegetable that current Valley resident and former vice president of the United States Dan Quayle famously misspelled.

Answers:1)1400 AM KXIV; 2) Jerry Maguire; 3) Frank Lloyd Wright; 4) Tovrea Castle; 5) The Jetzons; 6) Arizona Federal Theatre;  7) Sunnyslope; 8) The Refreshments; 9) “Her Secret is Patience”; 10) potato with an ‘e’ 

Step 5: Know our Ways!

Don’t be a jackass. Follow the rules.  

Around 200 new residents arrive in Phoenix daily, according to a 2019 report by Bloomberg. That’s 6,000 monthly transplants ignorant of the customs and social mores that help keep the nation’s fifth largest city upright. For those new to our desert metropolis, here’s how you can blend in.

1. Don’t say there’s nothing to do in Downtown Phoenix.

Open your eyes, amigo. We think Los Angeles is great to visit… if you like spending half the night inching along the Harbor Freeway only to spend a vain half-hour looking for parking. Our Downtown has nationally lauded cocktail bars, down-and-dirty dive bars, a new generation of chef-driven restaurants, art galleries, murals, festivals, live music venues offering everything from indie to jazz, and so many beer gardens that the Milwaukee Brewers might relocate here. The last stat isn’t accurate, but if it was, we could also add to this list: “Watch a winning baseball team.”

2. The sooner you figure out the center lane on Seventh Street and Seventh Avenue, the better.

As Downtown Phoenix grew, so did the traffic, making a reversible center lane on two of the busiest streets in town during peak driving hours a quick, low-cost way of relieving congestion for more than four decades. (Now that we have SR-51, maybe not so important.) School yourself in their use! That honking you hear as you make a left turn on Vernon Avenue at 4 p.m. means you’re going to cause a pile-up.

3. While you’re at it, drive the speed limit – at least! – on the freeway.

Sorry snowbirds, but you gotta drive 55-65.

4. Don’t have a party at our Airbnb.

On the surface, this seems like a classic case of “Get off my lawn,” but buses are pulling into vacation rentals in Old Town Scottsdale every night. These partiers forget that some of us have to work in the morning.

5. Don’t say, “It’s a dry heat,” even when you’re struggling to make conversation.

Stating the obvious doesn’t make sitting in your automotive furnace or acquiring second-degree hand burns on your steering wheel in the summer any more tolerable.

6. Don’t walk your dog on the pavement during summer days.

The hot cement burns their delicate paws, so get out there early or at least put something on their feet.

7. Don’t say Phoenix only has chain restaurants.

You sound so ig’nant right now, honestly. The Valley has Austin-level barbecue, burgeoning Ethiopian cuisine, celebrity chef Scott Conant’s Mora Italian and scads of James Beard Award winners. And if you haven’t waited in line to eat at Pizzeria Bianco, have you ever even had pizza?

– Jason Keil

Illustration by Mirelle Inglefield
Illustration by Mirelle Inglefield
Jennifer Verma

Ethical Expansion
Verma, who serves as the chief operating officer of her father’s development company, Vermaland, views the stewardship of the Valley’s resources as part-and-parcel with solid Phoenix citizenship, so they might available for future generations. Verma, who co-founded the female-owned land investment company Arizona Land Ventures, says her companies incorporate the sustainability of resources as they start becoming scarce. She also believes in preserving the city’s culture, even as it continues to expand. “Over the last several years, we’re ensuring that we’re creating healthy communities,” she says. “One thing I’ve been able to see with my work with Vermaland is their involvement with various solar projects over the years.”

Terry Crist 
pastor at Hillsong Phoenix Church

Celebrate Diversity
For the super-church leader and his wife and co-pastor, Judith, being a good Phoenician is both about supporting the disadvantaged – founded in 2012, their Arizona 1.27 project provides out-of-home care to 5,500 children in 1,800 partner homes – and embracing the Valley’s social complexity. “Phoenicians are spread across a county the size of a small state, and yet we are interconnected in a thousand different ways,” Terry says. “Being a good Phoenician means celebrating diversity, appreciating growth, and seizing the opportunity to define oneself in what is becoming a world-class city.” And also: “Stop rooting for the Dallas Cowboys and the Chicago Cubs!”

Illustration by Mirelle Inglefield
Illustration by Mirelle Inglefield

Step 6: Buy Local

It’s a simple concept…and simpler to practice than ever before.

Interview with a Phoenician: 

Kimber Lanning
Before it became a rallying cry nationwide, Kimber Lanning was preaching the virtues of keeping one’s money in the neighborhood, as it were. As CEO of Local First Arizona, a nonprofit collective of local business, the longtime Stinkweeds record store owner and art gallery doyenne has turned her advocacy into a university of sorts, creating events, educational seminars and partnerships designed to deepen our connection to small business. We chat with the Valley’s high priestess of local. 

Why is it important to buy local? What is the elevator pitch?

Sure, we give two reasons. First, supporting locally owned businesses wll make you feel connected to the Valley. You get to know the owners, and you feel connected. And second, you’re getting more dollars in our local economy.

Illustration by Mirelle Inglefield
Illustration by Mirelle Inglefield
You also advocate for banking locally, with Arizona-based banks and credit unions. Why is that important?

When you deposit your money, banks take it and invest it. By having your money in a local bank or credit union, you can be sure it’s being loaned out into the community, and not being aggregated to ginormous loans on the other side of the world. Even if you’re not a small business owner, that’s critical to the Arizona economy. The closer capital is to home, the more compassionate that capital is.

Your food festival, Devour, is taking a break in 2022, but you have a new weekend roadtrip program. Is travel a new emphasis for Local First?

Well, we’ve been doing WeekendZona for seven years, but lately have been more high-profile with it. If you look at tourism numbers, Arizonans collectively spend $9 billion in California annually. If we can redirect some that to communities inside Arizona, that’s a win. That’s a big part of being a good Phoenician: getting out and exploring Arizona. It’s such an amazing state, with amazing things to see. 

How is the vinyl business doing?.

We’re killing it! Righ now, we’re seeing really strong, multi-generational enthusiam for vinyl. My favorite is when we have kids, parents and grandparents all come in together. Reminiscing about bands… and arguing about bands. It’s great.

Illustration by Mirelle Inglefield
Illustration by Mirelle Inglefield
Chris Paul 
PhoeNix Suns Point Guard 

Go Native Like You Mean It
“When I live in a city, it’s extremely important to embrace that community and their traditions.  My family foundation and business partners like to show up in an authentic way that enhances the community.”

Mike Broomhead 
92.3 FM KTAR Radio Host 

Action Speaks Loudest
The morning talk radio personality is hesitant to toot his own good-Phoenician horn. But through his initiative – Broomhead’s Action Alliance – he helps his listeners learn about local volunteer opportunities, and building a network of civic-minded people gets him excited. “When we have an opportunity for people, we send out a text message blast saying we need volunteers if they’re available,” he says. “I get on the air every day and talk about issues for four hours, but if we’re not open-minded about what we can do to improve what’s around us, then we’re missing the boat.”

Illustration by Mirelle Inglefield
Illustration by Mirelle Inglefield
Photo courtesy Practical Art
Photo courtesy Practical Art

Buy Local Gift Guide

Looking to put the buy-local ethos into action? Lucky, lucky you. We happen to have an entire, local-only gift guide in this very issue. Pictured is a hand-painted terracotta planter by Elizabeth Brice Heames, sold at Practical Art ($95-$295). Find the guide here.

Step 7: Hike More!

Phoenix is, in our opinion, the best hiking city in the world. A bold claim? Maybe, but what other metropolis has multiple mountain ranges within the city limits? Maricopa County has the largest network of urban protected areas in the country – nearly 200,000 acres ripe for sauntering. 

3 Hiking Solutions

1. You can become a more self-actualized Phoenician by exploring trails in every corner of the Valley and doing guided walks through Maricopa County Parks. 

2. To experience several mountains in one fell swoop, register for the Phoenix Summit Challenge each November. Ambitious participants trek four to seven peaks, while others opt for the more accessible all-abilities hike.

3. Year-round, hikers can help keep wilderness areas clean by volunteering with local organization Natural Restorations.

Hiking Spotlight: South Mountain

Camelback and Piestewa get most of the press. But hundreds of years of history – plus rare flora and fauna – are hidden among the rocks at South Mountain Preserve, making it one of the country’s most singular city parks. At 16,306 acres, it’s also the second-largest city-managed park in the U.S. – second only to the McDowell Sonoran Preserve in Scottsdale, which knocked South Mountain from the No. 1 spot when it expanded in 1998. 

Starting around A.D. 450, the Hohokam built villages, two canal systems and agave terraces around South Mountain. Eventually they left behind hundreds of petroglyphs depicting mountain sheep, humans, coyotes and more, which can still be seen along the trails. The Hohokam’s descendants, the Akimel O’odham, consider South Mountain the center of the universe and home to the deity Suh-huh, who sits on the summit like a shining star.

To protect this archaeological heritage, along with scenic horseback riding terrain, locals purchased the land and helped turn the mountain range into a city park in 1925. During the Depression Era, the preserve was transformed by the Civilian Conservation Corps, a government program to put Americans back to work. Through the CCC, 4,000 men constructed 40-plus miles of hiking trails, 18 buildings, 15 ramadas and other structures still in use today around South Mountain.

Photo by Kevin Kaminski; Model: Vanessa Siren/Ford Robert Black Agency
Photo by Kevin Kaminski; Model: Vanessa Siren/Ford Robert Black Agency
Dr. Wayne Franklin
Heart surgeon 

Take Care of Yourself
As co-director of Phoenix Children’s Heart Center, the three-year Valley resident understandably has a health-oriented view of good citizenship. “We need everyone to band together to beat the virus,” he says. “So I would say trust science and get the vaccine.” More broadly, he advocates for Phoenicians to eat healthy and exercise, which dovetails into another one of his values: getting out of the house and savoring Arizona. “There’s no better state to quarantine in,” says Franklin, who moved here from Texas. “Over the last 18 months, my wife and I and our two kids have seen all four corners of Arizona. It’s a great state.”  

Illustration by Mirelle Inglefield
Illustration by Mirelle Inglefield
Telegraph Trail-Kiwanis Trail 

This 2.5-mile pair of paths stretches between Ahwatukee Foothills and South Phoenix, featuring petroglyphs, a CCC lookout tower, the CCC-carved Kiwanis Trail and views of Downtown framed by a V-shaped valley.

Holbert Trail 

Known as South Mountain’s prime petroglyph path, this 2.5-miler climbs to Dobbins Lookout, a CCC stone structure offering stunning vistas of the city at sunset.

South Mountain National Trail 

Feeling ambitious? This 16-mile trek traverses the whole preserve, from the Pima Canyon Trailhead in Ahwatukee to the San Juan Trailhead in Laveen, meandering through lush washes and saguaro-studded slopes.

Online Resource!

Find trails maps, ramada info and more on the City of Phoenix’s website.
When to Go: Silent Sunday

Every Sunday morning, and all day on the fourth Sunday of each month, the preserve’s interior paved roads are closed to motorized vehicles, and the park becomes a playground for cyclists. On a regular bike, the steep, thigh-burning route is for advanced riders only. But with an e-bike, it’s a breeze for cyclists of all ages.

3 South Mountain Sights

1. South Mountain Chuckwallas 

These black-bodied, carrot-tailed iguanids are only found at South Mountain. In the mornings, hikers often see the males doing macho push-ups on the rocks to warm up, fend off other males and wow the lizard ladies.

2. Elephant Trees

With their papery bark, auburn twigs and chunky gray-and-gold trunks, these squat trees are a fun find on Telegraph Trail and other paths. Traditionally used medicinally by native peoples, these rare relatives of frankincense and myrrh were only identified by science in 1937.

Photo courtesy Adobe Stock Images
Photo courtesy Adobe Stock Images
3. Dobbins Lookout

Built by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression, this stone-stacked observation deck offers the mountain’s best views at 2,330 feet above sea level. (The 2,690-foot summit is off-limits to the public.) Access it via the Holbert Trail and look for “Petroglyph Alley” on the way up. 

– Keridwen Cornelius

Illustration by Mirelle Inglefield
Illustration by Mirelle Inglefield
Julio Rodarte

Spread the Love
Rodarte believes good Valley citizenship means getting out of your own neighborhood from time to time – a particularly important dictum for artists, whose work is often missing from less aesthetically pleasing areas of town. Much of the city’s creativity – and consumer energy – remains confined to the art hubs of Roosevelt Row, Grand Avenue and Old Town Scottsdale. Sometimes it winds up in the lobby of some high-price condo where few people can enjoy it. Rodarte thinks the city’s northern and southern neighborhoods, shopping areas and stadiums could use a creative facelift. “I don’t think there is even a gallery around Westgate [Entertainment District] and State Farm Stadium [in Glendale],” he says. “I feel like the art in Phoenix is slowly disappearing.”