Introducing our latest column, The Arts of the Bachelor. (You know, like Bachelor of the Arts?) Plucked from Twitter, the great equalizer, Nathan Simpson is snarky, womanizing and a bit of a button-pusher. In other words, he’s the perfect person to document the trials and tribulations of his love affair with the world’s most (un)hip suburb. Check back the second Wednesday of every month for his musings, but first up, his general feelings on Phoenix…
I’ve often been told that Phoenix is a city that you either love or hate. Love it, and you slowly move farther and farther to the Northwest, until you find yourself driving a golf cart through the streets of Sun City to run errands to places like The Oxygen Tank Store, or the The One Stop Mobility Scooter Repair Shop, to pass time until your kids feel guilty enough about your impending demise to bring the grandkids out for a visit. The haters generally move to San Diego, where they join in the discussions about the horrible driving habits of “Zonies” and complain about the cost of living, all the while hoping no one ever discovers that they are immigrants from the land of the dry heat.
I’ve lived in Phoenix nearly my entire life and for me, Phoenix is like the Meg Ryan to my Andy Garcia in When a Man Loves a Woman. I lover her. I love her passionately; but sometimes she isn’t so good to me and sometimes she isn’t so good to herself and that’s hard to watch.
As one of those damned, car-free, underemployed, liberal hipsters running around downtown Phoenix, it’s hard for me not to recognize that the city I love sucks in a lot of major ways. There is no lack of reading material available about the tragic job market, fallen home values, urban sprawl putting everything too far apart, conservative overlords in the government making us look like fools on The Colbert Report and the lack of late night eats downtown (How is there not a Filiberto’s down here?).
Despite her flaws, Phoenix is home. I’ve never had to shovel snow. We have all of the great restaurants, nightlife and culture that everyone complains we don’t have, it just takes a little work to find them. You can drive two hours, build a snowman and be home in time for a night swim in the right months. Have you tried getting good Mexican food elsewhere? The people are nice, and if you disagree you can kiss my ass.
Phoenix is the type of place people love to bitch about, but it’s only because we care. Right? I would love to see my Meg Ryan Phoenix go to rehab and come back the best she can be. I would settle for that Filiberto’s downtown.