Thursday, March 15, 2007

Mill Ave Lewts

It's not every day that I get to report something so interesting, but recently my writing netted me something wonderful. One of the shopkeeps on Mill Avenue, Lawrence Owenby, gave me a necklace for writing Vexations.

He is the proprietor of The Graffiti Shop, does glass-blowing, and is a general all around scoundrel and awesome person. If there is anything about the Ave that I love the most, it's him.

This necklace nicely exemplifies the simplicity of his presence and additions to the Ave. Being a glass blower he creates lots of different items from large (smoking bowls) to the small (much like the above necklace.) I bought my first pentacle from him a long time ago, about the time I lived on the Ave as a MIll rat.

I gave it to Ms. Vex Harrow, of course, since she suggested that she could make a rather powerful talisman out of it. I figure that she'll probably have something to say about this gift herself.

I don't receive gifts for my work in the community very often, and I didn't quite expect one from Lawrence's quarter--I give him the books because I think of him as one of the important fixtures that makes the place what it is. He's a welcome part of my life and experience down there. The Graffiti Shop is an element that I would like to see prosper and continue to bring good things.

Go. Hunt. Visit the Graffiti Shop. Visit Mill.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Mill Avenue Wiki Map

Since I am currently waiting to get my camera back from where I accidentally let it lie (my friend's house.) I thought that I'd share this interesting little link with everyone that reads this blog.

It's a Wiki Map of the Mill Avenue District.

I even added the Mill Avenue drum circle to it.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Home Sweet Home

Mill Avenue Vexations Home Sweet Home has been released to print!

This one is a tribute to artists, particularly those who have done work for me in the past. It is a story that will probably someday become one of the comic book versions of Vexations.

It will be available over the next few Saturdays at drum circle and the Graffiti Shop on Mill Avenue. Possibly at other locations as more places take the booklets in small numbers.

Remember, supplies of these are limited and it is not available on in the web store yet, so get out and get one soon.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Mill Avenue, Reinvent Thyself

One could easily liken a city to a person, with a childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. Phoenix and her metro cities have always fascinated me for this reason. This city—as I have previously posted—is constantly attempting to re-invent itself. Tearing down the old, building up the new, and sometimes even demolishing the new to bring up the newer and newest-fangled bleeding edge of urban domination.

Mill Avenue is no exception to this. It is a center of community, commerce, and conversation that suckles most directly off of the youth and the college, which is why an article posted over at Exurban League caught my attention.

If you want 6th Street, you've got to get rid of the bland corporate storefronts and blander post-retro buildings and get back to Tempe's roots. Bring back the fun of starting an evening out by filling up at Restaurant Mexico then going over to Wong's to listen to Dead Hot and then up to Edcel's for Walt Richardson & The Morning Star Band and capping it off by a 2am breakfast at Stan's Metro Deli and all the other things that brought Mill Avenue back from the brink of irrelevance. People used to line up out the door at The Coffee Plantation on a Friday or Saturday night: When's the last time anything was that popular on Mill?

The Ave has always kept my interest because there were things to do and places to be. The Graffiti Shop, Coffee Plantation, the deep thud of a band playing at Long Wongs—while these places are older than they are new, they were not Abercrombie & Fitch, or the newest reincarnation of some stupid sunglasses store limed with faux stone and too-bright windows in the dimness of the twilight. I know that I am one who advocates the drum circle before all else, but Mill is also the buildings and the stores that have been proudly lifting their chins and smiling at the passersby.

Now, condominiums are going up around Mill, they’re building them at the waterfront of the fake lake, they’re lurking just beyond the grand glow of the Ave, and looming with dire intent. These people who haven’t even visited Mill except for through the tempered glass of their limousines, and through the slats of office windows, are making decisions about changing Mill into a tourist paradise. Their concept of cool is imported from Scottsdale, trying to attract teenyboppers with money. To leech gross out of high-rent storefronts that are all glitz and glam that have no staying power and no substance. No soul.

That's it for now. News from the street level. It’s Saturday, and soon another Mill Avenue Night.

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