Saturday, December 13, 2008

Mill Avenue Nights Friday, December 12th 2008

Upon my arrival I bask in the electric glow of the lights strung through the trees on the Ave like frozen fireflies. They rest their wings, asleep, on trunks and hung like glowing fruit in the canopies above. The traffic is sparse, but there are definitely people about, it’s only about 6pm and I have come to see the STFS meet at Borders.

Borders is closing up shop! Come January 31st we will see them no more. They are offering 20% off on most of their wares, so everyone should show up and get their fill. I have been asked, “So, what do you think will take its place?” I think it’s likely that nothing will—the economy of Mill is hard up and not in a good place. Especially with the Tempe Marketplace not that far away, sucking away the retail vibe. Which could be good for the Bohemian atmosphere.

Just not so good for the income.

At this rate it’ll be a restaurant. However, what I think that Mill Avenue District should do with it is: booths and kiosks.

That’s right. Until some major store is called to move in there. Which may take months. Open up the space for a mini-bazaar. Let various small-time entities set up tables, booths, kiosks, tents, and the like as if a marketplace of its own. Let us have an indoor swap meet. In fact, how about we invite both the Resistance and the Mill Ave evangelicals to have their own little corners? How interesting would that be?

Well. I suppose that it is much more in the interest of the Mill Avenue District development to move in another big name retail store into the spot. Another bookstore would be good. Because with the exit of Changing Hands Bookstore and the closure of Those Were the Days, we are now down to only Old Town Books and that’s not exactly a contemporary bookstore. Excellent store, though, for antique and out-of-print works.

Orange taxis lined up in front of the Valley Art Theater and My Big Fat Greek restaurant wrapped themselves up in plastic to help keep outside patrons warm against the encroaching winter. With solstice approaching we are marching into the depths of cold; although tonight wasn’t really that chilly, possibly low 60s high 50s.

The median of the Ave has a series of wireframed red lights spelling out: TEMPE.

A small group of drummers set up in front of the brightly-lit American Apparel.

Spent most of the night handing out Lost Sphinx Cat, probably burned through about 20 of them before I ran out of people to give them out to.

Mill Ave evangelical preachers

After the STFS changed membership and transformed into the Resistance they went out to find the preachers, but they didn’t appear. However, I still have some notes that pertain so I have put those on my Mill Avenue Resistance observations blog.

Graffiti Shop

There are some extremely fun gothic clothes by Living Dead Souls. Not just the usual Gothic Lolita clothing (which is there also) but basically an anatomical sweater showing off bones of the arms, chest, and right up into the neck of the shirt the lower mandible.

Marissa and Friend

Actually, I cannot properly remember either of their names—so I might be getting Marissa’s name wrong—I haven’t seen her in almost three years. However, she and her friend look healthy enough. She’s been a Mill rat for almost a decade now.

Says that she’s in a bit of a situation involving her job, from which she’s been shuffled off, which is probably a good thing because they’ve been bouncing cheques. A lawsuit appears to be looming on the horizon for her against the company to get the money they’re owed. In the meantime she appears to have gone into a stint where she’s doing phone work for someone else, so that they can make rent and car payments.

She also has another Carcass in her social circle. (Have I mentioned that the two most common street names on the Ave are Corpse and Carcass?)

Greg and Shamancat

Shamancat came by again today and said hello. He’s been in town for months now and it’s good to see him around. He brought a friend with him, Greg, who isn’t too happy about how Mill Ave has been treating him—when I welcomed him, he said he’d be glad to get on with his travels.

He’s come out of California, San Francisco mostly, and is heading through Arizona towards Louisiana to reach New Orleans before Mardi Gras. Not an uncommon thing for passersthrough.

Greg has a golden labrador retriever with him, don’t know the dogs name but s/he is gorgeous. A leather jacket, red baseball cap lettered SF intertwined, and an obviously heavy backpack.

Shamancat says that he’s rescued over seven dogs and has gotten them all homes.

Daniel Nickels

A larger, heavyset man with a fuzzy neckbeard and a fey look in his eyes. He talked and wobbled as he tried to start a conversation with Vince, starting off that he probably met him on the “flight deck.” Which, according to Daniel, is military slang for the psych ward. He complained that he didn’t feel so well; he had been released from the Veterans Hospital without night med. Only day meds.

“Daniel Nickels,” he said. “Like the money—more dollars than sense. I feel like I might walk right out into traffic right now.”

Vince suggested to him that he might cross the street and talk to the mounted police officer to ask her for a crisis unit. Shortly thereafter he did cross the street and a Rescue arrived.

We saw a lot of Rescue that night. Ambulances and fire trucks driving willy-nilly around the Ave; possibly five separate events all around the corner at the Post Office. Certainly had to have been a busy night for them.


He came by with a new cane, which matches the configuration of a modern sheleighleigh, although a lot shorter than the ones that I’m used to; the fighting sticks are short, but their shepherd’s counterparts are a bit longer and are what I was used to from my time spent with my Irish family.

Wednesday, whom I lovingly call Squirrel

She showed up with her boyfriend and possibly aunt/mother? I don’t know—I was too polite to ask, I suppose, probably a failing on my part because now I am talking about her and I’m not being so polite.

Whatever the case, it was very good to see Squirrel. I haven’t seen her since last year. She appears to be doing well. I spent most of my time talking to her boyfriend who just lost his house (a common malady these days) and had spent a bunch of time repairing a vehicle to move to another place.

I made sure that she got a copy of Lost Sphinx Cat and let it lay at that.

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