Thursday, November 4, 2010

ASU State Press and Downtown Mesa

The student newspaper at ASU mentions Downtown Mesa as a potential hub for music after light rail!
"There could be three hubs: downtown Phoenix, downtown Tempe/ASU, and downtown Mesa. Each hub could have different events in the various cultural centers within walking distance of the light rail."
Check it out

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Lighting Octopus reports on our Downtown

Some people like steampunk. Some people really like steampunk.

And some folks like it so much they reserve a big ol’ chunk of space in Downtown Mesa’s 2nd Friday and fill it up with the stuff.

These people are awesome.

Just like last time, Evermore Nevermore (and their neighbors) are going all out again in October’s 2nd Friday. If you’re a fan of the genre at all, you can help make this event shine. You can participate officially, or if you have any sweet gear or outfits to show off to fellow fans, just show up and represent.

It’s all going down Friday, October 8th from 6pm to 10pm.
On the south side of Main Street, between Robson & MacDonald.
(Just find Evermore Nevermore.)
Steampunk artisans, vendors, costumes… contraptions? (I hope so!)
Let them know if you want to be a part of it.
Otherwise, just show up and enjoy!

BTW- Lighting Octopus is another friendly blogger

Saturday, September 11, 2010


No I have not turned all linux on you! This is the day of the next Motorcycles On Main AND Randy and Maria's wedding on MacDonald and Main - center stage. Our M.O.M. newlyweds are probably the oposite side of the spectrum when it comes to computer geeks who are looking forward to this rare date. Come join the fun 7:pm is the ceremony.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Az Republic Editorial Board and Downtown Mesa feasibility study

Mesa has learned a valuable economic lesson.

The city used federal grant money to commission two studies on downtown: one on the viability of health-care-related industry, the other on higher education. City Council members had hoped the studies would recommend specific developments for Site 17, the notoriously empty swath of land near Mesa and University drives.

But that's not what happened.

Consultants had a difficult time studying the viability of either industry on the site because most of Mesa's assets in those fields exist outside downtown.

Both studies concluded there were significant health-care and higher-education opportunities to be had in Mesa. That's good news, considering those industries are the "H" and "E" of the city's "HEAT" economic strategy.

Mesa Mayor Scott Smith unveiled the strategy just after taking office in hopes of attracting more high-wage jobs by strengthening the city's existing health-care, education, aerospace and tourism industries. It's good to know the city is on the right track.

But neither study broke much new ground. The conclusions mirrored what Smith and others within the city have been saying for more than a year.

Neither included detailed recommendations for Site 17, a point that visibly disgusted several council members last week when the studies were presented during a study session.

But that's where the lesson comes in.

Smith recognized after the meeting that Mesa had fallen into a common trap, hoping the studies would offer grand ideas to fill a vacant piece of land. It was focusing on a real-estate opportunity, rather than on the most effective strategies to woo high-wage jobs Mesa's way.

Site 17 needs to be filled. But engineering the market to build something there is not the way to do it.

Smith says Mesa should focus its energy on selling the city to health-care companies and colleges and letting them choose the best site for their needs.

He's right.

Though much work remains to finalize that strategy, Mesa now has a much sounder foundation on which to build it - one filled with third-party data about Mesa's assets, not just city intuition and a desire to fill empty real estate.

An important lesson, indeed.

Read more:

Friday, September 3, 2010

Downtown feasibility studies complete

The Az Republic revealed some detail regarding the idea of bringing more of the HEAT initiative to Downtown Mesa. HEAT is the acronym for the area of emphasis for business attraction in all of Mesa. (Healthcare, Education, Aerospace and Tourism).

A "healthplex" was suggested in the study; it would include doctors' offices, diagnostic centers and healthy restaurants and spas. Seems logical (although a big ole bummer) since our health-care assets- Cardon Children's Medical Center, A.T. Still University and Banner Health's medical simulation center are close by.

The Higher Education study confirmed that Arizona is under-served by colleges, especially private schools. A suggestion was made to have a delegation head out to Notre Dame to see what it would take to get them thinking about a western campus in Downtown Mesa. Councilman Kavanaugh said such efforts go back more than a decade when in 1997 Mesa went to Lewis University with the same concept.

Councilman Finter hit the nail on the head about both of the studies- "Everything I'm reading so far, I knew".

So the ideas were confirmed and maybe the dream whittled down a bit. But we still don't have tens of millions of dollars in the bank to plant the seeds like the Mayor said. What about the 84 million potentially on the table for Wrigleyville west. Would concentrating on the "T" in HEAT for Downtown be a bad idea?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Councilman Elect Glover

Yesterday District four elected a new councilman to represent Downtown Mesa. I have taken an excerpt from an article in the Az Republic in July about Christopher.
"My name is Christopher Glover, and I am a candidate for the Mesa City Council District 4 seat. Born and raised in Mesa, my lifelong ties to the area make me an ideal candidate to stand up for the issues that are most important to Mesa citizens.

Recently, I graduated summa cum laude from Arizona State University with a bachelor of arts in political science and minors in Spanish and Latin American history.

I have worked for the law firm of Udall, Shumway and Lyons, as well as the office manager for our family business.

I have seen firsthand the importance small businesses have on the economy and the community, and I am eager to bring this knowledge to the Mesa City Council."

Changes are coming to Downtown Mesa as I've mentioned in a previous blog and this is the beginning!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Bye bye Tribune employees in Downtown

Mark Pierce of Lee and Associates just tweeted that he got the assignment to sell the Tribune Building in Downtown Mesa. It is 107,000 SF. Ok everyone, think outside the box here, and let's get a company in here to bring more jobs to Downtown. Light rail access will be a bonus in the deal.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Get out and vote for the next cheerleader

I mean City Councilman for Downtown Mesa. Tuesday is the day that our next leader will be determined. It is what I think is the most important election in Downtown's history. The four year term that either Vic or Chris will hold will bring changes like we have not seen before. Light Rail will be constructed. There is the possibly of a Cubs Spring Training Stadium and Wrigleyville West being built Downtown. Feasibility studies for a university, college or some higher education entity and a medical campus have been completed and are ready to go to City Council.

District four voter turn out in Mesa is typically weak at best. With the significant changes happening to Downtown it is vital that we get out and vote for the best Cheerleader on Tuesday. Pass the word along to any registered voter in District four it will make a difference in how the changes upon us will play out.

Your choices:

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Happy 100th Birthday Arizona (2012) Recalling the past...Mesa Style

Early Mesa pictured about 1883 shows the A. F. Macdonald home and gardens at lower left and at right the “relief society hall” (bishops storehouse? with flat roof), a hotel and store (on corner) and new city hall and jail (pitched roof). Macdonald, Mormon Stake President and first mayor, was sent to Mesa from Utah to iron out difficulties. He left in January 1885 to establish a colony in Mexico.

Bringing the abundant supply of Salt River irrigation water to the top of the mesa transformed the desert into an oasis, providing a source of agricultural wealth. Within a few years, Salt River Valley farms could feed all of Arizona and export a surplus to the rest of the nation. This unidentified canal is pictured about 1908.

Commercial life centered around the intersection of Main and Macdonald, seen here about 1908, looking west. On the SW corner (at left) is the Mesa City Bank, which later became Mesa Drug Company. The next building west is LeSueur, Gibbons & Co. mercantile, established in 1905. It later became LeSueur-Botkin Co. and finally sold to Bayless mercantile of Phoenix in 1926. The building was then replaced by the Nile Theater.

To provide narrow store fronts with the most customer parking automobiles parked head-in at both curbs and in the center of Main Street when this postcard was issued about 1927 (the autos at left are in the middle of the street). The view is looking east toward the intersection with Macdonald. The green sign marks Everybody’s Drugs on the corner with the lamppost. At right is the Nile Theater. Built in 1928, it closed as a theater in 1951. Recently it has been a church and is now called Mesa Underground, a venue for rock music.

This is the intersection of Main & Macdonald about 1939, looking northwest toward Everybody’s Drugs in a rebuilt remnant of Chandler Court (1908). Dr. A. J. Chandler designed and had constructed a horseshoe-shaped, single-story office complex with the first big evaporative cooling system in the Valley. The remaining half seen here was restored in 1984, though nothing like the original building. Established in 1906, Everybody’s Drugs closed in the late 1990s. Parking in the middle of the street was eliminated about 1935. Carrying highways 60, 70, 80, 89 and 93 until the 1970s, Main Street funneled all transcontinental highway traffic from the east into the Valley, giving Mesa the nickname “The Gateway City.”

The same block on Main pictured above is seen here about 1953. Stapley’s Hardware (at right) opened in 1895, profited by providing supplies for Roosevelt Dam construction and eventually added 11 locations across the Valley. Owner, O. S. Stapley was a member of the Arizona constitutional convention in 1910 and then served as state senator. Great grandson Don is a county supervisor.

Looking south on Macdonald in the first block below Main about 1956, the Pioneer Hotel began in 1894 as the Alhambra, finest in Mesa. It burned in 1921, was reconstructed the following year and received a large addition in 1951. It survives as a public hotel operated by Transitional Living Communities. Pat’s Bicycle Shop was next door from 1947 to 1957, when it moved to 929 East Main. The still family owned business moved to Gilbert Gateway Towne Center near the airport at the end of 2009.

Looking northwest above downtown Mesa about 1969, the 5-story Valley National Bank (1959), on the NE corner of Main and McDonald, is the tallest building. In the next block north on McDonald is City Hall (now the Arizona Museum of Natural History), with Queen of Peace Catholic Church (red roof) across the street to the north. At lower right, on Main, the El Portal Hotel (1928) was demolished in 1972 and Mesa City Plaza occupies the site. Valley Bank sold to Bank One in 1993, which was then acquired by Chase. A $6 million renovation completed in 2005 turned the bank building into One Macdonald Center offices, with a US Bank on the ground floor. This part of Mesa used to be the commercial center of the original square-mile city limit bounded by University and Broadway, Country Club and Mesa Drive.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Comparing Salt Lake City and Mesa?

Took this post from a livability blog that talks about similarities of our Downtown and Salt Lake. Interesting and a little off with some of the facts but hey at least people are talking about us- which IMHO is a step in the right direction.

"The City of Mesa has undertaken an ambitious plan to revitalize its downtown along Main Street, which is anchored by the Mesa Arizona Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (aka Mormon church) on its eastern end and by the Mesa Performing Art Center on its western end. The City’s plans include the adoption of the Central Main Street Plan and a form based code which will foment a comprehensive approach to planning, designing and regulating mixed use transit oriented development in downtown Mesa for decades to come.

Drawing similarities to the Mesa’s historic roots and those of Salt Lake City is not difficult. Moreover, current bold efforts by Mesa’s leaders to seek federal funding to extend light rail along Main Street through downtown Mesa and to adopt such cutting-edge planning and development tools begs the questions…if Salt Lake City can do it, why not in Mesa? Granted there are distinctions to be made…but the mere fact that Salt Lake City, with its conservative roots was able to look so progressively into the future and that the residents saw the wisdom of investing in their downtown speaks volumes about the opportunities for Mesa.

When the light rail reaches Mesa Drive on its eastern terminus, it will be a short block from the Mesa Mormon Temple and will likewise serve the powerhouse campuses of Arizona State University in Tempe and downtown Phoenix, Mesa Community College students, and connect Mesa to thousands of square feet of retail, residential and other mixed use sports and entertainment sites along the Tempe and Phoenix corridor. The light rail has the ability to serve as a tremendous catalyst for redevelopment and growth in downtown Mesa.

Noone expects the Mormon church to invest so heavily in Mesa’s downtown but what if Mesa was Salt Lake City…to the many East Valley residents of Mesa who trace there roots back to their Mormon pioneers ancestors…“this is the place.” "

Link to the full blog

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Encredicon.... yes I said Encredicon

Evermore Nevermore is going to rock the local geek art scene in early September with their very own “Encredicon!”

(That’s Evermore Nevermore Comic Review of Enlightened Drawing and Inscribing Convention, just so you know.)

Sept 10, 6pm-10pm
Sept 11, 12pm-6pm
Part of Downtown Mesa’s “Art Attack On Main.”
Taking place at Evermore Nevermore.
“A mini comic convention with the spotlight on local Valley comic book artists and writers.”
Local Independent comic book artists and Sci-fi fashion show!
Free screening of Sacrifice, a monster movie put together by some locals.
If you are a local artist and want to participate, they have some info click on the link below about how to get involved.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Cubs Spring Training

There has been some interesting articles regarding the location of the potential new Cubs stadium. I personally hope that it comes to downtown and that like in Chicago - Wrigleyville is a few miles from Riverview Park. The pictures are of an amusement park called Riverview, a former Chicago amusement.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Change is good, is happening, and about time.

So there is this concept of an Urban Triangle floating around the Valley. I have taken some excerpts from a Blog by Matthew Petro that defines the idea. Downtown Mesa is included in the idea seemingly as an after thought due to the decision to bring light rail into our core. The Urban Triangle is of course Phoenix, Tempe and Scottsdale because they are the usual players. If you read the blog you will see that a commenter replaces Scottsdale with Mesa. I know, that is an outrageous thought - after all look at what Downtown Scottsdale has to offer versus what Downtown Mesa has to offer. But... you have to admit the potential for Downtown Mesa is right at our feet.
I agree with the commenter that we have one of the most underrated Downtowns in the Phoenix Metro area. Let's not miss the memo this time on TOD (Transit oriented development). I say get on Board this train, own it and change with the times.

Thanks Matthew for sparking the conversations!
Here's the link to the blog:

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Take me out to the Ball game via light rail Mesa?

There is finally some talk about Downtown being an option for the Cubs stadium. I always thought it was a likely choice but was told by former powers that be in Downtown that it would never be a discussion. Of course I wanted to know why and the answer was the idea died when Hohokam was built down the road. I continued to conversation with others and many were on the same page as I was/am... times have changed or at least should!

The Tribune's article today confirms that Downtown may be back on the table for a stadium location. Here are some excerpts from the article "The Chicago Cubs are scouting a growing number of locations across Mesa for a spring training complex, including along the light-rail line downtown. The new locations could dramatically change the character of the complex, as a downtown spot would call for a denser, more urban development.
A downtown location would also revive an idea born in the 1990s, when Mesa was planning to rebuild Hohokam Stadium for the Cubs and had considered moving the team to 40 acres of land it owns downtown. Supporters of the idea said it would transform the downtown, but the team stayed in Hohokam.
Light rail wasn’t part of the equation back then. It will arrive downtown in 2016 and has sparked renewed interest. Mesa’s 40 acres on the southwest corner of Mesa and University drives are several blocks from light-rail access, but the city is looking at plans that could involve using land that’s now privately owned to take better advantage of the transit line.
“If there were property available, we’d like to see the stadium as close to light rail as possible,” City Manager Chris Brady said."

I know someone will wake me up but this dream is kinda sweet - people getting off the light rail train at the stop just east of Center and walking through our beautiful Downtown to see a game, then heading to the micro brewery for an after game drink, all the while commenting that they should have taken advantage of the opportunities in Downtown Mesa before it became the place to be and be seen.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Mesa partied like a rock star this past weekend... really!

I've been checking out blogs about our great Downtown and the party we had on Friday and Saturday night in celebration of this great country we live in. Here is one of the comments....
"Did you make it downtown? If you didn't, you missed out. I took my older girls on Friday night for a mommy daughter date. It was the best. Playing in water, holding exotic birds, dancing in the street to live music. Then on Saturday night we enjoyed the downtown fireworks from a nearby empty lot. In my opinion, it really couldn't be much better. I thought Mesa did a wonderful job on this event. We will be looking forward to it again next year. Great job Mesa, you made me proud."

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Arizona Celebration of Freedom

The inaugural event was held Fri and Sat and made me feel proud to be a part of Mesa. The event has a real home town feel with Main Street closed and people milling around checking out motorcycles on Friday night, and classic cars on Saturday evening. There we history lessons, water slides, watermelon eating contest, patriotic tributes and fireworks, of course.

This is event is going to be held every year the weekend before the Fourth of July. If you made it out and think there was something missing, let us know. If you didn't I am not sure how to relay how different this event is then any other Fourth of July celebration I have been to in Arizona. Having grown up a few decades ago I can tell you that it felt like things used to feel.... a community celebration. Community is hard to find these days and I think Downtown Mesa hit the nail on the head these past two days.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Things to do at the awesome Mesa Arts Center

7 p.m. Sept. 14, Virginia G. Piper Repertory Theater, $32
The blonde-locked "MMMboppers" are all grown up, and the brothers - natives of Tulsa, Okla. - have just released their fifth studio album, "Shout It Out."
NBC's "Last Comic Standing"
8 p.m. Sept. 17, Tom & Janet Ikeda Theater, $40
The Emmy-nominated TV show currently weeding out the comic competition Monday nights on NBC will return with a new group of finalists.
Sheena Easton
8 p.m. Oct. 1, Piper Repertory Theater, $38
Eighties pop star and Grammy Award winner Easton performs an intimate, stripped down concert, highlighting hits from her 30-year career.
Nikki Yanofsky
7:30 p.m. Oct. 14, Virginia G. Piper Repertory Theater, $30
At the age of 16, this Montreal-born songstress has already headlined international jazz festivals, played Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, toured with award-winning composer Marvin Hamlisch, performed with the legendary Count Basie Orchestra, and had a No. 1 hit on the Canadian music charts with her single "I Believe," the official song for the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Vince Gill
7:30 p.m. Oct. 19, Tom & Janet Ikeda Theater, $52-$67
The Country Music Hall of Famer and 19-time Grammy winner gives an intimate performance.
Jean-Michel Cousteau
7:30 p.m. Oct. 20, Tom & Janet Ikeda Theater, single ticket price not yet posted
The underwater explorer and conservationist - and son of legendary ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau - reflects on his father's life and legacy in this National Geographic Live Speaker Series presentation.
Ravi Shankar
8 p.m. Oct. 23, Tom & Janet Ikeda Theater, $40-$70
Named the "Godfather of World Music" by Beatle George Harrison, Ravi Shankar's talent has been compared to that of Mozart. The virtuoso sitarist, composer, teacher and writer is India's most esteemed musical ambassador. In addition to the performance, there will be a celebration of Indian traditions before the show.
Eugenia Leon
8 p.m. Oct. 30, Tom & Janet Ikeda Theater, $34-$38
The Mexico City-born songstress is often considered to be one of the best singers in her country, and her shows have been called cultural gems.
"Celebrity Autobiography"
Nov. 4-21, Nesbitt/Elliott Playhouse, $35
The hit New York comedy show and winner of the 2009 Drama Desk Award for Best Unique Theatrical Experience features a line-up of revolving comedians who perform and interpret unintentionally hilarious words and stories written by celebrities. The ever changing cast has included "Saturday Night Live's" Rachel Dratch, "The Soprano's" Steve Schirripa, "Ugly Betty's" Vanessa Williams and "Law & Order SVU's" BD Wong and Paul Rudd. Mesa's cast has not yet been announced.
Straight No Chaser
8 p.m. Nov. 5, Tom & Janet Ikeda Theater, $35
Last year, this group's version of "The 12 Days of Christmas" became the hottest viral video of the holiday season. Instead of relying on digital processing and vocal tooling, they reinvent a cappella pop.
Lang Lang
7:30 p.m. Jan. 6, 2011, Tom & Janet Ikeda Theater, $52-$92
Named one of "Time" Magazine's 100 most influential people in the world in 2009, Lang Lang might be the most popular pianist on the planet. He was watched by over five billion people in the 2008 Olympic Games, and his performances have sold out all over the world.
Joshua Bell
8 p.m. Feb. 11, 2011, Tom & Janet Ikeda Theater, $40-$70
Apart from winning Grammys and Oscars, Bell has made music for movies such as "Angels and Demons" and "Defiance," and was named 2010 instrumentalist of the year by Musical America. The accomplished violinist's concert is expected to sell out quickly.
Canadian Tenors
8 p.m. March 4, 2011, Tom & Janet Ikeda Theater, $35-$45
The group recently seen on "Oprah," fuses the powerful tenor voices of four talented young men with an eclectic blend of classical and contemporary pop.
Steve Tyrell
7:30 p.m. March 18, 2011, Piper Theater, $44
One of last season's fan favorites, Grammy Award winner Tyrell makes an encore to perform jazz standards.

Mesa restaurant to serve real lion burgers

At Il Vinaio Restaurant in downtown Mesa, they like to experiment.
"We're stepping outside the box, trying something new," chef Jason Bacon said.

This Wednesday and Thursday, the kitchen will put something on the menu.
For $21 a plate, the restaurant will serve the lion in one-third pound burgers along with special fries and corn.

Selogie said he started planning the special lion meal a few months ago and is doing it now in celebration of the World Cup in South Africa.

The lions are raised on a farm in Illinios. They are regulated by the USDA.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Breaking news

You must tune into channel 15 tonight at 10:00 to see what is happening Downtown. I will try and send a link later if I can.

Update on the Charrette... your chance of a lifetime to give your two cents on Downtown!

Important decisions about the character and scale of development in downtown Mesa will be made during a two-day workshop.
Here is the schedule:

· Brown-Bag Lunch. Wednesday, June 23 from noon to 1 p.m. A discussion about Form-Based Codes, appropriate building types and pedestrian-oriented street design. Bring your own lunch and come ready with questions.
· Open Studio. Wednesday, June 23 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursday, June 24 from 10 a.m. to noon and 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Stop by and talk with the design team members one-on-one.
· Open House. Wednesday, June 23 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. An informal information session and review of the in-progress drawings will be held.
· Closing Presentation. Thursday, June 24 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. A formal presentation and public comment session will conclude the workshop. If you have limited time, this is the meeting to attend.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Affordable and attorney in one sentence!

VISIT now to schedule your appointment! Access Legal Services gives you access to attorneys at affordable prices and gets you the legal advocate you need and the guidance to deal with complicated legal procedures, paperwork, and court systems. Access Legal Services Providers offer •Affordable and professional legal guidance- only per hour! •No retainer fees required •Convenient pay as you go •Available consultations on YOUR schedule •No long term commitment •Spanish speakers Access Legal can help you TODAY with: •Family law •Restraining Order or Family Protections •Workplace issues •Business needs •Real Estate Disputes •Immigration •Debt Relief/Bankruptcy •Protection from Creditors •and more They are conveniently located in downtown Mesa, across from the municipal court.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Ah oh people are catching on

Random Zeffler Thoughts for Wednesday, June 16, 2010
I went to the Second Friday event last week in downtown Mesa, Ariz. and actually liked it. I live in Mesa and bemoan the fact that downtown closes at three in the afternoon. That is an exaggeration, but not by much. I think it would be a great opportunity to meet people I want to photograph in person. I would also like to help build downtown Mesa into something better. Family-friendly does not have to mean boring. My family is here for the long haul it seems, it is time to start making the best of it.

Seems like the secret is getting out for which I am thankful! It is nice to share.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Rag Doll Clothing

A perfect skirt for the Arizona Celebration of Freedom on July 2nd and 3rd in Downtown Mesa. Get your's at:
37 W. Main St.

*open til 9pm every 1st and 2nd Fri of each month!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Shabby Chic Paradise: Blossom Salon & Boutique in Mesa

The uber-cute Blossom Salon in Mesa. The storefront that lines the quaint street of historic downtown Mesa, feels like Anthropologie. Open the door to a wealth of unique tops, dresses and accessories!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Have you ever participated in a "Charrette"?

I have on three occasions. One of them was a brainstorming session about the area of land we now know as "Riverview". I sat at this table with people I had never met before and we had this blank map that had the boundaries of some property off of the 202 freeway. There was a gravel pit and a golf course/park area and basically some lines that we had to stay within. We were told the history of the area from way back to present. Our group started coming up with all kinds of ideas and placing them on the paper- there was so much space we could not even fill it all. One of the ideas was a place called "Bass Pro Shop" and it was suggested because we thought the gravel pit would make a nice lake someday where people could fish or test drive boats. Ok- I don't know much about either (and those of you who know me can attest to this). I certainly didn't have any idea what the store was and was assured it was a great place that someone had seen in like Oklahoma or someplace. BUT there was so much room to fill in that we all went along with the idea. Who would have thought.....

So now YOU have the opportunity to get in on the action to craft a vision for the mile-wide urban corridor that straddles Main Street between Country Club Drive and Gilbert Road. Believe me you don't have to be an architect or a land planner by profession. In fact all you have to have is the desire to own and be a part of the community you live in. You see our opinion matters in these settings before all those professional's who have to figure it out after we decide!

The two-day "charrette" is June 23-24 at the former Mervyn's, 1240 E. Main St. You know the place called POOL. If you haven't been there this is the perfect opportunity to check it out (under the guise of being an interested resident of Mesa). Hope you all come join the fun and think it is as cool as I did. And then I hope the powers that be do this more often...

Charrette-The word charrette may refer to any collaborative session in which a group drafts a solution to a design problem. Each sub-group then presents its work to the full group as material for future dialogue. Charrettes serve as a way of quickly generating a design solution while integrating the aptitudes and interests of a diverse group of people. Read more:

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Took this from Tuesday's with Dorie

This carob tree resides in Downtown Mesa. This big guy is very very old. The "history" on this tree is odd but true. Apparently waaay back in the early 1900's 3 men were hung from my tree by some vigilantes who caught them shortly after they shot the local sheriff. It was the last hangings in Mesa.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

FREE Family Movie night.... right around the corner.

Grab a blanket and head over to the Mesa Amphitheatre on Friday, Jun. 11 for a free showing of Planet 51 sponsored by the Mesa Parks, Recreation Commercial Facilities Department.

Planet 51 is an animated movie about an American astronaut who lands on Planet 51 thinking he's the first person to step foot on it. To his surprise, he finds that this planet is inhabited by little green people and he’s considered the alien.

The movie is rated PG, and stars the voices of Dwayne Johnson, Jessica Biel, and John Cleese.

Doors open at 6 p.m. with the show time at 7:30 p.m. Free bounce houses, affordable concessions and a 50/50 raffle drawing will be available. The Mesa Amphitheatre is located at 263 N. Center Street. For more information about this event, visit or call (480) 644-2171.

Make it a full evening out and head over to Second Friday after the movie from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. This month’s theme is “Summer Sizzles.” Enjoy the food, entertainment and vendors on display in downtown Mesa.

Light Rail Stations!

After several months of public participation and community discussion, the Mesa City Council helped to further define the Central Mesa light rail extension with approval of four station locations and a Main Street traffic configuration plan at their City Council meeting last night, June 7.

Recommended station locations on Main Street:

East of Alma School Road

East of Country Club Drive

East of Center Street

East of Mesa Drive

These locations were identified for their proximity to activity centers and bus connections, least impact to adjacent property and curbs, economic development potential and convenient pedestrian access.

Recommended Main Street traffic configuration, Sycamore to Mesa Drive:

Sycamore to Country Club – Remains as two lanes of traffic in each direction. On-street parking will be removed to reduce impacts to adjacent property and sidewalks.

Country Club to Mesa Drive (Downtown Mesa) – Transitions into one lane of traffic in each direction. On-street parking and existing signalized pedestrian crossings will be maintained where possible.

All intersections along the line will have separate left turn lanes with dedicated left turn arrows.

The above recommendations will be forwarded to the METRO Board of Directors for their review this summer.

In addition, the Council committed to City funding for operations of the light rail extension.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Main street sidewalks will be full of artists, six bands, a summer fashion show with clothing by local designers followed by a reception to meet the models and designers, City of Mesa Parks and Rec, the Mesa library, street performers, and the radio station 103.9 attending this month-they will be broadcasting live.
Spread the word bring some friends and enjoy a free Friday night event in OUR Downtown.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Her Majesty calls

125 W. Main St.
This is from their website.....




Upcoming June Events in Downtown Mesa

FIRST FRIDAY June 4th 6-10 PM Motorcycles on Main

You don't want to miss this event whose popularity is growing. Main Street is closed for this pedestrian friendly party! Four live bands, beer gardens, Main Street lined with motorcycles. People come to check out the bikes or listen to music or they bring their bikes for all to see it is a casual atmosphere and a great way to spend the evening. I realize that “Family friendly” and “Motorcycles” are not usually what you think about when we say a "Sturgis style" event but it's Mesa and believe me it is family friendly! There is a new Center Stage in the middle of the intersection of MacDonald and Main Street that showcases a different bike each month. The selected bike receives a cash prize and is displayed all evening for everyone to enjoy.

Rumor is that the new "Grill on Main" will be open for this event. This restaurant is located at 124 W. Main Street. Hey check it out and get back to us here with your comments- reviews.

SECOND FRIDAY June 11th 6-10 PM Summer Sizzles! Heatin' Up Main Street

The 101 "Gallery" (conspicuously located at 101 West Main Street) is hosting a "Smoking Hot Fashion Show" Local designers will strut their stuff on the runway! You can enter your fashion(s) the evening of the show. Prizes for the best original designs. Free to enter! As always there is live music to enjoy as you have dinner or mill around checking out the Art booths. Know an artist professional, aspiring, or one who enjoys engaging with fellow artist during a street fair send them to 2ndfridaynightout,com to register for the FREE event. Last month we had over 70 registered. Mesa Parks and Recs and the Library departments will be participating- showing off their summer programs for kids.

So while your reading this open up your calendar and schedule the events on first and second Friday of every month- 6-10pm in Downtown Mesa.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Il Vinaio... you will be pleasantly pleased

Went to Il Vinaio Friday evening for dinner. You really should try it if you haven't been already.
It is an American WIne Bistro serving Traditional American Home-Style Breakfasts and Lunches. Their linens come out in the evening for an elegant yet casual dinners created by their Executive Chef, Patrick Boll. Dinners pair well with a great selection of wines and micro-brews.
Join their e-club for amazing special deals on meals and wine. Monday they have a 40% special on selected wines.
Check out their events page.... and people say there is nothing going in Downtown Mesa... Il Vinaio proves them wrong several times a week.
You will not recognize this as the old Humpty Dumpty once you walk inside.
Hey last Friday there was an "after party" once the 2nd Friday event calmed down. It is a great place to keep the evening going once the street settles down.

For the record, the Hemp Ale (see picture to the left) is made with hemp seeds and tastes similar to Newcastle's nutty Brown Ale.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Road closure latest example of Mesa's willingness to help

I am beside myself !

May. 22, 2010 08:36 AM
Southeast Valley editorial board

Mesa has long been known as the city of - say it with us now - "wide streets and narrow minds."

It's an unfortunate moniker, because it implies everything that would drive smart people and their investments away from the city.

Sadly, there was some truth to the name. Mesa was known for waging war with businesses over signs in windows and having a city staff that would find more reasons to say "no" than "yes."

In 2005, community activists began calling this city home of the CAVE people, or Citizens Against Virtually Everything. When Google executives visited later that year to scout a location for a satellite office, Mesa, the Valley's second-largest city, wasn't even on the radar.

It's hard to break a reputation like that, but the city is at least starting to bend it. And that's a good thing.

Voters shocked the Valley in recent years when they approved two projects - the Waveyard water-sports resort and the Gaylord hotel and conference center - that required them to think big and long-term. Then, in a first for the city, voters approved a secondary property tax to finance public safety and street projects.

Mesa threw out land-use maps - a crutch it had long used to say "no" - for Mesa Gateway, opting instead for forward-thinking regulations that put less emphasis on what buildings are used for and more on how they work together. It is now doing the same with its citywide zoning-code update and redevelopment plans downtown.

Yet another indication of Mesa's departure from "wide streets and narrow minds" came last Friday - aptly enough, in the form of a road closure. The city agreed to shut down Main Street for the Independent Music Project Festival, a celebration of independent music from multiple genres.

This is significant, because Mesa has long rebuffed requests to close the busy street for a festival. Have to keep traffic flowing on those wide streets, after all.

But city leaders saw the festival's potential. There were bands playing on multiple stages, classic cars and art on display. And people. Lots of money-spending people.

Merchants stayed open late. Vendors sold wares to the eclectic crowd. Who cares if a few people were inconvenienced on their planned breeze through downtown Mesa?

A bunch more happened on a pretty happening place, and that could convince people to come back again for a special event - or eventually, just because it's Friday night.

It's a new mind-set. Instead of standing in the way of people with good ideas - or at least requiring them to fit a preconceived notion of what's a good idea - city leaders are telling thinkers and dreamers to make their best pitch. If a request makes sense, Mesa is ready and willing to do what it can help.

As a result, the city is saying "why not" a lot more than "why" these days, and that is an incredibly positive step.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

2nd Friday Night Out May 14 Too much fun

2nd Friday Night Out

Don’t miss 2nd Friday Night Out in historic downtown Mesa from 6:00-10:00 PM May 14th. Each month features a different theme and this month we present "IMP FEST" Independent Music Project Festival...rock 'n rollin on Main! We're closing Main and Macdonald for this one! There will be two stages with 10 live bands featuring punk, rock, alternative, blues, and more. We're giving away an electric guitar plus there will be two beer gardens, a classic car show featuring VW's, train rides, and the streets will be lined with over 60 art booths along the pedestrian friendly porticos! Shops and restaurants open late. The best part is that it's all free! Call Suzanne Woodford at 602-318-5689 for more information.

FACEBOOK party in Downtown Mesa

This looks like a cool Social Media event in Downtown Mesa later this month. If you’re active in Social Media like we are then plan on attending and tell all your friends on Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, etc…

Facebook Party in Downtown Mesa
What: Facebook party including mini (mini!) studio photo shoots of our guests, food, company, and fun!

When: Friday May 28, 2010 5-9pm

Where: Kimberly Jarman Studio
126 W. Main Street
Mesa, AZ 85201

Who: All of our friends and colleagues!

What else: $25 door chage to receive a mini-studio photo shoot with KJ and KB, 3 digital FB files to use for your networking sites, and tons of fun!

And what else: For every friend you bring, you get an extra file of the photo of your choice!

How do I get in on this amazing event???
RSVP here on FB
or call the studio at 480.203.1090

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Sweet Cakes.... SWEEEEET Bodacious Bakeries

TLC Discovery Channel
May 10, 9:00 pm
Best Food Ever
Bodacious Bakeries

Owner Kellie Huntington is hosting a viewing party at 6 p.m. Monday, the same time the episode airs. During the party at her cafe, 21 W. Main St., she will be providing free cookies and appetizers.

"We feel so honored to be featured on this show along with our loyal customers," Huntington said in a statement. "We hope the national spotlight will put our downtown on the map as well as help boost our Main Street businesses."

Sweet Cakes Cafe is one of several spots visited during a cross-country tour of best places for sweets.


Some decadent offerings include five-layered brownies, sugar cookies topped with inch-thick frosting, lemon bars, cinnamon rolls coated with orange frosting and other signature cookies and pastries.


Kellie Huntington is a fourth-generation Mesa native who opened her shop with a yogurt bar several years ago. She has since expanded her business with a yogurt bar and sells her popular orange frosted cinnamon rolls at Valley businesses. Visit for information.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

166 West Main Street, Mesa FOUND!

FOUND ( is a new venture for Dan and Kristen of Domestic Bliss ( in downtown Mesa. Be sure to check out the links provided for both.

Stop into Domestic Bliss and enter your MOM to win a necklace for Mother's Day!!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

2010 Mesa National Poetry Slamoff

Anthology, Inc., in association with Evermore Nevermore and Queens Pizzeria present the 2010 15th Annual Mesa National Poetry Slamoff! Poets have been working for four months to earn a spot on the Mesa National Poetry Slam Team, come see the results of their hard work! Tickets are $5 in advance and $10 at the door

Mysta Craft Workshop

April 26th starting at 6pm. Hang at Evermore Nevermore and create or recreate if you've done it before a craft.

Check out the inside of this great store.
Evermore Nevermore is a unique collection of one-of-a-kind clothing designs and accessories, costumes and comic books, pop culture art and cool-ass collectibles.