TRAVEL THERE: WILD & CRAZY ART EVENT
Still going with the flow, I was ready to sacrifice the Phoenix Friday Art Walk (#phxfridays) for the sake of harmony, but Bill proved he was up for it. We changed into something more casual and headed for downtown Phoenix. By the time we arrived, things were going strong. The Phoenix Museum of Art seemed to be the epicenter of activity, but parking there was an impossibility, so we began to look for something else. We did find an office building that allowed us to park and it really wasn’t far from the museum, but we were like the only people parking there. Worse case scenario, it was a rent car and none of our belongings were in it, so if they stole it, fine!
Joining the Hordes
We discovered we were about a block from the museum, which meant we were soon part of the insanity of Art Walk. We noted most of the participants were decades younger than us, but we did not let that deter us from our opportunity for adventure. The museum, which has free admission on Fridays and was the focus of my attention, had ridiculous lines, so with little in the way of info, we hopped aboard one of the very full free trolleys and we were off into another world.
Both sides of the street were filled with revelers and the noise level was wild. Bill pulled me off the trolley and we tried to get our bearings, but it was sort of what I think an acid trip might be similar to. We were sharing the crowded sidewalk with people who didn’t look like us. Hair was in every shape and color, except what we might consider normal. Everyone was tattooed and pierced. They wore clothes I’d probably throw away if I found them in my closet. There was pushing and shoving in every direction, but there was no clear indication of which way one should head.
I did mention the noise, right? It was Bill who pointed out, that in the immediate area where we were standing, five different bands were vying for the crowd’s attention. While we were standing next to five bands, if we looked in any directions, we could see, not far down the sidewalk, crowds flowed around even more bands. The result, cacophony.
Just about that time, we both needed to visit restroom facilities and by some odd piece of luck we got into a nearby restaurant with minimal hassle. I think the doorman took pity on the senior citizens lost among the millennials. We took care of business and made our way out to the street, heading away from the five bands. We found a sort of alley with various booths set up along the way. The mob seemed less frenetic here and the noise of the various bands was tolerable. We began to stroll along.
Abandoning the Hordes
Though spread more thinly, the denizens of this art vendor alley were of the dread-locked, tattooed and pierced variety of the five band locale. While they looked scary to us, they did seem to be minding their own business, so we entertained ourselves by looking in on the booths. There were some artists selling their wares – nothing we’d hang on our walls, but interesting. The most readily available merchandise seemed to be CBD oil, plus everything and anything made out of hemp. Bill was sure he could smell “hemp”smoke wafting above the crowd.
After about a block, we ran out of booths and it began to look like an area senior citizens would not be welcome or safe, so we made a U-turn and visited the booths on the other side of the alley. When we returned to the sidewalk, a band made of pre-teenagers and their parents, had begun to play headbanger/punk rock (?) at a remarkable volume. Bill wondered what the best way back to the car was. I pointed to a landmark on the skyline and we decided to walk back, instead of trying to find another trolley.
We crossed the street and discovered,what had been an alley on the other side, turned into more of a street. On the street, vendors only took up one side, but they seemed to have pretty much the same merchandise as the previous guys. On the other side of the street was a series of restaurants with outdoor seating – only all patrons looked as if they belonged to biker gangs, so we weren’t at all tempted to sit down for a respite, even though sitting down for a drink sounded like the perfect thing to do.
We kept our eye on the red neon sign we’d recognized earlier and when the street made an abrupt left, we headed right through what seemed to be a park. The art you see on this page was displayed throughout the area and it is huge. After the park was the library. We could no longer see our landmark, but I had my bearings and continued that way.
Suddenly, we were back at the art museum and the lines had disappeared. Our visit was delayed, but I was going to get to take advantage of the free admission. Come back next week and enjoy the museum with us.