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By Anonymous Mike, pseudonymously.

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Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Sprawl My Love

I was most pleased the other day to read that the inestimable James Lileks was in town last week. This is the time of year for a late blizzard to hit Lileks' home state of Minnesota and for him to consider, yet again, whether it's time to move to Phoenix. I remain doubtful whether he will actually come here, but it's nice to read some one in the newspaper business who actually likes Phoenix:

I love Phoenix. It’s a 21st Century American City. You want the future? Here you go...

....It’s new. It’s rich. It’s poor. It’s low and flat, it’s high and barren. It has broad new freeways rising high over barren canals, great empty stretches punctuated by high-tech office buildings holding dozens of incubating companies. It remakes itself with a speed that makes LA look like Paris. This is the future, but somehow when people want to capture the soul of America they go to Cleveland and film a shoelace factory that closed in 1982.

Wow that's refreshing.

When people say they love it here, they usually mean the climate or the natural wonders outside of the Valley; they aren't referring to the metro area itself. In fact, you would be hard pressed to go more than a week without picking up a news paper or magazine decrying how much we have made a mess of things here in the Valley or what a soulless wasteland we inhabit. When we encounter people from out-of-state, it seems the words out of our mouth are implicitly apologizing for what we have here

There's a word for such behavior and that is pathetic.

We live in a unique section of the country, very different from not just the Northeast or Midwest but also from neighbors in California and New Mexico. There are a million stories out here and a vitality in the Sprawl that you'll find nowhere else. Those who don't like it can either stay to change it or move to Seattle, but to stay and bad mouth it reflects the smallness of their soul