Well, where to start with Phoenix, Arizona. I went there in early December for some sun and desert warmth. I found both and a whole lot more.

Being the localist that I am, I also explored and roamed as many local, independent corners and streets as I could. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Phoenix has a vibrant and thriving local scene, largely prompted by the initiative Local First Arizona. They’re all about buying locally, building community and supporting a vibrant local economy.

Local First Arizona
©2011 Juanita Metzger

With their Small Wonders guides, I managed to find some of the most wonderful and weird places on (and off) the map. Here’s a a small selection.

Urban Grocery at Pheonix Public Market
Phoenix Public Market ©2011 Juanita Metzger
Phoenix Public Market
Phoenix Public Market ©2011 Juanita Metzger

The Phoenix Public Market captured my interest for the better part of a Wednesday. It started out with lunch at the Urban Grocery & Wine Bar, followed by espresso at the back of the grocery/deli/bar, followed by some reading at the community bulletin board…. by which time, the outdoor market was starting to set up for the 4 – 8pm evening market. The big anticipation was all for the food trucks scheduled to arrive! They did not disappoint.

Starting with the Filipino truck, the Mondo Bowl of mung beans, rice, veggies and sauce only served to whet the appetite! It was the blackened catfish with rice, peas and salad that finished off the evening. That, and the fresh carrot bread….

Phoenix Public Market Food Trucks
©2011 Juanita Metzger

Roosevelt Row was another impressive area. Completely supported and promoted by the area merchants, there was a lot going on.

Roosevelt Row
©2011 Juanita Metzger

For more on my Phoenix explorations, also read, Shift the Way You Shop.

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