An EYE Opening Experience
(Journal of my First Day in South Phoenix)
Bird's Eye View
My first day in South Phoenix began at South Mountain Park. After our presentations, our class was divided into groups and were told to explore South Phoenix. Our first stop was Manny's Car Wash. We stopped there and talked to the owner Manny.
We were curious to know how he felt about the new homes being built in the area (gentrification) and if he felt a concern for his business. Manny was a little shy to talk about the issues; however, he did seem to express a concern for the future.
After leaving Manny's, we traveled to a McDonald's on the corner of Central and Baseline.
This McDonald's was particularly interesting to me because of the design within the McDonald's. (See Hear Our Cry) It was unique in that the McDonald's incorporated the culture of the area into the interior and exterior design. There were mosque tile and a picture of the Virgin Mary inside the McDonald's. The representations of culture combined with a traditional McDonald's was interesting and innovative.
Our next journey brought us to the Roosevelt Community Technology Center located at 6029 s. 7th Street. The technology center is also known as the Neighborhood House. Once inside, I began to realize that this was more than a home, it was a learning center for the residents of South Phoenix.
The Neighborhood House is a place where residents in South Phoenix can go to learn about computers in their amazing computer lab. The center is host to a variety of opportunities; including, GED classes, Parenting classes, the Roosevelt Woman's club and Girl/Boy Scout Club meetings.
Our next stop was at a house in the middle of a deserted corner on 7th Street and Roeser.
At first glance, this seemed to be nothing more than a house in desperate need; however, after our interview the house began to take on a new meaning and future. (See A Picture says a Thousand Words)
Our final destination is the famous Hip Hop Hair and Cafe, located at 702 e. Roeser.
Now, this is an interesting place. The kind of place that makes you stop and go hum? The bright, bold blue of the building grabs the attention of your mind, begging you to tell it more. I wondered what in the world could be in there, Let's see; Hip Hop....maybe that means music; Hair?....with Hip Hop?; and a Cafe? Well, I had to investigate. I could wait no longer. Upon entering the Hip Hop Hair and Cafe, I could smell the aroma of fried catfish, I heard the sounds of music coming from the studio inside which promoted local artists and directly in front of me was a hairstylists. I was intrigued by the art on the wall, the pictures of black leaders and the silly names for the menu, like Big Eazy E for a burger. What a fabulous idea I thought. It was a great representation of culture, it was located in a strategic location (right accross from South Mountain High School) and it was a fun place to as they say kick it!
Learning from South Phoenix