Friday, October 26, 2007

I actually want to go to Phoenix

I haven't read Ann Patchett before but right now I've got her new novel Run overdue from the library, yet another book I've been reading having to do with adoption and race. If you wonder about my interest in that subject, the photo right here might explain things. I'm not sure I want to put current photos of my family up here and anyway, I don't have a remotely recent photo of my brother handy. The adoption industry is one of those topics to Not Get Me Started On, so I won't get myself started, but you can see my excellent adoption reading list here at Goodreads.

I'm afraid I only talk to my brother a few times a year and right now I can't quite remember the last time I saw him or visited him in Arizona (he used to live in Tempe, now in Phoenix). I think my wish to see him again outweighs my negative attitude towards the Phoenix area.

Sure, there's still some "nature" (mountains and such) there. I've seen a Frank Lloyd Wright building at Arizona State and apparently he has a ton of other Phoenix-area buildings I didn't know about. The relatively new main branch library in what passes for downtown Phoenix is fun to visit, and Tempe's got a few requisite quirky-college-town establishments.

But...that place is a nightmare of sprawl, and barely seems to have any buildings more than a few decades old and most of what's there is ugly. The city buses run so infrequently that you need to study their small-town-phone-book-sized schedule book so you don't wait another hour in the heat. (I do love how the buses post signs saying "No Guns Allowed.") I already wasn't too keen on the place, and since my last visit I've seriously learned about architecture and city planning, and I'm afraid I'll be in a constant state of despair at how spread-out and uninteresting it all is.

Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I just haven't found the good stuff yet. Dare I admit that one of the things making me want to visit is...finding abandoned buildings? Not only would it be a thrill to explore a totally different area of the country, but I have a feeling this could be a hobby we could bond over, having very few other interests in common. I don't want to get us in any trouble with the law, though. See, he's been in jail, I'VE been in jail...but he's been in prison, too. (Now I feel like I'm saying too much.)

I have no idea when I'll go; probably not the dead of winter when it costs a lot to fly there. I can't wait to see Phoenix with new eyes, and despite my borderline-Asberger's-syndrome inability to express affection (especially to my family) as well as I'd like, I love him and miss him and feel awful it's been so long.

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