Road Trip: Phoenix / by Will Tung

@ Mill Avenue Bridge

I'm staying in North Phoenix with Bilal, my friend from high/boarding school (Cranbrook), near Glendale. One thing I can say about Phoenix: it's huge. This particular neighborhood I'm staying at reminds me of the Aramco complexes in Saudi Arabia. In fact, they are practically identical. Driving down these streets makes me feel very nostalgic, and the only real difference between the two is that there are Cacti here. But the palm trees and architecture style and terrain is all the same. The first night I ate homemade Pakistani food courtesy of Bilal's mom. Had it for brunch as well. Then I headed out to first check out Scottsdale Fashion Square, which is essentially a ritzy mall in the wealthy part of town. At this point I realized, after driving a long distance, that shopping in malls is boring. It's the same everywhere you go, and sure, sometimes that hat store or that haircut place has a different name, but it gets old. I tried to find a polarizing filter though at the Ritz camera for the wide angle lens, but they didn't have it in my size, oh well. I ended up sitting in the mall for maybe a half hour to an hour, just reflecting on life as all these rich wives with nothing better to do with their time walked past me with their newborns. It was slightly depressing because I think I just confused myself more. After this completely useless waypoint, I headed on over to the Arizona State University campus at Tempe. I believe they are the third largest in population, behind Ohio State and University of Texas. Don't quote me on that though. Architecture-wise, the highlight for me was some auditorium designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, which was originally planned for Baghdad, but something didn't go through. It certainly has some middle east influences on the design. Overall the campus was pretty nice, kind of reminded me a little bit of parts of the University of Michigan. I was a little hard for me to enjoy it though, in the ~105º F heat. I also got my car washed to prevent all the bugs I collected thus far from making my front bumper a permanent residence. I checked out the GPS and found two attractions that ended up being closed: Tovrea Castle and Hall of Flame. I did end up going to Hole in the Rock, which was at Papago Park. It was pretty cool, and an interesting tidbit: there was this couple there as well as some families with kids. Well the boyfriend from the couple kept putting his hands down her pants (from the front and the back), as well as groping her under her shirt, all in front of the little kids and parents. For shame! :P Met up with Bilal afterwards and went to Mill Avenue Bridge, to watch the sunset and take some photos. Lastly, I ate mediterranean food at Haji Baba. I ordered the Shawerma, but I coulda sworn I got a Gyro instead. C'est la vie.