Labor Day Walkabout

Most every year we find ourselves at the ranch for Labor Day weekend – but not this year! We’ve been able to get up there more often this summer, so, although Paul never agrees with this statement, I think it was ok to miss this one year. Instead, we hung out at home, and Monday morning we left the house around 6:30a.m. to go on another downtown explore.

This time, we parked at the Phoenix Library and took off from there. I had never before realized that the Old Spaghetti Factory was right across the street from the library… probably because every time I have gone to that restaurant it’s been after dark.

I don’t have much more detail on the spots I photographed, I just snapped whatever piqued my interest…

  • Quirky buildings
  • Underground walkways that reminded me of the mines of Moria
  • Several views from the outside of the impressive stone castle which houses the Irish Cultural Center (hoping to go back sometime when they are open, and bring Paul’s parents, since the Irish in our family comes from his Mum’s side).
  • More downtown buildings and the light rail
  • The FEZ building!
  • Portland Park, which runs alongside some fancy schmancy apartment buildings
  • A MINI Cooper, because they’re cute (and fancy schmancy)


Down at the end of the fancy apartment street we found ourselves walking alongside a church building. From the looks of the windows, I’m guessing it’s very pretty inside. I of course have not spent enough time down in that area to know for sure what church building it was, but Paul was leading the way, and when I rounded the corner to the front of the church, he was there with a Ta-Daa! to present the grand entrance to what I then discovered to be Trinity Episcopal Cathedral. Rounding the next corner, we entered a lovely courtyard, complete with outdoor pulpit!

From there we continued walking and stopped whenever some street art caught my eye. That happened fairly frequently, as you can see. There’s a LOT of cool street art in Phoenix – all of these were just in a few square blocks, and there is much, much more!



We were still looking at painted walls, when I saw across several empty lots, a bright red house with green trim, and had to go get a closer look. Turned out to be abandoned and boarded up, next to a large brick house that was also abandoned. I handed the camera off to Megan and she wandered around the buildings for a while Just beyond the abandoned houses, there was a remarkably perky looking iguana that wanted me to take a closer look. It was along an alley, not a place many people would even see, but apparently it was the back side of the Grace Lutheran church. They did a really great job making that alley beautiful.

We were leaving the alley and intending to make for the Library, when I made the mistake of looking both ways before crossing the street – and saw another wall of wonder that had to be explored. The last detour of the morning took us to a rather disheveled looking building that, for all the world, I thought must be closed up and no longer in use – but when we came round the front of the building, we found that indeed, the Phoenix Center for the Arts is open for business, and is merely undergoing renovations.



What a fun little exploration it was! And we got finished before it really heated up for the day, to boot. There’s so much more to see in this sprawling valley of ours; every hike promises new revelations and of course, good memories with the family.

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