Seeing Phoenix through other people's eyes
I know Phoenix, Arizona. I've lived there for a long time. I've driven the freeways, I've spent a lot of time there. It's my town. I collect old photos of Phoenix, I read about the history of Phoenix. So you would think that I know everything. But I don't, far from it. And especially when I get a chance to see it through other people's eyes, it's brand-new to me again, and again. Please let me explain.
As a webby kind of guy, I started posting images of Phoenix way back when the internet was new. I had web pages that I had created just for fun, to learn more about HTML, and CSS, and to practice to teach web classes at GCC. But it wasn't until Google+ was invented, just a few years ago, that I really started getting a chance to see Phoenix through other people's eyes.
My experience on Google+ with my Phoenix page has been wonderful. I have to admit that I was kind'a leery about using a "social media" to post things, as I had seen the horrific comments that people like to post on Facebook, and YouTube. But, like I say, my experience with the Phoenix page has been good. Yeah, there have been a few stray idiot comments, and some spam, but not all that much. And I set up my gmail to monitor it, anyway.
The best thing about the Phoenix page is that it's a learning experience for me. Most of what I'm posting is stuff that I just found. I'm a "hey, look at this" kind of person, anyway. I'm not a teacher, I'm a sharer. And to my delight, there are a lot of other people who feel that way, too.
Of course, most of the people who follow the page live in Phoenix. I can recognize the kids who grew up there, who are always the first to comment if someone is wearing a jacket that it couldn't have been in the summer. The old-timers always remember a kinder, simpler, time. You know, back in the '90s, or '50s, when things were so much better than they are now! The newcomers are interested in finding their way around, and feeling like they belong. I remember that feeling. There are people who don't live in Phoenix, of course, and they sometimes write the most beautiful, longing, stuff. For them I make a point to watch the sunset, which is common for me, and extraordinary for them.
I like my Phoenix. And I like other people's Phoenix, too.
Image above: Looking north on Central Avenue at Monte Vista in 1970, Phoenix, Arizona.
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Posted by Brad Hall