This blog explores the history of Phoenix, Arizona and a little bit of Los Angeles and San Francisco, California.

How to save the places you love in Phoenix, Arizona, or anywhere

I love living in Glendale, which is a suburb of Phoenix, Arizona. I collect old photos of Phoenix, and I share them on the internet. And one of the most common things that I see is that people regret the loss of something, like their favorite restaurant, or the store that they used to go to. And then I see people wondering who to protest to, or whether they should "like" something, or forward a post. And sometimes, well, there's just nothing to be done. Times change, and things go away.

The Chuckbox in 1972, Tempe, Arizona

I think about the places that are precious to me, like the Chuckbox in Tempe, or Gallagher's here in Glendale. And I try do something - I go there as often as I can. I tell my friends to go there (and take me with them!). Because it's all about money.

Of course, just getting breakfast at my favorite place here in Glendale won't be enough if someone wants to buy that block and put in something else. I know that, I get it. But most businesses around here aren't in any kind of danger like that. They're just in danger of dying from neglect.

I'm an old Marketing guy, and I know that people vote for what they want with their money. If they want to watch the Super Bowl, they vote with a LOT of money. And that's how they show support for what's important to them. They invest in what they consider valuable.

I've lived in this neighborhood for over twenty years and I pride myself on supporting every local business (except the tattoo place, I can't bring myself to get a tattoo). And I hope that they'll be around the next time I want to go there. This isn't charity, this is investment in the places that I love, that make my community, my city, my world.

So, please put away the rants, and the blame that its all some big conspiracy, man. It's not. Mostly it's simple - people invest in their business, and stay there if they make money. I've known a lot of people like that, and no, you shouldn't buy their stuff if it's awful. But if it's great, then go ahead and invest. There's no guarantee that your investment will mean that that place will be there in the future, but it's the best thing you can do.

At the top of this post: 1924 ad for the Sing High Chop Suey House. It's still in business, in downtown Phoenix.

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