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A secret place in historic Glendale, Arizona - Catlin Court

As an old marketing guy, I suppose that the nice people of the Glendale, Arizona Chamber of Commerce really wouldn't appreciate my calling Catlin Court a "secret place". I'm sure that they promote it, and advertise it, but it's not really all that easy to see. But if you want to do a little bit of time-traveling, I recommend going there.

Catlin Court is a series of old houses that have been lovingly converted into small businesses that sell antiques, and uh, other stuff. I really don't know. I know that you can get ice cream, though! It's really just a handful of houses east of 59th Avenue and a couple of blocks north of Glendale Avenue.

Now, don't get carried away and imagine that you're going to enter some magical place that will make you think that you've been transported to Disneyland, or somewhere like that. They've done a lot with the area in the last few years, but to be fair, much of the surrounding area is, uh, less-than-fashionable. This is still a serious working-class neighborhood. No, I've never seen homeless people wandering around, or anything like that, but you would be wise to stay in the Catlin Court area, and don't wander off.

I've gone to the Catlin Court area many times and I've never seen it all that crowded. There's a great big parking garage nearby but I've never seen a use for it. I recommend that you park at 58th Avenue just north of Palmaire. Every once in a while they have special events, which I used to go to when I drew caricatures, many years ago. You know the kind of thing where they close off streets and people walk around eating cotton candy.

But you can go there anytime you want to, and time-travel. Most of the homes there are from the 1920s, and have a wonderful "small town picket fence" feeling. If you have time, I recommend getting an ice cream cone at Papa Ed's Ice Cream. It's behind 7646 N. 58th Avenue, in what had originally been a garage built in the 1950s. I like to sit back there, listen to the birds, and sometimes hear the whistle of a train going by. There's something of a "secret garden" feeling back there, just away from everything.

So there you go. I've gone to places like this ever since I started getting the "L.A. Hee-Bee-Jee-Bees" in my twenties in California, where everything seemed to be so big, so crowded, so overwhelming. Of course now I know it was always just me, but these secret places are the best medicine for my nervous anxiety. Highly recommended. And get the rocky road in a waffle cone, and bring me along!

Photo by Susan Romley Moranz. Used with permission.

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