Exploring the history of Phoenix, Arizona, just for fun. Advertising-free, supported by my patrons on Patreon. Thank you!

What Phoenix and Los Angeles used to look like - wide open spaces


Since I collect photos of old Phoenix, many people ask me if I have a photo of what it used to look like, before a particular building was built, or a road, or a freeway, or whatever. And it's the same with my collection of photos of Los Angeles. But I really don't have a lot of photos of that sort of thing, only because it's strange to take photos of "nothing". So while I was waiting for my dentist's appointment last week, I walked out of the building and did a very strange thing - I took a photo of nothing. That is, what the area next to the dental office looks like now, in 2019, so that I will have a photo of what it looked like before more buildings are built.

Phoenix still has a lot of wide open spaces. Standing there you can see waaay out to the mountains. I like that feeling, it's as if I can breathe easier. Of course, most of the people around me when I took that photo were enclosed in buildings, or cars. I'm sure that they wondered what in the world I was taking a photo of? And if I said "wide open spaces", I doubt that they would understand. But I know that you do.

I've lived in the Phoenix, and Los Angeles area all of my adult life. And I know that what I see is something that is very different from what most people see. I understand that most people see buildings, and cars, and traffic lights. I see wide open spaces, the way that these cities used to be, and still are. If you walk with me, and stand next to me, I'll show it to you.

Image at the top of this post: Looking southwest towards the Estrella Mountains at 51st Avenue and Olive, March 2019, Glendale, Arizona. To see this, all you have to do is to turn around from the dentist's office.

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