Much to my own dismay, I hadn’t been to a First Friday event in a very long time. So Friday I promised myself I would make it no matter what, and I did (even though I had homework to do)! I went with my roommate Rachel and it was the most fun I’ve had at First Friday in a while so, of course, I had to share it with the universe.
We started off with the Downtown route and made our first trip to the Latino Arts & Culture Center on Adams Street. Every nook and cranny was filled with vibrant colors, traditional art, and jewelry. There was also a healthy mix of Native American things as well. We spent most of our time checking out the jewelry but as we were on our way into the adjoining room, I fell in love at first sight with a Frida Kahlo wallet that was dangling from one of the racks. There was no price tag on it so we checked with the guy at the counter and he said the wallets were $24 but he let me have it for $20! I also bought a cool skull bead bracelet.
After that, we headed to Roosevelt Road to see all the vendors, check out the band, and eat some good food. After I ate the best indian fried bread ever, we passed by one tent with the most creepy, unusual and fantastic artwork. Tom Deadstuff makes what can safely be called oddities: some are interactive, like the gypsy ouija board, and some are lockboxes too. Tom himself wasn’t there but his kids were and his son was front and center, explaining in astonishing detail his dad’s work. I though it was great how involved he was in his dad’s work. If I had enough disposable income, half of these would’ve been in the trunk of my car.
As we made our way down Roosevelt, we stopped in at a cozy place called Jazz in AZ (I’m definitely going back there), participated in an interactive art experiment in another gallery, and signed a petition to get Joe Arpaio out of office (I’d sign it a thousand times, I swear). Across the street from the vendors, we even saw the 2011 ASU X-Square installation. Some of it was painted and had graffiti on it, which I kind of loved. I hope they keep it in the community because I’d like to see much it’s appearance changes over time.
Around ten, we decided it was time to mosey on home and since we were already on Central, we decided to walk back to the Phoenix Art Museum. As a result of a slight lax of judgment and wonky sense of direction, we ended up walking in the opposite direction. Thankfully, we realized it before we got too far, but we had to make like Speedy Gonzales to get to the light rail stop before the train left and ended up running through some green lights. All in all, I had an awesome time, and if I learned anything from that night is that no matter how many times I go downtown, I’ll always manage to get lost.