The first event is the Places, Spaces and Faces Community Dinner. This event brings people together to share food, ideas and stories in historically or architecturally significant buildings in Phoenix. This monthly event was founded by Kathleen Bartolomei, Yuri Artibise and me and now is organized by two new community members every month. This month’s event was held at the Hotel San Carlos and featured a presentation by Robert Melikian, who’s family owns the hotel. Rob is a historian as well and the author of Hotel San Carlos (Images of America) and Vanishing Phoenix.
He spoke to us about the wonderful buildings in Phoenix from the territorial days up until the forties that have been torn down in the name of progress. I’ll talk about his book Vanishing Phoenix in an upcoming post. What struck me was how the city of Phoenix and its people were (and still are) so ready and willing to destroy our historic edifices and build something ‘new and shiny’ in their place. The problem is that this tear down mentality ends up completely erasing the past as if it were a stain on the present and future.
The other two events I went to this weekend are the Living Green Conference and the Awakening the Dreamer Symposium. The Living Green Conference is organized by the Phoenix Permaculture Guild and was at the Phoenix Zoo this year. The conference brought together resources and speakers to help people become better stewards of the earth. The Awakening the Dreamer Symposium was a presentation and discussion, created by the Pachamama Alliance on the current global crisis regarding the environment, spiritual fulfillment and social justice. The message from both these events was clear: that we must fundamentally shift our consumer-driven paradigm towards a cooperation-driven paradigm in order to address the global crisis.
While the presentation at the PSF community dinner focused on historic preservation and the other two events – the Living Green Conference and the Awakening the Dreamer Symposium – focused mainly on the environment, all three had the same message.
And that message is that because of our obsession with material wealth, always striving towards what’s newer and bigger, we end up destroying the true wealth that we already have. The throw-away culture that has lead to our environmental crisis is the very same problem as our tear-down mentality in Phoenix. What a waste! It’s time to stop the madness and reassess.
Here’s a link to that video I promised you.
Tell me what you think, I’d like to hear from you!
Photo Credit: A postcard of the Sahara Hotel in downtown Phoenix that is being torn down as we speak. Image from oldsads.org.Tags: awakening the dreamer, blooming rock, community dinner, hotel sahara, hotel san carlos, living green conference, pachamama alliance, phoenix, phoenix permaculture guild, places spaces and faces, robert melikian, taz loomans, vanishing phoenix