This morning I’m working at Giant Coffee and enjoying the view of the green-gray Phoenix Art Museum in the background, the CVS sign which is thankfully draped over by a beautiful Palo Brea tree, and of course integral to the Phoenix landscape, the cars zipping by, silently. I noticed a little while ago a coffee drinker stepped outside and sat on a bench at the Cancer Survivor’s Park. And it occured to me, well, isn’t that wonderful? Having the lovely Cancer Survivor’s Park right out there to be enjoyed by us coffee drinkers when we need to make a phone call or just need a moment to clear our minds.
In the past, before Giant Coffee, the Cancer Survivor’s Park was just a strange gateway to get to the Burton Barr Library in your car. It has always been, in my mind, a thoroughfare, a place you used to get to other places, not necessarily a place to be enjoyed for itself. Well all of a sudden, having spent quite some time sitting on its sidelines, inside Giant Coffee, unconsciously experiencing it as an actual place, it’s been transformed into this wonderful softening buffer between me and the egregious CVS parking lot. And that tree, you know, the one blocking my view of the CVS monument sign, well, it’s so beautiful it’s like a magnet for my eyes. Every time I look up from my computer, my eyes naturally wander over to this gorgeous tree and I’m reminded of where I am again and any stress eminating from my computer screen melts away.
It’s a symbiotic relationship, that of Giant Coffee and the Cancer Survivor’s Park. Both make each other what they are, without one, the other would be just a shadow of the lively experience it is today. Which brings me to the point, sometimes all a node in our city is missing is a small ingredient to activate it. It’s not big moves that make a city fantastic. It’s the small adjancencies, the small businesses, the views, our presence, the trees, the accidental encounters that create spark.
Note: Part II of my interview with Councilman Mattox will be up tomorrow.
Photo Credit: The Cancer Survivor’s Park. Photo by the author.Tags: activation, Burton Barr Library, Cancer Survivor's Park, giant coffee, nodes