William Eggleston is an American photographer. He is widely credited with increasing recognition for color photography as a legitimate artistic medium to display in art galleries. For my latest project, I needed to approach a space, study and analyze it and create a series of photographs that depict subject matter found in that space. Our inspiration is Eggleston’s The Democratic Forest – a book that he put together of a sequence of images that form an autobiographic narrative. I decided to do this project at 8th Day Coffee & Culture – a coffee shop in downtown Phoenix that I spend a lot of time at. You can read my most recent full post of 8th Day Coffee here.
You can tell it’s the holidays in downtown Phoenix by all the decorations that are going up. I grabbed some coffee at 8th Day and then headed down to the art walk for First Friday. I really enjoyed seeing all the Christmas lights and the people all dressed up warm for the cold weather. One of my favorite things to watch this time of year is the ice skating rink at Cityscape. Situated next to their large Christmas tree, the ice skating rink offers some fun people watching moments. I had a blast strapping on the skates and hitting the ice.
Ice skating at Cityscape in Downtown Phoenix
Already a huge hockey fan, my fascination with outdoor ice skating started in Atlanta in 2007. I was at an event with my friend Shauna and we made a promise to each other to ice skate at the outdoor rink in Centennial Park before we left. But because of our tight schedule, it never happened. Then I had another chance to do it there with my girlfriend Ashleigh and once again it never happened. I was determined to skate on an outdoor ice skating rink in a cold weather city. I took my kids once at the Del in San Diego, but ice skating on the beach in San Diego just wasn’t the same. So Ashleigh finally took me skating at the Rockefeller center in New York. It was kind of a childhood dream come true after years of watching scenes of people skating there on TV. It was short-lived because I had a foot injury, but worth it. I’m looking forward to finally skating in Centennial Park next month when I visit Atlanta.
Ice Skating at the Del in San Diego with my kids in ’07
I love hanging at 8th Day Coffee & Culture. It’s one of my favorite coffee shops in town. They have great art and great coffee. But what makes them so awesome is their baristas. I’ve gotten to know many of them personally and appreciate how welcoming they are. I had a short stint as a barista and know what it takes to take care of your customers. Shane, Bruce, Amber, Daniel, Juliana, Charith and Elijah – they are all amazing people and I’m thankful for having them in my life. You make my experience at 8th Day unique and rewarding.
8th Day Coffee & Culture has a display of art that I’ve really grown to love – vinyl art. My friend Juliana and another artist likes to paint on old records. Eighth Day displays them on their walls. I will admit I would like to try my own hand at painting on vinyl.
8th Day Coffee & Culture had their silent auction and fundraiser tonight. Several local artists displayed their artwork and many donations were given for the auctions. It was a packed house both nights as artist like Junk Ditch Road and Amber Hunter played music to the crowd. I love seeing the Phoenix culture embrace places like this.
I stopped in for my evening latte with some friends. I was excited to win some auctions (I never win anything..). I won some bags of Thousand Hills coffee and groceries for an Italian dinner from Fresh and Easy. I also picked up Amber Hunter’s Freedom Steps album.
8th Day Coffee & Culture is the newest coffee-house in downtown Phoenix. They have partnered with Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee Company and serve 100% Arabica, community-traded coffee from Rwanda, Haiti, and Thailand. They are also the first coffee shop to bring community-traded coffee to the Phoenix area. On the weekends they showcase live music and local art and on Sundays, St.Georges Anglican Community meets here for worship. It’s been an answer to prayer for me to discover this place as I have partnered with Thousand Hills coffee for some time. I’m excited to see community-trade coffee being served here in the Valley and strategically it’s located in a great place being in the arts district. Drink coffee, Do good.