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
Ice Skating at the Rockefeller Center in New York in ’09
When I was in Chicago earlier this year, I must have eaten out three times a day just so I could try all the food that Chicago had to offer. The one place that I tried to fit in on my trip was this little chain sandwich shop called Potbelly. It didn’t work out for me because of time. But now Phoenix has opened a few Potbelly locations across the Valley. Potbelly Sandwich Shop got its start in Chicago at an antique store off Lincoln Ave. A couple started serving toasted sandwiches there until someone bought the store and turned it into a restaurant with the idea of selling their popular sandwiches. Now there are over 200 stores in the U.S. Potbelly is also known for their shakes and showcasing musicians. A girlfriend of mine and I attended their opening week at Cityscape. The employee recommended I try their popular sandwich The Wreck – salami, roast beef, turkey, ham and swiss cheese on fresh-baked bread. Of course I loaded it with peppers too and got a bowl of soup. I was really impressed! I loved that they had live music from a local artist as well going on in the background.
The Strand Urban Italian is a restaurant nestled in Phoenix’s CityScape plaza. The Strand offers a fast-casual experience where diners order at the counter, find a seat and are served their meal within 10 minutes. Well..not really. We had a large crowd of us from Phoenix One that took over the restaurant, so our order took a bit longer than that. But they do donate $2 from each pizza ordered to Phoenix One. I order the sausage and mushroom pizza and had a great time with good friends. We walked here from our church event and enjoyed the beautiful lights of downtown Phoenix.