Jackalope Ranch: A Blog is Born

Categories: Culture News


jackalope manch.jpg
If you've lived here for more than 15 minutes, you've probably heard the joke.

What's the difference between yogurt and Phoenix?

Yogurt has culture.

Fuck that.

That was then.

And yes, there was a lot of then. We could -- and have -- written about this city's identity crisis (and worse) a lot. But lately we've noticed that Phoenix is coming into her own. And we don't know about you, but we'd rather talk about (and write about) that instead.

So we will. New Times already blogs all about news, music and food in this town. It's time for some culture. Whether it's funky Grand Avenue or swank Scottsdale -- intellectual pursuits or after-dark diversions -- bargains on vintage or the place to see cutting-edge contemporary art -- creative pursuits in the suburbs or great architecture downtown, we'll have it for you here.

With a healthy dose of gossip and a dash of snark. This is us, after all.   

Wondering about the name? Check out the artwork at the top of this post. It's by Valley native Allie Manch, created for last year's Best of Phoenix Wonderland Art Show. It's called "White Jackalope," a nod to the white rabbit, natch, embroidery on vintage fabric.

jackalope post card.jpg
Maybe it's just the fact that I stare at this piece all day (I scored it at the show, knew I had to buy it as soon as I saw it) but to me, there's a lot of jackalope in this town. 

Not just because of the western reference  (Who doesn't remember those old-fashioned postcards with the jackalope that you'd send to grandma in Pittsburgh as a joke?) although it's good to celebrate place. I hear people back on the wild west thing all the time; how often do you hear people in Portland, Oregon bitch about roses? Get out your cowboy boots, people. Hug a jackalope. 

No, the real reason is the idea of re-creation. Re-invention, re-imagining. Don't you see it? This city is constantly re-creating itself. And I don't mean the idea of building a brand-new Walgreens across the street from a perfectly good (in any other city) Walgreens, leaving an empty shell and a lot of waste.

Lilia Menconi
True, our critic didn't love this one. But that's the beauty of re-invention. Something else soon replaced it.
Think about downtown. How about that wall on the west side of eye lounge gallery, where painted murals go up and down on a regular basis, as bands come through town.

Or the smart repurposing of vintage buildings  -- we see it all the time now, particularly in cool central Phoenix restaurants like The Vig and The Parlor.  

The jackalope is a myth -- but Phoenix is becoming a reality, thanks to the creative types collaborating here, taking the city apart and putting it back together again to make something bigger and better, or at least more interesting.

We'll do our best to keep up with you, Phoenix.  

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