| Courtesy of Laurie Notaro|
|A portrait of Laurie Notaro's former house in dowtown Phoenix. Notaro bought the piece, by local artist Gary Butler, during a neighborhood fundraiser. |
Years before we actually met Laurie Notaro, we knew of a filing cabinet in the basement offices of Arizona State University's State Press where someone Sharpied, long ago, "Laurie Notaro threw up here."
This week, in the print edition of New Times, you'll find our Resolution Guide that's filled with stories and lists dedicated to a (often tough) resolution: loving this city. You can check out the online collection here. We also figured we'd ask a living Phoenix legend what she loves about this place, even though she no longer technically lives in Phoenix. (She does seem to visit an awful lot, though.)
Here's why Laurie Notaro loves Phoenix:
5. The ghosts of Mill Avenue Past and trying to figure out what used to be where, and pointing out places where I threw up or took sobriety tests:
If you ever really want to ruin something and destroy it forever, make sure it develops a vibrancy of its own and becomes like no place else. Eventually, the city council of your choosing will see it in a magazine they've picked up by accident or run across some dipshit blog that mentions it (the traitor will probably be a dipshit blog mention, since the Internet is the Uncoolest. Thing. Ever. And you know it.)
Then there will be meetings about where the McDonald's, Hooter's, and My Big Fat Stupid Restaurant should go to boost property taxes and thus shut down every place that made the corner of the city worth going to. Welcome to Mill Avenue, the most Shameful Place in Arizona besides the drawer in which the governor keeps her teeth.
Even the gas station where I took my first sobriety test is gone (corner of Mill Avenue and University). Try to find where 6 East used to be (hint: the storefront's empty); where Long Wong's patio was (hint: it's a dirt lot); the original spot of Changing Hands (hint: by press time, it could feasibly be a Pita Pit of a Subway but it usually has a "For Lease" sign in the window) or, for shits and giggles, even where the McDonald's used to be (because even that went out of business).
4. Refried beans made with lard:
For some odd reason, Arizona and Oregon seem to be conducting a population swap: Everyone with skin cancer and salty perspiration stains on their clothes wants to go there, and everyone who has to sit in front of a HappyLight for 20 minutes every morning (hand raised) and has the Vitamin D levels of a corpse wants to come here.
But I will warn you that if you decide to make the change, there are tofu burritos in Oregon, and that's not all. They take out the lard and put unspeakable things in its place. I've seen broccoli burros, too, and veggie tacos with just cucumber and carrots. Check snopes.com. It's true. Beets and beans were never intended to mate, but their horrific mutation is on a menu two blocks from my house. Savor your animal fat, Phoenix. If I could wear it as perfume without attracting aggressive vegans, I would, but if someone will put cauliflower in a store bought tortillas and call it Mexican food, you don't want to push that button. Corn hurts when pelted.