A week in Phoenix as seen in 6 hours

It has been a long time since I have stopped by My Purple Sky but it hasn’t been for lack of stories, in fact life and work have kept me busy and on the move collecting more adventures.

Still full and a little sleepy from my Thanksgiving feast I jetted off immediately to Phoenix for a week of work at the Biltmore Hotel. Miraculously for an on site work week I had more than just one night off for dinner outside the make shift office, I had an entire few hours to explore and see one of the sites of the city.

It has always been a joke between my sister and I, that I have traveled to upwards of twenty countries and a good part of the North East including entire summers in the Berkshires and Westport Connecticut. Yet with all of that far flung travel I have seen little of the United States, that is except for when I drove coast to coast in 5 days with my godmother Annie and her partner Mary; but other than Cheyenne WY by dawn, and Salt Lake City by noon and Iowa City by night fall, we did not see much of the country other than the breathtaking and expansive scenery off of I-80. With all of this travel I have neglected the part of the country my sister has spent the better part of her youth visiting once a year – the deserts of Arizona and New Mexico. Since my sister could first make comparisons about our two travel lives she has always said “but you haven’t seen Arizona…I can’t believe you have been to Bali but you have never seen Arizona…” Well I may not have seen much on my six days on site but I can now say to my little nugget “I have seen the sunrise in Arizona. I have seen the mountains envelope and surround the city of Phoenix and the rosy light of dusk, I can now imagine the rocks in silhouette against brilliant midnight skies with stars of vibrant light and the glowing silver sliver of a phosphorescent moon, I know the feel of the desert cool winter air with a cactus in bloom.” Next time nugget I hope to see more and maybe even see more of it with you – a road trip, and some good chuckles among sisters.

With the few hours I had off I went straight for the HEARD MUSEUM, Carol Sue had recommended I check it out and I am so glad I did. The HEARD MUSEUM is dedicated to the art and culture of Native Americans and specifically the original culture of New Mexico and Arizona. I was taken away by the art especially the modern art and by the artwork by school children of the Hopi and Navajo. I was horrified and humbled to learn a part of the American History too often neglected and am ashamed to say I was ignorant to, and that is the boarding school experience of Native Americans up to and through this past century. I felt closer to my Swim teacher from summer camp who worked much of her dedicated life with the Diné people of Big Mountain and their struggle to keep their land. Big R this one is for you.

Intertribal Greeting, 2003 – by Doug Hyde

Waiting for the Bus (Anadarko Princess), 1977 – T.C (Tommy Wayne) Cannon

For our dinner out of the office Bari accomplished checking off one of those important Life List moments, with myself and two other friends we journeyed to Pizzeria Bianco. Well worth the life list placement we started with a tickle of the palette and some salads, only to feel better about  the real reason for the visit and that is some of the BEST pizza in the United States. We savored four pizzas – a classic Margherita, the Biancoverde a sumptuous white pie with arugula, and my favorite the Rosa (this is a specialty to Pizzeria Bianco) with red onion, Parmigiano Reggiano, rosemary, and pistachios (ahhhh the unexpected splendor of it).

Before heading out after our last day of work we had one final meal worth noting for anyone making a quick trip or a long stay to Phoenix, and that was at True Food Kitchen. I couldn’t have found a better way to end a week of non stop work than this meal, True Food Kitchen is based on the principle of simple, sustainable, “true food”. They work to be as organic, as local, as seasonal as possible – could I love anything more…I don’t think so. We had a hamachi appetizer that was so good we ordered a second before finishing our fist, I had a salad (look for a future post I have already been trying out variations in my kitchen) with greens, farro, Manchego cheese, and other seasonal delectables.

It may have been brief, and packed with long work hours, but it accomplished a few exciting things Pizzeria Bianco off of Bari’s life list (it was an honor to be a part of this) and my sister can no longer say – “you’ve been to Panama twice but haven’t been to Arizona”. Ok so now she has started with “Your going to Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam and you still haven’t been to New Mexico…”. I am holding that one for you nugget – you me a convertible car (or a Matrix) and a few great restaurants. We could even aim for the Grand Canyon, I so want to hike that!!

Love from the road and home again,


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12 2010

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  1. 1

    OMFG that pizza. While you are in freakin Laos or wherever I am heading back to phx for another work trip and can’t wait! Ill have a slice or 2 for ya 🙂 (maybe 3?)

  2. Camila #

    Ra,that sounds great. I’m glad you finally made it to Arizona and I am excited for our future adventures.

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