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Interview with Chris Nieto: Part II

Rachel CaryComment
"...Rachel and I started the Arizona Love project (a.k.a. loyal to the soil). We didn’t invent anything, we just wanted to show our pride for the city, and a simple way for others to do the same."

Q:

What do you think sets Phoenix apart from other major cities?

A:

'Generations' mural in Phoenix by JBAK photo: jbakonline.wordpress.com

'Generations' mural in Phoenix by JBAK photo: jbakonline.wordpress.com

To me, Phoenix is different in that it is, again, a blank canvas, which naturally lends itself to being a place for entrepreneurial-ism to flourish, for ideas to spread. Phoenix is still a very young city and is becoming something very cool, one building, or business, or impactful person at a time. I encounter people, especially young people, who don’t understand Phoenix and cant wait to get out – for example, a person who feels she is here at the moment, but will ultimately transition to somewhere else, a real city - It is because of that person that Rachel and I started the Arizona Love project (a.k.a. loyal to the soil). We didn’t invent anything, we just wanted to show our pride for the city, and a simple way for others to do the same. Whenever I encounter somebody with the I wish I was somewhere else mindset, I never say anything or try and defend the city, but I usually get disappointed as, to me, Phoenix is a unique opportunity, a place in time, more than anything, where one could make a huge impact that would perhaps not be possible in other cities in the world.  Phoenix is one of the largest cities in the United States, yet there couldn’t be more access to game-changing opportunity anywhere else. Here, with enough drive and focus, one could be a big fish in a big pond. I hear it a lot that Phoenix will never be like a New York, San Francisco or Los Angeles. I totally agree. It will just be Phoenix and that is great! Over time it will take shape into the city we make it. Buildings will rise, the skyline will change, it will become more pedestrian. It will take time. Phoenix in my lifetime will be very different than the Phoenix my grandchildren inherit. That why it is all the more important to become involved and use your passion to advance the city. Phoenix has yet to find its identity, which makes living here at this point in time remarkably exciting. Young people are creating new businesses every day that will have lasting imprints on the city. Passionate people living here are being listened to. there are incredible opportunities here to make change and carve out niches.

The Max and Lucy building. Image courtesy of Chris Nieto

The Max and Lucy building. Image courtesy of Chris Nieto

2nd story of the LINK building at 1st & McDowell. Image courtesy of Chris Nieto

2nd story of the LINK building at 1st & McDowell. Image courtesy of Chris Nieto

The original headquarters of merzproject. Image courtesy of Chris Nieto

The original headquarters of merzproject. Image courtesy of Chris Nieto