More About Christy Karras

Strippin’ Down in Phoenix

Whew! I’ve been too busy with promoting my books to write anything (seriously, anything!), but I’m back…

Motorcycle Touring in the Southwest came out in late winter, so off we went to the burgeoning metropolis that is Phoenix, Arizona, for Arizona Bike Week. Thanks to the folks who came to Chandler Harley-Davidson and Changing Hands Bookstore to see us!

Christy and Steve at Changing Hands

Christy and Steve, mugging with copies of the book at Changing Hands

Steve and I were in Phoenix a couple years ago, researching Motorcycle Touring in the Southwest, but we hadn’t spent much time in the city.
I imagine there may have once been a brief time when Phoenix was nice. It may have lasted ten years, maybe even twenty – sometime after the spread of air-conditioning but before the housing bubble. These days, Phoenix is a shining example of the worst kind of sprawl – miles and miles of McMansions cloistered behind fake-adobe walls.

And the strip malls! Every business in Phoenix seems to be housed in a long stuccoed  rectangle surrounded by an enormous parking lot.  And they all look pretty much the same. Even the hospitals looked as if they should include a liquor store.

And everything is so huge! The buildings are huge; the cars are huge. The city itself is unbelievably massive. We added 100 miles to the odometer on an errand that never took us out of the city’s northeastern quadrant.

We did manage to escape to the outskirts, where beautiful desert prevails. I always loved the desert, but I think I love it more now that I spend entire winters feeling as if I will never be dry and warm again. Riding the bike in Arizona, I felt the heat flow through my jacket and onto my skin. I felt completely dry. I felt downright dessicated. And it felt good.

Changing Hands Bookstore

Even Changing Hands, Phoenix's best indie bookstore, was in a strip mall. Fortunately, the inside is pure bookstore goodness.


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