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Clay and soil

I got up early this morning so I could bike to the Downtown Phoenix Farmer's Market. One of the market stalls contains baklava sold by a Syrian refugee organization, so I bought some and it served as my delicious, delicious ride food. I also got assorted vegetables, a pair of basil plants, and some tasty, locally-produced mesquite honey.

Then I set my sights on my next destination: Marjon Ceramics. It's located in a distant-enough pocket of Phoenix that I'd never made the effort to go and visit previously. However, what with convincing my officemates to sign up for ceramics, and the closure of Wet Paint, our local Tempe art shop, it seemed time for a visit.

Weighing the various options, I decided to head up 3rd Ave to the Grand Canal, as it looked like Marjon's would be a short jog down from the canal.

Well. I'm reminded of what it was like when I once tried to follow the Western Canal to the west: the passable portion ends just before the I-10 freeway. The same is true for the Grand Canal, which dead-ends at the I-17 freeway. The water keeps going, the people cannot.

Now I know.

So, time to backtrack. The next-closest I-17 crossing point looked like Thomas Rd. All I can say about that is, blargh, I went for the sidewalk and I didn't die. I dislike Thomas. There are a lot of businesses located along Thomas, but they're unpleasant to get to because the road is wide and very busy with lane after lane of fast-moving motor traffic. It's really not safe to ride in the road on streets like that because it isn't the car right behind you, it's the tailgating car behind THEM that's going to cause a nasty accident.

Anyway. Marjon's was suitably fun, and I enjoyed the chance to ogle kilns and all of the prefabricated bisqueware for sale. They also had an excellent selection of books and tools. Highly satisfying.

They're in a totally unassuming building, in an unassuming industrial area, with a totally unassuming sign, which notes that they're over 60 years old. Historic, for Arizona.
Marjon Ceramics - since 1952

To get home, instead of repeating the wretched ride along Thomas, I headed slightly further west, then south, then east along Jefferson back to downtown Phoenix. Much better for bicycling, although those Phoenix neighborhoods don't seem like an especially pleasant area to live in - tired, old houses, dirt yards, few trees.

As I headed through downtown Phoenix, I happened to go past this intriguing building:
Monroe St Abbey, downtown Phoenix

...which is apparently a historic old church (rebranded the "Monroe St. Abbey") that's been gradually getting turned into a multi-use space with restaurants and events and such.

When I got home, I managed to get the worm bin sorted (worms in bin, worm dirt for plants) and repotted a couple of plants just as it started to sprinkle. We didn't have much rain accumulate, but every drop does help, out here. If nothing else, it cut down on the horrible amounts of pollen that have been lingering in the humid air.

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