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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Wildcat Road Trip: Mill Avenue

    I have mixed feelings about Tempe. More specifically, I have mixed feelings about Mill Avenue, which carries with it an experience slightly like walking on hot coals.

    If it all goes well, it’s an experience to remember. If something goes wrong, it’s an experience you’d like to forget as quickly as possible.

    Lucky for us five Tucsonans, Mill Avenue was glowing with the buzz of a fun night last Friday as we ventured to Tempe for a poetry slam.

    Scores of police officers paraded the streets on bikes, arresting the occasional drunk girl or religious zealot loitering outside of storefronts.

    To us, Mill seemed a combination of Tucson’s University Boulevard and Congress Street, with the occasional homeless man requesting spare change and scores of frat boys.

    But, in its defense, there are some pretty happenin’ places there, if you know where to look.

    One of my absolute favorite places to stop at while on Mill is a little place called Cookiez Ice Cream Sandwiches, 514 S. Mill Ave, No. 102.

    Here, ice cream lovers choose two cookies – sugar, oatmeal, peanut butter, etc. – and then choose a flavor of HÇÏagen Dazs ice cream to sandwich in the middle.

    Fresh baked every day (so proudly says the manager), the cookies are warmed before squished with the ice cream, creating a delicious collage of temperature and taste.

    Yum.

    And then there’s the poetry.

    The Mill Avenue slam takes place on the patio outside Roots Coffee House, 1020 S. Mill Ave.

    Fast-paced and fun, the slam on Mill Avenue is similar to other slam poetry competitions, although it often gathers a variety of poets from other Phoenix suburbs, creating a mini-battle of the greater Phoenix area.

    Judged by five randomly selected audience members, poets are scored on a scale of 1-10 for two, sometimes three, rounds of poetry, after which the highest scoring poet of the night wins. Often, the prize is momentary fame and glory. But, if you’re lucky, the organizers may give you a cut of the money collected from audience members throughout the night.

    Although it is occasionally difficult to hear the poets on stage with cars and drunken buffoons driving by yelling things, there is something to be said about an outdoor reading.

    The atmosphere was fun, the weather was cool and overall, everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves.

    That is, until we walked past a woman wearing a sign that said “”sex for $1,”” and a creepy man started following us trying to get us to listen to the word of God.

    Guess the freaks are everywhere.

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