May 8, 2017, Cave Creek-
In my thirty-three years of Arizona life, I had never been to the oft-celebrated, sometimes kitschy, seemingly quiet but artfully shimmering oasis that is downtown Cave Creek. The southwest is filled with these kinds of places. I live in one, and have been to several others. Each has its share of solid, hardworking artistes, and several have kitsch galore.
After a routine dental check-up, I got a message to visit here, whilst at my beloved’s grave. These notions almost always lead me to a special place, and to increased personal insight. Today was no exception.
Local Jonny’s is at the south end of a one-mile stretch that makes up Cave Creek’s arts and entertainment district, aka “downtown”. It’s attached to “world-famous” Flat Tire Bike Shop, so one could have his bike fixed, whilst savouring a breakfast burrito and cup of delectable brew-of-choice, or carry a cup of java around, whilst selecting her very next entry into Tour de France.
When it was my turn to order, the counter attendant, Hannah, looked me in the eye, as if to say, “It’s about time you showed up !”, and cheerfully took my order. She had a large, exquisite, Flat Tire Burrito and sumptuous coffee on my table, within five minutes. Jonny’s is one of those places, like The Raven Cafe, Marino’s and Two Mamas, in Prescott, Macy’s European Coffee House and Toasted Owl, in Flagstaff, and Sun Flour Market, in Superior, where if one feels not at home, it’s not the fault of the house. The ladies told me that Cave Creek is just that kind of place, as a whole, from end to end.
After my early lunch, it was time to check out the A & E. Cave Creek reminds me, a lot, of Bisbee, Mesilla Park and Laredo, in the number of metallic art shops, selling all manner of animal figures, made from cast-off steel, iron and copper.
Disneyesque Frontier Town opts for wooden figures.
Essentially, the love and sense of fun, that is exuded here, is not to be bottled up and stored in a cave.
So, I found that Local Jonny’s, and a dozen other places around town, could easily answer the question posed by another visitor:
I’ll be back, time and again.