Day 1 of Phoenix Visit Defined by Cold Weather, Cotton Candy

Met with unseasonably cool weather in Phoenix as I arrived on Day 1 of a five-day trip to Arizona State University.

PHOENIX–  Day 1 of the visit to Arizona’s capital city was definitely a day of  three words that start with a “C”-  Cold,  Cotton Candy.

A view of downtown Phoenix from 15 stories up. Despite the cold conditions on New Year’s Day, this breathtaking view was enough to forget the shivers for a minute.

I’ll save the description of the latter until the end of this first update from Phoenix where the Scripps-Howard Journalism Entrepreneurship Institute kicks off this afternoon at Arizona State University’s Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

phoenixfilingsThe New Year’s Day cross-country flight ran on time and soon as I exited Phoenix’s Sky Harbor Airport, the cool air hit me.   I said “wow, this doesn’t feel like the warm, resort city that is often viewed as a desirable bowl game destination.”

Ran into both Oregon and Kansas State fans at the airport as they were coming in town for the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Arizona on Thursday night.

Most of the fans were wearing sweaters, but at least according to some of the news reporting Tuesday,  not complaining about the 40-degree weather here as they came from much worse winter conditions in Oregon and Kansas.

As for me and the weather adjustments,   I spent much of the afternoon changing hotel rooms looking for one that was bearable without a coat.  The heater clearly does not get used here very often.

Finally one of the staffers at the hotel, which I’ll not name here, admitted that many of rooms had not been used in several weeks as this is a very slow season.

So, it’s no wonder that I entered two different rooms with air conditioners blasting and heaters that were struggling to bring the conditions to at least 68 degrees.

The District Restaurant in downtown Phoenix specializes in American cuisine. Cotton candy was one of its specialities. I can’t say I’ve had cotton candy since I was a child going to the State Fair of Virginia with my dad.

After warming out, I ventured out to a local restaurant known for its American cuisine.   That’s where I encountered the Cotton Candy.  It was a parting gift after a most memorable seafood meal.

I’m looking forward to what the next four or five days here will bring.

Author: George Daniels

George L. Daniels is an associate professor of journalism at the University of Alabama. After spending eight years in the local television newsroom working as a producer at stations in Richmond, Virginia; Cincinnati, Ohio; and Atlanta, Georgia, Daniels moved from the newsroom to the classroom. He’s conducted research on diversity issues in the media workplace and change in the television newsroom as well as media convergence. Before going to work in television news, Daniels worked briefly as a freelance writer for The Richmond Free Press in his hometown of Richmond, Va.

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