Jobot Wasnt Just A Space Ship

(put this on 1st, I’ll explain why later)

I did actually consider writing some short story dystopian fiction for the downtown devils Jobot eulogy page post with some reflective glimpses of the now as postcard moments gathered around by intense conversations… but with the eclipsing deadline and distaste for the medium (not that I think ASU is the devil of downtown, but I would be lying if I said less than 4 of my artist friends did) I am opting to do my own post. Of course everyone is encouraged to get on board here and construct whatever the hell they please (please do!), like always.. with that said, here goes…

Jobot closing is kind of a big deal. Like a death in the family, we are left with the construction of recent memories only to be able to think back fondly, believing that we were still in the middle of constructing new ones. Except the somber mood that hangs over 5th street like a cloudy Xmas, has us all coming closer and closer to the realization that these days are the last, of some sort. Of course Lost Leaf, Melt, Buried Treasure, Lawn Gnome, Buds Glass Joint, and Made still stand on 5th street, but there are so many more places that have already fallen that in some ways, Jobots closure feels like the end of an era. And indeed it is.
The word from Jobot and John, that we were all waiting for, is that the bar in the shed is now open. That there is alleyway seating in the dopest alley in town. That Sagasta has activated another spot on the block and that the social structure could legally seep into the space between the most vibrant walls in the city and that Colton was serving up experimental mixed drinks and handing them over an unfinished plywood bar. Instead the message sounds like it comes from another crazy landlord, eyes glazed over, trying to cash in their chips before the last hand is dealt.

We all knew it was coming. Long before the Vikings wanted our land, the energy and interest were headed in the wrong direction. It was the closing of Perihelion, of Pravus. Of Tumbleweeds and DIG. It was UM and 11th Monkey. Conspire and Dr. Joe. It was Celtic Arts and 515. It was the purchase of the Think! building and the flames it went up in shortly after. The ripple of economic transitions are washing over the area once again though this time they are uprooting a ship that most of us thought would stay for many years to come. The combination of Jobot and Lost Leaf meant that you could hang around 5th street all day, sometimes sharing from each others bars and wifi. It was the 1st place travelers would visit. It was a 2nd home. A great place to be a 3rd wheel. The 4th stop on the Art Link Shuttles. This was 5th street. Until today.

As far as keeping to the mission at hand, of describing the memories, the highlights and lowlifes that were a part what made Phoenix shine during this most epic era, please allow me to pause here and wrap it up in one word:
Intersectionality.
Specifically of local underground cultural icons. Dont get me wrong. There are cool people everywhere… but somehow Sagasta was able to lure a diverse variety of eclectic musicians, artists, poets, deejays, chefs, bakers, stylists, and scenesters into serving drinks and flipping crepes at 918 N. 5th street.

Lets see… as far as memories… and believe me, many of mine are blurred though there is definitely moments of lucidity… the overnight roadtrip to California John took to get the first crepe burner…the night me and Andy from Hooves (this is who you should be playing by now) were there listening to only bands with Black in the title… working nights with DJ Matty P before he would cut out to play some underground party somewheres…when we developed 5th street fiction…( the idea of writing fictional stories woven through our hangouts)…

The FMLY fest that Playboy Manbaby’s front man, Robbie Pfeffer / Tempe Starving Artist put together that centered around 5th street and Jobot, but bounced all up and down Roosevelt… watch the video of them at Cartel, below

…brainstorming with Aaron Johnson about zine ideas and treasure hunt projects… the 3 hour scavenger hunt that Aaron and I put together for the YMCA that included lots of public art that started and stopped at Jobot… ¬†arguing with Billy and Niki about what music to play… Mimosas before they were on the menu (oh wait, did they ever get on the menu?!)… daytime spliff sessions in the backyard…homies on the constant serve yourself status (looking at you Djent, Robyn, and Logsdon)… putting together the Tiny Couch Concerts with Lauren Farrah before the wall came down (when one of us would slack, the other had it worked out… I think we had 10 concerts, Hunger Artists, Ari, Travis, damn who else?… I still have all the videos but I only posted ¬†3…shit, make that 2) and her dad telling me how great of a platform it was for her…

I remember working with DJ Shane Okouchi who now lives in Brooklyn but would travel back and forth between Phoenix and Hawaii, Stoneypie and how Azsa still considers her the caakooee girl… I remember Sean from AJJ casually asking me about my policy on putting knives in the sink full of water based on cutting himself ( I didnt put it in there btw, and it was a rule to not do it), also interviewing AJJ for Pholx inside of Jobot

…Robyn serving drinks in a bikini top…working with Carson when he was talking about starting up a pizza shop on Grand Ave (congrats on 2 years, expanding, and much respect for hiring the local artists with projects!)…Tristan Jemsek on drinks, arguably the nicest guy in the scene, watch his band Dogbreth here

… Erin and her cute hand drawn 1st official Jobot menu before she handle the Social Justice program at ASU and moved to Philly…Liam from Liam and the Ladies who was going thru culinary school at the time, keeping local SKA alive, and is now at his 2nd restaurant the Coronado where he serves an all vegetarian menu and has a number of former Jobot employees working for him (I’m still gonna hit you up about doin music for an animated show…sometime)…I remember doing an overnight after drinking and partying…squishing back and forth across people behind the skinny-ass bar… I remember when Travis Onemanband was “living” in the shed…or the time he passed out in the chair in the backyard during the day…when Mike Little was skate sailing with ads through the hood, or painting live across the street, up the street, down the street…I remember a season of waking and working with Aydin Immortal (of Wolvves, see below)…before that when Randal and Casebeer were steady painting next door… or when Randal worked there with a Heineken in hand…

the robot art show
http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/arts/jobot-seeking-submissions-for-robot-art-show-on-third-friday-6579311 (Sorry, couldnt find the post link so heres the pre-link)
… the mandala art show.. JJ Horners art show… Peter Votichenkos art show…every 1st friday…when we got a keg for my bday in the shed and my dad showed up…when John 1st got the heaters… the Pink Slip poetry on the patio… when Yazzie lived across the street but wasnt allowed in Lost Leaf… when John let me RSS feed my nonsense through the Jobot website… when we did the Jobot Jars… when they started serving beer… when I was able to leave and quit doing dishes…when beats and brunch started…no.no…when it was crackin… when Just Chris became the resident DJ for 1st Friday…when we had the Jobot Pirate flags done… when we served tacos with an egg on each one…the sober enough policy…when my latte art was on point…when you could buy spray paint at 5th street Paint Supply…showbot at Jobot…when Niki was working the bar …when Niki started doing shirts…when Lyndsey was baking…when John was talking about opening a smoke spot in the back…the Paint Phoenix block party when Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra was playing… the Paint Phoenix block party when Drunken Immortals were playing… the buffalo chicken nachos at Nachobot… when that large speaker was playing on the patio of Jobot…when we loc’d the Jobot Limo Golf Cart around for the Super Bowl weekend and it felt like the city hired a 2nd sun of light to watch over the night…

I remember people getting tired of my conversating with every customer…I think thats when it all went to shit…when I wasnt able to have 5 minute convos with every rando…I mean, dont all the businessmen and power women wanna hear about how numbers are self-organized? Really tho…the shops need the business, the business that pushes up the rent and the shops out… Just an endless cycle we got to be a part of…

yeah Jobot was cool for all types, there was space for just about everyone there… shit, this is kind of a big deal.

theres just so much… its hard to wrap it up in a post…

It feels kinda like we all just got kicked out of our house while we were coming down off of an acid trip (wouldnt be my 1st, or 2nd time), and while the severity is still setting in, we are all kicking it wondering where the next super chill hangout spot will be or what Sagasta wants to do next… its definitely cause for reflection. Its also worth mentioning as a side note that we are but a few days away from the end of the year, the Firehouse gallery is also closing, and a 70 yr old Orange reality show internet troll is headed to the Oval Office.

I left 5th street as a worker a few years back and when I stop by I usually just check in at Flowers now, but sadly that is headed out as well …but I have taken some of the energy and ideas with me, and I hope that more of us will take what we love home with us, to our neighborhoods, to our friends and families, to our next projects. It is true, its less of a location, and more of a frame of mind.
Definitely thankful for being a part, for John’s business sense, his party sense (we straight walked into a sold out show a few weeks back), for his ability to organize, and for all the cool ass mofo’s that were drawn to Jobot on both sides of the counter…
towards the future friends.

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