America's Best Secret Neighborhoods
© Melissa Hartley
Roosevelt Row, Phoenix, AZ
Then: Boarded-up buildings and drug dens, in a historic area just north of downtown.
Now: In 2002, artists began reclaiming abandoned buildings as studio space. Soon a light-rail, scheduled to open in December 2008, will stop right in the area’s heart, providing easy access to local happenings like the First Fridays art walk, which attracts more than 20,000 people from throughout the metropolitan area to the neighborhood’s 100-plus exhibition spaces.
Don’t Miss: A fried-egg sandwich with fritters—and a side of gossip—at the Welcome Diner, an eight-seat, artist-designed, all-metal restaurant-on-wheels.