This Is My Chandler

“I am sick of having to look over my shoulder all the time. I want to live in a safer, gentler, happier world. What creature wouldn’t?” James Bowen from one of his fabulous books about his cat, Bob, and his recovery from heroin addiction.

Chandler, Arizona is my current residence. It. Is. Unique. Check us out sometime.

This is a page to applaud local businesses and humans whose mission is to be kind first. Let me know if you have more to add please!

Just in:


Ginger Monkey!

We can ride our bikes with our dog trotting along in about 2 minutes from our neighborhood to Ginger Monkey on Ocotillo Road. Driving takes 60 seconds with parking. If you decide to go on over to Ginger Monkey, ask for Madison! She is friendly, warm, hard-working, efficient and happy and the reason I’m including this tavern in my Kind Places to Visit in Chandler. Madison handled ‘difficult’ people with respect and dignity.

Ginger Monkey’s menu offers Drunken Sea Monkeys! Have not ordered these little guys yet, I’m allergic to fish, but I just love that Drunken Sea Monkey’s is a thing at all My friend, Ellen, said, “Drunken Sea Monkeys? Weren’t they everyone’s first pet and if you could keep those alive you could move on to a goldfish?” 

Sea Monkeys are exactly that! I think I had some and a quick search took me to Amazon where they are still being sold! Sea Monkey’s are actually small brine shrimp. Don’t eat one. Have the larger drunken ones instead. Maybe with a nice cold Kiltlifter.

Why Ginger Monkey exists: 

This neighborhood tavern delivers an unforgettable experience that builds long term relationships and friendships that will keep you coming back.

I hold Ginger Monkey, Drunken or not, high on my list of places to frequent when you could use some quality human connection. If you try a Sea Monkey, please let me know below in the comment section!

Support Box Lunch at Chandler Fashion Square! This store is a combination of business sense, whimsy, compassion and charity. Your fun purchase is donated to a local food bank. Plus the people that work there, are soooo darn nice! More on this cool place here. 

I hope you’ll take a minute and check them out! 

You could take a Lyft there!

Lyft is cool. Did you know:

Lyft gives free rides to cancer patients to and from treatments

Through their relief rides they give free rides during crises, for example; after the mass-shooting in Las Vegas, they gave rides to blood banks and hospitals, in the aftermath of natural disasters, and to veterans and low-income individuals.

In underserved communities they provided free rides to and from the polls on election day, and 50% off rides to companies that support voter turn out

You can round up and donate the cost of your ride to a charity of your choice with every ride you take and to date Lyft has donated over $10 million dollars

Lyft supports your local non-profit organizations through their community grants program

I get emails like this from Lyft: 

Hi Karen,

Five years ago, we started Lyft to spark moments of human connection – sometimes big, sometimes tiny. And now 2.5 million people come together every day in Lyft rides across the country, proving that people from all walks of life can positively impact each other’s day.

When your out and about and need a ride, think about calling Lyft first. You stand a chance of at least meeting another human being doing the best they can, right where they are.


Mogollon Moose!!!

I made a fabulous discovery that’s a bit hidden in Payson, AZ. I KNOW it’s not Chandler, but a lot of us go to Payson, or drive through Payson on our way somewhere else. 

Mogollon Moose is a coffee, bakery, yummy lunch gathering place. My husband, the-very-patient-man, and I stopped here for lunch a couple of weeks ago with Chewiethedog. Every employee was incredibly kind to our dog, and of lesser importance…to us.

We mostly interacted with Jordan. Jordan brought out water and bacon to Chewiethedog to our table on the back covered patio. That alone would’ve been enough for me to love this place, but when we came back the next day, right as they were closing, she happily served us coffee and treats and didn’t make us feel bad about running in when they were mopping floors. Jordan was warm and friendly, something that’s hard to be when anxious to end a day.

This place is eclectic and trendy and COMPLETELY DIFFERENT to any other business in Payson. At least in my experience. The food was fantastic! Chewie inhaled her bacon. I’m sure it was good, not that she’d notice.

We went to Payson to escape our desert heat and in search of hiking trails filled with fall colors. However, we only found the beautiful red leaves across the street from Mogollon Moose. If you’re passing through Payson, I highly recommend stopping here! Ask for Jordan and if I may offer a suggestion…it’s always better to be the first to be kind.

“Everything in our bakery/cafe is created with love from scratch by Executive Chef Kristi Church and team daily. Our goal is to bring healthier meal options to our home town of Payson, Arizona and provide food that people will feel good about eating!  Mogollon Moose of Payson”   


Back to Chandler now! Here is what I have grown to love/almost tolerate about living here:

ZZEEKS Pizza has fantastic pizza with gluten free crusts if that is something you need! Caulifllower or Broccoli-Cheddar. Plus, they have kind, empathetic employees. Need a place for the family to go on a Saturday night? Give them a visit.

Jenna Forbess, a Chandler mom sent this shout out in one of our neighborhood facebook pages, Living Chandler. This is just one, of soooooo many good things that happen every day in out community.

“A huge HUGE thank you to Zesty ZZeeks Pizza and Jody Pectal for making my toddler’s day. After practicing playing restaurant, she was SO excited to take her tour and make her own pizza! James was incredible with her and we are feeling overwhelmed by the kindness of our community. Thank you thank you thank you!” 


Historic Downtown Chandler, established in 1912, is the coolest place we have!  

The Brickyard in Downtown Chandler is like stepping back in time if the art of mixology existed a hundred years ago. My husband, The-Very-Patient-Man, and I went in on late on a Saturday night after he finished being clever at ImprovMania and we were greeted with welcoming smiles, immediate attention and a charming, clever bartender. Bobby the Bartender lit one of the best old-fashioned’s I’ve ever tasted, on fire. How to add fun to an ordinary date. Plus! They offer olives as an appetizer! This may not be huge to you, but I love olives. So much.

I’m thinking Jacob is the owner…and here is where he had me at hello, “My passion is to create an exceptional experience for every person that walks in.  I love hospitality and Chandler is my home.” Jacobs says. A business model that exemplifies goodness. Check it out when you need an adult outing. Ask for Bobby.

 Love this place!

The Perch Brewery is practically hidden, but if you find it, inside is a lush, brick-lined patio and rooftop bar. It is home to over 50 tropical rescue birds. This place is trendy, unique, and known for their tater-tots and craft beer. I love this place! It looks like Walt Disney moved into the bad part of town and dropped The Tiki Room down on an asphalt jungle. Plus, my youngest daughter has worked there for about 4 years.

At the other end of their parking lot sits Improvmania next door to Gangplank a think tank for entrepreneurs to create and connect. My husband, Keith, The Very Patient Man, is an Improvmaniac. Dave and Colleen Specht own and run this business. They are hilarious. You should go laugh some weekend night, because laughing is the key to happiness. Say hi to Keith or Dave or Colleen. Maybe stop by Gangplank first? They are a city funded company and offer up an important place to grow or create a business. Very cool.

In the basement of the ‘haunted’ The San Marcos Hotel is an unmarked speakeasy, The Ostrich, a neighborhood craft cocktail lounge. If you find it, once inside, you too, can have a signature cocktail made by a renowned mixologist for about the same price as the average Chandler mortgage payment. JK, it’s not that bad…It’s fun too, so worth it. Chandler has this love of Ostrich’s…I’m fairly certain it’s symbolic of something; a flightless bird that sticks it’s head in the sand…you can make your own opinion on this comparison. 

The square in the middle of Historic Downtown Chandler is home to the Tumbleweed Tree lighting ceremony the first week in December. It’s a Christmas tree made from hundreds of tumbleweeds. There’s a parade and a block party. It’s cute and small-town and brings families and businesses together and is a bit quirky, in the best possible way.

All things Historic Downtown Chandler:

√ Other stuff that you might like to know if you’re thinking about moving here:

It is the second safest place to live in Arizona. Gilbert, which is right next-door, is the safest place to live in almost anywhere.

Our neighborhood social media sites are full of the good things we do for each other here in Chandler and this positivity lifts up and over:

The constant state of road construction. Our motto is: If in doubt, dig it up.

The ‘dry heat’

The cactus and rock landscaping

The debilitating summer temperatures

The earth that has dried to the consistency of cement

Being essentially beige

Wearing oven mitts to drive

Oh, did I mention it’s hot?

The drivers here aren’t great. The roads are wide and long with traffic lights one mile apart. This is just enough distance to get up a good speed and choose to run red lights or slam on breaks. We have traffic cameras now and the number of fatalities has gone down a little. But, still, good to have a heads up while driving through an intersection here.

When we first moved here, I called a doctor’s office to ask for directions (before GPS) and the assistant, who was completely serious, said, “You’ll recognize it because it’s the beige stucco building.” As if this set the building apart…so there’s this mentality too.

That’s about it!

On the plus side:

♦     The overall crime rate in Chandler is 11% lower than the national average.

♦     For every 100,000 people, there are 6.91 daily crimes that occur in Chandler.

♦     Chandler is safer than 53% of the cities in the United States.

♦     In Chandler you have a 1 in 40 chance of becoming a victim of any crime.

√ Intel, a ginormous tech company lives at the end of our street. In February of 2017, they announced they were investing $7 billion to finish a factory, Fab 42, which will reportedly add 2,000 to 3,000 jobs when they finish construction in 2021.

What this means to most of us in Chandler, is that Fab 42 will bring more road ‘rehab.’ along with more neighbors! Intel  makes a significant impact in our community by making massive donations to Title 1 schools and providing backpacks and school supplies to under-served communities along with volunteering for their employees to be a part of their work day. Pretty cool.

√ The average income is $72,072. The schools are given a rating of B- by In my experience, my children had an okay to great experience from elementary to high school, which all were in walking distance. Nice.

√ Kindness is abundant here.

√ Reason enough to stay. And thrive.

This is CeCe. She lives in Downtown Chandler. Did not know she had a name.

The Ostrich is the Chandler Totem. A large, flightless bird or a person who refuses to face reality.

Well, there ya go.

I’d love to hear what quirky thing about your city that you find wonderful, or amusing, or gets in the way of your true destinations. Or more info on Chandler is always good! This post is about to become it’s own page to keep adding on to Chandler-isms.