One of the oddest streets in the Southwest is Grand Avenue in Phoenix. William Murphy in 1888 faced grave financial problems. He had started a sugar beet factory with investor money from back east. It quickly failed. The investors wanted their money back. Cash poor but land rich, Murphy needed a way to develop his land holdings and keep unhappy investors at bay. His solution, build a diagonal road into the desert from downtown Phoenix to his property. It would be a leap of faith, a great vision, one that would tie the future of the valley together. Murphy thought, why not call it "GRAND AVENUE." His vision of a palm tree lined road with luxury development on each side never came true. Today the road is full of quirkiness and rawness that has it's own appeal. The arts community flourishes along part of Grand Avenue and the low profile buildings see new enterprises come and go. Trailer courts and modest motels are filled with the hopeful. Whatever you feel about Grand Avenue, you cannot ignore the spirit of the people along its way, the promise still alive, and the art of its just being there.