Fair Trade Café, everyone’s favorite easygoing, organic coffeehouse at Roosevelt Square, is opening its second location at Civic Park on Friday, August 21. DPJ gives you a video sneak preview of the new digs below. Opening day festivities will include live music and entertainment and lots of coffee sipping. Here’s hoping they haul a few frittatas down 1st Avenue, too.
Something seriously funky is rattling a small studio on 7th Street just north of McDowell Road. Here, groups of youthful, bendy urbanites are dancing and stretching their way through “Rhythmic Funkamentals,” which combines yoga with funk choreography. This is a regular occurrence at SuTRA Midtown Yoga, which is redefining the stuffy, pretentious vibe most yoga studios throw off.
“We began exploring the concept for SuTRA back in 2006. It seemed the cost of health and fitness was getting more and more expensive and many studios were simply trying to make a buck and provide nothing more than a social hot spot,” says owner Matthew Fritz. “We noticed a gap. We noticed the need to build a community. We noticed that students desired an environment that could bring to joy, fun and freedom with alternative forms of exercise. This gave birth to the concept of ‘Yoga Fusions’ and fabulously fun fitness! Fusing various forms of movement into yoga and exercise — such as martial arts, dance, and fitness — cater to the health-minded without the need to conform.”
Indeed, this Sheridan Square studio has created a niche, along with other modish, independent-minded businesses such as Lisa G Café and Wine Bar, MacAlpine’s Soda Fountain and Drip Coffee Lounge. The fresh mindset of businesses here made for the perfect spot for SuTRA.
“Coronado and the Midtown area have always felt like a neighborhood to us,” says Fritz. “We have been residents of Coronado for over six years, and although it has been exciting to watch the outlying areas evolve and grow, there has always been a strong neighborly community thriving behind the high-speed traffic of 7th Street.
That sense of community seems to be building. Fritz is quick to point out that participants don’t need experience in yoga or dance to enjoy themselves. They can quickly drop their guard and enjoy a fun, healthful experience.
The “fusion” approach branches yoga into some uncharted territories, including ballet, tango, kung fu, Pilates and various musical styles such as reggae, funk, soul, rock and more. SuTRA even offers a unique style of massage that combines tranquility with good old therapeutic pain relief.
“The word ‘sutra’ in Sanskrit literally translates to ‘the thread the binds,’ and this was our intention: to provide a setting that is safe, comfortable and free of judgment, where forward-thinking, inventive personalities could enjoy yoga the way it has always been meant to be enjoyed — with liberation,” says Fritz. “We opened SuTRA to be more than just another yoga studio — SuTRA represents creative expression through lifestyle, mindset, attitude and movement; without ego, without drama and without rules.”
“Without rules” could be an understatement at times. Friday evenings at the studio are an ever-revolving mix of events, while “community jukebox” Saturdays are an adventure in spontaneity and free thinking.
“This class is our gift back to the community so everyone has the opportunity to experience the joys of yoga and the benefits of fitness,” Fritz says. However, there is a catch. In true SuTRA fashion, we have added our own little twist — we don’t reveal the class style until students arrive. Sometimes the best way to be introduced to a new experience is when you’re not able to plan for it.”
For more information on SuTRA Midtown Yoga, head over to 2317 N. 7th Street, or call 602.253.9525. The studio is also available to book any “no shoes” events you may have in mind.
All photos by Ali Jalili
Maroon & Gold Multiplication
In a couple of distinct ways, I am associated with Arizona State University — namely, I work and take classes at the Downtown Phoenix campus. Consider that full disclosure.
A new academic year starts on August 24, which means that the 10,000 or so students that take classes on the Downtown Phoenix campus will be hanging out around campus more often. Of that number, over 1,000 will be living at Taylor Place, the new residence halls at 1st and Taylor streets.
Only 500 students lived in Taylor Place last year, yet they still had a noticeable impact on our hyper-local economy. Doubling that number is undoubtedly going to grow the impact, but we have more to be excited about than the body count rising.
Tempe is known for its collegiate culture. Mill Avenue is a nationally recognized hot spot. But it didn’t happen overnight.
ASU has been in Tempe since 1885 (although it was “Tempe Normal School” until the middle of last century). In contrast, ASU has been in Downtown Phoenix for less than five years. And this is only the second year that the campus has had a residential population worth writing home about.
Yes, there are more people here. But more and more of these students are here for their second and third years. That means that not only are they bringing their friends, but they are also bringing their experiences back with them. And more often than not, they also have a few dollars from mommy and daddy to spend.
Be patient. Success will come. Be creative. We all have the ability to shape the future of Downtown. Be here. You add value just by living, working or playing in Phoenix.
If you haven’t yet, it’s time to check out Movie Mondays at the Heard Museum.
On Monday, August 10 at 1:30 p.m., the museum will be showing Waterbuster, a 2006 documentary chronicling the dislocation and relocation of the Mandan-Hidatsa-Arikara Nation of North Dakota due to a dam that inundated their homeland along the banks of the Missouri River. The 79-minute film is also the personal story of the director’s family, whose life choices were influenced by this powerful reshaping of the landscape.
The Heard Museum is located at 2301 N. Central Ave. Admission is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors age 65 or older, $5 for students with a valid student ID and $3 for children ages 6 to 12. Children under 6, Heard Museum members and American Indians receive free admission.
For more information, call 602.252.8848 or visit www.heard.org
After Hours Gallery is hosting an opening reception this Friday, August 7 for their new African art exhibit, Masks.
The reception will be from 6 to 10pm and a portion of all Mask proceeds will benefit Community Outreach and Advocacy for Refugees, a local non-profit that helps resettle refugees.
After First Friday, the exhibit will be open on weekdays from 10am to 5pm until September 1. After Hours Gallery is located at 116 W. McDowell Road, Suite 120.
For more information, visit afterhoursgallery.com or call 602-710-2398