Arts & Culture
Every year a new crop of ASU students stream into downtown Phoenix and begin to “explore the core” as they navigate their way to class and their new home.
At DPJ, we encourage these urban adventures and are launching a fun social media hashtag campaign to encourage this discovery of the the people, places, and events that bring our urban core to life: #My1stTime.
Students, as you explore downtown, we want you to tweet us at @dtphxjournal, or post on Facebook or Instagram, a photo of yourself enjoying your very first time visiting downtown restaurants, parks, stores, art galleries, and events.
Be sure to include the hashtag #My1stTime. We’ll share our favorites.
What can fellow community members do? Help activate this campaign!
Those of us who have been here for a while can look for these hashtagged updates, welcome these new residents and encourage them to continue their urban adventures.
#My1stTime @dtphxjournal. It’s fun. It’s easy. And your mother will approve!
Eating is very important for a thinking, doing person. Sometimes, rapt in a creative fervor, one forgets, and ends up grazing on odds and ends left in the cabinet or fridge: the bottom of a cereal box, a questionably old apple, a bag of flour.
Forced breaks are good. Getting up from the desk, the computer, the studio, and venturing out into the world where people bring you food is one of the wonders of living in a city. Being able to stay put at a table for hours without the staff angrily tapping their fingers is also a relaxing blessing.
My favorite place for a midday work break used to be the Urban Grocery at the Phoenix Public Market. You could get a half sandwich, soup and a drink next door at Royal Coffee for under ten dollars. Sadly, since they closed, I realized how important it was to find a place where you could take a break and eat or where you could work all day and have good food available to you.
Aaron Chamberlin’s Public Market Café has stepped up to fill the Grocery’s shoes with small nutritious meals and a great indoor or outdoor seating environment. Even on the hottest days, it feels comfortable and welcome to sit outside in the shade under the misters. Refillable iced tea and hours until 10 p.m. make it possible to cover all your meals, should you choose to stay there all day, or at least be available for a reliable break at any hour.
For so long I’d been searching for a place where I could work in relative peace and possibly have a beer without having to fight (sometimes perhaps literally) with downtown sports enthusiasts and banners advertising Budweiser or Blue Moon. Angel’s Trumpet has answered those prayers. Not only is the staff super friendly and knowledgeable but the place is also large enough that you can carve out a corner to set up and write, work or computerize. They are also open late with food served all day, so you can easily drop in for a lunch or break from work.
If these places seem a bit too pricey and you just need a place to eat and not work, La Tolteca, on Van Buren cannot be beat anywhere in the vicinity. The menu is huge, the staff is friendly, there’s always seating available and you have the added benefit of hovering over the baked items while you wait for your food. Al Pastor tacos, ceviche for less than six dollars, a giant cup of jamaica and a great salsa selection make this place a must-stop for all artists and musicians trying to save a buck, but have tons of food. I dare you to try to eat the entire burrito at once (please don’t).
Other locations that do wonderfully as eat/work or break/eat places include Fair Trade Cafe, America’s Taco Shop, Jobot, Bonjour Vietnam at the Hotel San Carlos, and Athenian Express (cheapest breakfast anywhere!).
Don’t forget, too, that most of these places are likely staffed by budding artists, musicians and performers. Working in a restaurant provides people somewhat flexible schedules so they can make a living and still be able to create their work. This comes in handy for occasional “hey I know you” discounts for artists or, for non-artists you have the opportunity to boost an artist’s ego by asking what they do.
Founder and director Lisa Starry takes another step toward her ambitions for downtown Phoenix-based Scorpius Dance Theatre when the troupe travels to Scotland next week. As the first Arizona company ever selected to perform at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe by Booking Dance, an organization specializing in worldwide tours, Scorpius takes the stage to prove its merits to international presenters.
“My goal for Scorpius…is to become a highly sought-after touring company. This exposure will be invaluable…to take the company to the next level,” says Starry, who founded Scorpius in 1999 and currently serves as Associate Head of School at Metropolitan Arts Institute.
“It’s very exciting, but I’m nervous,” she continues. “This is the first time for us — we were invited last year, but we were so busy with going to the Bram Stoker International Film Festival…we couldn’t do both things.” Scorpius performed Starry’s signature work, A Vampire Tale, at the Stoker Festival in England last autumn. “It went really well,” says Starry. “We felt like we…got a nice following in Europe.”
The Edinburgh Festival Fringe dates back to 1947, when eight uninvited theater groups performed at the newly-established Edinburgh International Festival, setting a precedent that led to the creation of the Festival Fringe Society in 1958. 55 years later, the Fringe brings thousands of performers to stages across Scotland’s capital in shows ranging from comedy to opera to physical theater and beyond.
Ten dancers from Scorpius will appear in five shows from August 14-18, described by Starry as “shared showcases.” She explains, “I can only perform two pieces — I only have 10 minutes.” Luckily, that’s enough time to demonstrate the troupe’s technique and Starry’s choreographic creativity.
Scorpius plans to offer scenes from a full-length production called Dreaming in Water mounted at Chandler Center for the Arts this past April. “I’m bringing kind of a mixed excerpt of my Water Dreams piece with an aerial piece, because I’m trying to show as much as I can without overwhelming everybody,” says Starry.
From the other end of the spectrum comes Fünf, sechs, sieben, acht (Five, six, seven, eight), recreating a decade-old work from Scorpius’s Repertory Showcase, connecting high technical movements with hard techno beats from a German tune by DJ Taylor & Flow.
“We’ll see what happens,” says Starry. “Hopefully we’ll have promoters see us and want to hire us so we can tour internationally.”
Webster’s defines jewelry as “personal ornaments…that are typically made from or contain jewels and precious metal.” The word derives from the Old French “jouel” and the earlier Latin “jocale,” which means “plaything.”
This root notion of “plaything” gets at the heart of why we love jewelry and why, after hunting and gathering, making jewelry actually may be the world’s oldest profession. All through human history, beautiful and inventive “personal ornaments” have lifted our spirits, lit up our eyes, drawn attention to our assets and power, and communicated our moods.
I’d been hearing some buzz about local jewelry artist Julia Winter of Jewel Ya, and decided it was time to track her down and get a look at her elegant, inventive pieces for myself.
I met with this remarkable artist, who combines business savvy with a penchant for sophisticated design, in her home studio in Midtown‘s Alvarado Historic District near the Heard Museum. I began “oohing” and “aahing” the minute I stepped through the door and couldn’t help reaching out and touching the pieces to better understand the feel and the quality of her work.
She creates her pieces with elegance and playfulness in mind. The mainstay of her work is changeability. She produces a variety of silver and gold chains that can be worn individually or layered with added elements like precious stones or pendants, or as pieces unto themselves.
The same goes for the beautiful, hand-hammered and shaped hoop earrings, which can be worn with mixed and matched drops. The drop choices include precious metal discs and a wide variety of stones and pearls, including the exquisite Sleeping Beauty turquoise, which is mined right here in Arizona, just outside of Kingman.
All of the gem and chain options work together beautifully to allow you to change up your look to suit the occasion and mood (see the helpful how-to videos on her website).
The variety of chains, pendants and drop choices are delicate, elegant and timely. While silver was the metal of choice for a long time, Julia noted that, increasingly, people are turning to gold and are excited by the light, versatile quality of her pieces. “We try to stay clean, sophisticated and refined, but the work has to follow the trend,” said Winter.
For all of their refinement and delicacy, the handwork and detail that go into each piece requires striking the right balance. Handmade jewelry is delicate, but it also has to survive. As Winter says, “You have to make a lot of mistakes until you figure out what will really hold up.”
Winter had a long corporate career at both IBM and Xerox, before choosing a new direction that would keep her closer to home and her family. She began creating jewelry over ten years ago and her signature style has evolved over time.
She sells locally at private trunk shows, in retail outlets like the Arizona Biltmore and Spa and The Willows Home and Garden boutique at The Union in Biltmore Fashion Park, as well as direct through her website.
Her corporate experience helped her develop her small business savvy. I say business savvy, because I was immediately struck by the care she’d taken to display samples of her work in a way that was both aesthetically pleasing and immediately communicated what was compelling and unique about her pieces.
Jewel Ya also features simple, but equally refined packaging, which helps prevent tarnishing or damage and gives the customer a safe option for storing the pieces when not being worn.
In addition to her precious metal necklaces and earrings, Winter’s Jewel Ya Designs include leather and metal bracelets, and the youthful line of affordable gel cord charm necklaces.
The next time you have a yen for an elegant piece of jewelry, check out the beautiful “playthings” crafted by this midtown artist and have some fun mixing and matching to create your special look.
Jewelry images provided by Julia Winter.
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PHOENIX SUNS ANNOUNCE “ALL-IN” PACKAGE; INCLUDES TICKET TO ALL SUNS GAMES, CONCERTS & FAMILY SHOWS AT US AIRWAYS CENTER
Unique, all-inclusive package can be purchased at Suns.com/AllIn
The Phoenix Suns today announced a brand new “All-In” package that includes a 2013-14 Suns’ SixthMan Membership as well as a ticket to every concert and family show at US Airways Center through June 30, 2014. The new package can be purchased at Suns.com/AllIn.
“We are thrilled to roll out this new, all-inclusive option to our fans,” said Suns president, Jason Rowley. “The ‘All-In’ package creates a perfect synergy between our Suns’ fans love for entertainment, and their desire to secure a great seat for much of the highly anticipated action here at US Airways Center.”
The Suns become one of a limited number of professional sports teams to feature a general seating option which includes both games and arena events. Not only will the new package offer buyers a ticket to every Suns 2013-14 home game, but it will guarantee them a great seat for a number of on-sale, highly-anticipated shows at US Airways Center, including Michael Bublé, Justin Timberlake and Beyoncé, as well as popular Feld Entertainment shows, Disney on Ice and Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus .
“Due to the outstanding work of our arena management staff to book high-profile acts here at US Airways Center, demand for our concert and family shows is at a multi-year high,” added Rowley. “Our all-inclusive premium offerings, including our suite and theater box options, have been extremely popular for Suns and concert-going fans alike, and the ‘All-In’ package will serve as a perfect complement to those higher-end options.”
A limited number of packages are available, starting at just $3,500. Fans can visit Suns.com/AllIn, or call 602-379-SUNS for more information.
A list of the upcoming events is below:
Suns 2013- 14 Season (44 games)
WWE Monday Night Raw (Aug. 26)
Black Sabbath (Aug. 30)
Josh Groban (Oct. 9)
Disney Junior Live on Tour! “Pirate & Princess Adventure” (Oct. 12)
Jimmy Buffet (Oct. 24)
Selena Gomez (Nov. 5)
Nine Inch Nails (Nov. 9)
Drake with Miguel (Nov. 16)
Michael Bublé (Nov. 22)
Justin Timberlake (Dec. 2)
Beyoncé (Dec. 7)
Andrea Bocelli (Dec. 8)