Sports & Rec
DPJ’s Suns Spot blog series features a fan’s perspective of Phoenix’s first major league sports franchise.
I admit, I have mixed emotions about the injury to Eric Bledsoe. Prior to his surgery to repair a torn meniscus the Suns were the surprise of the NBA, solidly in playoff contention with a 19-11 record. They are 5-6 since and clinging to a playoff spot.
Every indication is that Bledsoe will take his time rehabbing the knee to make sure he’s 100% healthy before returning to action, so there’s no telling when we’ll see him again this season. Part of me feels he should take as much time as he needs, and maybe even more.
Here’s my theory…
There are six elite teams in the Western Conference. The ageless Spurs continue to be the class of the league. The Thunder, Rockets, Clippers, Blazers, and Warriors are all loaded with young talent and are only going to get better.
All these teams are on pace to win at least 50 games this season, and are built for long-term success. Even a completely healthy Suns team would be hard pressed to crack that group this season. To once again reach the top level of the Western Conference, the Suns, as much as I love this year’s model, need to a few more key pieces. Adding another quality young player with a high draft pick would help.
On the other hand…
I can’t wait until Bledsoe gets back on the court. It would be great to see what kind of run this team could make with everyone healthy. The total domination of the Pacers on Wednesday night, who happen to have the best record in the league, proves that this team can play with anyone, with or without Bledsoe.
Everyone in the rotation is playing at or near career best levels. Miles Plumlee is averaging nearly a double-double and is in the top 10 in blocks. Channing Frye is having a truly miraculous comeback season. Gerald Green is finally in a situation that is allowing his incredible talents to emerge (did you see that dunk?). PJ Tucker has settled in as a starter and team leader. The Morris twins are providing a great spark off the bench. Leandro Barbosa is back, and hasn’t missed a beat. Jeff Hornacek is a strong candidate for NBA Coach of the Year.
With Bledsoe back, he and Goran Dragic can pick up where they left off, quickly becoming one of the top backcourts in the NBA. Did I mention that I love this team?
OK, maybe my emotions aren’t as mixed as I thought.
If You Go
Event: Suns vs Washington Wizards
Date: Friday, January 24
Time: 7 p.m.
Where: US Airways Center
DPJ’s Wire series delivers news and information straight from the source without translation.
16 Athletes Compete for Cash, Pride and Prizes at Rush Club Nation Event on January 18th in Downtown Phoenix
Eight men and eight women between the ages of 18 and 38, will take part in a fitness competition on January 18th designed to test strength, agility and endurance. Professional athletes Camille Leblanc-Bazinet and Josh Bridges will also participate in an exhibition before the Final throw down.
Rush Club, founded in February 2013 by Stacey D. Snyder and Abenadi (AJ) Richards was born from a shared love of fitness and the desire to create a workout competition that was all inclusive and exciting for people to watch. The duo takes pride in creating an electric atmosphere for their fans, and likes to call the feeling of involvement experiencing “the rush.” Stacey is a NASM certified personal trainer and AJ (a combat veteran of the Iraq war) is the owner of RushRx CrossFit Mesa.
Since its inception, RUSH CLUB has grown to see 500+ spectators at their local competitions. They have hosted 56 athletes on the Rush Club stage and have awarded approximately $7,000 in cash prizes. The pair has plans for continued growth of the competition and brand in 2014. Unlike traditional sport competitions where athletes typically pay a fee to participate, Rush Club caters to the athletes with no fee. This is made possible through sponsors, vendors and spectator ticket sales.
“I believe we are creating the most exciting head to head competition to draw crowds of all ages.” says Richards. “Our goal is to promote health and fitness in the most exciting way possible!”
“When you help people meet their physical goals and see how much it helps them overcome their mental hurdles too, that’s pretty powerful stuff.” adds Snyder. “This is a sporting match for anyone and everyone.”
A portion of the Final Rush event proceeds will benefit the United Phoenix Firefighters.
When: Saturday, January 18th, Doors open to the public at 12:30 p.m. Preliminary matchups kick off at 1:30 p.m.
Where: The Pressroom, 441 W Madison St.
Cost: $25 & Up
For more information on Rush Club Nation and to purchase tickets, visit:
Here at DPJ, we’re all about sharing what we love. Beyond the stories that make us love downtown, we often come across things that catch our eye, tingle our senses or have us dancing in delight. “We Like…” turns a brief spotlight on the little treasures that make our day, with helpful links so you can share in the fun.
It’s a new year, a new me, and now I have Kaleidoscope Juice in Cityscape to get my healthy resolutions off to a perfect start.
Kaleidoscope’s fourth juice bar is nestled inside Chloe’s Corner, but the company’s vibrant colors and equally delicious offerings called to me from afar. I found out about this downtown location via Twitter a few weeks ago, as I was pondering the amount of pumpkin pie I’d eaten during the holidays. Kaleidoscope couldn’t have opened at a better time.
Every summer it seems easier to do a juice or smoothie cleanse and eat healthy, but during the school year, as stress bears down on me, fast food temporarily takes the edge off my schoolwork woes. I was gung ho for buying my own blender for my dorm and creating my own smoothies, but it became too time consuming. To me, what’s fantastic about smoothies and juices is that when they have the essential ingredients of a balanced meal, they are all you have to consume for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
On my first visit, I was in the mood for a creamy, rich and nutrient-packed smoothie to start my day. The Strawberry Warrior helped me face everything that came my way in the hours that followed. With protein, almond milk, almond butter, goji berry and banana, the vitamin-filled drink was delicious and made me curious to scope out the other options when I’m next in need of a boost.
With juice bars popping up around the country, and celebrities constantly seen holding a blended green drink, Kaleidoscope encourages one to not only be on trend, but healthy at the same time. At the beginning of each year, I’ve found it’s always best to make my body happy first, and then true style and confidence will radiate from that.
Want to share your love? Send a note to email@example.com and tell us what YOU like.
David Krietor has served as CEO of the newly-formed Downtown Phoenix, Inc. (“DPI”) since April 8, 2013. In that time, he has begun work with community stakeholders to develop the downtown we want. “Your Downtown” shares his thoughts and DPI’s progress with the downtown community and beyond. Read the other chats here.
Happy New Year! To start off the new year, I asked a host of friends and colleagues I work with on a day-to-day basis to share what they considered the successes experienced in and around downtown Phoenix in 2013. The responses have been pouring in over the past few days, and here is what we collectively tallied. The list is pretty impressive and a measuring stick for our resurgent downtown.
We might not have caught everything, so it’s your turn to think of something we missed. Tell us in the comments below.
2013 DOWNTOWN PHOENIX RECAP
Arts & Culture
Arizona Opera opens new office & performance space, Arizona SciTech Festival, Art Detour 25, Ballet Arizona expands into new facility, Black Theatre Troupe opens the Helen K. Mason Performing Arts Center, Chaos Theory #14, Chile Pepper Festival, Devoured Phoenix, Feast on the Street, First Friday success continues, Ground Cover Public Art Project, Jimmy Buffett Pre-Concert Beach Party at CityScape, Local First Certified Local Fall Festival, Mardi Gras Parade, McDowell Mountain Music Festival moves to Hance Park, mural art opportunities increase, Pedal Craft, Phoenix Comicon, Phoenix Design Week, Phoenix Festival of the Arts/Mayor’s Arts Awards, Phoenix Phabulous Experience launched, Phoenix Theatre expands, Phoenix Urban Design Week, Phoestivus, Pie Social, Tour de Coops, Zombie Walk, and more art galleries and art and museum shows.
New seasons for our very own Arizona Diamondbacks, Arizona Rattlers, Phoenix Mercury, and Phoenix Suns. Yoga taught at outdoor public venues (e.g., CityScape, Civic Space Park, Hance Park, Roosevelt Row Pop-Up Park).
Arizona Cancer Center breaks ground, Arizona Center undergoes exterior facelift, Bee Transportation property at Sixth Ave. & Fillmore purchased by IDA/CED for possible future development, Local First Arizona opens downtown office, Maricopa Co. opens new $93M Sheriff’s Headquarters at Fifth Ave. & Jackson St., new Marriott Hotel announced at Central and Jackson St., Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS opens in former Channel 12 space, Sustainable Communities Collaborative hosted national representatives of Living Cities, and a number of makerspaces and “Made in Phoenix” furniture companies open.
ASU Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law announces new downtown building, ASU School of Art moves programs to Warehouse District, ASU Sun Devil Fitness Complex opens, ASU Barrett Honors College Downtown Community Encounters class introduces college students to the “real” downtown, and enrollment increases for our elementary schools, high schools, community colleges, and universities.
Food & Beverage
Bragg’s Factory Diner, Clever Koi, Coach’s Corner, The Fillmore Vig, Flor de Calabaza, Gadzooks Enchiladas and Soup, Game Seven Grill, Greater Than Coffee, Harumi Sushi, Jimmy John’s, Kaleidoscope Juice, La Piazza Locale, Mama Toledo’s Pies, Mud Dauber Coffee, Pallets, Phoenix Public Market Cafe, Pizza People Pub, Pomo Pizzeria, Red House Pub, Red Hut Coffee, Royal Coffee, Shine Coffee expands, Short Leash Dogs Sit Stay, Squid Ink Sushi, Starbucks (Osborn & Seventh St.), Taco Guild, Tammie Coe Cakes, The Bar on Central, The Groove on Grand, Welcome Diner, and more tasty food trucks. Inaugural Check Please Arizona Food Festival held at CityScape. Community gardens proliferate (e.g., Bioscience High School, Garfield Neighborhood, Roosevelt School District, Steele Indian School Park).
DeSoto Building renovated, Evans Shackelford House renovated, First Presbyterian Church gains new congregation, Professional Building sold for future use as boutique hotel, Winship House opens, and World War II Memorial dedicated at Wesley Bolin Plaza.
Roosevelt Point and Urban Living 2 open. Numerous new residential developments are announced, including artHaus apartments, Cooper Place (2nd & Fillmore), Portland Place 2, The Residences at CityScape, and Union at Roosevelt. Phoenix becomes nation’s first city to end chronic homelessness among veterans. Our adjacent neighborhoods continue to open up their spaces for public tours (e.g., Evans Churchill, F.Q. Story, Grand Avenue, Roosevelt, Midtown Museum, Willo).
Adams Street Activation Study, Fifth Street Streetscape, First Street Streetscape, Grand Avenue Streetscape, Roosevelt Streetscape, and increase in the number of bike related initiatives (e.g., Bike Lab, GRID, Heavy Pedal, HoodRide, Hotel Palomar Pocket Square Bike Maps, and We-Cycle-USA).
Adams Street Activation Study, GRID Bike Share approved, Bike Master Plan process initiated, bicycle infrastructure funding increases from $50K to $1.5M, Complete Streets Policy Planning initiated, Downtown Phoenix Comprehensive Transportation Study launched, Downtown Plan process initiated, Hance Park Master Plan process initiated, Infill Advisory Group, Plan PHX General Plan Update process launched, Project Rising Phoenix launched, Reinvent Phoenix, This Could Be PHX launched, Valley Metro launches South Central Corridor planning process, and Valley Metro Light Rail ridership continues to grow.
CitySkate Ice Rink attendance soars, Downtown Phoenix, Inc. formed, Get Your PHX showcases new downtown venues, Hance Dog Park opens, Holiday Lights on Central becoming an annual tradition, annual holiday luminarias light up several of our neighborhoods, Manifesto Project launched, Phoenix City Council bids adieu to Michael Johnson and Tom Simplot and welcomes Kate Gallego and Laura Pastor, Preserve Phoenix formed, TEDx Evans Churchill holds first downtown TED Talk, Phoenix earns perfect score on Municipal Equality Index, Winter Holiday Events Calendar mushrooms, and number of concerts, conventions, and hotel bookings increase. Over $100K raised for Special Olympics at “Over the Edge” rappelling at CityScape office tower.
DPJ’s Wire series delivers news and information straight from the source without translation.
Lincoln Family Downtown Y Community Day
The Lincoln Family Downtown Y will be open to the community Saturday, January 11 from 7:00am – 9:00pm. No guests fees! Bring your friends, family and neighbors to spend the day at the Y and enjoy many amenities, including indoor pool, basketball court, racquetball courts and group fitness classes.
9:00am Group Cycle
9:00am Aqua Fitness
11:05am Group Power® (barbell strength training class)
12:15pm Group Core® (30 minutes core conditioning exercises)
Tours are available. Join the Y on January 11 and receive $75 off the joining fee!