I frequently walk through the sliding glass doors at the Lincoln Family Y on my way to torture myself into at least appearing to not be a slob. Nearly every time, check that, every time I walk through the door, I am greeted with a friendly smile and a hello from the ever-changing cast of employees behind the counter of the YMCA café. I have yet to experience this from the actual front-desk staff at the Y, but that is for another blog entirely.
I know you are wondering what kind of freaky-deaky food blog could possibly feature a local gym/Internal café. Well, I was under the weather during prime blog-researching time last week, so the Y was the only place I ventured.
So, on my one journey out the door since early Sunday morning, I encountered a joyous event known as “Member Appreciation Day” at the Y. Groovy. After pushing grumpy people off of the machines that I like to use and encountering more nude males than I ever wanted to see in my life in the “towels are for losers” zone, a.k.a. the men’s locker room, I was relieved to be treated to a free, homemade smoothie.
Strewn across a fold-out table in the lobby sat some fresh bananas, a bag of frozen strawberries, some (hopefully) fresh Tropicana orange juice, a big ole container of yogurt and a blender. My aching sore throat welcomed the refreshing thought of the smoothie. This was going to momentarily relieve all ills. My only slight: I was wishing for fresh strawberries, but given that I was tired from working out when I shouldn’t have, I was willing to let it slide and accept the frozen variety. Sooo not locally sourced. Oh well.
Once our generous host slopped out heaps of cool refreshment over a safety net (ahem, a trashcan) my smoothie was in hand and immediately enjoyed. I muscled my way through a mass of people that I’m pretty sure were not members, but starving ASU students in search of sustenance. That happens a lot. Once in the clear, I waved a salutation to the friendly café worker that was working on… well, something, I guess, and then dove into my smoothie.
It was delicious and refreshing. Even with sub-par frozen strawberries, my spoiled brat palate was still impressed. Each strawberry-banana-infused sip was exactly what I needed. I will give the smoothie partial credit in helping me get better.
So, if you deem it worthy to lob $40 a month at a gym, the YMCA will be sure to reward you with an occasional smoothie.
The Lincoln Family YMCA is located at 350 N. 1st Ave. (light rail station at Central/1st Ave & Van Buren) — 602.257.5138
The Arizona Diamondbacks look to start an exciting season as they made some solid roster moves this off-season. Some of us may be wondering where in the world the money came from. Last season, the D-backs let Randy Johnson go to the San Francisco Giants as a result of not being able to meet his salary requirements. Others are excited that the organization has ponied up the cash to keep such performers as Mark Reynolds and Justin Upton.
Reynolds, a fourth-year player, has been solid for the team over the last couple of years, while producing offensive numbers that seem to increase year after year. Despite his numerous strikeouts last season, Reynolds knocked in 44 homers and 102 RBI for the Diamondbacks in ’09. It is exciting to be able to secure a player like Reynolds at the hot corner for another three years.
Upton had a mediocre beginning of the season, but then self-corrected to earn a spot on the National League’s All-Star squad last year. He has grown to be an exciting player and a solid contributor to the Diamondbacks. This year, the Diamondbacks aptly named “Uptown” as a location at Chase Field where fans can cheer for Upton and the D-backs. Uptown is the new fan zone behind the All-Star outfielder that will be there to back him Friday and Saturday nights. The Diamondbacks have designated a special section for designated games to increase the fan support and the support of the team. Each ticket includes a rally towel for the game and promises to be a super-charged Diamondbacks fan section.
As the D-backs get ready for the 2010 baseball season, look forward to seeing supporting fans at the games. Remember to take advantage of the special events that are held by Chase Field and the Diamondbacks organization. Additional ticket information about Uptown can be found at dbacks.com.
Previous week’s games
3/19/2010 SUNS 110, Jazz 100
3/21/2010 SUNS 93, Blazers 87
3/22/2010 SUNS 133, Warriors 131
Upcoming week’s games
3/26/2010 SUNS vs Knicks, 7 p.m., Fox Sports Arizona
3/28/2010 SUNS @ Timberwolves, 4 p.m., My45
3/30/2010 SUNS @ Bulls, 5 p.m., My45
3/31/2010 SUNS @ Nets, 4:30 p.m., My45
I’m sure you’ve seen it by now. Everyone has. Multiple times. I’m talking about the execution of Golden State Warrior Anthony Tolliver by Amar’e Stoudemire. This dunk got me thinking about all the great dunks Stoudemire has had over his career. After looking through the numerous posters Amar’e has created over the years, I was finally able to choose my top five favorite dunks of all time from the Suns All Star power forward.
5. Stoudemire vs Jeff Foster
Last season in Indiana, Stoudemire had one of the best games of his career. He picked up 49 points, 11 rebounds, six assists, five steals, two blocks and one ridiculous dunk on Jeff Foster of the Pacers. The best thing about this dunk, other than Foster falling to the floor, was the look on Stoudemire’s face after the play. Priceless.
4. Stoudemire vs Adonal Foyle
Everybody knows this dunk. It’s insanely disgusting. Stoudemire throws yet another defender to the floor as he dunks it on Foyle’s head. On this YouTube clip, the commentators claim STAT pushes off, but I think they’re just embarrassed for Foyle.
3. Stoudemire vs Michael Olowokandi
Many people probably don’t remember this, but Michael Olowokandi was the number one pick in the NBA draft when he came into the league. What people do remember about Olowokandi, though, is this facial he received courtesy of Stoudemire. This dunk is even more impressive when you consider Stoudemire was a rookie fresh out of high school at the time. The expression on Stephon Marbury’s face is classic.
2. Stoudemire vs Josh Smith
I don’t hear people talk about this dunk by Stoudemire much, but it almost made my number one. My favorite thing about this play is that Josh Smith is on the receiving end. Smith is one of those guys that are extremely easy to dislike because of his attitude. It was nice to see Stoudemire put him in his place.
1. Stoudemire vs Anthony Tolliver
Was there ever any doubt that this would be number one? There’s a lot to like about this dunk. One, it changed the game, allowing Phoenix to take over. Two, Anthony Tolliver was getting way too much respect from the officials for a guy fresh out of the D League. After this play, Tolliver didn’t get a single call in his favor. Three, the crowd reaction is great. On the replays, you can see Golden State fans shouting out profanities and flipping Stoudemire the bird. Hands down, best dunk I’ve ever seen.
From the Arizona Room is a weekly column examining the historic, reuse and infill structures in Downtown Phoenix. The inspiration for this column stems from the ever-expanding resources in Burton Barr Central Library’s Arizona Room (located on the fourth floor). For further information on this and other historic structures in the area, visit the Arizona Room during normal library hours.
362 N. 2nd Ave. near Roosevelt
The Charles Pugh House is a complete anomaly: easily missed on this quiet stretch of 2nd Avenue between Copper Square and Roosevelt, yet brightly bold and architecturally distinctive, despite requiring some serious TLC.
Queen Anne style, the home was built c.1897, but it is evident that some alterations have taken place over the years. The home is brick with a stone foundation, and features a classic hip roof and hand-carved brackets at the eave. Decorative shingles on the gable, stained glass windows and a bay ell made this house a standout in its heyday.
The home, built by Pugh, the editor and proprietor of the Southwestern Stockman, was occupied well into the 20th century, and received a significant alteration and addition to the rear, as well as the addition of the front courtyard, which is still in good shape despite its neglect.
Today, the building sits in the shadows of O’Neil Printing and the YMCA, boarded up and in need of a power wash. It almost looks like something out of a Tim Burton movie, but it certainly could be resurrected into a great little gift shop or museum. Only time will tell…
Source: Phoenix: Nineteenth Century Architecture, Survey by Woodward Architectural Group, June 1991.
Is there a historic property in Downtown Phoenix you’d like to see in From the Arizona Room? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the address and a brief description.
Don’t worry your pretty, little heads; I’m not turning vegan. That’s not to say the lifestyle is not healthy and respectable, it’s just that I hail from a society where hunting is religion and state birds are merely tonight’s supper. Also, I’m a carnivore through and through. However, Conspire’s vegan donut is legit.
Conspire rests in the heart of some of the Valley’s most prized galleries — and serves as a living work of art itself. Seemingly a hub for local creatives to hang and explore new ideas or paint them on the outer walls, this lovable coffee shop slings some mean joe and is home to the legendary vegan donut. Make sure you are up early to get one — they go fast!
I managed to drag my sorry butt out of bed before noon for once so that I could partake in a memorable breakfast. Typically, my appetite is voracious if I get up early. This morning was no different. One of the joys of living in the Garfield district — aside from live mariachi music played at 1 a.m. — is being able to lace up my shoes and trot over into Conspire’s backyard.
Still wiping the sleep from my eyes, I wearily ordered a vanilla-iced vegan donut and an iced mocha (don’t judge). My curiosity prolonged my anxious hunger as I took a moment to stroll through the Anarchist Library. It truly is a fun place filled with robots that I want to take home and stacks of books that I desperately need to read.
I take my breakfast down the painted steps and out into the blinding Arizona sun. The first bite gives my taste buds an unexpected shock of sweetness and flavor. My inexperienced palate had not expected the softness and sweetness that it encountered. My vegan virginity was over, and it was glorious. This donut wasn’t glazed, but it sang of sugared hills. The iced mocha was a great counterpart to this scrumptious morning treat, regardless of how unmanly it is.
I cannot stress how important it is to go by Conspire early to get your own supply of donut bliss. These things really do sail off the counters. The only regret I have of my last trip there was that I only got one.
Conspire is located at 901 N. 5th St. in Evans Churchill (light rail station at Central/Roosevelt) — 602.237.5446