Right at the bend on 7th Avenue sits a unique little coffee shop. At first glance, your eyes might detect only a gas station (because, back in the day, it was one), but your nose should pick up the wafting smells of rich coffee emanating from Copper Star Coffee.
I’m always game for finding new places. When a buddy and I walked up to Copper Star, I could tell this was my kind of coffee shop. Decorated with eclectic trinkets and art, pumping indie rock and hosting a warm, inviting lounge area, this place had it going. I was instantly reminded of my favorite place to go during college. Ah, memories, nostalgia and such.
I was parched, so I needed something refreshing to wet my whistle. Naturally, I ordered an old standby, Strawberry Italian Soda. If you had happened upon me during my college years, all bets were on me holding one of these icy, sparkling beverages. I don’t like to brag, but that might just make me a connoisseur of this type of beverage.
I dive in, and it is just like I remember. I’m pretty sure I teared up from sheer excitement. Each refreshing gulp was creamy and delicious, with just the right amount of fizz. The first couple of sips were reminiscent of eating a carbonated strawberry — or, at least I imagine that’s what it’s like.
So, readers and patrons of Downtown Phoenix, I implore you to check out the Melrose area. Do some shopping; get your dog and car washed; whatever your fancy. Then stop by for a pump of deliciousness at Copper Star and let them send you on your way with your thirst and appetite quenched. I know this old boy will be doing that more often for sure.
Copper Star Coffee is located at 4220 N. 7th Ave. in 7th Ave./Melrose — 602.266.2136.
A few weeks ago, via this column, I learned that Phoenix has an already rich but growing literary culture. Add that to the nation’s largest self-guided art walk, an ever-burgeoning music scene that this writer believes is far from “ovah,” a theatrical subculture that is anything but boring, and what do you get? An amazing place to call home.
And, in the spirit of continually making home even more amazing, I suggest to you that supporting local artistic endeavors should be at the top of your holiday shopping list. My wife and I have made a commitment to support some amazing local artists — not only pumping a little cash flow into the Phoenix art community, but also showcasing some of the fantastic talent we have in the Valley. In our home we have work from local artists Pete Deise, Tyson Crosbie, Hoge Day, Colton Brock, Randall Wilson and Pirate Vereker, with hopes of collecting work from dozens of other luminaries in the Valley.
Engaging with art is an experience that you can have more than every First Friday, and it isn’t all that intimidating to start collecting. Find something you like, and buy it. Voila! You’re an art collector. If you’re looking for a community of other collectors, check out the Monte Vista Club at the Heard Museum or the Young Collectors group at the Phoenix Art Museum.
I understand that there is a good chance that I’m preaching to the choir here, since all seven of you reading this are most likely already aboard this thought train. But, if you aren’t, come join in the fun. We have a vibrant art scene — no matter what medium floats your proverbial boat. This holiday season, do your part to rise the tide…
Previous week’s games
12/05/09 SUNS 115, Kings 107
12/06/09 Lakers 108, SUNS 88
12/08/09 Mavericks 102, SUNS 101
This week’s games
12/11/09 SUNS vs Magic, 8:30 p.m., ESPN
12/12/09 SUNS @ Nuggets, 7 p.m., My45
12/15/09 SUNS vs Spurs, 7 p.m., Fox Sports Arizona
Here at the Suns Spot we like to focus on the good. Keep a positive vibe, if you will. So, with that said, we’re going to go ahead and brush over last week’s games and focus on one of the great Suns events coming up.
Next Tuesday, December 15, the Phoenix Suns will be hosting their second annual @Phoenix Suns Tweet-Up, presented by Arizona Grand Resort (@ArizonaGrand) as they face the heavily hated San Antonio Spurs at US Airways Center. The event is put together for the many Suns fans that follow the team on Twitter, and the evening will be filled with many special, exclusive activities for Tweet-Up attendees.
So, what’s a Tweet-Up? Jeramie McPeek, the Suns’ webmaster, fills us in.
“A ‘tweet-up’ is just a social gathering of people on Twitter,” McPeek says. “There are all different types of tweet-ups happening around the country, but our tweet-ups are held on a Suns game night, and give our followers a chance to attend a game at a discounted ticket price, and sit with fellow tweeps. We also try to come up with some unique perks for these events, because we want our followers to feel special. They are serious, hardcore, passionate Suns fans who are tweeting about us on a daily basis, so we want them to really have a fun experience.”
But, what if you don’t use Twitter, or you do, but just don’t follow the Suns? McPeek thinks any Suns fan should be a follower.
“Through our primary account, @PhoenixSuns, we tweet breaking news, behind-the-scenes stories, pictures or videos from practices and events, quotes from the locker room and courtside observations from games,” McPeek says. “We also provide a lot of information about fan events or promotions, and are regularly giving away tickets or merchandise to our Twitter followers. And, of course, we’re also interacting with our fans.”
At the Tweet-Up, tweeps will be granted early access inside US Airways Center (@SunsCrib) to watch Suns players warm up before the game. Fans will also be able to purchase discounted concessions during the pregame “Twitter Tailgate,” as well as receive a free Suns Tweet-Up shirt, only available to those fans that purchase tickets to the event, and have group seating with their fellow Twitter users.
During the game fans will be able to have their tweets shown on the big screen inside the arena as well as on the live game broadcast on FSN Arizona (@FoxSportsAZ). Anyone who currently follows the Suns on Twitter might be thinking, So what, the Suns post tweets during every home game? While that is true, fans that send in their tweets during the Tweet-Up will have a chance to win prizes for best Twitpic (picture via tweet), and who doesn’t love winning prizes?
Want some tips on how to win prizes for best Twitpic? Go all out. Wear some face paint. Do your face up half orange and half purple. Wigs are a nice touch as well. We’re playing the freakin’ Spurs, so it shouldn’t be hard for you to get up for this game and show everyone that you’re ORNG. Get a stuffed animal coyote, tie a rope around it’s neck and drag it around the Purple Palace. I’m pretty sure if you do any of those things and Twitpic them, your chances at winning a prize will be greatly increased.
The fun doesn’t stop at the end of 48 minutes, though. After the game, Suns tweeps attending the event will be invited to an exclusive question-and-answer session with All-Star forward Amar’e Stoudemire (@Amareisreal).
Tweet-Up ticket packages are available in the lower level for $64 — fans can save over $60, according to McPeek — and the upper level for $32 and can be purchased at Suns.com by using the password “tweeps.”
The Suns are also planning Facebook and PlanetOrange.net nights for later in the season.
Suns fans attending the Tweet-Up are highly encouraged to attend US Airways Center via the METRO light rail through the Ride Rail Event program, which allows fans attending a game to use their game ticket as light rail fare four hours prior to tip-off through the end of the transit day.
He said: ‘I am but one small instrument.’ Do you remember that?
As Jim Adkins rifled these melodic words into the crowded Arizona night, I realized that history was in the making. What that history is exactly remains to be seen.
The creaky floorboards of Modified Arts trembled in the wake of a rock that has become all too familiar. The lyrics were shouted back with fervor and angst that seemed to settle in the room’s thick air. This was the place to be, Phoenix. For a “secret” show, it sure was let out of the bag. As Jimmy Eat World had tweeted earlier in the day, “If you live in PHX and have plans for tonight, cancel them.” This seemed like a fair warning at the time.
Jeff Bufano of Reubens Accomplice, the supposed headliner before the news broke, crowed, “[You must] have that Twitter thing on your phones or something.” Perhaps that is the truth, as the masses started assembling as early as 3 p.m. for a 7 p.m. start. Who says Twitter isn’t powerful?
Upon arriving at around 6:10, the line wrapped entirely around the place; to the point that it began to wind back up to the front entrance. It didn’t seem long until the cry was let out that it was sold out and the lines weren’t getting in. “Extremely limited space” is not a joke.
The lineup for the night included Ian Stupar of El Oso Negro, Source Victoria and Reubens Accomplice. For the most part, the opening bands were making way for the much-anticipated headliners to take the stage. Stupar opened it up with a few original songs and finished up a mellow set with covers of Reubens and JEW songs, respectively. Source Victoria took the stage with melodic guitars and harmonic vocals to tame the room. “You guys are here for Reubens, right?” was the joke of the night from our openers. Once Reubens Accomplice took the stage, you could feel the room on the edge of its seat. Reubens threw some eagerly anticipated songs at us. As far as their several-years-in-the-making album, Bufano joked, “We’ll release it in four years. But, it will have 176 tracks and you guys will be blown away.”
By the time Jim Adkins and crew took the stage, the eagerness was dripping off the walls. There was definitely something special about this “secret” show. You could feel it in the room. Even though I did not have the privilege of growing up here, this concert felt like it was drumming up the spirits of 10 years ago. Everything was perfect in that regard. From Adkins beckoning Sam Means (The Format) to the stage in jest, to the strained voices in the back crying out for “one more song” or to “play all night,” this night belonged to the fans, the bands and this city. “Bleed American” began the shouted refrains and huddled, rhythmic masses in their dance with the night. Once “Goodbye Sky Harbor” echoed in the room, you could feel the excitement that this city has, not just for its most notable band, but for its music scene.
I can still feel the guitar riffs pumping through my veins. I imagine that I will for days. If you were not one of the privileged to get inside the doors, I feel that an important message was passed down. Adkins, at the chanting for an encore, returned to the stage. He said something that I think all of Phoenix needs to hear: “If you love the arts and the music, support them. Go to the shows. Support the bands.” This seems simple enough, but it is something that we as a community need to do perhaps now more than ever. We need to coddle these young, talented musicians and venues and treat them like the treasure they are.
So, the big “secret” show wasn’t about how popular Jimmy Eat World is in this place, but more about how much these little places, artists and stages mean to our community.
Modified Arts’ final three shows of the Kimber Lanning era are tonight, Friday and Saturday. See its website for full details.
I decided to brave Phoenix’s version of a hurricane to venture out and try one of our supposed best kept secrets: the $3 burger at Maizie’s.
Tucked away in the shadow of the Landmark Tower resides Maizie’s Café & Bistro, a unique bistro that knows how to attract the hungry — offer their delicious burgers for $3 from 4 to close on Mondays. I had heard that these were pretty amazingly good. I must admit that the line coming out of the door and the smell emanating from this place surely comforted any trepidation I had about the burgers.
I suppose the chaotic weather kept the crowds a little smaller than they normally are. Hearsay was that the wait would be quite extensive, but we were seated fairly quickly. The wait staff obviously holds the ability to read minds; or they have just served up their fair share of burgers on Monday nights, because the waitress only needed to ask what was required on the burger. So, I selected the pepperjack cheese and a cold Blue Moon to wash it down.
As I was awaiting my cheap treat, I noticed the dining area was extremely packed. It seems that the extensive patio that Maizie’s possesses falls silent on nights of inclement weather. Good thing this is Arizona and rain is about as frequent as a viable Elvis sighting.
The wait for the burger was not too long. As it arrived in its splendor, I almost expected an angelic chorus to erupt. For $3, I was expecting a Krystal (or White Castle, for you Midwestern folk)-sized burger, but I was pleasantly surprised. I could hardly wait to sink my teeth in. Each bite was better than the first. Any form of ravenous hunger I had owned before this was wiped away. This burger was top-shelf quality with a shoestring budget price.
So, if you find yourself scraping the bottom of the piggy bank on some lonely Monday night, forget about the fast food malarkey and go to Maizie’s. You will definitely get more than you bargained for.
Maizie’s Café and Bistro is located at 4750 N. Central Ave. in Uptown (light rail station at Central/Camelback). 602.274.2828