It may not be Ben Stiller and a T-Rex skeleton, but the Phoenix Art Museum is mixing up First Friday with some interesting activities this Friday evening, June 5, 2009.
Located in downtown Phoenix along Central Ave. and the light rail line, the Phoenix Art Museum opens its doors to the public each month as part of the First Friday Art Walk, hosted by ArtLink. From 6-10 p.m., visitors can peruse the museum for free. Voluntary donations are accepted as well.
This month, First Friday visitors can participate in weaving activities from 7 – 9 p.m. Medium-sized looms will be set up at several locations throughout the museum as community looms. Volunteers will be on hand with various materials, not just yarn, that guests can add to the different looms. Visitors interested in creating their own weaving can head to the orientation room to make a small weaving of their choosing or add to the large community loom.
There is no sign-up to participate, just show up! A great activity for art lovers of any age that love to create.
Phoenix fans of the cult hit television show, Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K), should prepare to be overwhelmed. Cinematic Titanic, the masters of movie riffing of former MST3K fame, will be on hand tomorrow at Hoodlums Music & Movies in Tempe to meet and great fans, as well as sign copies of their new DVD.
Mystery Science Theater 3000 ran from 1988 to 1999 and is the brainchild of creator Joel Hodgeson. The show featured a man and his robot friends that were stranded in spaced and forced to watch horrible movies. To keep them entertained during these terrible films, the man and his robots comment on the film’s flaws, also known as “riffing”.
Like MST3K, Cinematic Titanic was created by Joel Hodgeson and continues the tradition of exploiting horrible and cheesy B-movies to their fan’s delight. The troupe is in town to perform their live show at the Mesa Arts Center on Friday, May 22 and Saturday, May 23, 2009.
Fans can grab a copy of the new Cinematic Titanic DVD, as well as shirts and posters and have them signed. The entire cast will be on hand, including everyone’s favorite robots Tom Servo and Crow.
Hoodlums’ owner Steve Wiley suggests fans come early, as there are many “MSties”, in the Phoenix area. “Three of my staff have already rsvp-ed on Facebook,” said Wiley. “Compared to my staff. I am nowhere near the level of geeked-out.”
For more information about the meet and greet, visit Hoodlums’ web site.
For tickets to the event, head to http://www.mesaartscenter.com/EventDetail.aspx?eventID=1348.
6434 S. McClintock
Tempe, AZ 85283
Wayne Turner knows the ins and outs of living downtown.
Turner, a 44-year-old dodge ball enthusiast, has an idea or two of what he would include in his personal guide to living in Downtown Phoenix.
A trip to Portland, Oregon, taught Turner that it was possible not to drive a car everywhere you had to go. “Portland is a sprawling city like Phoenix,” he explained. “It took me a while to figure out that if I wanted to get a cup of coffee at Circle K, it’s only a hundred yards. But my first instinct is to get in my car and go over there.”
Turner shared a useful website for people who are looking to ditch their cars. Walkscore.com provides a score of 1-100 for the area surrounding any address. A score of 90-100 is a “walker’s paradise” and a score of 0-49 deems an area as “car-dependent.” Downtown Phoenix earned a 97.
One of Turner’s favorite things about Downtown Phoenix is that, despite the rough economy, new restaurants continue to open in the area and the old ones don’t close down. A new trio of restaurants has recently opened at McKinley and 1st Streets. Sens serves Asian cuisine, Turf is a new Irish pub, and the Pasta Bar, although hidden between its neighbors, offers a variety of pasta options.
When it comes to restaurants, Turner advises to keep your eyes open. “You can drive right past a lot of them. You look for all the massive signs. But here, some restaurants have no signs,” he shared. Places like The Roosevelt and Cibo are hidden treasures of Phoenix.
For those looking for a little weekend action, Turner recommends checking out PhoenixFridayNights.com. The site features the East and West Valleys in addition to Downtown Phoenix happenings.
“You don’t want to drive to Scottsdale on a Friday afternoon for happy hour because of traffic; but if people want to come join us down here, there is no traffic coming downtown on Friday afternoon, it’s all leaving so it’s really nice for people who want to come check it out,” he said.
If you are new to Downtown Phoenix and feeling alone, Turner even has a tip for that: “talk to people.” Turner describes Phoenix inhabitants as outrageously friendly. “So many things down here are family-owned. Everyone knows you are, what your drink is,” he shared. “It’s a very small town feel.”
Turner lives in a 1919 Bungalow off of Portland and frequently plays with AZ Dodgeball.
Okay, so it’s not exactly downtown Phoenix, but our very own Evan Wyloge got an up-close view of POTUS arriving for his speech at ASU.
Great pictures of both the plane and Mr. President himself. Nice to see some good press coming out of this visit, after Jon Stewart lampooned ASU just a few days ago. Ouch.
Expanding on last week’s blog about where to go to mooch a free movie, this week will focus on the best places in the Phoenix area to catch free music.
No matter what your taste in tunes, Phoenix has a space that offers a preview local talent. The venues range from open air to small coffee shops, but all share a love for spreading good music.
If you don’t mind the heat in the summer, there are several parks in the Phoenix area that offer free concert series. The “Concert In the Park” series is hosted at Desert Foothills Park. A different performer is featured each Sunday from 5 to 7pm.
The recently opened Phoenix Civic Space hosts a “Third Friday” music series each month. From 6:30 to 8:30pm every third Friday of the month, the series features a new local band. Past performers have included Kinch, Turn Back and the Matthew Reveles Band.
Looking for a place to entertain the kids while you enjoy quality tunes? The McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park hosts a “June Free Concert Series” from May 3 until July 5 at 7:30pm. Each week will feature a different music genre. Admission to the park is free and there is a small train ride to amuse the kiddos.
For those wanting a more intimate environment in which to enjoy their music, there are several smaller venues hosting free concerts in and around Phoenix. If you are a jazz fan, visit the new Intercontinental Montelucia Resort & Spa in Scottsdale. Every Friday the Kasbah Bar in the resort offers a smooth jazz artist from 6 to 9pm. This venue is great if you are looking for an upscale experience, as cigars and cocktails are available to enjoy.
Is it blues you fancy? Then enjoy music, fresh air and free coffee at the “Blues Brunch”. Hosted by Stinkweeds music store in Phoenix, artist Mikel Lander performs acoustic blues from noon to 2pm.
Have a favorite music venue that offers free concerts I forgot? Email Katie@downtownphoenixjournal.com and I’ll be sure to include it in my next music post.