Mayor Phil Gordon invites you to paint Downtown Red and celebrate all that Downtown has to offer at the 7th annual State of Downtown event.
Gordon, whose longtime focus on Downtown progress warrants this annual event aside from his State of the City address, will provide an update on the economic outlook of our city core, as well as key attendees in on various projects and initiatives currently underway throughout Downtown Phoenix.
Come out for your Downtown update, but stay to enjoy samples of the some of the best restaurants in the Downtown area and musical talent from the Phoenix Symphony, as well as one of Phoenix’s best local bands, The Sugar Thieves.
Oh, one other point of interest: the first issue of DPJ magazine debuts at the event! Swing by to get your copy.
Date: Thursday, November 4, 2010
Time: 5 to 7 p.m.
Location: CityScape, 1 E. Washington St.
Get there: METRO Light Rail is recommended (stations at Central/Washington and 1st Ave/Jefferson). Paid parking is available at CityScape and nearby parking garages.
Remember: No City funds were used for this event!
Previous week’s games
10/26/10 Blazers 106, SUNS 92
10/28/101 SUNS 110, Jazz 94
Upcoming week’s games
10/29/10 SUNS vs Lakers (home opener!), 7:30 p.m., ESPN
11/03/10 SUNS vs Spurs, 7 p.m., Fox Sports Arizona
With just two games in the books for the 2010-11 season, the Phoenix Suns are sitting at 1-1. Not too bad for a team that most thought would start 0-3 with the first two games coming in two of the tougher places to play in the NBA.
In both Tuesday’s loss to Portland and Thursday’s win at Utah, the Suns showed positive signs. Hakim Warrick has looked good in both games, especially against Utah, when he had a filthy dunk and was immediately a trending topic on Twitter. Steve Nash and Jason Richardson have been fantastic, and the Suns’ shooting hasn’t been a problem like it was in the preseason.
There were also quite a few negatives, mostly coming in Tuesday’s loss to Portland. Phoenix was crushed on the boards and turned the ball over way too much. Both those things improved drastically on Thursday and should hopefully continue to get better.
But enough about the games we’ve already played. As much as I’d love to go on about what we’ve already seen, there’s a bigger, much more daunting task at hand: tonight’s game against the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers. That’s right, the Suns’ home opener comes on the second night of a back-to-back against the Lakers.
The consensus seems to be that the Lakers will smash the Suns tonight, being that the Suns are playing the second night of a back-to-back with travel, whereas the Lakers have been resting in Phoenix. Factor that in with the Lakers’ size (although starting center Andrew Bynum is still recovering from off-season surgery) and a Suns team trying to gel and get their chemistry, and the consensus may have an argument.
With that being said though, I’m going to have to disagree. Tonight’s game is going to be a close one. The Suns are going to come out fired up. Regardless if it’s a back-to-back or not won’t matter. This is the Phoenix home opener, so the excitement is going to be through the roof, especially for the new guys. Warrick, Josh Childress and Hedo Turkoglu will all be playing their first real games in front of the Phoenix fans, and you can bet they’re going to want to impress. And they will.
Warrick is who I’m really excited to see tonight, and you should be as well (did I mention his nasty dunk in Utah?). Coming off the Utah game and all the Twitter love he received, you know he’s going to be amped. Coach Alvin Gentry will surely try and get him more time with Nash, considering how well he’s working in the pick-and-roll.
We need more than the players to step up tonight, however. I’m looking at you, Planet Orange. We need you. We need you loud. We need you on your feet. We need you to be ORNG. Most importantly, we need you to hush all those rude (and I call them rude based on lots and lots of experience), annoying, Lakers fans. Just drown them out. We can do it! There will be more of us than there will be of them. We need to be up and screaming at the top of our lungs the entire time.
I’m counting on you all. I’ll get us started: Beat LA, Beat LA, Beat LA, Beat LA, Beat LA!
After the Suns/Lakers game tonight, be sure the swing by the Verve Energy Lounge at US Airways Center for a free concert presented by Budweiser. National recording artist Kelley James will perform. The concert is free to all who have a game ticket.
Meet Jared Dudley
This Saturday, October 30, you’ll have a chance to meet Suns forward Jared Dudley, along with The Gorilla and the APS Solar Squad. Dudley will be at MidFirst Bank in Glendale signing autographs from 1 to 2 p.m.
6508 W. Bell Rd.
Glendale, AZ 85308
The grand opening of CityScape is shaping up to be a weekend-long festival of food, fashion and music.
National recording artist Macy Gray and – just announced – Third Eye Blind headline the weekend’s festivities.
Check the details below and mark your calendars accordingly.
WHAT: CityScape, a new mixed-use development in the heart of downtown Phoenix featuring office, retail, a hotel, and a redesigned Patriots Square.
WHEN: Thursday November 4th through Sunday, November 7th.
WHERE: CityScape, Downtown Phoenix (between Jefferson St and Washington St, from 1st Ave east to 1st St)
Thursday, Nov 4
5 – 7 p.m. – City of Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon’s annual State of Downtown Event, with a special performance by the Phoenix Symphony and “Taste of Downtown” reception.
Friday, Nov 5
8 – 10 a.m. – “The World’s Largest Coffee Break” presented by CityScape tenants.
10 a.m. – Patriots Square Dedication with City of Phoenix Vice Mayor Michael Nowakowski
11 a.m. – 1 p.m. – A Taste of CityScape featuring food and beverage samplings from CityScape tenants
4:30 – 6:30 p.m. – First Friday & Phoenix Suns Pregame Happy Hour featuring live music performed by The Walkens
9:30 – 11 p.m. – National recording artist Macy Gray LIVE in Concert, free to the public
Saturday, Nov. 6
10 a.m. – Yoga and Spin classes in the Park, presented by Gold’s Gym.
11 a.m. – 9 p.m. – CityScape Downtown Festival.
• Local live music all day and night live in the park and on the main stage,
• Cooking demos featuring CityScape tenants
• Fashion shows featuring CityScape tenants
• Performing arts groups
• Local sports teams demonstrations
• Comedy acts presented by Stand Up Live
9:30 p.m. – National recording artist Third Eye Blind LIVE in Concert, free to the public
Sunday, Nov 7
Noon – 5 p.m. – Neighborhood/Community Picnic and Cookout, presented by LGO Public House.
All-day family event featuring live local music throughout the day as well as an outdoor grilling station, special offers from CityScape tenants and balloon artists and face painters for kids. The first 250 people to arrive will receive a FREE CityScape lawn chair.
PARKING: Free parking is available at CityScape on Friday and Saturday until 4 p.m. and all day Sunday. (Standard rates apply on Friday and after 4 p.m. on Saturday.) The public is encouraged to ride the METRO Light Rail — Central/Washington station westbound or 1st Ave./Jefferson station eastbound.
Make a night of it
Shopping: Urban Outfitters, West of SoHo, Designer District and workbench are now open at CityScape.
Eats and Drinks: $4 beer and $6 cocktails are available along Central Avenue all night long, and Vitamin T is giving visitors a taste of what to expect when it opens on 1st Street next week. Grab a burger at Five Guys Burgers and Fries or sit down for a game and dinner at Lucky Strike, or try some of these places right around the corner from CityScape: ICON Lounge (50 W. Adams St. in the Wyndham Hotel), Hanny’s (40 N. 1st St.), Seamus McCaffrey’s (18 W. Monroe St.) or Ghost Lounge (202 N. Central Ave. in Hotel San Carlos).
Upcoming games (real games!)
(season opener) 10/26/2010 @ Portland, 7 p.m., My45
10/28/2010 @ Utah, 7:30 p.m., TNT
Last year, when I did my West Preview for the Suns Spot, I picked the Suns to finish third. Well, sort of. Basically, I just gave a mini-breakdown of what teams I believed to be toward the top of the Western Conference and how the Suns compared to them. With the 2010-2011 season just mere days away, it’s time to do the same this year.
First, let me start by saying the Suns will make the playoffs. Unless Phoenix suffers multiple, lengthy injuries, they’re definitely in the top eight out West, no question about that. Lots of people around the league and locally are saying the Suns will struggle and be lucky to be the eighth seed, with most figuring them to miss the postseason altogether. Those people are wrong. This team is too talented and too deep to miss the playoffs.
Where the Suns will finish seeding wise is where things get difficult. The West should be a very tight race again this year. As much as I hate to say it, barring any major injury to Kobe Bryant, the Lakers will finish with the best record in the West. After that, everything is up for grabs. The Suns could finish as high as number two. I honestly believe that. If they gel early, this team can be very lethal.
The Oklahoma Thunder have become the fun pick — the one most are picking to finish in the two spot, or at least contend for it. They could. They might. I don’t know that they’re quite there yet. Kevin Durant is certainly a top-three player in the Association and can carry a team; I’m just not sure they’ll be that much improved to make that big of a leap.
Lots of people are excited about the Dallas Mavericks and I’m not sure why. They’ll probably have a solid regular season but fold early in postseason play. The acquisition of Tyson Chandler is an OK one, but the team is probably best with Brendan Haywood on the floor. Chandler’s numbers have continued to go down, and it’s safe to say he’ll get injured at some point.
Utah and Portland are tough to gauge. You can never count the Jazz out with Jerry Sloan coaching, but for some reason they just don’t concern me. Sure, they’ve had a great preseason, but it’s just that — preseason. If healthy, the Trail Blazers could make a run for the number two seed, but odds are they finish somewhere in the four-to-seven range, as the injury bug always seems to find those guys.
The last two teams I expect to round out the West’s top eight are San Antonio and Denver (maybe). The Spurs could probably finish the regular season higher, but that’s just not their style. This is probably their last season to make any real noise with the current Duncan-Manu-Parker-led team, but I wouldn’t expect any of that until playoff time. They could still coast and finish in the upper four, but I expect them to finish five to seven.
The Nuggets are a team that has a ton of question marks. If they keep Carmelo Anthony, I would expect them to make the playoffs for sure, but still be in the lower half. If they trade Anthony, which odds say they will, they’ll probably struggle and fight for the eighth seed with the likes of the New Orleans Hornets and Houston Rockets.
So, there you have it: the Suns Spot mini-breakdown. Not saying exactly where I think the Suns will finish, but if things go as well as I think they can, then they’ll be better than the Utahs, Portlands, San Antonios and Denvers of the world and compete with the Thunder and Mavericks. If they struggle, then who knows. Either way, we’ll start to find out come Tuesday.
Watch the Suns for free
Tomorrow, Saturday October 23, the Suns will host their annual open scrimmage to the public at US Airways Center. The scrimmage is free of charge and starts at 10 a.m. In addition to getting a glimpse at the new-look Suns, fans will have the opportunity to take advantage of some great ticket deals at the box office.
The Tremulants are a five-piece indie-electronic band from Tempe that throws in a gnarly curve ball when you hear the violin playing.
Former Friends of Young Americans is a four-piece down-tempo indie band. Their sound has a sort of mellow Local Natives sound.
Amen Cowboy is originally from Detroit, but has found its way down to Phoenix with three less members than when it began. Clinton Switzer is the songwriter, guitarist and vocalist for Amen Cowboy. Name sound familiar? It’s because he’s made a little name for himself Downtown. He’s played many First Fridays (especially in front of his home at Holgas) and Civic Space Park. If you’re ever around Holgas and hear music, it’s most likely coming from Switzer’s loft.
All four bands play four very different genres of music, so if you’re a little bit of rock n’ roll or a little bit of country, Hard Rock is where it’s at. The show is all ages and costs $10 at the door. Doors at 7 p.m.