Presented by Downtown Phoenix, Inc., Downtown Phoenix Journal, and Phoenix Community Alliance, RadiatePHX provides a forum to learn about downtown opportunities, issues and solutions; receive key updates from guest speakers on what’s happening in downtown; and discover how you can contribute to building the downtown we want.
The holiday season is officially upon us, and there is no better time to shop – and shop local. We’re offering up a different kind of shopping list this holiday season:
Unique product selection? Check!
Benefits local economy? Check!
Helps build community? Check!
This month’s RadiatePHX will be hosted outside at the Phoenix Public Market Cafe and feature brief updates on local downtown initiatives.
Guest speakers will include Christine Mackey, Director of City of Phoenix’s Community & Economic Development Department; Kendall Crever, Community Outreach Coordinator of Local First Arizona; and venue host Aaron Chamberlin, Chef/Owner of Phoenix Public Market Café.
What: RadiatePHX – a monthly networking event for business, community, and city leaders
When: Tuesday, November 18, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Where: Phoenix Public Market Cafe Patio and Alley, 14 E. Pierce Street
Cost: FREE, with complimentary bites and bar provided by Phoenix Public Market Café and Four Peaks Brewing Company
Parking/Transportation: Valet parking provided by GoGreen Valet and bicycle parking provided by Valley Metro.
RSVP: Register here
About Downtown Phoenix Inc.:
Downtown Phoenix, Inc. is a unique partnership of business, community and city leaders charged with coordinating and advancing the revitalization of Downtown Phoenix. DPI coordinates the activities of the Downtown Phoenix Partnership and Phoenix Community Alliance while assuring that the Downtown business community has a synergistic relationship with its community partners and surrounding neighborhoods. Visit downtownphoenix.com.
About Downtown Phoenix Journal:
Downtown Phoenix Journal invites you to Explore Your Core, offering a friendly, straightforward insider’s view of all things Downtown Phoenix. DPJ is powered by Urban Affair LLC, which was founded to elevate urban ideas, ideals and Phoenix’s sense of place by articulating and promoting the voices and insights of the community. This focus contributes to the development of a dynamic core sensibility in the predominantly suburban Valley of the Sun. Visit downtownphoenixjournal.com.
About Phoenix Community Alliance:
Phoenix Community Alliance is an affiliate of Downtown Phoenix, Inc. and the premier membership organization for downtown leaders. Through the alliance of a strong and diverse membership, PCA fulfills its mission to activate, advocate and build the Phoenix we want. Visit phoenixcommunityalliance.com.
DPJ’s Wire series delivers news and information straight from the source without translation.
S & M Comedy presents “Silence: Comedians on Storytelling,” a show that gives comedians the opportunity tell true stories from their real lives without the bounds of a setup and punchline. More than laughter, “Silence” gives comedians an opportunity to connect with audiences on a different level. Instead of a steady stream of jokes, the show focuses on personal experiences in a comedian’s life, and stories that would normally not make it to a comedy stage.
S & M Comedy Presents is a monthly late night series of live shows created by Jamie Sanderson and Steve Marek, designed to challenge comedians and bring variety to the Phoenix comedy scene.
S & M Comedy started as a podcast three years ago, featuring interviews with local and touring comedians (The S&M Comedy Podcast). In the last year interviews have included Adam Ferrara (of “Top Gear USA”), Greg Proops (“Whose Line is it Anyway?”) and Roy Wood Jr. (“Sullivan and Sons”). S & M Comedy Presents was developed when Space 55 approached Sanderson and Marek to create comedy shows at their venue. Sanderson and Marek wanted to offer something more than a straight stand up show, so they created different themes that force comedians out of their comfort zones. So far this year they’ve done “This Day in History,” a show based around the date of the performance and “Poetry Slim,” a show focused on getting comics on stage writing and performing original poetry.
S & M has dual meaning. It is both the initials of the last names of the company players and it refers to the sadomasochistic nature of most comedians. “When starting out comedy, the performer has to deal with a lot of rejection, be it not getting shows, or not getting laughs from material that was thought to be funny,” said Steve Marek (the M in S&M). “It takes a special kind of personality to endure the harsher aspects of comedy in the pursuit of laughter, so we set out to explore those ideas.” What they have focused on with podcasts are interviews that are geared towards comics in their first 1-3 years, who looking to get through the open mic level and on to the next level, however that may be defined.
If you go:
What: Silence: Comedians on Storytelling
Where: Space 55, 636 E. Pierce Street
When: Friday, November 14, 10:30 p.m.
Tickets: $5.00 donation to Space 55
On the tiny, intimate stage of Space 55, director Charlie Steak and the cast of Mr. Burns, a post-electric play create a surprisingly convincing environment of impromptu community clinging to the familiar after the unthinkable occurs.
“It’s a fantastic choice for us,” says Steak. “At Space 55 what we really want to do is new, innovative work; usually that means doing original scripts.” He continues, “In this case…this script is something that most of us wish that we had written.”
At the 50-seat venue, says Steak, “we want what we do to be affordable and within reach, but that’s not our mission by itself. Our mission is to allow artists to do things that the gatekeepers at traditional theaters prevent.”
Steak, who wrote the play Woman and Girl and an adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya, came to Phoenix seven years ago from PlayMakers at University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. He’s worked extensively with Rising Youth Theatre, Essential Theatre, and Space 55, where he’s currently serving as Associate Artistic Director and troupe member. Steak’s upcoming productions include another installment of the interactive Captain Jack’s Space Attack, with its signature drinking song and audience participation, and Space 55’s 7 Minutes shows, which give local performers seven minutes in which to do anything they want.
Why choose playwright Anne Washburn’s very quirky Mr. Burns? “The Simpsons survive the apocalypse,” Steak explains succinctly. “That’s enough, just by itself.”
He laughs and adds, “The basic idea is you have a group of people after the power grid has gone down — they’re living in a small group for mutual protection, a lot like the people in The Walking Dead, and so they’re sitting around a campfire trying to remember this episode of The Simpsons — that’s the first part…almost like a jigsaw puzzle. And what’s truly fascinating is the bits that they get right, and the bits that they don’t quite get right.”
“And then they go on to become a group of people who start performing episodes of The Simpsons. And this is when perhaps 99% of the population in America is gone, yet The Simpsons survive.”
With an eight-person cast ably supported in the third act by three musicians — Lali Breen, Jeremy Brunansky, and Ron Foligno — Mr. Burns uses the “Cape Feare” episode as its focus. “It’s like going inside an onion,” says Steak. “You’ve got the original [1962 Gregory Peck] Cape Fear movie, you’ve got the  DeNiro version of the Cape Fear movie, then you’ve got the Simpsons’ spoof of the DeNiro Cape Fear movie, and then you’ve got this show, so that’s a lot of layers.”
Washburn joined composer Michael Friedman for Mr. Burns, creating a thoughtfully realistic first act taking place immediately after the power failure, a second act set seven years later, and a completely surreal musical-theater third act following 75 years later. The ensemble includes Cynthia Elek, Brianne Holland-Stergar, Rebecca Brosnan, Toni Jourdan, Cody Goulder, Robert Peters, and Lee Quarrie.
“I’m interested in popular culture,” says Steak. “After the apocalypse these people are…preserving it, and you think about everything you have to deal with…food, water, shelter, safety — but no, there’s room for The Simpsons!” He chuckles. “This is pretty amazing.”
If you go:
The aroma of fresh baked bread from Aaron Chamberlin’s uptown restaurant, St. Francis, entices pedestrians as they pass along the street. St. Francis opened near the corner of Camelback Road and Central Avenue in 2009 and the name honors the Phoenix neighborhood’s 1936 land deed, as well as the streets of San Francisco that inspired it. Chef-owner Aaron Chamberlin’s enthusiasm for urban life and love for the area’s historic charm has created a convivial, light-filled space with window walls open to the street and curbside patios, at once intimate and communal.
A custom wood-burning oven takes center stage in the open arena style kitchen, baking up to 90 San Francisco style sourdough loaves a day. Its local mesquite wood infused flavor accents nearly all the dishes on the menu, from roasted meats, locally sourced vegetables, to the artisanal flatbreads. The rustic oven acts as the restaurant’s hearth, encouraging friends and strangers to gather together to break bread.
Chamberlin admits his expertise at cooking with fire was developed long before his professional career. “I love to cook with fire. I was in the Boy scouts, made Eagle Scout, and my skill for wood burning started with those campfires. The experience shaped me.” His talent for mastering the art of the flame has garnered acclaim in such national publications as Condé Nast Traveler, Food & Wine and Sunset magazine.
A local boy, Chamberlin left home at 19 to earn his chef’s whites in the culinary capitals of San Francisco, New York and Boston. He spent nearly a decade on the road and in the kitchens of such famed and exacting chefs as Michel Richard, Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Nancy Oakes.
He returned home with serious fine dining credentials, a deft touch for bread making and a taste for the urban vibrancy of those cities: small cafes, independent book sellers, corporate offices, family run groceries, and pop-up art galleries all sharing the same sidewalk. “When I moved back home,” says Chamberlin, “I grabbed a map and zeroed in on what I thought was the center of town – Central and Camelback. I was looking for that vibe. But nine years ago it was still waiting to happen.”
He kept his eye on the area and over time he began to notice independent business owners opening up shop and felt that something was in the air, the wait was over. He searched until he found the right building to create the kind of restaurant he envisioned for the neighborhood and city he wanted to live in. The 1955 modernist classic at 111 Camelback Road had the right ingredients: good bones and curb appeal. “Before we started to remodel,” he says, “I took [noted local architect) Wendell Burnette on a trip to San Francisco.” They toured all of Chamberlin’s favorite haunts, dives and cafes sampling their essence in taste and smell. And they walked historic neighborhoods studying the dynamism of buildings, their curbs and the streets.
“I wanted that feeling of a real city, to see and be seen,” says Chamberlin, “for our restaurant to have a role in the street life. I was told I was crazy to do that. But I am not afraid to put tables and seating on the sidewalk. I lived in an alley in San Francisco for years and loved it. I want people to drive by, walk past, look in and want to be a part of it.”
An urban vibe, front porch charm and a merit badge worthy kiln. Chamberlin gently kneaded these ingredients into a sophisticated gathering place to share in the simple, nourishing ritual of breaking bread.
In May, 2013, Chamberlin’s fire-making skills and talent for creating a fresh, eclectic menu with wide appeal led him to open the Phoenix Public Market Cafe, at Pierce Street and Central Avenue in the Evans Churchill neighborhood downtown. Its central location, full bar, spacious tables, covered patio, and casual menu that features breakfast, lunch, and dinner items, has created another popular “see and be seen” gathering spot. In addition to the cafe, the Public Market parking lot is home to Food Truck Friday, a lunch time food truck gathering each week, along with an open air farmer’s market every Wednesday evening and Saturday morning. Just like a yeasty loaf of sourdough bread, Chamberlin’s dream of restaurants with a role in the city’s street life, is rising. Smell the deliciousness.
DPJ’s Wire series delivers news and information straight from the source without translation.
On September 27 Roosevelt Row will ignite the Fall season by presenting some of the BEST local chefs who will highlight the MOST delicious chile pepper cuisine in Phoenix. Onsite chile roasting with Crooked Sky Farms, live music with Pick and Holler and Mariachi De Luna De Mexico, the Ghost Pepper Talent Show hosted by Lawn Gnome Publishing & Bragg’s Factory Diner and (of course) a Deschutes craft beer garden AND a 3 Amigos Tequila margarita station with gourmet chile-pepper margaritas!
2014 CHILE PEPPER FESTIVAL
Admission is FREE!
Tasting Tickets – $2
Beer & Margarita Tokens – $5
Discounted ticket bundles are available on the website.
Click here to BUY YOUR TASTING TICKETS ONLINE.
Location: Phoenix Public Market, 721 N Central
Date / Time: Saturday, Sept. 27 / 5-11pm
2014 COMPETING CHILE PEPPER CHALLENGE TEAMS:
Aside of Heart
AZ Food Crafters
Jamburritos Cajun Grille Express
Jobot Coffee & Diner
Mamma Toledo’s The Pie Hole
Phoenix Public Market Cafe
Short Leash Hot Dogs / Rollover Doughnuts
Squid Ink Sushi
The Refuge Cafe
Urban Beans/Tertio Wine Bar
Welcome Diner / Welcome Chicken and Donuts
Lulu’s Italian Ice
>> KID’S ACTIVITIES: The Phoenix Center for the Arts, the Heard Museum and Valley Permaculture Alliance are preparing chile pepper craft activities and we’ll have face painting as well!
>> CHILE PEPPER ROASTING: Crooked Sky Farms will be roasting a dozen different varieties of chile peppers to eat fresh off the roaster or to take home!
>> CHEF DEMONSTRATIONS: Enjoy five local chefs as they offer a live-demonstration of hand-crafted chile pepper eats and/or drinks.
>> LIVE MUSIC: Pick and Holler + Mariachi Luna De Mexico
>> GHOST PEPPER TALENT SHOW: Hosted by Lawn Gnome Publishing’s Aaron Hopkins-Johnson and Bragg’s Factory Diner’s Liam Murtaugh, The GHOST PEPPER TALENT SHOW will bring the weird, the camp, and the heat to the Annual Roosevelt Row Chile Pepper Festival stage! Bellydancing vs. Storytelling vs. Standup Comedy vs. Mariachi vs. Beatboxing vs. Barbershop Quartet vs. Slam Poetry.
>> SALSA DANCING LESSONS: Learn how to salsa dance at this year’s Chile Pepper Festival with Stilo Dance Co. Free community dancing lessons will be followed by open dance and a performance by Stilo dancers.
>> TRANSPORTATION & PARKING OPTIONS: Valley Metro Light Rail: Guests are encouraged to ride the light rail, walk or bike to the event.
UBER Car Service: Uber seamlessly connects you to drivers through a push of a button on your phone. $30 off for first-time Uber riders to the Chile Pepper Festival. Promo code: “ROROCHILEFEST”. Sign up!
Bike Parking: Free bike valet will be provided by Valley Metro.
Parking: On-street parking and onsite lot parking available, but we encourage guests to ride the light rail or bicycle to the event!
Want to volunteer? Sign up here!