DPJ’s Wire series delivers news and information straight from the source without translation.
As host of the Boost Mobile WNBA All-Star 2014 game, the Phoenix Mercury invites Valley residents and visitors to attend All-Star Fan Fest on Friday, July 18 at CityScape in downtown Phoenix, from 4 – 9 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.
Fans in attendance will enjoy appearances from Mercury and Suns entertainers, in addition to entertainment from live bands and special giveaways throughout the evening.
The Fan Fest will feature fun activities such as bounce houses and a sport court, and fans will have the chance to take a turn surfing on the Flow Rider, a large outdoor surfing wave.
Single-game tickets are still available for the Boost Mobile WNBA All-Star 2014 game. As part of the Mercury’s All Stars and Stripes program, the team will donate $1 for every All-Star Game ticket sold to local charities benefiting military heroes and their families. Tickets can be purchased at PhoenixMercury.com.
CityScape Phoenix hosts Surfing on Central in Downtown Phoenix this Summer
Flowboarding, Beach Parties, Beach Blanket Movie Nights and More Take Over Downtown
Surfs up in the heart of the desert this summer as CityScape Phoenix hosts Surfing on Central, a 13-week, family-friendly event offering a wave simulator, beach blanket movie nights, professional flowboarder performances, DJs and a special summer staycation hotel package.
Open daily starting June 1 and running through Labor Day Sept. 1, CityScape’s Patriots Square park will transform into a surfer’s paradise with the FlowRider® Mobile from FlowRider, Inc., a wave simulator that creates never-ending waves with over 38,000 gallons of perfect surf, ideal for beginners and experts. With 400-square-feet of ripping ride space, surfers will hang ten in a whole new way while learning to surf, do tricks and have fun.
In addition to the FlowRider, Surfing on Central will be home to lounge chairs, a tiki bar and more. Throughout the summer, there will be “Beach Blanket Movie Nights” where guests can enjoy surf movies under the stars and on Saturday nights catch “Airwaves” from 7pm until 10pm featuring a local DJ spinning the hottest summer hits and pro-flowboarders showing off their skills. Ladies Night is every Thursday from 6pm until 10pm where ladies buy one ticket, get one free.
To kick things off, CityScape will host a flow jam on Saturday, May 31 from 7pm until 10pm with professional flowboarders Sean Silveira, Adam Muller and Daniel Tarapchak showing off their shredding skills and signing autographs along with Red Bull DJs, games, prizes and plenty of beach-themed fun.
For those looking for the ultimate summer staycation, Kimpton’s Hotel Palomar Phoenix is offering a “Toes on the Nose Surfs Up!” package from $119/night that includes deluxe accommodations, two tickets to FlowRider and a 20 percent discount at LUSTRE Rooftop Garden for guests with a FlowRider ticket. Reservations can be booked at www.hotelpalomar-phoenix.com or 602-253-6633 (rate code: FLOW).
Located at CityScape Phoenix, Surfing on Central will be open seven days a week from 10am until 10pm from June 1 through September 1. The event is free and open to the public, with the exception of FlowRider that is available for $25 per person for 30 minutes with a maximum of eight guests per half hour. Riders can also test their skills on “The Mechanical Wave”, which is $5 for five attempts. Hours and pricing may vary throughout the summer. The most up-to-date information will be available online. Surfers must be at least 42” tall. Party packages and memberships will be available where discounts will be given for multiple sessions purchased, like the Blue Membership where riders receive two free sessions with the purchase of five sessions for $125.
Reservations are required to purchase tickets for the FlowRider. For more information about Surfing on Central and to find out how to book a reservation, visit www.cityscapephoenix.com/flowrider. Easy, convenient and ample underground parking is available and validated by many retailers.
If You Go
What: Surfing on Central
When: Sunday, June 1 to Monday, September 1
- A wave simulator ($25/session)
- Beach Blanket Movie Nights (free)
- Professional flowboarder performances weekly (free)
- “Airwaves” with local DJs every Saturday (free)
- Ladies Night every Thursday (buy 1, get 1 free)
- Special summer staycation package at Hotel Palomar Phoenix (from $119/night, including 2 tickets to FlowRider)
Photo courtesy of Red Development.
As an independent chronicler of all things downtown, DPJ takes a comprehensive approach to covering the urban living movement in Phoenix and, with this Conversation series, spotlighting the people who make it move.
“Ultimately it’s the people that have made the difference.”
Mike Ebert, a founding partner of RED, the development company responsible for building CityScape, has a heartfelt passion for downtown Phoenix. Originally from Nebraska, he moved to Arizona thirty years ago to attend ASU, where he majored in real estate and finance. For many years RED’s development activities were focused in suburban locations but, in the mid-2000’s, he and his partners at RED, which has property in 10 states west of the Mississippi, began noticing an overall trend toward downtown development, which inspired the desire to work on a development here in their home state. We sat down with Ebert at an outdoor table at CityScape on a beautiful spring day to get his perspective on the future of downtown Phoenix.
In addition to spotting an urban trend, Ebert’s appreciation for great cities was part of what inspired him to want to create CityScape. “New York City is the most inspiring place in the United States to visit from a walkability experience,” he said. “It is my favorite city to visit. Certainly there is San Francisco and several other great American cities,” he continued. “All of these cities always help inspire you.”
One trip to New York, in particular, helped galvanize his thinking about developing CityScape. “During the deepest part of the recession, when we were just starting construction here in 2009, I was walking by Rockefeller Plaza. I’m not one to stop and smell the roses, but I stopped and read a plaque there and learned that during the 1930s, Rockefeller had developed 6,000,000 square feet, which is a big portion of Manhattan.” The realization that Rockefeller had invested so much in the city during the depths of the Great Depression fueled his confidence in the CityScape project. “It reinforced that we were going through a tough time as a community, but there was a much brighter day ahead of us.”
“That’s what I’m most excited about, is being a part of and supporting the entrepreneur developer, the smaller projects that are going to make this downtown area truly special.“
What has made the biggest difference in the development of downtown? “Ultimately it’s the people that have made the difference,” he said. “For much of my career as a developer you just hoped people didn’t oppose you. This (the development of CityScape) was the first time in my life where people were rooting for us. That helped change a lot of my view of community, cooperation and the things that happen when people are working together.” As he puts it, “it was the first time people who didn’t have a direct interest were working for us.”
He is quick to appreciate what a great job the city has done to enable development in downtown, but firmly believes that the private sector has to finish the job. “Cities are very good at doing the big items: infrastructure, light rail, and the university, but the cities aren’t the ones that can finish it, that can make a neighborhood of downtown.”
The next phase, from his perspective, needs to be undertaken by entrepreneur developers. “That’s what I’m most excited about, is being a part of and supporting the entrepreneur developer, the smaller projects that are going to make this downtown area truly special.”
Ebert sits on the board of Downtown Phoenix Inc. and has been involved in its formation from the beginning. He believes that this new structure is critical to long-term outcomes for downtown. DPI will allow the definition of downtown to expand beyond the boundaries of the current Downtown Enhanced Municipal Services District (Downtown Phoenix Partnership) to include neighboring areas such as the Historic Roosevelt Neighborhood, the Evans Churchill neighborhood (home of Roosevelt Row) and others. This expanded definition of the geography of downtown will create a stronger, unified voice.
“I believe head to toe that the most talented people in the state live and work downtown in education, healthcare, law, sports, travel, and hotels. The hope with DPI is that we will give those talented people a clear picture of what they can be involved in downtown. If we ignite that group of talented people and connect them, they can move mountains.”
His experience with the outpouring of support for CityScape appears to have been the seed that planted his appreciation for the tremendous value of people working together. “We’re seeing for the very first time tremendous collaboration in a pro-community way.”
The biggest challenge going forward from his perspective is the vacant lots in downtown, most of which are owned by the city and the county. These vacant lots make it challenging to create true walkability, which is key to a vibrant downtown.
“I believe head to toe that the most talented people in the state live and work downtown in education, healthcare, law, sports, travel, and hotels…If we ignite that group of talented people and connect them, they can move mountains.”
“People like crowds, people like seeing other people,” said Ebert. “We’ve got virtually no serious crime down here to speak of, but you always have that perception of safety if you have vacant lots. My hope is that DPI can help encourage the development of the vacant lots, and encourage private investment, which will help with shade and walkability.”
Because they are such important landowners, according to Ebert, “the city and the county can have a big hand by just working with the community to put those properties they have into production.” For Ebert, encouraging this will be a big part of what DPI can do over the next several years to make a difference.
What is the most important quality that he brings to DPI? “I hope it’s passion,” he said. “We’ve got a great board. They were put together for all the right reasons. Being the only real estate developer, I have a passion for the development of downtown,” he said. “Not just our development, but development by others. We do need the private sector to step up and have a pro-downtown agenda.” He believes that DPI should have the strongest voice in the development of downtown.
With both the Super Bowl and Pro Bowl coming to town next February, Ebert believes we have a real opportunity to increase the number of people who will want to live, work and play in downtown. He points out that the NFL historically has not had events that they controlled or sponsored until the last three years in Indianapolis, then New Orleans, and last year in New York City. “The fact that it’s (Super Bowl Central) going to be in the core of downtown after those three experiences speaks volumes about where downtown is. It’s one of those affirmations of where we’re going.”
For Ebert, a key factor in the success of those events and the after-Super Bowl positive impact for the cities, particularly in Indianapolis, was their “great culture of volunteerism.” He believes that they really communicated a level of hospitality that was attractive to people. “People like to feel welcome,” he said. “There’s not more to do there than here in downtown Phoenix. They didn’t have any secret sauce that we don’t have.”
In conclusion, Ebert noted that membership in DPI will be very important going forward. “We have a passionate group,” he reiterated, “but it needs to be larger. We need to let people know, if you want to be involved in the community and serve, join the membership group. As it grows and members start collaborating, it will have a big impact.”
An appointment with a lawyer is not usually an outing on par with a trip to an art gallery. Yet within the legal offices of The Law Offices of David Michael Cantor in downtown Phoenix, prepare to leave behind your preconceptions about stuffy law offices decorated with mundane posters or black and white photographs.
When you exit the elevator and walk through the firm’s glass doors on the 18th floor of CityScape, you are confronted with an 8’ x 12’ foot mural painting of Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio entitled When Pigs Can Fly, which Attorney David Cantor commissioned from then local artist Robert Anderson in 1997. The brightly-colored painting, known throughout the office simply as Tent City, depicts the Tent City jail in downtown Phoenix. It has become such an established focal point to the office that its image is emblazoned on the complimentary water bottles given to guests.
For Cantor, the bold conversation piece is integral to the spirit of his practice and Cantor is clearly proud to have When Pigs Fly displayed so prominently. The Cheshire Cat peering down from the top of the painting at the ruckus below reminds Cantor of the cat he owned at the time, and he notes that “the nose [on Arpaio] is very distinctive, and Robert [Anderson] told me he did that on purpose.”
While approximately 60 of the more than 100 paintings, drawings and prints in this avid collector’s possession are on display throughout the offices, this is not a corporate art collection. Cantor acquired each piece over the past 25 years personally, and many have transitioned back and forth between his office and home.
Cantor estimates that 90 percent of the collection is comprised of local Arizona artists. With the exception of one or two, all works in the collection were created by living artists.
Cantor buys a piece because he likes it. “It’s personal, it’s not value driven.” Working without an art advisor, and a casual, but not close relationship with many of the gallerists and artists, allows Cantor full control over his collection, which includes a number of provocative political works.
Somewhat counter intuitively, the more outlandish pieces are on display at work, while the less salacious works stay in his private residence. “I’m a criminal defense lawyer,” Cantor says by way of explanation. The paintings are not merely decorative pieces to fill conference room walls, but pieces rife with social commentary. “It’s personal, but we display a lot that’s relevant.”
Asked if any artwork has offended a client, Cantor dismisses this notion.
However, one painting, Colin Chillag’s It is a Fearful Thing to Love What Death Can Touch (of “The Girls Next Door,” an E! reality TV show about the Playboy Mansion), was deemed unsuitable for the average visitor, and now resides back by the IT desk.
Other paintings, like Eric Cox’s Sheriff Joezo and The Wicked Witch of the Southwest, both purchased from R. Pela Contemporary Art‘s “The Joe and Jan Show,” or a yarn portrait of Governor Jan Brewer, Brewer? I Don’t Even Know Her…, by Todd Daniel Grossman, are scattered throughout the office.
Brian Boner’s Theft Balloon and Disappearance, both from 2004 and displayed as a diptych, depict a less overt political message. Both were purchased during a First Friday art outing. “Boner’s garage was open and he was working on this piece and I said I’ll take ‘em.”
Cantor’s life as an art collector began in law school in 1987 with a print by Olivia De Berardinis, inscribed to him by the artist, “To David, Good Luck in Law School.” He bought a second piece right after that, by Patrick Nagel, and a collector was born.
While he does not have a formal art education, he relies on magazines like Art in America and ARTnews to keep him informed, as well as visits to local museums when he travels. He frequents downtown galleries like Modified/Arts, Eye Lounge and R. Pela Contemporary Art, whose recent show, “Banned at the Herberger,” Cantor cites as a recent favorite.
His collection is united with color and figuration. “That’s the theme. A lot of these either have faces of a human or an animal, or it’s color. Fauvist. Almost everything has color. Even the so-called muted colors aren’t really that muted.”
The literal translation of fauve is “wild beast” and refers to the early 20th century art movement of brash, bold colors and apparent brushstrokes. It is the focus on brightly pigmented colors that shows the Fauvist influence in Cantor’s collection. A reinterpretation of “wild,” which includes socially progressive subject matter and outlandish presentation of some of the central figures is central to his collection as well.
The collection, as well as the office space, is constantly growing. Every office has at least one framed work on its wall, all curated by Cantor. Office inhabitants rarely get a say as to the art on their walls. Throughout the hallways, paintings reach towards the ceiling and the rare blank wall is merely a space that has yet to be filled.
Behind the reception desk—and directly facing Tent City—is another rare commissioned piece, this one a copper fountain by Gary Slater. It provides a sense of tranquility with undulating earth tones setting a serene scene. The juxtaposition of this subdued piece with the brashness of the Arpaio mural enables Cantor’s duality, as a lawyer and art collector, to shine through. This collection of bold work by talented local artists’ uniquely embodies his personal aesthetic sensibilities, as well as the rich scope and quality of contemporary art being produced in Phoenix today.
DPJ’s Wire series delivers news and information straight from the source without translation.
“REAL JAZZ” TAKES CENTERSTAGE AT FREE CONCERT AT CITYSCAPE
Event is one of many International Jazz Day events taking place worldwide on April 30
COME CELEBRATE “REAL JAZZ” AT THIS FREE OUTDOOR CONCERT
Downtown Phoenix is joining the line-up of more than 150 cities around the globe that will be participating in International Jazz Day on April 30, an annual event that is officially designated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to celebrate jazz and the role it plays in uniting people in all corners of the world. The FREE “Real Jazz” outdoor concert at CityScape features world-renowned jazz saxophonist Azar Lawrence, along with an all-star lineup of local, national and international jazz artists. Often compared to John Coltrane for his sound and harmonic approach, Lawrence has performed with McCoy Tyner, Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard and Woody Shaw.
• Azar Lawrence – world-renowned jazz saxophonist plays tribute to the iconic John Coltrane and provides sneak preview of his new CD, The Seeker.
• Papa John DeFrancesco –soul-jazz music artist, father and mentor to world renowned organist and trumpeter Joey DeFrancesco.
• Carlos Rivas – International Latino jazz artist and founder and director of Mex-Sal, one of Arizona’s most prestigious Latin groups, has performed throughout the world.
• Kerry Campbell – Jazz saxophonist and former member of The Dramatics and famed band War has also performed with jazz greats Herbie Hancock, George Duke and Joe Sample among others.
• Nayo Jones – Mentored by her father Doc Jones, jazz vocalist Nayo is a rising star who has opened for jazz greats such as Chris Botti, Otis and The Temptations, The Whispers and Lakeside.
• Phoenix Country Day School Varsity Jazz Band – under the direction of David Rowe.
• William “Doc” Jones – Jazz saxophonist, keyboard artist, music educator and founder of the NextStudent Academy, has performed with Aretha Franklin and The Temptations among others.
WHEN / WHERE:
Wednesday, April 30, 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
CityScape at 1 East Washington Street, Phoenix, AZ 85004
“Real Jazz” is FREE to the public. VIP event seating is available at Copper Blues for the first 100 people who make a $100 donation to support the NextStudent Academy, a local 501(c)(3) organization that works with schools and after school programs to make jazz music education available and accessible to students from kindergarten through college. For more information about the event visit nextstudentmusic.com. For donations and VIP seating at “Real Jazz,” call (602) 708-0810 or make your donation online at nextstudentmusic.com.