Cave Creek Oil Company

2015-06-30 | ImagesAZ | Community

Photo Credit: Bryan Black
On a warm Saturday afternoon in Cave Creek, customers saunter through the doors of a small shop. Wearing cowboy boots, tennis shoes, or even high heels, they make their way across the wood floor to the bar where proprietors Rich and Martha Bates often greet them by name, pour them a shot of what they’d like, or recommend a favorite of their own.   They come in with an appetite and leave with a smile, and no one leaves Cave Creek Olive Oil Company without a fun experience under their belt.   There may not be a drop of alcohol in the building, but this year-old business has become a regular stop for many locals. With 57 varieties of freshly bottled olive oils from all over the world, fine balsamic vinegars from Modena, Italy, unique pastas, salsas, avocado oils, jams, jellies and honey, the shop is a mecca for anyone who enjoys putting together a good meal.   But the bigger reason Cave Creek Olive Oil Company is drawing a crowd is because Rich and Martha are so personable. That’s... More

Desert Life After Dark

2015-06-30 | ImagesAZ | Youth

You don’t need to be an early bird to catch the bloom. Thanks to Desert Botanical Garden’s Flashlight Tours, night owls may see Peniocereus greggii, also known as Arizona Queen of the Night, one of many night-blooming cacti on the tour that dons its flowers while most people sleep, only to hide them away with the scorch of the sun. These cacti are among the countless plants, insects and animals that light up the desert nightlife each Sonoran summer.   Grab your flashlight and head to the Garden to see, hear and feel the desert night on this self-paced stroll along the Desert Discovery Loop Trail. Recommended for families and children of all ages, a summer date or even a birthday party, the tour offers a chance to experience the plants, animals, sights and sounds of the desert after dusk. Additional discovery stations vary by night, each with a unique, close-up look at agave, saguaro, insects, geckos, lizards, snakes, night birds, bats, tarantulas, scorpions, frogs, toads and other... More

Step Back in Time

2015-06-30 | ImagesAZ | Travel

Arizona is stunning for its natural beauty, but it also holds another attraction unlike anywhere else in the world. It is a place where indigenous tribes lived for centuries before white settlers arrived, carved the continent into boundaries and labeled them with names of states and territories.   Just to our south, if the mountains and saguaros in and around what is now Tucson could speak, the tales they would tell would be full of intrigue. From the earliest Hohokam communities who coaxed crops from the thirsty soil to Spanish conquistadors searching for gold, the stories are full of fortitude and resilience. In the last two centuries, the tales turned from Apache warriors relentlessly defending their land from encroaching settlers, to missionaries eager to replace altars to deities with crosses and crucifixes, to battles over boundaries that could only be found on paper and to the wild, wild West, where the lines between right and wrong, good and bad were as hazy as the horizon in... More

The Nash: Cool Music at the Valley's Hottest Jazz Joint

2015-06-30 | ImagesAZ | Music

Have you been to The Nash?   Let’s rephrase that question: Do you love jazz?   If so, get thee to First and Roosevelt streets, where The Nash resides just off Central Avenue — fitting, since it is jazz central for Phoenix.   The young venue, which celebrates its third birthday in September, is more than a jazz club. It is the club in Phoenix and has hosted the likes of Wynton Marsalis, Houston Person, Randy Brecker, Javon Jackson, Eddie Henderson, Cedar Walton, Renee Rosnes, Barry Harris, Peter Washington, George Mraz ... and a sublime drummer named Lewis Nash, the club’s namesake.   Generally, you have to be pretty good at something to have a place named after you once you die. But to have something named for you while you’re still living? Well, you either have a striking wealth of money (donors often get buildings named after them) or, like Lewis Nash, an astonishing wealth of skills and level of respect in the industry.   If you haven’t seen it and want to have your... More

Celebrate the Spirit of Craftsmanship

2015-06-30 | ImagesAZ | Lifestyle

Whether you’re a craft beer regular or have just wondered what the fuss is all about, you’re in for a treat this month. The Real, Wild & Woody Craft Beer Festival is coming to the Phoenix Convention Center July 18, bringing with it 50 of Arizona’s most outstanding home grown breweries and their caches of original brews, beer cocktails and other small batch favorites.   It’s a fantastic four-hour event featuring beer, beer and more beer, with paired food favorites from some of the Valley’s best restaurants. It lasts from 2 to 6 p.m. (just enough time for a relaxing afternoon getaway) and promises to be an event you’ll remember in the beer aisle for months to come. To get in the mood, let’s take a walk down memory lane into an abridged (and very loosely translated) history of beer.   Sometime around 5500 B.C., early man figured out that barley and yeast stuck in water under the hot sun would eventually form a broth-like substance that could form alcohol. Eventually,... More

Durant's Never Closes

2015-06-30 | ImagesAZ | Community

Photo Credit: Bryan Black
Few people remember a time when Phoenix was a small dot of concrete surrounded by cattle yards and citrus orchards, but it was just that a generation ago. The railroad served as the most important mode of transportation for both agricultural commodities and human cargo, and Union Station was a place where families hung out on long weekend days, simply for the excitement of it all.   The soon-to-be booming city was firmly divided into blocks on one side of the tracks or the other based on skin color, and real cowboys fresh from their cattle drives mingled with bankers and politicians at any of the downtown bars on hot summer afternoons.   The year was 1950 — the same year a now-iconic restaurant opened its doors on bustling Central Avenue. For the last 65 years, Durant’s and its founder, Jack Durant, have become the stuff of lore and legend. John Wayne, Burt Reynolds, Jim Nabors, Zsa Zsa Gabor and Lucille Ball all placed their orders at Durant’s.   To this day, the deals that... More

Cowboy Up in Prescott

2015-06-30 | ImagesAZ | Community

Ask nearly anyone in the United States what they think about Arizona history and you’ll likely receive an answer that includes cowboys, campfires and Wild West antics. Not only did some of the most newsworthy gunfights and cowboy history happen in our backyard (and front yard, in some cases), but you’ll also find the places and spaces where history’s ghosts have left a permanent mark.   One of the most significant places in Arizona for cowboy history is the town of Prescott. Founded in 1864, this central Arizona town features both high desert and towering pines, with Prescott National Forest to its west and Prescott Valley to its east. Prescott is a cool day trip away from Phoenix, an hour up and west on I-17, and it offers more than just fantastic lakes and vistas. It was once the territorial capital of Arizona and its colorful Whiskey Row stands in testament to its Wild West history.   Cowboy tales often originated from campfires along cattle drives near its boundaries. At... More

Anthem Filmmaker Blossoming at USC

2015-06-30 | ImagesAZ | Youth

INTERIOR BAR – NIGHT 1   Jonah sits at the bar scribbling a plan on a piece of paper. A book and the name Iris are written on the paper. Penny walks up.   PENNY I hear they call you the Architect. That you plan out the perfect cons.   JONAH You’ve got the wrong guy.   Jonah starts to get up.   PENNY Yeah, I didn’t believe a word of what they said. You don’t seem like a real con artist to me.   Jonah turns back to her.   JONAH I am a real con artist. I can make anything happen, anytime I want.   PENNY Prove it. Rob this bar.   Welcome to “CON,” from the percolating mind of young Amy Suto. As she introduces herself on her website, amysuto.com, “I’m a caffeine connoisseur, thriller enthusiast and a screenwriting BFA at the University of Southern California.”   There’s a saying that goes, “a writer writes,” meaning it’s easy to talk about being a writer, another thing to actually set your mind to it and do it. But Suto, who was raised in Anthem and now... More

BC Tennis Star Learns Ace Lessons from His Father

2015-06-30 | ImagesAZ | Youth

Photo Credit: Mike Harvey
Raise your hand if you wish you had Tyler Pham’s problem: “I’m too skinny.”   He said this, in all sincerity, after rallying from mid-season doldrums to charge through the early rounds of the state high school tennis tournament.   Pham, a Boulder Creek High School junior, made it to the quarterfinal match with a tough three-set victory over Freddie Wentling of Hamilton High School, the No. 8 seed in the tournament. (Victories are declared when one player wins two sets; the first to win six games wins the set.)   Pham then faced off against Horizon High School’s Jarod Hing, the top seed who had not lost a single game after dominating his first two opponents. Pham battled to win three games against Hing, but lost 6-2, 6-1. That was the same score that Hing would ring up the next day in winning the state title. Since Hing won his semifinal match 6-0, 6-1, Pham can take consolation in knowing that he won as many games against Hing as anyone else. Even so, Pham knows he has a... More

Meet the Woodruff Family

2015-06-01 | ImagesAZ | Family

Photo Credit: Jay and Jess Photography
Gabriel and Hannah Woodruff started 2014 with a secret, but it didn’t last very long. The young couple was hosting a New Year’s Eve party with about 100 revelers at their home in Cave Creek when, at the stroke of midnight, Gabriel got down on one knee and quietly asked Hannah to marry him. She said yes.   Elated, Gabriel couldn’t wait to share the news.   “I took the microphone from the DJ, thanked everyone for being there and announced we were getting married,” he says, smiling.   According to Gabriel, Hannah has always had that effect on him, ever since he met her at a young adult group at Scottsdale Bible Church.   “I started noticing her,” he says. “We went on a Lake Havasu trip and I made an extra effort to be everywhere she was. It worked.”   After an emergency appendectomy laid Hannah up in bed, Gabriel kept her company by visiting and texting, then got the courage to ask her out on a date.   “He asked me if I would like to go hiking sometime,” says... More

Mariposa: A Love Story

2015-06-01 | ImagesAZ | Inspiration

Photo Credit: Paul Markow
There are many among us who walk through life looking down at the pavement as they travel their paths, content with the knowledge that it is there, firm beneath their feet. Their roads are wide and well trodden, and they live safely and securely, smiling at their assuredness.   Beyond these superhighways of life are smaller roads, then wild pathways that lead through thickets of brambles and scattered, gnarled roots. Those who choose to follow these life paths often forge their own way, risking it all for the chance of finding something so special and fulfilling that the challenges and struggles are worth the prize.   For Sedona Chef Lisa Dahl, the path has been full of hills to climb and rivers to cross, but she has not walked it alone. Look closely at her footprints as they lead through the forest and there is a nearly invisible pair just in front of her, holding her hand and guiding her way.   Many Valley residents know Dahl from her award-winning, innovative Sedona restaurants:... More

Barcelona :: Catalan Capital

2014-01-01 | ImagesAZ | Travel

Writer Margie Boutte   Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia, is most often positioned as part of a broader Spanish itinerary or as a distinct destination unto itself. However, the new high-speed link to Paris is allowing for the possibility to position Barcelona as part of a two-city short break with Paris. Southwestern France also shares many cultural chords with Catalonia and would combine well on a regional itinerary, especially now that there is a high-speed link that calls at Nimes along the way.   Hosting the 1992 Olympics helped Barcelona emerge from a long period of despondency into a hip city enjoyed by culturally sophisticated travelers. The Olympics channeled investments in infrastructure and left an Olympic Port in Poblenou popular with artists in what had been a blighted neighborhood. The diversity of modern Barcelona is on display on its most famous street, Las Ramblas, which runs right through the center of the city.   It is important to understand that while Barcelona... More
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