Monday, April 20, 2015


Brews or Booze?

0215PF05Arizona Beer Week & Arizona Cocktail Week once again ask imbibers to choose – and their organizers are OK with that.

Barb Harris was among the first to buy VIP tickets for this year’s Arizona Strong Beer Festival. Every February, she and her husband, Scott, meet a group of “beer buddies” at Steele Indian School Park in Phoenix for the kickoff event of Arizona Beer Week.

Read more: Brews or Booze?

Celestial Seasoning

PHM 500x500 FPOFountain Hills’ annual International UFO Congress has become the Barrett-Jackson of the flying saucer set. Are you ready to believe?

If the words “UFO convention” immediately bring to mind a dank ballroom full of off-the-fringe oddballs arguing Area 51 conspiracy theories, top extraterrestrial abductions and best shaman stone frequencies, hold on to your tin hat.

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Anatomy of a Zero-Energy Home

PHM0215Flash-1-ZeroEnergyArizona’s first “net-zero energy” townhomes were unveiled in Scottsdale last October. Designed by late architect Graham Downes (Hard Rock Hotel in San Diego) and constructed by Valley developer MODUS Icon, the townhomes at 7301 E. Minnezona Ave. – dubbed MZ – boast several energy-saving features (see key below). “Our goal,” MODUS Development president Ed Gorman says, “is to produce as much or more [power] than we consume.” That’s the technical definition of a “zero-energy” home.

Read more: Anatomy of a Zero-Energy Home

Hops Crop

City of Suds

Another month, another batch of newly-opened Valley microbreweries. Honestly, it’s ridiculous. The rate of new breweries is outpacing our ability to try them all. But here’s a map in case you want to give it a shot.

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Durant’s on Film

PHM 500x500 FPOA new indie film seeks to capture the mythologized man behind Phoenix’s most storied eatery. Does anybody in town really know Jack?

A specter of the past greets you at the restaurant’s unofficial entrance – which, in Goodfellas style, is the back door, through the kitchen – and leads the way as you navigate a maze of tuxedoed waiters into the dining room, pass the iconic L-shaped bar, and finally settle into one of the plush red tuck-and-roll leatherette booths that once seated such bygone legends as Marilyn Monroe and mobster Bugsy Siegel.

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That New Bus Smell

PHM 500x500 FPOValley Metro puts 120 new buses on Phoenix roads, minimizing the pains of outdated public transportation.

Any bus with a lifespan stretching from the era of flattop haircuts to the era of flat-screen televisions is going to have issues. According to the Federal Transit Administration, the average life expectancy of a bus is approximately 13 years, with each traveling about 40,000 to 50,000 miles per year. That adds up to approximately 600,000 miles for the life of a bus. At one point, Valley Metro’s Phoenix fleet had buses that were more than 20 years old, and had as much as a million miles on their odometers.

Read more: That New Bus Smell

Get the LED Out

Phoenix is slowly switching to brighter new streetlights. But who will pay for them?

Phoenix is looking brighter these days.

We’ve got about 95,000 streetlights in the Valley of the Sun. We wait in traffic at about 1,100 traffic lights and 9,000 pedestrian signals. And they’re all going green – or, to be more accurate, a “brighter white.”

Read more: Get the LED Out