You know the saying, "you don't know what you've got till it's gone"? Cliche as it is, I've never felt the truth of that sentiment so profoundly as I have these last few months... And for a place I used to curse for its heat.
I left Phoenix at the beginning of the year, moving across the country to D.C. for my husband's job. Though I've been enjoying exploring a new city – the free museums, new restaurants and new culture have been perks – there isn't a day that goes by without me missing the warm spring months of my old desert home.
Most children learn about Christopher Columbus in grade school as the brave guy who “discovered” the Americas and brought exotic spices to the new world. He sailed the ocean blue in 1492, as the saying goes. A year later, he would also land on the island that is now Haiti and the Dominican Republic, enslave the natives, and bring European diseases that would reduce the population from 8 million to 22,000, according to Indians Are Us?: Culture and Genocide in Native North America by Ward Churchill.
That doesn’t flow off the tongue as well, though.
Apparently there's nothing that doesn't pair well with yoga. This past year, Phoenix has welcomed yoga with goats, yoga with cats, yoga on paddleboards, and now... yoga with booze.
This "fitness" trend (and we say "fitness" with a massive grain of salt because surely, replenishing your body with booze after a sweat sesh is not really healthy, per se) is good news for all those who've ever thought, "You know what sounds good right now? A beer," while in flying locus.
Still, a leisurely morning or afternoon spent in feel-good asanas followed by a refreshing cocktail sounds downright lovely as the temps around the Valley finally begin cooling off. Below, a variety of places offering one-hour classes for a low fee and the opportunity to sip delicious craft cocktails, beers or mimosas afterwards. Grab your mats.
“Dieciséis de Septiembre” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it as “Cinco de Mayo,” but when you’ve been oppressed by the Spanish for a century too long, potential holiday names for the future are not the biggest priority.
Some gringos may think Cinco de Mayo is synonymous with Mexican Independence Day, but in reality the two are separate occasions. In fact, the latter is not nearly as festive or margarita-filled in the United States, even though it’s a much bigger deal for our neighbors to the south.
Cinco de Mayo, actually a minor holiday in Mexico, celebrates the unlikely Mexican victory over French forces in 1862 at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War.
Mexican Independence Day, on the other hand, commemorates the day a Catholic priest named Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla called on his people to free themselves from Spanish rule in 1810. This day marked the start of a revolt that would trigger the Mexican War of Independence. It’s a huge event – there are parades, festivals and el grito (the cry) for independence in town squares across the country. In the United States and here in Phoenix, where at least 28 percent of our population is of Mexican descent? Not so much.
Feel free to mark the occasion with guacamole, though—there’s nothing wrong with celebrating some centuries-old victoria mexicana with some good food. Or go the extra mile at these events around the Valley celebrating this Saturday, September 16:
Being all alone in the world – that's the theme of The Quiet Earth. But I don’t mean that figuratively. Zac (Bruno Lawrence), the hero of this 1985 film from New Zealand showing at 6 p.m. this Sunday, June 4, at Film Bar Phoenix, suddenly finds himself seemingly the only person left alive on Earth after a science project-gone-wrong.
At the beginning of the documentary "Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent," which opens in the Valley Friday at Harkins Shea, the handsome old title character pads around what appear to be ancient Mexican ruins with a funereal look on his face, morosely contemplating the failure of the world to live up to his standards of perfection. But Tower is not a disillusioned political or religious idealist, not a diplomat whose plans for world peace have been ignored.
Cinco de Mayo, much like St. Patrick’s Day, has come to mean beer-fueled cultural appropriation rather than historical cultural celebration. I’m Irish and though I’m not personally offended when people booze it up while dressed like leprechauns on March 17, I do understand being frustrated by frat bros who refuse to learn about why they’re partying.
As the song goes, “Somewhere over the rainbow, sexual orientation and gender identity of all kinds are embraced and celebrated.”
OK, so maybe that's not exactly how the song went, but it's an apt description of what Steele Indian School Park will be like this weekend during the annual Phoenix Pride Festival.
1. Yellowcard at The Marquee – March 22
Join the band during their final tour in celebration of their album, “Rest In Peace.” This is purportedly their third to last show ever, so this could be your last chance to see them live. $30. 6 p.m., Marquee Theatre, 730 N. Mill Ave., Tempe, luckymanonline.com.
Art, Hispanic culture and gambling. If ever something embodied the spirit of Arizona better…
We kid. But the Arizona Lottery is combining all three by putting out a call for original artwork to be used on a Día de los Muertos themed lottery ticket. The selected artist will create at least two scenes to appear on $2 Scratchers tickets that will be sold in nearly 3,000 stores statewide in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September 15 to October 15.
It’s that time of year: Valentine’s Day has come back to taunt the lonely once again. If you don’t have a significant other, don’t fret. You can chalk the entire “holiday” up to a capitalist marketing scheme deployed by greeting card manufacturers and chocolate vendors and blissfully (née bitterly) ignore it until February 15 rolls around, thanks to a cache of activities for members of the Lonely Hearts club happening around the Valley. We are lonely no more!
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