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.
Award-winning author Alejandro Zambra, one of Chile’s most celebrated writers, is visiting Phoenix this week for a bilingual literary residency organized by CALA Alliance in collaboration with Palabras Bilingual Bookstore, Cardboard House Press and Changing Hands Bookstore.
Zambra’s avant-garde narrative and storytelling has made him into one of the latest Latin American literary stars. In 2010, he was named one of Granta's Best Young Spanish-Language Novelists.
This week, he has already made a surprise visit to a book club discussing Bonsái, his first book, and started his bilingual workshop “How to Forget How to Write Fiction” at Palabras.
Zambra will be at Changing Hands Phoenix, on Thursday at 7 p.m., when he’ll read from his acclaimed novels Multiple Choice, Bonsai, The Private Lives of Trees, Ways of Going Home and My Documents. He will also be the guest of honor at Palabra’s Micro-Mania event (tagged as a night of readings from micro fictions, micro food – aka tapas – and jazz) this First Friday from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
The author, who has been named the "the most talked-about writer to come out of Chile since [Roberto] Bolaño” by the New York Times Book Review, feels the comparison a little off. “I’m probably taller than him,” Zambra jokes of his Chilean compatriot, who died from liver failure at the age of 50 in 2003. “He was a much better writer than I ever will be.”
PHOENIX magazine interviewed Zambra ahead of his book reading and signing this Thursday, and chatted about his experimental writing. (Responses have been translated from Spanish, and edited for clarity.)
It’s almost the most bone-chilling time of the year, and there’s no better way to kick off October than with some ghost hunting.
In addition to faux haunted homes and fear farms in every corner of the Valley leading up to Halloween, Arizona also has plenty of reportedly haunted historic places to whet the appetites of paranormal enthusiasts and urban explorers alike. Test your mettle beyond artificial haunted houses starring high schoolers dressed up like killer clowns — here are some ghost hunts for those brave souls wanting to stare down something a little less cheesy and a little more real.
Award winning Chilean author Alejandro Zambra begins his literary residency in Phoenix next week.
Presented by CALA Alliance (Celebración Artística de las Américas) in partnership with Changing Hands Bookstore, Palabras Bilingual Bookstore, and Cardboard House Press, the Bonsái author will participate in a series of free literary events in the Valley including a bilingual workshop at Palabras Bilingual Bookstore, a visit to Arizona State University and a lecture and book reading at Changing Hands Bookstore. (Event details below.)
Deep in the heart of Detroit, the birthplace of motown, bluesy roots artist Samantha Fish recorded the first of two albums to be released this year. Out in March “Chills & Fever” strays from the 28-year-old's typical rock and roll/blues sound and itches a curiousity in soul music. November will see the release of her second album, “Belle of the West,” which is a return to Americana folk.
Last night's highly anticipated U2 concert at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale ushered in the official start of fall in the Valley. The roof, gleefully, was open, framing a few stars and washing the packed crowd with blessed late-September breezes. Bono and the band delighted, playing hits spanning their 41-year career – from “Sunday Bloody Sunday” to “Beautiful Day,” along with every song from the beloved Joshua Tree album.
Folsky rhythms poured from the doors of the Crescent Ballroom lounge last night as The Sugar Thieves took the stage. It started with some simple strums of the guitar and plucking of the upright bass, then Meridith Moore's voice swooped in and quickly filled the room. Before playing for an admirable two hours – Moore is pregnant, after all! – I spoke with her about the band, Americana music and what the future holds for Tempe's own blues band.
“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:
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