What’s Up March/April 2023

Editorial StaffMarch 3, 2023
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Photo Courtesy Ostrich Festival
Photo Courtesy Ostrich Festival
Must Do

March 16-19
Chandler Chamber Ostrich Festival
The 33rd edition of the East Valley community’s celebration of its ostrich farming history will have plenty of food, live music, carnival fun and the chance to rub feathers with the flightless fowl. Check website for scheduling information. $15-$150, Tumbleweed Park, 2250 S. McQueen Rd., Chandler, 480-588-8497, ostrichfestival.com


“We hope to continue to spread the nature and the culture of the Native American tribes for all to cherish and preserve there [sic] culture which is beautiful.”

— Mission statement on the Gilbert Ortega Native American Galleries website. On February 7, owner Gilbert Ortega Jr. was recorded outside his Old Town gallery mocking and cursing Native American dancers who were recording an ESPN Super Bowl promo. One TikTok video of the incident had amassed 500,000 views by game day.

Photo courtesy Phoenix Suns (Composite Image)
Photo courtesy Phoenix Suns (Composite Image)
Trading Up?

In February, the Phoenix Suns made headlines – and stoked controversy – with a “blockbuster” trade with the Brooklyn Nets. New Suns owner Mat Ishbia started his reign with a bang, sending Cam Johnson, Jae Crowder and Mikal Bridges (plus four first-round draft picks and a pick swap in 2028) eastward in exchange for marquee forwards Kevin Durant and T.J. Warren. (Crowder was subsequently traded to the Milwaukee Bucks.) “Today is a transformative day for this organization,” Ishbia said in an announcement. “Phoenix will be one of the best organizations in all of sports, and we are so excited to start our journey with this incredibly dynamic team.” The new moves follow a few frustrating seasons of near-championships for the Suns and tumult in the franchise’s ownership. Fans were split in their reactions to the shake-up, with some celebrating the arrival of superstar Durant to bolster Suns stars Chris Paul and Devin Booker, and others decrying the loss of three beloved players and wondering if Durant is past his prime. At press time, he was recovering from a knee injury and expected to return to the court after the NBA All-Star Game on February 19.

Elevation Game

If you like to hike, you might be familiar with the fabled 7 Summits of Phoenix – i.e. the highest-elevation hikes within Phoenix city limits. But do you know the Outer 8 Summits? According to PHOENIX magazine hiking guru Mare Czinar, they’re the highest public-access summits located within a 70-mile radius of Downtown. If you want to bag a trophy hike this spring, peep these top three peaks.


Brown’s Peak
Almost three times as high as Camelback Mountain, this soaring point near Roosevelt Lake in the Four Peaks Wilderness is actually a bit easier on the quads, with a modestly graded 2-mile trail capped by a 700-yard boulder scramble.

Located just outside Apache Junction, this 4.8-mile round-trip hike in the Superstition Wilderness above Lost Dutchman State Park boasts a heck of a door prize at its summit: views of the prow-like rock formation that gives the hike its name.

Skull Mesa
You won’t find a huge, comic-book-style granite death mask at the end of this tough, 12-mile round-trip trek in Tonto National Forest north of Cave Creek, but you will find Hohokam petroglyphs and 27 switchbacks en route to the top.

To read about the other five Outer Summits, buy a copy of Czinar’s PHOENIX magazine The Hike Book: City Summits at phoenixmag.com.

The Valley’s 4 Priciest Pours

If you’ve got money to burn, these sybaritic Valley cocktails will provide the fire.


Ultimate Side Chick at The Beverly on Main
You’ll find the most budget-busting cocktail at this bougie Old Town Scottsdale bar under 10 other outrageously pricey drinks with vaguely chauvinistic monikers. Featuring Hennessy Paradis Imperial Cognac aged up to 130 years (bottles go for about $5,000, and shots are nearly $200 each), this deluxe version of a Sidecar can be yours for a cool $500.


Million Dollar Man at Prime
This riff on the classic Vieux Carré cocktail enlists both Louis XIII Cognac ($265 per 1.25-ounce pour) and Pappy Van Winkle 10-year bourbon ($1,000-plus per bottle) to carry its $300 price tag at Prime Steak House at Wild Horse Pass in Chandler. Pair it with 32-ounce Tomahawk ribeye steak for a five-Franklin night on the town.


Precious Cargo at Platform 18
Made with a base of Nolet’s Reserve Gin ($700 per bottle) and mixed with nearly a dozen other ingredients – including Grand Marnier Cuvée du Centenaire, Pio Cesare Barolo Chinato digestif and Lustau 30 Year Palo Cortado vintage Sherry – this flagship sip in a Pullman train-inspired bar is a relative bargain at $72.


White Truffle Hennessy XO at Maple & Ash
It’s no surprise that this special-occasion steakhouse in Scottsdale offers a signature cocktail that can only be described as “extra”: white Alba-truffle-infused Hennessy XO, topped with more shaved truffle for good measure. On average, Alba truffles cost $5,000 per pound. So, why is this lavish cocktail  only $65?