Leah LeMoine, Author at PHOENIX magazine

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It reads like the setup for an HGTV series: Firehouse Reno, coming soon. But it’s reality – minus the TV – for Scottsdale real estate brokerage Diversified Partners, which is in the midst of remodeling the disused Scottsdale Fire Station No. 3 into its new, 7,500-square-foot headquarters. “As part of our ongoing commitment to being a great place to work, we’re excited to offer our team a new, modern, state-of-the-art workspace,” founder and CEO Walt...

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Celebrate National Rice Month this September with these local dishes. Chifa-Style Fried Rice  Chinese and Peruvian cuisines meld in the fried rice ($25) at Fairmont Scottsdale Princess resort’s Toro Latin Restaurant & Rum Bar. It’s chockablock with meat and veg. scottsdaleprincess.com/toro Uzbek Plov A mound of golden rice with carrots and peas is topped with succulent chunks of beef ($14) in this dish at Café Chenar in North Phoenix. cafechenar.com Arancini  How to improve upon...

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“Everyone who works on trains knows they have personalities, they’re like people. They have their own mysteries,” wrote novelist Sam Starbuck. Phoenix photographer (and frequent PHOENIX contributor) Mark Lipczynski has spent most of his life pursuing these mysteries. In his recent photo book/zine, Chasing Trains in Cars ($20), Lipczynski corrals photographs he’s taken of trains during his 30 years of road trips across the U.S. “All of them demonstrate a dependence on transportation as a...

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The days are getting shorter and the temperatures are slowly making their way back down to sane levels, so you know what that means: It’s time for the Arizona State Fair! The Valley’s harbinger of fall is back this year with more fun food, live music and adventurous activities than ever before. From rodeos and monster trucks to trapeze acts and hypnotists, there’s something to captivate everyone in your family or friend group. On the...

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THE SCENE When I interviewed chef Jeremy Pacheco about his home fridge for our July/August issue, he perked up when we discussed his new restaurant, The Genuine. He enthused about the wood-fired oven, the locally sourced meat, the pasta and the veggies. “There will be something for everyone,” he said as we chatted across his kitchen counter. “A nice neighborhood hangout.”   So, when I got an invitation to come in for a media happy hour...

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Fashion is part of the fabric of the Swan family. Matriarch Tequilla met her husband when they were working at a clothing store in Milwaukee and her son started his own apparel brands after the family moved to Chandler. Now she and daughters Janet and Tara run Klassy Kloset Boutique, an online women’s retailer with personal styling and in-home shopping services. “I used to be an influencer for other brands,” Tara says. “I’m like, ‘Why...

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After years of decay, these mid-century motor lodges are bouncing back. The Aloha  A retro beach atmosphere permeates this 1950 property in Chandler, which reopened in May following a three-year renovation. alohaarizona.com Egyptian Motor Hotel A 1950s shrine to Egyptian kitsch in the Grand Avenue District, the Egyptian reopened this spring with a rock ’n’ roll vibe and modern Mexican pop-up from Chilte. egyptianmotorhotel.com High Country Motor Lodge Mountain vibes meet 1960s design meets an...

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THE SCENE Bars and restaurants are playing it fast and loose with the word “experience” these days. Calling a dimly lit bar a speakeasy and charging $20 for a cocktail does not an experience make. But over at the Century Grand compound on Indian School and 36th Street – the playground of cocktail innovators Jason Asher, Rich Furnari, Jeff Holland, Mat Snapp, Kailee Asher and Jax Donahue – true experiences abound. At each of Barter...

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After delving into his personal history with abuse and addiction in his 2019 memoir Mascara Boy, news anchor turned mental health advocate Brandon Lee returns to his lived experiences in his debut children’s book. SPLAT! Brandon’s Big Fit ($16.99) – co-authored with fellow Emmy-winning journalist Jordana Houchins – was inspired by the trauma-informed mood swings and outbursts Lee experienced as a bullied and abused child. In the rhyming story, young Lee finds a lifeline in...

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If there’s one thing living during a pandemic has taught us, it’s the importance of hand hygiene. Scottsdale inventor Mike Rafko, a former Honeywell executive, spent the past two years developing what he believes is the first automatic self-sanitizing door handle. The VitaTouch dispenses quick-drying, non-sticky hand sanitizer and is designed for high-traffic public areas like restaurants, event venues, schools and commercial businesses. vita-touch.com

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In May, LDV Winery co-owner Peggy Fiandaca hit the digital airwaves with her new podcast, Wine Time with Peggy, through Big Blend Radio & TV. In her monthly wine-centric dispatch, Fiandaca discusses everything from wine and food pairings to the art and science of maintaining a vineyard. The podcast drops on the first Wednesday of every month. Stream on podcast platforms or at bigblendradio.com.

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Whether you like traditional or funky, there’s a local frank for you to celebrate National Hot Dog Month this July. Sonoran Dog Embrace the Southwest with this bacon-wrapped hot dog ($8) at Diego Pops, topped with pinto beans, grilled onions, mayo, avocado crema and cotija. diegopops.com Chili Cheese Dog No bells and whistles at Dazzo’s Dog House, just old-school treats done right. This classic ($5.05) is smothered with chili, cheese and diced white onions. dazzosdoghouse.com...

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With gas prices surging, resorts are getting crafty, enticing road-weary travelers with everything from discounts to gas reimbursements. At Snow King Resort in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, the Ready, Set, Road Trip package (starting at $179/night) runs through October 31 with optional add-ons like a road trip adventure box mailed to guests’ homes prior to their departure. “Jackson has been a year-round destination over the years that attracts both outdoor enthusiasts and families wanting to enjoy...

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For more than 50 years, PHOENIX magazine's experienced writers, editors, and designers have captured all sides of the Valley with award-winning and insightful writing, and groundbreaking report and design. Our expository features, narratives, profiles, and investigative features keep our 385,000 readers in touch with the Valley's latest trends, events, personalities and places.