The PHiX

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Diya Marketing owner Kirti Dwivedi was a food and beverage “influencer” long before the term was coined, so her vacations often revolve around food and drink. Her recent trip to Napa and the San Francisco Bay Area with boyfriend Bobby Borszich was no exception. “In the Bay Area, there are so many amazing cocktail bars and restaurants that you really can’t go wrong,” Dwivedi says. The Morris This eatery in San Francisco’s Potrero Flats immediately...

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Paul Gosar The U.S. congressman from Prescott sent out 23 tweets in a row ranting about President Donald Trump’s impeachment hearings. Upon closer examination, the first letter of each post spelled out the phrase “Epstein Didn’t Kill Himself.” The theory went viral after convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein was found dead in his New York prison cell in August. Scott Warren After providing two Central American men with clothes, water and shelter in 2018, the...

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The start of a new decade brings a combination of hopes and anxieties about what the future may bring. However, with all of the new – and returning – events to look forward to here in the 48th state, we’re leaning toward being more hopeful. Here’s a few of them: Grand Openings Nobu The Nobu restaurant empire is coming to the Valley for the first time. This iconic Japanese restaurant, with locations in every continent...

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Time for the movie critic’s annual exercise in self-importance (as opposed to all those weekly exercises in self-importance): The Top Ten List. Here are the ten films from the past year that seem like the best to me, at least at the moment: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood—As with Inglourious Basterds, tolerance for Quentin Tarantino’s provocative do-over of 1969 in general and the Manson murders in particular will be a matter of personal taste; I...

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The road to Mount Lemmon Ski Valley starts with sun-drenched saguaros and ends with towering, snow-dusted pines. This stark change in landscapes seems fitting for the country’s southernmost ski destination, which is nestled in the snow-capped Catalina Mountains about an hour north of Tucson. Because its overnight accommodations are scarce, Ski Valley is largely a day-trip destination. That’s all about to change. University of Arizona alums and husband and wife Justin and Andrea Hafner are...

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There are some delicious new things baking in America’s potato capital. If you’re headed north for ski season, check these out. Certified Kitchen + Bakery Restaurateurs David and Lizzy Rex’s newest spot churns out baked goods both classic (peanut butter cookies, banana bread) and innovative (tahini layer bars, chocolate olive oil cake). All-day breakfast and lunch are on offer, too. certifiedboise.com Regal Beaver Russ Crawforth revamped his Donut Daze chicken and doughnuts shop with a...

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Dining out with food allergies is challenging at best, deadly at worst. Phoenix entrepreneur Shandee Chernow used her own experience with allergies to create CertiStar, a software program servers and school cafeteria employees can use to identify food allergens so patrons can feast without fear of emergency room visits. CertiStar (starting at $99/month) is in use at Chompie’s, Joe’s Real BBQ and more. certistar.com

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Watch out, Agritopia. Surprise is jumping on the suburban Utopia train with Sterling Grove, the city’s first planned luxury community. Construction on the Toll Brothers project (tollbrothers.com) is underway and the first phase opens this month. Future amenities, if you’re looking to build a westward manse: Choice of Craftsman, farmhouse or Spanish design A town square, a nod to the area’s farming roots Parks, streams and irrigation ponds Nicklaus-designed private golf facility and clubhouse Pools,...

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Little Women—There have been multiple screen adaptations of Louisa May Alcott’s beloved novel, and all of them have their merits. Katherine Hepburn seemed born to play heroine Jo March in George Cukor’s 1933 film, and Elizabeth Taylor seemed born to play Amy in Mervyn LeRoy’s 1949 rendering. For my money, the best, most balanced and beautiful version yet was Gillian Armstrong’s, from 1994, with Winona Ryder’s best performance ever as Jo, and a luminous Claire...

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Swing by these festive spots to snap a holiday selfie! North Phoenix  Creative Holiday Chalk Art at Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort Check out this huge 3D sleigh chalk art piece, which is located at the resort’s Falls Water Village. This installation was created by local husband and wife team, Rather Be Chalking. The display has been getting a lot of attention from guests and locals alike, and will be available for “sleigh rides” until the end...

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‘Tis the time of the year when everyone wants a quick staycation for the holidays. One great thing about Arizona is that you can drive two hours in any direction and end up somewhere completely different. Sometimes you might think you’re in a different state because the scene is so different from the metropolitan area. Here are a few places to stay during the holidays.  Hilton Sedona Resort at Bell Rock If you want to stay...

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Valley nonprofit one•n•ten has teamed up with local chefs to curate a holiday cookbook that showcases diversity while celebrating community. The e-book, Now Serving: Everyone, features recipes from 15 award-winning Arizona chefs including Christopher Gross, Bernie Kantak, Tandy Peterson, Jeremy Pachecho and Gio Osso. All proceeds from the book will benefit one•n•ten, which helps LGBTQ youth and young adults with housing, employment and social opportunities. “We enhance their lives by providing empowering social and service...

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Opening wide this weekend: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker—Final thirds of trilogies of trilogies don’t come along every day. Yet, here we are marking the last chapter of the nine-movie Star Wars cycle that began in 1977, and it feels, to me at least, if not a non-event, then just another blockbuster movie. In the film, the heroes visit a festival on a planet that, C-3PO tells us, is only celebrated “every 42 years.”...

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This year, I struggled to find something that was funny, unique and relevant to my office’s culture for the annual White Elephant gift exchange. When suddenly, it hit me: Why not get something from a local boutique? One of the things you’ll find on many of their websites is an entire page dedicated to novelty items and/or gifts, so there’s sure to be a treasure within! Here are a few suggestions:  If your office has...

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I’m a huge fan of anything that involves Christmas, cheerful dance numbers and sitting. Whether you need something to do with visiting relatives or a creative holiday date night, one of these shows is sure to pique your interest.  The Ultimate Christmas Show (Abridged) Performed by The Southwest Shakespeare Company Location: Madison Center for the Arts, 5601 N. 16th St., Phoenix When: Dec. 20-22 Why You Should Go: This vaudeville-inspired show will coax out a...

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