7 Cool Things We Saw at January's Third Friday

Mikey Estes
Part of Patricia Sannit's ceramic installation at Halt Gallery's shipping container

The first round of Third Friday exhibitions in 2015 is setting the bar high for the rest of the year. It was a pretty quiet evening on the streets, but most of the galleries were filled with work and people to view it. Most of these exhibitions will be around for February's First Friday, so don't miss out. We're sure that with the cold beginning to dissipate, it'll be a busy year on Roosevelt Row. Here are some of our favorites.

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10 Coolest Churches in Metro Phoenix

Katie Johnson
Valley Presbyterian Church can by eye catching from several angles but our favorite is the east side.
We don't know if you worship on Sunday or sleep in the like the rest of us. (And frankly, we don't care.)

But chances are, you can appreciate good design when you see it. While we've taken the time to pay tribute the coolest buildings in metro Phoenix, from hospitals to banks, auditoriums to office high-rises, churches in the Valley deserve a category all their own. Whether you're looking to drive by or drop in, here are 10 structures that scream, "Holy moly."

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5 MMA Gyms to Check Out in Metro Phoenix

Categories: Sports, Top Lists

Josh Chesler
Power MMA & Fitness is one of the best mixed martial arts gyms in the Valley.

With the UFC having made its first visit to Arizona last month, mixed martial arts is even more mainstream than ever before in the Valley. As it is, metro Phoenix is home to many of the nation's top mixed martial artists and several local MMA promotions.

Thanks largely in part to the longstanding dominance of ASU's wrestling program, Phoenix has been a hotbed for MMA fighters and gyms for quite some time, even before the UFC became a household name. Here are five of our favorite MMA gyms in the Valley.

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10 Best Art Exhibits We Saw in Metro Phoenix in 2014

Lynn Trimble
Detail of an ASU sculpture student artwork exhibited at Icehouse during "Art-O-Sphere."

The year's best exhibitions included a fabulous diversity of artwork, from ceramics to mail art, shown in a nifty assorted of places. Think museums, library, galleries, shipping containers, pop-up spaces, and re-purposed spaces that once housed ice blocks and forensic evidence. Several of the exhibits we loved best featured works created by local artists. Here's our ode to the top ten.

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14 Things to Do on New Year's Eve in Metro Phoenix

Categories: Events, Top Lists

Courtesy of Tempe Improv
Chris D'Elia's hanging out in Tempe this New Year's Eve.
Late night parties, midnight smooches, and paper horns blowing in your ear not really your thing?

We get it.

Lucky for you, there's plenty to do on the final night of the year. From theatrical performances and stand-up comedy acts to burlesque shows and art exhibitions, it looks like metro Phoenix is pulling out all the stops to say goodbye to 2014, and hello to 2015.

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The 10 Best Things I Saw in Metro Phoenix in 2014

Andrew Pielage
A CONDER/dance member performs subtidal at Breaking Ground 2014.

Oh, 2014, parting is such sweet sorrow. That's because it was a stellar year for art, dance, comedy, architecture, and all-around culture in metro Phoenix. In no particular order, these are the best things I saw.

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5 Most Beautiful Historic Neighborhoods in Phoenix

Categories: Top Lists

Katie Johnson
Live in one of these 'hoods and you might actually look forward to walking the dog.
They just don't make them like they used to.

And the ones they used to? They're in different states of repair. While some old neighborhoods have fallen on hard times, there are other historic 'hoods that are not only alive and well, but thriving. These home tour hotspots have kept themselves in mint condition, creating nooks that look straight out of a storybook. Whether you're looking to buy or just plain looking, these are five historic neighborhoods worth driving through in Phoenix.

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9 Best Costumes at Phoenix Comicon Fan Fest 2014

Categories: Geekery, Top Lists

Photos by Benjamin Leatherman
A horde of Deadpools take aim at nacho-eating foe at Phoenix Comicon Fan Fest.
The first-ever Phoenix Comicon Fan Fest out at University of Phoenix Stadium this past weekend wasn't what you'd call packed. Sure, it was definitely well-attended, very busy with patrons at certain points, and constantly filled with lively activity, but nowhere close to being the wall-to-wall chaotic hive of geeky humanity that is its big sister. And that's not to the Fan Fest's detriment by any means. Quite the contrary.

The smaller scope and attendance of the three-day fan gathering in comparison to Comicon afforded more and somewhat longer opportunities to interact with vendors, dealers, or those in Artist's Alley, or without having to worry someone behind you potentially getting a case of nerd rage out of impatience.

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25 Best Holiday Events in Metro Phoenix

Categories: Events, Top Lists

Courtesy of CityScape
The most wonderful time of the year just might also be the busiest.

Between theatrical productions of your favorite holiday films, ugly sweater parties, and Christmas light displays that put your own front-yard installation to shame -- forget going away for the holidays, you have enough to do here. Mark your advent calendars, people, because here are our 25 top picks for holiday events in metro Phoenix.

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5 Must-See Movies in Metro Phoenix in November

Courtesy of Warner Bros.
You think Matthew McConaughey is spaced out now? Just wait 'til you see this Christopher Nolan movie.
Happy November, movie lovers. It's going to be a busy month for you full of intense dramas, artsy thrillers, and riveting documentaries. Don't get overwhelmed, though. Despite the rapidly approaching Oscar season rush of films, we have five movies that you can't miss this month -- including one for the McConaughnauts out there.

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