Phoenix Bucket List - 100 Things to Do Before You Die: Prickly Pear, Gammage, and Chris Bianco's Mom's Chocolate Cake
Welcome to the Phoenix Bucket List. Robrt Pela and Amy Silverman -- two New Times contributors and longtime Phoenicians -- have put together a list of 100 things to do in this city before you die. Each week we're presenting another 10; in March we'll wrap it all up in a cover story in New Times. For now, stay tuned to Valley Fever for more installments and be sure to share your suggestions in the comments section. Today, Amy Silverman presents the next 10 items on the list.
Andrew Pielage Life in Phoenix is not complete without a trip to Big Surf.
Catch a wave at Big Surf
Sure, there are faster slides at bigger water parks in town, and there are others with wave pools -- but you can only wax (your surfboard) nostalgic at Big Surf, the first fake ocean in the country and a Valley institution. I have (not so) fond memories of wave pool face plants as a child; be careful. Ah, memories.
See also: Calle 16: A Mural Project
Eat mole at Barrio Cafe and tour the Calle 16 murals
Chef Silvana Salcido Esparza serves up an amazing mole at her Barrio Cafe, a restaurant lauded by everyone from James Beard (well, the foundation) to Guy Fieri (he stopped by last year). She's not just committed to good cooking, Chef Silvana is also hell bent on celebrating local culture and fighting anti-immigration policies and sentiments. So several years ago, she began encouraging local artists to put murals up along 16th Street, where her restaurant is located. The result -- by many talented folks including Lalo Cato, Nomas, and Breeze -- is stunning and not to be missed.
See a show at Gammage Auditorium
The acoustics at Frank Lloyd Wright's wedding cake-esque auditorium are terrible. The line for the ladies room is always crazy-long and I don't recommend the balcony if you have any doubts regarding your balance -- or a fear of heights. And yet there's nothing better than a good seat at a good touring show (and they book great stuff) at Gammage. It's a quintessential Phoenix experience.
See a Spring Training game
Even if you're not a baseball fan, who can resist a cold beer, a hot dog, and a gorgeous afternoon? My favorite is Scottsdale Stadium, but you might want to try more than one ballpark, with new ones popping up all the time. Details here for the Cactus League.
5950 N. Echo Canyon Parkway, Paradise Valley, AZ