Phoenix Bucket List - 100 Things to Do Before You Die: Penguins, Peaches, and Celebrity Theatre
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.
Amy Silverman Cosanti.
Wander Around Cosanti
The late Paolo Soleri -- onetime Frank Lloyd Wright apprentice, longtime Arizona (by way of Italy) architect and artist -- is probably best known for Arcosanti, his futuristic housing development off I-17 north that never quite was. And it's true, you can actually stay at Arcosanti; it's even on the Phoenix Bucket List. But equally awesome is a trip to Cosanti. If you grew up in the Valley, chances are good that your mom dragged you here at least once so your great aunt from Chicago could bell shop. The place is frozen in time, a bell foundry that supported Soleri's efforts (and housed him) and continues to operate. The fact that Paradise Valley mansions surround this hippie haven only makes a visit more fun.
Go Out on a First Friday
Jessica Obert Frontal Lobe Gallery's "Pseudo Science" recently offered a range of colorful, science-inspired works -- one of about a zillion things you might see on a First Friday in downtown Phoenix.
If you want to see art -- I mean, really stop to contemplate the good stuff -- check out the permanent collection at Phoenix Art Museum or catch a show at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. Or head to Roosevelt Row on a Third Friday, when galleries hand out drinks and snacks and you can actually see what's on the walls. But if you want to see a hunk of downtown Phoenix going absolutely nuts -- something many have never witnessed -- head to Roosevelt Row (epicenter: Roosevelt and 3rd streets) on a First Friday, from dusk on. Any First Friday. In July they call it "Naked First Friday" because it's so hot outside (you do the math), and the crowds will have dispersed -- but only slightly. For years, now, thousands of people have descended on Roosevelt every First Friday, not just to walk through several galleries but to partake of food trucks, art sales and bands that literally play from the rooftops. Admission is free (and you might even get a free hug -- there's a woman who stands on the corner, offering them) just be careful not to trip the guy walking by on super high stilts. What began on a couple blocks of Roosevelt has literally branched off to 5th and 6th streets and all kinds of spots around the neighborhood. The biggest challenge: seeing it all before it's time to go home. You might even catch some good art among the good people watching.
See a '70s-Era Band Perform at Celebrity Theatre
I've seen everyone from Cake to (Elvis) Costello play onstage at the Celebrity, but the best concert I ever saw there -- one of the best I've seen anywhere -- was KC and the Sunshine Band. It was the early '00s in reality, but inside the theater it was the '70s all the way. There are newer, more comfortable music venues in Phoenix, but Celebrity Theatre, circa 1964, is packed with memories, not to mention this is theater in the round, complete with a rotating stage. You'll have to provide your own go go boots.
Pick Peaches at Schnepf Farms
Pack the sunscreen and take your Allegra -- come May, it's peach picking time. It's the perfect Mother's Day gift, smack dab in the middle of Schnepf Farms' multi-week festival. Take Mom with you or spare her the heat, pick peaches yourself and bake her a pie. The farm, on the southeast tip of town, is friendly, dusty and sweet. And you can even buy a pre-made pie.
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