Buy a ticket and ride the rail courtesy of a new partnership between METRO, US Airways Center and the Phoenix Suns called Rail Ride Event. Starting October 1, tickets displaying the Rail Ride Event logo will be good for the event and rides on the light rail.
When a ticket is purchased for a US Airways Center event, the METRO fare is complimentary four hours before the event and for the rest of the day after. The partnership hopes this will be a “convenient, safe and great way [for people] to come Downtown.”
A first-of-its-kind partnership between an entertainment venue and a transit agency, the Rail Ride Event program is unheard of across the country. The idea came along shortly after the NBA All-Star program in Phoenix last February.
According to Suns President and CEO, Rick Welts, people enjoy the idea of “no gas, no traffic, no parking.”
Valley METRO will be paid 31 cents for every person attending the events. Light rail traffic has been 25% above the projection on weekdays and 32% on weekends in its first nine months. As a result of this agreement, METRO will receive an estimated $300,000.
Advertising for the program will begin Sunday with the promotion of single-game Suns ticket sales beginning on Monday. Forty percent of light rail riders use the rail for events and leisure activities.
The first event featuring Ride Rail Event is the AC/DC concert on October 1.
All photos by Alexandra Flamini
I’m a Jason Bateman fan. I spent a solid 12 months of my life watching episodes of Arrested Development every single night as I fell asleep. I was very disappointed when I took the “Which Arrested Development Character Are You” Facebook quiz and wasn’t Michael Bluth. I’m also a huge Mike Judge fan — I mean, I liked Office Space before liking Office Space was cool. Given my love for both of them, you could imagine my excitement when I saw the trailers for Extract, a film that was marketed as a sort of “Office Space in a factory.”
If I were hoping for something with the witty dialog and intellectual rigor of Office Space, then Extract would have left me disappointed. What I was hoping for was a fun, sassy romp with some great characters and clever antics, and I got that.
Jason Bateman plays Joel Reynolds, an affable guy who invented a process for creating high-quality food flavorings (extracts) and has built a very successful business manufacturing them. He is in a dull marriage with his wife, played by Kristen Wiig of SNL fame. If you saw the trailer, you saw the funniest part of the movie already. Joel knows that he has to get home before 8 p.m. if he wants to sleep with his wife, because she puts on her sweatpants at 8, and after the sweat pants go on, he knows he isn’t getting any action. He desperately tries to beat the clock to get home before 8, but his annoying neighbor, David Koeshner of The Office, just won’t seem to stop talking long enough for Joel to get inside the house before the sweat pants go on. As he enters the house, we get a nice close up of an emasculating tug on the drawstrings of her sweatpants as he realizes he hasn’t made it home in time.
Emasculation is an ongoing theme in the film. When a worker at the factory, aptly named Step, loses his “boys” in an unfortunate workplace accident, a sultry con artist shows up at the factory to befriend the injured worker and hopefully cash in on his misfortune. When Joel begins to fall for her, he arranges for a male prostitute (played by the delicious Dustin Milligan) to seduce his wife, which, from his point of view, would free his conscience so he could pursue an affair with the new girl.
Of course, things don’t go as planned and the gigolo he has hired to sleep with his wife one time has started an ongoing affair with her. To make matters worse, Step is talked into hiring a scumbag “park bench” attorney who sues the company for all it is worth. In an iconic scene, the attorney, masterfully played by Gene Simmons, repeatedly offers to drop the case if Joel will agree to place his testicles on a door frame and have the door slammed on them — ouch! Unfortunately, the workers on the factory floor interpret the meeting as a negotiation to sell the small company to General Mills, and they decide to strike in retaliation.
The film was classic Judge, with memorable and quirky characters who caricature the people we see every day. There is the gossipy assembly line worker who wears a kitten sweatshirt and wags her finger at immigrant workers, the rocker who is a member of no fewer than five different bands and the aloof manager who doesn’t know the names of any of his employees.
There aren’t as many quotable quotes as there were in Office Space, but there are some memorable moments. I have the feeling that as I start the cycle of repeated viewing, I will begin to unfold some extra layers of awesome that are under the surface of this gem.
The Gelato Spot
Located at 32nd Street and Camelback, near Biltcadia, The Gelato Spot seems like a perfect match for Extract. After all, isn’t the whole idea of gelato that you can take amazing flavor and pack it into a small, delicious, frozen package? I know some members of the gelato gestapo will curse me for not ranting and raving about the virtues of Arlecchino (on the magical corner of 40th and Campbell), but I just don’t have the patience to mess around with navigating the cramped parking quarters of La Grande Orange when I could be leisurely cruising for a parking spot at the giant lot next to the G Spot.
So, about the gelato. They have all the classics. The stracciatella is decent and the bacio is definitely worth a try. I would avoid some of the more over-the-top concoctions like the Snickers and cookies and cream, although the Ferrero Rocher flavor is worth tasting.
As you might expect, I go for the fruitier flavors. The blood orange is to die for, and the raspberry and kiwi are delicious and refreshing.
The vibe is great, too. It is a chill atmosphere with a coffee shop vibe, owing to its location adjacent to Hava Java. Throw in free wi-fi, and the G Spot is a great place to hang out and do some writing on a Sunday afternoon.
DPJ was at the Sustainability Fair at the Phoenix Convention Center. Check out the scene below.
All photos by Greg Humphrey
This Third Friday’s concert at Civic Space Park will feature Scottsdale’s own Sydney Sprague and Ash and the Impulse. Sprague, who is affiliated with the Arizona-founded Chicks with Picks, will play for free at 7:30 p.m. Come out and enjoy the ever-cooling weather!
Grand Avenue has gained quite a reputation over the years: home to the notorious dive Bikini Lounge, warehouses converted to art spaces, always-stuffy whiskey-fueled rock shows and even a few triangular-shaped storefronts that cut diagonally northwest, mimicking the avenue itself. So, it’s only fitting that a festival has popped up in its honor. Enter the Grand Avenue Festival, a celebration of all things Grand.
Set for Saturday, September 26, this all-day affair will give attendees the complete Grand Avenue experience: lots of free live music, art exhibits, historic building tours and more.
At the heart of Grand’s revival is its art spaces, and fittingly, they’ll all be open for passersby. Fifteen artist studios in all will be open to the public from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.: Jordre Studio (1007 W. Grand Ave.), The Lodge Art Studio (1231 W. Grand Ave.), Lucky Rabbit Studio (1020 W. Grand Ave.), Studio of Jen Urso & Christy Puetz (1341 W. Woodland Ave.), Studio of Lee Berger (PHiX) (1113 W. Grand Ave.), the ambient studio (1023 W. Grand Ave.), Deus Ex Machina Gallery (1023 W. Grand Ave.), Phoenix Fall Space (1023 W. Grand Ave.), Studio 8 (1301 W. Grand Ave.), Moderncat Studio (1301 W. Grand Ave.), Barry Sparkman Studio (1301 W. Grand Ave.), Brad Konick Sculpture Studio (701 N. 15th Ave.), R. Booker Studio (701 N. 15th Ave.), Chris Caufield Studio and Trillion Clarke Studio (701 N. 15th Ave.).
Adaptive reuse is a key element to the revitalization of Grand, and the Grand Avenue Festival plans to celebrate that fact with adaptive reuse tours throughout the morning. The tours begin at the Tilt Gallery (919 W. Fillmore St.) and visit Jordre Studios, Paisley Town (1028 W. Grand Ave.), the Motley Design Building (1114 W. Grand Ave.), Arnold’s Auto Body Shop (1209 W. Grand Ave.) and the old Bragg’s Pie Factory building (1301 W. Grand Ave.), which has recently started housing several art spaces and Sapna Café. The tour costs $10 (the only paying event at the festival!) and is scheduled for 8, 9:30 and 11 a.m. Tickets are available at the Tilt Gallery.
Live music will start at 4 p.m. and carry on until at least midnight, with an impressive lineup of great local acts taking various spots along Grand: the PHiX, Sweets & Beats (1504 W. Grand Ave.), Rockin’ A (1209 W. Grand Ave.) and the Loft. Check for a full schedule of tunes the day of the festival.
To celebrate Grand’s budding boutique hub status, three fashion shows will take place: A recycled wearables show at 5 p.m. at Bragg’s Pie Factory, a local boutiques show at 7 p.m. at Bragg’s Pie Factory and a “BoHo Haute Hippie Movement” (guess we’ll have to attend to figure out what that is exactly) show at 8:30 p.m. at Soul Invictus (1022 W. Grand Ave.).
On top of all of this, expect demonstrations, quirky gifts for sale, tons of free acoustic tunes and even free snow cones! For fans of Grand and newcomers alike, this is a great opportunity to experience the other art row Downtown.
Parking is available along Grand’s side streets, or you could huff it from the light rail station at Van Buren and Central/1st Ave and head west to Grand.