Unique events are happening and plenty of stores are opening across the valley, and of course there's football for watching. East Valley Tribune has all the details for making your weekend plans.
Paper, dinosaurs and Gershwin on an E.V. circuit
By Albert Ching
One day, three cities. There are unique events going on in Mesa, Tempe and Chandler this Saturday. Here’s one for each city, and all three look to be educational, enriching, and perhaps even fun. If you time it right, you should even be able to make it to all three.
It’s the one-year anniversary of Tempe Center for the Arts, and the new exhibit, “TCA Biennial: Paper,” commemorates the occasion (paper is the traditional gift for first anniversaries). The exhibition features art of all kinds that involves paper — art made on paper, from paper (like the mixed-media work “Time, Plot and Revision Dates” by Valley artist Fausto Fernandez, pictured) or even just “inspired” by paper.
>> “TCA Biennial: Paper” opens 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at The Gallery at Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 W. Rio Salado Parkway. Free. (480) 350-2822 or http://tempe.gov/tca/gallery.
“Walking With Dinosaurs — The Live Experience,” a touring show with realistic animatronic dinosaurs, comes to US Airways Center in Phoenix next week. But the Arizona Museum for Natural History has had real dinosaurs for years — their remains, at least. The museum is teaming up with the tour, with an afternoon filled with dino-related activities and a chance to win tickets to next week’s “Walking With Dinosaurs” shows.
>> The “Dino Daze” event takes place noon to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Arizona Museum of Natural History, 53 N. Macdonald, Mesa. Included with $5-$9 museum admission, free for members and children ages 2 and younger. (480) 644-2230 or http://arizonamuseumofnaturalhistory.org/home.aspx.
Tucson-based pianist Susan Artemis heads about 100 miles north to Chandler for “Rhapsody in Gershwin,” a concert program she developed four years ago. The show integrates a medley of George and Ira Gershwin showtunes into “Rhapsody in Blue,” Gershwin’s most famous classical composition. Artemis will be joined on stage by a bassist and drummer, performing the tunes in a jazzy, improvisational style.
>> Susan Artemis performs 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Chandler Center for the Arts, 250 N. Arizona Ave. Free. (480) 782-2680 or http://chandlercenter.org.
You know it’s fall – stores are opening
By Craig Outhier
“There is nothing new under the sun,” the old Biblical adage goes. Pessimistic, sure, but during the Valley’s sun-beaten summer months, it’s essentially true. Restaurants stop opening up. Investors go on hiatus. Franchises take a flier.
That all changes this weekend, when — like rosebuds unfurling to embrace the day’s first light — several big-ticket retailers will get a jump on the autumn buying frenzy by opening locations in Scottsdale. No, the leaves don’t change color here, but at least we get some new bars and a nice toy store.
The world-class toy store, famous for its behemoth stuffed animals and cutting-edge gizmos, returns the Scottsdale Fashion Square after vacating the mall during a 2001 lease dispute. It will be a slightly condensed version of the FAO Schwarz to which shoppers are accustomed — the 1,000-square-foot outlet opens as a “store-within-a-store” at Macy’s, not unlike that mini-Starbucks at your local Safeway. Talk about Schwarz envy.
>> FAO Schwarz debuts today at Macy’s, 7014 E. Camelback Road,
Scottsdale. Doors open at 10 a.m.
W SCOTTSDALE HOTEL AND RESIDENCES
After much hullabaloo, the swank hotelier finally goes live in Scottsdale with the opening of three new bars and an upscale sushi restaurant. Admittedly, overpriced drinks and spendy raw fish are nothing new to the area, but the scenery promises to be top-notch, including a porthole-bottomed swimming pool that will allow arriving guests to enjoy a voyeuristic aperitif before dining at the L.A.-based Sushi Roku or sipping cocktails at the signature bar, Shade. Just don’t expect to book a room — the hotel proper doesn’t open until Tuesday.
>> The W Scottsdale Hotel, 7373 E. Camelback Road, Scottsdale, opens tonight. Call (480) 970-2100 for more information.
FRESH & EASY
The U.K.-based grocer finally opened its Scottsdale Road and Shea Boulevard location last weekend, bumping its number of Valley stores to over 20 and providing central Scottsdale organic food shoppers with a low-cost alternative to Whole Foods. “Making healthy eating affordable” is the company’s de facto motto, and with a pleasing panoply of prepared dishes, discounted meats and high-quality produce, it delivers. This week’s highlighted dish: tilapia tostadas.
>> Fresh & Easy, 7127 E. Shea Blvd., Scottsdale. Call (480) 483-0276 for more information.
Football makes an end run through the E.V.
By Martin Cizmar
Today is an important day for football fans: On this day in 1906 the first legal forward pass was thrown by Bradbury Robinson of St. Louis University in a 22-0 victory over Carroll College of Wisconsin. There’s plenty of gridiron action this weekend as the NFL kicks off the year in earnest and, in Tempe, the Sun Devils play their second game.
WATCH THE GAME
If you’re looking for a good place to watch the action Sunday, check out Double Overtime Sports Grill in southeast Mesa. The restaurant, opened officially last month, boasts 35 high-definition TVs — it’s hard not to look at one — and a menu of sports bar favorites like wings and burgers, as well as some slightly more unusual fare, like chili dogs.
>> Double Overtime Sports Grille, 2235 S. Power Road, Mesa. (480) 287-5900 or www.dotgrille.com.
GO TO THE GAME
The Cardinals are away in San Francisco this week but the Arizona State University Sun Devils are at home against Stanford. The Sun Devils’ second home game pits them against an opponent that should prove more of a challenge than Northern Arizona University did last week, but isn’t expected to present the challenge they’ll see later from Georgia.
>> Sun Devil Stadium, 500 E. Veterans Way, Tempe. Tickets are $30 to $50. (480) 965-2381 or www.thesundevils.cstv.com.
PASS, PUNT, KICK
On Saturday, Queen Creek hosts the NFL’s Pepsi Punt, Pass and Kick competition, a national initiative that encourages local youth participation in NFL’s oldest youth football program. The event features football skills competitions, scrimmages, carnival games and inflatable toys for children ages 8 to 15. Participants must bring a copy of their birth certificate and have a parent and/or guardian complete a registration waiver form prior to the start of the competition. No football shoes will be allowed.
>> NFL’s Pepsi Punt, Pass and Kick. Free. Desert Mountain Park, 22201 S. Hawes Road, Queen Creek. (480) 358-3700 or www.queencreek.org.