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Holiday Cheers

A seasonal cocktail and dining guide ARTS: A Hip-Hop Hamilton Finally Arrives

CHOW: Happy Birthday, Whiskey del Bac!



NOVEMBER 25, 2021

NOVEMBER 25, 2021

NOVEMBER 25, 2021 | VOL. 36, NO. 47


The Tucson Weekly is available free of charge in Pima County, limited to one copy per reader. Additional copies of the current issue of the Tucson Weekly may be purchased for $1, payable at the Tucson Weekly office in advance. To find out where you can pick up a free copy of the Tucson Weekly, please visit





COVID boosters are open to all as cases continue to rise ahead of the holidays



Our holiday cocktail and dining guide! Where to grab a bite and show off Tucson’s cuisine culture to holiday visitors



Whiskey del Bac celebrates a decade of desert flavors





ADMINISTRATION Steve T. Strickbine, Publisher Michael Hiatt, Vice President Jaime Hood, General Manager, Tyler Vondrak, Associate Publisher, Claudine Sowards, Accounting,

AT A TIME OF THE YEAR WHEN WE express our gratitude, I have a long list of thanks. I’m thankful for the gang here at Tucson Weekly, who continue to ship out an edition to the press every week, no matter what curveballs come our way. (Unexpectedly early deadlines were the hurdle we cleared this week.) I love reading our contributors’ articles and feel blessed to work with such a great team in the production, management and sales departments here at the office. And I’m deeply grateful for the advertisers who continue to make it possible to get this paper out. I’m especially thankful for COVID-19 vaccine. My 8-year-old daughter, who has dodged the bug even though classmates have tested positive twice in recent months, got her first shot last week. (I credit masks for keeping viral particles low in the classroom.) If you’re on the fence about getting the jab or your booster, do it. The life you save may be your own. I’m also thankful that so many of our local restaurants continue to weather the COVID storm. If it weren’t for the vaccine, the Weekly wouldn’t be running cover stories like this week’s roundup of places to enjoy a holiday cocktail or meal. But the miracle of modern science does allow us to gather again, although it’s probably smart to do it outside when possible and remain masked up when out in public.

Despite the vaccine, the local COVID situation is spiraling out of control again. We are seeing more breakthrough cases as well as more people—mostly the unvaccinated—in the hospital. Staff reporter Alex Pere fills you in on the unhappy latest in this week’s Currents section. Elsewhere in the book this week: The Skinny looks at how a sore loser in this year’s City Council races is alleging—what else?—that the election was rigged, as well as a win in the battle to stop Gov. Doug Ducey’s giant tax giveaway to Arizona’s wealthiest residents; managing editor Jeff Gardner celebrates big anniversaries for the local distillers at Whiskey del Bac and the local brewers at Pueblo Vida; calendar editor Emily Dieckman recommends a few things to do this week; arts writer Margaret Regan gets hip to Hamilton; Reel Indie columnist Matt Singer gives you a heads up on some cinema you might otherwise overlook; XOXO columnist Xavier Otero tells you where you can rock this week; Jerod MacDonald-Evoy of the Arizona Mirror teases out the BS involved in the upcoming lottery of “social equity” licenses for cannabis dispensaries; and there are cartoons, puzzles, horoscopes, sex advice and more in our pages. Happy Thanksgiving! Jim Nintzel Executive Editor

RANDOM SHOTS By Rand Carlson

A marvelous Hamilton finally takes the stage in Tucson

Sheryl Kocher, Receptionist, EDITORIAL Jim Nintzel, Executive Editor, Jeff Gardner, Managing Editor, Mike Truelsen, Web Editor, Alexandra Pere, Staff Reporter, Contributors: David Abbott, Rob Brezsny, Max Cannon, Rand Carlson, Tom Danehy, Emily Dieckman, Bob Grimm, Andy Mosier, Linda Ray, Margaret Regan, Will Shortz, Jen Sorensen, Clay Jones, Dan Savage PRODUCTION Courtney Oldham, Production Manager, Ryan Dyson, Graphic Designer, Emily Filener, Graphic Designer, CIRCULATION Alex Carrasco, Circulation, ADVERTISING Kristin Chester, Account Executive, Candace Murray, Account Executive, Lisa Hopper, Account Executive, NATIONAL ADVERTISING Zac Reynolds Director of National Advertising Tucson Weekly® is published every Thursday by Times Media Group at 7225 N. Mona Lisa Rd., Ste. 125, Tucson, Arizona. Address all editorial, business and production correspondence to: Tucson Weekly, 7225 N. Mona Lisa Rd., Ste. 125, Tucson, Arizona 85741. Phone: (520) 797-4384, FAX (520) 575-8891. Member of the Association of Alternative Newsmedia (AAN). The Tucson Weekly® and Best of Tucson® are registered trademarks of Times Media Group. Publisher has the right to refuse any advertisement at his or her discretion.



‘Social Equity’ marijuana licenses were meant to right a wrong, but critics say they’ll just make cannabis giants even richer

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NOVEMBER 25, 2021



COVID boosters open to all as cases continue rise

Dr. Joe Gerald, an epidemiologist with the UA Zuckerman School of Public Health who has been tracking COVID cases since the virus first arrived in AS HOSPITALS FILL UP IN PIMA Arizona, reported that as of Nov. 17, 27% County due to rising COVID-19 cases, of Arizona’s general ward beds were county officials are urging all residents who have been vaccinated to get a boost- occupied by COVID-19 patients—a 14% increase from a week before. As a result, er shot and those who have not been hospitals across the state had 484 genervaccinated to have expanded booster al ward beds available, the lowest numshot eligibility. ber since the beginning of the pandemic, Banner Health officials announced according to Gerald. earlier this week that they have seen a On that same date, 597 COVID significant increase in COVID ICU admissions in recent days and that COVID patients were in intensive care units, a number that represents about one-third patients now account for more than of the state’s total ICU beds. Just 112 ICU a third of all ICU patients in Banner’s beds remained available across the state. Arizona hospitals. By Alex Pere

“We’re headed into the holidays doing more poorly than last year,” Gerald said via email earlier this week. “While I remain optimistic case rates won’t come near last year’s peak, this delta wave is going to be our longest one yet, bringing with it plenty of misery for everyone.” Gerald noted that the Arizona Department of Health Services posted more than 5,000 new cases on Thursday and Friday last week and predicted that transmission would continue to increase through the holidays, with an expected drop next year. COVID hospitalizations align with the increasing trend of rising COVID-19 cases all over Arizona. For the week ending Nov. 14, Arizona’s COVID cases increased by 6% from the week prior, according to Gerald’s COVID report. From Nov. 1 to Nov. 9, Pima County cases increased by 38%, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services. “The Delta variant combined with public COVID fatigue, holiday festivities, sporting events, noncompliance with mitigation strategies, and waning immunity of the vaccinated is to blame for the

spike in cases,” said Pima County Health Department Director Dr. Theresa Cullen in a Nov. 17 press conference. Cullen noted that 25% of cases reported in October were vaccinated people. The breakthrough infection rate has risen from 1% to 1.2%, indicating to health officials that vaccines have lower effectiveness over time. Health officials have found that breakthrough cases tend to happen around six months after full vaccination. As a result, Pima County health officials are urging all Pima County residents to get a booster shot if it’s been six months since their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or two months since their single shot of Johnson & Johnson. Pima County is offering the shots for free to all eligible adults over 18 years of age. “Vaccination is not sufficient to prevent transmission and clearly vaccination does not last forever,” Pima County Chief Medical Officer Dr. Francisco Garcia told the Pima County Board of Supervisors on Nov. 16. “It doesn’t work that way for the flu either.” The Delta variant is two to three times

NOVEMBER 25, 2021

more transmissible than the original COVID strain, but current COVID vaccines are highly effective in keeping people out of the hospital. Banner Health reported on Nov. 16 that 80% of hospitalized COVID patients in Arizona are unvaccinated. Pima County health officials are particularly worried about the holiday season. Pima County Health Department’s COVID-19 school liaison Brian Eller said during the Nov. 17 press conference that the county wants to keep schools open. To do so, Eller advised the public to wear a mask indoors if they are in close contact with family for the holidays and try to limit guests or have the event outside. In other COVID news: • The University of Arizona received criticism after photos and videos circulated on social media showing indoor basketball games and football games with large crowds of unmasked people. “There are clear public health guidelines we want you to follow,” UA President Dr. Robert C. Robbins said on Nov.



15. “To get in the building, you are going to have to have a mask and people are going to ask you nicely to do so.… I want to be clear, we will not, absolutely will not tolerate people being abusive to the individuals who are there to serve you.” Dr. Richard Carmona, the former surgeon general who is heading up the UA COVID task force, reported during the Nov 15 update several incidents in which staff, mostly students, were verbally abused by game attendees who disagreed with mitigation strategies and vaccination. • Michael Worobey, a professor in the UA Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, published an article in the journal Science that suggests COVID-19 did jump from animals to humans in a marketplace and not via a lab leak. “That most early symptomatic cases were linked to Huanan Market— specifically to the western section where raccoon dogs were caged—provides strong evidence of a live-animal market GRAPH FROM THE ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH SERVICES origin of the pandemic,” Worobey Arizona daily COVID cases continue to rise heading into the holidays, with last week’s wrote. ■ numbers almost matching the summer 2020 wave. (Illnesses in the last four to seven days may not be reported yet.)



NOVEMBER 25, 2021

THE SKINNY By Jim Nintzel OPPONENTS OF GOV. DOUG DUCEY’S ginormous tax cut for Arizona’s highest earners won a big victory of last week. The referendum effort to require voters to approve the income-tax cut qualified for the November 2022 ballot, according to the Secretary of State’s office. Ducey has tried selling the tax cut as a boon for all Arizonans, but it overwhelmingly favors Arizona’s top earners. An analysis by the Joint Legislative Budget Committee shows those earning between $40,000 to $50,000 will get an average tax cut of $39 a year. But those earning between half a million to a million bucks annually will enjoy a tax cut of $7,306. Now, there are those who will say that people who bring home more than a half a million a year simply deserve a tax cut that’s 187 times higher than the shmucks who make somewhere around the state’s median income—after all, how else will the upper crust surprise a spouse with a Lexus in the driveway this Christmas? But The Skinny finds it absurd to give away a billion dollars a year to people who have prospered despite a worldwide pandemic when there are plenty of things the state could do with that dough, from investing in highways to addressing affordable housing to improving schools. (Although the whole “improving schools” thing is a tough sell since the state actually limits how much we can spend on education annually— wouldn’t want those teachers getting into a bracket where they could afford to send their own kids to college, right?) We’ll have plenty of time to explore this topic in depth between now and November 2022, assuming the measure stays on the ballot. But that’s not a sure thing. You can bet the ruling class—represented by the fat cats at the Free Enterprise Club—will be fighting whitened tooth and

NOVEMBER 25, 2021



BEAT THE RICH Referendum effort to block Ducey’s tax cuts for the rich makes the ballot

manicured nail to get it kicked off the ballot. They’ve already filed a pair of lawsuits, including one that says the peasants simply don’t have the legal right to challenge this massive giveaway. Wonder why they’re so desperate to prevent the people from voting on this? Could they suspect it’s enormously unpopular?

SORE LOSER Failed City Council candidate complains of anomalies, rigged election INDEPENDENT CANDIDATE VAL Romero seems to have lost some of his aloha spirit following his loss to Ward 6 City Councilman Steve Kozachik earlier this month. Romero, a political unknown and grill salesman, got blown out by The Koz by 30 percentage points. Granted, the deck was stacked against Romero from the jump. With one exception, you’d have to go back more than half a century to find examples of elected Democrats losing council seats in a normal election cycle. Sure, Republicans have won open seats, Democrats lost seats in a recall election way back in the 1970s and appointed Democrats have lost in primaries, but sitting elected Democrats almost never lose. The one exception was 2009, when Kozachik— then a Republican—defeated one-term Democrat Nina Trasoff. Koz then began an entertaining feud with the looney Republicans in the Arizona Legislature before finding a new home in the Democratic Party. Kozachik is blunt and says what’s on his mind. He’s popular enough that in his last two elections, he’s foregone fundraising and hasn’t bothered much with traditional campaigning—his own idiosyncratic method of getting the money out of politics. (This year Koz did enjoy support from an independent campaign whose donors ranged from car dealer Jim Click to former Democratic mayoral candidate and downtown developer Randi Dorman.)

The point is: Val was starting from a hole and he just kept digging. He made no effort to court crossover voters and instead made high-profile appearances at anti-mask and anti-vaccine demonstrations, which are hardly popular among Tucson’s Democratic base. So it’s hardly a surprise that the race wasn’t even close. Once the final results were released, Romero addressed a dozen or so supporters he generously referred to as “our base” with a promise of future political victories. He and his campaign manager then regaled the crowd with various vague allegations of a stolen election and said they weren’t going to concede because the anomalies meant they were cheated of their rightful win. Not that they want to pursue legal action about these anomalies. They saw

what happened with Cyber Ninjas and they know it’s a lost cause. But next time, they want their campaign volunteers to be part of the tabulation team—which is not how any of this works, but whatever. Quit living in fantasyland, Val. If you lose by 30 percentage points, it’s not a rigged election. You just suck. And your inability to man up and face your loss makes you even more pathetic. Koz was his usual blunt self when he responded to Romero’s claim of a stolen election. “If Val really believes there were anomalies, he and his little group of science deniers should run up and get the Cyber Ninjas to look into it,” he said. “It would keep his clown show going and continue the embarrassment that the whole ‘election fraud’ narrative has been for Arizona. In the meantime, my staff and I have work to do.” ■



NOVEMBER 25, 2021

Holiday Cocktail and Dining Guide HOLIDAY CHEERS! A seasonal cocktail and dining guide

Staff Report

WHETHER YOU’VE GOT FRIENDS in town for Thanksgiving weekend or you’re looking to entertain someone now that the holiday season is in full swing, Tucson has plenty of elegant spots to enjoy a winter cocktail or a fine meal. Every place on this list is a dining

destination itself, but you can even use this roundup as a tour of some of the most tasty and charming spots around town. From downtown pubs to midtown eateries, there’s plenty for the solo adventurer and an entire holiday party. Cheers and bon appetit! The Coronet. 198 W. Cushing St. Located in what used to be Cushing Street Bar and Grill on the edge of Barrio

Viejo, the Coronet offers a menu built around surf-and-turf dishes and sophisticated cocktails in an elegant atmosphere. When it comes to the cocktails, we really enjoy the Winnemucca Punch, a citrusy blend of liqueur, cognac and grenadine that isn’t too sweet but still manages to be sippable. But it’s hard to beat their extensive menu of gins, mezcals, scotch and much more. Be sure to check out their sister operations under the same roof, The Meyer Avenue Cafe and Mercantile, which offers breakfast and lunch along with to-go items, and the Nightjar, a separate pub with its own vibe. Suffice it to say, we’re glad Coro-

net’s move from Fourth Ave. didn’t come with too much of a change in style. Little Love Burger. 312 E. Congress St. This burger and craft beer joint has opened in the old Diablo Burger space in downtown’s Rialto building with a menu that includes burgers, chicken sandwiches, hot dogs and shakes made with HUB ice cream. You’ll also find craft beer on tap alongside red and white wine. The new eatery is still getting on their feet, but their central location and variety of options are a good hint toward a future favorite. CONTINUED ON PAGE 11

Cocktail and Dining Guide

local. fresh. inspired DOWNTOWN 101 E. Pennington St. (520) 882-5550 Tue - Thur Fri & Sat Sunday Monday

• • • •

5pm-9pm 5pm-10pm 5pm-9pm Closed

NORTH 7262 N. Oracle Rd. (520) 447-5759 Tue - Thur Fri & Sat Sunday Monday

• • • •

11:30 AM- 2:30 PM, 4:30 PM- 9 PM 11:30 AM - 2:30 PM, 4:30 PM- 10 PM 11:30 AM- 2:30 PM, 4:30- 9 PM Closed @reillypizza

NOVEMBER 25, 2021





NOVEMBER 25, 2021

Cocktail and Dining Guide

Cocktail and Dining Guide

NOVEMBER 25, 2021


Come try our signature drinks today!

Made with fresh ingredients and spices!

The Scorpion Bowl at Kon Tiki!



Good Oak Bar. 316 E. Congress St. Good Oak Bar closed down for a year thanks to the COVID outbreak, but the tiny tavern has reopened. With just a few booths and a handful of barstools, it’s not the place for a crowd, but the intimate setting can make for a memorable evening. Expect to find craft beer on tap, Arizona beers and plenty of great pub fare like fried pickles, house-made potato chips, and parmesan fries. Reilly Cocktails and Craft Pizza. 101 E. Pennington St. & 7262 N. Oracle Road. We particularly enjoy how Reilly ventures into the realms of pizza and drinks, but doesn’t rely on both. If you’re just going there to grab a slice, you’ll leave satisfied. And if you only want a cocktail, there’s plenty of options. But if you combine the two, you’ve got a craft combo worthy of a late night jaunt. Their second location on Ina and Oracle opened earlier this year, if you find yourself on the north side and in the mood for a craft pizza you won’t find anywhere else. Kon Tiki. 4625 E. Broadway. This Polynesian wonderland has been the go-to spot for cocktails for nearly six decades.


Who doesn’t love tropical-meets-tasty? They serve a variety of favorite island foods, from Polynesian BBQ to potstickers to calamari. They’ve even got a whole luau platter and specials for taco Tuesday. But that’s not to say they’re skimping in the drink department. After all, what would a Tiki bar be without giant, sweet cocktails to be enjoyed out of charming containers? From banana and rum to vodka and passionfruit, Kon Tiki serves the goods. Let’s not forget the classic drink “bowls” that can satisfy a whole party. The fact most of their drinks are under $10 is the cherry on top. Tough Luck Club. 101 E Pennington St. While you’re at Reilly’s downtown location, pop around the corner and down some stairs to one of downtown’s (literally) hidden gems. Tough Luck Club is an underground bar perfect for a late-night meet-up with low lighting, a relaxed atmosphere and plenty of drinks. Whether you’re looking for local craft beer, wine, or house cocktails, you’re in luck at this subterranean spot. Caruso’s. 434 N. Fourth Ave. If we’re talking about places to meet with friends and fill a lot of bellies, it’s hard CONTINUED ON PAGE 12

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NOVEMBER 25, 2021

Cocktail and Dining Guide



to ignore this Fourth Avenue staple. For the better part of a century, Caruso’s has been serving up Italian favorites with serving sizes made for to-go boxes. Inside one of Tucson’s oldest family-owned restaurants, Caruso’s famous copper pot has simmered their signature red sauce since the early days. If there’s a classic Italian dish you’re in the mood for, chances are Caruso’s will serve it up the right way. Batch. 118 E. Congress St. Here’s a combo we can get behind: whiskey options from all over the world, bar snacks, and over-the-top doughnuts all in the same place. Downtown’s Batch has carved a niche for themselves that’s hard to beat. And to make the weekend a little sweeter, you can also find street tacos at Batch every Friday night. 47 Scott. 47 S. Scott Ave. Yes, it’s the address and the name! But more than

an easy name, 47 Scott is a bistro/bar pair that has fed downtown for more than a decade. The hip and relaxed atmosphere is a nice break from the bustle, but don’t let that deceive you: their extensive cocktail menus (we’re talking dozens of cocktails alone) are enough to keep you active until the wee hours. 47 Scott’s restaurant and bar are currently closed while they repair some fire damage, but we wish them a quick recovery so they can resume serving up favorites in no time. Hotel Congress. 311 E. Congress St. While Hotel Congress just passed the century mark, it manages to pay homage to its history while still maintaining a modern—or perhaps timeless—sense of style. Whether you want a drink in the Tap Room or breakfast, lunch or dinner in the Cup Café or on the expansive plaza, you can bet you’ll have a wonderful experience at Hotel Congress. While you’re there, you can also do some holiday shopping if someone on your list is into Congress swag.

Cocktail and Dining Guide


Owl’s Club. 236 S. Scott Ave. A short walk from the downtown stretch, Owl’s Club is a tranquil bar in a historic building. Although the bar is relatively new, their cocktails speak for themselves. Our favorite has to be the cinnamon-pomegranate-grapefruit-lime Zombie. (And not just because it has the most alcohol!) But whatever high-quality craft drink you’re enjoying, Owl’s Club’s atmosphere will make it that much nicer. Rollies Mexican Patio. 4573 S. 12th Ave. South of downtown, Rollies has earned

a devoted fan base and a reputation for authentic street food style. Yes, they dish up all the enchiladas, quesadillas, burros and tacos you can hope for. But it’s also worth noting Rollies has taken home the Best of Tucson® award for Best Birria multiple years in a row. They serve a birria plate, birria ramen, and even a birria burger. But our favorite item on the menu has to be the equally ridiculous and delicious concha ice cream sandwich for only $5. What a way to beat the heat!

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The TLC Strawberry Daiquiri! 2 Part White Rum 3/4 Part Fresh Lime Juice 1/2 Part Strawberry Syrup Build all ingredients into a cocktail shaker and add ice. Shake until ice cold and strain into a chilled cocktail glass Garnish with a lime wheel.

Raijin Ramen. 2955 E. Speedway Blvd. It’s almost impossible to discuss noodles in Tucson without bringing up midtown’s beloved Raijin Ramen. This noodle shop has won over the Old Pueblo thanks to their hearty bowls with pork broth, eggs, fried onion, pickled ginger, black garlic and more. They also have a tasty green bowl for vegetarians, and side dishes worthy of your attention. But what really puts Raijin on

Some drinks you don't need to over think. They are just delicious. This is one of those.


Voted Best Vegetarian/Vegan & Best Gluten Free


Tumerico on 4th Ave. 4th Ave Location 402 E 4thst. Corner of 4th Avenue & 4th Street 520-392-0224

“It’s all about food, serving the community by healing through food. Food is home. Food is family.”

Three locations Tumerico Cafe 6th St location 2526 E. 6th Street 520-240-6947

La Chaiteria 1002 W Congress St Open Daily for Takeout or Delivery 520-400-7127




Cocktail and Dining Guide

NOVEMBER 25, 2021



this list is their great selection of sake, chu hi, hot sake, imported beers, and even some unique Japanese craft beers. Not that Tucson’s winters are particularly bitter, but a hot bowl really does hit better when there’s a chill in the air. Pinnacle Peak. 6541 E. Tanque Verde Road. If you’re looking to take the family out on the east side, Pinnacle Peak should be under serious consideration. Not only is it a top-class steakhouse, but it’s located inside Trail Dust Town, so the kids can have all sorts of fun riding the train or the carousel, panning for gold, learning new tricks at the magic shop or—of course—exploring the candy shop. Meanwhile, the adults can enjoy a normal conversation or belly up to the bar for a cocktail. Just don’t wear a tie! BOCA Tacos Y Tequila. 533 N. Fourth Ave. If you’re just trying to show off

Reader’s Choice Best Tacos

er and r own Be u o y g in r B ur patio! Wine to o

Voted Best Birria Two Years in Row!

4573 S. 12th Avenue • 520-300-6289

Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar Daily Specials Half Price Rolls $6 Sake Bombs All Day 5036 N Oracle Road 888-6646 M-F 11:30am to 2:30pm & 5pm to 10pm Sat 12pm to 10pm Sun 12pm to 9pm

Tucson’s culinary prowess to outof-towners on holiday, BOCA Tacos Y Tequila is a perfect stop. Expertly curated by Chef Maria Mazon, BOCA specializes in cooking up custom salsas that are “hotter than your wife.” Curry salsa, black bean salsa and more are the perfect tops to their artisan tacos. Wash it down at their bar with some tequila or Mexican beer and you’ve got a meal worth raving about to every Fourth Ave. passerby. Tumerico Cafe. 2526 E. Sixth Street & 42 E. Fourth Ave. This new kid on the block has earned rave reviews since opening its doors. Tumerico serves up vegan and gluten-free dishes, but you’d never notice a lack in flavor. From jackfruit carnitas to Cuban tacos, Tumerico’s food packs a flavorful punch that you can feel good about. The fact this is one of Guy Fieri’s favorite spots in Tucson is proof enough Tumerico will impress your friends and family.

Cocktail and Dining Guide


NOVEMBER 25, 2021


The great beer selection at Tap & Bottle.

Yoshimatsu Japanese Eatery. 2741 N. Campbell Ave. A perennial Best of Tucson® winner, Yoshimatsu serves a variety of Japanese bento boxes, noodle dishes and sushi, all in a charming atmosphere. Cocktails include Chu-Hi (a mix of Japanese sho-chu and soda) as well as flavored nigori and a few standards. You’ll also find a fine selection of Japanese beers to accompany your meal. And if you’re looking for a quick holiday gift for the otaku in your life, browse their cute gift shop while you wait. Tap & Bottle. 403 N. Sixth Ave. & 7254 N. Oracle Road. If you need a local craft beer or an Arizona wine for the holiday party you’re attending, Tap & Bottle has you covered, with a wide selection of both. And if you’re not looking for a local beverage, they’ve got plenty of other beers and wines from around the world,

along with hard kombucha and ciders. Plus, while you’re browsing, you can sit down for a drink, which is often helpful while holiday shopping or when you’re prepping for a family get-together. The Parish. 6453 N. Oracle Road. Tucson’s only Southern Fusion Gastropub also happens to be one of the best places in town to grab a bite and a cocktail. Their Southern-style cuisine includes Louisiana classics like spicy shrimp gumbo, beer-battered catfish, and crawfish. However, their cocktail menu is a world all itself. Their signature cocktail, The Parishoner, just won the Best of Tucson® award for Best Cocktail and comes with house-infused basil vodka, fresh lemon juice, grapefruit bitters and orange flower water for a sweet and citrus-y drink that packs a punch but still feels elegant to sip.





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NOVEMBER 25, 2021

suggested making the family production official, and Whiskey del Bac was born. “Mesquite has a certain mystique to it,” Stephen said. “It grows wildly and can survive with very little water. It just has this draw to it. So the Sonoran Desert Whiskey del Bac celebrates a decade of desert flavors really is part of our ethos. We love where we live… Our climate affects our whiskey’s aging. Not only the high heat, but the radical changes in temperature at night. Also, the minerality in our water By Jeff Gardner co-founded Whiskey del Bac with his affects the flavor.” daughter Amanda. “And without soundAccording to the company, they ing too boastful, it resulted in a good took their name from the ancient term WHISKEY DEL BAC CO-FOUNDER whiskey.” meaning “from the place where the river Stephen Paul admits he started his The idea dates back to the Pauls’ appears in the sand.” The name was career making “a lot of bad whiskey.” But furniture company, which worked inspired by Tucson’s Mission San Xavier perseverance and refining techniques with mesquite, the scrubby tree found del Bac, named for its proximity to the have resulted in one of Tucson’s most throughout the southwest. They family Santa Cruz River. beloved and recognizable liquors. This often barbecued with scraps of mesquite, Their central whiskey, The Dorado, month, Whiskey del Bac celebrated a and Stephen’s wife Elaine brought up the is a single malt made from 100% barley decade in business—what was once a idea of drying malt over a mesquite fire, with notes of tobacco, toffee and chocofive-gallon still at home is now a produc- as opposed to a peat fire as is common late. As they describe, the flavor “gives tion that brings Sonoran flavors to 20 with whiskey. way to desert campfire embers.” states. Stephen experimented with the idea Since starting, Whiskey del Bac has “From the beginning, our goal was starting in 2007, producing single malt expanded to a 500-gallon still, and releasto make something that was fully from whiskey infused with the smoky flavors es three types of whiskey. The company the Sonoran Desert,” Stephen said, who of the Sonoran Desert. In 2011, Amanda malts their own barley, and ferments, distills and barrels the drink all under one roof. Originally a father-daughter team, Whiskey del Bac now has a CEO, a head of marketing and a head distiller. They grew to a capacity of 4,200 cases per year, and are now managing 7,000 cases per year, with plans to increase further. “Organizationally, we’re a better-run business now,” Stephen said. “I did a passable job for the first few years, but



Let our hungry readers know you are there! Out door dining, Take-out, or Delivery!

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Whiskey del Bac co-founders Stephen and Amanda Paul.

it simply grew beyond my managerial abilities.” For the 10th anniversary, Whiskey del Bac made a special release aged in a Calvados brandy cask. Though they’ve released this kind of combination before, Stephen says they chose to craft another because “it was just so delicious.” Their anniversary also included collaborations with HUB restaurant, Monsoon Chocolates and Decibel Coffee Works. While Whiskey del Bac is available in more than a dozen states, Stephen says Arizona remains responsible for 80% of their sales. The presence remains strong locally, as they collaborate with plenty of Tucson organizations. Multiple Tucson craft breweries even use Whiskey del Bac’s barrels to age their beers in, infusing a hint of that signature smoky flavor. Looking forward, Stephen says Whiskey del Bac will focus on further expansion to keep up with demand. And, of course, he says they can always improve their product. “It’s been so heartwarming to see how Tucson has embraced this project,” Stephen said. “We have such gratitude. It’s such an amazing town in terms of community and creativity. It’s almost like this is a project that belongs to Tucson, and we’re just the caretakers.” ■

NOVEMBER 25, 2021



Pueblo Vida Brewing celebrates seven years of craft beer By Jeff Gardner MORE THAN A DOZEN CRAFT breweries call Tucson home. Despite this, downtown’s Pueblo Vida Brewing has never been forced to differentiate themselves in order to survive—it just comes naturally. This month, Pueblo Vida Brewing celebrated their seventh anniversary much in the same way they’ve always conducted their business: hosting community events and collaborating with other Tucson creatives. If you don’t recognize Pueblo Vida for the vibrant artwork on their cans, you may have tasted one of their craft beers which often blend citrus and hoppy flavors. “We took a really collaborative approach for our anniversary this year, because we couldn’t do that for the last year and a half,” said Pueblo Vida Brewing founder Linette Antillon. “We just wanted to do some fun stuff with our friends.” Pueblo Vida (115 E. Broadway Blvd.) focuses on “thought-provoking sips,” and the specialty beers for their anniversary highlight that dedication: a sour beer infused with hibiscus tea and watermelon notes, a stout mixed with coffee and aged in whiskey barrels, a triple IPA with multiple citrus notes and more. These specialty beers involved collaborations with Tucson’s Presta Coffee Roasters, Transit Tea, and Hamilton Distillers. “For the ‘De La Tierra,’ we aged cold brew coffee in the barrels and then transferred that to the beer. So it’s a unique take on the traditional whisky barrel-aged stout,” Antillon said. “It’s still boozy, but it’s very decadent and turned out really nice.” Beyond the collaborative craft beers, Pueblo Vida’s anniversary celebration included guided tastings, themed parties, yoga, a bike ride, and tie-dye T-shirt making, all as a thank you to the customers and staff that supported them over the past seven years. As the anniversary approached, Antillon and her staff reflected on why Pueblo Vida has survived for seven years and through a pandemic, considering they have no outdoor space at their downtown location. Antillon narrowed their success down to three reasons.

“First, our staff is always here with a friendly attitude and positive vibes. I can’t ask for better people,” she said. “The second is all these partners that we get to collaborate with and share ideas with. There are so many around town in the beer world that support each other, and really have become great friends over the past seven years. And the third is how amazing our customers are. Over this last year and a half, they truly showed us the power of their support. The fact they still came in and ordered from a togo window. They’re so freaking amazing.” Antillon says over the past seven years, she’s seen marriages, new children, promotions and retirements of Pueblo Vida’s customers. This surprised her, as she initially figured customers would “come in and out” and not be as relationship-driven as they have been. This same sense of community is shared by craft brewers throughout Tucson, some of whom participated in the anniversary. “We all support each other,” Antillon said. “There’s not a sense of competition where we’re trying to out-do each other. We constantly work together. And Tucson in general has a small town in a big city feeling. It’s so unique, and I think that helps with it as well. The community is great both because of the beer-makers and the customers who support them.” In the past, Pueblo Vida has worked with Tucson’s Dragoon Brewing Company and 1912 Brewing Company, as well as Phoenix’s Wren House Brewing Company and more. “We’ve always just strived to do things we find interesting and fun. We’re always looking for unique ways to create new products,” Antillon said. “Even with that imperial stout, which we’re calling De La Tierra, it’s such a unique way to approach beer. I’m sure other people have done it before, but it’s a different way to approach that style. That’s the kind of thing we tend to do that makes us unique.” Looking ahead, Antillon says Pueblo Vida will continue to put their beer first, but they do have some changes in mind. “But we’d love to have a location with an outside area,” Antillon said. “That’s been kind of a hurdle, especially over the past year. It’d be great to have a place where we can enjoy Tucson’s beautiful weather. That’s something I’m looking forward to.” ■




NOVEMBER 25, 2021

NOVEMBER 25, 2021

Editor’s Note: While we are delighted to see Tucsonans once again gathering for fun events, we are also aware that the Delta variant is in widespread circulation. Please consider getting vaccinated against COVID if you haven’t yet and following CDC guidance, which includes wearing masks at crowded indoor events. Keep yourself and others safe—the pandemic isn’t over yet. Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberly. If you’re a Jane Austen fan, then buckle up, because this play is a cleverly imagined sequel to Pride and Prejudice. The show is penned by Lauren Gunderson, the most produced playwright in America, and Margot Melcon, who wrote Silent Sky—one of the most popular shows from Arizona Theatre Company’s last season. It’s two years past the end of the original story, and the Bennet family gathers at Pemberly for Christmas. This time, the story is focused on Mary Bennet, who is still unmarried and getting kind of sick of being the nerdy, well-behaved sister. As in almost any good play, there is an unexpected guest who changes the course of the story. Showing Wednesdays through Sundays until Dec. 4. Matinees are at 2 p.m. and evening shows are at 7:30. Temple of Music and Art, 330 S. Scott Ave. $50 to $83. Wee Winter Wonderland at the Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures. As far as I know, scientists have not yet been able to explain why a cozy, wintry tableau somehow feels 10x cuter and more festive when it’s in miniature. But it’s true! If you like Christmas trees, menorahs, or snow-covered log cabins, you’re going to love TINY Christmas trees, menorahs and snow-covered log cabins. In this season, the museum includes more than a dozen miniatures depicting holiday celebrations around the world and through time. Plus, starting in December, their mini “Elf in the Miniature,” Walter, will be hiding in a different miniature every day, and you win a tiny prize if you find him. On display through Jan. 9. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. (Museum closed Christmas Eve, Christmas and New Year’s Day, closing at noon on New Year’s Eve). 4455 E. Camp Lowell Drive. $11.50 GA. Made in Tucson Market. With yet another adorable weekend market popping up in town, you are seriously running out of excuses if you haven’t started your holiday shopping yet. So, hop to it! This lovely little event, hosted by the Historic Fourth Avenue Coalition, features more than a hundred

Sonoran Glass School Winter Wonderland. December starts this week! That means a lot of different things, but among them is the start of this monthlong celebration at Sonoran Glass School. All through December, you can shop for handmade gifts and watch live glassblowing demonstrations. There’s something unexpectedly festive about watching glassblowers at work, so prepare to feel some holiday spirit. You can also create your own glass ornaments and support this nonprofit by taking a class about glassblowing. Call ahead at 884-7814 to get one scheduled or get a spot reserved.

by Emily Dieckman

The Dog Show. I don’t think I realized how much I needed a canine-themed art show until I found out the Wilde Meyer Gallery was having one, but thank goodness they are. I think we could all use some time looking at paintings and sculptures of both domestic and wild pups. Artists include Connie R. Townsend, Jaime Ellsworth, James Swanson, Sarah Kathryn Bean and Jim Budish. In tandem, you can see the Arizona Group Show, an exhibit celebrating artists in our home state. Exhibits are on display through the end of November, but there’s a special reception this weekend. 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 26. Wilde Meyer Gallery, 2890 E. Skyline Drive, suite 170. Sundays in the Garden at Tohono Chul. The weather is right for spending the afternoon in a garden, and you don’t want to miss the final event in Tohono Chul’s fall concert series. This week, Emily Anderson, a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and Berklee College of Music graduate, will be playing some of her enchanting tunes. Her sweet lyrics will make you feel like you’re being serenaded by a garden fairy. If you’re so inclined, be sure to visit the cash bar for beer and wine, prickly pear lemonade and prickly pear margaritas. 1:30 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 28. Tohono Chul, 7366 Paseo del Norte. $15 GA.


Tucson artists selling products ranging from jewelry to home décor. And, hey, even if you go to this market and just end up buying treats for yourself, you are still giving the gift of supporting local business, which makes you pretty much a holiday hero. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 28. Market is on Seventh Street, between Fourth and Fifth Avenues. Freddy’s Car Show and Toy Drive. If you’re a car enthusiast, you know seeing hundreds of beautiful vehicles stretched out before you—in front of a Freddy’s full of steak burgers and custard, no less—is basically like Christmas morning anyway. But this car show has just a little bit of extra holiday cheer, because you can get in free if you bring an unwrapped toy for a child in the community. Come hang out with friends from Obsessions Car Club to get in the holiday spirit, because who needs mistletoe when you have muscle cars? 3 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 27. 11143 N. Oracle Road in Oro Valley. Elf’d. Everybody loves Elf, the story of a very enthusiastic, very tall human raised by elves, who travels to the magical land of New York City and ultimately (spoiler alert!) saves Christmas. Leave it to the Gaslight to put on an even more magical and musical parody of this show. The Gaslight show is about Dudley the “Elf,” who is faced with a bunch of Scrooges and folks trying to ruin Christmas with the relentless forces of capitalism. He, of course, does not let that stop him from singing, skipping and tree trimming his way to a happy holiday for all. This show is a treat! Shows run Monday through Sunday through Jan. 2. Gaslight Theatre, 7010 E. Broadway. $27 GA. Holiday Shows at the Fox. There are two great concerts this weekend at the Fox. The Sara Evans Blue Christmas tour is coming through on Friday, featuring the country artist behind No. 1 singles like No Place That Far, Suds in the Bucket and Born to Fly. And Jake Shimabukaro’s Christmas in Hawaii show is on Saturday, featuring the killer ukulele player and “jolly ambassador of Aloha” who just released a new album this month. As Buddy the Elf would say, “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.” The perfect way to kick off your holiday mood! Both shows start at 7:30 p.m. Fox Theatre, 17 W. Congress St. Sarah Evans tickets start at $42.50 and Jake Shimabukuro tickets start at $25.



NOVEMBER 25, 2021

makes it infinitely rewatchable. But it is also, as mentioned, a very weird movie, and not just because of the leg lamp and the frozen-tongue-on-alamp-pole thing. The film itself exists in a strange vacuum: An average person would strain to identify any of the leads, and Clark’s second-most recognizable feature is friggin’ Porky’s. Also, despite the extreme midwesterness of it all, it’s mostly a Canadian production. Do they even By Matthew Singer have Christmas up there? It all seems pretty unlikely that this is the movie that would end up inaugurating the season and playing on an endless Julia. The closer to this year’s Loft COURTESY PHOTO loop on cable every year, but it’s best Film Festival returns for a two-week not to look a gift Red Ryder, carbine best movie in his repertoire, but his Elf. ‘Tis the season for vaguely engagement. A documentary on fantastical 2001 masterpiece about a creepy man-child Will Ferrell. Beats a action, 200-shot, range model air rifle Julia Child, the original celebuchef, girl fighting to save her family from a suicidal Jimmy Stewart, to be honest. in the mouth. You’ll shoot your eye doesn’t seem entirely necessary, witch’s spell—the only foreign film to Cactus Carpool Cinema, 6201 S Wil- out, y’know. Fox Theatre, 17 W. Conbut then, there’s a whole generation gress St. 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 28. win the Oscar for Best Animated Fea- mot Road. 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 26. who probably think she’s a fictional character embodied by Meryl Streep, ture, and the second highest-grossing picture in Japanese history—probJunior. It’s not a tumah—it’s a babeh! M. Filmmakers have tried for literally so it’s worth the effort to correct the 100 years to get on Fritz Lang’s level. ably has the best argument for the Yes, this is the movie where Arnold record. The Loft, 3233 E. Speedway Every entry-level cineaste is familiar top spot. The Loft, 3233 E. Speedway Schwarzenegger gets pregnant, a Blvd. Through Dec. 7. Blvd. Friday-Sunday, Nov. 26-28. concept only second in hilarity to the with 1927’s Metropolis, which redefined sci-fi while the rules were still fact that he plays a genetic scientist Spirited Away. Animator Hayao Mibeing written and still looks cooler and wears tiny wire-rim glasses to yazaki has many contenders for the than most of the CGI-fests getting really sell the role. Gotta admit, this r! a e y greenlit today. But M, from 1931, th 5 3 is stretching the “essential” part of Now in our PO IS HERE! X E G IN is possibly even more influential. N N Casa Video’s Essential Saturdays LONGEST-RU A shadowy, German expressionist ARIZONA’S screening series, but the movie did nightmare about a killer on the loose have its defenders back in the ’90s, in the Berlin underworld, Lang’s first including Roger Ebert, so it’s worth talkie ended up inventing, like, a rewatching to see if its observations half-dozen film genres, including the on reproductive gender roles seem police procedural, the psychological progressive in retrospect...but we, thriller and the film noir. Decades uh, wouldn’t put money on it. Casa Video, 2905 E Speedway Blvd. 6 p.m. before the American obsession with the antihero, it also dared to portray a Saturday, Nov. 27. child murderer, played by Peter Lorre Wednesday, January 12th • 9am - 1pm in a jarring performance, in a sympaA Christmas Story. The further we Doubletree Tucson thetic light. True to form, its central get from old chestnuts like It’s a 445 S. Alvernon Way | Tucson, AZ 85711 question remains relevant today: In a Wonderful Life and Miracle on 34th sick society, is a criminal any worse Healthcare | Retirement Living | Financial | Leisure | Home Repair Street, the more 1983’s A Christmas than the violent mob that condemns Story climbs the ranks of the most Education | Casinos | Tour & Travel and More... them? The Screening Room, 27 E loved holiday movies of all-time. In Entertainment by Congress St. 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 2. fact, given its current ubiquity, it MS. SENIOR ARIZONA may have already overtaken the top spot, which is both a heartening and WHAT TO RENT FROM CASA VIDEO: Die Hard (1988). It’s a somewhat confounding developChristmas movie—deal with it. ment. On the one hand, the appeal Lots of Pr izes Suggested beer pairing: Harbottle of director Bob Clark’s warmly weird and Givea ways INCLUDIN Brewing Co.’s Blindside IPA. 2905 E comedy is obvious—it’s nostalgic but Ga $100 CAS 6 6 5 -1 9 H not sentimental, funny without being Speedway Blvd. 95 DRAWING 500 • (800) com -6 8 9 8 ) 0 8 cynical, and the anecdotal structure (4 Every Hou eniorexpos. r!



NOVEMBER 25, 2021




A marvelous ‘Hamilton’ finally takes the stage in Tucson By Margaret Regan

The ground-breaking musical, winner of 11 Tony Awards in 2015 and a Pulitzer Prize in 2016, turns what could be a dusty old story IN THE OPENING SCENE OF HAMILTON, of government and politics into a rollicking the characters who will become America’s spectacle. Almost every line in the show is founding fathers crowd the stage. sung in bouncy hip-hop and rap, performed There’s a Jefferson here and a Madison sometimes solo and often by the whole there and a Washington over yonder. But cast, 14 actors and 11 ensemble players at there’s a newbie too, and the suspicious Aar- once. This contemporary music transforms on Burr demands to know who the fellow is. the work from the late 18th century to the “What’s your name, man?” he sings in a present. hip-hop cadence. As the talented Lin-Manuel Miranda— The stranger stands in the center of the creator of the Hamilton book, music and stage, in the spotlight, looks proudly around lyrics—has said, the show is “America then, as and boldly sings out: “Alexander Hamilton!” told by America now.” Last Thursday night, the huge audience That America is full of ambitious, connivin Centennial Hall roared when they heard ing, smart and lively young men, all of them his name. arguing over what the new nation they have Julius Thomas III, the dashing actor created should be. You will detect no sign of playing Hamilton, smiled at the crowd, and the stolid founding fathers that we are used chuckled lightly at their fervor. He waited un- to seeing hanging in dull portraits. Instead, til the fans’ cheers went down a notch. Then, you’ll find young, multi-colored cast, with the going back into character, as a supremely main characters portrayed by Black actors: self-confident young man, he roared right George Washington (Darnell Abraham), back: “My name is Alexander Hamilton.” Thomas Jefferson (Paris Nix) and the rivals You couldn’t blame the enthusiastic Aaron Burr (Donald Webber, Jr.) and Hamilpatrons in the seats, some 2,500 strong. They ton himself. had waited two long pandemic years to see From the beginning there is no secret the smash musical about an unlikely immihow the story ends. Even high school grant who shoots to power in the early years students still know (I think?) that Burr killed of the Republic. In 2019, Broadway in Tucson Hamilton in a duel. And in the first scene, announced a performance of Hamilton in Burr admits, “I’m the damn fool that shot 2020. It was cancelled by COVID, and finally him.” staged now, in late 2021. The story line is really about what made Janssen Research & Development, LLC

Patient Poster, 31 Mar 2020 [V01 USA(en)]

Hamilton click. Burr puzzles over Hamilton’s surprising success in life. George Washington relied on Hamilton as an aide-de-camp in the Revolutionary War and later, as president, named him the first Treasury Secretary of the United States. Hamilton’s efforts with the nation’s money still influence the government. “How does a bastard, orphan, son of a whore,” an immigrant from the Caribbean. “grow up to be a hero and a scholar?” Burr asks. The energetic Hamilton occasionally reveals the answer. “I am not throwing away my shot,” he likes to say as a young man. “I’m young, scrappy and hungry.” He’s brilliant and hard-working, but he’s not without fault. Miranda made an effort to bring women into a tale that is mostly male. The Schuyler Sisters song introduces the woman Hamilton was to marry, Eliza Schuyler (Victoria Ann Scovens), and her sister Angelica (Marja Harmon), an intellectual woman whom, in Miranda’s telling, had feelings for Hamilton, her brother-in-law. But Eliza emerges as a strong woman, and Scovens delivers one of the most powerful scenes in the show. This is a good time to say how gorgeous all the players’ voices are. In particular, Scovens is a beautiful singer and Brandon Louis Armstrong, who plays James Madison, has


Hamilton Musical presented by Broadway in Tucson Through Dec. 5, various times At Centennial Hall, 1020 E. University Bld., at UA Tickets from $59 to $299 at Ticketmaster. com Theatre goers must show card certifying they have been fully vaccinated, or provide proof of a negative COVID test within the last 72 hours of showtime

a voice that’s positively operatic. Armstrong is also a great comic on stage, and so is Nick Negron. Negron, playing the petulant King George of England, delivers hilarious solos every time the fledgling Republic goes amiss. Finally, the dancing is superb. Choreographed by Andy Blankenbuehler, the movements are in are in almost every scene, with the dancers shape-shifting around the actors, shimming like snakes, subtly slipping into a soldier’s sheath. The dances amplify the actors, the singers and the set and nearly everything in this marvelous show. ■


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NOVEMBER 25, 2021

By Xavier Omar Otero Harsher than whiskey, sweeter than wine. This week Black Veil Brides, Jake Shimabukuro, Murs, The Toasters, Marie Osmond, and Louis Prima Jr. are in town. Read on.



Ukulele master Jake Shimabukuro brings “Christmas In Hawaii” to the Fox Theatre.

FRIDAY, NOV. 26 In the Roman Catholic church, a black veil is used as a sign by a nun who has married into the church, disavowing all worldly pleasures to devote her life to Christ. She is then deemed a black veil bride. With reverence to the shock rock and glam rockers of the past (namely KISS and Mötley Crüe), the Black Veil Brides formed in Cincinnati, in 2006. Pursuing a gothic vision first conjured by an isolated small-town kid fascinated with death, theatricality, rock & roll, and the things that go bump in the night, they soon Set the World on Fire. After production complications caused by the pandemic forced the delay of the release of their sixth studio album, Black Veil Brides return with The Phantom Tomorrow (2021). At Rialto Theater. With Brace Yourself, Echoes and Pyrotechnica...


Glacier.WAV performs at Hanksgiving, a benefit for Sonoran Prevention Works.

Tin or aluminum? How time flies. The Coolers—an eight-piece R&B/soul sensa-

tion—preside over Monterey Court’s 10th anniversary celebration... N8NOFACE, Dayak, Kid Violet and Glacier.Wav perform at Hanksgiving: A benefit for Sonoran Prevention Works (a grassroots group working to reduce vulnerabilities faced by individuals and communities impacted by drug use in Arizona). At Club Congress. DJ Nada spins...

capable of delivering a death-dealing blow, Murs has nothing left to prove. On Love & Rockets Vol 2: The Declaration (2020), his latest release, Murs has finally found fulfillment. Murs is one of the “Real Ones.” At 191 Toole. With Oswin Benjamin and Tortilla Factory... Post-grunge/ alt. metalists Tantric add up The Sum of All Things (2021). At Encore...



From Oahu (known to islanders as The Gathering Place), this virtuoso’s musical milieu is equally as welcoming. Funk to bluegrass, classical to jazz, and rock ’n’ roll, Jake Shimabukuro has taken the ukulele to places that Don Ho (the icon of breezy ’60s and ’70s Hawaiian pop) could have never imagined. His latest release, Jake & Friends (2021), continues this trend with an impressive and diverse roll call of collaborators: Willie Nelson, Billy Strings, Amy Grant and Vince Gill, Jack Johnson, Bette Midler, Ziggy Marley and that is just the short list. “Looking back on it all now, it feels like a dream,” Shimabukuro says. “I grew up fantasizing that one day I might be able to meet my musical heroes, and here I am on my own record playing with them.” Bringing joy to the world with a new holiday show, Jake Shimabukuro debuts Christmas In Hawaii. At Fox Tucson Theatre... In a career that dates back to the mid-’90s, with power, poise, and purpose, this South Central L.A. born rapper has lit up the indie hip-hop scene. Intellectually violent, possessing full command of a vocabulary

Formed in NYC in 1981, this lean and mean ska machine’s brass-knuckle sound forms the nexus between punk and R&B, jazz and calypso, with a tight embrace of the Jamaica-born pop sound that flooded into England during the 1960s. Skaboom! After racking up 10 studio albums, The Toasters have been compared to punk pioneers the Ramones, due to their longevity and devotion to creed. Staying true to a mantra, Don’t Let the Bastards Grind You Down, after surviving four decades leading the 2-tone army, The Toasters are still skankin’. At The Rock. With Endless Pursuit and Sucker for the Sour... Coming of age in Sonoma County, California. Just “Downstream” from the Valley of the Moon—a mystical place where early settlers claimed to see the moon rise and set seven times. Freddy Parish credits his Arkansas-born father, and their Ozark family heritage, for inspiring a lifelong love of country music, informing his folk and bluegrass imbued neotraditional style. Like a fine single-malt Scotch, possessing a voice that carries “just enough sweetness to make the heartbreak go

down smoother,” Freddy Parish hosts the Country Club (a monthly residency). At Hotel Congress (plaza)... Exploring the idea of a song as a living, breathing thing is at the center of Edwin and Andy White’s work. Constantly on the road, the brothers’ songs become something a little different every night. Adding to the process, they record everything. “We Just hit that button and don’t worry about it. Even a shitty recording can possibly be salvaged or used in a different way.” With time their songs morph into distinct objects. On Petunia (2021), the brothers’ 18th studio album, the process begins anew. Experimental/noise rock duo Tonstartssbandht stop for a visit. At Club Congress. With Sean Nicholas Savage and Video James... Hailing from Albuquerque, Felix y Los Gatos perform their distinct brand of zydeco/Tejano/blues for the hungry masses at the Congress Cookout. At Hotel Congress (plaza). With Connie Brannock...


Felix y Los Gatos perform their distinct brand of zydeco/blues at Hotel Congress.

TUESDAY, NOV. 30 From the band’s earliest gigs, playing house parties in backyards in Whittier, California, to touring the world with the musical heroes they grew up with, Skeletal Remains are hellbent on upholding the classically influenced death metal praxis—exploring themes of sickness, violence, death, and gore—while integrating modern musical overtones. As such, the quartet has emerged among the nextgen of classic death metal artists. Join Skeletal Remains for a “Congregation of Flesh.” At The Rock. With Dead Heat... A new trio of old vets, The Tirebiters (comprised of Steve Grams, Gary Mackender,

NOVEMBER 25, 2021


Louis Prima Jr. and the Witnesses bring their signature brand of swing to Hotel Congress plaza.

and Lex Browning), are dropping the top and taking their new ride out for a spin around the block. At Hotel Congress (plaza)... Frontman Ian Shelton’s unflinching lyrics are usually released in intense streaks. “A lot of times my songwriting can be about deprivation. It’s about withholding until the right moment to make the most impact,” Shelton says, describing the whiplash-inducing hardcore found on Crime and Punishment (2021). “Ultimately the record is about taking ownership of your life. You have to do that when you do good, and when you do bad.” Making music that thrives on extremes, Seattle hardore punks Regional Justice Center have “Sickness on Display.” At Club Congress. With Groin and Murder Rate...

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 1 Not content to ride on his father’s laurels, the scion of “The King of Swing” Louis Prima is making his own mark. “We didn’t set out to simply write music we thought the fans wanted to hear,” says Louis Prima Jr. “We wanted to challenge ourselves musically and also challenge the listener.” Return of the Wildest, Louis Prima Jr. and the Witnesses swing well into the 21st Century. At Hotel Congress (plaza)...

THURSDAY, DEC. 2 Swathed in the Yuletide spirit, Marie Osmond beams, “It’s truly the most wonderful time of the year... Let’s celebrate the holidays with music guaranteed to put you in the Christmas spirit. With as many instruments we can fit on stage.” Marie Osmond presents a Symphonic Christmas. At Casino Del Sol Event Center. With David

Osmond and Daniel Emmett... Recorded in the Catskill Mountains in Simone Felice’s (The Felice Brothers, Lumineers) old converted barn studio, The Senators’ sophomore album, Wild Wide Open (2020), blurs the line between organic instrumentation and synthesis, laying hold of the expansiveness of the desert Southwest they call home. Phoenician electric folksters The Senators are “Harsher than Whiskey” and “Sweeter than Wine.” At Hotel Congress (plaza). With RISO and Danielle Durack... Until next week, XOXO...




NOVEMBER 25, 2021

NOVEMBER 25, 2021


‘Social Equity’ marijuana licenses were meant to right a wrong, but critics say they’ll just make cannabis giants even richer By Jerod MacDonald-Evoy Arizona Mirror WHEN ARIZONA VOTERS approved recreational marijuana use in 2020, the new law included provisions that aimed to give the opportunity of a lifetime to people most harmed by the War on Drugs: a chance to win a coveted license to operate a dispensary. Now, the final licenses to sell marijuana in Arizona are set to be given out through the social equity program, which aims to right the wrongs caused by disproportionate policing of marijuana crimes. They are easily worth millions of dollars — maybe tens of millions — and the system was envisioned as propelling people once arrested for minor marijuana crimes into business selling cannabis.

But the reality is that bureaucratic hurdles, corporate greed and a rapidly consolidating marijuana market will drive those profits directly into the hands of large companies intent on limiting competition and capitalizing on the billions of dollars to be made selling cannabis in Arizona. “This is a program that, as currently written, is designed to fail,” attorney Julie Gunnigle said to Arizona Mirror. Gunnigle up until recently worked for Arizona’s Chapter of NORML, an organization that pushes for the reform of marijuana laws across the United States. The social equity program, as it was dubbed in Proposition 207, the ballot measure voters approved in 2020 to legalize recreational marijuana, is intended to give minority communities — those historically most impacted by the War on Drugs — the inside track to claiming 26 dispensary licenses. But the pool of potential social equity dispensary owners is limited by both the voter-approved measure and rules finalized last month by the Arizona Department of Health Services. Applicants must meet three of four criteria: • Have a low-level marijuana conviction — one that’s been expunged, if it was a felony • Have a family member with a low-level marijuana conviction • Live in one of 87 ZIP codes ADHS identi-

fied as being “disproportionately impacted by the enforcement of previous Arizona marijuana laws” • Earn less than 400% of the federal poverty limit; for a family of four, that would be a maximum household income of $106,000 And anyone who wants to be entered into the lottery to win a social equity license must pay a non-refundable $5,000 application fee after they take two separate two-day training classes. The deadline to complete those classes is Nov. 24, about six weeks after the ADHS rules were announced. Applications are due by Dec. 1. Funneling social equity applicants into partnerships with big companies For Gunnigle, the exorbitant application fee is such a steep barrier that it all but forces would-be applicants to turn to large players in the Arizona cannabis industry for help. The established marijuana sector is eager to find social equity applicants. Houses in the qualified ZIP codes have been blanketed with mail and door-hangers from large cannabis companies scouring the state for those who qualify. Along freeways in Phoenix, billboards from large marijuana dispensaries and growers are advertising their intent to help eligible applicants through the process. Some have even set up websites, such as, set up by Cop-


perstate Farms, one of the largest growers of marijuana in the country with a 40-acre operation outside of Snowflake, Arizona. “The amount of general public knowledge of the program is pretty low,” said Doug Cole, a spokesman for Copperstate Farms. “We are helping applicants succeed and be successful under the social equity program.” Copperstate has been helping put on free expungement clinics across the state — one of the qualifying criteria for applicants — alongside groups like NORML in order to find qualified applicants, often offering a monetary incentive of up to $500 to people who qualify and refer a friend who qualifies, as well. “These licenses are worth $10- to $15 million dollars before the ink is dry,” said Tom Dean, an attorney who specializes in cannabis. Copperstate itself recently purchased a dispensary license in Phoenix for $15 million in cash, and established marijuana dispensaries have sold for upwards of $20 million. Arizona dispensaries have reported more than $50 million in sales every month except one since March, and the state is on pace in its first year of recreational marijuana to surpass $1 billion in retail sales. Wall Street analysts predict sales will CONTINUED ON PAGE 27


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swell to more than $2 billion in just a few years. Not only are these the final 26 licenses that will be issued in Arizona, but their owners will be able to sell them — something not allowed for the other licenses issued earlier — making them even more valuable. Dean has been helping guide applicants through the process and said multi-state operators, investor groups and industry groups have all expressed interest in filing as many applications as they can. Allowing the social equity licenses to be treated like a commodity is a bad thing, Gunnigle said, because it makes it easy for corporate interests to “game” the system and reap all of the profits meant to lift up those who had been oppressed by the system. “Essentially, you’ve really created a lottery program for 26 people,” Gunnigle said, saying that the people who get these licenses will likely be flooded with inquiries about the licenses, be overwhelmed and likely sell them to the same groups who currently operate the majority of dispensaries in the state. The rules technically require social equity licenses to be sold to another person or company that meets the ADHS requirements to apply. But Dean said there’s nothing stopping an established cannabis company from striking a deal with an applicant who didn’t get a license and “just creating a subsidiary that complies with that” so they can buy the license. There’s no going it alone, cannabis industry says While critics say the system is designed to give large companies an unearned path to profiting off of licenses intended to right a historic wrong, companies like Copperstate Farms say there’s no way the social equity license holders will succeed if they don’t join with experienced partners. Though legal in Arizona and other states, marijuana is still classified as a Schedule

I controlled substance by federal law. One critical effect is that many financial institutions will not give loans or take money from institutions that make their money off marijuana, for fear of being punished by the federal government. That makes getting start-up capital to open a dispensary — which can cost as much as $2 million — difficult for a would-be social equity licensee. And all that would have to be done within 18 months of receiving the licenses under the ADHS rules. “The cannabis industry is a very regulated business and involves lots of permits and lots of upfront capital,” Cole, the spokesman for Copperstate Farms, said. Just getting the proper zoning is often difficult in Arizona, with many cities and towns having passed ordinances that disallow dispensaries within their cities boundaries. “We are experts in doing that, finding those and running those through planning and zoning meetings to get those approvals,” Cole said. And even with the expertise that his company brings, “that is going to be a sprint to get that done in 18 months.” To Gunnigle, though, the program will not likely meet its goal of helping lift up people who have been harmed by the war on drugs. But some marijuana industry insiders see it a bit differently. “You don’t see people manufacturing dental floss and selling it at mom-and-pop shops, do you?” Demitri Downing, CEO and founder of the Arizona Marijuana Industry Trade Association, said. “They’re feel-good, nostalgic romantic notions.” Downing said the presence of outside groups is good for applicants, as it gives them the freedom to choose their partners and get help they need — and also the freedom to sell their license outright for large sums of money. “Whether they turn around and sell it or not is irrelevant — they benefit either way,” Downing said. “They are members of our community and they will be rewarded.” ■ This article originally appeared on, a nonprofit online news site.




NOVEMBER 25, 2021


By Dan Savage,

I have a friend who is a trans man. Recently he just got out of a shitty relationship. His ex suddenly lost interest in him and wouldn’t work with him on fixing it. He’s heartbroken. He told me women often reject him once they find out he is trans and he’s tired of endless rejections. We met in the college town where he still lives, but our entire friend circle (including me) has moved away. Even without the trans part, it’s not easy to be a 30-something single man in a liberal college town. He’s convinced he’s doomed to be alone. I don’t want to be dismissive about his experience as a trans person (I’m a cis woman), but I keep trying to walk the fine line of encouraging my friend to reach out, meet people through community events, volunteering, etc. He also mentioned to me that people our age (thirties) are more transphobic than younger people, but he doesn’t want to be the kind of 30-something perv who dates people in their twenties. My heart aches for my friend. Do you have any advice for him to make more friends and/or find a new romantic partner? —Friend Really In Extreme Distress The only thing worse than being dumped by someone who refuses to “work with you on fixing it” is being dumped by someone who already made up their mind to dump you—meaning the relationship was already dead—but then wasted months or years of your life pretending to work on it. So, if your friend’s ex knew it was over, FRIED, they did your friend a favor by refusing to go through the motions of “working on it.” That would come as cold comfort to your friend, of course, so don’t pass it on to him. But continue to give him the advice you’ve been giving him, which is both standard and excellent. Get out of the house, do shit, go places, meet people—that’s the same advice I would’ve given him and it’s the same advice every other advice columnist on the planet would’ve given him. And, almost without a doubt, it’s the same advice your friend would’ve given or already has given to a friend of his own after a breakup. That your friend hasn’t taken your advice yet— that he’s still wallowing in his grief—doesn’t mean your advice was bad, FRIED, only that he’s not ready to take it. As for dating while trans… I’ve visited a lot of liberal college towns and they tend to be more welcoming and accepting places for trans people than, say, your average Alaskan fishing village. And most women—cis or trans—aren’t going to wanna fuck or date with your friend. (And

he is open to dating trans women, right?) I’m gay and most men—cis or trans—don’t wanna sleep with me. Now, men who find me attractive don’t reject me once they realize I’m gay, but being rejected by a woman who initially found him attractive after he discloses that he’s trans? That rejection is gonna sting more. But your friend can avoid that kind of rejection by disclosing right away. My friends with HIV who don’t wanna deal with the drama of having to disclose and being rejected for it put it out there right away. Since your friend is eventually going to have to come out to the women he dates, putting the fact that he’s trans on his dating profiles—disclosing it right away—tells women who might have a problem with it to keep moving. In other words, FRIED, your friend has the power to flip the rejection script by essentially saying, “I’m trans and if you’re not open to dating a trans man, please show yourself out.” Instead of waiting to be rejected by cis women who won’t date trans men, he’ll be rejecting those women first. And finally… If grown-ass adults in their twenties want to date him, your friend should date them. Refusing to date someone due to something they can’t control or change about themselves—their age—seems discriminatory (ageist!), patronizing (people in their twenties are adults!), and in your friend’s case, hypocritical (he doesn’t enjoy being rejected over something he can’t control or change). But my hunch is that your friend is just making excuses. Give him a little more time to wallow, FRIED, keep urging him to do the obvious (get out, go places, do shit, meet people), and in a few months your friend will be introducing you to his new partner—and it’s probably going to be someone in their twenties he met at a community event who later saw his profile on Tinder and swiped right on his openly trans ass. You recently posted a letter from a woman who was dating an “age appropriate” man. Could you please define that phrase for me? I am a 65-year-old straight white guy. Twice married, twice divorced. I was once told that a guy could divide his age in half, and then add the number 13 to that number to get the minimum age for a potential partner. I don’t know where those numbers came from but using that formula, I come up with a minimum age of 45. I am open to dating women my age, or older than me. But so far, my contacts with older women have not led anywhere. I guess the bottom line is that these days I find myself attracted to younger women. That’s all there is to it. So, I

am hoping to get some guidance from you on this subject. —Aging Gentleman Enquires Sincerely Oh, wow—one of those rare older men into younger women. Don’t see your kind every day. Fuck, marry, or keep any consenting adult who’ll have you. Be realistic about your prospects (twice divorced and getting up there), AGES, and make a conscientious effort to control for dickful thinking, i.e., the kind of wishful thinking men of all ages engage in when their dicks are hard. Also, don’t be cluelessly coercive. Straight guys need to bear in mind that women are taught to prioritize men’s needs over their own (that’s the way women are socialized) and to fear male violence (that’s the way women are terrorized). Consequently, many women find it difficult and/or scary to say “no” to a man. So, when a woman gives you an ambiguous answer (“I’m very flattered”), or gently deflects (“I’m very busy”), take that as a “no.” I’m a 30-year-old straight, cis woman and I’ve been in a serious relationship with my boyfriend for a year. I love him and the sex is mind-blowing when it happens—which is about twice a week when I’m not spotting. We can only have sex when he initiates, but there’s more. I’m on the pill and I often spot a little from the second week to the moment my period comes, a side effect with which I am okay. However, if any blood is present, nothing can happen since he’s disgusted by it. He won’t have anal sex because he’s disgusted by feces. He won’t play with me and a toy when there’s blood present, even a drop, and he won’t go down on me at all, as he doesn’t like it. He also doesn’t want me touching myself when I go down on him, as he finds it distracting. Opening the relationship is not an option for him. It seems to me that anything that does not revolve around his penis penetrating something and coming out perfectly clean is a turnoff for him. While I feel hurt, I also wonder if I’m being abusive by asking him to do things that he doesn’t like to do. When I bring up the topic he insists this is my problem, not his. Is there a way forward? —Frustrated About Intimate Life Under Restrictive Edicts P.S. Is he a product of the patriarchy or am I insane? There’s no way forward, FAILURE, there’s only a way out: DTMFA. If you’d like to present your soon-to-be ex-boyfriend with a lovely parting gift, FAILURE, I suggest getting him a toaster and a Fleshlight. Duct tape them together, leave them on your side of the bed, take your shit and go. Because it’s a warm, silent hole your boyfriend wants for a partner, FAILURE, not a woman with a fully functioning suite of

female reproductive organs, to say nothing of a woman with needs, wants or desires of her own. I strongly suspect your ex-boyfriend won’t miss you or your vagina that bleeds or your ass that poops or your mouth that opens and asks for perfectly reasonable things, FAILURE, and I’m confident that even if you miss him at first, you won’t miss him for long. Because within a week you’ll realize being alone is better than being with a selfish piece of tyrannical shit. Yeah, yeah: You love him. You’d pretty much have to love him—or you’d have to convince yourself you loved him—to put up with his shit for a week, much less a year. But the longer you stay in this relationship, FAILURE, the greater your frustration and resentment will grow, and a day will inevitably come when you’re no longer in love him and what’s left of your self-esteem, self-confidence, and sense of sexual agency will have been destroyed. Don’t wait until the love is gone and the damage is permanent to leave this asshole. Leave him now. P.S. I don’t know if the patriarchy made your boyfriend the asshole he is, FAILURE, but it’s definitely the patriarchy that has you doubting your own sanity. P.P.S. Please don’t “work on fixing it” before you dump this asshole—and you aren’t required to get him a parting gift, lovely or otherwise. Get yourself a powerful vibrator instead. Follow Dan on Twitter @FakeDanSavage. Column, podcast, books, and more at!

NOVEMBER 25, 2021


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ARIES March 21-April 19): Aries author Chris Brogan says, “Don’t settle. Don’t finish crappy books. If you don’t like the menu, leave the restaurant. If you’re not on the right path, get off it.” That’s the best possible counsel for you to hear, in my astrological opinion. As an Aries, you’re already inclined to live by that philosophy. But now and then, like now, you need a forceful nudge in that direction. So please, Aries, go in pursuit of what you want, not what you partially want. Associate with the very best, most invigorating influences, not the mediocre kind. TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Author Kurt Vonnegut wrote wistfully, “I still catch myself feeling sad about things that don’t matter anymore.” If similar things are running wild in your head, dear Taurus, the coming weeks will be a favorable time to banish them. You will have extra power to purge outdated emotions and reclaim at least some of the wild innocence that is your birthright. PS: There’s nothing wrong with feeling sad. In fact, feeling sad can be healthy. But it’s important to feel sad for the right reasons. Getting clear about that is your second assignment. GEMINI (May 21-June 20): “I’ll walk forever with stories inside me that the people I love the most can never hear.” So says the main character in Gemini author Michelle Hodkin’s novel The Evolution of Mara Dyer. If that heart-rending statement has resonance with your own personal experience, I have good news: The coming weeks will be a favorable time to transform the situation. I believe you can figure out how to share key stories and feelings that have been hard to reveal before now. Be alert for unexpected opportunities and not-at-all-obvious breakthroughs. CANCER (June 21-July 22): A study of people in 24 countries concluded that during the pandemic, over 80 percent of the population have taken action to improve their health. Are you in that group? Whether or not you are, the coming weeks will be a favorable time to go further in establishing robust self-care. The astrological omens suggest you’ll find it easier than usual to commit to good new habits. Rather than trying to do too much, I suggest you take no more than three steps. Even starting with just one might be wise. Top three: eating excellent food, having fun while exercising right, and getting all the deep sleep you need. LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Leo-born scholar Edith Hamilton loved to study ancient Greek civilization. She wrote, “To rejoice in life, to find the world beautiful and delight-

ful to live in, was a mark of the Greek spirit which distinguished it from all that had gone before.” One sign of Greece’s devotion to joie de vivre was its love of play. “The Greeks were the first people in the world to play,” Hamilton exulted, “and they played on a great scale. All over Greece, there were games”—for athletes, dancers, musicians, and other performers. Spirited competition was an essential element of their celebration of play, as was the pursuit of fun for its own sake. In resonance with your astrological omens, Leo, I propose you regard ancient Greece as your spiritual home for the next five weeks. VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Virgo singer-songwriter Florence Welch of the band Florence and the Machine told an interviewer why she wrote “Hunger.” She said, “I looked for love in things that were not love.” What were those things? According to her song, they included taking drugs and performing on stage. Earlier in Florence’s life, as a teenager, “love was a kind of emptiness” she experienced through her eating disorder. What about you, Virgo? Have you looked for love in things that weren’t love? Are you doing that right now? The coming weeks will be a good time to get straight with yourself about this issue. I suggest you ask for help from your higher self. Formulate a strong intention that in the future, you will look for love in things that can genuinely offer you love. LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): There’s a Grateful Dead song, with lyrics written by John Perry Barlow, that says, “You ain’t gonna learn what you don’t want to know.” I propose you make that your featured advice for the next two weeks. I hope you will be inspired by it to figure out what truths you might be trying hard not to know. In so doing, you will make yourself available to learn those truths. As a result, you’ll be led on a healing journey you didn’t know you needed to take. The process might sound uncomfortable, but I suspect it will ultimately be pleasurable. SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Scorpio author and philosopher Albert Camus was a good thinker. At age 44, he won the Nobel Prize for Literature—the second-youngest recipient ever. And yet he made this curious statement: “Thoughts are never honest. Emotions are.” He regarded thoughts as “refined and muddy”—the result of people continually tinkering with their inner dialog so as to come up with partially true statements designed to serve their self-image rather than reflect authentic ideas. Emotions, on the other hand, emerge spontaneously and are hard to hide, according to Camus. They come straight from the

depths. In accordance with astrological potentials, Scorpio, I urge you to keep these meditations at the forefront of your awareness in the coming weeks. See if you can be more skeptical about your thoughts and more trusting in your emotions. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Poet Renée Ashley describes what she’s attracted to: “I’m drawn to what flutters nebulously at the edges, at the corner of my eye—just outside my certain sight. I want to share in what I am routinely denied or only suspect exists. I long for a glimpse of what is beginning to occur.” Although I don’t think that’s a suitable perspective for you to cultivate all the time, Sagittarius, I suspect it might be appealing and useful for you in the coming weeks. Fresh possibilities will be coalescing. New storylines will be incubating. Be alert for the oncoming delights of the unknown. CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): What could you do to diminish your suffering? Your next assignment is to take two specific steps to begin that process. You’re in a phase of your astrological cycle when you’re more likely than usual to see what’s necessary to salve your wounds and fix what’s broken. Take maximum advantage of this opportunity! I proclaim this next chapter of your life to be titled “In Quest of the Maximum Cure.” Have fun with this project, dear Capricorn. Treat it as a mandate to be imaginative and explore interesting possibilities.



AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): “It is a fault to wish to be understood before we have made ourselves clear to ourselves,” wrote my favorite Aquarian philosopher, Simone Weil. I agree. It’s advice I regularly use myself. If you want to be seen and appreciated for who you really are, you should make it your priority to see and appreciate yourself for who you really are. The coming weeks will be a favorable time to make progress in this noble project. Start this way: Write a list of the five qualities about yourself that you love best. PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Nigerian author Ben Okri, born under the sign of Pisces, praises our heroic instinct to rise above the forces of chaos. He writes, “The most authentic thing about us is our capacity to create, to overcome, to endure, to transform, to love, and to be greater than our suffering.” You’ve been doing a lot of that excellent work throughout 2021, dear Pisces. And I expect that you’ll be climaxing this chapter of your life story sometime soon. Thanks for being such a resourceful and resilient champion. You have bravely faced but also risen above the sometimes-messy challenges of plain old everyday life. You have inspired many of us to stay devoted to our heart’s desires. ■ Homework. Gratitude is the featured emotion. See how amazing you can make yourself feel by stretching it to its limits.



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Edited by Will Shortz ACROSS Home of many Zoroastrians 5 No. on the back of a baseball card 9 Jazz drummer Jimmy 13 “Awkwafina Is ___ From Queens” (Comedy Central series) 14 Help when things are too hot to handle 16 “Tell me more …” 17 Where to find Amazon’s streams 18 Tombstone site, once 20 Number of Emily Dickinson poems, out of the 1,700+ she wrote, that were published during her lifetime 21 Terse reprimand 22 Queen ___ (pop nickname) 23 Urban obstacle course activity 27 Things you saw while asleep? 29 Window components 30 Reddit Q&A 31 Type of angular momentum, in physics 33 Noodle container? 35 Animal on a Jägermeister bottle 36 Queen’s domain 37 Let loose 38 Words said with a sigh 39 x, for one 40 Pub purchase 41 Instruction in risotto recipes 42 Connect four in the game Connect Four, e.g. 1

43 Throws cold water on,

say 44 Shine’s partner 46 Fail to maintain 48 Word before Kim, Wayne and Baby 49 Prone to blushing, say 52 It may be used to get away from a bank 53 Small digit 55 Stretch one’s legs 59 Request at a consulate 60 “You up?” text, maybe 61 Little salamanders 62 “___ Gotta Have It” (Spike Lee film) 63 Something taken in protest 64 Part of GPS: Abbr.


Fort Knox block 2 Accompaniers of knights 3 Clueless about current trends 4 One-billionth: Prefix 5 Many a cologne 6 Word in a Shakespearean incantation 7 Place to get paper with plastic? 8 Take more shots than 9 Toast sound 10 What “10” is not 11 Busy one 12 Familial term of address 15 Cricket segments 17 Choke 19 “Notorious” justice 23 Ferraro : Mondale :: ___ : McCain














22 27









20 23






















52 55








49 54




60 62

61 63

24 Give a sworn statement

in court 25 Taste common in tomatoes and mushrooms 26 Blowout 28 Scoreboard numbers when a baseball team puts up a “picket fence” 29 Attire seen in many Degas paintings 31 William ___, editor of The New Yorker for 35 years 32 Kind of short cut 34 Berry farm eponym 35 Freshness


43 Far from fresh 45 Variety 47


48 French city nicknamed

“The Capital of Flanders” 50 Big “S.N.L.” announcements 51 It’s bred for bread 53 Word before “Blue Eyes” or “Blue Dot” in titles 54 Jacques-___ Cousteau 55 “Arms and the Man” monogram 56 “Incredible!” 57 Hostile party 58 Ashen


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