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Zócalo Tucson’s Urban Scene Magazine / ZOCALOMAGAZINE.COM

december 2012

index December 2012 05. Holiday Shopping 16. Business 20. Food&Drink 23. Arts 30. Garden 33. Community 34. Events 40. Fashion 42. Tunes 46. Life in Tucson on the cover Happy Holidays!

Zócalo is an independently published community magazine, showcasing Tucson’s urban arts and culture.

PUBLISHER & CREATIVE DIRECTOR David Olsen COPY EDITOR Amanda Frame-Wawro CONTRIBUTORS Sydney Ballesteros, Marisa Bernal, Jon D’Auria, Emily Gindlesparger, Jess Holzworth, Jim Lipson, Hannah McCain, Jared McKinley, Phoenix Michael, misterpaulfisher, Randy Peterson, Amanda Reed, CJ Shane, Herb Stratford, Teya Vitu. LISTINGS Marisa Bernal, PRODUCTION ARTISTS Troy Martin, David Olsen

CONTACT US: P.O. Box 1171, Tucson, AZ 85702-1171 520.955.ZMAG (9624)

Subscribe to Zocalo at All content copyright © 2009-2012 by Media Zóoócalo, LLC. Reproduction of any material in this or any other issue is prohibited without written permission from the publisher and author. No person may, without prior written permission of the publisher, take more than one copy of each issue.

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Tell us a thing or two. Zocalo Magazine is conducting an anonymous reader survey. With your participation, we can improve our service to the community. Share your opinions and interests with us, take the survey now at: AND....when you are finished with the survey, enter for a chance to win 1 of 5 restaurant gift cards, valued at $50 each. Happy Holidays!


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by Phoenix Michael


Simple Gifts

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Time is money, Benjamin Franklin once wrote, and his words ring truer during our modern era of information overload and relentless scheduling than ever before. Feeling pressed or stressed to get all of the holiday shopping done? Let Zocalo be your guide! Read now; thank us later. Remember the “book”? Among the many inventions to be rendered obsolete in this digital age of blogs, tablets and smartphones, perhaps none will be so fondly missed. Whatever the genre, its bound pages provided an undeniable sense of cozy companionship not found in the cold glow of a Kindle Fire HD screen. Fortunately, a magical portal to the age of the printed word exists: The Book Stop, 214 N. 4th Ave., specializes in hardto-find used titles be they rare, signed or out of print. A replacement copy of a favorite childhood fairy tale makes a thoughtful gift for the young-at-heart grownup in your life! The Book Stop rings up customers Monday-Thursday 10am-7pm, Friday-Saturday 10am-10pm and Sunday noon-5pm; learn more at Meanwhile nearby at Antigone Books, 411 N. 4th Ave., hardcovers and paperbacks are only the beginning. Here within the nation’s first 100% solar-powered bookstore, the possibilities are practically endless in any search for presents to make this year’s festivities memorable. Classy academic planners and a myriad of other colorful calendars, “Magnetic Personalities” finger puppet refrigerator magnets, unique apparel and a wide selection of magazines are available alongside the latest “Captain Underpants” tale. Antigone Books (so named for the circa 441 BC tragedy by Greek playwright Sophocles) is open Monday-Thursday 10am-7pm, FridaySaturday 10am-9pm and Sunday 11am-5pm. Browse authors at Wilde Rose Coffee is truly, as roaster Ron Rose likes to proclaim loudly to anyone who will listen, “not for wimps!” His signature dark blends such as The Dog Pound, Cowboy Joe and extra-strong high octane Rocket Fuel are sure to please the caffeine fiend on your nice list. A gift-giver can order online at, but Rose is a riot in person. For the better experience find him and his vintage Diederich drum roaster at both Tucson weekend farmers’ markets: Saturdays behind Maynards Market & Kitchen, 400 N. Toole Ave., and Sundays at St. Philip’s Plaza, 4280 N. Campbell Ave. During your visit, why not check out the other vendors too? They’re listed in full at For those whose gift recipients prefer more calming beverages, Tea and More in the Many Hands Courtyard at 3054 N. 1st Ave. is the best local source for fair trade herbal, fruit, green, white and jasmine teas. The “more” consists of elaborate and ornate measuring spoons, filters, pots, candles and infusers all designed to make tea consumption as pleasant as possible. Taste the peaceful life Tuesday-Saturday 11am-5pm or fill a virtual shopping cart at A vaster array of spatulas, silverware, aprons, egg beaters, dishes, cookie jars and potholders than that found at A Perfect Pantry, 21 E. Congress St., would be difficult to locate inside the city limits. Throw in toys, cards and accessories and this is quite the spot to shop for the foodie in the family and/or homemaker in your circle of friends. A Perfect Pantry’s

hours are Monday-Friday 10am-6pm and Saturday 11am-4pm. Visit them at Game Trader, 2500 N. Silverbell Rd. Suite #140, is run by gamers for gamers and it shows. Here the focus is on fun, with the latest role-playing games and first-person shooters available on launch date alongside PlayStation and Atari classics. Imagine your loved one’s delight at discovering their previously dusty and nonfunctional Nintendo GameCube console under the tree sporting an optical drive replacement and new power supply courtesy of Game Trader’s repair department. A purchasing pro tip for the non-gamer: this month’s hot new release is “Far Cry 3.” Game Trader’s doors are open Monday-Saturday 10am-9pm and Sunday 11am-6pm. Get your game on at For the odd collectable or knickknack it’s impossible to beat This, That and the Other at 3419 E. Grant Rd., where you never know what you’ll be taking home until you look around. As the name would imply, anything might be found at this boutique... although every item tends to be cute, affordable and unique! Jewelry, toys, watches, clothing, furnishings and footwear fill every corner of the store. A new service known as a “special occasion makeover” is now being offered for those seeking to impress at a scheduled appearance. This, That and the Other welcomes bargain hunters Tuesday-Friday 11am-6pm and Saturday 11am-5pm. Find them online at At The Old Market Inn Tile Shop, 403 N. 6th Ave., hand crafted decorative tiles are the order of the day and come in countless sizes and designs. From bar tops to garden walkways, artist Carly Quinn has vast experience creating custom tile murals that easily brighten any corner of a home or business with Sonoran flair. Drop by Tuesday-Friday 11am-6pm and Saturday noon-4pm; see examples at The good folks at Pop-Cycle, 422 N. 4th Ave., have made it their mission to produce and distribute remarkable art crafted from discarded and recycled materials. Purses fashioned out of vinyl LP records, lampshades made of license plates and durable duct tape wallets are but a few of these clever creations. Garments and accoutrements from the iconic Monster Booty Threads upcycled clothing line and high-quality wooden furniture by DDco Design are found in abundance as are candleholders, wall hangings and frames of many sizes. Pop-Cycle invites you in Monday-Thursday 11am-6pm, Friday-Saturday 11am-7pm and Sunday 11am-5pm. Pop into for more information. Really feeling the crunch? The Tucson Museum of Art museum store at 140 N. Main Ave. has such an enormous variety of groovy gifts that, should it become absolutely necessary, even a last minute impulse buyer can cover everyone who was good this year in one fell swoop. The store is open during regular museum hours; has details. Santa Claus delivers globally; Zocalo Magazine shops locally. Happy (fill in the blank)! December 2012 | 5




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Yikes Toys & Gift-O-rama

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Gift Locally FOR THE HOME



Originate Natural Building Materials Showroom


KXCI 91.3FM Community Radio

526 N. 9th Ave | 792-4207 Eco-minded books, wildflower cards, Sweep Dreams Brooms, recycled glassware and vases, locally handmade mesquite cutting boards, baskets, Bambu kitchenware, recycled wrapping paper, vegetable parchment garlands.

3063 N. Alvernon Way | 323-3063 Gift for wine lovers: gift certificates, gift baskets, wine, and wine accessories. December’s themed tastings include “Wines that Pair with Holiday Feasts” and “Affordably Priced Party Wines”.

220 S. 4th Ave | 623-1000 x13 | Support Community Radio and the arts! Buy KXCI gift memberships, CDs, t-shirts and more. And bid on great items in their online holiday auction.

Ramona Farms

Arte de la Vida

Hwy 87 between milepost 152 & 153, Sacaton 602-322-5080, We offer tepary beans and other wholesome American Indian grown traditional and non-traditional food products for personal use, wholesale and food services. Find recipes and shop our website.

37 N. Tucson Blvd | 398-6720 “The Sunshine Mile Boutique Crawl” on December 14th. Arte de la Vida will be offering 10% off everything in the store and serving homemade Mexican Hot Cocoa and Mexican Cookies on that evening.

Iskashitaa Refugee Network

Deco: Art for Living

1406 E. Grant Rd | 327-9833 | Purchase local food products from gleaned produce (marmalades, syrups) as well as refugee-made crafts (baskets, purses, rugs). Support a local non-profit and refugees creating a home in Tucson.

2612 E. Broadway Blvd | 319-0888 Gift buying ideas include handmade items: earrings, bracelets, necklaces, rings, scarves, purses, wallets, magnets, wall art, lamps, neon signs, candles, decorative fans, antiques, beads, glass, artist tops and hoodies, laser pegs and toys.

Southwest Furniture & Design 212 S. Park Ave | 461-1341 Hand-blown glass table ware, hand-made desert animals, picture frames, jewelry, pots, Southwest artifacts, lamps, art, sculptures, scarves, bags, Christmas ornaments, table textiles, furniture. Offering 20% Off ALL accessories! Special Sales Events December 6th.

Many Hands Artist Cooperative 3054 N. 1st Ave | 624-7612 The gallery has works by a dozen local artists including watercolor paintings, gallery wrapped photography, sun catchers, jeweled geckos, pottery, masks, bowls, cups, jewelry, gourd art, wine stoppers, frames, mirrors, and more.

ARTISAN Tucson Clay Co-op 3326 N. Dodge | 792-6263 We offer our famous “chickens,” affordably priced unique bowls and mugs made by our members priced from $5 to $10 - (100% of the proceeds go to improve our pottery). We also sell fine functional pottery as well as one of a kind art pieces made by our co-op members.



Betty Blue’s Junk Shop

CRIZMAC Art & Cultural Marketplace & Gallery

262 S. Plumer Ave | 624-7147 10% Off When You Mention Buy Local Month Vintage toys, clothes, records, depression glass, art, barware, jewelry, decor, furniture, curios, gift-able treasures galore.

1642 N Alvernon Way | 323-8555 | Great gifts include hand-crafted ornaments, folk art, jewelry, wearable art, soaps, purses, shawls, and puzzles and books for children.

TICKETS Tucson Symphony Orchestra 2175 N. 6th Ave | 882-8585 Tickets to the orchestra make a great gift. See the upcoming show listing online.

More great local gift destinations at

La Pilita Museum 420 S. Main Ave | 882-7454 | La Pilita Museum gift shop features local handcrafted beeswax candles, unique ornaments, pottery, posters, cards, and t-shirts all making for one of a kind special gifts.

Yikes Toys & Gift-O-rama 2930 E Broadway Blvd | 320-5669 | Yikes Toys is a cornucopia for the curious-minded, specializing in Eclectica, Pop Culture & Quirky Fun! Toys for All Ages. Located on Tucson’s Sunshine Mile.

Local First Arizona is a statewide coalition of local, independent businesses working to keep more dollars recirculating in the local economy helping to create jobs and fund public services like fire departments, libraries and waste removal. Learn more or become a member at 6 | December 2012

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Queen Creek olive oils at Native Seeds SEARCH

Indie Ideas by Amanda Reed

Metal plant holders at Indigo and Olive

Indigo and Olive 7119 N. Oracle Rd., (520) 398-9763 Tucked away in Casas Adobes Plaza, this small gem of a shop has many options to perk up a home or garden. Vibrant outdoor rugs, repurposed household items, metal plant holders, solar powered lanterns and eco friendly pet gifts. IDEAS: Recycled soda pop bottle catnip toys by West Paw Design; Soji solar nylon lanterns. $21.95 for solid colors and $29.99 for prints.

The Grey House Antiques 3067 N. Campbell Ave., (520) 325-0400 For the vintage enthusiasts, this centrally located shop features furniture, paintings, rhinestone jewelry, clothing, furs, retro barware and kitchenware. IDEAS: Spell out a special missive to a loved one. Assortment of scrabble letters, $0.25 each. Wooden letter piece holder, $2.00 each; 1930s black velvet bow and fur pin, $30; Faux horn corkscrew, $32; Rare vintage fur cuff, $32; Brass lipstick holder, $8. Looking for more vintage? Check out these other local favorites: Betty Blue’s Junk Shop, 22nd Street Antique Mall, Copper Country Antique Mall and Razzle Dazzle.

Spell out a special missive to a loved one. Assortment of scrabble letters at The Grey House Antiques Clutches made by local designer Petite Bonfire, at Avenue Boutique

MAST 299 S. Park Ave., (520) 720-0299

Native Seeds S.E.A.R.C.H. 3061 N. Campbell Ave., (520) 622-5561 Know someone who has a green thumb? This non-profit organization conserves agricultural seeds that have adapted to the southwest region. Their shop offers a wide selection of seeds, savory delights such as mesquite flour and olive oil, wooden bowls, jewelry and gifts for kids and pets. IDEAS: Plush Javelina toy, $9.95; Queen Creek Olive Mill infused olive oils: Serrano chili peppers, Mexican lime $13 each; Tohono O’odham horsehair baskets; Large selection of seeds, $2.95 each: O’odham green peas, Tarahumara Pink lentil, white Sonora wheat, San Felipe watermelon, and native wildflower seed mixes from $2-$12; Soap or shampoo for your furry friend. Woof Wild Dog Shampoo, $8.50.

In the Lost Barrio, a short bike ride from downtown, this boutique offers lovingly crafted goods. IDEAS: Metallic moccasins for adults and kids, vintage inspired jewelry pieces, arrow earrings, acrylic paintings on reclaimed wood by Maja Nostrant, hand forged bottle openers by Zach Lihatsh and barrettes made from old yardsticks. Gift certificates are also available.

Avenue Boutique 3050 E. Broadway Blvd., (520) 881-0409 At this modern boutique look for one of a kind finds ranging from home goods to clothing to jewlery and circle scarves. IDEAS: Clutches made by local designer Petite Bonfire mingle with wares by Aussie label MINKPINK, Clare Vivier messenger bags, Rebecca Minkoff bags and sparkly rhinestone earrings. December 2012 | 9


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Uplands soap for men, at REVOLuTIo

holiday shopping Above: Handmade modern jewelry by Stubborn, at FORS shop

Handcast Starburst Cocktail Rings in Silver & Black at Clique Boutique.

REVOLuTIo 43 S. 6th Ave., (520) 829-1033 Shaving set with horsehair brush at REVOLuTIo

This downtown boutique carries men’s and women’s apparel in addition to home goods. IDEAS: Look for the Uplands soap for men, made in small batches of 20 bars, from coconut and olive oils out of Santa Cruz, CA, $13.95; Shaving set with horsehair brush, aluminum tin and olive oil soap, $55.

UNICEF Store 6242 E. Speedway Blvd., (520) 881-7060

FORS shop

Purchase a gift and feel good supporting a cause. Carrying a wide range of craftsmanship from around the globe, this shop is the perfect place to find a unique gift from afar. They also carry a large selection of holiday ornaments and cards, including cards and personal planners by Charley Harper. IDEAS: Beaded earrings by liki, a Portland based designer, $64; Wooden carved angels from Guatemala, $40-$32; Motorcycles made from soda cans, Vietnam, $18-23; Decorated wooden boxes from Poland; Nesting dolls from Russia; Silver jewelry from Thailand.

Looking for gifts for a design aficionado? This new shop features quirky and modern goods for the home sure to inspire creative types. IDEAS: Handmade modern jewelry by Stubborn; “642 Things to Draw” or the “Anti Bride Wedding Planner” books; Ice cube trays in the shape of shot glasses and bones; Shark fin shaped salt and pepper shakers; Moustache key caps; Birch and bamboo decorated paper straws; Modern bird feeder and a fishbowl; Add a splash of fun to the morning with a Spilt Milk Cereal Bowl.

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245 E. Congress St. #135, (520) 795-9888

Clique Boutique 1865 E. River Rd. Suite #111, (520) 232-9458 This boutique showcases designers such as Free People, Three Dot, and Hard Tail Forever Athletic Apparel. Jewelry designers include Marcia Moran, Kendra Scott and Dogeared – modern, free spirited pieces handmade in California. IDEAS: Gold dipped dragonfly “Friends” necklace by Dogeared jewelry; handcast Starburst Cocktail Rings in Silver & Black by Rebel.

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Spiked heart clutch at Zoe Boutique

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Punk rock activity book at Blue Willow

Cannoli at Roma Imports

Skate clothing and gear at BLX

Blue Willow 2616 N. Campbell Ave., (520) 327-7577 Whimsical gifts greet your eyes upon entering this restaurant and gift shop. Look for the hand painted clocks in the shape of cats, owls, teapots and other critters. Unique jewelry, cactus tea light gardens, assorted cards and calendars, and hanging photo mobiles are also available. IDEAS: Fugetabout cutting pizza twice with the il Motorino moped cutter with double blades, $8.99; Pug salt and pepper shakers $12.99; Coloring books: M.C Escher, Frank Lloyd Wright, John James Audubon, Tibetan symbols, Buddhist paintings, and early twentieth century Parisian fashion, all $7.95; Punk rock activity book featuring a maze where you can give Ian MacKaye different hair styles, help Milo from the Descendents get to college, create mad punk libs, draw Operation Ivy’s logo, or draw your own CBGB’s graffiti, $9.95; Delicate pretty vintage flower stud earrings by Amani studio from Sonoma, CA, $12; Printed earrings $18 and necklaces for $22 by geranium.

Zoë Boutique 735 N. 4th Ave., (520) 740-1201 This sweet boutique features clothing, jewelry, clutches, scarves, and other pretty items. IDEA: Check out the spiked heart cross-body clutch for $48.

Roma Imports 627 S. Vine Ave., (520) 792-3173 This Italian restaurant and import shop is the perfect place to find a gift for your foodie friends. IDEAS: Imported pastas, tomatoes, olive oils, vinegars and cheeses. Check out their homemade mozzarella and cannoli. Or why not make it a picnic and pack yourself and your loved one a romantic Italian feast… mangia!

BLX Skateshop 35 E. Toole Ave., (520) 622-5858 This skater shop is perfect for the guys that simply shrug when you inquire what they want for a present. IDEAS: BLX features graphic art by local artists like Danny Martin and Robert Hall. Hats and socks by HUF, sneakers, sunglasses, boards, and jeans by Omit, Altamont, and KR3W.

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Beaded cuffs at Latin Spirit Designs

Monterey Court

Band in a Box at Jonathan’s Educational Resources

505 W. Miracle Mile, (520) 207-2429 This shaded courtyard features retail shops, a café, and live music 7 days a week.


Scope out handmade beaded leather cuffs ($45-$60) that artist, Monica V. Garcia makes with her mother at Latin Spirit Designs or inquire about her custom made designs.

Bon 3022 E. Broadway Blvd., (520) 795-2272 This darling shop owned by a local mother and daughter team carry goods for the home, baby, and the heart. IDEAS: Fine jewelry, cashmere socks made in the USA, Morroccan poufs in metallic and pastel shades, and shoes from Repetto… c’est irresistible!

The Book Stop, Inc. 214 N. 4th Ave., (520) 326-6661 Serving Tucson since 1967, this sweet little nook is home to nearly 100,000 used, rare, and out of print titles. IDEA: Don’t leave without sifting through their print drawers where you can find art prints for as little as $0.50. 14 | December 2012

Repetto ballet flats at Bon

Jonathan’s Educational Resources 3100 N. Stone Ave. Ste #114, (520) 628-1108 Not just for the teacher in your life, this indie shop features many educational toys and materials gifts for kids of all ages. IDEAS: Critical thinking games and puzzles, arts and craft materials, books, balls, jump ropes, and musical materials such as the 10 piece Band in a Box, $24.99.

Walking into Cynthia Roedig’s shop you won’t know where to look first. Featuring many one of a kind pieces such as glass chili pepper earrings, $10-$15, gingerbread characters like Ginger Miner and sassy Ginger Kate, $8, or Vegan DeCio pasta made in Tempe, Arizona. Flavors such as Red Bell Pepper, Szechuan Orange Spice, Lemon Pepper, Tomato Sonoran Spice, come in spaghettis, linguini, orzo and penne, $6 each or 4 for $20. The lovely husband and wife team at Dragons Sparkle Urban Boutique fill their shop with handmade, fair trade, recycled goods. Look for typewriter letter pendants by Sara Stacks $28, hand wrought jewelry by Wendy Goodman, jewelry by CasaKira Designs, fair trade recycled aluminum ornaments $3.50, and Alternative Earth Apparel hand printed tees and hoodies $28-$37.

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Left to right, Dale Rush, Darci Hazelbaker, Colleen LaFleur, and Jason Gallo.

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photos Purple Nickel Studio, courtesy LaFleur Plantscapes

Atelier de LaFleur A Workspace for Beauty and Sustainability by Emily Gindlesparger Stepping onto the broad tiled floors of the new Atelier de LaFleur, visitors are greeted with the scent of flower arrangements displayed across a wall of thin steel shelves, and in the center of the room a 16 foot work table awaits new creations. “The work table is the essence of the Atelier,” explained Darci Hazelbaker of HA RU, the design firm that created this space in the historic train depot on 410 N. Toole to house a combined downtown flower market and workshop for LaFleur Plantscapes. “In the morning Colleen may use it to assemble arrangements for walk-in patrons, in the afternoon may use it as a work space for creating all the center pieces for a wedding, in the evening she may host a class for eight to ten people on orchid care, and on the weekend she may throw a farm-to-table dinner party for 15 or more close friends.” The worktable is symbolic of the visions and collaboration of Hazelbaker, Dale Rush, Jason Gallo and Colleen LaFleur, owner of the Atelier. The piece started with reclaimed oak beams found at a Tucson salvage yard, which were then milled locally at Picture Rocks Mesquite and built by the designers into an indispensable centerpiece. “We’re told these beams are close to 100 years old and I believe it,” Hazelbaker added. “It’s the densest wood we’ve ever worked with.” “We see the ideas of sustainable design as the way architecture should be executed as standard protocol,” she wrote. “We regularly source local materials and craftsman as much as possible, reuse and reclaim materials when appropriate, use products made from recycled content or products that are easily recyclable, as well as employ passive energy strategies, and new green technology when the design and budget allow.” This philosophy is visible everywhere in the Atelier, from the slim steel shelves that can be recycled to the custom steel office desk and vintage rug and lamp purchased locally. It’s a philosophy that rings true with LaFleur as well. Colleen’s plantscape designs revolve around native low-water flora and her floral arrangements always include a living plant “that can go from the event to the garden,” as she described it. “Our firm’s sustainable operations focus on re-purposing planters and containers, propagating and recycling native plants and suc16 | December 2012

culents from prior event work, encouraging the use of live plants, supporting local artisans and farms and purchasing all of our landscape plants from local Tucson vendors.” “The concept of an atelier grew out of the idea that if we offered classes and workshops on garden related topics we would provide the downtown urban gardener with a place to network and meet others who shared similar green interests,” LaFleur explained. A traditional atelier is an artist’s studio, where a master and assistants work together, and the idea has been decanted in the downtown Tucson space to a flower shop where customers can work in petals at the bar and learn from the professionals. Classes every week give apprentices an opportunity to learn something more about sustainable growing in the southwest, balcony gardening, or working with design elements of beautiful blooms. December brings workshops on holiday succulent arrangements and “homemade living gifts” that can be planted and enjoyed for years to come. But perhaps the most important feature of the new flower shop is its beauty. “We wanted the space to have the feel of an old European artisan workshop but also showcase the natural beauty of the living plants and floral arrangements much like an art gallery,” LaFleur noted, and along one wall the squared-off shelves create dark, minimalist frames around splashes of color from the flowers. The two designs complement each other. Of HA | RU, LaFleur wrote, “They shared my passion for sustainability and delivered a space that uses hand crafted, beautiful natural materials.” But in this gallery, Hazelbaker added, “The art is Colleen’s living compositions.” Atelier de LaFleur is offering special December classes on Thursday evenings, 6-7pm: 12/6 Holiday Succulent Arrangement, $30 (includes an arrangement to take home) and 12/13 Forcing Bulbs & Homemade Living Gifts for the Holidays, $15. Atelier de LaFleur, 410 N. Toole Ave., 548-1338. Visit for more information.

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Elegant Thought by Teya Vitu Ever notice how just about every TV or movie character based in Manhattan lives or works in some enormous loft space, a gentrified repurposing of this factory or that from 100 years ago? Ever notice that none of us live or work in a vast warehouse loft chic environment? Almost none of us, at any rate. Brendon Hicks moved his Internet applications firm Elegant Thought into the warehouse at 15 E. Toole Ave. in July. 3,000 square feet. Eight employees. One huge room with no walls, no cubicles, even Hicks’s office is out in the open. Their workstations fill maybe 300 of those square feet. The rest? Up front, there’s the pool table with suspended lighting on one side, a vintage upright piano topped with an aquarium housing a small desert tortoise on the other. Beyond that, you come upon the “living room” – sofas, arm chairs, throw rug, Hicks’s guitar upright on a stand, and a huge projection screen on the brick wall. “We can do karaoke,” Hicks said. “I got everything off Craigslist.” Just beyond the sofas, a dart board looks very small on the wall. Past the dartboard sits a small high table with four high chairs. The adjacent wall bearing three identical white-and-black analog clocks with times for Tucson, New York and London and there’s a ping pong table. “I want to get the young coders,” Hicks said. “The average age here is like 25, if you don’t count me. I specifically wanted to move closer to Downtown and the university. It is definitely a recruitment tool. I’ve had people walk by and say, ‘I want to work there.’” Nearly all of Elegant Thought’s work is for a major London accounting firm, where Hicks worked for 11 years at its New York office before striking out on his own. You think setting up a small Internet firm in a warehouse community more associated with artists is offbeat? Elegant Thought’s first office in 2008 was in Istanbul, Turkey. “My wife is Turkish,” said Hicks, himself a native Tucsonan. “We spend all our vacation time in Turkey. It made sense if I was going to outsource that would be the place to do it.” continued on page 20 Elegant Thought owner Brendon Hicks in the “living room” area.

Posh Petals Arranged to Flourish by Emily Gindlesparger For Katie Treat, owner of Posh Petals, setting up her new shop in the historic Tophy Building has brought her into the fold of 4th Avenue. Posh Petals specializes in custom flowers for events, so the retail space is a bit of a blank canvas. It’s a comfortable shop that she’s filled with funky antiques, artful glass vases, flower boxes, pots, and votives. “Katie collects the best antiques,” says Christina Fey, her assistant, and Katie quips back, “this is everything I can’t fit in my house!” But the collection creates an organic sense of style that nestles nicely into 4th Avenue; with everything pretty and everything for sale. There’s a stage and plentiful room on the walls, so Katie envisions a space for the whole community. “I love being a part of what’s going on down here so much that if somebody wanted to do an open mic night, or somebody wanted to put their art on the walls, I’d be totally open to that,” she says. And with a joking tone, she adds, “I mean, we’re just sitting here.” The duo is relaxing after the whirlwind of wedding season, which often includes five weddings in a single weekend or even a single day. “Katie really cares about the brides or whomever it is we’re working with,” Christina says. “If for some reason something is missing, or the bride needs an extra boutonniere or anything else, Katie will come back, create it, and take it; because she wants their day to be perfect.” Katie responds simply, “It’s their wedding day. That’s important stuff. That’s stuff that is never going to go away, and part of it is that I’m not going to be that person that they’re mad at 20 years later,” she adds, laughing. “It’s a dying business to do the job right. I think that a lot of people on 4th Avenue share that idea and it’s part of the camaraderie. People are down here doing what they’re good at; they care about what they do. And I don’t think there are a lot of places like that. It’s great to be part of like-minded people who try really hard. It really makes this a fun place to be.” Posh Petals is located at 224 N. 4th Ave. 408-0101. Visit for more information. December 2012 | 19

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Sunday at The Cup by Hannah McCain

continued from page 19 By early 2011, Hicks realized he wanted to work with his team more face-to-face. He moved Elegant Thought in May 2011 to a small Broadway office near Jessica Avenue, between Wilmot and Kolb roads. “The team grew pretty quickly. We outgrew the space,” Hicks said. “I was looking at office space. It was all $14 to $18 per square foot for midrange offices that were not great.” When he looked at the Fenton Investments real estate offerings, he saw a variety of standard offices – and this warehouse on Toole Avenue. “I was looking at this. It needed work but it’s considerably cheaper,” Hicks said. “I wanted an open concept. We had to sand and finish the (original wood) floor. We put insulation on the ceiling and a new back window (to dampen the train noise).” The 15 E. Toole warehouse is a win-win for Elegant Thought. The company does not need to impress clients with some sparkling, antiseptic, modern office setting, and the employees get the urban benefits right outside the door. “We’re almost equidistant from Congress and 4th Avenue,” Hicks said. “If you want to go out at night, it’s right there. We often walk to lunch. We’re all thinking of getting bikes. I joined the Y. It’s right there. You don’t have to get into a car.” Hicks grew up in Tucson but went to Massachusetts to double major in economics and computer science at Amherst College. He got a job as a market analyst at a global accounting firm in New York in 1996. The firm then made him the technology manager for its global intranet for some 150,000 employees. He moved back to Tucson in 2004 while still working for the New York firm, but four years later started Elegant Thought. “We build Web-based applications for corporate clients. We also build mobile apps for iPad or iPhone. We do a lot of interactive Web development so that users can explore data and information.” Hicks is talking about is benchmarking tools where you get to pick and choose various items to get a custom answer. For example, if you want to know how many 25-to-30-year olds voted for Mitt Romney in Pima County, you could pick an age element, a county element and a candidate element. The potential for Elegant Thought is endless. Hicks’ primary client alone has some 100,000 Web pages. He’s not looking at growing beyond 20 employees. The Toole warehouse is perfect for him for the foreseeable future. All he needs is coders to keep up with the burgeoning new technologies. “Tucson is not known as a hotbed of Web coders. It’s not like talent is swarming to Tucson. I’d like to get the best coders I can.” 20 | December 2012

The Cup Café is the place to be in Tucson on Sunday mornings, and there is, accordingly, a substantial wait time for a table. In Hotel Congress’s own words, however, “The build-your-own Bloody Mary bar helps pass the time quickly.” Indeed, this creatively-designed bar, situated in the lobby of Hotel Congress and open exclusively on Sunday mornings from 10- 2, is even a destination in and of itself. Explains Matthew “Cheeks” Talavera, one of the bartenders you’ll regularly find at Hotel Congress at the Sunday bloody bar: “It’s not just about wasting time before you get a table at the Cup.” Time might not be wasted at the Bloody Mary bar, but you might very well end up that way if one delicious morning libation happens to lead to another (and maybe another). Part of the fun is the set-up: there’s a cup on the bar full of slips of paper. Grab one, and in the style of a sandwich shop you get to circle your preferred ingredients: salt or not; your choice of vodka, gin, or tequila; level of spiciness; number of shots; and garnishes. Some of the garnishes, like pickles, are classic. Others are more unexpected: avocado, artichokes, and three different types of cheese are all options. My companions and I took our made-to-order Bloody Marys out to Congress’s front patio—we can be counted among the Bloody bar clientele who were not simply passing time before breakfast at the Cup—and began a share-and-compare session. My brother and our friend both had delicious drinks, but—luckily for me—my own Bloody Mary was my favorite. I chose the classic vodka Bloody, chose “hot” as my desired level of spiciness, and garnished the drink with cilantro, capers, cucumber, and goat cheese, plus the requisite celery. (I was hesitant to add cheese to my Bloody, but I can’t really even resist goat cheese, even when it seems like a bad idea (which is rarely, to be honest). I’m glad I added it. The creaminess of the cheese helped to offset the spiciness of the drink.

Because be forewarned: concerning the “hot” Bloody Marys, Cheeks tells me (and I can corroborate), “You asked for it hot—it’ll be hot!” Indeed, both my brother’s and my Bloodys were exceptionally spicy. Even the mild Bloody has a bit of a kick to it: the Bloody mix at Congress, made in-house, contains Mexican chili, a Tucson-made green poblano sauce, and Tobasco. The staff wasn’t too knowledgeable about the origin of the Bloody Mary bar, which was too bad because it would have been nice to hear the story of how it came to be. Apparently it’s been around for four or five years and “you don’t want to know why it’s called Bloody,” according to Andres “Andy” Parada, a Cup server and sometimes-Bloody Mary bartender. The Bloody Mary bar doesn’t need myth and notoriety to be a success, though (Hotel Congress has enough ghosts already, anyway). What it needs are good Bloody Marys—and that’s already covered.

December 2012 | 21

22 | December 2012

arts Z Photo courtesy of Pima Community College.

BORDERLANDS THEATER A Tucson Pastorela shows Thu, Dec 20- Sun, Dec 23. TCC Leo Rich Theater, 260 S. Church. 882-7406.

FOX THEATRE Romeros with Concerto Malaga performs Sat, Dec 8. Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker shows Mon, Dec 17- Tue, Dec 18. El Cascanueces: The Nutcracker Ballet shows Sat, Dec 22- Sun, Dec 23. Paula Poundstone performs Mon, Dec 31. Fox Theatre, 17 W. Congress St. 624-1515,


GASLIGHT THEATRE Scrooge: A Gaslight Musical continues through Sun, Jan 6. Gaslight Theatre, 7010 E. Broadway Blvd. 886-9428, LIVE THEATRE WORKSHOP It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play continues through Sat, Dec 29. Delia and the Mud People continues through February. Live Theatre Workshop, 5317 E. Speedway Blvd. 327-4242,


The improv comedy troupe performs Fri, Dec 7, 7:30pm at Revolutionary Grounds Coffee House, 606 N. 4th Ave. 861-2986,

ODYSSEY STORYTELLING SERIES The End of the World As We Know It takes place Thu, Dec 6 at 7pm. $7. Fluxx Studio and Gallery, 416 E. 9th St. 7304112,

PCC ARTS Pima Community College Orchestra Concert takes place Sat, Dec 1.

“Wonders of the World” shows at Pima Community College on Fri, Dec 7- Sat, Dec 8.


Pacifica Quartet with Anthony McGill performs Wed, Dec 5 at 7:30pm. TCC’s Leo Rich Theatre, 260 S. Church Ave. 577-3769,

ARIZONA ONSTAGE PRODUCTIONS Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill shows Thu, Dec 6- Sun, Dec 23. Temple of Music and Art, 330 S. Scott Ave. 2703332,


Holiday Tunes in Tinsel Town shows Fri, Dec 7- Sun, Dec 9. Rhythm & Roots Concert Venue, 2970 N. Swan. 8880509,

ARIZONA THEATRE COMPANY Jane Austen’s Emma shows Sat, Dec 1Sat, Dec 22. Temple of Music and Art, 330 S. Scott Ave. 884-8210,


The Nutcracker shows Fri, Dec 21- Sun, Dec 23. Sugar Plum Tea takes place Sun, Dec 2. Stevie Eller Dance Theatre, University of Arizona, 1737 E. Univeristy Blvd. 903-1445,

BEOWULF ALLEY THEATRE Marie Antoinette: The Color of Flesh continues through Sun, Dec 16. 11 S. 6th Ave. 882-0555,


Tantalizing burlesque performance on Fri, Dec 7 at 8pm and 10pm. Surly Wench Pub, 424 N. 4th Ave. 882-0009,

Wonders of the World takes place Fri, Dec 7- Sat, Dec 8. Pima Community College Chorale & College Singers Concert takes place Sun, Dec 2. Friends and Lovers takes place Wed, Dec 5 at 7pm. $6. PCC Center for the Arts Recital Hall, 2202 W. Anklam Rd.


The Pacifica Quartet performs Wed, Dec 5. Tickets vary. Tucson Convention Center, 260 S. Church Ave.


NYE Gala: Rick Braun, Richard Elliot and Peter White takes place Mon, Dec 31. Tucson Jazz Society, 2777 N. Campbell Ave. 9031265,

TUCSON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Pecos Bill, A West Side Story, takes place Sat, Dec 1. Ann Hampton Callaway performs Sat, Dec 1- Sun, Dec 2. Tchaikovsky’s First Concerto shows Fri, Dec 7- Sun, Dec 9. A Southwest NutcrackerMatiné shows Fri, Dec 14. Celebrate the Season: Messiah and Bach takes place Sat, Dec 15- Sun, Dec 16. A Southwest Nutcracker takes place Sat, Dec 15- Sun, Dec 16. The Magic of Christmas shows Sat, Dec 22- Sun, Dec 23. New Years Eve at the Arizona Inn takes place Mon, Dec 31. TCC’s Music Hall, 260 S. Church Ave. 8828585,


Inspecting Carol continues through Sun, Dec 2. Tornabene Theatre, 1025 N. Olive Rd. 621-1162,


The Spirit of Christmas takes place Sat, Dec 8- Sun, Dec 9. Celtic Woman performs Sun, Dec 16. The Nutcracker shows Fri, Dec 21- Sun, Dec 23. Centennial Hall, 1020 E. University Blvd. 621-3341,


Anniversary Solstice Gala Performance takes place Fri, Dec 21 at 7:30pm. Zuzi’s Little Theater, 738 N. 5th Ave. 629-0237,

December 2012 | 23

arts Z

by Herb Stratford

Jane Austen’s “Emma” A lavish new musical production of one of Jane Austen’s most beloved heroines, Emma, comes to life on stage at the Temple of Music and Art. Presented by the Arizona Theatre Company, the production, with music, lyrics and book by Tony award-winner Paul Gordon, runs through December 22. The classic tale of a woman who plays at being a matchmaker, and yet remains clueless to the own desires of her heart has been a favorite since its publication in 1815. Many will remember the popular culture film version entitled “Clueless” in 1995, which updated the story. Don’t miss a chance to see a new and exciting version of this classic on stage. A perfect holiday treat for the whole family.

Davis Dominguez Gallery Three unique and powerful artistic talents are on display through December 29 at the Davis Dominguez Gallery. Abstract Expressionist paintings by Josh Goldberg are joined with bronze sculptures by Marc Rossi and paintings of Sabino Canyon by James Cook, creating a riot of color and a startling portrait of the natural world as seen by three Tucson artists. The gallery, located at 154 E. 6th St. is free and open to the public and has ample, adjacent and free parking.

Tucson Arizona Boys Chorus One of Tucson’s most beloved and longest running cultural traditions, the Tucson Arizona Boys Chorus will present their annual holiday concert on Saturday, December 15 at Crowder Hall on the University of Arizona campus. The two performances are scheduled for 3:00pm and at 7:30pm. With a legacy of performance and tours that spans over 65 years, this group has a legacy like no other of celebrating music and song with a unique connection to the desert southwest. Visit for tickets and more information.

A Jazzy New Year’s Eve For the seventh time in as many years, the Tucson Jazz Society is hosting a gala New Year’s Eve Jazz concert at the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort and Spa. This year the line up includes a triple bill of headliners who each have a new CD about to be released. Rick Braun, Richard Elliot and Pete White will help Tucson Jazz fans ring in the new year in style. Joining the bill is the Tucson Jazz Institute’s award winning Ellington Band which features many up and coming musicians who promise to impress. A five-course gourmet meal, silent auction and champagne toast at midnight will round out the evening which will also be raising funds to support the Tucson Alliance for Autism, The National Autism Society and the Tucson Jazz Society’s Youth Music Education Program. For tickets and more information visit n

ZUZI! Continues to Soar after 15 Years by Herb Stratford What flies through the air every winter solstice for the past 15 years? It’s not the Great Pumpkin, but rather one of Tucson’s most unique and best loved dance companies, ZUZI! who will present their 15th Annual Solstice Gala performance at the Stevie Eller Dance Theatre on Friday, December 21.The ZUZI! company, known for both their landbased as well as their aerial dance extravaganzas will be joined by guest artists as they celebrate the winter solstice as well as their own anniversary as a local dance institution. ZUZI! is a unique Tucson institution, a blending of dance training, a professional modern and aerial dance company, and a theater space that provides other performing arts groups a place to perform. Their annual solstice performance is usually held at their home space, in the Historic “Y” on University Boulevard, but for their anniversary ZUZI! decided to present the show at the larger Stevie Eller Dance Theatre on the UA campus. The group hopes to “expand their audience” and continue to spread the word about ZUZI! by utilizing the larger venue, according to operations manager Jamey Garner. ZUZI! has managed to carve out a niche as well as a national reputation based on their unique approach to operations (dance school, performing company and performance space) which has enabled them to thrive and train a generation of great dancers. Special guest dancers for the Solstice Gala, Nathan Dryden and Greg Colburn, will be joined for the one night only event by musical guest artist Lindianne Sarno, performing on both piano and violin. ZUZI’s resident dancers for the performance will include Melissa Buckheit, Ekida Laurie, Karyn Reim, Carie Schneider, Sarah Anderson Stewart and Mechelle Tunstall. The show will feature works choreographed by artistic director Nanette Robinson, as well as by company dancers. A post performance reception, with live music featuring Pablo Peregrinna, will be paired with a silent auction fundraiser to complete the evening. Tickets are priced at either $75 for the performance and reception, or just $25 for the performance. December 2012 | 27

Albert Chamillard . Plague Language no. 70 . ink on vintage ledger paper . 12 x 9 inches

Z arts DECO

Ignite: Neon and Light Show continues through Thu, Jan 31. Tue-Wed, Sat, 11am-4pm; ThuFri, 11am-5pm. 2612 E. Broadway Blvd. 319-0888,

design by Bob Kliss, shows Sat, Dec 1-Sat, Jan 26. Artist reception Sat, Dec 1 from 5pm-8pm.10am5pm. Tue-Sat, 10am-5pm. 711 S. 6th Ave. 884-7404,



Recycled Metal Art & Floral Paintings by Elizabeth and Tony Von Isser shows Sun, Dec 2- Fri, Dec 14. Micaceous Clay Functional Pottery by Nancy Tapp shows Sun, Dec 16- Fri, Dec 28. Mixed Media Angels by Jane Stern opens Sun, Dec 30. Daily, 10am-4pm. 6300 N. Swan Rd. 299-9191,

Sat, 1pm-5pm & by appointment. 218 E. 6th St. 8815335,

tinues through Sat, Dec 15. 6pm-9pm.Tue-Sat, noon4pm. 33 S. 6th Ave. 620-0947,


Seeing in Silver: John Loengard, Ralph Gibson and Harry Callahan continues through Sat, Jan 5. Tue-Sat, 11am-5pm. 135 S. 6th Ave. 624-7370,


art Galleries/exhibits ATLAS Fine arts smallWORKS, an invitational exhibition of works small in scale, featuring artists Marvin Shaver, Josh Goldberg, Katherine Monogan, James Schaub and many more, through January 19. Artist reception, Dec 1. Wed-Thurs 11am-5:30pm, Fri-Sat, 11am-7pm. 41 S. 6th Ave. 622-2139.


Landings by Stephen Strom and Stu Jenks runs Sat, Dec 1- Thu, Feb 14. with a reception on Sat, Dec 1. 3550 E. Grant Rd. 327-7291.

CENTER FOR CREATIVE PHOTOGRAPHY The Jazz Loft Project: Photographs and Tapes of W. Eugene Smith, 1957-1965 opens Fri, Dec 14. Photo Friday: A Sense of Place takes place Fri, Dec 7. MonFri, 9am-5pm; Sun, noon-5pm. 1030 N. Olive Rd. 621-7968,


Revisions by James Gasowski and Tim Mosman continues through Sat, Dec 8. Tue-Sat, 11am-5pm. 439 N. 6th Ave. #171. 622-8997,


Reflections of the Sonoran Desert shows Sat, Dec 1- Sat, Dec 29 with a reception on Sat, Dec 1 from 6pm-9pm. Tues-Fri 11am-5pm, Sat 11am-4pm. 110 E. 6th St. 398-6557,


Abstract Expressionist paintings by Josh Goldberg continues through Sat, Dec 29. Tues-Fri 11-5, Sat 11-4. 154 E. 6th St. 629-9759,

28 | December 2012


THE DRAWING STUDIO Small Wonders con-


Albert Chamillard at Atlas Fine Arts

Art by Dee Bates continues through Sun, Dec 9. Art by Nancy Polster opens Wed, Dec 12. $8, Adults; $4, Children 4-12; Free, Children 3 and younger. 2150 N. Alvernon Way. 326-9686,

Subdivision #3 continues through Wed, Jan 9. Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm; Sat-Sun, 10am-4pm. 1031 N. Olive Rd. 626-4215,

LIONEL ROMBACH GALLERY Art 441, Advanced Photography runs Mon, Dec 10- Wed, Jan 16. Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm; Sat-Sun, 10am-4pm. 1031 N. Olive Rd. 624-4215,

LOUIS CARLOS BERNAL GALLERY. P.O.V: Interpreting the Human Figure continues through Fri, Dec 7. Wed 10:30am-5pm; Tue, Thu 10am-5pm; Fri 10am-3pm. 2202 W. Anklam Rd. 2066942, Pima.Edu/cfa

MADARAS GALLERY Desert Holiday continues through Mon, Dec 31. Wine-tastings every Thursday night in January during Art Walk from 5p-7pm. Art and gifts featuring wine images including paintings and hand-painted bowls, trays, lazy susans and napkin holders. Mon-Sat, 10am-6pm; Sun, 11am-5pm. 3001 E. Skyline Dr, #101. 623-4000,

MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART Wed-Sun, noon-5pm. $8, adults; free, children under 12, members, military; free to all second Wednesday of the month. 265 S. Church Ave. 624-5019,

MONTEREY COURT CAFE GALLERY Watercolor Images of an Impermanent World by artist Julia Graf begins Sat, Dec 1. Public reception Thu, Dec 6 from 6pm-7:30pm. Monterey Court Cafe Gallery, 505 W. Miracle Mile.

OBSIDIAN GALLERY Obsidian Gallery, 410 N. Toole Ave., #120. 577-3598,


The Ins and Outs, featuring the interior Optical  Paintings in solid glass by Wes Hunting and the  exterior surface

Under $100: Bin Bonanza continues through Sun, Jan 6. Tue-Sun; 11am-4pm. River Center Plaza, 5605 E. River Rd., #131. 299-7294,


Wed-Sat, 11am4pm & by appointment, 405-5800. 1122 N. Stone Ave. 624-7099,


Valerie Galloway: Photographs continues through Tue, Jan 8 with a reception on Fri, Dec 7 from 5:30pm-7:30pm. Mon–Fri, 10am5pm. 330 S. Scott Ave. 624-7370,

TUCSON MUSEUM OF ART El Nacimiento, scenes from the traditional Mexican nativity scene, continues through December. Wed, Fri, Sat: 10am5pm; Thu: 10am-8pm; Sun, noon-5pm. $10, adults; $8, seniors; $5, students 13+; free, children under 12. Free to all the first Sunday of the month. 140 N. Main Ave. 624-2333,


From Here and Far Away- Artist’s Books, Pages and Paintings by Beata Wehr continues through Fri, Dec 7. Selections from the Permanent Collection: Big Books opens Wed, Dec 12. Mon/Thurs, 9am-8pm; Tues/Wed, 9am6pm; Fri, 9am-5pm. 1508 E. Helen St. 626-3765, Poetry.Arizona.Edu

WEE Gallery

Marcy Miranda Janes, New Works Cut Paper, through Dec 29. Corner of 6th & 6th, suite 171.

WILDE MEYER GALLERY People and Places of the West continues through Wed, Dec 5. Rough and Tumble continues through Wed, Dec 5. Home on the Range continues through Sat, Dec 1. The Gem Show begins Thu, Dec 6 with a Holiday Artwalk on Thu, Dec 6 from 7pm-9pm. Southwest Holidays begins Thu, Dec 6 with a Holiday Artwalk on Thu, Dec 6 from 7pm-9pm. Artful Holidays shows Thu, Dec 6Sat, Dec 29.  Mon-Fri, 10am-5:30pm. 3001 E. Skyline Dr.

WOMANKRAFT ART GALLERY The Holiday Bazaar continues through Sat, Dec 22. 388 S. Stone Ave. 629-9976,

December 2012 | 29

Z garden

Notes From A Plant Freak

Gardening is a Seedy Business by Jared R. McKinley A most perplexing trend seen in nurseries during the fall are vegetables in starter pots (like 4-inch pots and 6-packs). A cynical laugh was derived from this author recently when he spotted sweet peas being sold in 6-packs at a quality local nursery. Planting peas this way is almost futile. Let’s lend a hint to our newbie gardeners: many vegetables transplant poorly and are best planted from seed. You might be intimidated by seeds but with a few pointers that intimidation can be converted into a learning experience that can change your gardening success rate. Many annual vegetable crops grow very fast. Their taproots want room. The goal of an annual plant, or a plant that typically lives out only for one season, is to get established in time to grow and reproduce as successfully as possible, given the available resources and time. Starter pots give hardly any room for such quick development. All too often those plants have sat too long in those pots, not just lacking room, but being overheated and going through extremes of dryness and wetness. Annual plants especially hate this. It’s a wonder anyone ever has success this way. If you have prepared your garden bed properly and are committed to seeing out the needs of your crop, starting from seed directly in the garden is the best way to ensure a good start for your vegetable crop. There are exceptions to this rule. Tomatoes and peppers, for example, if obtained by a reputable nursery that keeps its stock in the proper sunlight, watered and not hanging around too long to get root bound will do fine. Perennial crops like oregano, mint, artichokes and such usually transplant well, but beware of the quality you choose. Root-bound plants decrease your likelihood of a positive growing experience. There is another compelling reason to plant from seed: variety. If you choose a crop from the garden center, you are stuck with whatever varieties they thought would sell well, sometimes being inappropriate for our climate like the well-known Beefsteak tomato which has limited success in Tucson. Often one finds only the tried and true varieties are available. This is ok if you are content to grow the same thing everyone else is growing. You have the largest selection at your disposal choosing varieties from seed catalogs. especially with the Internet making the stock of all these companies available to you whenever you fancy purchasing some seed. 30 | December 2012

But you do take on the responsibility of doing your homework. Pay attention to how long it takes a crop to mature. Often descriptions will also let you know what a crop likes. With some crops this can be experimental and if you aren’t sure what you are doing, you do take a chance in selecting the wrong crop. Look at the experiments as an adventure and know this is actually more rare of an occurrence than it sounds. Most vegetable crops do well if you pay attention to season length and plant properly. Variety is also greater with most perennial crops, or more permanent or longer-living plants, when growing from seed. Artichoke varieties in the nursery, for example, are almost always limited to the Green Globe variety. Not because this is the only variety or the best for Tucson gardening. But nurseries are businesses and sometimes they have to make fiscal decisions that limit diversity. There is only so much room and why take chances on a variety people aren’t familiar with. By no means do you stop browsing the nursery. Depriving yourself of the wonderful experience of perusing the aisles of a good nursery would be a horrible suggestion. Just keep in mind that if you open yourself up to starting things from seed, your options open up, and your success with particular crops will improve. Seed packets almost always have all the information you need but be wary of seasonal planting suggestions as our mild winter and arid land climate often require different timing considerations. However, seed depth and spacing are almost always available and best followed. Also, almost all seed companies list how long it takes from germination for a crop to develop which is very important data in planning This author has a lot of favorite seed sources. Here are a few: our own Native Seeds / SEARCH ( is best for dry land crops, developed in this area. They have all that is local and heirloom. Additionally, use Territorial Seed Company ( for basic crops, Kitizawa Seed Company ( for Asian crops, Seeds From Italy ( for Italian heirlooms and Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds ( for fun and amazing heirlooms from around the world. Jared R. McKinley maintains a gardening and homesteading blog called Arid Land Homesteaders League at

December 2012 | 31

community Z

Trees for Tucson by CJ Shane

Did you dream about how great it would be to have a big shade tree in your yard during last summer’s heat? Now is the time to plant that tree. Warms days and cool nights in Tucson are perfect for tree planting, according to Rocky Yosek, operations coordinator at Trees for Tucson. Although trees can be planted from October to April, winter months are “a great time to plant a tree even if there’s a freeze because the roots are protected underground.” Trees for Tucson is a project of the nonprofit Tucson Clean and Beautiful, and is funded by Tucson Electric Power (TEP) and Trico Electric Cooperative. Four thousand low-cost shade trees are made available every year to TEP and Trico customers. Over 80,000 trees have been distributed through Trees for Tucson since the program’s founding in 1989. Homeowners may order trees by going to the Trees for Tucson website at and downloading a PDF order form or by emailing and requesting a PDF order form. The cost of each tree is $8 for homeowners. Some guidelines apply. Owners of homes built in 1980 or after or older homes with double-pane windows may purchase two trees a year. For homes built before 1980 and with single pane windows, up to four trees can be ordered. Yosek adds that this is for the one calendar year only. Home owners can order additional trees in following years. Shade trees are a desirable component of a home owner’s landscaping plan. They provide shade and cooler temperatures for homes which means energy use is lower in our torrid summers. Trees also provide homes for birds, beautify the neighborhood, and reduce carbon emissions and air pollution. This year these shade trees are available from Trees for Tucson: desert willow, blue palo verde, red push pistache, ironwood, and desert museum palo verde. Yosek says the red push pistache is a popular tree these days. “This tree is being planted in city parks now. It is very attractive and has no thorns.” He adds that the desert willow still remains the most popular tree. “At least 50% of my orders are for desert willow,” Yosek says. Velvet mesquite is not on the list currently due to low stock at nurseries, but will probably be available by spring. Velvet mesquite produces edible seed pods which can be milled into flour. The flour adds a sweet, nutty flavor to

favorite bread and pancake recipes. Reduction of the “urban heat island” effect is another benefit of tree planting. An urban heat island is caused by acres and acres of urban asphalt and concrete which absorb heat during the day and release it very slowly after dark. This heat retention makes it difficult for cities to cool off at night. According to the Southwest Climate Change Network at the University of Arizona’s Institute of the Environment, temperatures in urban Tucson “increased approximately 3 times more than rural temperatures” over the past 30 years. “Tucson’s urban temperatures are approximately 5.5 degrees F warmer than they were in the last century, with more than 3.5 degrees F of the warming occurring in the last 30 years,” according to a Southwest Climate Change Network report. The situation in Phoenix is even worse. Between 1948 and 2000, “urbanization has increased the nighttime minimum temperatures in central Phoenix [Sky Harbor International Airport] by approximately 9 degrees F and the average daily temperature by approximately 5.5 degrees F.” Yosek adds that Trees for Tucson also offers a community tree-planting program and a school tree-planting program. Individuals in a community can ask neighbors to participate in landscaping with trees. Instead of planting next to a private home, the trees are placed to provide shade near neighborhood buildings, in common areas, and along streets. Yosek adds that the Sonoran Environmental Research Institute (SERI) has targeted low-income neighborhoods where local residents are recruited to plant trees, and then helped by SERI to order trees. SERI pays for the trees and delivers them for planning. School tree planting programs can be initiated by principals, teachers, or parent groups. Students get involved in learning about the environmental benefits of tree, and in planting the trees. Yosek says that last year several schools participated in the Trees for Tucson program, among them Doolen, Apollo, Challenger, Flowing Wells, and Altar Valley Middle Schools, and also Roskruge K-8 and Meredith K-12 schools. Learn more about Trees for Tucson at December 2012 | 33

events Z

Bill Mackey (left) and participating students, Zola Zermeno, Myra Pixler, Claire Mirocha, Mariah Hoffman, Jessica Schulte, Nate Sema

Strangers Anonymous

dec 8

by Jon D’Auria

Downtown Tucson is a hub of diversity where you’ll find all walks of life: business people, lawyers, executives, artists, students, travelers, the homeless and many others. While the people you encounter Downtown may take up very little of your consciousness, there is an interesting juxtaposition of strangers and community that can either connect us to everyone or isolate us entirely. This is what sparked Strangers Anonymous and Associates (SAA) to create their 3 Degrees of Strangers: Connections in Downtown exhibit that will be taking place on Saturday, December 8th from 6:00PM-10:00PM at 245 E. Congress St. #171. The exhibit, which is created by a group of honor students from the University of Arizona (SAA), was spawned from a class project that challenged the students to take a large concept, research it and turn it into an interactive exhibit that the public will participate in. “The students brought in concept ideas and one of the themes they came in with is the idea of strangers,” explains Bill Mackey, the instructor of the class. “We tried to define it together and in the context of Downtown one of the first things you think of for strangers is the homeless. It morphed from that more into the idea that Downtown is a specific place in Tucson where one can simultaneously be connected to the community and can also be anonymous.” The attendees will play a strong role in the events of the evening, as different interactive pieces will require audience participation to illustrate our connectivity. Other multimedia pieces, including audio recordings, images and interviews, will illustrate how we perceive strangers and how they affect our daily lives and shape us as individuals. 34 | December 2012

“One of the pieces that is going to be in the exhibit is what the students are calling the ‘Connections Board’,” says Mackey. “When you come into the exhibit we will take a picture of you and give you the picture to put up on the wall along with an index card that says who you are and other basic facts about you. We’re going to have you put it on the wall and see if there are people up there who you know. Then we’re going to have you connect your photo to other people’s that you know with a different color string to signify your relationship. Then you’ll see the people you’re connected to and whom they’re connected to. We don’t know what the results will be, but that makes it pretty exciting for us.” The twelve students that have planned and organized the exhibit were very adamant about the focus being on Downtown and have spent many hours collecting interviews, data and research for the event throughout the semester. “Downtown is a place where you typically find the most diversity in a city. It’s where the homeless people have as much of a place as high-powered lawyers,” says honors student Stephanie Brunson. “This project wouldn’t have been as interesting or in depth if we’d focused on a bubble of a neighborhood or a certain class of people, and Downtown is the opposite of that. Everyone impacts each other down there whether they know it or not. “People are so linked into things like the Internet, Facebook and their phones and that can desensitize them to what’s surrounding them in the physical world,” says Brunson. “It’s easy for people to interact behind a computer screen, but we really looked into how we treat each other and coexist in the real world beyond that.” The event will take place on Congress Street in the empty space next to Sparkroot and admission is free to the public. Snacks and beverages will be provided as well as a rare chance to see how connected Tucsonans really are to one another. Visit for more information.

Found Puzzles by misterpaulfisher

FUN WITH ROMAN NUMERALS It wasn’t until the 13th century that Europeans started the adoption of Arabic number notation: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. Doing math with roman numerals, before that, was a gigantic pain. FYI: 338 x 876 = 296,088 or CCCXXXVII x ? = ? (check answer page.) Puzzle #7 comes from Jonah Lehrer’s, now infamous book, “Imagine: How Creativity Works”. He fabricated and misused quotes and then lied about it. After selling 200,000 copies, and being the darling of The New Yorker and the lecture circuit gravy train, he lost his jobs and his credibility. In some ways this made him even more creative: a kind of “Don Draper” of Brain Science.

PUZZLE #7 Move one line to correct the incorrect equation below: A) IV = III + III Same again with this one: B) III = III + III Now let’s take it up a notch. (Not from Jonah Lehrer’s book.)

PUZZLE #8 Use the matchsticks below to prove that half of eleven is six. HINT: Rearrange two of the matchsticks to make a roman numeral.

ANSWERS to puzzles 7 and 8 are available at misterpaulfisher is a consultant-teacher-lecturer-artist who has been puzzling for many decades. Find out more about Paul, his work and puzzles at: December 2012 | 35

36 | December 2012

Loco for Local

events Z

dec 12

by Jon D’Auria December 12th is a special day on the calendar and not only because the numeric date reads 12-12-12, but also because is presenting Go Loco 4 Local Day in Tucson. The event is bringing together 18 local restaurants with more signing on as it approaches that will be offering $12 specials on their menus all day to commemorate the significant date and to raise awareness about the local eateries in the area. “Supporting local restaurants goes well beyond the monetary value, although the more money we spend locally, the more that stays here in our economy,” says the event organizer and owner Jerry Heintze. “But for me, supporting local restaurants is about supporting the mom and pops who put their heart and soul and everything they have into what they do and they’re all part of our community. It’s important that we support them and keep them successful so they can continue on.” Participating restaurants include: La Cocina, Diablo’s, Grumpy’s,

dec 14

Chad’s Steakhouse, Frankie’s South Philly Cheesesteaks, Boca Tacos Y Tequila, Bumsted’s, Risky Business, La Madrina, Tony’s Italian Deli, El Saguarito, Renee’s Organic Oven, Mama Louisa’s, Pastiche, Acacia, Rocco’s Little Chicago and Harvest Restaurant and even more signing up as the event approaches. “The long-term goal is that we get more people acquainted with who these local businesses are and spread the awareness,” says Heintze. “The more we can show people how amazing the local dining scene is here, the more likely they will be to switch their dining habits from fast food and big national chains to the wonderful establishments we have in our own backyard. We’re very lucky to have such a special dining scene here in town.” For more information visit

Festival Navidad - A Christmas Celebration The 12th annual “Festival de Navidad” A Christmas Celebration. The sparkle of a Mexican holiday celebration comes again to the Historical Fox Theatre downtown with a vibrant ballet folklorico performance featuring a cast of 50 dancers, mariachis, special guest singers and much more. Accented with a variety of seasonal flavors such as a traditional Christmas processional (Posada), a visit from the Three Wise Men, and a festive pinata scene, this holiday extravaganza is also a colorful journey through the popular music and dance traditions that characterize Mexico’s rich and passionate heritage. Friday, December 14, 2012, 7:30pm, at The Historical Fox Tucson Theatre Downtown. Tickets at the Fox Box Office -Advance reserved seating -Adults $22-$15. Discounts for Seniors and Children. (520) 547-3040.

Festivus Yes! Bagels No!

dec 22

by Phoenix Michael The wry and undeniably hilarious nine-year run of U.S. television sitcom Seinfeld, and its subsequent eternal perpetuity in nonstop syndication, has provided Americans with numerous tropes to toss about in jest: soup nazi, man hands, puffy shirt. Funny, all. Most enduring however, due to its stubborn unwillingness to slip quietly into comedy rerun archives, has been a concept introduced in a 1997 episode titled “The Strike.” With a plot revolving around an oppositional anti-holiday of sorts based on his own family history - a sarcastic gathering around a bare aluminum pole - Seinfeld screenwriter Daniel O’Keefe inadvertently launched a popular movement. On the program, series character Frank Costanza claimed to have begun celebrating something called “Festivus” in reaction to the increasingly commercial and materialistic nature of Christmas. Recounting his memory of exchanging blows with a stranger over the last doll in a department store, “out of that a new holiday was born,” Costanza crowed. “A Festivus for the rest of us!” Viewers were understandably amused by the idea of Festivus and its absurd so-called traditions such as the “Feats of Strength” and “Airing of Grievances.” A nerve was struck with the increasingly-secular public, which adopted Festivus (tongues firmly in cheek) and began celebrating it in earnest each year on December 23.

Is this how mainstream religions start? Now observed worldwide, Festivus already has taken on a life of its own. It is easy (and humorous) to imagine that in several thousand years, the story of Festivus could become obscured to the point of its adherents ascribing divine intervention to its origins. Festivus gatherings in Tucson have gained steam over time. A Festivus party at The Loft Cinema was held in 2007. PJ Subs in 2011 enticed people to attend their not-so-solemn Festivus with live entertainment and a full bar. This year is no different. The Old Pueblo’s first community-wide Festivus Celebration and Dance takes place Saturday, December 22 from 6pm-midnight at the historic El Casino Ballroom, 437 E. 26th St., with musical performances by Stefan George and the Ditchriders, Coyote Supper Club, John Coinman Band, Sabra Faulk and more. A $10 admission price benefits Community Radio KXCI 91.3 FM and the Tucson Kitchen Musicians Association in advance for the 28th annual Tucson Folk Festival May 4-5 of next year. Food and a full cash bar will be available. A Festivus miracle! Visit and to learn about their commendable work, and to convert. December 2012 | 37

Z events

december events Sun 2 HOLIDAY ARTS AND CRAFTS FAIR Local artists and craftspeople show and sell jewelry, woodwork, wrought iron, stained glass and more. 9am- 2pm. Cat Mountain Station, 2740 S. Kinney Rd. 838-3779,


Features a Holiday Marketplace, silent auction and a narration of the Nutcracker story with characters from the ballet. 11am and 3pm. $75 per person. Marriott Tucson University Park, 880 E. 2nd St. 745-3000,

Fri 7 - Dec 9 4TH AVENUE STREET FAIR 400 arts and crafts booths, 35 food vendors, performance stages, street musicians, food, jugglers, kids entertainment, face painting, balloons, more. 10am-6pm. Free. 624-5004,

SAT 8 2nd Saturdays Downtown

Downtown welcomes the community to enjoy live music, kids activities, living statues, holiday window decorations and Santa Claus at MEB Management, 120 E. Congress St., from 6pm-9pm!

Sun 9 GREATEST HANUKKAH ON EARTH For children of all ages! Celebrate Hanukkah with games, music and food.4:30pm- 6:15pm. Temple Emanu-El, 225 N. Country Club. 327-4501,

Mon 10 FAMILY HANUKKAH PARTY Spin a dreidel, have some delicious HanuKkah treats, and spend time with family and friends! 5pm- 7pm. Tucson Jewish Community Center, 3800 East River Rd. 299-3000,


An annual Christmas celebration. $15-$22.Fox Theatre, 17 W. Congress St. 544-9543,

HANUKKAH MENORAH LIGHTING CELEBRATION Enjoy dreidel games with a Hanukkah sing-along, led by Shabbat Scott and Julie, followed by the lighting of the biggest menorah in Tucson for the first night of Hanukkah. 4:45pm5:15pm. Tucson Jewish Community Center, 3800 E. River Rd. 299-3000,

Fri 14 - Sun 16 5th Annual Mercado Holiday Bazaar

Showcasing Tucson’s diversity through locally owned small businesses, the Holiday Bazaar at Mercado San Agustin features an eclectic group of highly-curated vendors that includes acclaimed local artisans, chefs, merchants and more. Mercado San Agustin, 100 South Avenida del Convento. 11am-6pm daily. Details at

Sat 15 18TH ANNUAL DOWNTOWN PARADE OF LIGHTS The Downtown Tucson Partnership presents the18th Annual Downtown Parade of Lights. Floats, live music and brightly decorated vehicles will fill Downtown Tucson with holiday cheer. 6:30pm, El Presidio Neighborhood. Details at

STUFF THE HUMMERS FOR CHILDREN IN TUCSON Toy Drive and Car Show being put on by Sullivan’s Steakhouse. 8am-12pm. Sullivan’s Steakhouse,1785 E. River Road at Campbell.

events Z

A Winter Show

thu - sat 20, 21, 22 In a secret bar at the edge of the city a fortune teller will predict the fate of a lonely clown. Using the cards of the Loteria deck to tell his story. He will begin his journey as El Payaso and through the coarse of the nights his fate will change as he meets the caricatures of the Loteria. In a specially devised performance reminiscent of silent film and vaudevillian cabaret A Winter Story is a surreal holiday experience mixing magic, circus, dance and live music. Located at Mercado San Agustin, 100 South Avenida del Convento. Special winter drinks provided by Agustin Brassier. Dates: Thursday 20, doors open at 7pm, show at 8pm.Friday 21, doors open at 9pm, show at 10pm. Saturday 22, doors open at 7pm, show at 8pm and 10pm. Ticket cost: $12. www.

Sat 15 PRESIDIO LUMINARIA FESTIVAL A living history celebration to welcome the holiday season. Free. 5pm-9pm. Presidio San Agustín del Tucson, 133 W. Washington St. 837-8119,


The annual family festival celebrates Our Lady of Guadalupe with spirited outdoor performances by youthful mariachi and ballet folklorico groups. 10am- 4pm. Degrazia Gallery in the Sun, 6300 N. Swan Rd. 299-9191,

super sunday

Experience Tucson’s outdoor marketplace celebration and citywide garage sale extravaganza. Tanque Verde Swap Meet, 292-4252, 4100 South Palo Verde Road.

Mon 31 TUCSON JAZZ SOCIETY ALL NIGHT NEW YEAR’S EVE 2012 Join Rick Braun, Richard Elliot and Peter White to celebrate the Tucson Jazz Society’s 7th Annual New Year’s Eve Spectacular. 6:30pm. JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort and Spa, 3800 W. Star Pass Blvd. 903-1265,


Nightly tours of the universe as part of the stargazing program. 5pm nightly, lasting approximately four-five hours. $60/adult includes a light dinner. Mount Lemmon Sky Center, see website for directions. 626-8122,

WINTERHAVEN FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS Central Tucson neighborhood adorned with holiday decorations, using LED lights. Walk through every night, Dec 15-Dec 29. Drive-through on Dec 18, 28, 29. Free. 6pm-10pm. Winterhaven Neighborhood, in between Fort Lowell Road, Prince Road, Country Club, Tucson Boulevard. 881-4483,

December 2012 | 39

Z fashion

I left my coat in


by Sydney Ballesteros If you have to cover up, it might as well be with a fabulous coat. A serious multi tasker, this hard-working garment is both a practical winter wardrobe staple and often doubles as a stand-alone outfit. A good coat will pay dividends for a lifetime, so invest in quality fabrics, timeless cuts and excellent craftsmanship once and you’ll never have to do it again. In other words, buy vintage. From sustainable vintage furs to Dietrichstyle trenches to 1960s pea coats, the impact, longevity and elegance of a vintage coat is unmatched. Fashion’s chameleons, vintage coats survive decades and yet still look fresh, chic, and modern because they outlast trends and change completely with the addition of a brooch, scarf or statementmaking belt for a cinched waist appeal. Try wearing one with nothing underneath and it might change your outlook too. Oohla-la! A brisk afternoon stroll, under a setting Arizona sky never looked so good…we just had fun pretending to be in Paris. “Coat? Check.” Black Cat Vintage Desert Vintage 636 N. 4th Ave How Sweet it Was 419 N. 4th Ave Razzle Dazzle Vintage 3402 E. Grant Rd. Photo Credits:

Fashion Editor: Sydney Ballesteros, Photographer: Stacia Lugo, Makeup: Tangie Duffey Hair: Raul Mendoza Model: Lisa Marie {FORD RBA} Wardrobe: Black Cat Vintage Assistant: Celeste Arreola *Special thanks to the St. Michael’s Hotel, in downtown Prescott, Arizona*

fashion Z

Desert Vintage by Jess Holzworth

photo: Jess Holzworth

Almost 40 years after Desert Vintage was opened by Kathleen Lauth, the 4th Avenue vintage store is enjoying a rebirth under new ownership. The new owners are the visionary couple Salima Boufelfel and Roberto Cowan. The tradition of the store is being carried forward with a fresh global appeal. Salima Boufelfel was born and raised in Tucson. She traveled with her parents when she was young through Africa and France. Her parents settled in Tucson when she was six. Her father is North African and a professor of physics. Her mother is local artist Linda Cato. Salima studied history and French at the University of Arizona. Salima’s passion was born in high school when she started her own vintage clothing collection. Roberto Cowan was born and raised in Tucson as well. His father is from Bisbee and his mother is from Sonora, Mexico. He lived in a California suburb during his youth outside of Hollywood for a short time. Roberto’s mother was an avid shopper and from an early age he accompanied her many shopping excursions. Roberto attributes these early childhood memories as experiences that sparked his interest in fashion. Roberto took business and fashion design courses at Pima College where he earned a liberal arts degree. Salima and Roberto met in 2009 while they were working at Buffalo Exchange. There was an immediate connection between them; one might say it was kismet. They bonded over vintage items with historical relevance and eccentric quality pieces. Both became buyers at Buffalo and Salima even gained managerial experience. They were mastering their eye for style and fashion and learning the business of recycled clothing. This year Salima and Roberto packed their bags and headed to Paris for an adventure. They attended Paris Fashion Week with the crème de la crème of fashion. Salima was exposed to an eclectic group of people and fashion while working for Mamie Rose, a vintage emporium. In this creative environment, Salima and Roberto gleaned knowledge from many sources, especially the buyers. The vision to start a store transpired in this milieu. Their concept was to include vintage clothing, modern brands, various art forms, and incorporate art installations. Their idea was to have a global-minded approach. Initially they had considered opening a store in Paris. Due to complications with visas the time to start a store in Paris did not seem right. Salima and Roberto came back to America with the intent of renewing their visas and returning to the famous “City of Lights”. It seems destiny had another plan for Salima and Roberto. On a serendipitous day while shopping at Desert Vintage, they were informed by the owner, Kathleen Lauth, that she was retiring. Kathleen inquired if they would be interested in purchasing the business. Initially they were excited to have the opportunity, but soon they had second thoughts. They were concerned about their ability to continue in the tradition that had been set by Kathleen. As they contemplated their choice and weighed the odds they began to feel this was a grand opportunity that had been put before them. They put forth an offer and it was accepted in July 2012. They immediately began renovations. The grand opening was on August 4th, 2012. “We’re shoppers”, Salima quipped, “We love Tucson. There are great people here. Tucson has a unique twist on things and a unique inventory to pull from.” We are lucky to have these globe-trotting, trendsetting collectors with their own style and panache in the Ole Pueblo. Desert Vintage will also be expanding to an online store which will be up and running within the new year. Desert Vintage is located at 636 N. 4th Ave. Tucson, AZ 85705 620-1570.

December 2012 | 41

Photo: Elisabeth Dunn Calmes

Z tunes Leanne Savage performs at The Great Cover-Up, Saturday, December 15, at The Rialto Theatre

Uncovering the Great Cover-Up by Jim Lipson Several years ago Bob Dylan stunned a Tucson crowd, when seemingly out of nowhere, began singing, “Old Man look at my life, I’m a lot like you are…” While Dylan had been known to occasionally play an old country standard or something completely out of the mainstream, the idea of covering a Neil Young classic was so delightfully unexpected and out of context, it was the highlight of the night and indeed the only thing this concert goer still remembers. Such is the novelty when performers choose to go outside their well-developed comfort zones.

42 | December 2012

While organizers of Tucson’s annual Great Cover-Up, cannot claim this idea as their own, the notion of getting a bunch of original music bands together to cover any and everything (but themselves) for charity, is an idea they have continued to successfully nurture, develop and expand upon since 1998. As Music Editor for the Tucson Weekly and author of its weekly Soundbites column, Stephen Seigel must plead guilty as one of the Cover-Ups principal co-conspirators. A huge fan of a similarly styled event he attended in Champaign, IL in the late 1990s, he cleverly managed to convince Melissa Manos, front woman for the band Shoebomb, we needed this in Tucson. Manos in turn enlisted help from Mia Proli, the booker at Club Congress, and for two years Manos and Proli delivered a wonderful one night event at the Congress to benefit the Brewster Center (providing temporary housing and counseling for victims of domestic violence). Giving truth to the adage “no good deed goes unpunished,” Seigel eventually became the event’s chief organizer and spokesperson, effectively using his column to successfully recruit and publicize the event. “It actually wasn’t too difficult. As an established event it already had some momentum. I was mostly very pleased just to see it continue from its charity aspect as well as the fun aspect.” Eventually it became clear that one night at one venue could not contain the growing enthusiasm for the event as interest from performers and the community continued to swell. A good part of the fascination grew from not only performers who wanted to participate and the ever expanding list of groups they wanted to cover, but also from some of the wild and wacky juxtapositions that might occur when performers unexpectedly matched themselves to artists covered. The New Orleans/Dixieland styled group, Crawdaddy-O covering music from the show Jesus Christ Superstar or the Weird Lovemakers performing Devo (completely in character) or Sergio Mendoza’s former band, 7 to Blue, covering Paul McCartney and Wings are but a few examples of great moments in Great Cover-Up history. In fact, “It was The Jons doing Tom Jones, that got me hooked,” said Mel Mason, now in her third year as one of the event’s co-organizers. In 2010, after taking a well-deserved one year break, Seigel recruited occasional Tucson Weekly contributor and chief booker for The Rialto Theatre, Curtis McCrary. Together they brought The Rialto into the mix adding an additional stage thus allowing several more bands to participate. Last year with the addition of Plush as a Thursday night venue, and additional Saturday afternoon sessions at The Rialto and Club Congress, the event ballooned to accommodate 70 bands. This year, acknowledging the enormity of running five stages over three days, they chose to scale back just a bit eliminating one of the Saturday afternoon slots. “We don’t relish turning people down,” said McCrary, “but with 80 bands applying for 50 slots, we can only do so much.” Adding to the charm and appeal of the Cover-Up are its attempts to keep everything shrouded in secrecy. With publicity focused on the bands and the artists covered (but not together), unless word leaks out (as it sometimes does), the unveiling of who is covering whom is not announced until the day of the show. Mason, acknowledging the wide variety of bands and genres participating, admits not everyone will like every band. “But it’s like listening to KXCI. If you just wait a little bit you’ll always find something to your liking.” This year’s Great Cover Up will be Thursday, December 14, at Plush; Friday, December 15 at Club Congress; Saturday, Dec. 16, in the afternoon, at Club Congress and Saturday night at The Rialto. Artists performing will include, Brian Lopez, Tryst, Leanne Savage, 8 Minutes to Burn, the Cordials and Silver Fox (featuring David Slutes) with artists being covered to include Leonard Cohen, Tom Petty, Hall & Oates, Alice Cooper, Weezer, David Bowie, The Doors and The Lovin’ Spoonful, and many others. Proceeds from this year’s event will benefit the Tucson Area Musicians Healthcare Alliance.

December 2012 | 43

Z tunes Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of LondonTips.Ca

“ZZ Top” performs at AVA Ampitheater on Sun, Dec 9.

“Neil Hamburger” performs at Club Congress on Sat, Dec 8.

“Kendrick Lamar” performs at The Rialto Theatre on Mon, Dec 7.



Fri 21: Irish Christmas Concert Sat 22: Redhouse Singers, Jimmy Ortiz Band & Dennis Antone Band Sun 23: Chillie Willie Groove Wed 26: Ernie Votto Thu 27: Jamie O’Brien Fri 28: The Determine Luddites Sat 29: Hal Jackson & Rockers Uptown Mon 31: New Years Party w/Baba Marimba

2ND SATURDAYS DOWNTOWN Congress Street, Sat 8: Scott Stage: Arizona Opera’s “Gift of Music,” Hey, Bucko!, Stuart Oliver & The Desert Angels

AVA AMPHITHEATER at Casino Del Sol 5655 W. Valencia Rd. Wed 5: Tiesto College Invasion Sun 9: ZZ Top

BOONDOCKS LOUNGE 3306 N. 1st Ave. 690-0991, Mondays: The Bryan Dean Trio Tuesdays: Lonny’s Lucky Poker Night Fridays: Live Music with Neon Prophet Sat 15: The Coolers CD Release Party Sun 16: Last Call Girls

Cafe desta 758 S. Stone Ave., 370-7000 Thu 13: Chris Black

CLUB CONGRESS 311 E. Congress St. 622-8848, Wed 5: Supersuckers

Fri 7: Whiskey Weekend Sat 8: Neil Hamburger Sun 9: The Mountain Goat Wed 12: 12-12-12 Sat 15: The Sword Fri 21: End of the World party with Burger Records Sun 30: Salem the Bear’s Food Drive

LA COCINA 201 N. Court Ave. 622-0351, Saturdays: DJ Herm Sundays: DJ Herm, Catfish and Weezie, Bungaloo BBQ Wednesdays: Jazz with Elephant Head Thursdays: Stefan George Fridays: Greg Morton Band Sat 1: Coming Out! A Queer Dance Party, Ferrodyne and Carl Wed 5: Impending Flip CD Fri 7: Con el Botas Hasta Fri 14: dj erupt nunu Sat 15: Stone Broke Band Thu 20: Rosano Brothers Fri 28: Coming Out! A Queer Dance Party

CUSHING STREET BAR & RESTAURANT 198 W. Cushing St. 622-7984, Fridays: Cass Preston Saturdays: Jeff Lewis & Friends

44 | December 2012

533 N. 4th Ave. 884-9289, Sat 8: Tommy Tucker Fri 21: Tommy Tucker

FOX TUCSON THEATRE 17 W. Congress St. 624-1515, Fri 7: Warren Miller’s Flow State Sat 8: Romeros with Concerto Malaga

THE HUT 305 N. 4th Ave. 623-3200, Thu 6: Zion I Fri 7: Brewfish and Veragroo Thu 13: DJ MGM Sat 15: Skitn Sat 22: K-Bass

MONTEREY COURT 505 W. Miracle Mile, Tue 4: Ned Sutton and Last Dance Wed 5: Tommy Tucker Thu 6: Corey Spector Fri 7: Holiday Concert w/Lisa Otey & Diane Van Deusen (ticketed) Sat 8: Wayback Machine Sun 9: Chillie Willie Groove Wed 12: Stefan George Thu 13: Larry Loud Fri 14: Neil McCallion & The Mighty Maxwells Sat 15: Railbirdz Wed 19: Troy Greg Thu 20: Don Nottingham

PLUSH 340 E. 6th St. 798-1298, Mon 3: Michael P. Wed 5: Ghostwriter Fri 7: Dreamtopia featuring Blind Divine, Saint Maybe and Some of the Are Old Sat 8: Greyhound Soul, The Jits Mon 10: The Switch: Standup Improv Tue 11: ZZ Ward, Yellow Red Sparks Thu 13: The Great Cover-UP 2012 Fri 14: Tesoro

RIALTO THEATRE Mon 3: Sufjan Stevens Christmas Sing-A-Long Fri 7: Kendrick Lamar Tue 11: Aaron Neville Christmas Show Thu 13: Marchfourth Marching Band Sat 15: The 2012 Great Cover Up Tue 18: Bootsy Collins Thu 20: Kinky

SKY BAR 536 N. 4th Ave. 622-4300, Mondays: Team Trivia Tuesdays: Jazz Wednesdays: Open Mic Thursdays: Live Music

Other venues: BLUEFIN 7053 N. Oracle Rd. 531-8500, Sundays: George Howard Duo


31 E. Toole Ave. 884-0874, Tue 4: Math The Band Sat 8: Galactic Federation of Love with Acorn Bcorn

375 S. Stone Ave. 884-5253, Tuesdays: Live Classical Guitar Wednesdays: Live Guitar Thursdays: Classical Guitar Friday and Saturdays: Flamenco Guitar and Performances




424 N. 4th Ave., 882-0009, Mondays: Black Mondays with Matt McCoy and weekly guest Fri 7: Black Cherry Burlesque Sat 8: Fineline Revisited Fri 14: Sanctuary Fri 21: Black Cherry Raw Sat 29: Fineline Revisited

350 N. 4th Ave. 623-2088,

KINGFISHER 2564 E. Grant Rd. 323-7739,

HACIENDA DEL SOL 5501 N. Hacienda del Sol Rd. 299-1501,

NIMBUS BREWERY 3850 E. 44th St. 745-9175 & 6464 E. Tanque Verde Rd. 7331111,

tunes Z

KXCI’s 5

Tucson’s community radio station, at 91.3FM and, spins tracks from the following new albums in December.

Graham Parker & The Rumour, Three Chords Good (Primary Wave) Music’s “angry young man” is now its old curmudgeon, here reuniting with his original band that broke up in 1980. He was never quite Elvis Costello, but he’s still Graham Parker.

Buddy Miller and Jim Lauderdale, Buddy and Jim (New West) The sum is greater than the parts as these two veterans combine their considerable talent. As sidemen and producers, both are known for making others sound great, but this new set of fun songs leaves little question as to their standing in the folk music world.

Various Artists, This Is 40 (Capitol) The soundtrack to Judd Apatow’s new film offers new songs from Norah Jones, Lindsey Buckingham, and Fiona Apple alongside new versions of tunes from Ryan Adams and Wilco, plus favorites from Paul McCartney and The Avett Brothers.

Vusi Mahlasela, Sing To The People (ATO) Vusi celebrated his South African Music Association lifetime achievement award earlier this year with a big concert in his native land – captured here for the rest of us to enjoy.

Various Artists, Holidays Rule (Hear Music) December always sees a rush of new holiday music, most of which leaves us saying “Humbug!” But we are partial to this compilation featuring The Shins, Andrew Bird, Fun., and Tucson’s own Calexico. Tommy Tucker at Delectables

photo: Denny Renshaw

Sufjan Stevens Christmas Sing-A-Long at Rialto Theatre, December 3

December 2012 | 45

Z lifeintucson by Andrew Brown

Left to right, top to bottom: Halloween at Hotel Congress; Haunted House on Halloween; All Souls Procession; Speed Rack Tucson at Casino del Sol; Halloween at Hotel Congress; Miss Peggy’s last shift at The Buffet Bar.

46 | December 2012

Zocalo Magazine - December 2012  
Zocalo Magazine - December 2012  

Tucson's Urban Scene Magazine- Zocalo is a free monthly magazine featuring arts, culture, entertainment, news and events in Tucson, Arizona.