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Tempe Tourism Blog

The Rat Pack is Back

October 17, 2008

Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr. and the Sands in Las Vegas are all gone, but they are so realistically portrayed in The Rat Pack Live at the Sands that you almost forget it’s 2008 and your watching this amazing show at ASU Gammage in Tempe, Arizona.  You’re in for a evening of great music and a trip back in time to the glory days of these three musical icons.  Remarkable too are the three performers who manage to look, sound and behave so much like Frank, Dean and Sammy that you really do feel transported to one of their performances at the Sands during the 1960s.  They sing solo and together a total of thirty songs starting with Luck Be A Lady and ending with a rousing rendition of My Way. They also crack a lot of jokes of that era, but for me, it was the music and the excellent portrayals of three legendary performers of the 40s, 50s and 60s that made this show special.  There’s still time to catch matinees and evening performances through October 19. For tickets and show info, visit www.asugammage.com.

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The food that I can’t live without

October 17, 2008

Maybe this seems overly dramatic, but I don’t care. There are a few foods in Tempe that I don’t think that I could live without. Well,  I could live, but I certainly wouldn’t be as happy. Here they are in no particular order: Roman bread at Monti’s La Casa Vieja – their steaks are divine, but this bread is everything that bread should be. It’s served warm with a side of butter, topped with rosemary and perfectly chewy every time. Irish chips at Rula Bula – I try to eat healthy, really I do. Most of the time I’ll order a side salad with my hamburger and skip the French fries. But, not at Rula Bula. The Irish chips are round, salty little nuggets of potato perfection. I can’t leave any of my plate. I have to eat them all. Spinato’s pizza – You have to really look for Spinato’s, but once you find it, your taste for pizza will never be the same. It’s located on Smith Road, just south of Rio Salado Parkway. Everything is so tasty, but my all-time favorite is the pizza with spinach, tomatoes and garlic. Thank you Ken Spinato for bringing your family recipes to our backyard! Protein cakes at U.S. Egg – one of the owners of this restaurant told me that he dreams about these pancakes sometimes. I know he’s not kidding. These tasty pancakes are chock full of blueberries, granola, almonds and a few mystery ingredients that prevent me from being able […]

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The Tempe CVB is Celebrating 20 Years!

October 14, 2008

The Tempe Convention & Visitors Bureau will be celebrating its 20th Anniversary tomorrow night, October 15!  The bureau is excited to celebrate its successes from the past 20 years of promoting Tempe as a great visitor destination. The birthday party is taking place on Wednesday, October 15 from 5:30 to 9:00 pm at the Tempe Center for the Arts.  Stilt walkers, a magician, carnival games, photos with Tempe Teddy (the CVB’s original mascot) and music by Tempe’s own Walt Richardson will all be a part of this momentous occasion!  There will also be great food at the event and a seven-layer cake depicting iconic Tempe landmarks – delicious! Tickets are $55 each. For more information about the event or for tickets please call Diane at the Tempe CVB at 480-894-8158.  

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Tour de Tempe – Tempe’s Free Community Bike Ride

October 13, 2008

More than 1,500 people are expected to participate in the 13th annual Tour de Tempe community bike ride Oct. 26. The ride starts and ends at Tempe’sKiwanis Park (Parking lot off All-America Way just north of Guadalupe Road ). Riders will enjoy some of the most distinct bikeways in Arizona during this 10 mile ride that begins at 8:30 a.m. Registration starts at 7 a.m.   Tour de Tempe, Tempe’s free leisurely community bike ride, is a fun, non-competitive ride that weaves through diverse neighborhoods, public art projects and other Tempe sites. All riders will receive free breakfast snacks, and artist-designed T-shirts will be distributed to the first 800 registrants.  Helmets are required.  Tour de Tempe sponsors include Back East Bagel Company, Berning’s Fine Jewelry, REI, Starbucks, Whole Foods Market, Wildflower Bread Company, Clif Bar and Tempe in Motion. For more information, call (480) 858-2215 or visit www.tempe.gov/tim.

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Fall Season at ASU Gammage is Sizzling!

October 1, 2008

The Broadway season at ASU Gammage this fall is sizzling!  Up next is the The Rat Pack – Live at The Sands, running from October 14 – 19.  See some of the most famous performers of our time – Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr. and Dean Martin – recreated on stage right before your eyes!  Get tickets for this performance asap since they will sell out soon!  In November, check out the production of Happy Days, being performed from November 18 – 23. Based on the hit television series, “Happy Days,” see Richie, Potsie, Ralph Malph and “The Fonz” on the big stage with this great-family friendly show. Complete your fall season of Broadway enjoyment with Spring Awakening, being performed from December  9 – 14. Spring Awakening celebrates the unforgettable journey from youth to adulthood with power and passion.  This one is not meant for the kids, so get a sitter and enjoy an evening out on the town! For a full schedule of ASU Gammage shows and ticket info, visit: http://www.asugammage.com/

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Stray Cat Will Stray No More

September 27, 2008

Stray Cat Will Stray No More  I love live theatre and there are so many theatrical groups in the valley that I can always satisfy my love for real, live, gritty, funny, dramatic live performance on practically any night of the week.   One of my favorites is Stray Cat Theatre.  Last night I attended the opening of Stray Cat’s new season in their new home, the original Tempe Performing Arts Center in the Mill Avenue District.   The play Everything Will Be Different – A Brief History of Helen of Troy was powerful, intense, moving and often hilarious with first-rate performances by the entire cast.  It’s a one-act play about a teen-age girl named Charlotte who is grappling with the grief of her beautiful mother’s recent death.  The subject matter was heavy and often-times sad. At the same time, the production was so well-balanced, with just the right amount of well-placed comic relief that the deep subject matter did not overwhelm. Tempe has been the source of great theater for a long time.  Childsplay, ASU Gammage and the ASU Herberger College of Arts have, for years, given us with some amazing live performance.  I’m thrilled that Stray Cat has found a new, and I hope permanent, home in Tempe.  I love their new location.  It’s so convenient to all the Mill Avenue restaurants, which is great because you can park, walk to a restaurant and then walk to the theater. That’s what we did and it was so easy, pleasant and unrushed. I’m […]

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Yupha’s for Yummy Tai

September 27, 2008

Tempe is known for it’s many great restaurants serving tasty and diverse cuisines.  Among the many excellent chain restaurants you can find a number of fantastic independently owned places serving delicious, authentic food.  One that has been a true local favorite for several years is Yupha’s Tai Kitchen, which just moved from it’s old location at Elliott and Hardy to it’s new location next to Pollack Tempe Cinemas on the Southeast corner of McClintock and Elliott.  I had heard about Yupha’s, but just tried it for the first time on a recent Friday evening, when four of us decided to have dinner there before taking in a terrific independent foreign film at the OneNightCinema next door.  We were glad we arrived early and found a table easily because in a short time, the place was packed. And, it was obvious that many of the diners were regulars.  You could tell by the way they greeted and were greeted by the gracious and friendly staff. The menu is huge and it took a while to decide what we wanted to order.  This was made easier with a glass of a delightful white Tai wine. We shared an order of the light and crispy spring rolls and each ordered a different entrée and sampled each others. I loved my dish, the sautéed vegetables with chicken, medium hot, with brown rice. The veggies were crisp and delicious and served in some kind of wonderful savory sauce. Everyone ordered something different, so we all could […]

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How about that A?

September 19, 2008

I was driving to work today and I looked at the A on A Mountain just like I do every day. It made me wonder how long the A has been there. Here’s what I found out on the ASU Web site. They have all types of interesting info about the university in an online campus tour. The following is from: http://www.asu.edu/tour/tempe/amtn.html “The Tempe Normal School class of 1918 was responsible for installing the first letter on Tempe Butte. When the school changed its name to Tempe State Teachers College in 1925, students retained one side of the “N” to form the stem of the “T.” The school changed its name to Arizona State Teachers College, and in 1938, the letter “A” was installed on the butte. In 1952, a bomb blast destroyed the letter. The present “A” stands 60 feet tall and was built of reinforced steel and concrete in 1955.”   If you ever have the chance, take a hike up the mountain to get a closer look at the A. There’s great views of Tempe and even the airport from the top.

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Tempe Marketplace is lively and vivacious

September 19, 2008

A couple of Friday’s ago, I got invited to a happy hour at San Felipe’s Cantina at Tempe Marketplace.  I decided to go, uncertain of what to expect having never been to Tempe Marketplace for happy hour before.  It was so packed I could hardly believe it!   Apparantly I was the only one who didn’t know about Felipe’s.  There were so many people there, it was such a fun place to hang out.  There were lots of tables were groups could gather to sit down, a great bar area and fabulous outdoor patio.  The coolest part was that there was live music going on in the outdoor center stage and if you were standing out on the patio you could listen to the music.  It was cool to see a happenin’ bar that wasn’t just full of college folk in Tempe.  I know that Old Town Scottsdale has had the name for a while for  the cool place to go out at night, but honestly, Tempe Marketplace was just as cool if not cooler becuase all of the bars/nightlife are in one centrally located area of the marketplace and all of them were super busy.  I live in Awahtukee so it is nice to have such a fun place to go out that is closer to home.  I definitely recommend Tempe Marketplace if your looking to go out for fun evening.

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Chipotle Comes To Mill Ave!

September 8, 2008

If you love extremely stuffed burritos covered in tinfoil, then you’ll be happy to hear that they are building a new Chipotle Mexican Restaurant in Tempe on the west side of ASU’s campus just across from the Arizona State University Art Museum. The exact address is located at the corner of 11th Street and Mill Avenue, just a brisk walk from the bars and fare of downtown Tempe. No word on the hours yet (Here’s to hoping that a burrito can be had at 2am!), but the projected completion date is October 2008, just in time for midterms.

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