This weekend Tribune offers three things to do in Tempe, a guide for buying locally and for gaming locally.
Tempe’s back-to-school scene
By Albert Ching
Classes at Arizona State University start on Monday, and though the school now has satellite campuses scattered across the Valley, Tempe is still the center of the educational action. So if you’re a student new or returning to town, a parent looking for something to do between helping your kid move into the residence halls, or just looking to get swept up in youthful excitement, here are three things worth checking out in Tempe this weekend.
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The now year-old Tempe Center for the Arts features a visual art gallery, along with two theaters that attract visiting performers and local theater companies like Childsplay. This weekend, the center plays host to New York City jazz trombonist Conrad Herwig, as part of the monthly JAMN (jazz musicians’ network) series. In his career, Herwig has served as a jazz educator, recorded 18 albums and been nominated for two Grammys.
>> Conrad Herwig performs 8 p.m. today at Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 W. Rio Salado Parkway. $25. (480) 350-2822 or tempe.gov/tca.
There are plenty of places to find visual art in Tempe, even beyond the obvious spots like the ASU Art Museum and Tempe Center for the Arts. The Tempe Public Library (not to be confused with the ASU library) features three galleries, including one as part of Connections Cafe (the library’s coffee shop). “Falling Leaves” opens this weekend at Connections Cafe, an exhibition of Tempe artist Ron Bimrose and Glendale artist Kim Walker, focused on nature and leaf imagery.
>> “Falling Leaves” is on display 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. today and Saturday and noon to 5:30 p.m. Sunday at the Tempe Public Library, 3500 S. Rural Road. Free. (480) 350-5500 or tempe.gov/library.
Think globally, buy locally
By Craig Outhier
You like your cinema British, your wine French and your autos Japanese. Fair enough. But in this global free-trade wonderland we call the 21st century, don’t forget to diversify your consumerism by buying Arizona. And we’re not just talking about those prickly pear margaritas you sucked down at happy hour the other day. Herein, a weekend guide to keeping it homegrown.
For a raw, neighborhood-oriented affair, try tonight’s show at Club Mardi Gras & VooDoo Lounge (8040 E. McDowell Road, Scottsdale), where Valley-raised DJ Seduce will rain down his Brazilian punk samba jams along with local guest acts The Neoprimative, Catfish Groove Farm and Cultured Sound System. So how did Seduce nurture his eclectic world-beat palate? Extensive world travel? Hardly. “I’ve never been out of the country,” he laughs, adding that he hopes to perform in Brazil and Europe when his new album, “Brazil Sambossica,” drops this fall.
>> Doors open at 8:30 p.m.; $5 cover until 11 p.m. For more information, call (480) 970-5707.
In an ambitious alliance of Old Town Scottsdale art exhibitors, Beverly Roman of Robert Roman Gallery and Shirley Crane of Textures Gallery joined forces five years ago, creating Artspace, a 7,400-square-foot mega showroom (7127 E. Sixth Ave.). Upstairs, you’ll find the duo’s pet project — a stash of 11 mini-spaces called the Loft Studios, devoted solely to Valley artists such as impressionist Scott Simpson and plein air painter Victoria Monize. It’s one-stop local-artist shopping.
>> Open Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday noon to 5 p.m. Visit artspaceaz.com.
More high-end Valley restaurants are subscribing to the so-called “slow foods” movement — locally grown produce, locally raised livestock and an emphasis on “cultural” cuisine. Try Atlas Bistro in south Scottsdale (2515 N. Scottsdale Road) or Latilla at the Boulders Resort & Golden Door Spa (34631 N. Tom Darlington Drive, Carefree), where chef de cuisine Wendy Little conjures lively gourmet meals using freshly-picked melons, peppers, squash and more from the resort’s 5,280-square-foot organic garden. The slow foods concept isn’t limited to veggies — at Lon’s at the Hermosa Inn (5532 N. Palo Cristi Road, Paradise Valley), chef Michael Rusconi cooks with shellfish purchased from the Desert Sweet Shrimp farm in Gila Bend.
>> Learn more about Latilla at theboulders.com.
Put local games on your agenda
By Martin Cizmar
The 2008 Olympics wind down this weekend with more basketball and the closing ceremonies. If you’ve been inspired by the sporting spectacle on display over the past two weeks, here are a few ways to start training for London.
HIT THE BEACH
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If Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh have inspired you with their performance on the sand, you might consider joining a volleyball league. The Sand Club has new leagues starting Sept. 1. The leagues play at Discovery District Park and McQueen Park in Gilbert, but you can also find some available sand at Freestone Park.
>> The Sand Club. thesandclub.com or (480) 560-5090.
RUN IT DOWN
If you’d like to train for an American squad that finally ends African dominance in running events — or if you’d like to jog for a good cause — next Friday’s Beat the Heat Knight 5K Run/Walk could be just the ticket. Sign up now (registration is $15 before Monday) and spend the week getting ready for the run. The race is a fundraiser for the Higley High School girls and boys cross-country programs.
FLIP IT OVER
If the 2008 Olympics have shown us anything, it’s that international gymnastics competitions are sordid little affairs. Gilbert’s Funastics has a noncompetitive program focused on giving kids all the benefits of the sport — agility, confidence — without the need for a fake passport. They’ve also got free trial lessons if your little Shawn Johnson isn’t sure she’s ready to commit.
>> Funastics, 1140 N. Gilbert Road, Gilbert. (480) 633-1167 or www.gilbertgymnastics.com.