Remember when the motorcycle was the ultimate symbol of outsider rebellion? Those who've grown up with a perception of the motorcycle as only slightly less threatening than the Toyota Corolla might be surprised to know that, once upon a time, bikes and those who rode them were actually perceived as a threat to mainstream society. Times, as they say, have changed. The motorcycle's journey from the thug life to yuppiedom is chronicled at the Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 North Central, where the "Motorcycle Jacket" exhibition remains on view in the Fashion Design Gallery through August 29. At 7 p.m. this Thursday, May 20, guest speaker Charles M. Falco examines "Motorcycle As Icon." Former co-curator of the Guggenheim's "Art of the Motorcycle" exhibition, and one of the world's foremost authorities on the history of the motorcycle, Falco will explore the technological, cultural, societal, aesthetic and gender-related factors that have contributed to the evolution of the bike in popular culture.
"Fifty years ago, if a motorcycle gang rode into town, you'd have called the National Guard," Falco says. "Today you'd probably look for your orthodontist. In popular culture, the image of motorcycles has changed considerably since the outlaw biker in the 1954 film The Wild One. Fifty years later, they're still used heavily in movies and ads and have become an accepted and popular part of mainstream culture."
Just Havana Smoke
Light up in north Scottsdale
Longing for Havana Nights without the cheesy subplot -- not to mention the customs hassle? Neither Bush nor Fidel need be advised of this crack in the system: Head out to Fleming's Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar at DC Ranch, at Pima Road and Thompson Peak Parkway in north Scottsdale, for Cuban Cigar Heirloom Night at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 25. Light up the imitations (from the Dominican Republic) selected by Joshua "The Cigar King," and sniff the Maker's Mark Kentucky Straight Bourbon and Laphroaig Single Malt Whisky as the sun sets on your Caribbean dreams. The $25 cover includes the smokes and booze. Early reservations are recommended. Call 480-538-8000. -- Joe Watson
The Art of Inclusion
Stroll amongst art in Sedona
For 15 years, the Sedona Sculpture Walk touted three-dimensional artworks at the exclusion of all others. But at this year's Sedona Art & Sculpture Walk, the discrimination will end. Paintings and photography will at last eke out tent space from those once-eponymous marble, glass, wood and bronze works. Wend your way among the more than 80 emerging and established artists hawking their works from noon to 6 p.m. Friday, May 21; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, May 22; and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, May 23, at the Radisson Poco Diablo Resort, 1752 Highway 179. Admission is $8, free for children under 12. Call 1-888-954-4442 or visit www.sedonasculpturewalk.com. -- Elizabeth Exline
Come out of your shell and enjoy oysters for a good cause
Smoke eaters meet smoked shellfish at the second annual "Shuck and Swallow Oyster Challenge," from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, May 20, at McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurant, 2575 East Camelback. Valley firefighters compete to see who can down the most oysters in 10 minutes, while other backdraft bachelors go up for bid. One such hottie is Tempe fire captain Rich Woerth, who'll sample the noted aphrodisiacs before he hits the auction block. "But too much of a good thing could have a reverse effect," says Woerth. "So you got to eat the right amount." Tickets are $25. Proceeds benefit the United Phoenix Firefighters Charity. Call 602-468-1200 for details. -- Benjamin Leatherman