Top Five Phoenix Arts and Culture Stories of the Week

If Bob Ross were alive today, he'd be painting happy little trees all over the place in ecstatic fervor for all the arts and culture happenings in Phoenix. To help you see the forest for the trees, here's a recap of the top arts and culture stories of the week.

Laurie Notaro's Seven Reasons Why Phoenix is Better than Portland

Editor's Note: When architect and community activist Taz Loomans announced she was moving to Portland, we added her to a long list of Phoenicians who've decided to pack their bags and head to the Pacific Northwest.

And then we called Laurie Notaro.

Notaro is a best-selling author and frequent New Times' contributor. She lived in Phoenix for more than 30 years before moving to Eugene, Oregon. And while she's spent plenty of time in Portland, she still thinks Phoenix is better. Here's why.

--Claire Lawton

Nine Must-See Mardi Gras Parties in Metro Phoenix

The Cajuns have a particular phrase to describe having a memorable time and it goes something like, "Laissez les bons temps rouler." While our French Creole is a tad bit rusty, the saying roughly translates to "Let the good times roll," whic is what plenty of people around the Valley will be doing over the next few days in honor or both Mardi Gras and Fat Tuesday.

Mardi parties will take place starting now through Fat Tuesday next week, and we've got a rundown of nine places where you can score some beads (either by flashing some naughty parts or otherwise) and have a Hurricane or three.

--Benjamin Leatherman

Five Must-See Movies in (And Around) Phoenix This February

Load up on your snack of choice, bucko. You have some movies to see. Here are five flicks and festivals you don't want to miss this month.

Bloody Hero International Film Festival @ Phoenix Center for the Arts Sounds like a horror fest, but don't let the "bloody" party of Bloody Hero Independent Film Festival scare you off. Open to all genres of independent film, Bloody Hero will showcase a selection of feature, short, student, and animated, films from around the world.

Check out the complete list of must-see movies in February.

--Becky Bartkowski

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