Best Of :: People & Places
There's a place in the West Valley where Will and Susan Hoskyns turn frowns upside down.
Not only does the dentist offer a "comprehensive cosmetic practice," which whitens smiles with veneers and fixes the mouths of people who grind their teeth, he offers an entire office full of precious art that makes people feel like they've stepped into Europe during centuries past.
Hoskyns bought a practice in Litchfield Park, then went to work on new offices featuring masterpiece artworks, including an early 1700s Italian copy of a painting called The Entombment; a fireplace from the Directoire period that was found in the province of Poitou-Charentes and shipped to this country in 16 pieces; and a pair of French doors that survived the Paris flood.
The dentist specializes in high-profile and celebrity clients who can secretly slip into the West Valley and stay at the five-star Wigwam Resort while he gives them million-dollar smiles.
Here you will find an elegant Chinese dog from 206 B.C., created during the Han dynasty and collected from an antiquities dealer in Salisbury, England. And a piece on the fireplace is Spanish, a statue of Christ sitting on the Bible, done in the 1600s.
Best Movie Theater
Best Movie Theater Snacks
Best News Station
KTVK-TV Channel 3
Best Professional Athlete
Best Pro Sports Team
Best Radio Personality
Krazy Kid and Ruben S.
Best Spanish Language TV Station
Best Tourist Trap
Rawhide Western Town and Steakhouse
23023 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale
Best TV Newscaster
Best Kids' Free Fun Spot
Kiwanis Park Recreation Center
6111 South All-America Way, Tempe
Best Kids' Fun-at-a-price Spot
9445 North Metro Parkway East
Best Kids' Restaurant
several Valley locations
In his native Kazakhstan, International Boxing Federation cruiserweight champion Vassily Jirov learned to develop his boxing footwork by being forced to outrace angry police dogs down a narrow hallway. By comparison, facing a 190-pound pugilist in the boxing ring has to seem like a snap. Sure enough, the self-proclaimed Russian Tiger -- who moved to Scottsdale in 1996 after winning a gold medal at the Atlanta Olympics -- has cruised through his unheralded weight division like it's just a preliminary to some anticipated main event. That main event would be either a heavyweight title shot or a step down to take on light-heavyweight king Roy Jones Jr. But, with his unmatched knockout percentage and relentless body-attacking style, Jirov might continue to be a victim of his own success, scaring away opponents unwilling to tangle with a tiger.
This is the Valley's most splendid tribute to the equipment that paved the Garden of Eden, courtesy of designer Bill Tonnesen. Even before you reach the renovated interior, the building's exterior walls and courtyard are designed to praise the visual virtues of the company's earthmoving tools -- mostly Caterpillars. Just about every surface and nook celebrates the sculptural appeal of big loud things that dig, split, drill, scrape and core. At Empire, it's all about blades, pistons and bits done up as pure decor. But be prepared: The weight and size of the details tend to leave first-time visitors gape-mouthed and asking, "What kind of rig did that come from?"
There's a rare spiritual resonance about this work, created by artist James Carpenter in collaboration with the Richard Meier Architectural Firm. It can be found inside the cylindrical glass-and-steel courtroom at the west end of the atrium at the Sandra Day O'Connor Federal Courthouse. The parabolic glass ceiling hangs like the lens of a clear-seeing eye on a spider web of metal cables and connectors. The beauty of it is in the subtle way its craftsmanship and precision rise above the merely practical. They make poetry of what law books lay out in dull prose and the courts themselves sometimes ignore: that the illuminating search for truth and justice should focus the mind on every fact, large and small -- dimpled chad or not.