Nerd Culture

13 Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix, January 2 to 8

Picture actually knowing how to work your camera.
Picture actually knowing how to work your camera. Courtesy of Foto Forum AZ

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click to enlarge Attendees of Taiyou Con 2016. - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
Attendees of Taiyou Con 2016.
Benjamin Leatherman
Taiyou Con 2017
There are a few things you may need from Friday, January 6, through Sunday, January 8, if you don’t want to feel out of place when walking around downtown Mesa. We’d recommend a Spandex bodysuit, a bright colored wig, a cape, and possibly even a costume sword. To clarify, you’ll want these items if you plan on attending the seventh annual Taiyou Con at the Mesa Convention Center, 263 North Center Street. But even if you don’t feel like dressing up, this year’s convention offers plenty to do. See some of your anime idols in person at one of the many meet-and-greets and panels, including one with the guys behind Mega64 who recreates video games in real life, or hang out with DJ TeddyLoid during his VIP Party. Or maybe get some inspiration during the masquerade, where only the best cosplay skills shall win. A weekend membership badge is $45 online at the Taiyou Con website or $50 at the door. Evie Carpenter

click to enlarge Just add water: It’s not that big a stretch at “Time/Shores.” - GASTRICSURGEON.COM; PHOTO RIGHT BY ADAM NOCEK; COLLAGED BY RICHARD TURNER
Just add water: It’s not that big a stretch at “Time/Shores.”
gastricsurgeon.com; photo right by Adam Nocek; collaged by Richard Turner
"Time/Shores"
When we envision California falling into the ocean (and no one getting hurt, of course), we must consider Arizona beachfront property. But our dreams of Yuma as the new Malibu have pooped out so many times, we’ve just about stopped dreaming.

A new multimedia installation at ASU Art Museum’s Phoenix satellite, Project Space at Combine Studios, provides a new way to regard the hoped-for cataclysm. “Time/Shores” markets the desert as a coastal oasis to come — a resort-style getaway you can start paying for now. After all, this was all covered by water before. It’s only a matter of time.

The free exhibition is open by appointment from Friday, January 6, through Saturday, January 28, at 821 North Third Street. Call 480-965-2787 or visit the ASU events website. Julie Peterson

click to enlarge Pauly shores up in the Valley. - COURTESY OF TEMPE IMPROV
Pauly shores up in the Valley.
Courtesy of Tempe Improv
Pauly Shore
Contrary to what he’d have you believe more than a decade ago, comedian Pauly Shore isn’t dead — he’s just doing stand-up.

After starring in a handful of ’90s big-screen comedies (the kind you can still catch late night on Comedy Central) and a successful stint of producing and directing, Shore has returned to the club circuit, starting the new year off with a laugh during five shows at Tempe Improv, 930 East University Drive. Catch Shore’s particular brand of silliness on Saturday, January 7, at 7 and 9:30 p.m. Additional shows take place Thursday and Friday, January 5 and 6. Admission to these 21-and-over events is $25 (plus applicable fees). A two-drink minimum is required. Get a ticket or two and details at Tempe Improv's website or by calling 480-921-9877. Janessa Hilliard

click to enlarge Walk your way into 2017. - DAWN/FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS
Walk your way into 2017.
Dawn/Flickr Creative Commons
Farm to 5K
Remember how you said you were going to get more exercise in the new year? Here’s your chance to take a walk with some farmers from all over the country.

No, really. The American Farm Bureau Federation is having its first-ever convention and along with it, a 5K walk. From the starting point, you’ll stroll your way through downtown Phoenix and take a loop around Wesley Bolin Memorial Park before heading back. Even more exciting is the fact that proceeds from the registration fee benefit St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance.

A post-walk celebration includes games, food, and music. Get some exercise while helping those in need from 7:30 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, January 7, at Talking Stick Resort Arena, 201 East Jefferson Street. Registration is $25. Visit the Facebook event. Amy Young

click to enlarge Fiddler on the hoof. - TIM FULLER
Fiddler on the hoof.
Tim Fuller
Fiddler on the Roof
Most people have an overall idea what goes on in beloved musical Fiddler on the Roof, which is lucky, because although it would clear things up if the show were called Milkman in the Russian Village, it’s not so catchy.

The roof-mounted violinist is a metaphor for the myriad insecurities faced by Tevye, who — oh, heck, we’d be very surprised, as we said, if you don’t know what this is about. Fiddler inhaled nine Tonys upon its 1964 première for good reason. The plot and characters resonate eerily well with diverse cultures and eras; the script shamelessly plies both sentiment and humor; the songs advance the story and are a good listen, too.

Arizona Theatre Company’s production continues through Sunday, January 29, at Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe Street. Showtime’s 8 p.m. for the opening night performance on Saturday, January 7. Tickets start at $25 at Arizona Theatre's website or 602-256-6995. Julie Peterson

Suns vs. Cavaliers
NBA junkies love trade rumors. It’s their version of celebrity gossip — fanciful but rarely true. Yet amid the endless chatter and pundit speculations, general managers know damn well that franchise greatness is typically built through the draft. Look no further than both the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers, who visit Talking Stick Resort Arena, 201 East Jefferson Street, on Sunday, January 8, and the mighty Golden State Warriors. Both teams struck gold with draft picks who would become franchise cornerstones. It was the allure of partnering with superstars Kyrie Irving and LeBron James, both draft picks, that brought free agent Kevin Love to Cleveland, completing their “big three.” Rest assured, the Suns will be taking notes when they host the Cavs at 6:30 pm. Tickets are $52 and up. Visit the Suns website or call 602-379-7800 for details. Rob Kroehler
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Becky Bartkowski is an award-winning journalist and the arts and music editor at New Times, where she writes about art, fashion, and pop culture.
Contact: Becky Bartkowski