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.

11 Reasons to Love Summer in Arizona

Bemoan the sweltering heat, requisite sunburns, and incessantly blazing sunshine all you want. There's plenty to love about Arizona in the summertime. The season officially arrived Friday, June 21, and here are 11 reasons we love it.

--New Times Staff

Dave Chappelle and Flight of the Conchords Coming to Phoenix September 22

Good news, comedy nerds.

The first-ever Oddball Comedy and Curiosity Festival presented by Funny or Die will stop in 13 cities across the U.S. this summer.

And what city just happens to be the final stop for this one-of-a-kind stand-up celebrity showcase? You guessed it. Phoenix.

Headlining the tour will be the one and only Dave Chappelle along with New Zealand comedy-musical act Flight of the Concords.

Here's the full story on the Oddball Comedy and Curiosity Festival here.

--Katie Johnson

Arizona's Three Best Summer Water Hikes

You may interpret "water hiking" as toting a portable mister along the trail up Camelback, but dear reader, there are places with real water, too. Wet hiking is a perfect way to explore Arizona while keeping cool. Canyons, creeks, and springs fill our desert landscape if you know where to look and where to hike.

So here are three options for wet hikes: an easy nature walk nearby, a moderate canyon exploration, and a difficult (but epic) gorge discovery. Read through, do some personal research, and if you're feeling up to going out and cooling down, choose the one that is right for you.

Check out where you can find our three favorite water hikes.

-- Nina Gruber

5 Favorite Vintage Shops on 7th Avenue in Phoenix

Metro Phoenix is endearingly called the Valley of the Sun, but we've also taken to calling it the Valley of the Vintage -- and not just because of the senior citizen population. Lightly used and deeply loved clothing, furniture, and accessories can be found all over town, and while the treasure hunt might take a bit of driving, it's worth the gas money.

And so Jackalope Ranch presents a 'hood-by-'hood look at favorite vintage shops in metro Phoenix. Our first stop is the vintage Mecca of Phoenix, the Melrose District along 7th Avenue between (mainly) Camelback and Indian School roads.

Check out our 5 Favorite Vintage Shops on 7th Avenue.

--Jessica Dollin

"The Art of Video Games" Now Open at Phoenix Art Museum

Video games are art. That is the unwavering stance of Java innovator and noted game aficionado Chris Melissinos. When he talks about writing gaming code, he compares it to writing poetry. These games are more than digitized pastimes -- they're an amalgam of all forms of traditional art, he says.

And if you take a second to consider his equation (narrative plus orchestration plus painting plus social reflection plus sculpture equals video game) there's really no way to argue the point. For more evidence, there's the exhibition Melissinos curated, "The Art of Video Games," on view at Phoenix Art Museum through Sunday, September 29. The show looks at the 40-year history of gaming and how it has evolved over that span of time -- from Pac-Man and Pong to World of Warcraft.

Check out the full story on "The Art of Gaming".

--Becky Bartkowski

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