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.

Phoenix Shop Hard Goods to Close

Sad news for fans of Hard Goods: Owner Brandon Gore announced via Instagram that the store, which carries concrete wares, along with local art and other home accessories, will close up shop soon.

"It's been a fun ride, but the Hard Goods pop up shop is coming to an end (for now)," Gore wrote in the post.

The official closing date (probably three or four weeks away) will be announced this week and almost everything in the shop, including fixtures, furnishings and merchandise, will be on sale for 10 percent off. The discount does not apply to artist consignment items, and all sales are final.

--Becky Bartkowski

Artcade Lounge Finds a Home in Downtown Phoenix and Will Open Later This Year

Local gamers, start digging through couch cushions and hoarding every quarter possible. You're gonna need 'em a couple of months from now when the Artcade Lounge opens its doors in downtown Phoenix.

Ariel Bracamonte and Nico Paredes, the pair behind the popular Artcade Show earlier this year (which featured vintage games used as canvases for local artists), announced Wednesday that they've found a location for a similarly themed arcade/nightspot concept. And by happenstance, it's the exact same spot where the Artcade exhibition took place.

Check out the full story here.

--Benjamin Leatherman

Pot Smokers Are Skinnier, and Here's Why

If you've ever wondered how your Mary Jane-loving friends manage to avoid obesity despite certain obvious factors such as a lack of movement and impressive caloric intake, you're not alone.

A recent study published by The American Journal of Medicine and completed by researchers at the University of Nebraska, the Harvard School of Public Health, and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center investigated the impact of pot on glucose, insulin, and insulin resistance in U.S. adults.

Here's what they found.

--Katie Johnson

Cara Nicole (a.k.a. AZ Powergirl) and Her Superheroine Cosplay

If you've attended Phoenix Comicon at any point over the past couple years, it's likely you've seen Cara Nicole dressed in costume in the Exhibitor Hall, probably as her best-known alter ego AZ Powergirl.

Frankly, she's pretty hard to miss, even among the crowds of countless cosplayers that regularly attend the four-day event each year, as the statuesque blonde bombshell is fairly unforgettable when wearing the wowie-zowie red, white, and blue ensemble inspired by the DC Universe's Power Girl.

Here's the full story.

--Benjamin Leatherman

10 Life Lessons Learned from Bill Hader's Saturday Night Live Character Stefon (in GIFS)

It's that thing where we are really, really bummed about Bill Hader leaving Saturday Night Live. The final SNL episode featuring Hader as a cast member aired on NBC on May 18. Hader has plans to move to Los Angeles with his family and continue making movies. (His IMDB page shows that he has some 11 projects in the works.) During his tenure on the comedy standby, Hader portrayed Julian Assange, James Carville, and Al Pacino, among others.

But we'll miss Hader's character Stefon most of all. The Weekend Update regular served as anchor Seth Meyers' city correspondent, who reported on hot new clubs, like You're Mother and I are Separating and Uuuuntz, and everything they offered (you know: Balogna Danza, Soul Patch Adams, black George Washington). Stefon taught us a lot. Here's a look back at some of the life lessons we learned.

--Becky Bartkowski

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