Unusual Suspects

By now, we've been inundated by so much rigmarole surrounding "Decision 2004," we're more likely to pull a trigger come November than a voting-booth lever. Since we're facing (at least) another month of political Bushwhacking, we'll Kerry on to "Word on the Street: Politics Unusual," a collective exhibition by downtown Phoenix galleries. Five art spaces will exhibit works from the event throughout October and into the fall. There's "Harvest" at eye lounge, 419 East Roosevelt, a more subtle look at politicking, with 20 mixed-media pieces, including Kate Timmerman's Bless Me Father for I Have Sinned, a sculpture of a bird nesting in slate next to a large oar signifying society's metaphorical journey across the river Styx. "Our art respects the individual's right to draw their own conclusions," says Timmerman. "It won't hit you over the head with pictures of Bush with an ÔX' through his face or anything that simplistic." Nope, for that style of political criticism, we'd head to Holgas, 821 North Third Street, where residents have created works like Tara Logsdon's painting of a flaming shrub and the message, "If we burn a Bush, maybe God will talk to us again." Subtle. See www.wots-phx.org for more. -- Benjamin Leatherman

Gas Up the Car

Let's have beans for every meal

Sat 10/9
Blame it on the beans on Saturday, October 9, at the 10th annual Grandpa Horny Fart Blossom Memorial Chili Cook-Off, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the New River Station, at I-17 and the New River exit. A $5 donation, benefiting META Services (a nonprofit organization that provides services to the mentally ill), gets you a taste of all the competing chilis all day long. For directions and details, call 602-636-4475. -- Joe Watson

Gourd Almighty

Botanical Garden shows off its melons

Squash any idea that gourd art's strictly Appalachian. Here in our community, there's a veritable calabash cult, whose followers transform nature's own Tupperware into pretty fine art. Gourds Galore! offers up a cornucopia of embellished autumn fruits from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, October 9, and Sunday, October 10, at the Desert Botanical Garden's Fall Harvest Festival. Art snobs and other skeptics who check out the displays may find little green tendrils twined around their hearts. The DBG blooms at 1201 North Galvin Parkway, next door to the Phoenix Zoo. Admission is $9 for adults and $4 for children. Call 480-941-1225 or see www.dbg.org. -- Kim Toms

Greek Out

Opa! to the big, fat Greek Fest

The Greeks know how to throw a good orgy. It must be the hot and tempting food that keeps people coming back for more, according to Jim Contes, chairman of the 44th annual Greater Phoenix Greek Festival. This year's festival, which runs from 5 to 10 p.m. Friday, October 8, noon to 10 p.m. Saturday, October 9, and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday, October 10, at the James A. Speros Community Center, 1973 East Maryland, will have no shortage of culinary delights. There will also be plenty of booze, live music and dancing. "But no plate breaking," Contes says. "We tried that one year and it just got messy." Tickets are $2, and children 12 and younger get in free. Call 602-264-2791, extension 223.-- C. Murphy Hebert

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
C. Murphy Hebert
Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.
Kim Toms
Joe Watson