Acquanetta!

During the 1950s and '60s, the former B-movie queen was the most exotic thing Phoenix had to offer, a pre-Cher glamazon equally at home in the society pages or on local television, where she modeled wigs and read poetry during commercial breaks on the Late Late Show sponsored by her car dealer husband. And if you were lucky, you spotted her in the flesh, tooling around town in a pink Lincoln Continental.

Although the female star of Tarzan and the Leopard Woman has disappeared from the public eye in recent years, her legacy lives on in this fan site that includes her poetry, a photo gallery, a filmography and even a multiple-choice biography fashioned from the many conflicting stories of the "Venezuelan Volcano"'s early years. (Was she an Arapaho Indian born Burnuacquanetta -- or was she actually Mildred Davenport of Ozone, Wyoming? And did she really once attend West Virginia State College for Negroes?)

Operated by an admirer identified only as "Captive Wild Fan" -- an allusion to the 1943 flick Captive Wild Women, wherein Acqua portrays a sex-crazed native who'd formerly been an orangutan -- this is one site that will make any Acqua aficionado go ape.

This non-commercial station on the left end of the dial -- KNAI, known as La Campesina -- spent much of the '90s with a virtual monopoly on the listening tastes of Spanish speakers in the Valley. In the last three years, an explosion of Spanish-language stations has cut into KNAI's ratings, but it continues to be the Latino community's most influential voice on the airwaves. Part of a farm workers' radio network created by the late Cesar Chávez, KNAI offers a mix of news, talk shows and traditional conjunto music, and can be counted on to weigh in on the big issues affecting Valley Latinos. When protesters gathered outside the Capitol to advocate drivers' licenses for undocumented immigrants, La Campesina was there, broadcasting live. And when Chandler police rounded up suspected illegals in 1997, KNAI made the controversial action the focus of its coverage. Even as local Hispanic media grow, La Campesina stubbornly remains their political conscience.

Wig-Wearing Lady, who's been reading a Harlequin romance, just got up from her seat. Is she going to . . . ? She is! She's sitting down next to Long-Haired Sleeping Man! Now she's shaking him awake -- what's the deal? Does she know him? Or is this just another story unfolding in the cozy mystique of our favorite people-watching spot? Observing the many muted mini-dramas unfolding among the after-1 a.m. crowd in dimly lit Terminal Four is among our guiltiest pleasures. There might be only a handful of characters, but that's all it takes. Last time we were there, we watched a sexy bearded guy make a paper pterodactyl for a zombie-like mother and her three noisy kids, witnessed a fight between two polyester-clad flight attendants, and looked on as a sour-faced septuagenarian couple preached the gospel to a panhandler. Settle yourself into a reasonably comfortable black leatherette seat and just ponder and observe. There's a different cast and a different set of stories every night.

Best Mobile Masseuse Who Does Ear Coning, Feng Shui And Aromatherapy

Holly Kish

Do you know a woman who, with one phone call, will come over and rub your back, rearrange your furniture, make your place smell nice and pour hot wax in your ears? Yeah, we do, too. But Kish is a different kind of "professional." For three years, she has promptly and faithfully served the Valley's holistic needs with massaging hands that'll make you whinny with pleasure. What's more, her sixth-design-sense will help you and your home maintain an all-important harmonic balance. Get Kished and relaaaax . . .
The homely hyena is a misunderstood creature, Out of Africa Wildlife Park president Dean Harrison wants us to know. Rather than the vicious, bloodthirsty animals we've seen portrayed on TV, hyenas are loving, affectionate and playful, even with humans. It sure looks convincing, as Harrison wrestles with a huge hyena that chews gently on his arm, then follows him with a splash into a swimming pool during one of several rotating shows at the park. Out of Africa is not a zoo or a circus, but it combines the best of both to teach us about animals. Its garden setting puts us mere feet from tigers, lions, bears and wolves -- the panther is so close we can smell its breath. Out of Africa -- for us, and for the animals -- is out of sight.
Want to watch a movie on a big screen, but you'd be pelted with popcorn if you took your squirming toddler? Hankering for a little hanky-panky to enhance the cinematic experience, but stadium seating and decorum just won't allow it? At this 25-year-old Scottsdale drive-in, you can watch the movie -- and do whatever -- without leaving your car. And if the movie's no good, the people-watching will be -- entire families set up makeshift living rooms in flatbed trucks, complete with lawn furniture, blankets and beer. The double feature is always a bargain at $5.50 per person, and kids under 11 are free. If they get restless, send 'em to the on-site video arcade. Skip the standard concession fare and pack your own picnic to enjoy this uniquely American experience. But you'd better hurry. The Scottsdale Six is one of only two Valley drive-ins left. (The other is the Glendale Nine.)

Best Place To Open A Business If You're Not Good With Names

Downtown Mesa

Head south down Country Club Drive in Mesa toward Main Street and check out the businesses that line the streets. Don't just glance at them, read their signs. You'll find a haven for the creatively challenged business owner -- the uninspired, the copycat, the redundant. Beer World is a few spots away from Birds of the World, and about a mile away from Pool World (as in pool tables). The Pawn Man and The Water Heater Man are right across the street from each other. And the Basic Food Market is not too far from the Community Family Restaurant. And lest you miss its point, near Country Club and Main is the Valley Eatery Diner Restaurant.
Although usually associated with funky retro furniture for budget-minded urbanites, Z Gallerie's separate roomful of framed paintings, drawings and photographs is a gold mine for wanna-be art aficionados. Sift through a stack of prints by anyone from Ansel Adams to Kandinsky to van Gogh or pull a framed reproduction from the wall for less than what you paid for air conditioning last month. And suddenly the wall over your couch has a whole new classic vibe. Unlike most home-decor stores where the art is scattered in bland places across the showroom or clustered with empty wedding frames, Z Gallerie's art room looks more like a casual, pseudo-museum with a constantly changing selection. All prints come framed, although Z Gallerie can send yours out for a new mat-and-frame job, if you like.
After more than a decade in its Antoine Predock building, this museum is showing the Valley what a broad, inclusive phrase "contemporary art" can be. Despite a thin bottom line, ASU's art museum has assembled stellar exhibitions of crafts alongside intriguing shows by the likes of Shirin Neshat, Lucio Muniain and Andreas Gursky. These names aren't likely to bring in the Arizona crowds, but they're ones worth knowing. Their appearance proves that budgets don't define an institution's mission -- vision does.

Maybe it's all the couples who seem to glide by, holding hands, chatting effortlessly, on their way from one fancy store to the next. Or perhaps it's the large fountain, surrounded by bright flowers. Take a first date to this little wine-and-cheese shop at Biltmore Fashion Park (the salads ain't bad, either), and you won't have to worry about using your best lines. Sit beneath the misters outside, sip a glass of red wine, and pucker up.

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