If you happen to be someone who buys into the oft-mentioned crackpot prediction that the end of civilization as we know it is less than three months hence, December 21 will be a dark day indeed. Although most experts have dismissed the notion that the impending end of the Mayans' Long Count calendar means the end of days, you're likely busy hustling your angsty ass off making sure there's enough non-perishable food and ammunition stocked up. As the National Geographic reality show Doomsday Preppers indicates, you're far from the only soul who's hurriedly planning ahead for whatever havoc potential Armageddon might unleash. Local comedian and performance artist Kevin Patterson has been documenting his own preparations via his hilarious WordPress blog "How to Get Ready for the Apocalypse" to provide a satirical chronicle of his preparations for doomsday and beyond. While his entries are written in tonuge-in-cheek fashion, Patterson claims honestly to believe in the prophecy and fills the blog with genuine survival tips mixed in with the jokes. Such knowledge includes instructions for a solar oven, plants and animals that are edible (such as cacti and gophers), where to seek shelter, and which particular songs would be appropriate to listen to as death rains down from the skies, including Billy Idol's "Dancing with Myself." We suggest adding some REM to that list, Kevin.

Pretty much every historic neighborhood has some kind of website or newsletter (or both), detailing the history of the 'hood and notifying denizens about upcoming yard sales and kiddy parades. But The Joan D'Arc Crusader is about a west-side street that is neither historic nor likely to play host to any home tours — and yet we can't stop reading it. It's a homespun, genuinely affectionate tribute to a 50-year-old neighborhood, full of neighbors' favorite remembrances of Joan De Arc Avenue, the final street built in 1961 in the Surrey Heights subdivision near 19th Avenue and Thunderbird. Photographs, editorials, and essays about Mad magazine — who could ask for more from a neighborhood newsletter?

Sure, a hefty chunk of our desert population gets by on board shorts and flip-flops. But fashion in Phoenix is much more than that. Case in point: Style Tutor. At the helm of the burgeoning fashion blog are Kristy Roschke and Jennifer Woolsey — teachers by day and a two-person fashion authority by night.

What sets them apart from the rest of the fashion-forward and trend-relevant blogosphere? In spite of getting giddy over luxury labels like Lanvin and Louis Vuitton, these two bloggers are budget-conscious (Woolsey admittedly is devoted to digging through bins at Last Chance) without sacrificing good taste. By keeping tabs on cutting-edge couture in addition to what's hitting the racks at H&M, the duo serves up tips on how to embrace of-the-moment looks without breaking the bank.

Dominic Armato may be the kind of person who writes his personal blog's "about" page in the third person, but we can forgive him this minor atrocity because the rest of his blog is just that good. He checks all the boxes of a quality food blog: terrific photos, insightful commentary, and a nose for seeking out dishes and restaurants that might be off the radar for most. Though he posts only about once a month, the entries are uniformly meaty, extensive, and well researched. It's great credit to a food blog when reading it makes you feel famished.

Armato has been on the Phoenix food scene for almost three years, and in that time he's built quite a following. What's more, he's proved himself to be a speaker of the foodies, founding a forum called PHXfoodnerds and fostering an active community of fellow Phoenicians who are passionate about food and particularly dedicated to supporting worthy local businesses. In fact, he even gave a presentation on the topic at Ignite Phoenix's inaugural food event. He used his time to try to rally support for his "food army" which would sally forth to fight for good food in the most productive way possible: voting with their dollars at local businesses deserving of greater recognition.

Calling it "a Latin Pitchfork" (as some have done) doesn't really convey exactly what makes Club Fonograma, a Phoenix-based Ibero-American pop culture site, so special. Carlos Reyes, an occasional contributor to New Times' music section, mans a staff of volunteer bloggers and critics to shine on a light on the vibrant, pulsing sounds of Spanish-language pop, indie rock, and electro. Comparing the site to Pitchfork only works on superficial levels (it sure is pretty) — as Club Fonograma draws a thick black line connecting the sounds of Latin "nowness," like Juan Cireol, Arcangel, and Linda Miranda, with similarly fresh non-Latin acts (dubbed, lovingly, "outsiders" by the site) like Danny Brown, Azealia Banks, and M.I.A. With a crisp aesthetic and even crisper writing, Club Fonograma deserves more than a quick Pitchfork comparison.

We suppose it's not entirely fair to single out Pavle Milic — frontman at most every local foodie's favorite restaurant, FnB — for this award. But it is true that he's the one who asked the question. It was such a simple question. Or so it seemed. Then again, here at Best of Phoenix, we know better than anyone that there are no simple questions — or answers — when it comes to naming favorites.

Milic's status update: Mama just moved here from New York and is requesting shrimp fried rice for lunch, so who makes the best in town??

Let's just say that, as it turns out, Phoenix foodies take their fried rice very seriously. This topic got hotter than the June day Milic posted it. By the end of the debate, there were 92 comments on that status update, many restaurant suggestions, and several arguments — including over the finer points of New York fried rice versus Hong Kong fried rice versus Los Angeles fried rice versus San Francisco fried rice. (We're not kidding.)Even after Milic announced that he'd taken his mom to Jade Palace in Scottsdale (she liked it), the debate continued with several more dozen comments and a couple of figurative fist fights. In the end, chef Charleen Badman, who co-owns FnB with Milic, made her own phenomenal version of shrimp fried rice for a late-night supper at the restaurant — and finally shut everyone up.

Chompie's Deli Restaurant, Bagels, Bakery & Catering
Kyle Lamb

Even Wes Anderson couldn't make this stuff up. But if he made commercials, we'd like to think they would be exactly like Chompie's founders Lovey & Lou Borenstein's heartwarmingly odd videos. The four-part series features the charming pair in their '70s-era Phoenix home talking about how they have made their marriage work, their journey from New York to the Valley of the Sun, the lack of bagels here, and, of course, the story of Chompie's. From Lovey's stone-cold good looks to Lou's infectious laugh, the adorable videos gave us a whole new appreciation for the New York-style delicatessen, and they also made us really, really want a room full of wolves. And maybe an egg cream.

Oregano's
Courtesy of Oreganos

When the Old Town Scottsdale Oregano's bailed on its original home and moved into the long-abandoned building that once housed an extravagant bar called Sugar Daddy's, we were a little shocked. But not as shocked as we were when we opened the paper and saw the ad campaign for their new location — which just happened to be a stone's throw away from Scottsdale's infamous smut hut, Zorba's. The ad proclaimed exactly that — "It's just a short walk to Zorba's (now open at Scottsdale Road and Earll!)." Because who doesn't need a little lube or a steamy video after an adventurous meal at Oregano's?

We shouldn't have been surprised – this small pizza chain has cracked us up for years with clever word plays on billboards, like "Make the Forks Be with You," "Don't Pass This Joint" and "Pick Your Seat on Our Patio." From time to time, Oregano's offers a $50 gift card to a customer who comes up with a particularly good ad idea; hey, it's cheaper than hiring those Mad Men types. Check Oregano's website for details.

In F. Scott Fitzgerald's influential novel The Great Gatsby, the titular gentleman is a stylish bon vivant with a mysterious nature and penchant for partying. Sounds a lot like another Gatsby we happen to know, specifically this 42-year-old photographer and scenester who fittingly drew his nickname from the book's most infamous character. Case in point: Dapper is shy about revealing his real name or too many details about his enigmatic past. He's dropped hints about having been involved with the nightlife world but won't drop dime on the full details. But while we're unfamiliar with the cat's history, his particular tastes are well known. When he's out and about, Dapper is usually just that, preferring to adorn himself with hip or throwback apparel, ranging from classic Panama straw hats or Salvatore Ferragamo loafers to fly Ben Davis work shirts. He also tends toward stylish accessories, like or the dark green 1969 Cadillac Coupe de Ville he pilots around town. On various nights throughout the week, Dapper likely can be found quaffing cocktails with his glamorous gal P.K. Peck at any of a number of trendy gatherings, popular club events, or down-low dance events taking place after hours. Regardless of where you might see him, the affable and loquacious Dapper is always up for chatting about such topics as 1930s film or his taste for Lagavulin 16-year-old single malt scotch. You stay classy, Dapper.

Most of the Facebook pages devoted to the Phoenix arts scene are given over to promotions of upcoming events and a whole ton of inner-circle schmoozing. But the Phoenix Remodernists page is somehow different. Interesting discussion actually takes place here, among a varied crowd of artists, art fans, and collectors. Sure, there are the usual plugs for an exhibit or two, but there's also a lot of insight into what the art crowd is actually up to when it's not plowing through another First Friday. One can find more than just gossip and dissension among the daily posts on this page, a sort of clearinghouse and message board for creative types who want input on what they're working on and how they're feeling about it. Check them out.

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