Best Holiday Tradition 2019 | Flannel Ball | Megalopolitan Life | Phoenix

Phoenicians wait all year for the chance to don flannel shirts for just a few days of chilly weather, defined as anything below 70 degrees. On New Year's Eve, fabulous flanneled folk descend on Roosevelt Row for an evening filled with live music and art, culinary fare, and a host of creative activities that help to cultivate the community spirit that continues long after flannel and boots get replaced by tank tops and flip-flops. This year's event will take place near Second and Roosevelt streets, where neighbors, tourists, and the hipster crowd unite amid the city's exciting cultural and culinary landscape, launching each other into another year of urban adventures.

We love Bird scooters because they have good brakes and are easy to steer. And because you can actually find one in downtown Tempe. According to Smithsonian Magazine, the concept of the scooter dates back to 1817, when Germans first used the handy mode of transportation. The super-portable vehicles have been controversial ever since (they've been long loathed by the cycling community), but perhaps no more so than when the electric scooter hit cities in the last few years. Thanks to technology, you can easily rent a scooter using a credit card, and no one but your mom cares if you wear a helmet as you zoom around town. In Tempe, electric scooters have become such a menace to pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers that the city has introduced pretty onerous rules regarding liability. Earlier this year, Lime pulled its scooters from Tempe, and Razor has threatened to do the same. But Bird signed up for another round, and it's Bird we patronize when we want to ditch the car and take a more enjoyable, and environmentally cleaner, romp around town. Sorry about the helmet thing, Mom.

Phoenix parks aren't just about grass. One of the best city parks in town features a building erected in 1935 to house the then-decade-old Pueblo Grande Museum and adjacent park. According to city staff, during the Great Depression, Phoenix's archaeologists used to love to brag that the city only had to pay for a box of nails — the rest of the materials for the adobe were scavenged. Today, you'll see signs of ingenuity from much further back in time — and more recently, too. Scientists and historians estimate that the Hohokam settled in the Valley of the Sun before 500 A.D., and by 750 had everything from houses to cemeteries. Pueblo Grande gives visitors a glimpse into the awesomeness that were the Hohokam, whose actual name is lost to history. No one knows what they called themselves or what they dreamed about while not digging canal ditches, but these were some of the hardiest, most ingenious people ever to have lived. What we do know is that while Euro-migrants have been at this Sonoran Desert-living thing for a couple of hundred years, the Hohokam plowed the ground here for 1,000 years before vanishing for reasons that are still mysterious. You can put your hands on remnants of their civilization at the museum and park, which features an "interpretative agricultural garden" with cotton, corn, and other crops grown way back when. If you haven't been here yet, you don't know your home's history.

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