Monthly Archives: January 2009

Chihuly: Night and Day

The Desert Botanical Garden (or “The DBG” as us locals like to call it) welcomed a new Chihuly exhibit on Nov. 22.  Dale Chihuly is a master of glass and has created special installations for the powerful desert landscape of the DBG.  You may know his work best from the Bellagio’s “glass ceiling” in the lobby. That is one little fraction of what you would see at his exhibit here. 

Tickets are available through May 31, and you can choose to go either in the day or night. We were curious and decided to investigate the difference.  Below are some comparisons. To see all our pics, visit our Flickr stream at  If you’ve been, feel free to send us your pics!

The SunThe Sun at Night


BoatBoat at Night


Blue agaveBlue agave night

Matt’s Big Breakfast


This mornining, I had the yummiest start to my day at Matt’s Big Breakfast in Downtown Phoenix. It’s a tiny little place located at 1st Street and McKinley. You may have to wait, but let me tell you, it’s well worth it!

Cheese Omelet with Mushrooms and as Side of Hashbrowns

Cheese Omelet with Mushrooms and a Side of Hashbrowns and Toast

As you can see, I choose the cheese omelet. I selected provolone as my cheese du jour and also added mushrooms. Throw in a side of hasbrowns and wheat toast and it was my version of a perfect breakfast. (Note: my friend had the same thing only she selected cheddar and sourdough toast).

Now, something that’s really important to me is that fact that Matt uses only humanely harvested, cage-free eggs.  It’s generally not something you’ll find at the chain places. For me this is a biggie because if he was serving the standard factory egg, I’d have been eating oatmeal or corn flakes. Although I’m sure he serves up a mean version of either. Besides the delicious food and diner atmosphere, it’s something that’ll keep me coming back.

I’ve also heard great things about the pancakes and as we walked in, a woman leaving the restaurant was raving about the waffle she had. I pretty much think any selection you make at Matt’s will be a good one.


Lola Tapas & Coffee

If you haven’t been to Lola Tapas for dinner, you are sorely missing out. But if you haven’t been to Lola’s in the morning for coffee, you’re practically a criminal. It is a quite possibly the best coffee I’ve ever tasted, and the whole ambience is something to be experienced. The staff knew me by name after just a couple visits, and it’s such an authentically Spanish feel.  It’s on 8th St and Camelback, so stop in on your way to work. And by the way, the prices are incredibly reasonable.  



It’s so decadent!


Their hours…Coffee, Tues – Sat, 7am-noon. And really, DO go for dinner – I just couldn’t squeeze all the Lola greatness into one post. 

Children’s Museum of Phoenix

With all due respect, it shouldn’t be called a “museum.” A museum means historic, stagnant things to look at, which is the opposite of the new Children’s Museum in Phoenix. The front exterior is the old Monroe school, but from one glance of the “back” (which is now the entrance), you can tell this is not a normal museum tour.

Children's Museum

It’s three stories of pure joy for kids. Kids of all ages, really. This is a look down to the first floor, filled with a huge tube structure. This is the future site of one of the world’s largest jungle gyms. Stay tuned for that. 

Crawl Space

There is a tri-cycle car wash, a nearly real grocery store complete with a stock room, a full “automotive” area, classrooms with crafts and tons more. But this – in my opinion – is the REAL treasure. The noodle jungle. It’s hundreds and hundreds of pool noodles suspended, creating a forest to run through. I must have run through it a hundred times.

Noodle Jungle

A hint of the amazingly creative artwork throughout the building:

Music is art

This was the seriously fantastic art room, where every kid gets a smock and every table has something new. And then, there in the corner is this: A house with so many layers of paint that it’s just oozing off. Every day they change the paint color and all the kids work together to cover it. 

the house that paint built

If you have kids, know kids or feel like a kid, take an afternoon at the Children’s Museum. And make sure to leave plenty of nap time afterwards!

Get more details at 

First Friday: Transportation Change

Just got an email from Artlink:

“Artlink has announced its new shuttle arrangement with the Phoenix Art Museum. The new arrangement begins with First Friday on February 6, 2009. 

First Friday Shuttles Move to the Phoenix Art Museum

Phoenix, AZ – Artlink Phoenix is proud to announce that the First
Friday’s Free Shuttle program is moving to the Phoenix Art Museum.
Beginning Friday, February 6th, 2009, the shuttle station will be
moving from the Burton Barr Public Library. These free shuttles
program runs from 6 to 10 pm every First Friday. The shuttles take
riders to 4 separate routes, with stops at galleries, restaurants,
coffee shops, and bars for the nearly 80 participating spaces that
make up the Artlink Phoenix First Friday Art Walk. Artlink Phoenix
sponsors the longest running, and most well attended art walk in the
country with nearly 25,000 people in attendance, as well as an annual
3 Day Art Detour weekend. This event is kicked off by March First
Friday, and features a Kid’s Art Detour program, March 7, and 8th.

Giuseppe’s on 28th


In PHX, we take authenticity of the food very seriously. Don’t call it “Mexican food” just because it has a tortilla, and don’t call it “Southwestern” just because there may be a trace of a green chile. So when it comes to Italian, I don’t want noodles and tomatoes. I want Italian.

Enter Giuseppe’s on 28th, which I paid a visit to carbo-load for the half-marathon. I’d heard much-to-do about it, and let me tell you – it’s worth it. Everyone at the table had the fresh pasta with one of the amazing concoctions. I had the seven-meat sauce and almost ordered another order to-go. Oh, and Guy from the Food Network profiled it on “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives,” I found out as I glanced at the wall.

I recommend getting there early; there are only about 20 seats in the whole place.

And, it’s owned by Richard Bock, principal cellist for the Phoenix Symphony. Majorly local, casual and dee-lish. OH – and – it’s BYOB. Yeah, I know. Doesn’t get better.

Guy's stamp

Rock ‘n Roll Marathon

Yesterday, over 37,000 people joined to compete in the Phoenix Rock ‘n Roll marathon or half marathon. Okay, it wasn’t exactly split, either – about 27,000 ran the 1/2 (CVB staffers included :)).  It was better weather than you could ask for – starting was mid-50s, finishing in the high 60s, low 70s depending on the speed. An absolutely beautiful day. 

A few fun tidbits: 

One couple got engaged at the finish line – after crossing the line together, he got down on one knee and proposed. He ran the whole way with the ring in his pocket.

Another guy stood on the sidelines with a sign that said, “so-and-so, will you marry me?” Maybe he should have at least done the half-marathon with his new bride? 

Are marriage proposals a big part of marathons? hm. 

Many a runner were seen in Cardinals jerseys – the first one to cross the finish line got a free season ticket for next year! I think the excitement of the game motivated everyone to finish early to get home and watch the game. All the extra cheering must have helped the Cards as well!

Anyway, if you were a runner or want to snoop out somebody’s time, check the link below and search by name or bib number! Then register for 2010!

Barrett-Jackson snippet

The Barrett-Jackson Classic Car Auction is in town January 11-18, so there’s still time for tickets! While looking at all the old cars in the lot is certainly a good time, watching the actual auction really can’t be beat. They offer shuttles in the parking lot, and there are signs all over the 101 to show you where to park. Don’t miss that fancy Thunderbird, either!

Barrett-Jackson Thank you sign

Barrett-Jackson Thank you sign

It’s going to be 75 degrees this weekend, too, so you may want to leave the sweater at home. Nothing better than being in the warm weather with the mountains all around, looking at the stellar paint job of that ’53 Corvette. What a life. The only thing that could make the experience better is getting there in one of these…

Classic bus

Classic bus

Now if only they would auction THAT off…


There’s always next year.

Welcome to The Hot Sheet

Phoenix is the fifth-largest city in the USA. Phoenix is widely considered one of the most desirable places to live. But what defines desireability of living? It’s the environment, the weather, the culture, and most influentially, WHAT THERE IS TO DO. 

The Phoenix area is full of nooks and crannies that locals call their own, places we wish we could show everyone to give them a chance for their own experience. And now, we are. This blog, The Hot Sheet (affectionately), is throwing the doors open on all the great things happening in Phoenix, for locals looking for something fresh and travelers wondering how to get to the soul of Phoenix. There is a lot,  and we have mountains to cover (literally), so check back often and find your Phoenix.

Oh, and yeah – we’re a qualified resource. This blog is written by the Greater Phoenix Convention and Visitors Bureau. Sounds important, doesn’t it? We are. :)  Since 1967 we’ve been the “Official Travel Resource for Greater Phoenix.” That means we’re the experts in what to do here, and hey, we live it. But we need your help too. Have a favorite spot you’d like us to visit? Know of a great event going on? Have a photo you’d like to submit? Please send to: We know you have the inside scoop, too. 

Look forward to showing you what’s hot in Phoenix…