Nami Island was a lot of fun. There is a lot of beautiful artwork, and the plants and animals are fantastic.
Nami Island is an enchanting place. Most people go there because the movie “Winter Sonata” was filmed there. Sadly, the star of “Winter Sonata,” Park Yong-Ha, recently killed himself. In spite of this, it’s a very lovely island.
Nami Island has a lot of really wonderful artwork. There are a few galleries, but there are also several sculptures around the island.
In addition to the artwork, there are several varieties of wildlife. Ostriches, rabbits, squirrels, and a variety of colorful small birds roam the island freely.
Love is certainly the overall theme of the island, which makes it an excellent place to take a loved one. There are several hearts around the island.
Many couples take pictures with the various hearts around the island.
Renting a bike is an excellent way to see the island. Unfortunately, the bicycle-rental area is kind of a hike from the boat dock. But if you follow the main path, you’ll come to it. There are several lovely trails that you can ride on.
Take time to stop and look at all the interesting art in random places.
I spent about two hours on Nami Island. I could have spent a lot longer there, as there is a lot to do. I could certainly see spending a day there. There are restaurants and even a place that serves beer.
If you visit Gangwon Province in South Korea, I recommend taking a tour of Nami Island. It’s definitely beautiful, and touring the island was a wonderful experience
Fire dancers from Plaza de Anaya in Tempe are one of the many great things you can see at The Firehouse Gallery in downtown Phoenix.
The Firehouse Gallery is located on First Street, just north of Roosevelt Road. Managed by Michael Hudson, it is a mellow artist’s collective with an art space in front and a stage in back. Currently, The Firehouse Gallery is sticking to only doing events on Fridays. In the future, they hope to have the gallery open several days a week.
First Friday at The Firehouse are exciting because the fire dancers from Plaza de Anaya in Tempe perform on First Fridays at The Firehouse Gallery. These girls are good; it makes you want to sign up for lessons yourself. And, it’s memorizing to watch people dance with fire.
I highly recommend checking out The Firehouse, which is a great example of the sorts of cute little places that make downtown Phoenix unique and special.
This Halloween, don’t settle for the party at your freind’s house with dry ice in bowls. Check out the fun at The Alwun House Costume Ball.
Today is the day! If you haven’t found anything to do tonight yet, my last minute suggestion would be a costume ball at The Alwun House. This is the sort of event where you can just pop over to Mardi Gras Costume Shopin Scottsdale, and grad a mask on a stick. You know; the ones that you hold up in front of your face, like in an old movie? It’s classy, and you don’t have to get an entire costume. Then head to The Alwun House for a night of burlesque dancers, art, and costumes.
It’s a sinfully good time. Everyone in attendance must be at least 21 years old, because there is a bar on the premises. If you’re a bit older than 21- don’t worry! This venue brings out ghouls of all ages. You’ll find a spot somewhere in one of the lovely courtyards where you can fit right in. Just because you didn’t make plans yet, doesn’t mean you have to stay home and hand out candy. Grab a mask and head to The Alwun House tonight!
Be warned: Some of the art is edgy, so be prepared. Not for the faint of heart.
If you’re ready for Halloween and all the creepy stuff Arizona has to offer, you have to check out the Arizona Fetish Prom at The Venue of Scottsdale on October 11th. What is a fetish prom? Well, for starters, it’s retailers of things you’ll have a hard time finding anywhere else. Sure, you could try to buy a corset online, but then how would you try it on? The Fetish Prom is the answer. Often, there are people selling jewelry all decked out with spiders and snakes, corsets and velvet capes, as well as swords, and whips and chains.
Everyone is friendly, and no one pressures you. If you’re just there shopping for a corset and you don’t want to get near the bondage gear, that’s okay. But then again, if you’ve ever been curious, it can’t hurt to look.
I went to the last prom because Horns and Halos, who put the proms on, brought a band I love called VNV Nation. I have always wanted to see them, but they never play Phoenix. This trip to the United States they did play Phoenix, but only at the prom. So, I went to the prom and had a great time. The local band that opened, called Hardwire, was great.
Every prom has different entertainment. This event features a local band called Mankind is Obsolete, among other attraction such as the shopping.
I was reminded the other day of an artist I used to know named Lisa Albringer, and I thought I would share.
Lisa is now teaching beginning oil painting in Portland. Once, she lived in downtown Phoenix and did a portrait of me (which you can see below and which is titled “JD”). While it is named after me, I don’t know how much it actually resembles me. But it’s lovely anyhow.
Lisa tours the country doing art shows when she isn’t teaching. I highly recommend picking up a piece by Lisa. She is already doing very well, but I expect her to be quite famous some day. While her paintings are priced in the hundreds now, I have no doubt they will appreciate in value over time.
Besides the investment aspect, a painting by Lisa realty brightens up a room. I have one in the corner with my houseplants, and it really goes well there.
Modified Arts is a venue and an art gallery on the Southeast corner of 5th Street and Roosevelt Road in downtown Phoenix.
Most venues only do things on Friday and Saturday night, but Modified packs in the people every day of the week. They have independent film screenings, local and national bands, and art exhibits, to name a few things. There is so much going on there that you really have to check their calendar to know when to go.
Modified Arts is owned by Kimber Lanning, who also owns Stinkweeds music store at the Northwest corner of Central and Camelback Road. Kimber is devoted to local arts and music, and has been active in the arts community for over ten years.
In Modified, she has a space that can be transformed into anything. It can be a spot for a dance recital, but it can also host an art show or a metal band. It’s worth dropping by to pick up a calendar. Kimber’s wonderful employees keep lot of monthly events calendars handy. That way, you always know what’s going on when you have a night free.
The Paisley Violin is an art space at 1030 NW Grand Avenue in downtown Phoenix. There are a lot of neat little art spaces downtown, but this one has good cookies. From tasty food to awesome Chai Tea, this space could certainly be called a restaurant. However, it’s much more than that. Some places are a work of art, and The Paisley Violin definitely fits that description. Renovated by the owner Eric and his friends, the counters are brushed steal with wood trim. The ceiling beams are left exposed, with things suspended in them like an old violin. From the floor to the fish tank, everything was done with the help of customers and friends.
“The reason why it is what it is, I have to say, is because of the individuals,” said Courtney Smith, a Mesa resident who provides security for the Paisley Violin on First Fridays.
There is a feeling of community among downtown Phoenix businesses that is much different from the competitive feel of other cultural hot spots like Mill Avenue. The galleries on The First Friday Art Walk and venue owners downtown are more willing to cross-promote, even if it might mean customers going elsewhere for the night. There are flyers for events at other venues on the counter at The Paisley Violin, and no one minds a bit. This sense of community and friendship seems built into the walls at The Paisley Violin, where local artists and musicians perform, and where local residents hang out.
The stage is small. It’s hardly big enough for a three piece band. But then, there are lots of local artists who perform solo, like Alden Powers, who performs alone with his guitar. There are plenty of large stages near by, so The Paisley fills its own niche with a space for smaller ensembles.
I definitely recommend a trip to The Paisley Violin. It’s a little crowded on a First Friday, so drop by during the week when you have time to enjoy a sandwich and check out the construction of this unique art space.