Guitar Stars Shone

As we finish many of the chores we set for ourselves in our first year in Armory Park, we are beginning to take advantage of the many attractions which drew us to the neighborhood. One attraction we didn’t expect is the variety of entertainment/cultural events at St Andrews Church. Last Sunday afternoon was our first experience there, to see the Guitar Stars concert. The offerings were guitar performances by three great artists, each performing music of a different genre. Greg performed first with music based on the southern country style. Kathy’s offerings were demanding classical pieces. Gus’s music was the least expected for me since I had never before experienced jazz guitar. The performances all displayed the versatility of the guitar as well as the talent of the performers. To introduce you to the concert series and the performers, I extracted the following from the program:

St. Andrews Community Concert Alliance is a concert and arts series sponsored by the good people of St. A’s Episcopal Church, Tucson, Arizona. SACCA’s artistic director, Sheldon Curry, says, “The vision of SACCA is to provide a space for local artists to offer their gifts and skills. We hope to present concerts in various musical genres as well as theater, light opera, and dance. The acoustic at St. Andrew’s is one of the best, little known, aural treats in Tucson. That is part of the reason it birthed the highly successful St. Andrew’s Bach Society which outgrew our space and now calls Grace-St. Paul’s home.

Think of SACCA as SABS’s more wide-ranging kindred-spirit.

Greg Morton – Greg Morton has been playing the guitar for 47 years. Greg started out playing along with his identical twin brother Randal a Banjo player throughout the Mid South. Greg has played with artist such as Mark O’Connor, The White’s, Chet Atkins, Bill Monroe, and John Hartford to name a few. Greg and Randal played two USO Tours to Europe and The Orient and spent three years playing on the Don Ho Show in Honolulu, Hawaii. Greg now lives in Tucson where he plays at La Cocina and other Old Pueblo venues, and gives workshops to inspiring musicians.

Kathy Acosta Zavala – Ms. Acosta Zavala’s artistry has thrilled audiences in Tignes, France; Quebec, Canada; Lima, Peru and Arizona, USA. 2016 saw her professional debut concert in Peru, her cherished homeland, during the VI International GuitarFest.

She is a past winner of the Leonard and David Schaeffer Memorial Guitar Competition – the first woman to do so. She also received the University of Arizona School of Music’s prestigious Presser Foundation Award and the Sigma Alpha Iota Summer Music Scholarship.

After spending six months in Spain studying at the Masters in Classical Guitar Interpretation of the University of Alicante, she won second place at the “I International Guitar Competition for Latin American Female Guitarists” held in Sonora, Mexico.

Ms. Acosta Zavala plays a 2014 Gnatek guitar and is currently pursuing a Ph.D in musicology.

Gus Woodrow – Gus Woodrow gained widespread notice with his appearance, at age 17, as a classical guitar soloist on NPR’s “From the Top” radio program. It was taped live in Centennial Hall and aired to more than half a million listeners. This momentum led to his selection as one of 11 US classical musicians to participate in National Young Arts Week, for which he traveled to Miami to perform in the New World Symphony Center. The following summer, Woodrow played three weeks of concerts in Holland, Germany, England, and France. While doing so, he won or achieved top prizes in 10 national and international guitar competitions.

Restless to feed his compositional and improvisational interests, he turned to jazz guitar, and, drawing on a passion for diversity, began writing. Since early 2016, he has played regular concerts of his original music in groups ranging from jazz trios to large rock bands.

The event was well attended though there were seats available for more who might want to enjoy fine music. The location couldn’t be more convenient for us in Armory Park and the suggested donations of $15 per person or $25 per couple were certainly reasonable. The venue has wonderful acoustics but you might want to bring cushions for the wooden pews. The concert was announced on our listserv and you should watch there for future offerings. If this event is any indication, you won’t go wrong here.

A Novel Menu at 47 Scott

47 Scott is the name of an excellent restaurant as well as an address. Donna and I just had a great meal there early Sunday evening. The experience began with perusal of the varied menu of novel selections. The ingredients were not particularly unusual but their combinations and the recipes were. Take a look before I go on.

47 scott dinner menu

Donna chose the Phyllo Wrapped Chicken. The juicy chicken combined with the spinach and chicken jus to make a delicious centerpiece for this offering. The smashed yukon gold potatoes and baby carrots were fine accompaniments. She was very pleased with her choice.

I selected the smoked pork dijonnaise. The combination of pork, wilted kale and long baked sweet potato wedges worked very well together. I am not a fan of raw kale in salads but cooked it added tasty greens to the plate. Not being a salt user, I found the pork to be a little too salty for my taste but that may have been only the case for this particular experience. It could have been a little more tender also. In spite of these comments, I really enjoyed my meal.

We both took advantage of the happy hour menu which offers food as well as beverages. 47 scott happy hour menuWe shared the Brussels & Bacon offered at $5. On the regular Cast Iron Sides menu it would have been $8. The sprouts were cooked slightly crisp and the bacon teamed with the sauce to make a delicious dish. The main dishes were ample so we took some of this home.

We might have walked here but with Donna’s knee bothering her, we drove. I parked on the street at 5:00 but if that isn’t possible there is a parking garage across the street.

If you would enjoy a novel menu from common ingredients, this is the place for you. Give it a try.

Simplicit Restaurant Reviews

The Simplicit restaurant is a recent addition to the Armory Park dining scene. Located at the Temple of Music and Art, 330 S Scott Avenue, it is tucked away on the left side of the Simplicitentry court. Simplicit is an excellent choice for a great meal before an AZ Theater Company performance but don’t wait for a play to give it a try. While play nights definitely require a reservation, other nights are rarely a problem for drop-in dining. Dinner hours are 5:30 until 9:00 most nights with closing a half hour later on Friday and Saturday. During the weekend, brunch is served from 11:30 until 2:00. The restaurant is closed on Monday. Continue reading “Simplicit Restaurant Reviews”

Steve’s Dining List

It’s always helpful to have a little inspiration when looking for a dining spot but when you don’t have a definite plan. Steve Dibble queried our listserv about favorite eating spots and here are his results. You’ve probably seen this already but filed here under the reviews category, it may be easier to find next time you’re hungry for something new. I’ll do reviews of some, also. Thanks, Steve, for collecting these good leads. Continue reading “Steve’s Dining List”

A Fun Day Around the Neighborhood

Donna and I just settled in after a great day enjoying activities near our neighborhood. First we walked to the craft market at the Tucson Museum of Art. We began with a great lunch at Cafe a la C’art at the museum. We both ordered the Cuban Sandwich which was quite tasty. She had the crispy fries as a side and I had the side salad with a flavorful vinaigrette dressing. We arrived by 11:30 but the place was rapidly filling up. The ordering line passes a display case with wonderful looking pies and other treats to test your willpower. The cafe also had a table of pastries and other take-away fare in the museum lobby. If you go tomorrow or Sunday, you needn’t go hungry.

We decided to finish our day’s dining at Johnny Gibson’s market. Each Friday they offer a Fish and Chips special and that is what we both ordered. It comes with fries and coleslaw. We both enjoyed our meals and will do it again from time to time. The deli case has many other ready to eat or ready to heat items ranging from meatballs to lasagna or tamales. Whatever your choice, you can enjoy it with one of a large variety of craft beers. If an entree salad is more to your liking, you can build one from the most comprehensive salad bar I have seen in Tucson. If you haven’t yet tried Johnny’s for dining or grocery shopping, you should soon.

After walking nearly five miles, perusing a huge variety of crafts and enjoying two fine meals, we are both glad to put our feet up. We’re tired but is is a good kind of tired. We can now rest while reflecting on the wonderful place where we live.

 

5 Points Market & Restaurant

This interesting dining spot is located at the intersection of Stone and 6th Avenue. You will first notice the entrance patio which is a great spot when not too hot or cold. Spring or Fall mild weather makes this a good choice. Even in  the warmer months, early dining is a pleasure here. We choose it often because our small dog, Lulu, is welcome here. There are many more tables inside for those times when outdoors dining doesn’t appeal. The interior gets a little noisy because of the hard surfaces and animated conversations of other diners. Hours are 7:00 ’til 3:00 daily with lunch starting at 11:00. Breakfast is served at all times. Prices are moderate in line with other downtown establishments.

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Dog friendly patio dining. Umbrellas shield from the sun

The Menus are interesting and the items we have sampled have been tasty. For lunch, Donna had the Pork Torta and enjoyed it very much. My Ham & Camembert sandwich 5 points lunch menuwas excellent though the combination of cheese and ham made it a little salty for this low salt diner. Both sandwiches were on very nice toasted breads.

We have tried more items from the breakfast menu. The giant pancake is very large but they do have a smaller size for the smaller appetite. The Smoked Salmon Benedict is an interesting variation on the classic favorite. They also sell the canned salmon on the deli shelves. My favorite is the Bandito Blanco with a delicious combination of poached eggs, potato and ham under a wonderful mornay sauce. The Eggleston Sandwich is also an excellent choice but if you want to eat it in normal 5 points brunch menusandwich fashion, ask to have the eggs cooked firm. I ate my soft yolked version with knife and fork. If you want one of the delicious scones baked daily, arrive early; they run out quickly. Each day is a different flavor.

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The blackboard has regular and daily specials. I wanted to try the Gumbo but it was all gone before I ordered.

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Deli: small but interesting items.

The deli doesn’t have a huge selection but what they do have is top quality. the smoked salmon is wild Alaskan sockeye canned by an Alaskan couple who now winter in Tucson.

Handyman Synopsis

This post was extracted from our listserv and is based on responses Paula received after requesting others to provide tips on handymen they had used and would recommend.

A number of listserv members requested I share the info I rec’d in regards to my handyman inquiry, so here it is, as well as a few others I found in my archives.

Paula 12th St.

This post was extracted from our listserv and is based on responses Paula received after requesting others to provide tips on handymen they had used and would recommend.

A number of listserv members requested I share the info I rec’d in regards to my handyman inquiry, so here it is, as well as a few others I found in my archives.

Paula 12th St.

  • I have a friend who may do that. He does handiwork. Dave Moyer dave@davidscottmoyer.com
  • I recommend Marcos (great handyman, last name unknown) (520) 272-1316.  We use him regularly.  He is prompt, diligent, frankly knows everything about a house inside and out.  His English is good.  He comes with truck full of tools.
  • We have a great handyman that my Mom’s been using for almost 30 years, and he’s fantastic.  Honest, neat and extremely competent.  We’ve referred many friends to him, and they’ve all been happy. His name is Dan (no idea what his last name is):  520-322-5380 (home) and 520-971-3375
  • Don Carroll, 331-8100, tucsonhandyman@cox.net  Very knowledgeable and experienced handyman who can serve as a general contractor on smaller projects. I have used him myself and highly recommend. Reasonable rates also.
  • We have used Luis Benitez for a number of projects – roofing, stucco, paint.  He is reasonably priced, on time and finishes when he says he will. He has been great for us! His number is 520.970.9187
  • For smaller jobs, we have used Vincente Manzano. He replastered a ceiling in our house and painted. It was a great job too. Again, reasonably priced & shows up when he says he will. He is more of a general handyman. His number is 520.302.6311
  • Our own AP member, Harpo Jaeger can also do general repair/maintenance items.
    harpo.jaeger@gmail.com

Posted by: Paula <operaflute@gmail.com>

Armory Park Businesses

This morning Donna, Lulu and I had another delicious breakfast on the Five points patio. Long term AP residents are likely to be familiar with the local businesses but us newer arrivals and those contemplating an AP future for themselves may not realize how many great options for dining and other needs are located nearby. Five Points will be my first effort once we have sampled the lunch offerings. Please advise me by email or comment f you find a business, especially a restaurant, worthy of recommendation.

Ken Taylor blog@kmtaylor.com