Phoenix Art Museum Visit, and Doctor Whoness

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This is my favorite work of art at the Phoenix Art Museum. It is a horse, constructed of chicken wire and wood. This horse has been at the museum for as long as I can remember, and I believe it may have a twin at ASU’s art museum as well. It is just awesome, and doesn’t quite deserve to be shucked up where it is now.

We were at the museum today for a member’s preview of an impressionists collection. The Clarks bought a bunch of Renoirs, Manets, Pissarros, and Monets in the 1930s and there is a grand old museum of their artwork in Massachusetts. A few of the pieces were loaned to Phoenix for this show. The paintings brought in were really spectacular, and worth the visit. It is a very small collection, however, so don’t expect to spend the whole afternoon on it. The highlights include a truly brilliant still-life of onions by Renoir, and a duo of Giverny paintings by Monet. Also included was a terrific Pissarro which portrayed a very, very cold and snowy day at the house of one of his close friends. As these paintings were often done en plein air, he must have been awfully cold that day. I hope he brought his mittens.

At the Phoenix Art Museum they host a wonderful little cafe done by Arcadia Farms. It is really rather swank, and in recent years has moved away from a cafeteria-style eatery to a sit-down joint complete with cloth napkins. The food is truly remarkable. I had a curried chicken salad that was sweet on a bed of fresh greens. A handful of raspberries and a raspberry-like dressing on the salad made it divine. It also came with a little croissant with brie melted inside. The Husband had a ham sandwich with a red onion chutney that was quite good. The crab cakes looked fantastic. The desserts are all lovely works of art, but unfortunately they didn’t have many of them left when we got around to ordering. I think I will order their tuxedo cake first next time, just in case. The chocolate and pecan tart I did have was quite good, but the tuxedo cake, which included ganache and chocolate mousse, was what I really wanted. It was very busy today and the service was exceptionally slow, so I would not recommend this eatery if you happen to be in a hurry. They advertise an afternoon tea on Saturdays for $20, which I am sorely tempted by. For $20 it must be quite the tea, eh?

After our little jaunt to the museum, The Husband and I wandered off to Samurai Comics in Phoenix. I had seen them advertise on their website the Doctor Who Magazine and a few Who toys. Upon arriving, however, we quickly discerned that these objects weren’t there at all. Further, when we asked the guy at the counter, he denied they ever carried the magazine. When I called their second location in Glendale, they also denied they ever had the magazine. I don’t get it, and I don’t like it. If you happen to be in the area and are looking for comics, I recommend Atomic Comics instead, or All About Comics and Books, which said they occasionally carry the magazine. I dunno what’s up with Samurai, but it’s quite near false advertising.

By the way, I don’t know HOW many comics stores I called, but nobody carries this dang magazine on a regular freaking basis. We are the fifth largest city in the US and nobody has this magazine. Argh. All About Comics and Books had a November issue, but I didn’t feel like driving half an hour to downtown Phoenix for a magazine that’s kinda old at this point. Grr. I gave up and ordered the current issue online. I would gladly subscribe to the thing if it wasn’t about $120 a year…

On a trip to Border’s I picked up a terrific Who history: Doctor Who: The Legend Continues. It is an enormous tome chock-stuffed full of pictures and information. It is a gorgeous book to flip through, and makes for a good read. It is very current, too, and includes information about the Ninth Doctor and a short intro to the Tenth. Truly my Who buying habits have influenced my local Border’s for them to bring this sort of thing in. They have two copies of the shooting script books, and have a ton of the newest classic Who novels for sale. (I adore them for it, but if they don’t get the new novels in I have had on order since November, I am going to be one unhappy camper.) We also bought a DVD of a 1964 Doctor Who episode with William Hartnell, the First Doctor. So far it’s quite amusing. Not only are the Daleks in different colors (as different as can be in black and white) but the Dalek flying discs look like aluminum pie plates glued together. Special effects have come a looooong way.

G’luck to the Steelers tomorrow. They are going to need it.

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