With the snow in the forecast, we thought it would be helpful to remind everyone about the City of Flagstaff’s Snow and Ice Operations. Winter parking restrictions are in effect. When there is snow and ice on the ground, slow down and give yourself more time to stop. Also, there is no parking allowed on the streets overnight. If you decide to stay at home, or off the roads, take a look at our website for all the homes for sale in Flagstaff.
Homco is having their 4th Annual Ladies Night Out on Tuesday, November 10th. Doors open at 6:00 pm for ladies only, and the event will feature food from The Oakmont, wine, chair massages, product demos, and a Carhartt fashion show (not to mention raffle prizes and 20% OFF the entire store)!
This Thursday at the Coconino Center for the Arts, The Portland Cello Project is giving a concert from 7:30 to 9:30pm.
Widely praised throughout the musical community, this group is usually comprised of 4-6 cellos, and unlike a traditional ensemble, they play music which is a fusion of classical, hip-hop, and pop. You won’t want to miss this exciting concert in the cozy, classy setting of the Center for the Arts! Visit Portland Cello Project for tickets.
Theatrikos Presents “Reading! And Other Super Powers”
Theatrikos PlayHouse is presenting a play by John DiAntonio about a young boy, Nicolas, who embarks on a journey to find his inner strength, receiving help along the way from a collection of superheros and hilarious characters. . .will Nicolas finally be prepared to face and defeat his arch enemy, Captain Cliffnote? Visit Theatrikos.com for tickets and more information!
Dance Batukeira: African Brazilian Evening
Come be immersed in rich African Brazilian culture with vibrant songs and dance! On November 8th the Flagstaff Arts Council and Centro Capoeira Angola Ouro Verde Flagstaff will present an evening of performances with special guests Mestre Cabello Caobijuba’ and Mestre Tisza Coelho, both world renowned performers specializing in Capoeira Angola and other African Brazilian arts. There will be an open dance floor at the end of the night for the audience to join in the celebration!
This week is First Friday ArtWalk, so if you are new to Flagstaff or have never been on one of these amazing events, now is your chance! On the first Friday of each month downtown Flagstaff presents art exhibits, performances, shopping, and food from 6pm to after 9pm. . . Download a free artwalk guide at FlagArtsCouncil We look forward to seeing you there!
Remember, if you are interested in buying or selling a home, don’t hesitate to contact Jessica and Eric. Have a great weekend!
Flagstaff’s pinecone drop is unique, but many other communities celebrate their uniqueness in similar fashion
Flagstaff’s unique version of Times Square on New Year’s Eve is set to go at the Weatherford Hotel in downtown Flagstaff. Flagstaff’s twinkling; 6-foot pine cone is in place, to be lowered at the stroke of midnight. (There will also be an early drop at 10:00 p.m. for families who’d like to get home early.) The Pine Cone Drop from the Weatherford has been a Flagstaff tradition since 1998.
Lowering a pine cone is not so odd when you think about Flagstaff’s spectacular, surrounding ponderosa pine forest. But what’s become our tradition has become a tradition in other towns across the land as well, with an assortment of strange and not-so-strange icons, dropped to celebrate the New Year.
Of course there’s the traditional 12-foot diameter, multi-colored Waterford Crystal ball, dropped in New York City. A lighted ball has been dropped in Times Square since 1907, the first adorned with 100, 25-watt bulbs.
But how about the “traditional” 20-foot, 600-pound walleye, named Captain Wylie Walleye, in Port Clinton, Ohio? (Walleye is a game fish that puts Port Clinton on the map on the shore of Lake Erie – a boon to the local economy – as “Walleye Capital of the World.”) Thousands have braved the cold in Port Clinton to cheer the celebrated fish for the past 16 years.
In eastern Arizona, they drop a deuce of clubs at midnight in Show Low, a practice just started to welcome 2012. According to legend, the origin of the town’s name is derived from a game of poker where the winner showed a deuce of clubs, the lowest card in the deck.
In tiny Dillsburg, Pennsylvania, what else would you drop but a dill pickle, positioned to drop into a barrel. It’s not just any dill pickle. “Mr. Pickle” is 8 feet tall and wears a bow tie and top hat.
Not too far away in Hershey, Pennsylvania, they drop a giant, foil-wrapped Hershey Kiss at midnight.
In Atlanta, at what’s billed as the largest New Year’s Eve celebration in the Southeast, the Atlanta Peach Drop draws upwards of 100,000 people.
In Easton, Maryland, famous for delicious blue crabs, a giant paper mache crab is lowered.
In other locales across the land you might see a sardine, a sausage, a possum, a stuffed goat, a ukulele, smashing watermelons, or a Crayola crayon. Something of what I am sure is but a partial list of objects dropped or celebrated on New Year’s Eve across the country can be found on Wikipedia – List of objects dropped on New Year’s Eve.
Wherever you are at the stroke of midnight, enjoy a happy and safe New Year’s Eve and a wonderful and prosperous 2015!
Connecticut home comes with its own moat, but would be out-of-place in Flagstaff
Sometimes you’ve just got to have some fun. This article, on MarketWatch.com earlier this week, caught my eye. At least six of these seven wacky mansions would be pretty out-of-place in Flagstaff, AZ; however, the one from Boulder would fit right in. Not surprising that the Boulder home would work in beautiful, mountainous Flagstaff, is it?
There’s so much to do in Flagstaff this first weekend of Autumn. Here are a few of the many choices:
Friday evening is the opening concert of the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra’s 65th Season:Visionary Sounds. The evening’s program, Symphonic Synthesis, celebrates the relationship between art and science including wonderful music by Bach, Saint-Saëns’ symphonic tour of the animal kingdom, and Schumann’s triumphant “Rhenish” Symphony! At Northern Arizona University’s Ardrey Auditorium, 7:30 p.m. (Discussion with the conductor at 6:30 p.m.) Tickets $20 – $70. I’ll see you there!
Theatrikos Theatre Company’s production of God of Carnage opens this weekend – Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. The play, by Yasmina Reza, is about two pairs of parents, one of whose children has hurt the other at a public park, who meet to discuss the matter. As the evening goes on, chaos occurs. At the Doris Harper-White Playhouse (11 W. Cherry Ave.) Tickets $11 – $18. Dates through October 12th.
This weekend is Family Weekend at Northern Arizona University, presented by the University Office of Student Life, with many activities to go around — Hotel & Restaurant Management’s Casino Night on Friday evening, the Flagstaff Symphony concert on Friday evening, NAU Theatre’s Guest Artist on Friday and Saturday evenings, a Family Weekend BBQ, NAU Football and Volleyball, a Sunday Family Brunch, and more! It’s all detailed at the website. Event tickets and package tickets available.
The Hopi Tribe presents its 5th Annual Hopi All Native Arts & Cultural Festival on Saturday and Sunday at Flagstaff’s Heritage Square. The festival brings arts and culture from a variety of tribes in and around Arizona, where a display of art and entertainment. 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. both days. Admission is free.
The Flagstaff Festival of Science: A Grand Adventure continues through the weekend at various venues across town. Check out the many family events and activities at the observatories, historical sites and science centers. Download a complete schedule of events.
On Friday and Saturday evenings, the NAU Department of Theatre presents a special guest performance by Gail Manghan in Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins. “Red Hot Patriot is full-blooded American woman speaking the truth with humor, intelligence and exquisite– almost painful– compassion. Like Texas bar-b-q, it is deliciously satisfying to sink your teeth into.” NAU Studio Theatre (201 West University Drive, Building 37, north end of the Performing Arts Building). 7:30 p.m. both evenings. Tickets.
Flagstaff’s Cornucopia Fall Festival is a celebration of the changing leaves and an abundant harvest on Saturday. Think “Hullabaloo” in the autumn. There will be a hay maze, tractor rides, carnival rides, pumpkin patch, pie-eating contest, petting zoo, disc golf tournament, kids talent show, carnival games, circus performers, giant puppets, laser tag, kids zone, two stages of entertainment, five local micro breweries, great food, and lots of vendors. Proceeds benefit Habitat for Humanity of Northern Arizona and Flagstaff Family Food Bank. At Thorpe Park (191 N. Thorpe Road), $5 general admission and $35 VIP tickets. 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Also on Saturday, the Grand Canyon Guitar Society (GCGS) hosts its first-ever fundraising event – Corks and Cords Wine Tasting and Music. The Society hopes to raise funds in order to expand its teaching programs to more students. In addition to wine, appetizers, desserts, live and silent auctions, GCGS will present performances from local and regional guitar programs. It’s at Thornagers (2640 W. Kiltie Lane), 1:00 – 3:30 p.m. Single ticket is $35, $60 for two. $5 suggested for those 12 and under.
On Saturday evening, Flagstaff Friends of Traditional Music (FFOTM) present the regionally acclaimed band, The Sonoran Dogs. Formed in 2011, The Sonoran Dogs exploded upon the Arizona bluegrass scene, performing at the Sedona, Wickenburg, Prescott, and Flagstaff’s Pickin’ in the Pines bluegrass festivals. The group is made up of seasoned veterans who have come together to enjoy bluegrass music and friendship. They play a collection of traditional bluegrass standards, 2nd generation new-grass tunes, and original compositions. Opening act – Blue Moon Trio. At The Orpheum, 7:30 p.m. General admission $14, FFOTM members $12. Workshops to follow Sunday at Thomas Byers Guitar Studio 11:00 a.m.-12:30 pm.
On Friday evening, take part in a Free Kindermusik Preview Class at the Flagstaff Aquaplex at 5:15 p.m. Through music, singing, dancing and movement, stories, and creative play, you and your child not only will have a fun bonding experience, but also you’ll learn how to help your child develop socially, emotionally, and physically. This class is for ages 0-7 and a caregiver. Come see why two million families worldwide are Kindermusik families! Meets each Friday through May 23rd.
I keep mentioning these hikes, but there truly are only two more Saturdays left this Spring to enjoy these truly remarkable Discovery Hikes at Wupatki National Monument. Guided hikes provide the only public access to many areas of the monument. These areas are home to a rich cultural and biological landscape. Group size is limited. 12:00 p.m. at theWupatki Visitor Center. Reservations are required: (928) 679-2365. Full details at the Wupatki website.
Author, harmonica player, and storyteller extraordinaire Ace Hansen, will be appearing at the Flagstaff Public Library’s Community Room on Saturday afternoon, 2:30 – 4:00 p.m. Ace will be discussing his new book “Julius Cesar Brown and the Green Gas Mystery.” Ages 8-12 recommended. Free.
Learn salsa dancing at Salsa 101, held at Jim’s Total Body Fitness (2150 N. Fourth St.) each Saturday through April 19th. No partner or previous experience needed. Everyone welcome! $5 – $8. Sponsored by Flagstaff’s Latin Dance Collective.
Also on Saturday, join the Center for Indigenous Music and Culture for an evening of North Indian Classical music with world-renowned sitarist Roshan Jamal Bhartiya. (213 S. San Francisco St.) 7:00 p.m. $10. Seniors and students with ID are free.
This week’s Cooking Class with chef Randy Walker on Saturday evening at Seasoned Kitchen (106 N. San Francisco St.), 6:00 – 8:30 p.m. features Spanish Seafood & Chocolate. Class size is limited. Reservations required. $45. Call the store or go in (928) 213-5942. Classes are held weekly. See the Seasoned Kitchen’s website.
The African Children’s Choir melts the hearts of audiences with their charming smiles, beautiful voices and lively African songs and dances. See the choir on Sunday, 10:00 a.m. at the First Assembly of God (3500 N. Fourth St.) The program features well-loved children’s songs, traditional spirituals and gospel favorites. Music for Life (The parent organization for The African Children’s Choir) works in seven African countries such as, Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa. MFL has educated over 52,000 children and impacted the lives of over 100,000 people through its relief and development programs during its history.
Textiles from the Colton Collection remain on display at the Museum of Northern Arizonathrough April 20th. Explore Navajo weavings collected by MNA’s founders, Harold S. and Mary-Russell Ferrell Colton. Included with museum admission. 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Tuesdays through Sundays.
A couple of decades ago, when we were making our final decision to move to Flagstaff from the Chicago area, some close friends gave us a subscription to Sunset Magazine. So I was especially thrilled to learn this week that Sunset Magazine chose Flagstaff as it’s #1 pick for “Best Places to Live and Work 2014.”
Here’s part of the rationale:
“For people looking to relocate for their post-career life, Flagstaff is a great choice. The city’s setting—at the base of those mountains, with the Grand Canyon 90 minutes away—makes it as good as any in the West for outdoor recreation. But Flagstaff has a diverse economy: tourism, education (it’s home to Northern Arizona University), and government offices. The robust economy brings amenities like shopping and restaurants. And that means if you decide you really aren’t finished with working life, you have options for full- or part-time work.”
Head downtown tomorrow night, December 31st, as once again the countdown to the New Year in Flagstaff will be headquartered at the Weatherford Hotel. The intersection of Leroux and Aspen has become Flagstaff’s “Times Square.” The spectacular, twinkling, 6-foot pine cone is in place, to be lowered at the stroke of midnight to usher in 2014. (Also dropped at 10:00 p.m., coinciding with the New Year celebration in New York City, for families who’d like to get home early.)
Some thoughts on Flagstaff neighborhoods this season
It’s often said that the three most important factors in real estate are: Location, location, and location. One of the cardinal rules of real estate sales is to “know your product.” Put those together and it’s apparent that when you’re buying a Flagstaff home you’ll want an agent who knows Flagstaff.
Because of my years selling Flagstaff real estate, I can honestly say that I know the neighborhoods around town “just like my own.” The rest of the Elite Team at RE/MAX Peak Properties is just as knowledgeable — Eric Davis and Jessica Garard are both Flagstaff natives and have been selling Flagstaff real estate for years.
If you were interested in the Coconino Estates neighborhood, you might like to know that this time of year, the neighbors place luminaria and that folks from all over town gather to walk the neighborhood and enjoy the lights. If you like to snowshoe through the pines, you’ll want to know which Flagstaff neighborhoods have quick and easy access to forest trails. If you’re a skier, you’ll want to be close to routes to the Arizona Snowbowl and Flagstaff Nordic Center.
Everyone is Focused on Sochi but Rio is only 965 Days Away
Hundreds of Olympic athletes trained in Flagstaff leading up to the 2012 Olympic Games. Of those, 150 athletes from 22 countries made it onto their country’s Olympic or Paralympic squad. I read one report that if Flagstaff were a country, it would be number eight in total medals received in the 2012 Summer Olympics!
HYPO2 is a Flagstaff company specializing in high-altitude training.
If you want to increase your personal performance, you could follow the insider-secrets of Olympic athletes. To train like an Olympian, live in Flagstaff!
So, I’m starting over with WordPress. I hope, by December 31, to have transferred most of the important content from the old blog here. By January 2014, this will be my primary blog site.
Meanwhile, you’re going to see some duplication and likely some transition glitches. My most popular posts have always been the Monthly Flagstaff Home Sales Reports, so here on WordPress those will have their own special category as shown at that link. I’ll also try to preserve as much as has continuing relevance about living in Flagstaff.
W.L. Gore and Associates led the way toward making Flagstaff a high tech community.
When you live in Flagstaff, you soon learn about W.L. Gore, which is Flagstaff’s largest private employer with approximately 1900 employees in highly-sought-after, well-paying jobs with excellent benefits. W.L. Gore and Associates, likely best known to the public for its Gore-Tex fabrics for outerwear, is a large, worldwide corporation involved in a remarkable number of industry sectors with over $3 billion in annual sales.
Flagstaff is the hub for Gore’s important Medical Products Division, the site of development and manufacturing of implantable medical devices, which create healing solutions to complex medical problems. Medical devices are developed, manufactured and packaged on two Flagstaff campuses. Gore’s worldwide work force tops 10,000 employees. In 2013, for the 16th year in a row, Gore earned a position on Fortune Magazine’s annual list of the U.S. 100 Best companies to work for, ranking 21st overall.
Gore has brought hundreds of medical products to market, including such things as synthetic vascular grafts, endovascular and interventional devices, surgical meshes for hernia repair, and sutures for use in vascular, cardiac and general surgery procedures. More than 35 million innovative Gore medical devices have been implanted, saving and improving the quality of lives around the world. The medical products manufactured by Gore in Flagstaff typically enhance the body’s own tissues and organs to allow less invasive procedures and restore normal functioning.
Gore is privately-owned, growing out of early work by Gore family members who ventured into engineering and technology. The company was founded in the basement of their home in Newark, Delaware in 1959 as an electronics company. Gore’s presence in Flagstaff dates back to the company’s early expansion, when in 1967, Flagstaff became the site of Gore’s second facility with just 30 employees. Founder Bill Gore was born in a small Idaho town, and on a two-week tour of the West with his wife Vieve in 1957, the couple visited Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, California and Arizona. They fell in love with Flagstaff at first glance.
According to Platte Cline’s Mountain Town, the Gores saw Flagstaff as the ideal distribution site with special qualities that were paramount in their considerations: beauty of surroundings, healthful climate, a city large enough to serve their needs without being too big – including educational and cultural facilities – and able and eager workers.
The 1969 discovery of a remarkably versatile new polymer by Bill Gore, (son of founders Bill and Vieve Gore), an early version of its microporous Gore-Tex expanded polytetraflouroethylene (ePTFE) fabric technology – the scientific words for the Gore-Tex fabric — led the enterprise into myriad new applications in medical, fabric, and industrial markets.
Gore’s Flagstaff operation was transformed from the manufacture of electrical products to medical products early in the company’s history. Company literature described Flagstaff as the “center of excellence in our worldwide medical products business.” The company is still headquartered in Newark, with a number of facilities clustered in the vicinity of Newark and Elkton Maryland. There are roughly 45 facilities around the world.
From its inception, Gore’s corporate culture touted minimal hierarchies and careful attention to teamwork functioning. Bill Gore first presented the concept of a “lattice” organization to Gore associates in 1967. He later proposed a flat, lattice-like organization structure where everyone shares the same title as ‘associate.’ There are neither chains of command nor predetermined channels of communication. “Leaders” are present instead of “bosses.” The corporate structure and culture have been shown to be a significant contributor to associate satisfaction and retention.
Gore remains on the list of the 200 largest privately held companies in the U.S. The company has been granted more than 200 patents worldwide in its wide range of fields, virtually all based on the one material, the versatile polymer ePTFE. Gore prefers the private ownership and believes it reinforces a key element of its culture to “take a long term view” when assessing business situations.
This interesting company, Flagstaff’s major private employer, is one of the many reasons people love to live in Flagstaff. Learn more about living in Flagstaff.
Theatrikos has offered quality community theatre in Flagstaff since 1972. This weekend is your chance to be part of it!
Have you ever thought about unleashing your secret passion for acting on a live audience? Flagstaff’s Theatrikos Theatre Company will hold auditions on Sunday and Monday for its December stage production of It’s a Wonderful Life, adapted for the stage by James W. Rodgers from Frank Capra’s holiday classic film. Auditions are being held on two nights for 26 roles for men, women and children, on Sunday and Monday evenings (October 6th and 7th), 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Auditions for youth will be held on Sunday, 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. Callbacks will be on Thursday, October 10th, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
It’s a Wonderful Life will be staged on three consecutive weekends in December, opening on Friday, December 6th.
If being in the actual limelight isn’t your interest, there are various ways to be involved with and support Theatrikos – by working on other aspects of a production, by serving on one of the organization’s committees, or by becoming a faithful theatre-goer for any of their fine downtown Flagstaff productions.
Theatrikos has a history in Flagstaff dating back to 1972 when a group of interested residents met to form a non-profit community theatre with the mission of offering high-quality live theatrical productions and educational opportunities in the community. All these years later, Theatrikos presents main stage productions to thousands of patrons each year, along with workshops and youth programs.
The Doris Harper-White Playhouse at 11 W. Cherry Street in downtown Flagstaff, re-named in 2002 for one of Theatrikos’ founding members, was previously called The Flagstaff Playhouse which took up residence in what was first the Elk’s Lodge then the Flagstaff Public Library. The seating arrangement within creates an intimate setting for both the audience and performers.
In recent years, Theatrikos has staged exciting and ambitious productions, including: (2010) The Merry Wives of Windsor, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever; (2011) You Can’t Take It With You, Steel Magnolias, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf; (2012)Cabaret, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and A Christmas Carol. Theatrikos also presents various one-man shows by regional and national performers on tour with stops in Flagstaff.
Educational outreach is one of the core missions of Theatrikos Theatre Company, and TheatriKIDS is the primary youth education component serving this objective. The program, founded in the summer of 2003, invites children and teens, ages 7-17, to experience and explore the magic of live theatre. Through this comprehensive program, children are instructed in basic acting technique, voice work, dialects, character development, and basic stagecraft.
The organization also provides year-round theatre education and performance opportunities for students of Flagstaff’s traditional public institutions, charter schools and the home-schooled population, for whom these opportunities are not readily available.
In addition, the Theatrikos staff and board of directors decided to expand youth programming by adding the Mainstage Jr. Series to give youth a living laboratory in which they can take their talents and put them into practice both onstage and off. Productions are staffed from top to bottom with students, not just acting, but running lights, moving sets, ushering, acting, and doing make-up and hair—all supervised by adults but run by youth, open to ages 7-18 years.
The productions chosen for the Mainstage Jr. Series are family-friendly and accessible to the general public. The shows are staffed by adults many of whom are theatre students or students with an interest in the theatre from Flagstaff-based Coconino Community College and Northern Arizona University.
Sixty percent of the theatre’s budget is generated from grants and the support of donors and underwriters. So, patrons, in effect, receive twice the value in entertainment for every dollar spent to attend a performance at Theatrikos.
August home sales in Flagstaff continued a steady pace from June and July. A definite upturn from 2012.
As I wrote in a quick Flagstaff home sales preview last week, Flagstaff home sales were up 22% in August compared with August 2012. They would have been higher if we’d had more to sell. June, July and August all saw over 90 Flagstaff single-family home sales close. That’s significantly better than last year, when sales each month were in the seventies.
The median price was up 21.7%, largely because inventory was only up 5% from 2012. Median price of a single-family home sold in Flagstaff in August was $322,500 – about $158 per square foot on the average sale. Median sale price for a Flagstaff townhome was $255, 315.
As you can see in the price range chart, it’s a seller’s market in all price ranges up to $500,000. (That means fewer than six months’ worth of homes are for sale in each of those price ranges if the August pace of sales continues.) September is typically a better month for closings in Flagstaff than August, so I expect this pace to continue in spite of rising interest rates. We may see a slowdown in October, and almost certainly will in November as is typical of the season.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, states the obvious: “The initial rise in interest rates provided strong incentive for closing deals. However, further rate increases will diminish the pool of eligible buyers.” We’ll see what the Federal Reserve does next week.
Note: These are for single-family home sales reported in the Flagstaff metro area (the City of Flagstaff and immediately surrounding county areas that have Flagstaff mailing addresses) as reported in the multiple-listing-service maintained by the Northern Arizona Association of Realtors.® The data may not reflect all sales (but it surely reflects most of them).
Newly-established creek front property in Flagstaff
Flagstaff summers are usually gentle things with a little excitement thrown in on some days by early afternoon thunderstorms. Those storms typically clear by late afternoon to create beautiful sunsets. Not this year!
In July, Flagstaff had as much rain as it usually does in an entire 3-month monsoon season (July-September 15) and the overcast days have abounded. The rain kept coming in August and now into September with just a few days break here and there.
We’ve had flooding in places we’ve not seen flooding in decades. In the 18 years I’ve lived in Flagstaff, I’ve seen about 18 mosquitos, and 16 of them have been this year.
All of this creates some new real estate issues, just to keep my professional life interesting. But, right about now I’d just like to see some sunshine…. Hmmm, here comes a little.