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The New York Times spends 36 hours in Phoenix

Downtown Phoenix at night (David Kadlubowski, New York Times)

[Source: Randal Archibold, New York Times] — Like the myth behind its namesake, Phoenix seems to have come out of nowhere to rank as the nation’s fifth largest city. Even long-timers have a tough time explaining the city’s appeal. Phoenix has left no firm mark in pop culture, aside from a bit role in the opening shot of “Psycho.”

The list of famous area residents is rather short: Barry Goldwater, John McCain, Jordin Sparks are among the better known.  And the city is an inferno in the summer.  The other nine months of the year, however, are gorgeous and sunny, making it a perfect time to visit the city’s new bounty of top-notch golf courses, fashionable resorts, eye-opening museums, and cool night life.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

18-and-over bar events downtown draw ASU students

[Source: Jahna Berry, Arizona Republic] — For Nikki Hendry, it was a choice between squeezing in a couple of hours of studying and an 18-and-over club night in downtown Phoenix.  Midterms didn’t have a chance.  “Oh my God, we were so happy that there was something to do downtown,” Hendry, 18, said Thursday.  Hendry, a student at ASU, was at Bar Smith, dancing in a crowd of other classmates as Lil Wayne’s hit Lollipop thundered through the speakers.  It’s another sign that Arizona State University has not only made its mark on the Phoenix skyline — it’s begun to seep into downtown nightlife.  At least two nightspots, Bar Smith and Sky Lounge, have 18-and-older dance nights.

This fall, about 5,000 ASU students took classes in Phoenix and roughly 550 of them live in downtown dorms, according to the university.  While ASU is growing, nearby shops have struggled to attract students.  While Sky Lounge and Bar Smith managers are happy about the positive word of mouth, there have been lessons as well, they say.  Bar Smith, which operates an upscale restaurant during the day, unsuccessfully tried to lure students with meal discounts, owner Bill Smith said.  But the Thursday 18-and-over club night was an instant hit.  It attracts up to 80 students a night, he said.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]