Eclipse. Photo courtesy of Eric Stephens.jpg

The Great American Eclipse as seen from Flagstaff. Photo courtesy of Eric Stephens

There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man—or woman. Or transgender people. However you identify, it’s beyond that. A dimension as vast as space—if you believe space because, for some reason, there are people who don’t—and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between Facebook and Twitter, between overwhelming scientific evidence and Fake News, and it lies between the pit of man’s/woman’s/transgender people’s fears and the summit of his/her/their Truthiness. This is the dimension of cofvefe. It is an area which we call 2017.

Yes, the inauguration of socialite, eccentric billionaire and reality television star Mr. Donald John Trump as 45th president of the United States of America was just the start of a fascinatingly surreal year. Potential nuclear war. Russian meddling in the U.S. election. Riots. Protests. #MeToo. The time Alabama almost elected an alleged child molester. That starving bear. Information and news about our world are fed to us daily. With so much coming to us day by day it can be hard to remember our own community, our own political-social sphere.

In Flagstaff, art thrives, controversies cause a stir, news hits hard, conversations happen, people live and community exists. So in keeping with the FlagLive tradition, our Editor’s Choice Awards, while also focusing on national news and events, focuses on you: the readers of FlagLive and the people of Flagstaff. Awards might not be the best word. Rather, think of these as shout-outs, recognitions and thoughtful observations. As with last year, we can’t capture it all, and our list is far from complete. We hope you take this list and the upcoming year with humor and in good stride. Thanks for reading!



Best Bar For Meeting New Dog Friends: Dark Sky Brewing

Best New Restaurant That’s Been a Long Time Coming: Lotus Lounge

Best Coffee with a Side of Conversation: Wheely’s

Best Vegan Pizza and Mac and Cheese: The Pizza Patio

Brunch Spot That Reminds You of Your Hoarder Grandmother in the Best Way Possible: The Toasted Owl

Best Local Beer: The last one you drank

Best Place to Meet Someone on Their Way to the Grand Canyon: Nomads Global Lounge

Best Excuse to Day Drink: Made in the Shade Beer Tasting Festival

Best Expansion That Happened Overnight: SoSoBa minus the Commerce (RIP)

Best Chef to Win a Home-Cooked Dinner From: Chef Flip from Criollo

Most Fun Way to Drink Mead: Drinking Horn Meadery’s new tasting room offers $1 samples out of a, you guessed it, drinking horn

Drinking Horn Meadery. Photo by Benji Shanahan.jpg

Drinking Horn Meadery's tasting room is located at 506 N. Grant St. Photo by Benji Shanahan

Cheesiest Return: Il Rosso’s Pizzeria & Bar, now in Heritage Square next to Cuveé 928

Best Bar Where You Can Try Whiskey That’s Old Enough to Drink: Uptown Pubhouse

Best Street to Find a Thai Food Restaurant: San Francisco Street


Best Homemade Zucchini Bread: Sally Veazey

Weatherman with the Best Excuse for Not Knowing It’s Currently Snowing Outside: Lee Born, who is a “short man in a room with high windows”

Best Cashier: Kathleen at Walgreens (just try to beat her constantly sunny disposition)

Favorite Former FlagLive Staff Writer Who Moved to the Other Side of the Country (It’s Not the Same Without You): Diandra Markgraf

Favorite Former FlagLive Editor Who Always Seems to be at the Monte V: Andrew Wisniewski

Best Entertainment Eye: Gean Shanks

Best Animal Rescuer: Jake Bacon

Best Musician Who Suddenly (and Inexplicably) Begins Talking With a Russian Accent: Alec Tippett

Toughest Women Who You Don’t Want to Challenge to a Skating Competition: High Altitude Roller Derby

Best Mayor Who Also DJs at Arizona Roadhouse: Coral Evans

Best Flagstaff Legend Still Kickin’ at 101 years old: Lucy Walkup


Best Excuse to Bust Out the Black Lipstick and Fishnets: Macabre Mondays

Best Comeback That Almost Didn’t Happen: The Canaries

Best Collaboration Between Businesses: Custom Sound Instruments merging with the Thomas Byers Guitar Studio

Saddest Band Departure: False North—hope Texas is everything you had imagined

Best Outlaw Country Band That Needs to Build an Online Presence: Deadman Wash

Best Nostalgia-Inducing Show: Less Than Jake

Best Show That Came to Flagstaff That You Probably Missed But Should Not Miss the Next Time: The Menzingers

The Menzingers. Photo by MacKenzie Chase.JPG

The Menzingers. Photo by MacKenzie Chase

Saddest Cancelation: Moon Taxi/Jimmy Eat World (tie)

Best Time to Limbo: When Tiki Bandits are playing

Best 100-Year-Old Venue: The Orpheum Theater, which celebrated its centennial in August

Best Debut Album: The Life I Always Sing – Viola and the Brakemen

Best Show at Which to Experience a Transcendent Cavalcade of Feels: Gregory Alan Isakov


Best Depiction of Puppet Sex in Front of a Live Audience: Theatrikos’ production of Avenue Q

Best Use of the Bank of America Building: Dark Sky Aerial’s TILT

TILT. Photo by Jake Bacon.jpg

TILT. Photo by Jake Bacon

Best Monthly Event to See Someone Get Massaged with a Bag of Carrots: The Flagstaff Foundry

Best Event at Which to Debut Brand New Writing: Juniper House Reading Series

Best Example of Flagstaff’s Continued Growth as a Literary Hub: Northern Arizona Book Festival

Exhibits We’re Looking Forward to Next Year: Voices From the Colorado Plateau (the Kane Ranch Artist Retreat) and A Choctaw Story of Land and Love

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Darkest Art Show: NightVisions 2017 exhibit at the Coconino Center for the Arts

NightVisions 2017. Photo courtesy of the SkyGlow Project.jpg

NightVisions 2017. Photo courtesy of the SkyGlow Project

Best Exhibit That Literally Came to Life: Shawn Skabelund’s piece in the Breaking the Barrier show, where mushrooms eventually emerged from the pile of manure

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"You Eat Horse Through My Carrots" by Shawn Skabelund. Photo by Taylor Mahoney

Best Event to Bring Awareness to the Colorado Plateau’s History: Rumble on the Mountain 3

Friendliest Artists’ Collective: Indigo Art Market

Best Festival to Find Your New Favorite Documentary: Flagstaff Mountain Film Festival

Best Visiting Artist Who Taught Us About Free Speech: Karen Fiorito

Most Unique Handmade Jewelry: Blackulna


Best Shop Dog: The cute boxer that guards Crystal Magic in the mornings

Worst Use of an Intersection: The mural at the intersection of Leroux and Aspen

Best Times to Avoid Driving Anywhere Around Town: NAU move-in weekend/graduation weekend (tie)

Best Place to go to be Reminded of Scottsdale: Aspen Place at the Sawmill

Best Theater for Napping: The new CINE1 at Harkins Theatres (dim lighting AND reclining seats? As if it wasn’t difficult enough to stay awake at the movies)

Best Use of Three Bed Sheets: ‘Gentrify in Hell’ banner above the HUB

Gentrify in Hell. Photo by Jake Bacon.jpg

Photo by Jake Bacon

Worst Missing Element: Where is the snow? Did it even ever exist in our lives?

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Most Frustrating Regular Occurrence: Wrong-way drivers downtown

Best 10 Days of the Year: Flagstaff Festival of Science

Best Place to Buy Fresh Produce and Sample Peanut Butter: Flagstaff Farmers Market

Most Controversial Window: The ‘pasty vs. pasty’ window at Cornish Pasty

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Cornish Pasty's window decoration was removed after less than a week. Photo by Gabriel Granillo

Best Festival: Flagstaff Hullabaloo

Most Touristy Thing You’ve Always Wanted to Try: The Alpine Pedaler

Best Place to Get a Tattoo That’s Not a Tattoo Shop: The Peaks Tattoo Expo at the Monte V

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The Peaks Tattoo Expo. Courtesy photo


Worst House Guest + Most Understanding Girlfriend: Police reported in a September incident that an intoxicated person entered a man’s house and passed out on his bed. The resident called police after the stranger vomited on his sheets. Instead of pressing charges, the resident just wanted the man out of his house. The man’s girlfriend was contacted to take him home.

Worst Use of a Machete: A man reported being attacked by a stranger wielding a machete in the Walmart parking lot on Woodlands Village Boulevard in an October incident. The man called himself “Sun God” and swung the machete multiple times before the victim pepper sprayed him.

Most Expensive Gig: A musician had his guitar stolen after a Feb. 17 performance at the Green Room according to a police report filed two days later. The guitar, a 1996 Fender Stratocaster, was one of only 2,500 ever made and valued at around $2,000.

Worst Senior Prank: Officials reported graffiti at BASIS Flagstaff in an August incident. Surveillance footage showed two individuals spray painting "class of 2k18" near the entrance of the school. Officials also found a phallic symbol and marijuana plant spray painted on other parts of the school.

Best Argument For Only Having One Kid: In a May incident, two teenage brothers got into an argument about cleaning their mother's house. The younger brother grabbed a knife as the fight got more physical and threatened to stab his brother.

Fastest Burglar: In a February incident, a man stole a can of Bud Light from an 18-pack at a Circle K. As he walked out, he warned an employee, "Don't do anything stupid, I got a gun on me."

Top Reason to Tip Your Delivery Drivers: A Domino's Pizza driver reported his car stolen in August after a delivery at Flagstaff Medical Center. He told police that he had left his car running while he went inside. Surveillance footage shows a man leaving the hospital and getting into the car.


Deaths That Hit Hard: Tom Petty, Mary Tyler Moore, Ralphie May, George A. Romero, Glen Campbell, Chester Bennington, Chris Cornell, Chuck Berry

Best Social Movement to End the Careers of People Who Abuse Their Power: The #MeToo movement

Best Halloween Decorations: Melania Trump’s Christmas decorations

Biggest Mystery on the Twittersphere that Only “The President and a Small Group of People” Understood: What does ‘covfefe’ mean?

Best Reminder that the ‘80s were a Thing: Netflix’s Stranger Things 2

Best (Worst?) Trend That Seemed to Disappear as Quickly as it Appeared: Fidget spinners

Best Conspiracy Theory That We Didn’t Know People Actually Took Seriously: The Flat Earth conspiracy

Best Two Minutes of Darkness: The Great American Eclipse

Best Example That Humans Aren’t the Only Ones Who Suffer from Existential Crises: The security robot that drowned itself in a fountain in DC

Most Timely Film Debut: Jordan Peele’s Get Out

Fastest-Growing Trend That We Should Have Paid Attention to Several Years Ago: Bitcoin


Bitcoins: A lasting investment? Courtesy photo

Shortest-Lived Job: Anthony Scaramucci’s 5-day stint as the White House communications director

Worst Place to Hide While Avoiding Reporters: Among bushes

Most Controversial Addition to the Star Wars Universe: Porgs

Porgs. Courtesy photo.jpg

Cute or annoying? Courtesy photo


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