Through the end of 2019, Flagstaff is celebrating the role it played in sending the Apollo missions to the Moon. A variety of organizations are hosting open houses and exhibits, offering tours and hikes, and presenting lectures and discussions. Area businesses are also participating in this 18-month-long celebration with special commemorative products ranging from Dark Side of the Moon apple treats and Giant Leap sushi rolls, to crescent Moon bottle openers and glass Moon ornaments.
Karma Sushi Bar Grill is offering the Giant Leap Roll, stuffed with snow crab, Tobiko (flying fish roe), avocado and mango, and topped with fresh scallops, spicy scallop sauce and green onions. The roll is not on the printed menu but customers can ask for it. Tom Hartman, who manages the restaurant, said, “We are aware of the importance of Flagstaff’s role in preparing for the Moon missions and pleased to be able to participate in this community-wide celebration.”
Three years ago, when the New Horizons spacecraft flew by Pluto, Karma Sushi on Route 66 offered a special Pluto Roll in honor of the fact that Clyde Tombaugh ate a meal at that location, then known as the Black Cat Café, on the very day he discovered Pluto.
Meanwhile, a restaurant with a distinct spacey feel – Carmels on South San Francisco Street – now features a Space Odyssey alcoholic beverage. A mixture of whiskey, orange juice, Coke and sliced Valencia oranges, this concoction is available during the restaurant’s normal breakfast and lunch hours. It is said to pair nicely with the dominant decoration hanging from the walls, a supersized picture of legendary Flagstaff geologist Gene Shoemaker in a spacesuit.
The Space Odyssey drink is not the only beverage that will be on tap. Moon cocktails, lunar lattes and a variety of beers are expected to leave the launching pad in coming months.
Nearby, The Sweet Shoppe Candy Store, on Aspen Ave., recently tested a Dark Side of the Moon caramel apple. It is covered with white chocolate; half of the apple is coated with gray food coloring and silvery sprinkles. The shop plans to offer this treat next July and August, right around the time of the actual 50th anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the lunar surface, July 20.
Single Speed Coffee Café, located at 2 South Beaver Street, Suite 170, is partnering with Lowell Observatory with a 10 percent discount for customers who present their admission receipt from Lowell. “Single Speed Coffee Cafe loves Lowell Observatory and its part in Flagstaff’s rich legacy of science,” said General Manager Lynda Apple. “We are so stoked and proud to celebrate and support this heritage!”
Entertainment venues such as Starlite Lanes are also participating. The Route 66 bowling alley is known for its support of local non-profit organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters through an annual bowlathon. Starlite is offering Lunar Lunacy Sundays from 8:30 p.m. to close. The special includes two games, shoes and an atmosphere featuring special cosmic color lighting for $8 per person. Drink specials will also be available. Owner Ron Getto said, “Starlite has been in the Flagstaff community for 60 years. With our name, as well as our dedication to this community, participating in the Lunar Legacy celebration was obvious for us.”
Another enthusiastic participant is glass blower George Averbeck, who, for years, has created a variety of dark skies and planetary-themed ornamental globes. His latest lunar ball creation is available at West of the Moon Gallery and other Flagstaff shops.
Artist Josh Meyer is also launching into the Lunar Legacy. Meyer is a sculptor, painter and blacksmith, and a relatively new resident of Flagstaff. He has forged a collection of crescent-moon-shaped bottle openers and is planning other lunar-inspired gifts such as steel astronaut sculptures. While he is currently working out of his Coconino Estates home, in October, he will open a shop/studio/gallery at 2711 E. Lakin Drive, where plans to offer blacksmith classes, create his unique pieces and sell his wares. To purchase the bottle opener, contact Meyer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Flagstaff’s Lunar Legacy is designed to be a unique ongoing event, in which businesses join the space force of organizations and the City of Flagstaff for a multidimensional celebration of the community’s heritage. FBN
By Kevin Schindler, FBN