Arts & Culture Bars & Nightlife Community Commentary Deal Family Featured Food, Restaurants & Dining Music & Events Sports Travel, Shopping & Leisure Fara Illich January 18, 2011

2010 was awesome. I got to ring in the New Year with Joel McHale, listen to the Phoenix Symphony rock out to the Music of Led Zeppelin, cheer for exciting pro athletes like Justin Upton, Steve Nash and Diana Taurasi, watch contestants from Top Chef cook live at Phoenix Public Market, eat amazing food at restaurants like District American Kitchen and Thai Elephant, and sip $5 martinis at Hanny’s.
It was an unbelievable year. But I know I can  do more in 2011.
With the arrival of a New Year comes a new surplus of fun and exciting things to do Downtown. Here are 11 things I plan on doing in 2011:
LMAO Stand Up Live! debuts at CityScape March 3 with comedians Jay Mohr (personal fave), Billy Cardell, Christopher Titus and the Wayans (!!!!) already on the books.
rushBig Time Rush – Canada’s greatest rock export, Rush will bring their Time Machine Tour to US Airways Center on June 16. Tickets go on sale Monday, Jan. 24 at 10 a.m. (“Working Man” is my jam.)
Get Into the Swing – Every Monday is Savoy Night at Ghost Lounge and your chance to learn how to swing dance for the bargain basement price of $8. Ghost Lounge has quickly become one of Downtown’s hottest hangouts and Savoy Night is always hopping. Har.
Showing Some Skin: Gus von Hagens’ Body Worlds and the Brain returns to Arizona Science Center this Friday, Jan. 21, for a limited engagement. I missed this exhibit last year but won’t make that same mistake twice. 
Top Shelf at SeamusSeamus McCaffrey’s Irish Pub and Restaurant, recently named 2010 Best of Downtown Happy Hour, has one of the greatest selections of Irish Whiskey and Scotch in the city and this year I’m vowing to buy couple of fingers of Aberfeldy 21 just to say I drank a glass of Scotch nearly as old as Scottsdale-born actress and Valley Youth Theatre alum Emma Stone.
Get Your Geek On – Dubbed the “signature pop culture event of the Southwest” for good reason, Phoenix Comicon returns to Downtown this Memorial Day Weekend, May 26-29,  at Phoenix Convention Center’s North Building. Comicon is the Super Bowl of superheroes and a people-watching event like no other.
Eat at Nobuo – Did you know that Downtown Phoenix is home to two James Beard Award-winning chefs who work less than 50 yards apart? Pizzeria Bianco’s Chris Bianco and Nobuo at Teeter House’s Nobuo Fukuda are wowing diners daily over at Heritage Square and Nobuo was the recent recipient of this gushing five-star review by ace Arizona Republic food critic Howard Seftel. Insert drool here.
Zombie_WalkWEBA Night with the Knights of Ni – Theater League Phoenix presents Monty Python’s Spamalot at historic Orpheum Theatre Feb. 17-20. I’m a sucker for Python’s comedy and Spam happens to be delicious so this is a perfect fit for me.
Race to the Finish – The Great Urban Race returns to Downtown March 12 and features costumed teams racing against one another to solve 12 clues while experiencing the essence of the Central City.
Star Gaze –  Chase Field will host the 2011 MLB All-Star Game July 12, with the fan-favorite Home Run Derby scheduled for July 11 with MLB FanFest invading Downtown all week long.
Pretend That We’re (Un)Dead – In just two years the Downtown Phoenix Ambassadors’ Zombie Walk (photo, left) has grown from 200 brain-eaters to well over 2,000. How many Zombies will walk, er, limp in 2011? Bring your appetite for human flesh down to Heritage Square Oct. 29 and find out for yourself. Victims are also welcome!
These are just a few of the items on my Bucket List. What’s on yours?