Best place to get inspired
Wilbur D. May Arboretum
Rancho San Rafael Regional Park 1502 Washington St., 785-4153
When the stress of daily life becomes too much, getting back to nature often helps clear the mind of negative thoughts. If you can’t get out to the mountains or to the ocean, a visit to Rancho San Rafael Park is recommended. Drop by in early spring, and you’ll see the gorgeous and fragrant blooms of magnolia trees. In the summer, you’ll see rabbits, squirrels and birds busily fattening up for the colder months ahead. Now is a great time to view autumn foliage, when the Arboretum starts to brighten into a palette of red, orange and yellow. When so much beauty surrounds you, you can’t help feeling inspired to paint, draw, write a novel or fulfill a longtime dream.
Best seven-hour charity extravaganza
Silver Dollar Court Coronation Ball
When the Silver Dollar Court holds its annual Coronation Ball, you know you’re in for a good show. It rivals the biggest Vegas productions in costume changes, musical numbers and attitude. Although it may run a bit long (this year’s clocked in at a little over seven hours), it is all for a good cause: local charities. The SDC, a chapter of the International Court System, is made up of the local gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender and gay-friendly communities that come together to raise money throughout the year. An “emperor” and “empress” are elected to organize monthly fund-raising events. Their efforts culminate with the Coronation Ball, when a new royal couple is crowned. The outgoing emperors then give the money they raised to the charities of their choice. A good show, and good people.
Best of things to come
Nevada Museum of Art
160 W. Liberty St., 329-3333
It’s been a long, slow process, but Reno is finally becoming somewhat of an arts haven. There are so many wonderful arts organizations and venues in this town that all deserve some praise. However, the Nevada Museum of Art has the potential to become a national arts attraction. The NMA has now moved its gallery to the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts as it begins its large-scale remodel, scheduled for completion in March 2003. The new space will increase to 55,000 square feet over levels, which will contain major exhibitions, installations, its school and, for the first time, its permanent collection on display. Architect Will Bruder’s design will get people’s attention with its black, monolithic appearance.
Best tree art
Truckee River Trout Tree
Riverside Drive near the Keystone Avenue overpass
OK, call us perverts, but it does look a bit, well, phallic, with its Hydra-like appearance of fish heads popping out the trunk of a dead cottonwood tree. But really, it was a creative way to salvage a dead tree. Rather than leaving a static tree trunk behind, the city of Reno commissioned artists Bob Berry and Bill Cooke to make the tree into a work of art. The tree’s four large branches were carved into seven fish representing local species, including rainbow trout, brown trout, Lahontan cutthroat and cui-ui. Hopefully, the fish will withstand the harsh Nevada climate for a few more years.