Scottsdale appears to be a very nice place to live if you have enough money and is extremely tourist friendly. The down town is walkable and parking is free. A free shuttle runs all day from the down town to the mall area. It has more restaurants per capita than Manhattan. A quaint shopping area sells western wear, nice jewelry and Indian crafts. A nearby arts district has more galleries than any town of comparable size. Public art is on every street, some created by artists I have heard of. What more could a tourist ask for?
The city makes an effort to preserve its historic buildings, but nothing here is really all that historic since the city was not begun until 1888 when Winfield Scott, a Civil War hero stopped here on his way to California and decided never to move on. The Hohokam indians had built an elaborate canal system in the desert here in 300BC and Scott used the canals to bring water to the farm land he purchased. Judging by all the lawns and golf courses we see around here, no one must be all that concerned about water use, although discussions about drought are in the news regularly.
We took a food tour to learn more about Scottsfield and sample what the restaurants have to offer. We learned little history, perhaps because there isn't much, but the restaurants were awesome. They were a unique mixture of old west, pueblo style and modern; sometimes these styles were mixed together in the same spot. We began the tour in a saloon Called the Rusty Nail that used to be the first bank in Scottsdale. where we had sliders, seasoned with smoked chili peppers. We have wimpy palates and chilis make us wary, but these were wonderful. Then we moved on to a Vietnamese spot were we had spring rolls and Tom Ka Gai, one of the best soups I have ever had. At the House Brasserie which was inside on of the oldest homes in Scottsdale sparking wine and brisket on biscuits were served. After sampling flavored olive oils and vinegars which had been aged for 18 years, we moved on the a restaurant run by an Iron Chef winner. The guacamole was outstanding and the mini tacos were a work of art. The desert course included key lime pie, rum infused cake and rich coffee. Food helpings were generous and the walking between the restaurants was minimal. No dinner tonight.
We were a grow of 14 and one women kept lagging farther and farther behind even though the distance between each restaurant was small. At first I thought she was using the extra time to smoke to the bottom of her cigarette, but when I paid more attention I realized that she bout a glass of wine (and finished it) at every stop. People began to make little comments under their breath to the tour guide, but he said we were all adults and as long as she made it eventually, it was OK with him. At the last restaurant she ordered the biggest martini I've ever seen. She was still working on it when we left, but we didn't have to wait for her anymore. She enjoyed the food tour in her own way, I guess.
I hate to be so repetitive, but the weather was wonderful once again. I wished my sister could have been here to share this wonderful day with us on her birthday.