Thursday, July 30, 2009

Arizona, We Hardly Knew Ye

Visiting Las Vegas means you bear the plus one hundred degree heat as you casino-hop with yard long margaritas in hand and digital cameras in pocket. During most heated travels you're rewarded with countless entertainment within walking distance that helps you soon forget your back is sweating. Old people rule the day, young people the night. Phoenix is not Las Vegas. There is no reward for your sweaty back. There are no yard long fruity drinks and every hotel isn't a casino. There's no trams or moving walkways. At night, the streets are empty since it's hard to have fun when your hair is on fire. Phoenix was a boring dump.

I deviated from my group of coworkers so I could enjoy happy hour while they did nothing at the hotel. Turns out I had some engaging conversations with passionate sports fan transplants at Uno's Chicago Grill. The waitress was a Cubs fan from Chicago, the bartender was a Red Sox fan, the guy sitting next to me at the bar grew up watching the Reds who were playing the Dodgers that day. We talked baseball for a good while and I was fortunate enough to see the look on the waitress' face when Jeff Samardzija lost it for the Cubs in extra innings. Before I left I asked if there was anything fun to do in Phoenix to which most of them replied no and directed me to Tempe and Scottsdale, both superior bar/party scenes.

No late fees here in Tempe, AZ. The Library was the best decorated bar I've ever seen, complete with an actual library, pool hall, arcade, second floor, and smoker's porch. It was dead empty obviously since we were there on both a Sunday and Monday night. The well drinks were dirt cheap and the appetizers were fresh. Downstairs was a piano bar called The Big Bang and nobody has any video of me doing anything at any time so you'll never see it. Piano bars are awesome and the guys here were on par with anything I'd ever seen in Vegas. All of this was happening in Tempe, miles and miles away from Phoenix.

Before I get to Scottsdale I have to ask: what's with all the thunderstorms and lightning during summer, Arizona? The state is one giant flickering mosquito lamp. Also, where were all the Matt Lienart, Kurt Warner, and Steve Nash jerseys? All I kept seeing was tons of white kids in ASU shirts with that devil that doesn't look nearly as cool as the New Jersey Devils' devil. (Featured on the right: devil in one-piece pajama outfit).

Scottsdale, AZ was just as fun and lively as Tempe with tons of bars and white college kids to keep things interesting. Old Town Scottsdale looked like every old town city you've visited recently with quarky shops, wooden posts, white people, and those guys on bike taxis, or taxi bikes. For some reason there's a giant mountain in the middle of this city, a confusing sight to see unless you're a local whitey. Did I mention how many white people there are in Scottsdale?

I'll never forget the last dinner we ate at My Big Fat Greek Restaurant in Phoenix's Copper Square town center. Everyone's enjoying their meal and all of a sudden someone offers me a generous portion of ouzo, the most disgusting liquor on the face of the earth. How could anything that tastes like black licorice be anything but terrible?

Phoenix, AZ is the black licorice of America.

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