Phoenix is seven hours behind London. It’s hard not to slip slightly out of your native time zone when your body clock is in a state of confusion after travelling for 24 hours; waking up today at about 4:00am means it’s probably somewhere over the mid-Atlantic. I read for a bit, and then WhatsApp Moff. He’s awake too, so we agree to head out at 7:00am, catch the morning light and walk to Old Town Scottsdale.
When you’re flying over the urban sprawl that is the greater Phoenix area, there’s quite a lot of dotted green. There are trees, but an awful lot of cactii growing in urban areas too. Walking to the old town gives the opportunity for a more close up view.
Old Town Scottsdale
There were native Indians in the area for hundreds of years prior, but Scottsdale was founded in the late 1800’s, and the old town plays on its Western heritage. Horse themes abound.
It’s too early for the stores to be open, but we’re clearly not unusual in wanting early morning sustenance. We happen across the Daily Dose Bar and Grill which has been open since 7:00am and proves to be a popular choice. By 9:00am people are queuing for a table.
Walking to visit some of the stores, the wide streets are littered with boutiques, jewellers and art galleries, which contrast starkly with their adjacent souvenir stores. It’s a place where fridge magnets and baseball caps meet with $5000 pieces of stained glass and $40,000 amethyst geodes, deep purple and over a metre tall.
There are three museums in the Old Town, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Museum of the West, and the Scottsdale History Museum. A tip off from a local suggests skipping the Scottsdale History Museum, but we visit the other two. They’re interesting for a short while, but we agree neither would be worth a return visit.
After a sleep at the hotel to avoid any attempt by our bodies at local time zone acclimatisation, we head back out around 21:30 in search of some decent beer. The Goldwater Brewing Company on the edge of town is a perfect example of the craft beer art which has been sweeping the US as well as the UK.
It closes at midnight, but with the aid of Google, discover a Tavern around the corner open until 2:00am.
Sitting at the bar, we can’t help but notice a shot called “Pinnacle Atomic” on the specials menu for just $3. The bartender explains it was a line their supplier forced them to take, that they are just trying to get rid of it, and it’s so rotten tasting that he’d just chuck it out and not sell it. Curiosity gets the better of Moff and the tumbler sized “shot” corroborates the “just get rid of it” story. It transpires that cinnamon and vodka do not make a good pairing, either tonight or the morning after!