The biggest reason I hate LA is not because of its traffic, or fake people, and not even because of the never ending sprawl of ghettos and junk food joints. The main reason I hate it is because of the false advertisement – the image it markets to the world about what a fabulous it is, when, with the exception of a few events and parties here and there, it clearly isn’t.
Scottsdale seems to be an even more vivid example of misrepresentation that set me yet again for a huge disappointment. After hearing about what a rich, glamorous, and fun place it is, my verdict after a one-day stay there is clear simple: Scottsdale is a very clean shit-hole. Nothing more nothing less. Having driven about 5 miles away from the Phoenix airport on my way to the W in Scottsdale, I never had a stronger urge to turn my rented Altima around and fly back to SF on the very next flight. But… somehow I managed to contain myself. Driving through one strip mall after the other, and huge block after block of giant, brand new homes, I thought I was having some kind of suburban nightmare. This is the most depressing textbook example of what’s wrong with American landscape and lifestyle.
Upon arriving to the W, I couldn’t help but laugh – a “fabulous” hotel in the middle of a total wasteland. Wait, why do all these white people have such attitude as if they were on Wall street or even in FiDi SF? And why are the rooms as small as they are in Manhattan? Is this a joke? For this price, in this extremely undesirable location with so much space, this should have been a penthouse with a jacuzzi, but it doesn’t even have a tub, and the bathroom is right by the bed.
It was really hard not to lash out at a check-in clerk at the hotel, when she asked me “Are you planning on doing anything fun tonight?” You gotta be kidding. It is clear that the most fun thing one can do here is stay inside the hotel and avoid sticking your nose out at any cost, in order to not see the awful, typical strip mall full of generic stores, which for some mysterious reason is called “Fashion Square.” This reminded me of “Fashion Island” in Orange County, where “island” stands for a giant parking lot surrounding a similar, horrific mall.
Sitting at a Starbucks in that awful Fashion Square mall and eavesdropping was also an experience. A bunch of ultra douchy guys and lame, fake looking women are talking about interest rates, stocks, tax breaks, and assets. What a life. Nothing to do, nothing to look it, no trace of any kind of art or culture, and all they are talking about is money. To say pathetic would be a gross understatement.
It’s hard to blame the local women for being interested mostly in make-up, Botox, and buying shitty, generic clothes at a mall. There is absolutely nothing else to do.
If you still decide to go to Scottsdale, notice how they call the area where that mall is “Old Town” and “Art District”. I am not sure which part of “old” I am missing, given the fact that the town has been established in the 50’s. And art? What art?
You should not forget to check out that “really fun” area in the old town, i.e. a block with 4-5 super trashy bars that would make you feel like you pulled over at a gas station in Tennessee.
If you hate San Francisco, go to Scottsdale just for one day, and you will be back feeling like they luckiest person on earth, at least for a while, no matter how high your rent is, how many homeless you see on your way to work and back, and how fed up you are with the smell of urine in your neighborhood. As profound as your disdain for Montgomery street douches might be and as fed up you might be with hearing about start-ups, then newest useless mobile apps, and yet another “exciting” marketing strategy, you are so close to the most beautiful areas with views that can take your mind off of anything that frustrates and annoys you, even if just for a few moments. And surely, you won’t feel like you are trapped in a scorching desert covered with freeways, disturbingly ugly architecture and poor urban planning.
It seems that what I used to hate about Sacramento 10 years ago and what now is largely gone from there, namely roided up real estate brokers and their fake, bleached, augmented in every way possible female counterparts who think they are super models, is very much alive in Scottsdale.
Let me add that you might find the service here to be surprisingly shitty. Your waiter will smile at you and will ask if you need anything else, but it will be obvious to you that they are not happy to be working and they are certainly not happy to be serving you. Talk about white entitlement, this is the place to see it at its glory.
Lastly, if you don’t believe me that the best travel advice about Scottsdale is skipping it altogether, read what others have to say about how badly Scottsdale sucks, and more truth about how shitty Scottsdale is.