When I moved to Scottsdale more than 10 years ago, my friends thought I was crazy. “What are you going to do in the middle of the Desert?” they would say. “There is no culture there”…”great for golfing but what else?” theatre, what about the theatre? Many added “Where would you dine…Burger King, Denny’s or T.G.I.Friday`s?
Well, Scottsdale and the general Phoenix area has changed quite a bit since then. There is now a highway system that navigates throughout the Valley and light rail has gone from the planning stage to fulfillment! There have always been many things to do in the Scottsdale area such as hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, and backpacking. The Valley has offered award-winning golf courses and fabulous shopping venues. We have wonderful resorts and spas which have been here for years and continue to add more yearly.
The snobbery and turning a frown to my adventure into the Desert did not diminish my drive to change my life and leave the problems of L.A. behind. I won’t go into the details of why I left L.A. but the words “earthquakes,” “fires”, “floods” and “rock slides” come to mind.
The Scottsdale area has many opportunities to enjoy the outdoor lifestyle and yet has a cosmopolitan feel for upscale living and entertainment including theatre. Sure, most Americans think of New York and L.A. for the raising of the curtains and seeing live entertainment on stage. Off-Broadway Theatre is big in the Valley with shows at the Gammage Auditorium at ASU and Herberger Theater. Concerts fill the Valley’s night air at the Dodge and Celebrity Theaters as wells as the huge auditoriums at the Cricket Pavillion and the U.S. Airways Arena.
Las Vegas has its different kind of nightlife as well for which the Valley has its own affordable alternatives! The casinos here present the opportunity to enjoy the same gambling and nightlife without the hassle of leaving town.
We have some of the finest dinings that can be imagined. There are standalone restaurants like Eddie V’s and Mary Elaine’s to upscale restaurants like Roy’s and Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse. There is not one restaurant chain that has not entered the Valley. The Phoenix area is one of the fastest growing in the nation and many of the residents are multi-millionaires. With the influx of upper-income individuals comes the need for quality services.
So for all the caterwauling and invectives that were thrown at me for leaving L.A., I have come to and continue to enjoy the quality of life in Scottsdale and the Greater Phoenix Area.
Whatever you want, you can find it right here...in the Valley of the Sun.