I used to live in Phoenix. Granted, it was awhile ago, but after my visit this past weekend, its clear that the Phoenix/Scottsdale I used to know is no more.
I was in and out, a very quick trip, to attend a meeting. I stayed near Fashion Valley Mall, and goodness, has that changed. Back when I lived there, there were plans for a waterfront project. No one paid much attention then, because first of all, there is no "waterfront" in Scottsdale, and second of all, it seemed so far in the future.
Not any more. Don't get me wrong, there is still no waterfront, but the project is there. Fashion Valley has sprawled all over. I would bet it goes for miles, and there are new hotels and condos in an area that was largely empty before.
The water front part is amusing, though. The developers have built along an irrigation canal, hence the "water". Its not so wide and packed gravel runs along both sides. If I tried hard enough, I might be able to throw a stone across it, and my arm just isn't that good.
I peered down into it at a crossing, noting the bubbles in the surface sludge as the water flowed through a flood control gate. Not pretty. Residents used to run and walk along it and I saw a few doing it now, but it is still a canal, a far cry from the luxury and peacefulness you expect in waterfront property.
Lets get to the peacefulness. I stayed at the new W Hotel. I like W, and its often my first choice when I'm looking for a hotel. Its kind of trendy and makes me feel "hip". Most of them have great restaurants and a nightclub, and the best part--a Bliss spa.
This W was no exception. The profile was kind of low compared to some of the others, and my second floor room turned out to have a great patio that led to a courtyard filled with fabulous landscaping and glass and water features. That courtyard flowed to a bar area so I could have literally walked out of my room in a robe anbd nabbed a martini had I been so inclined. It was nice enough that I could overlook the odd room layout. The bed was in the center (sort of), not far from an Asian inspired soaking tub I didn't get to use.
The reataurant was sushi--yes, sushi in the desert, but it was very, very nice and they had a great tasting menu. The waitress peddled saki tasting flights. All was good, until it got dark.
I should have known what to expect. It was barely 8PM and the lobby bar was full and loud and the drinks were flowing. The velvet rope bar, upstairs, for residents and hotel guests only, was seriously filling up.
I had my one martini and headed back to my room to catch up on the sleep I hadn't gotten the night before.
I fell asleep just fine, and then the noise started. Apparently I was right on the party patio. People were loud and drunk folks kept stumbling down the hallway. it sounded like they were falling right into my door.
Police searchlights kept flashing on the patio. I think they were checking for people hiding there or something.
The bed in the middle of the room got harder and harder.They'd forgotten the Starwood Heavenly bed. There was no chance of sleep.
I got up and decided to take a shower. That wasn't happening either.
It appeared that they had used all the hot water on the drunk folks as they stumbled down the hall or something. Either that or as they filtered the canal sludge out of the water, it made it cold as ice. I tried to shower by sticking lone body parts under the stream of water, then snatched a towel into the shower stall so I wouldn't freeze to death before I dried. Any colder and ther woudl be icicles on parts I shall not name.
Now I knew why they were peddling the saki so hard. They wanted to make hotel guests drunk enough to not notice the noise and the body icicles.

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