Scottsdale, Mesa, Tempe, Phoenix, AZ

They are really all part of the Phoenix Greater Area.  It has its tourist attractions, mostly minor league baseball.  And Old Town in Scottsdale is touristy.  But mostly, it seems like a place to live.

This is the 3rd straight day of 100+.  When the Big Surf Water Park opens on Sat (closed until middle of May), it should be packed.  I have been ducking the Sun myself, but not at the water parks which can get expensive at $30, but at nice cool air conditioned malls. How all cheapskates find air conditioning.

Nevertheless, if you’re here and like hiking in parks, “Big Hole in Rock” in Papago Park (also home of zoo) is definitely got some interest factor, or picnic value.

Lots of nice parks here in Greater Phoenix area.  It’s probably like a pretty girl, in a science major.  In a desert, every park looks like an oasis.

  • Riverview Park is in Mesa.  (lake, bbq grills, fishing observed, the tallest jungle gym I’ve ever seen is vieweable if you zoom in just to upper right of pink chairs)
  • Encanto Park in the center of Phoenix.  (Lake, ducks, fishing when licensed, BBQ grills, pedal boat rental)

Desert Breeze Park isn’t pictured, but it’s rather nice too.  Pavillions and grills need reservations on weekends.  Fishing observed too.

Chase Field.  Unfortunately, the NY Mets don’t show up till May 15.  They didn’t get the memo to be here promptly, when I arrived in town.  And when they did arrived, the team was still hungover from partying and gave up 3 straight.

May 17th game, Mets vs Diamondbacks, no particular order.  They lost.  Who cares.  A diamondbacks HR.  A couple of fly outs.  A pair of doubles.  Some fan shananigans.  A underperforming pitcher.

There are plenty of Park n Ride parking lots for the light rail to get to the stadium.  Stop is Jefferson and 3rd St, going eastbound.

Lo Lo’s Fried Chicken and Waffles (several locations but pictured is Lo Lo’s, 3133 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251).  $5 “kiss my grits” breakfast w eggs, bacon, grits and a buttery buttermilk biscuits.  Best bargain, if you can just stick with that.  I tried the catfish beignets.

Scottsdale Library is one of nicest I’ve ever seen.  It has free public parking.  That’s like a tourist location all by itself (kidding… partly).  Walking distance to Old Town of the “most western town in the west”.  But you can take the free trolley bus too, as well to Soleri bridge / plaza, and Fashion Square mall (High-end-ish, indoors, wifi, 1 or 2 charging seating area).

Tempe Marketplace is an outdoor mall a nce restaurant section, and big box stores.

There are a lot of malls here.  Most are pretty well kept.

  • Arizona Mills (nice, indoor or air conditioned, wifi, Harkins theaters, 2 places in food court to plugin, 2 charging seat sections inside mall)
  • Chandler Fashion Center (indoor)
  • Biltmore (High-end, outdoor)
  • Kierland Commons (Outdoor, high-end)
  • Shops at Noterra (Outdoor, high-end-ish, movie theater)

But once and a while, there is the Metrocenter Mall where they are in need of tenants.  Or a Paradise Valley Mall, which needs some activity.

And there’s the Scottsdale Walmart or what I dubbed “what might be the busiest Walmart 7 days a week”.  One unfortunate fellow just couldn’t wait to beat the crowd in, and pushed his car past it’s limits.

Oh, for the parks, avoid Pioneer Park in Mesa.  It looks ok at first, but there’s a large contingent of homeless there and this looks like possible blood spray from intravenous blood use, on the tile in restroom toilet.


Cactus League spring training stadium all over greater area.  Scottsdale Stadium hosts Giants spring training.  Arizona summer minor league is also played here.

Sloan Field next to Riverview Park in Mesa.  Another Spring Training / Arizona minor league stadium.  So May is probably a good time to catch spring training.  I haven’t seen a Arizona League schedule posted anywhere.

sloan field

Tempe Beach is ok park.  Didn’t see a beach.  Nearby is ASU and Sun Devil Stadium

sundevil stadium.cropped

Ok, tell me you notice anything funny about the names of these Vietnamese noodle places.  The noodles taste good, but the names for some reason remind me a little too much of some of the “native” scenes the movie Full Metal Jacket.  But I think the one of the left ($10 noodles), it’s deliberately campy. They sell t-shirts.  The right was a little more no-frills ($8.50 noodles). Pho King and Pho Thoang

Also, I drove past because I didn’t realize it was there.  But the Pima Air and Space Museum 2 hours south of Phoenix, has tours to a “Aircraft Boneyard”, the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base Aircraft Boneyard.  Cool.  Not enough for me to drive 2 hours AND back to see, though.



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