MANY THINGS I THINK: SCOTTSDALE SPRING TRAINING EDITION
1. Scottsdale is much smaller that I’ve recognized from looking at it Google Maps. One can literally walk from one side of town to the other in about 20 minutes. The group I was traveling with probably needn’t had hired a car for the trip - everything was absolutely within walking distance.
2. The Arizona sun is so intense that you cannot venture outside without sunglasses. The brief moments I took mine off to wipe away sweat was enough to sear my retinas to oblivion.
3. When you travel from bastion of liberalism that is San Francisco, it’s fun then to play the game ‘how you know it’s a red state’ when you visit Arizona. For one, plastic bags are free and available in every store. It’s amazing.
4. It’s an incredible phenomena for a San Franciscan to see people driving on the freeway in a leisurely pace of 80 miles per hour. Back home that’d be considered highly speeding. Also, nobody on the road is aggressive, and always willing to provide space for other cars. Oh, you want to change lanes in front of me? Here, go right ahead. Take your time.
5. The word ‘Waterfront’ holds completely different meanings in Scottsdale compared to San Francisco. Their version of a waterfront is simply a tiny man-made canal that cuts through the town.
6. Scottsdale are is so dry that there’s no use for a hair-dryer: five minutes post shower your hair is already moisture-free. Body-lotion is a must, and lip-balm is best applied on a bi-hourly basis. For someone so used to having moisture and humidity in the air he breathes, the incredible dryness of Arizona is just about the only thing that I wasn’t overly fond of.
7. Insert your typical amazement at cheap gas prices once you’re away from the San Francisco Bay Area.
8. Arizona’s obviously got an abundance of land, so parking is never an issue. Plus, it’s usually free, too. You’ve no idea how much of a juxtaposition that is to San Francisco, where parking is never free, and you’re expected to circle round for better parts of an hour simply to find an open spot.
9. Let’s talk about weather. 90 degrees in Arizona is called warm, while once the mercury drops to the 50s, that’s considered cold. In contrast, I’m used to 90 degrees being unbearably hot, and 50s is just right. Obviously, it’s all about getting used to the climate, though I’m not sure anybody can ever acclimate to over 100 degrees every-single-day during the summer months.
10. Housing prices in Scottsdale - an upper-income town - is about a third of the cost in San Francisco. That figure is enough to make you weep at night until you succumb to slumber.
11. Scottsdale tap water is undrinkable, even once you’ve boiled it (there remains an odd mineral-like taste). Stock up on bottled water, because the air is so dry you’ll be drinking lots of it.
12. It’s difficult to have a bad dining experience in Scottsdale, provided you avoid the obvious national restaurant chains. I ate so well that I gained two pounds over the four-day vacation. I know it isn’t water weight, because it’s so fucking dry there.
13. The beauty of spring training games is that no matter where you sitting, the stadiums are so comparative small to their major league counterparts that you’re so close to the players and the action. Game results obviously don’t matter, you’re just there to to enjoy the atmosphere and watch your favorite team at such an up-close distance that you’d need to fork over four-figures to do the same at the regular ballpark.
14. Avoid sitting in the outfield grass sections of these spring training ballparks, unless you really enjoy a dark tan (or a wicked sunburn) and the gnarliest sun-drunk feeling you’ve ever experienced.
15. Baseball players are generally much bigger in size that they appear on the television.
16. Concession prices at spring training stadiums are just as jacked-up as they are in major league ballparks. That 16 ounce beer is still going to cost a ridiculous eight dollars.
17. Arizona is the only state in the Union that doesn’t observe daylight savings time, for very good and obvious reasons. Personally I’m not the biggest proponent of DST (and neither is John Oliver), and wishes California would join Arizona is abolishing the practice. Having to adjust your internal body clock for arbitrary reasons (it’s not like you’re traveling anywhere) is quite inane and stupid to me.
18. Once you’ve experienced the atmosphere and culture of Scottsdale and the greater Phoenix area, it’s very easy to recognize why the place tend to skew towards conservatism.