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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Recession? What Recession?

I love this time of year. As soon as the first 100 degree day hits, my Illinois neighbors and their yapping little dog point the hood ornament north and scurry home to the land of Lincoln. Green fees at the golf courses get lower as temperatures get higher and if you can bear the heat, that is a good deal. Just be sure you have plenty of ice. The restaurants are empty, as are the resorts, so they offer summer deals to entice you to visit them. Throw in recession deals and you can have a nice time in Scottsdale this summer if you have at least a few bucks.

Speaking of the recession, if watching activity in parts of Scottsdale and Fountain Hills is any indication, you wouldn’t notice much difference in lifestyles because of the economy, particularly with cars. There has always been the array of new Mercedes, BMW’s, Lexus’s and other boring, highly financed luxury cars. Now, I am seeing quite a few Bentley’s and Maserati’s driving around, especially in DC Ranch and Silverleaf. I can’t say how much equity is in those cars or whether they are leased, but they are there.

CityNorth is in Phoenix on the western edge of Scottsdale. In a recent review of the Ocean Prime restaurant there, Howard Seftel mentioned the place was crowded with people sipping $13 drinks, eating $15 tuna tartare, $31 salmon, and $43 steaks. No recession action there. They also don’t have to worry about ever seeing me; not my kind of place.

For those who don’t have the bucks for fancy cars and restaurants, the good news is you can still fire up the old heap and eat cheap in the Scottsdale area if you know where to go. I have been going to Randy’s at Chaparral and Hayden for 20 years and recommend it highly, especially for breakfast. Goldman’s Deli at Hayden and Indian Bend is also a good no frills place that serves all three meals. The Wandering Horse CafĂ© in the Casino AZ at Indian Bend and the 101 has reasonable prices and good specials on a varied menu. McDonald’s still has their $1.00 menu where you can get a doubleburger, fries, and a Coke for $3. As far as good happy hour places, our friends at Cien Agaves on 1st Avenue just east of Scottsdale Road have good deals on drinks and food.

The recession has hit some folks harder than others. As you can see above, there are ways for you to get out of the house for an evening if you look around. Now, if only we had those 12 cent White Castle burger joints I grew up with. Their slogan was "Buy ‘em by the sack." THOSE were a good deal.

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