The International Writers Magazine: USA Travel

Arizona Paradise
Kelsey Havens in USA's best city?

"In short, there's simply not a more congenial spot for happily ever-aftering than here in Camelot.

In the Broadway musical Camelot, the Arthurian city of the play‘s title is portrayed in its legendary perfection. Although historically the city is said to be a mere legend begot by Medieval writers, Scottsdale Arizona appears to be a modern reincarnation of the city, under a different name. Judging by the median yearly income in Paradise Valley (sister city with Scottsdale), $124,999 (Best Places Average is $68,053), and the median yearly income of Scottsdale, $70,575, the city is filled with the equivilent of modern kings, queens, maidens, and knights.

Scottsdale was named the "Most Livable City"" by the U.S. Conference of Mayors in 1993, and shortly thereafter called the best resort town in America. It has quickly become a hub for wealthy families, retirees, and travelers seeking only the best resorts, and the finest opportunities and treatment. According to research done by CNN, the city contains 6,023 restaurants (Best Places to Live Average is 3,738), 468 bars (Best Places Average is 267), 42 movie theaters (Best Places Average is 27), and 147 golf courses (Best Places Average is 72). With everything at their fingertips, there is no reason for the rich to ever be bored, or to stop spending money.

The city is also very new and modern. From 1990-2005, the city grew 72.1%, making it one of the nations fastest growing cities. Most of the demographic consisting of residents under the age of 60, it is the perfect place for society’s elite to buy a home and raise a family.

There are plenty of day-care centers and babysitting agencies found near any young couple’s neighborhood, providing parents with an unlimited selection of week, or weekend, nights free from children allowing them to hit the bars and clubs, enjoy fine dining, and show off their thin, buff bodies after losing the baby fat from a few minor liposuction operations.

Most Scottsdale mothers pay an Arizona State University student twenty dollars an hour to take care of the kids, so that the mothers can participate in yoga classes and necessary social gatherings. The prestige mothers are often found chattering time away at the Coffee Bean, a coffee shop originating in California found conveniently near the city’s most prestige spa and club. They are easy to spot in their usual camouflage (matching designer jumpsuits, 3-inch heels and a blouse chosen by Oprah’s recommendation) while the volume of their chatter crescendos, resembling that of kookaburras in mating season. The women often migrate to the local mall, Fashion Square, to buy next season’s apparel, or to buy their teenage daughter the latest trends in Prada so that she can reign over her subjects at the local high school and entice her parade of perverted yet refined, 18 year old suitors. Maybe for graduation Mom will buy her daughter’s love with the gift of a boob job, only intended to lift the frighteningly thin and increasingly gaunt daughter’s self esteem and to ensure she will entice the college boys.

The weekends are filled with trips to Saguaro Lake (about a 45 minute drive) to take the luxury speedboat for a spin, with appointments with first-rate salons, such as Rumors, and with the finest massage and spa therapists scheduled in weekly to relieve the stresses caused by the Jenny Craig diet and exercise plan. The naïve out-of-towner will often face tragedy if he passes one of these young, female Scottsdalians on the highway. With only a 3 second delay at a freshly green light, the Snottsdale princess screams a few cuss words, fakes a swerve, and passes at 65 mph with her middle finger waving in the air, leaving her signature behind.

When there are so many nearby restaurants, there is no need to actually use the appliances found in the brand-new top of the line kitchens, located in the gold plated nests of the wealthy mothers. Most days of the week Scottsdalians enjoy Thai food at Bamboo Club, pizza at Oreganos, fondue at the Melting Pot, and for the best Mexican food for a high price—Ajo Al's. Many mothers might actually panic at the sight of raw meat, wondering why it is not precooked like most take-home dinners.

So for the rich and famous (those with a minimum yearly income of $120,000), Scottsdale is the best place to live, or at least to try out as a pampering vacation. To Arizona locals living out of Scottsdale, Scottsdale is known as the bubble, but it’s no insult to the prosperous who are living there. Why would anyone, living in a place so similar to Camelot, ever want to leave?

© Kelsey Havens May 2006

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