Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wed 27 Feb - Scottsdale, AZ

We are today looking for signs from some of Phoenix and Scottsdale's famous inhabitants. In other words, a driving day in this sprawling place.

First off, finding Nils Lofgren's house on 7422 E Berridge Lane in Scottsdale. Here is Hans outside the gates.

We liked the decorations of Nils' Cadillac.
Well, it is a sprawling complex at the end of a cul de sac. Seems private enough although no high fences or greenery in the way.
Nils Lofgren, for the uninitiated, is a great guitarist who has played with Neil Young, done lots himself and with his band Grin, and is mostly known as a member of E Street Band, Bruce Springsteen's band.
Of course, according to family lore, Hans may be a distant relative to Nils although that is yet to be proven. Hans' great grandfather was a Lofgren, had 17 children whereof 12 of them moved to the US.
We also know that Nils' Swedish origin is from the same area as Hans' great grandfather and grandfather came from. Something to research further at another time.
Next up, Alice Coopers house. There is not much of it that you can see from the road, but here is Hans again outside the driveway of 4135 E Keim Drive in a very posh area called Paradise Valley.
We then drove to downtown Phoenix and parked the car in a parking station on 1st Street. Around the corner on E Jackson St and 1st Street is Alice Cooperstown where we will go for lunch later...
We wandered around downtown looking for a cafe with karma. We failed. Only Starbucks style coffee places were to be found.
Downtown Phoenix is quite uninspiring with very few interesting buildings and open spaces. We did find a couple though. Hotel San Carlos has had many of the yesteryear's film stars staying there, and with stars on the sidewalk outside to prove it.
The most famous star to stay at San Carlos was Marilyn Monroe, but Ingrid Bergman had also stayed there.
Here is Hans in San Carlos lobby, doing his best to blend in. Nah.... Fail...
Civic Space Park had this interesting piece of art. We were not quite sure what it was supposed to be. Something to catch yabbies in? Symbolizing a tornado? Who knows...
Note the bloke suntanning at the bottom of the picture. He looked very relaxed and comfortable - he brought his own sun lounge!
Arizona State University has a sprawling campus next to and east of Civic Space Park, but it looked a bit dull to be frank. Only one picture.
We wander south back towards Cooperstown and crossed Van Buren Street, the major thoroughfare west to east in Phoenix. Looked nice just here.
In the little Catholic park across the street, Di is giving a former pope a hug...
We wander past Arizona D-backs baseball stadium...
We managed to get a look inside the stadium. Looked pretty impressive. They are preparing for Spring Training which starts here for Baseball within a week and is a big deal.


A somewhat redundant sign...
Arizona Diamondbacks even got the road outside the stadium named after them.
Finally, we get to Cooperstown for our lunch. The place is crowded when we get there just after noon, but had thinned out significantly an hour later.

Frankly, it is Hard Rock Cafe with another name; same types of food, memorabilia on the wall etc.

Here are some pics from inside Alice Cooperstown...

But the memorabilia is cool and definitely from Alice Cooper and his buddies.
This is the trophy for Alice' annual golf tournament, held in April from memory.
After lunch, we decided to try out Phoenix metro system and travelled east to its end station passing Sky Harbor International Airport, Tempe the main university area and ring road 101 along the way.
We didn't get off the tram, just went back the same way again. The tram is nice but the trip is not very scenic given that long stretches go through light industrial areas.
The trams clearly encouraged bicycles use and it had a clever way of storing them while in transit. 4 bicycles per carriage.
We then decided to call it a day, picked up our car and went back to Scottsdale.
Home cooked dinner yet again, spaghetti with spicy sausages. We then watched several episodes of "The Big Bang Theory" before retiring just after 9pm... Good night.

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