We made an impromptu trip to Old Scottsdale today when the spring training ball game we wanted to attend was sold out. I didn’t have either of my cameras with me so I decided to try taking photos with my I-pod Touch. They turned out better than I thought they would. Old Scottsdale is a bit of a tourist trap. There are lots of shops and galleries and restaurants catering to people looking for western-style souvenirs. I did make a couple good finds for my children’s Easter baskets, but we mostly just wandered the streets peeking into the various stores. There were some high-end art galleries I enjoyed browsing through and I even saw a couple of paintings that might have worked on our blank apartment wall, but they were out of our price range. This metal piece of a horse reminded me of the style of Joe Fafard’s sculpture Between Dog and Wolf, which is in Winnipeg. Visiting the museum in Old Scottsdale I learned that this suburb of Phoenix was named after Winfield and Helen Scott. Winfield was a former army chaplain and Civil War veteran who settled in the Salt River Valley of Arizona and along with his brother became a successful farmer. Apparently Winfield and Helen welcomed people who were ill, down on their luck or needed a fresh start to pitch tents on their property and live there till they got back on their feet. The inside of one of these tent homes is on display in the Scottsdale Museum which is housed in the first Scottsdale school-house. These tent houses had a wood floor and roof and were wood one-third the way up the wall. The final two-thirds of the wall was made of canvas. The canvas could be rolled up in summer to let in a breeze. There were lots of photos of the students who attended the school-house and some old artifacts from school days gone by, like typewriters, stone water coolers and chalkboards. The museum was free and the guides were friendly. There were musicians entertaining on the streets of Old Scottsdale and we stopped to listen to a few. By far the highlight of the day was our stop for drinks and appetizers at a restaurant called The Praying Monk. We sat out in the sun on the patio. We shared the appetizers which were a real treat- spicy fried cauliflower, barbecued brussels sprouts, hummus with red pepper dip, orange spiced calamari and mini corn dogs with tangy mustard dip and greens.
I’m happy I saw Old Scottsdale before leaving Arizona but probably one visit was enough.
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