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At Least The Cacti Are Pretty

12 Jan 2004

Your guide to Phoenix, Arizona:

Do eat at La Tolteca, 1205 E. Van Buren. Open for 42 years and serving some of the best El Pastor I’ve ever had.

Do visit the Desert Botanical Gardens in Papago Park. They have the best display of succulents (a personal favorite) I’ve ever seen. And a great garden shop.

Do rent a car. Nothing is within walking distance, and there are no facilities for cycling at all. We did manage to find one mixed-use trail cutting diagonally across the city next to a disgusting cement channel.

Do bring a book. The concierge kindly informed me that the closest bookstore to the city center was 7 miles away. “So, you’ll have to drive,” he said.

Do Not stay at the Hyatt Regency downtown. The largest business hotel in the 6th largest city in America asked me to explain what “WiFi” was, and then informed me that they were “looking into” getting high-speed access at the hotel. “You can use dialup on the phone in your room, though.” ​

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