Scottsdale Home Sales Map

Scottsdale Home Sales Map

Not much is selling in Scottsdale / PV, especially higher end places. Here is a map of what has sold in central Scottsdale in the past 30 days.

Scottsdale Foreclosure Map

Scottsdale Foreclosure Map

This big blob of green is a map of foreclosures for sale and pre-foreclosures (potential short sales) in Scottsdale and Paradise Valley.  If you think the bottom of the real estate market is here, think again.  Remember, these are places that are still for sale — this map doesn’t count foreclosures that have already sold, or those on the way.  With mortgage payments late or foreclosure underway in more than 1/10th of the houses in the country, and the Scottsdale/Phoenix market worse than the nation overall, you can bet home prices have a long way down to go.

This map is from January, 2009.

I stopped by the Soma Cafe at Tatum & Shea today to get a quick bite to eat, and I was sad to notice a “for lease” sign on the door.  Further investigation shows that it has been out of business since Mid-November, and that the people who work there were not told it was going to close down for good until hours before the doors were locked for the final time.  I find it surprising that a restaurant with a good reputation, relatively good food, and a hiring policy that included nothing but cute girls forced to wear pajamas could fail, but these are the times we are in.

If you want a career in real estate, a real estate license, or are just interested in learning about real estate, the Arizona School of Real Estate is a good place to start.  Located across the street from Ra on 1st street in Old Town Scottsdale (with another location in Gilbert), the Arizona school of Real Estate has been in business since 1969.  Getting a real estate license in Arizona is easy (in the grand scheme of things), but it does require a some diligence: 90 hours of class, passing the state test & real estate school test, a one day contract writing course, and that’s about it.

I found the classes valuable despite not having any desire to pursue a career in real estate.  I still plan to buy and sell houses over my life, so the 3% discount (agent’s fee), combined with the various things I learned and the ability to help friends and family buy hosues were well worth the time.

There are a few options for completing the required courses: night courses, weekend courses, daytime crash course (2 classes/day for 9 days over a 2 week period).  The easiest, at least for me, was the night school.  It’s every Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday for 6 consecutive weeks.

The class costs $400.  Once you are a licensed real estate agent you will be able to use the Multiple Listings Services (MLS), which is an indispinsible tool when you are looking to buy a house.

This house was purchased for 3.75 million in August of 2004, about a month after it was announced that Steve Nash had signed with the Phoenix Suns for 65 million over 6 years.  The home is located in the prestiguous Judson School gated community, on the east side of Paradise Valley.

Steve Nash's House

Steve Nash's House

Steve Nash Paradise Valley

Steve Nash Paradise Valley

The Salt River Indians are turning their tent casino into a 15 story Vegas style hotel/casino.  The current casino, which is just east of the 101 on Indian Bend, is already a popular destination for the valley’s gamblers.  Personally, I can’t stand to walk into the place because it’s a smoke filled mess occupied mostly by sketchy people who look like they are on meth and can’t really afford to be there in the first place.  I find the entire experience sad.  The casino restaurant does offer great, low priced food, and it’s a great place to eat after midnight when just about every other restaurant in Scottsdale (which, despite its party-town reputation, is a bit of a bedroom community, especially when it comes to finding food at night) is closed.  After all, the casino wouldn’t want any of its hard working gamblers to have to *leave* the casino to find food elsewhere.  One thing I find fascinating about the casino is that its parking lot is full, day or night.  You can drive by at noon, 6 pm, or 3 am, and you’ll find the parking lot full of cars.  People just love to gamble, I guess.

Construction has already begun on the new casino, which is set to be completed in 2010.  There will be a 750 seat showroom featuring live entertainment, a concert venue with room for more than 2000, swimming pools, 497 hotel rooms, and apparently much more. 

Although technically the Casino will not be located in Scottsdale, whose boundaries end at Pima Road, the casino will be a boost for the city in the small scale version of the way that casinos have driven the Vegas economy for the past half century.

Scottsdale Tent Casino


Update: Dish has gone out of business, to be replaced with “Good Eats”

Dish (a Food Experience) is a restaurant that opened about a year ago at the southeast corner of Scottsdale and Doubletree.  The citizens of Gainey Ranch (myself included) eagerly awaited the opening of this restaurant because there is a lack of good food options in the immediate area.  The concept seemed wonderful - a huge restaurant with a healthy theme and a gourmet carry out section.  The building, which is divided into a carryout section and a restaurant/bar, is beautifully built and designed.  Sadly, the restaurant seems doomed to fail.  I walk in about once/month, and each time I enter there seems to be fewer customers than the last.  When they first opened, at lunch time business was booming and people were everywhere.  Now, there are usually more staffers than customers.  I used to stop in on my way to work, but for one reason or another (slow business, I imagine), they delayed their opening until 9 am.

Most experiences I have had at Dish are negative.  Although the restaurant is usually empty, there still tends to be a line to actually get food.  My experience yesterday was typical: I wanted to order an omlet, but I wasn’t excited about the spinach and mushroom omlet that they offer.  I asked the guy at the counter what else I could get on the omlet.  He seemed confused, so I specified “can I get tomatos, turkey, chicken, or anything else?” He walked away, asked a couple of the cooks, and then came back to me to report “they won’t tell me what you can get on the omlet, sorry.”  Basically, *every* time I have ever ordered from Dish, there has been a similar problem.  The staff isn’t outright rude, and in fact sometimes they try hard to be helpful.  But they often seem a bit clueless, and they almost always mess up the order.  Most people I’ve spoken to about Dish say the same thing.  Lots of bad experiences.  On top of that, despite the huge carryout section, there just isn’t that much appealing food.  I rarely can find something that I’m really craving.  They don’t even have chocolate chip cookies!.

In general, I have felt that the food is mediocre.  Sometimes its OK, sometimes its bad, but its never great.  Still, I’m hopeful the restaurant will succeed.  It’s in a great location, and the building is gorgeous.  People want to eat there.  They just need to make some good food.  Good luck!

Scottsdale home sales for April 2008 fell 17% compared to April 2007, while the home sales for the rest of the valley increased by 15% over the exact same period.  The median price of a Scottsdale home sold dipped 9% over the exact same period (this doesn’t mean that houses definitely dipped 9% in value — it could just mean more cheap houses sold and less expensive houses sold — but it is a strong indiciation that prices may have gone down around 9%).

Meanwhile, on a national level, foreclosures have skyrocketed 65% between April 2007 to April 2008.

I personally do not have a problem with this real estate crash, and I think it should continue further.  Homes in Scottsdale are ridiculously priced, and even a successful family making $150,000/year would struggle to buy a nice home anywhere in Scottsdale.  I am guessing that the Scottsdale market will bottom out about 15% lower than it currentl is priced, at around the end of 2009.  Of course, that will represent an effective 25% drop in real estate value since real estate typically should rise 5-6% per year, to make up for the interest rates people need to pay to own property.

At One Yoga ( is the best place to do yoga in Scottsdale, plain and simple.  While their prices are somewhat high ($20 to go once, $200/month), considering that you can find many of the same teachers at local gyms (Gainey, etc), you cannot deny that it’s a great yoga experience.  At One has two locations - one in Scottsdale at Shea & Scottsdale, and one in Phoenix at Lincoln and 38th.  The rooms offer a feeling of feng shui, with hardwood floors, high ceilings, and fewer mirrors than most yoga studios.  The classes are typically heated, but not to the point of being unbearable.  The teachers are simply some of the best teachers in the entire country, and Alex Austin teaches the best yoga class I have ever experienced.  The greatest thing about At One Yoga: the students.  While the classes are certainly friendly to beginers, if you visit At One you will be surrounded by experts who will amaze you with the skill and beauty of their practice.  The girls who work at the front desk are often rude, but if you ignore them they will ignore you. At One offers a great culture of yoga.  Every time I leave, I’m glad I went.  And I don’t know of anyplace else in Scottsdale where I can say the same thing.

Bill Simmons just wrote an interesting piece that torches the suns management and ownership for destroying the future of the franchise to make an extra buck.  Their awful moves include dumping Joe Johnson to avoid paying his salary, selling multiple 1st round draft picks (including the #7 pick a couple years ago, a draft pick that led to Rudy Fernandez, and a few others).  Simmons trashes Brian Colangelo for his bad moves, without giving him any credit for the good moves (drafting Shawn Marion and Amare Stoudemire with mid first round draft picks when they weren’t obvious choices, signing Steve Nash when everyone else thought he was overpaid) that led the Suns to being the best regular season team over the past 4 years.  In my opinion, the true crime is Robert Sarver selling off draft picks and absolutely refusing to pay the luxury tax.

Hey, the guy only has two houses worth over 3 million in PV: (mansion, weird plot of land).   (Those are the only places listed by the Maricopa County Assessor in his name, I’m sure he has some more spots that are properly concealed from the public).  I don’t begrudge him his riches, and I don’t even really care if he wants to run the team in a frugal manner.  But selling off draft picks for cash?  That’s about the scummiest thing I’ve ever heard of an NBA owner doing to his fan base.  He appears to be a trust fund baby (his father was a big builder in Tucson), but he managed to found The National Bank of Arizona at the age of 24, and no matter how much money you have handed to you, starting a bank at age 24 is impressive.

Drive a couple miles west down McDonald from Scottsdale Road and you will be at the base of the north side of Camelback Mountain.  I always tell friends that this is the best 1 mile hike in the country.  I try to take everyone who visits me from out of town up the mountain, and my visitors are always happy they went.  The hike is actually in Paradise Valley and Phoenix, but Camelback Mountain is probably the most noticeable geographic landmark in Scottsdale, arbitrary city borders aside.  The trail is very steep - despite being only 1.25 miles, even the most well conditioned athletes in the city take about 18 minutes to get up, and an average person can expect to take 45 minutes to an hour to get to the top, and another 35 minutes to get down.  Over the course of 1.25 miles, you’ll be going up 1200 feet, which is about 1/4th of a mile.  That makes for an 18% grade, if my math skills still work.  The hike is great exercise and a lot of fun.  Ath the summit you will find a nice plateau where hikers tend to relax and enjoy the view for 10-15 minutes before they start heading down. 

The hours of operation are 530am to 730pm between May 1st - September 30th, and 7am to 530pm from October 1st to April 30th.  If you are there after hours, no one will punish you, don’t worry.  But it will probably be dark, and this trail is not safe in the dark.  So be careful.  The parking situation is always messy - in a ridiculous shortsighted and selfish plan, the town of Paradise Valley refuses to create more parking spots and makes it illegal to park on nearby streets.  If you want to hike the Echo Canyon side on a nice day, expect to wait 15-30 minutes, or park more than a mile away and walk to the mountain.  Either way, its worth it.  You get several 360 degree views of the entire valley (and after this hike, you will have a better understanding of why it’s called “The Valley.”).  The views are beautiful.  It’s always fun to admire the $5-20 million resort style homes that surround the base.  The trail is always packed with people of all ages and backgrounds.  Everyone is friendly and talkative.  Make sure you bring some sunblock and water, because you’ll be in the sun and there is no water once you leave the base.

The hike is dog friendly, although it is a challenge and very small dogs and out of shape dogs will probably struggle.  If you are out of shape, don’t be afraid to give the hike a shot.  If you get too tired, you can always turn around and walk back down to the bottom.  You won’t get stuck anywhere.

Here is the City of Phoenix’s informational page on the trail s:

Wikipedia article:

Camelback Mountain


Sting Ray on Scottsdale is a popular local sushi place. It’s located between 5th and 6th avenue on Scottsdale road. The restaurant has a mom & pop feel, although they also own a restaurant down the street named Drift. Sting Ray has a nice outdoor patio that sits directly on Scottsdale Road, right in the heart of old town. It’s a fun place to eat, but if you sit there be prepared to be involved in a semi-back and forth conversation with people on the sidewalk and cars stopped at the light. Especially if you are a good looking girl or are with good looking girls. Regardless, the patio is a fun place to eat and right in the mix of the city. Sting Ray is always packed on Friday and Saturday night. The inside of the restaurant is about half bar, half restaurant, and it’s designed with a modern Japanese feel. The sushi is great, and so is the rest of the menu. The staff is almost entirely female, and fairly attractive. Last time I went there I was waited on by 5 different waitresses and a friendly hostess. It was a bit of a battle to order in such a confused situation; I ordered 4 Saki & Sapporo, and I only ever received 2. Additionally, the sushi menu doesn’t delineate the raw / cooked items. Since I don’t eat raw fish that is a bit of an issue for me.

The bottom line is that Sting Ray has great sushi (it’s well loved among the locals), it’s a fun place to hang out, and the atmosphere is a little more down to earth than Ra and the other trendy Japanese places in Scottsdale.

From the website - - Only at Stingray will you find a unique blend of upbeat energy with a spirit of Japanese cuisine and tradition.

Sting Ray Sushi


The Gainey Village Class Schedule has been nearly impossible to access via Google since they “upgraded” their site, so I figured I would throw it up here.  Their website is, but I defy you to to find a schedule of classes in under 10 minutes on the site.  I will write more on Gainey Village when I have the time.  I probably have 4000 words to write on that place.  (In case you are wondering, they will all be positive.)  In case this text is too hard to read, visit the page on their site directly at  You can view the Camelback Village Class Schedule and DC Ranch Village Class Schedule at that link as well.

This schedule is subject to last minute changes.

Time Duration Class Studio Instructor
8:30 am 60 Cycle Cycle Room Harmony/Kim
9:00 am 60 Zumba 1 Nathalie
9:30 am 90 Power Yoga L 2/3 2 Johanna
9:30 am 60 Rhythm Cycle Cycle Room Teresa/Sandi
10:00 am 60 Muscle Conditioning 1 Jennifer
3:00 pm 90 Yoga Basics 2 Linda S.
Time Duration Class Studio Instructor
5:30 am 90 Cycle All Terrain Cycle Room Kim
6:00 am 60 Power Hour Yoga 2 Harmony
8:00 am 60 Muscle Conditioning 1 Deedee
8:00 am 60 Kinesis Training Center Alan
8:30 am 60 Yoga Basics 2 Harmony
8:30 am 90 Deep Stretch Spa Mimi S.
9:00 am 60 Cycle Cycle Room Linda M.
9:15 am 60 Cardio Muscle Conditioning Int. 1 Faye
9:15 am 60 Water Workout Pool Alexis
9:30 am 90 Yoga L 2/3 2 Julie B.
10:15 am 60 Muscle Conditioning 1 Linda M.
10:15 am 60 MatBased Pilates Beg/Int Spa Spring
12:00 pm 60 Gentle/Beginning Yoga Spa Niki
12:00 pm 60 Fitness Fusion 1 Donna S.
1:00 pm 60 Tai Chi Spa Willie Lim
4:30 pm 60 Muscle Conditioning 1 Michelle
4:30 pm 60 Power Hour Yoga 2 Harmony
5:00 pm 60 Cycle Cycle Room Vincent
5:30 pm 75 Yoga L 1/2 2 Kat
5:30 pm 60 PowerMat Plus Pilates Int/Adv Spa Shea
5:30 pm 60 Boot Camp 1 Michelle
6:00 pm 60 Cycle Interval Training Cycle Room Vincent
Time Duration Class Studio Instructor
6:00 am 60 Yoga Basics 2 Nicki
8:00 am 60 Yoga L 1/2 2 Julie
8:00 am 60 Stretch Reflex Spa Alan
8:00 am 60 Rhythm Cycle Cycle Room Jinger
8:30 am 30 Below The Belt 1 Faye
9:00 am 30 Upper Cuts 1 Faye
9:15 am 60 MatBased Pilates Beg/Int Spa David
9:15 am 60 Water Workout Pool Emily
9:15 am 60 Cycle Cycle Room Donna T.
9:30 am 75 Yoga L 2/3 2 Harmony
9:30 am 60 Power Pact 1 Faye
10:20 am 60 MatBased Pilates Int/Adv Spa Alexis
4:30 pm 60 Yogalates Spa Faye
4:30 pm 75 Power Yoga L 2/3 2 Bear
4:30 pm 60 Muscle Conditioning 1 Kathy S.
5:00 pm 60 Cycle Cycle Room Harmony
5:30 pm 60 Step 1 Kathy S.
6:00 pm 60 Water Workout Pool Nancy
6:00 pm 90 Yin Yoga Spa Mimi S.
6:00 pm 60 Rhythm Cycle Cycle Room Sandi
6:00 pm 75 Power Yoga L 2/3 2 Johanna
Time Duration Class Studio Instructor
5:30 am 90 Cycle Interval Training Cycle Room Phillipe
6:00 am 75 Yoga L 1/2 2 Becca
8:00 am 60 Boot Camp 1 Deedee
8:30 am 75 Healthy Backs Spa Mimi S.
9:00 am 60 Cycle Cycle Room Harmony
9:00 am 60 Kinesis Training Center David
9:15 am 60 Advanced Step 1 Faye
9:15 am 60 Water Workout Pool Rebecca
9:30 am 90 Power Yoga L 2/3 2 Bear
10:15 am 60 Muscle Conditioning 1 Faye
10:15 am 60 MatBased Pilates Int/Adv Spa Sandi
12:00 pm 60 Pilates On The Ball 1 Alexis
4:30 pm 60 Power Hour Yoga 2 Julie
5:00 pm 60 Stretch & Core 1 Corey
5:30 pm 60 MatBased Pilates Int/Adv Spa Joan
5:30 pm 75 Intermediate Yoga Flow 2 Linda S.
5:30 pm 60 Cycle All Terrain Cycle Room Sarah H.
6:00 pm 60 Zumba 1 Nathalie
Time Duration Class Studio Instructor
6:00 am 60 Power Hour Yoga 2 Harmony
8:00 am 60 Rhythm Cycle Cycle Room Jinger
8:00 am 60 Yoga L 1/2 2 Julie
8:00 am 60 Stretch Reflex Spa Alan
8:30 am 60 Fitness Fusion II 1 David
9:15 am 60 Water Workout Pool Alexis
9:15 am 60 Cycle Cycle Room Donna T.
9:15 am 60 MatBased Pilates Int/Adv Spa Bonnie
9:30 am 75 Power Yoga L 2/3 2 Harmony
9:30 am 60 Cardio Muscle Conditioning Int. 1 Kathy S.
10:20 am 60 MatBased Pilates Beg/Int Spa Patty
4:30 pm 60 Yogalates Spa Faye
4:30 pm 60 Cardio Muscle Conditioning Int. 1 Linda V.
4:45 pm 60 Power Hour Yoga 2 Harmony
5:00 pm 60 Cycle Cycle Room Ward
5:30 pm 60 Boot Camp 1 Emily
5:30 pm 60 Kinesis Training Center Michelle
6:00 pm 75 Power Yoga L 2/3 2 Johanna
6:00 pm 90 Restorative Yoga L 1-3 2 Gia
6:00 pm 60 Cycle Cycle Room Harmony
6:00 pm 60 Water Workout Pool Rebecca
Time Duration Class Studio Instructor
5:30 am 60 Cycle Cycle Room Kris
7:00 am 60 Kinesis Training Center Christopher
8:00 am 60 Muscle Conditioning 1 Linda
8:00 am 60 Deep Stretch 2 Harmony
9:00 am 60 Cycle Cycle Room Deedee
9:15 am 60 Water Workout Pool Rebecca
9:15 am 60 Step 1 Faye
9:15 am 60 MatBased Pilates Int/Adv Spa Niece
9:30 am 90 Power Yoga L 2/3 2 Bear
10:15 am 60 Muscle Conditioning 1 Deedee
11:00 am 90 Gentle/Beginning Yoga Spa Niki
4:00 pm 75 Intermediate Yoga Flow 2 Candace
5:00 pm 60 Cycle Cycle Room Sara/Sarah H.
Time Duration Class Studio Instructor
7:15 am 60 Cycle Interval Training Cycle Room Mimi C./Linda
8:00 am 90 Yoga Flow 2 Beri
8:00 am 60 Metabolic Surge 1 Vincent
8:15 am 60 Rhythm Cycle Cycle Room Jinger
9:00 am 60 Cardio Dance 1 Faye/Donna S.
9:00 am 60 Kinesis Training Center Sarah H.
9:15 am 60 MatBased Pilates Int/Adv Spa Sandi
9:15 am 60 Water Workout Pool Ada Lynn
9:30 am 90 Power Yoga L 2/3 2 Deb
9:30 am 60 Cycle Cycle Room Donna T.
10:00 am 60 Muscle Conditioning 1 Faye/Donna S.
10:30 am 60 MatBased Pilates Beg/Int Spa Shea
11:30 am 60 Tai Chi Spa Willie Lim
3:00 pm 90 Yoga Basics 2 Marivic
4:30 pm 90 Power Yoga L 2/3 2 Bear


I hate to do it.  I do.  The employees are usually so nice, harmless, and downtroden (a female employee randomly told me that she was a recovering heroin addict — inappropriate, unnecessary, but not at all unexpected for Coffee Plantation).  I really don’t like beating up on them.  But I have to say it.  COFFEE PLANTATION IS AWFUL.  The coffee is just so disgusting.  It’s always cold, bitter, and dirty.  I usually feel like I am drinking something horribly tainted and give up on my drink half way through.  The employees are dirty.  Just unclean, unshaven, dirty, and nasty.  Often I have to wait for 3 minutes to be served even when there are only 2 customers in the store.  The store itself is old, dungy, and dirty.  The bathrooms are unclean.  I don’t understand why it’s so hard to make fresh, good coffee and have a clean store.  It’s coffee!  Your customers are addicted to the product!  Brew good coffee, keep the store clean, and you will make money.  In their defense, the employees are almost always very nice.

Visit their site at:

In Summary: Beware a real estate crash.

There are certainly some deals out there.  Foreclosures, while not as prevalent in Scottsdale as the rest of the valley, are still at historically high levels.  Inventory is up, home sales are down.  Some people feel that we are reaching a bottom, and that it’s a great time to buy real estate in Scottsdale because it can only go up.  I disagree, although I am willing to admit that Arizona’s enormous growth (3% per year, 2nd fastest growing state in the country) offers a significant hedge against a further real estate slowdown.  Additionally, most people who move to Arizona end up wanting to move to Scottsdale, because Scottsdale is the nicest part of the state.)  Anyway, here is why I think the market hasn’t bottomed out:

1) Home prices in Scottsdale are way beyond what anyone earning even $150,000 per year can really afford.  A nice place in most of Scottsdale costs over $1,000,000 - a mortgage payment of $75,000/year, $110k pretax.  If someone making 150k/year can’t afford a nice house in Scottsdale, things are in trouble.  There just aren’t very many jobs in the Phoenix area that pay over 150k/year, and while there are some small business owners and wealthy individuals who have moved here, it just doesn’t add up to the number of houses over $1,000,000.

2)  Home prices have gone down because they were overvalued and people couldn’t make the payments.  So prices are down 15%.  Add in the fact that this has happened over a nearly 2 year period, and that the natural state of things is for real estate to appreciate 4% per year, home prices are really down more like 23%.  Still, the market was more than 23% overvalued.  So I do think that just based on the market being overvalued, there is more room to go down.  But again, that is somewhat hedged by the rapidly growing population of the state. 

3) Here is what I consider the overriding factor: the recession has not yet hit in full force.  And if you don’t think the recession is coming, think again.  100k jobs are being lost per month around the country.  And that’s just the start.  Inflation is out of control in China, and the Chinese Yuan is getting devalued against the rest of the world even while it gains value against the United States.  This means that a manufacturer of say a steel knife in China faces the following problem: 1) their cost of steel has gone up 15% 2) US currency is worth 15% less.  Ultimately, this means that Chinese products are going to start costing way more for Americans.  Since everything we use is made in China, get ready to spend a lot more of your money on cost of living stuff, random appliances.  Not to mention that the ethanol craze is driving up the price of food.  Anyway, what I’m saying is that a recession is coming, and *everything* is going to get more expensive.  People are going to earn less, and what they want to buy will cost more.  This will leave way less money for buying houses.  So what’s going to happen?  REAL ESTATE WILL GO DOWN FURTHER!!

And thus the official position of The Real Estate Crash Is Coming.  Or at least The Real Estate Downturn Of 12-18%.  We’ll find out in 2 years if I was right.  Goodnight!


The past 4 years of crime data can easily be looked up in Scottsdale:

It requires installing a few ActiveX controllers (whatever the hell that is).  This is a map of the Scottsdale Rd / Indian Bend Intersection and surrounding areas for the entire year of 2007.  Despite all the police reports (at least one of which was caused by me), it’s a pretty safe area.


Amare Crimes

Want to know who has trial for what?  Who was convicted of what?  Check this out — it captures virtually every court in the State of Arizona.  A quick search of one of my less favorite suns (mostly due to jealousy), Dan Marleje, shows a squeaky clean lifestyle.  No cases! 

Next, I looked up my favorite Sun, Amare Stoudemire.  3 cases.  Not so great, Amare!  I clicked on one and it was a traffic violation, and I imagine the others are, too.  I haven’t heard about him getting into any serious trouble.  While I’m on the subject of my man Amare, what a beast! 

AZ Sex Offender - this is a great site.  I really don’t know how useful it is, after all, if a convicted sex offender is living near you, what the hell are you going to do about it?  Tell your kids to stay away from him?  Everyone on the site actually looks like a sex offender, so I don’t think that any normal kid would get within 100 yards of one of these people anyway.  What else are you going to do, move?  I guess that is viable, but there is a general safe bet in life: the more you pay for your house, the fewer sex offenders will be nearby.  One benefit of the site is humiliation and embarasement of sex offenders.  A fair punishment, for such an awful crime.  Personally, the fear of being on the site is enough to prevent me from even looking in the direction of a 17 year old girl.  And the site is an interesting look at our society’s underbelly.

The graphic above is a picture of the 85253 zip code.  It’s almost entirely clear, aside from a few blips east of Scottsdale Road.  Check out an old town zip code like 85251 for more frightening stuff.

One of the great things about the Internet is the ability to gather information.  No place is this easier than in Arizona.  One of the most usefull tools is the Maricopa County Assessors website.  You can find out who owns every house in the county, and how much they paid for it.  Even better, you can search by a persons name or by an address.

Unfortunately, some clever individuals own property under the name of a corporation, making it harder to search for their homes by name.  If you know an address, you can search for the company owner on the Arizona Corporate Commission Business Entity Search page (, but doing a reverse search to find a person’s home I haven’t figured out yet

Anyway, most people, even high profile people, don’t think to hide their name on their real estate purchases.  The key to the search, which the site doesn’t reveal, is that you can search by last and first name.  Just type in the last name, a space, and then the first name.  Or just letters.  Searching for Charles Barkley’s house, you can enter “Barkley Charles” and find out that he paid $2,000,000 for his house and it’s on xxxx Doubletree Road.  Will I be giving out his address?  Nope.  But you can find it easy enough.  When you stop by, tell him and Maureen that I said hi.


Zillow ( is one of my favorite real estate tools.  It is never going to be completely accurate, because there is simply no way for it to know when a house has been remodeled.  Despite this limitatino, it is still surprisingly useful for scanning neighborhoods to look at home values.  It was right on the money on my neighborhood for about a year, but lately it has been showing values about 100k over the actual selling price due to some sort of strange readjustment.  Regardless, it’s still a neat tool and its a great way to scan for houses for sale.  Lately many more realtors have clued in and have been listing their houses here.  It has some neat tools, for example, I can see that the medican price of a home sold in Scottsdale in the past 12 months was 432.5k (versus 207.5k for Mesa, 210k for Phoenix, and 1.583 Million for Paradise Valley).

I despise MLS, so anytime a new realtor begins listing on Zillow, I am happy.  Realtors hate Zillow, of course, because they don’t like the price estimates it gives.  But I hate realtors, so I guess it’s natural that I like Zillow.

There are currently 1996 homes listed for sale in Scottsdale, for a Median value of 746k.  Hmm!  746k Median sale price, 432k Median Sold Price.  This most likely means that more expensive homes are more likely to be listed for sale on Zillow, although I’d like to think it means that people need to lower their prices!. 

In looking at philosophies of curriculum from two different traditions, Perennialism from the Conservative tradition and Experimentalism from the Progressive tradition, there are far more differences than similarities.  In fact, once we get past the idea that both must be responsive to the learner, society and subject matter, the screen through which these two filtered curriculum and how it determines the teacher’s role and classroom objectives seems to have produced philosophies with little in common.  Where they appear to share some similarities is in their mutual intents to educate students to become citizens of a democratic society.  While perennialists look toward encouraging students to become careful, critical thinkers, experimentalists’ goals are to instill skills and attitudes that promote reflective thinking.  Since critical thinking involves reflective thinking and reflective thinking by nature is critical, it appears that their goals here are common ones.

     The two take a very different view of subject matter.  For a perennialist, curriculum is subject centered with teachers acting as guides that stimulate and assist, but the subject matter is considered the true teacher.  The subject matter reflects a belief in the knowledge and wisdom of western humanity and promotes unchanging universal truths.  For perennialists, diversity is of no importance, because learning is about training the mind, the will and the character through permanent study.  Therefore they see vocational education and performing arts as unessential, referring to them as anti-intellectual frivolities.  The perennialist philosophy seems to assume that all of our students will be on college track and should therefore be educated accordingly.  I feel that this mindset is counterproductive if the goal of our society is to educate all citizens.  We must offer the type of education that will best serve the whole society.  Many high school students would not stay in school if it were not for the classes that they feel teach them the things that they will use in the real world, for many those are the vocational classes that perennialists view as frivolities.  If we do not do all that we can to keep our students from dropping out of high school, how can we claim that our curriculum is addressing the needs of our society?

     The word that I found most significant in the experimentalist view of subject matter that shows it to be at odds with the perennialist was responsive.  The idea that the subject matter would actually take the students’ personal and socio-civic experience into consideration demonstrates the belief that the whole child must be educated, not just the mind.  Experimentalists, who also hold all truths up to ongoing inspection, embrace diversity.  I come away with the impression that the perennialist philosophy views the acquisition of knowledge important because knowledge itself is important, while the experimentalist philosophy sees knowledge as significant for its contribution that it makes to students’ behavior.

     As a high school math teacher, I am sure that I am at odds with most of my colleges when it comes to the philosophy that I align with.  Most project an alliance to Perennialism, where I find myself more in tuned to experimentalism.  The emphasis on subject centered curriculum that embraces universal, unchanging truths lends itself to a mathematical mindset.  Of course, I still find myself fighting my own default pedagogy that would match the beliefs of Perennialism but, just because that was the way I was taught, doesn’t mean that it would best serve my students.

     My first couple of years of teaching, all my focus was on the subject matter.  Having all the state mandated standards that needed to be covered along with district established pacing guides kept my thoughts on a subject matter driven curriculum, perennialism.  As I interacted with my students and got a clearer picture of how I needed to react to their needs, my thoughts moved to a progressive philosophy, experimentalism.  The idea of educating the whole child overrides the need to address each and every standard.  I make sure that my lesson plans can cover all key standards, but I have found that my students benefit greatly if I am more receptive to what Eisner referred to as expressive outcomes.  My class load consists of mostly at risk students and second language learners.  The need for the curriculum to be responsive is, I feel, vital.    As a teacher, I often find myself the student, as my kids time and again open my eyes to the fact that the universal, unchanging truths from my educational background are not always that universal or unchanging.

Well, in between harassing me about various non-crimes that I didn’t commit, the Scottsdale PD has arrested the guy responsible for this.  In their defense, they are always very nice to me when they are wasting my tax dollars bothering me about nonsense.  The killer apparently lived in West Phoenix.  Which brings me back to the line of thought: why are people from West Phoenix coming to Scottsdale at night, with guns, and picking fights.  I’m all for Scottsdale having a great nightlife, but it doesn’t have to be thuglife.

Sandalo is an overpriced condo stuck in the ghetto that is known as the SW corner of Shea and Scottsdale Road.  Surrounded by a slightly run down high school and tons of old, ugly, and cheap condo/apartments, I can’t believe how much they are asking for these units.  One of the great phenomenons of Scottsdale is a Walgreens parking lot.  You can be in the nicest part of the city, but if you go to the nearest Walgreens, you are certain to find all sorts of shady people on the payphone and lounging in the parking lot.  I haven’t figured out what goes on here, but I don’t care for it. 

I’m certain of this: in a year, the Sandalo Condos will be selling for $100k less than they are now.   No one wants to pay 400k for a 2 bedroom adjacent to a drug store.  Something tells me that the people who did buy these places didn’t drive around the neighborhood.

Check out this crime map of the Shea & Scottsdale intersection.  This is from the Scottsdale government’s own website.  You can see that there is more crime at this intersection than in the rest of Scottsdale combined!  Sexual assault, robbery, assault, oh my!  And this is just for the past 60 days.

Sandalo Condos Scottsdale

Next Page »