Two Cities, Two Parties; Here’s How To Make It Happen
One of these days, I’m going to do it.
I’ll go to two wild, fun party events taking place the same weekend in different cities.
Call it the PubClub blogger’s Party Challenge.
The first of these – and the biggest – is the Phoenix Open. That’s a golf tournament in Scottsdale. It’s the craziest tournament on the PGA Tour, so crazy that Tiger Woods won’t play in it because he finds it too distracting. The second is a fun run – exercise and socialize, is how I describe it – in Redondo Beach CA.
It’s a 10K with nearly 10,000 people, runners in humorous and politically-incorrect costumes and a big beer garden.
Now all golf tournaments have some party element to them but at the Phoenix Open it’s taken to a Greek Islands kind of level. The Par-3 16th hole is the centerpiece of the afternoon action, a whoop-it-up place that throws the normally stoic sport to the wind, like a golfer tossing grass in the air to test the conditions. There’s a bar within a sand wedge of the green and hundreds of people are crowding the hill overlooking the hole.
Whenever a player drives the green – and in particular, local hero Phil Mickelson who went to nearby Arizona State – the crowd erupts. Miss it, and the golfer gets booed.
In addition to what I call the “Sweet 16th,” there’s a food court with bars. Some people never make it past this point.
And all that is just a warm-up to the post-tournament party. After the day’s play, thousands walk over to the legendary Birds Nest, a huge indoor/outdoor keg party of sorts with two bands (one inside, one outside) and thousands of people. And being that most of those people are single, it’s a paradise for partying.
In fact, several people skip the tournament all together and just fly in for the Bird’s Nest. For two nights, it’s the best nightclub and bar in Scottsdale.
At least they used to, before the Birds Nest got greedy and started bringing in big-name bands and this year DJ Tiesto, which now cost about $125 to get into, instead of $25.
Over in L.A., the Super Bowl 10K is a great way to start Super Bowl Sunday. Seaside Redondo Beach makes for a scenic run and the fun South Bay Beach Cities residents (many of whom are single and always looking!) make this an ultra fun event. The beer garden, participants are handed cans of Michelob Ultra and it sets the tone for the rest of the day. Which, in the South Bay, is a blur of happening bars and house parties.
Now it is logistically possible to do both, though at the sacrifice of at least part of each. The Phoenix Open is a two-day party. Friday and Saturday. On Sunday, the desert course is deserted as people go to Super Bowl house parties (and recover; it’s really a slow day in Scottsdale). The Super Bowl 10K is on Sunday morning. Here’s how it would work:
• Attend the Phoenix Open on Friday and Saturday. Party at the 16th hole, food court and Birds Nest.
• On Saturday – and this is the tough part – extract one’s self from the Bird’s Nest at the last possible moment and haul it over (cab, limo) to the airport and catch the last flight out that night to L.A.
• Spend the night in the South Bay, get up in the morning, do the 10K (even join me for a little “hair of the dog” by stopping for a pint or two at Hennessey’s along the way), and go to the beer garden.
See, it CAN be done, but of course you’ll have to leave Scottsdale in the heat of “battle” on Saturday night, The Bird’s Nest actually starts to settle down around 9 or 10 when people fan out to any one of the city’s many bars. The last SWA flight is at 8:30, which means leaving the Bird’s Nest at 6:30, not the best scenario because that’s when the place is building up to its party peak. There’s no early flight on Sunday morning, at least on Southwest.
Then, after partying like that all day, you’re likely want to continue a bit once arriving in L.A. And that’s a potential sacrifice for the 10K. Plus, you would have to get to the 10K earlier than just showing up to run in order to pick up the race packet, rather than getting it the previous day.
The great thing about the 10K is not just the race itself, but going to parties and/or bars afterward. You’re already in a great mood and the 10K helps make the South Bay one of the top places in the country to be in for Super Bowl Sunday. So if you want to party for the Super Bowl, you’re better off choosing the 10K.
One of these years, tho, I’m going to pull of this double party. Yes, I accept my own challenge!