Simon Doonan Savors ‘Surreal and Crazy’ Scottsdale

scottsdale.jpgAny city with a museum known as “SMoCA” is OK by us, and now our old friend Simon Doonan is spotlighting Scottsdale as “a place that you should seriously think about adding to your could-I-bear-to-live-there? list.” The Arizona town will soon be home to a Barneys flagship store, and Doonan, the store’s creative director, has been making “reconnaissance trips” to prepare for the October opening. In addition to SMoCA and oodles of spiny succulents, the city is home to Barbara “Jeannie” Eden, bacon-wrapped Mexican hot dogs, a deep-seated fear of precipitation, and a Westin hotel with a staff bagpipe player, reports Doonan in his latest New York Observer column. And there’s no shortage of drama:

Last week, I had my first Scottsdale health emergency. Here’s what went down: A colleague and I were taste-testing mini-desserts for the opening bash. The proffered stuffed raspberry looked innocent enough. But while masticating, a strange electrical tingle exploded in my head. I assumed the worst and prepared to collapse to the floor and transition into a vegetative state.

“Pop Rocks!” shouted the chef, who had cunningly inserted the weird 1970s candy into the offending fruit. I am telling you, nothing is too wild and crazy for the people of Scottsdale.