SCENE One of the trendiest places to see and be seen undoubtedly is the W Scottsdale, an utterly opulent destination catering to a well-heeled crowd, or anyone else who can gain access through the purple velvet ropes guarding the front door of the hotel. Within this palace of pampering are three different lounges rocking unique environments. Next to the lobby, The Living Room is the ultimate retro-style den containing an elegantly mismatched mix of mid-century furnishings and glass bookshelves stocked with thick art and travel tomes. Around the second-floor pool is Sunset Beach, a swatch of white sand populated by breezy cabanas and daybeds; and Shade, an indoor/outdoor bar decked out in a white-and-brown color scheme. 7277 E. Camelback Rd., 480-970-2100, www.starwoodhotels.com
An ultra-upscale hotspot with a line out the front door, the Jackrabbit Lounge hosts an alluring mix of burlesque dancers, jazz musicians, and talented turntablists every Thursday through Saturday. Shiny-shirted scenesters and $30K millionaires frequent the joint, making time with the opposite sex and lapping up chic décor dominated by a huge black-and-white photograph of the Chicago skyline behind the main bar. Have fun trying to get inside after midnight. 4280 N. Drinkwater Blvd., Scottsdale, 480-429-4494, www.jackrabbitaz.com
If you're a people-watcher who's into spotting celebrities and other glitterati, the Mondrian Scottsdale offers some serious stargazing. In addition to the beautiful types who flock to the boutique hotel for its tony ambiance, a number of A-listers have spent the night here, including Al Gore and Jamie Foxx. Sample a number of top-shelf liquor selections amidst the crimson-drenched swankiness of the on-premises Red Bar. DJs spin house and ambient music during weekend sessions. 7353 E. Indian School Rd., 480-444-0549, www.mondrianscottsdale.com
DANCE The elemental forces of nature serve as a stunning backdrop for the dope danceteria e4 . Fluids percolate through the blue walls of the always-packed Liquid Room, while warm tones and funky furnishings highlight the Earth Lounge, and an inferno of red-hot fun takes place in the VIP-only Fire Room upstairs. Outside, the Air Patio gives plenty of space to kick back between songs. 4282 N. Drinkwater Blvd., 480-970-3325, www.e4-az.com
If a nightspot is judged by the quality of its VIP areas, then Myst is definitely king of the Scottsdale scene. A plethora of private skyboxes and exclusive areas are available on three floors, with the upper level sporting red walls and erotic paintings. Clubgoers can also bump their humps on an expansive dance floor to a lineup of superstar house DJs (Paul Oakenfold and Armin van Buuren are regular visitors) who stop by on weekends. There's also a poolroom with black leather couches and other luxuries, as well as a huge patio with glowing red tables. 7340 E. Shoeman Lane, 480-970-5000, www.mystaz.com
Experience twice the dance floor action at Axis/Radius, as the massive nightlife complex offers two separate clubs connected by a glass-and-steel catwalk. Radius dishes house music and other high-energy tracks amid a rainbow glow of colored light displays, while Top 40 and R&B jams pump out of the megawatt sound system inside Axis, where videos play across a gigantic video wall. 7340 E. Indian Plaza, Scottsdale, 480-970-1112, www.axis-radius.com
LOUNGE Swarming with the skinny and the stylish, Pussycat Lounge is where hotties come to shake their designer-clad booties and get kinda dirty and debaucherous in a candlelit setting. The model-quality bartending staff can also pour a pretty mean martini, and an illuminated wall of liquor is stocked with an intimidating amount of other alcoholic selections. 4426 N. Saddlebag Trail, Scottsdale, 480-481-3100, www.pclaz.com
A plush playground with neon ambiance and gym-toned clientele, SIX Lounge has a reputation for sophistication, as evidenced by an expansive menu of champagnes and designer drinks. (It's also known for its unisex restroom, so don't forget to lock the door.) World-class DJs drop house, hip-hop, and Top 40 beats during spin sessions throughout the week. 7316 E. Stetson Dr., Scottsdale, 480-663-6620, www.6az.com
Located somewhat off the beaten path, just south of Camelback Road, Lyte Lounge & Bistro is an oasis of cool that rewards its visitors with a plush and darkened atmosphere. Spend an evening chillaxing on soft chairs and couches, while imbibing a vast selection of spirits and noshing on gourmet eats. 7419 E. Indian Plaza, Scottsdale, 480-423-2027, www.lytelounge.com
PARTY Popular with 20-somethings and the college-age crowd, Dos Gringos is a two-story hacienda for the hangover-prone that features multiple bars, colorful graffiti lining the walls, and a south-of-the-border beach-bum vibe. Corona, Pacifico, Dos Equis, and other Mexican beers are usually on special, and there's a boffo patio party that goes down every Sunday. 4209 N. Craftsman Ct., Scottsdale, 480-423-3800, www.dosgringosaz.com
Standing out from its more highfalutin neighbors, Mulligan's is a raucous pub-like tavern that provides a staggering variety of beers and booze to its patrons with very little attitude. Boasting old-timey digs and movies playing on its various TVs during the weekends, it's the place to down a few pints without worrying if you're wearing haute couture. 7318 E. Stetson Dr., Scottsdale, 480-947-8188, www.mulligansaz.com
There's rarely a dull moment to be had at Giligin's, as this wacked-out island-themed watering hole specializes in serving up goofy good times, as well as gigantic 22-ounce beers, to its rowdy patrons. Be sure to check out the weekly goldfish races and beer pong tournaments, or hang out with the always-hilarious Chuey the Rock 'n' Roll Midget, who works his own Lilliputian-sized bar in one corner. 4251 N. Winfield Scott Plaza, 480-874-2264
YOU GO-GO, GIRL Reva Perlin has a couple of rules for your ass. First, if you see the go-go dancer working at Axis/Radius, don't try any pickup lines.
"One guy told me, 'Heaven is missing an angel, 'cause she's right here,'" says the 21-year-old. It didn't work.
Second, never refer to her as "eye candy."
"People think we're here just to look pretty. It's much more," she says. "We work hard. You've gotta dance well and get crowds fired up.
Perlin knows plenty about hard work. She shakes her moneymaker four nights a week at Axis and other clubs, and also manages a troupe of dancers for Steve LeVine Entertainment. Besides raking in scrilla (which she's saving for college), dancing's helped the once-shy Cottonwood native come out of her shell.
"It wised me up. I'm 21, but I think like a 30-year-old. I've learned way too much about freaky people after working in clubs."
SCOTTSDALE'S GLITTERATI Silver Medallion is blowing up big-time.
Since its debut in April, the electro/hip-hop duo of Oren J. and Carnegie have gotten on Power 98.3, performed for packed crowds at Myst and Martini Ranch, and opened for such blockbuster acts as Shwayze and DirtNasty.
A big chunk of this success comes courtesy of Scottsdale. More specifically, from Silver Medallion's hilarious rap anthem titled "Scottsdale," which needles the city's affection for over-the-top hedonism. All manner of excess is skewered, from doing drugs in nightclubs to getting plastic surgery.
The biggest fans of the song? People in Scottsdale (natch).
"Everyone in that scene loves it when you glorify them," Carnegie says.
The duo also has a few opinions on the city's sense of style — and not just because Carnegie will be DJing at parties during Scottsdale Fashion Week.
"Scottsdale has style, but it's like everyone wears the same brands: Christian Audigier, Ed Hardy, True Religion," Oren says. "There's little desire to stand out."
That's why they'll inject their own retro-glam style into Scottsdale though weekly fetes at Lyte Lounge starting in December and a line of T-shirts and accessories launching early next year.
"We're helping give Scottsdale a new culture of its own," Oren says.
Hear the song, check out the party schedule: www.myspace.com/silvermedallion
Scottsdale's nightlife scene is a massive social war zone, fraught with pitfalls. Here are suggestions on how to survive:
• Places get packed starting around 11 p.m., so arrive early to beat crowds and cash in on killer drink specials.
• Hotel concierge staff is often hooked up with nearby clubs and can get you on guest lists.
• Public parking is at Sixth Avenue and Civic Center Plaza, or Third Avenue and Craftsman Court.
• Pedicab services, such as Big Papa (602-618-6702) and other independent operators, offer transportation for as little as $10 to $20.
• Dressing to impress helps get you past picky doormen. Don't don a suit, but ditch the trucker hat or shorts for a collared shirt and nice jeans.
• Be polite and holster the attitude. Rudeness won't get you inside or served drinks any faster.
• Tip bartenders well ($20 or more) for the first round. They'll remember you amongst a sea of faces.
• Know your limits.
Sobering up? Mickey's Hangover (4312 N. Brown Ave., 480-425-0111, www.mickeyshangover.com) is open until 4 a.m., and Joe's NY Pizza (7321 E. Shoeman Lane, 480-947-5637) is open until 3 a.m.; Philadelphia Sandwich Company (7158 E. 5th Ave., 480-970-1102) serves hoagies 24/7.
Still soused? Call Discount Cab (602-200-2000) or AAA Yellow Cab (602-252-5252) to get home and they'll provide a free trip back the next day. Zingo (877-663-8429, www.zingoaz.com) also dispatches employees on fold-up scooters who drive you and your ride home. Rates are $25 for pick-ups and the first three miles, $3 per mile thereafter.
Acme Bar & Grill 4245 N. Craftsman Ct. 480-990-7111 www.acmebar.com
BS West 7125 E. Fifth Ave. 480-945-9028 www.bswest.com
Coach House 7011 E. Indian School Rd. 480-990-3433 >www.coachhousescottsdale.com
The Comedy Spot 7117 E. Third Ave. 480-945-4422 www.thecomedyspot.net
Crown Room 7419 E. Indian Plaza 480-423-0117 www.myspace.com/crownroom
Devil's Martini 4175 N. Goldwater Blvd. 480-947-7171 www.devilsmartini.com
Dirty Pretty 7443 E. Sixth Ave. 480-970-1222 www.dirtyprettyaz.com
DJ's 7320 E. Stetson Dr. 480-945-9693 www.djsofscottsdale.com
Drinx 7330 E. Stetson Dr. 480-423-9434 www.drinxscottsdale.com
Forbidden 6820 E. Fifth Ave. 480-994-5176 www.forbiddenaz.com
Geisha A Go Go 7150 E. Sixth Ave. 480-699-0055
Martini Ranch 7295 E. Stetson Dr. 480-970-0500 www.martiniranchaz.net
Pattie's 7220 E. First Ave. 480-990-0103 www.pattieslounge.com
Rusty Spur Saloon 7245 E. Main St. 480-425-7787 www.rustyspursaloon.com
Suede 7333 E. Indian Plaza 480-970-6969 www.suedeaz.com
Sugar Daddy's 3102 N. Scottsdale Rd. 480-970-6556 www.sugardaddysaz.com
TT Roadhouse 2915 N. 68th St. 480-947-8723
Upper Deck Sports Grill 4224 N. Craftsman Ct. 480-941-9333 www.upperdecksportsgrill.com
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