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Best Of 2007

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Best Of :: People & Places

BEST STRIPPED-DOWN STRIP MALL

If you've lived in Phoenix for any substantial amount of time, you've witnessed an overabundance of strip malls.

Don't hate them; they're a way of life. We must love them, coddle them, and appreciate strip malls for all the glorious things they can offer.

Too much effort for you? That may change with the help of Sloane McFarland, who has decided to spend $12 million to rip one of those drab suckers apart and build something fabulous. He's revamping the strip mall on 16th Street and Buckeye, and unveiled his plans in style this past May by opening the decrepit structure for curious guests to explore.

The redevelopment will be called Yourtown, and in each space, McFarland worked with colleagues to create art installations to express what his future plans will bring. Various abandoned retail shops were filled with conceptual evidence of planning that we are anxious to see come to fruition. In the space that used to be a flower shop, piles of ground coffee were dumped on the floor, emitting the pungent odor of what will soon surely be the hottest coffee shop in the area. (Or any part of this town, we dare say.) We look forward to what this local pioneer has to offer, and after his work is done, we may see our strip malls in a whole new light. At the very least, we'll have a cool new hangout.

BEST CLUB YOU CAN'T GET INTO
Jackrabbit Supper Club

With its lavishly tony décor soaked in red and black, talented DJs spinning Top 40 and rock mash-ups, top-shelf food and drinkage, performances by musical and burlesque acts, and plenty of chi-chi clientele, the Jackrabbit Supper Club is definitely the kinda E-Ticket club that exudes big-city splash. Since debuting last fall, it's not strange to see the place filled to its rafters with the beautiful people (including such celebs as Matt Leinart and Jamie Foxx) from Thursday to Saturday every week. Oh, and by the way, good luck trying to get inside. We've seen limos full of ladies and gents getting turned away by the iron-jawed security types after the club hits its capacity during the prime time of 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. And even when these gatekeepers grant admission, usually they're picking the hottest hotties that are standing in line outside the unmarked building. So unless you can somehow transform into Nick Lachey or Jessica Simpson, chances are you're gonna be partying down the street at Mickey's with all the other mooks.

4280 N. Drinkwater Blvd., Scottsdale, 85251-3341
MAP
480-213-9500
BEST SWEET ANTICIPATION
Sprinkles Cupcakes

Something's going up on the northeast corner of Scottsdale and Camelback roads, and no, it's not another gas station. It's a cupcake shop! Well, you say, cupcake shops are as common as gas stations these days — and, hey, both are outrageously priced. You're right. We won't argue (in fact, a Sprinkles cupcake costs $3.25 — even more than a gallon of gas). We'll just tell you that if the hype on these precious Beverly Hills-based sweet cakes is anywhere near right, you'll be lined up out the door like an imitation of the '70s gas crisis when the Scottsdale Sprinkles finally opens. We'd hoped it would be in time for our Sweet Life issue, but alas, some good things must wait.

Just listen to the lineup of flavors: ginger lemon, dark chocolate, cinnamon sugar, chai latte, peanut butter chip. Drooling? Try scrolling over the full descriptions at www.sprinklescupcakes.com. Lemon isn't just lemon, it's "fragrant lemon cake with lemon-vanilla frosting flecked with zest." These people mean business, and we expect their business to boom when they open — allegedly sometime this fall.

4501 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, 85251
MAP
480-970-4321
BEST GUILT-FREE CHOCOLATE
Tocasierra Spa & Salon at the Pointe Hilton

If it weren't for sheer willpower, we'd all be sitting around on asses the size of Texas, eating bonbons, and frothing at the mouth like Homer Simpson. Mmm... chocolate. So you can imagine we were floored to discover a cocoa treat that has zero calories and zero fat at the Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak. Offered as part of the Tocasierra Spa's "My Tempest Truffle" Valentine's Day package, the Chocolate Scrub immerses your whole body in guilt-free chocolaty goodness. The included Chocolate Decadence Pedicure turns tired tootsies into plump, juicy Tootsie Rolls. Can't wait to check out next year's cocoa-infused V-Day specials at Tocasierra? Don't fret — the spa plans to offer the chocolate body scrub year-round for an anytime indulgence. They say that because of similar endorphins, chocolate is just as good as sex. Considering that the spa does the messy cleanup for you, we say this sinful scrub is even better.

7677 N. 16th St., Phoenix, 85020
MAP
602-906-3820
BEST PLACE TO COVET THE SWEET LIFE
Covet

Thanks to one of Old Town Scottsdale's newest boutiques, we'll gladly add some extra penance so we can atone for the lust we feel for Covet's Tretorn shoes, limited-edition Andy Warhol Factory Foundation Levi's, and one-of-a-kind Liz Saintsing painted bags. We're envious of owners Randy and Adrienne Kreb's excellent taste, and have been known to stare longingly at the Yoko Deveraux shirts and the Alexander McQueen Puma trainers. We're just angry that we didn't spend more time at the gym, so our slothful selves have to be squeezed into our April 77 skinny rock-star jeans.

4234 N. Craftsman Court, Studio 1, Scottsdale, 85251
MAP
480-949-3000
BEST PLACE TO BUY THE SWEET LIFE

We love looking like a million bucks, especially if our champagne tastes can be sated on our beer budgets. That's why we've been braving traffic on the I-10 for ages so we can scour the racks at Neiman Marcus Last Call at Arizona Mills. Where else will you find purple Miu Miu pumps for $19.95? Or John Galliano for Dior camis for $50? Or a men's Prada blazer for less than $150? Stock up on Radko Christmas ornaments for $9, and score a suede couch for under $1500. When you pay for your purchases and the kind clerk asks if you'd like to be added to the mailing list, say, "Yes." You'll get invitations to preview sales and you'll have first crack at some choice Chanel ballet flats. Now you'll be able to afford a matching bag. Who says you can't buy happiness? And at a bargain!

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BEST STRIPPED-DOWN STRIP MALL: Yourtown Redevelopment

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