Good Riddance, NBA All-Star Weekend

NBA All-Star Weekend made me loathe drinking in downtown Scottsdale this past weekend more than usual. Hanging out in Arizona's wanna-be L.A. conjured up bad memories of covering celeb-heavy and douchebag-filled Super Bowl parties last year for the East Valley Tribune. Here are three reasons why I'm excited to bid adieu to the hoopla:

1. Pushy party hosts: A man practically begged my friend and me to come into Drinx on Saturday. When I inquired if he was a promoter, he said, "No, I rented the bar out for an exclusive party" and proceeded to drop Z-list names: I.E. Danger, who, he told us, "sings on a Kanye West track" and an athlete whose name he forgot. He would have had me at Steve Nash but that didn't seem to be the case. When we gave him a polite "no thank you," he said he was a clothing designer about to drop a new line and would give us a pair of $600 jeans if we came inside. We said "no thanks" once again, and he told us we would have to pay a cover later if we changed our minds. We laughed it off and said "no worries," and he asked us to take down his number in case we had a change of heart. He promised to let us in for free and encouraged us to bring some friends later. We never returned.

2. Long-ass wait for lunch: There was a 40-minute wait at one of my favorite bars, Saddle Ranch Chop House, for lunch at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday. The service was slower than ever - this bar is notorious for making you wait for your food. However, we did get a free shot, albeit a weak one while we were waiting and mimosas were $2 until 3 p.m.

3. Drink and cover inflation: Nearly every bar we went to increased their drink prices for the weekend. American Junkie, which typically charges $4 for their domestic drafts, upped their price to $5 and served the beer in a red plastic cup for some 944 deal on Saturday. If I wanted to drink beer out of a plastic cup, I would have stayed in Tempe and went to a kegger. Even Dos Gringos, which has always been one of my favorite nightspots, charged $5 for their margaritas when they usually range from $3 to $4. Thank you DJ's for being the one bar that didn't appear to inflate their prices this weekend. While you may not have been as slammed as some of the other bars, I appreciated having a chill place to drink a couple of Blue Moons with my friends.

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Kelly Wilson