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GO WEST, YOUNG MANGO WEST, YOUNG MAN

Many people have lived in Phoenix for years and never gone to Sun City. Here are ten reasons the long drive out might be worth it.

1. The Hillcrest Golf Course, 20002 Star Ridge Drive, Sun City West. Its championship layout makes it challenging to good players, and its tall trees provide a lovely place for average duffers. Golfers in the know come here for the fantastic deep sand, well-maintained rolling fairways, variety of green shapes and the true par fives with plenty of length. 2. Estate sales--the best you've ever seen. Forget about garage sales, which up here aren't that good, and pick up the Thursday and Friday editions of the Sun City paper, which list the best posthumous sales. People who take their furniture to Sun City realize it's a one-way trip. Think of it--all those period pieces. 3. The Del Webb statue. This over-lifesize monument to Our Founder, in the Memorial Gardens at the Bell Recreation Center, Bell Road and 99th Avenue, proves that heroic statuary is not dead. He's wearing his eyeglasses. You don't see many Civil War generals on horseback doing that. Maybe there's a Harry Truman statue somewhere wearing glasses.

4. Wednesday afternoon tea at the Sun Cities Art Museum, 115th Avenue, north of Bell Road. There aren't too many places where a dollar will get you unlimited refills and cookies homemade by people who still know how. The china, by the way, is English bone.

5. A chance to feed the ducks. A popular pastime in any retirement community, the feeding hotspot here is Viewpoint Lake at Lakeview Recreation Center, 107th Avenue (Del Webb Boulevard) and Thunderbird Boulevard. The ducks like bread and unpopped popcorn, and are quite spoiled. There are swans, too. And coots. Or something. And a nice waterfall. 6. The Empress of China restaurant, Royal Oaks Mall, 103rd Avenue and Thunderbird Boulevard. An ethnic bright spot in the all-American landscape of Sun City dining, brought to you by the China Gate folks.

7. Sun City Recreation Center Craft Fair, held the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving at the Sundial Recreation Center, 103rd Avenue and Boswell Boulevard. Folks in Sun City take endless craft classes, and this is where they sell what they make. Since they don't need the money, you can't beat the prices. The silver jewelry is especially wonderful.

8. It's clean. None of this fruit rotting in public. As soon as the oranges hit the ground, they're put in a bag. And don't even think of littering. Such compulsive tidiness is quite refreshing after a visit to New York. Or downtown Phoenix.

9. Used cars. They're big, they're American and they really were driven by little old ladies to church on Sundays. Here's the perfect place to find that Continental you've always lusted after. Watch the Sun City want ads.

10. Buffets. Everywhere in Sun City. They're a way of life. Sun City's the place to go those times when you just want to eat a lot, stretch that food dollar and take things into your own hands.

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