Contrast of New and Old

The Quote of the Week comes from the owner of the newest nightclub in Scottsdale’s bar district, EPIQ (formerly Pussycat Lounge). As quoted in a Phoenix New Times article, club owner Joe Fournier gave the reason for his decision to open here:

I was fascinated with the Scottsdale, with its contrast of old and new. I had one of the best nights of my life here and kept coming back.”

I have no idea what part of Scottsdale he saw that was “old.” Did he go for a horseback ride through the desert? Regardless, there’s a lot of insight to be found in his sentiment.

The new-old contrast really is at the core of the unique character of Scottsdale. You can get plenty of “new” in Phoenix or Tempe. There’s a lot of “old” in Wickenburg. But it’s hard to find the elusive “contrast,” or balance between the two.

I believe the folks who crafted Scottsdale’s General Plan (master policy document) did a pretty good job of prescribing the magic combination of new and old. It’s too bad that the so-called “pro-development” city council candidates and Mayor Jim Lane are so eager to erode it in the name of profit for their campaign contributors.

I’m reminded of a quote attributed to the erasable Sam Rayburn, fellow Tennessee native and longest serving Speaker of the House of Representatives, who said:

A jackass can kick a barn down, but it takes a carpenter to build one.

Joe Fournier perhaps has hit upon another good idea. If we are going to have a club scene, let’s make it truly worth of the Scottsdale “brand” about which we speak so often but never really define. Again, from the New Times article:

“I used to come on vacation here a lot because I loved this city so much. I felt as though there was a gap in the market in Scottsdale to take something that’s perhaps a bit higher quality, spend a bit more money, and create something special,” he says. “I wanted to build a club that I would encounter in London or New York or L.A., but put it in Old Town. I felt like the people of Scottsdale deserved something really special.”

I’ll be the first to admit that I have no idea how to legislate quality in the club scene. I’m not really in the target demographic. But, maybe I’ll drop by EPIQ and see if I can put my finger on it for you. What do you think?

Benjamin Leatherman’s New Times article leaves us with one humorous quote from Fournier:

It’s something where I don’t want to detract from the rest of the bars on [Saddlebag Trail],” Fournier says.

Seems like kind of a double-negative, considering how the neighboring residential neighborhoods and non-bar businesses feel about “the rest of the bars!”

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