Something for Everyone - 9/16/2014
Myself and my family came from Utah five years ago, and we've enjoyed the surplus culture, variety of areas and people, and overall genuine community. It's surprising to find a born-n-raised local, as many residents are transplants. Folks from such a variety of backgrounds it makes for a colorful melting pot. The infrastructure and outlaying sprawl are practically new since the majority of development occurred post 80s, but much of central Phoenix is home to fascinating 60's architecture--love it or hate it! Phoenix supports a variety of everything; the valley is speckled left and right with animal & nature preserves, museums, fairs, shopping districts, events, conventions, restaurants, small businesses, second-hand shops, private schools, interest clubs, colleges, libraries, and little cultural gems.
What's important to mention is that the Phoenix valley is subdivided into many towns and suburbs, each with their own personality. Some areas blend more than others, but the valley stays primarily checkered. What makes this work is how easy it it to visit each part to experience the best that community has to offer.
You'll find large pockets of Little Mexico in West and South Phoenix. If you're seeking a small-town, experience, try Gilbert, Buckeye, Avondale, Chandler, or Mesa. Searching for a reasonable alternative to LA, seek out Scottsdale (if you can afford it). Is a clean, upward-bound city more you're style? Look around in East and North Phoenix. Want a trendy, San Diego vibe? Check out Tempe, home to ASU. If you're looking to settle, Paradise Vally, Arcadia, and Scottsdale are gorgeous and full of luxury. Desire every modern commodity with a taste of the Old West, seek a homestead in Cave Creek or Gilbert. Looking for a full-on urban experience, try Peoria, Glendale, or West Phoenix. If you're a staunch conservative you'll enjoy the politics. More of an organic granola cruncher, you'll love the community. Info fitness? You'll be up to your ears in bike and hike clubs. Enjoy underground culture or the arts? Where do I start! Wether you value the outdoors, night life, or neighborly units, you'll find your community somewhere. Las Vegas, Flagstaff, Yuma, Mexico, and San Diego are less than five hours away when you're ready for a vacation.
Navigating is a breeze, the freeways are quick and accessible, schools and jobs abound, it's home to an international airport and pro sports team, and there's literally something for everyone--so what are the cons? From May to October it's HOT HOT HOT. Bring your swimwear, folks. That's nothing new, but you may be surprised that the monsoon season overlaps with summer. Fall, winter, and spring blend together for a mild second season. The smog is average, but there is a lot of dust trapped in the basin. Some areas that were promising in the early 2000s have deteriorated since the crash of 2007, but other areas have grown. Scorpions, ants, and roaches exist, but even lazy maintenance keeps the worst at bay. Dysfunctional ghettos and dangerous part of town do exist. A 10-minute drive can take you through a ghetto, an outlet mall, three suburbias, and a multi-million dollar community; it can feel disjointed, the new mixed with the old, the wealthy abruptly next to the ghetto. It's a renter's paradise, but a large investment if you're shopping for real estate. If you're a white, fascist-xenophobe, the racial diversity may bother you...but you're not, right?
I would recommend Phoenix to small families and singles under 30 interested in renting, or ambitious 30+ who can carve out a place in Phoenix's impressive, competitive, and educated workforce. Large families and retirees may find the hot summers too restrictive and not as many options for low-income/casual living. It's a wonderful city experience with a never-ending stream of variety. From culture to activities to nature to shopping to food (don't even get me started on culinary wonders!!) it's a smorgasbord.[read more...]