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An Acquired Taste
Coming from Los Angeles, I never thought I would end up in Tucson. I lived there for about 10 years. Tucson is one of the greenest deserts in the world. The Sonoran Desert, the topography, and outdoor life are great. There is plenty to do in this city, there are always plenty of events. Housing is affordable, people are down to earth and mostly friendly. Although Tucson is in the nationwide index as one of lowest income places, people are kind and always willing to step up and help, even the transient and homeless people have a sense of community and are chilled. There is a place for anyone upscale, hippie lifestyle and everything in between. Tucson was a great place to live, to explore and discover its rich history and the southwest feel will greet you if you decide to come. The summer is harsh between the end of May and the end of July but the nights always cool down and are comfortable. The magnificence of the Monsoon season will leave you in awe. I love Tucson, and it will always live in my heart. If you do have young ones you have to choose your schools carefully and a strong education in re: to drug use will be needed, Tucson is very well known for it's Marijuana use starting from a young age, and so ensuring proper guidance and a close eye is always necessary. Other than that I would absolutely recommend Tucson. If you come here as a retired person, or with a solid job offer you will do fine. Finding a high-paying job is very hard and there is little room to grow as a professional. But if you like a laid back lifestyle and are happy with a simple life come on down. Tucson has all the amenities of a big city and still holds the feel of the small town. Oh and stay away from the Southside.



Tips on Tucson if you must live there.
This post will repeat some information about Tucson previously posted, but add additional tips on how to live there (not recommended).
I advise those that doubt my veracity to do thorough research on the net, google, etc as you will find what I have said to be true, although maybe somewhat exaggerated.

Lived there on an off for about 12 years. I am a retired human services professional. I have lived in half a dozen U.S. cities and extended stays in many others. Have lived or spent long periods in a few other countries.

Can't say much good about Tucson. I will say I liked the weather, but I love hot, dry places where the weather does not change much. It's sunny most ALL the time and very dry with a one month monsoon and spectacular lighting storms; occasional flash floods. If you like four seasons you will not like Tucson as the weather gets very boring.

The good weather is more than offset by what can only be described as an absolute SH*T town. I won't call it a City even though greater Tucson is nearing the one million mark, because it lacks most good things that are found in other cities of it's size-culture, good parks, good museums, good theatre, good services, government assistance, progressive populace, poltical representation.

It does have good shopping. Lots of big box stores, restaurants and supermarkets to choose from. The restaurants are mediocre at best, lots of fast food joints. Poor food preparation here, got food poisoning multiple times, but the health department will address complaints. Service at the stores is lacking.
wages are low here and the level of service reflects that.

You are easily expendable here as a worker and the treat you accordingly. As in many cities there is an undercurrent of good Ol boy when it comes to applying and getting hired. They like to have cattle call job fairs so they can see you personally, what color your skin is, how old you are. Makes it tons easier to discriminate without getting caught.

Bus system is ok compared to many other cities, but when I left buses did not run past 11pm or so. Taxis are not well regulated and can be outright dangerous. There was no bus service to the airport late at night or early morning. Taxi drivers here are even worse sc*mbags than other cities I have lived in. The government here adopts a hands-off policy and the residents here suffer as a result.The taxi companies do whatever the hell they please, no oversight.

One of the biggest problems with Toosad and most of AridZONEA is the lousy, corrupt, police state type governments here. Both City and State. It's almost as if they are trying to emulate Mexico in this regard. How do you spell CROOKED, INEPT, IGNORANT? The City gubbermint is a joke, exists solely for it's own pleasure with little regard to the average joe walking on the streets. Serious convictions of cops here for felony offenses in the several years I was there, and even more committing unprofessional behaviors-google it, it's on the net. Lots of rogue, ignoramuses on the force, maybe they recruit from the local homeless shelters?

Election "helpers" who try to prevent legitimate registered voters from voting based on what I can only guess is some secret political blacklist. Court system that uses jury duty to punish political enemies. Crooked city prosecutors who prosecute based on their own personal animosities rather than any crimes being committed.
Judges who do not know or follow the law. Welfare offices that deny applicants based on their being white or simply because the state Gov. of AZ is too stingy to help people.

Crooked attorneys who violate attorney-client confidentiality-I personally witnessed this from two supposedly well regarded attorneys. You name it, it happens in Toosad. You are in the Wild West.
Bring your tape recorder and video cam to record your interactions with anyone in authority and/or employees. Bring witnesses with you at all times dealing with these low-lifes. You should also have someone accompany you to doctors appointments. It is the only way you will get quality medical care unless your insurance is the best and you are regarded as a fellow professional.

Political representation at the Federal level is piss poor, with representative mostly concerned about who they can get money from to get reelected. When I left the so called "democratic" representatives were on the payrolls of big business and liberal in name only.

If you are a renter here BEWARE. Lots of slumlords and NO CITY or GOV protection from their bad treatment of tenants. Read your contract carefully and get a copy of the AZ Landlord Tenant Act. Know your rights and record everything. Carefully check all appliances and inspect the unit before moving in and record all deficiencies. Many landlords do not follow the law and will enter your residence without notice when you are not home.

Crime and drug dealing is a MAJOR problem at many of the complexes. These slumlords care only about one thing: getting their rent money on time. Forget about maintenance, you will have to kiss their asses to get anything done or more. Landlords are paying off the City and politicos to protect them from their abuses of the law and human decency. This is more like Mexico, then the USA. But in Mexico they do not have the problems with meth heads that they have in Toosad. This probably does not apply to high end renters who pay large amounts above what they should for better service. But if your rich, do not rent, buy. Renting here is a losing proposition.

Medical care? Hard to find a decent doctor and wait times are months frequently. Also lack of professionalism among doctors and in hospitals. They frequently violate their hipocracy (SIC) oaths. Most doctors here are the same as many U.S. cities-incompetent, old, outdated in their knowledge, providing inadequate care. City hospitals are rated poorly-again google Medicare+hospital ratings.

Traffic here is bad, but not as bad as places like L.A., New York, and other larger cities. Lack of freeways for cross town traffic in a city where SPRAWL is it's middle name. Virtually no traffic enforcement. Lots of bad drivers, run lights, speeding, etc. Cops are allowed to park illegally downtown with meter maids ignoring it. Cops are allowed to violate traffic laws with no repercussions.

Lots of gang activity concentrated on the South Side but all over really. Frequent violent shootings and other violence. You can carry a gun openly here, which is a solution for many. This is the Wild West with judge Roy Bean presiding. Be careful where you live and who your neighbors are.

University here is substandard compared to northern cities. Poor teaching, poor administration, poor libraries. Little to no political dissent is tolerated here-the students are just too apathetic, dumb and status quo to care and the admins are not supportive of free speech. Lack of quality and professionalism throughout. University exists for football and making money on research projects, not for the students. University and faculty/staff do not like old people using facilities and homeless rights are frequently violated to keep them off campus. University police force in this regard is a bad joke. If you're not a young, naive, conservative and stereotypical off-to-college (think 50's movies) student, you are not welcome here.,Prices on campus for food are sky high. They use these facilities to make money for the University, that is their purpose, not to serve the students.

By and large this is a police state. You have no rights here except the right to hire a probably crooked attorney to enforce the rights you are not routinely accorded in other locales. The cops are ignorant and do not care often. The court system is corrupt as are the prosecutors offices here. The whole gov. system is on the take from landlords, businesses and criminals with money-this is a Barry Goldwater/Joesph Bonanno (mafia chiefdon) State & it's all about who gets paid off. Not all cops but a significant percentage are this way. So are many of the politicos here. In short there are no or low standards of conduct, professionalism or justice that are enforced here. This is improving with regards to the police department according to recent news reports-looks like the department is starting to root out bad cops, good.



Do Not Move Here
I moved here about 20 years ago and have not been able to leave even though I think about it every day. It's an awful place. The long summers will kill you, it's a low-paying town where you had better speak Spanish to get even a decent call center job, the traffic has become horrible, and the gang and drug problems are spreading. Much of the town looks like a third-world country with falling down houses.

Yes, it's a nice place to retire if you have money and can get away during the 6+ beastly hot months. It's a place where people come who have already made their fortune. You won't make it here.



Not a good place to live!
I left Tucson and moved far away! If you have alot of money and can afford to live in the richer nicer homes on the North end of Tucson you will probably love it and do well, otherwise I would avoid this place like the plague. Some places are so ran down, you would think slum Lords own them, there are alot of places like that here. The city will not do anything, as there are no real laws to protect renters. The Tucson VA is crap, and attempting to find quality medical care elsewhere is equally as bad, again unless you have money. To say drug use is rampant is an understatement, and I am not talking about weed- which is legal here if you have a mmj card. I am talking about meth, heroin, crack, etc. There is an extremely large homeless population here the base of which is centered downtown around the library, homeless shelters are extremely over taxed and can't handle the numbers so they have homeless camps, alot of the people have mental issues combined with drug abuse.



No Vision and No Resources to Create One
Tucson is such a disappointment because it could be so much more. It wants to see itself as the next Austin or Portland but it is not even on par with Tulsa or Topeka. In 2015 Wallethub survey of the largest 150 US cities, it was rated as the least recession recovered. Tucson's roads were considered the worst in the West and some of the worst in the nation. There is also very little code enforcement or money to hire new enforcers so as the recession wore on and on here, neighborhoods just got worse. Most of the city housing stock is in deplorable condition and needs to be bulldozed. It's not even like it's that old or just in bad shape. There's nothing redeemable architecturally or otherwise about most of the housing or buildings here. The city turned a blind eye and allowed anything 'cheap' to go in and now that's what it is left with. There's little reason for many people to keep their property values up because the surrounding areas are still in decay or not worth redeeming. Tucson has become the poor child in the state, maybe in part because of it's proximity to the border and all of the issues with immigration. Perhaps Tucson should be considered a border city and will continued to be plagued by border city problems. What I can see after many years here is that that is no vision, no unifying vision that brings anything together in a way that is sustainable and shows promise. It's hollow talk. I think Tucson has fallen into a state of inertia where it just can't get up and really get going and stay going. It's adrift. Rio Nuevo was an attempt by the city to start tackling problems downtown and go area by area to create a vibrant urban core but when that imploded, they just let things go adrift. There was no Plan B.The politicians and the city will tell you that it's coming back but the comeback is paltry compared to what was lost and what is going on in Phoenix, Prescott, Sedona, and Flagstaff. Tucson is really falling off the map. If all you want is a cheap place to live in the Southwest, this may do it for you. But if you really want a vibrant scene, you won't find it here.



Sad downfall of a city.
I have lived here all my life. I am quite young, so I don't have the same insight as some older people, but to me, Tucson has always been an economically depressed town, and I realized quickly I would never be able to have a future here. Tucson is definitely a classist city, without a doubt - you have your rich oldies and northerners who move here for the ridiculously low cost of living, and then you have the actual native Tucson residents who seem to live in abject poverty with no hope of escape.

There are wealthy neighborhoods next to trailer parks. There are no good schools, other than the ones outside city limits, and one private high school. The mentality here is very interesting, I have never met anyone (other than my classmates at private school) who seemed interested in what the world had to offer and were happy living in cockroach infested apartments and trailer parks, leaching off meager government benefits. People are here laid back, too laid back if you ask me. There is no reason to be living in third world poverty when we live in America.

There are no good paying jobs here outside of the AF base, hospital, university, or Raytheon. Without Davis Monthan and the university, this place would have died years ago. If you have money, you will have an amazing life here - the golf courses and the houses in the Foothills are to die for, and you can escape the heat in the summer. But the rest of us can't even seem to scrape by, it seems.

The education here is dismal. It won't even prepare you for the next level, and people here may as well be illiterate. I have had the unique opportunity to travel around the country as well as abroad, and now that I know what is out there, I refuse to stay in a city that will not acknowledge my intelligence or get with the times.

You will often get your staunch Tucson defenders, pretty evident in this review thread. Ignore them. They are a large part of the problem. There is nothing to defend other than the cost of living. Crime is also a huge problem here, and the city seems to be hooked on meth. Every corner will have a homeless beggar, or multiple.

Tucson used to have potential, but alas, when an entire city seems to not care about its sad conditions, not much can be done to change it. That is why U of A grads leave the city in droves for jobs. Do not move here. Look at it on a post card and be glad you weren't subjected to this sort of life.



Tucson,AZ and lousy website
B4 I write a long diatribe, your registration and posting procedure is very flakey, so is this even working?



Tucson,AZ and lousy website
B4 I write a long diatribe, your registration and posting procedure is very flakey, so is this even working?



Area is Deceptive; Looks Healthier Than It Really
Many people who come to Tucson see the big homes in the foothills and mountains around Tucson and think that the area is doing well. After all, when we see wealth like that, we assume that it is reflected by the local economy and says a lot about the city itself. Well, Tucson defies the norms. It is not a normal city. Many of the big beautiful homes and spectacular views that one sees are no reflection of the city and its economic health. While there are a lot of them, these homes mostly belong wealthy retirees who contribute little in the way of taxes or an economic base or are second homes for Snow Birds (winter residents). The property taxes that these homes generate don't even benefit Tucson for the most part but stay up in Phoenix. SO DON'T JUDGE TUCSON'S HEALTH BY THE MANSIONS SURROUNDING THE CITY. They are in their own little world.

Tucson is not run by professional politicians. It is run by mostly nice people, yes, but not very aggressive or assertive politicians who can take the bull by the horns (so to speak) and get things pushed through. They are amateurs. Thus, Tucson lags the rest of the state in rebounding from the Great Recession, if indeed it has rebounded at all. The city likes to throw statistics at you about how it is coming back but the rebound is paltry compared to what needs to happen and in comparison to other Sunbelt cities. Tucson's politicians are all homegrown, which is part of the problem.

I get no pleasure out of saying this because this really is a nice place with great potential but also a place that continues and continues and continues to disappoint. Get the point. In short, Tucson is still a Cowtown, run like a cowtown, falling apart like a cowtown, surround by rich people in the foothills who have nothing to do with the city and who could care less. Tucson is a poor city, with poor economic prospects, with poor wages and worker conditions. Add to it that it's a very backward and Red State that puts all its money in its capital, Phoenix and surrounds, and things don't look good for the ole' Pueblo.



Warning - Cowtown Camouflaged as Up and Coming Cit
Tucson is still in the Great Recession / Depression that started in 2008. Home prices have gone nowhere for the most part and the city has fallen apart. It can't afford to even keep up its streets. Empty store fronts everywhere and major thoroughfares look terrible. Not ever a professional city and what was on its way up is still heading down, as other Sunbelt cities get their acts together. Tucson shouldn't even be there. There is no industry, no economy - just a university and an air force base. If you are thinking about moving here, you really should think twice. Most of us who are stuck here who can't sell our still underwater homes can't get out.



Stupid Tucson - Caught with its pants down
Tucson has had how many years to figure itself out and get itself on the right track or any sort of track? Something like 300 years, right? Tucson is one of the oldest, continuously inhabited cities in the country. This may be an old city but is also the most clueless and backwards place you'll ever live. It goes beyond ignorance. Tucson has fallen behind if not fallen out of the race completely because it hasn’t wanted to change and grow. For years, it has shun growth and now no one wants it. There are too many other cities who got their acts together. Yes, it’s that simple. Yet, Tucson remains arrogant in its ignorance. It just assumed growth would happen anyway, so it didn’t plan or prepare, it didn’t fill city hall with professionals who knew what they were doing, it didn’t feel there was any need to jump out in front and steer the ship… So, now it’s caught completely by surprise, like the emperor without his clothes, when the music stopped. And now Tucson finds that nobody wants it. Now, when Tucson most needs it, it can’t rally, change and grow. It is being taken for the joke that it is as it risks irrelevance in the 21st Century. I doubt Tucson will remain in the top 150 cities much longer. There in no economy here. Large companies have all gone elsewhere. Shame on Tucson. Shame on the citizenry of Tucson who have let this city become the mess that it is. This place is only good for those who isolate, for the dying and vultures who want views. Cheapest real estate in the Southwest now that it has fallen completely through the cracks and can't come back. In fact, almost the cheapest and worst kept housing stock in the country. The place is diseased.



Anti-Growth & Anti-Jobs
Tucson's problem and the reason that it will not be on anyone's 'places to be list' for decades is that it has shunned growth and jobs for so long that it will take decades to recover what it lost in the housing bust and great recession. They won't tell you this here but there's not going to be any recovery or much of anything you can measure, just a slow slog out of the mire...a mire of its own making. It's depressing and it should be depressing for anyone who had investments here. Five to six years after the trough, just about every other Western Sunbelt city has come roaring back and then some - except for Tucson. Phoenix is going gangbusters. You can't find property in Flagstaff. Prescott has come back. Tucson just never got its act together; they took growth for granted. They didn't work with neighboring cities, town, and counties to come up with coordinated plans for smart growth. They didn't market the city to businesses or seek to diversify their employer base. How long have we had the big four - the U of A, Raytheon, DMAFB, and hospitals/healthcare? We lost commercial and residential construction so no longer have the big five. I would say that this city has another 15 years or so to go before it reaches the level of excitement or housing prices before the big bust. By then, every other decent city in the nation will be comparatively far out of reach.

Tucson sealed its fate after years of sticking its head in the sand. It's not coming back. This is not a city for anyone who wants a healthy or thriving economy or social scene. It's so behind the times, you can smell the decay and rot in the air here. Short of Miami and South Florida going under water, Tucson will not be anyone's radar any time soon.



Slowest Moving and Acting City
Tucson is slow to move and act on just about everything, which will drive even the most patient of people mad. In Phoenix, Tucson is known as Hokey-Pokey Tucson and now I know why. They can't or won't (or just don't) fill city offices, so things don't get done or done well. They wait until things are at crisis proportions before they act. This is not a rising star of a city by any means but one whose luster is tarnished from years of neglect and uninspired leadership. They've had their wake-up call and are too deaf to hear it. Neighborhoods for the most part are deplorable with little in the way of uniform rules & regs in place for parking, architectural changes, colors, maintenance, etc. It's an Out-of-Control city that never recovered from the housing recession and doesn't look like it's heading anywhere good soon.



Agree with Criticisms about Tucson - Most Inept Lo
Haved lived in Tucson on and off for 50 years. The place is still the same do-nothing, going-nowhere cowtown that it always was. Am always thrilled when my job allows me to move somewhere that has some life and energy to it. The next move will be outta here for good. Nice people but but the town is in a permanent rut, lots of poverty, horrible neighborhoods with jumbled up infill housing, and a lot of junk homes. The city does nothing. It's either corrupt or permanently incompetent. The city council does nothing. The place is rotting and nature allowed to run its course. Not a place for anyone who wants a social life or culture. Best thing about Tucson is that Phoenix is 100 miles north.



Problems with Tucson are CULTURAL and deeply embed
Tucson should rank high on Sperling's "Most Disappointing and Wasted Potential" cities list. After having lived in various places in Arizona and the West for 50 years, Tucson is the most "Stuck-in-the-Mud" and oblivious places that 'could've been, would've been but probably never will be' in the West. There are three types of people who dominate the area (1) people who come here to retire and die; (2) students who leave as soon as they graduate because the city has nothing to offer them; and (3) people who can't afford to live anywhere else. Tucson has its devotees as well. The weather is pretty nice for the most part and the mountain views and drives if you can afford to live in the Foothills are spectacular. However, it's a love/hate. What good is a view and a pretty drive if the city is stuck in neutral? Don't expect change here. Don't expect a vibe here. Don't expect to be excited here. Tucson doesn't want change. Tucson resists change. The culture here is hands-off, laissez-faire, Libertarian, a little red-neck and anything goes - which is why most of the city, its infrastructure and it's neighborhoods have been rotting to the ground. From what I've seen the past 15 years here, Tucson wouldn't know how to begin promoting itself and doesn't have what it takes culturally to turn itself around. It really needs an influx of new professional talent and leadership from outside instead of this homegrown group that keep perpetuating the same ole cultural malaise.


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