Tucson, AZ is bad and growing worse
I've lived in Tucson for about 15 years; I love the scenery and don't mind the weather. When I got here I thought it was decent enough but still, a boring place. There is some to-do downtown but there was a sort of haze of desperation about the place. You couldn't go to the grocery store without being approached by a scammer in half of the parking lots and the job market for those without a degree was quite atrocious.
Over my time here: it's kept getting worse. It's a rapidly growing city, but the elements that are growing are not the sort you want to be living around. The meth and heroin epidemic have definitely found a cozy home throughout northern stretches and in South Tucson. You see people walking around like zombies: screaming at the air or harassing every random passerby. This is not a city you want to walk around: drive with your doors locked. The crime has sky-rocketed as well.
If you forget to lock your car: you will wake up to find a mess of someone having gone through it. There has been a huge out-flux of people from California: many of them are great people! Unfortunately we got many of the worst as well. The local government mismanages our taxes to such a nightmarish extent: I think Tucson has the worst roads in the country. They raised the sales tax "This will be to fix the roads" they generated 50 million dollars. That disappeared and the roads are still abysmal.
What once was a hippie town written about in a Beatles song, is now a hotbed for gang activity and wasted potential. This is not a place to raise children. This is not a good place to retire. I decided to write this while making sure I don't move my family into a dead-end place like this. If you don't have a bachelors, then the job market here would break you. The children of several co-workers have gotten sucked into the darkness of this place: drugs and gang-related activities, along with the inability to find a place to work hard and try and get ahead.
University of Arizona is over-priced for being such a mediocre uni. The sports programs are good, but the facilities for half of the education programs are lacking. I have heard the professors are better than worse here (which is one of the most important things) but the corruption stretches from the streets to the city and even, to the management of the sports programs and school boards.
If you are looking for somewhere nice to live: this place is in desperate need of gentrification. This is not a step up from most parts of the United States. You will find yourself on an escalator going down and down. I am just glad my wife's family agreed to leave because after seeing the decline in the last 15 years: I can't fathom what it will be like in 5 or more. The heathens can keep this God-forsaken place. She is from here and loved it 30 years ago; the last 5 years stripped away any iota of nostalgia she had for this place. Tucson has gone to the dogs.
Jergen | Tucson, AZ