View Full Version : Please tell me about Phoenix!
07-15-2003, 12:18 PM
I'm a regular, but I'm posting under an alias because I don't want to be found out just yet.
I might be relocating to Phoenix. I know there are a lot of BB folks who live there or used to live there: Diane, Lorena, Erin, Lisa, and others. I would greatly appreciate some feedback on the city from anyone who's familiar with it.
I've done some research on stuff like weather, schools, cost of living, etc. I'm looking more for information about the social, political, and cultural climate of the area. Is it environmentally friendly? Does the city offer curbside recycling? Are there are a fair number of organic and vegetarian options? Do public places like bars and restaurants allow smoking? What are the political leanings of the city and state in general? How diverse is the population, and how are outsiders treated? Is it a healthy city to live in?
That's the kind of stuff I'm interested in, the stuff that you really can only get from living there. Although any local insights into cost of living, weather, etc. are also appreciated.
07-15-2003, 12:57 PM
I love living in Phoenix! Phoenix encompasses a large area- if you are talking about central Phoenix there are a lot of great restaurants, and cultural activities. One of my favorites is the Hoop Dancing Championships at the Heard Museum. The Phoenix Museum is also great. Most neighborhoods in Phoenix have recylcing. In the out lying areas (like Avondale) they are starting more of it. There is something for everyone to do around here. Scottsdale has a beautiful area that holds Art Walks, Glendale has a great antique strip in the downtown area. I can't speak for the East Valley, having not lived there lately. But I enjoy the west side. There's all sorts of hiking opportunties in the valley. And you can always get away to cooler weather (or snow in the winter) by going up north. Prescott is one of my favorite places and someday I hope to be able to live there.
Cost of living depends on where you live. Just know that it is very hot July, August most of September. Yesterday we hit a new record for both morning low and evening high!:o On the other hand, October through most of June is wonderful!
If you have any other questions, please let me know.
07-15-2003, 01:08 PM
I've lived here 20+ years and agree with everything Lisa says! I would not want to live anyplace else. Yes, the summer is hot, but you DO get used to it and the rest of the year makes up for it.
Everyone is used to outsiders here, nearly everyone moves here from someplace else. Phoenix has often been labeled a "transient" city for that reason. It's pretty diverse too, again though depending on what part of town. Any idea of what area you're moving to? There are non-smoking areas in all public places, I think some areas like Mesa have banned smoking in restaurants but don't quote me on that. I am a non-smoker and have never had a problem in public areas or restaurants. The state as a whole has been traditionally conservative however we have a new female Democrat governor. What else - oh recycling I believe is everywhere, and the usual organic/vegetarian stores/restaurants that are available in any large city. Feel free to PM me if you have any other specific questions.
07-15-2003, 01:54 PM
As a recent newcomer to Phoenix, we moved here in September 2002, I might be able to add a different perspective than what has already been posted. I relocated from Eugene, Oregon (one of the most environmentally friendly and liberal places around) and there is a difference here. The political climate, in general, is far more conservative than I am used to. With that said, I have still managed to meet and make friends with many people who share the same political views that I do.
I feel that things aren't as "green" as they could be here. We can't get recycling at the townhouse we currently are living in. We are moving and hope that is something we can start doing. My office (in a major high rise building)doesn't recycle paper or soda cans/water bottles. My pet peeve is people cleaning the sidewalks and driveways with water from the garden hose.
There are Trader Joe stores and a local store called AJ's for organic produce and products. I think that Tempe is non-smoking in certain places. Eugene was and it has taken some getting used to when we go out to eat or to a bar. We do have ozone alerts at times because of the air.
With that said, we love living here and find it to be a very easy city to navigate. Costs of living are significantly lower for us than they were in Eugene and salaries are higher. So we made the right financial move. That won't always be the case depending where you are moving from. Most everyone here seems to be from somewhere else so there is not that bias against locals that some places seem to have.
If you want to PM me for more information, feel free.
07-16-2003, 11:08 AM
07-16-2003, 05:47 PM
I didn't really live there long enough to give you the answers you're looking for.
I can say, though, that it was pretty nice to be able to wear shorts in December. It was a little strange to see the rest of the world dressed in parkas, however! AZ is like its own little world sometimes! The spring was absolutely beautiful. Everything was green.
Traffic is horrendous. I lived in Fountain Hills which was pretty far from everything. The valley is quite spread out!
I can't really speak to much else...when I lived there I had no job and little money, so I never really experience everything AZ had to offer. I shopped mainly at Albertson's and Safeway.
Hope this helps you a little!
07-17-2003, 01:11 PM
I just wanted to add to the comments made by ErinM. While traffic can be a bear there are lots of new freeways that help move us around. Are there still traffic jams-yes and when there is an accident on either I-10 or I-17 things can be nasty for a long time.
And yes the valley is spread out, but these new freeways are helping to link all the corners. Plus transit is taking baby steps to improve. (I just wish they would come out to the far west valley!)
There is growth all over the place so that you can find the kinds of stores you are interested in. There are Trader Joe's in several differnt locations, and places like Trader Joe's, and Wild Oats in several places too.
07-17-2003, 04:47 PM
Just adding to what everyone else has said, in addition to Trader Joe's, AJ's and Wild Oats, we also have Whole Foods and Sprouts (a chain of farmers markets).
In answer to your question regarding how outsiders are treated, it seems like almost no one (me included) is from here, so the first thing most people meeting you for the first time will ask you is "where are you from?" I've lived here for a little over 2 years and have found everyone to be friendly and welcoming.
No one mentioned the downtown area (downtown Phoenix) so I'm going to. I worked downtown for a couple years till DS was born and got to know the area really well. There's a lot to do downtown - the Diamondbacks play in a beautiful ballpark, the Coyotes and Suns are in the arena right next door (although the Coyotes are moving to a new arena in Glendale in Dec.), and there's a new theater several blocks down that gets top acts like Jerry Seinfeld, the Rockettes, Don Henley, etc. The Arizona Science Center is also downtown as is Phoenix Civic Plaza, where all the huge conventions take place. It's a very walkable downtown and there are a bunch of decent restaurants.
Regarding smoking, I'm pretty sure (but don't quote me) that the city of Tempe has banned smoking in all bars and restaurants, and Mesa is planning to follow suit.
happy to answer any other questions - feel free to pm or email me. :)
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