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Old 08-06-2008, 06:10 PM
 
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
48 posts, read 154,565 times
Reputation: 38
I've always classified people that live in Phoenix into two catergories:

Mid-Upper class snots and Low class immigrants.

Being as I've been to Phoenix for many extended periods, I've come to notice how rude people in Phoenix can be. They're basically like, oh, I'm better than you because I have a nice tan and I drive a used BMW.
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Old 08-06-2008, 07:07 PM
 
Location: Phoenix
3,995 posts, read 6,022,623 times
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I moved to Phoenix last August and am an Army brat. I've lived in every region of the country. I do see different cultural trends in different regions but in Phoenix there seems to be a mix and match type of person. You have natives, Californians, and Midwesterners as the largest make-up of the population. Next are North-easterners and I don't really see a significant difference in attitudes of people "from" Phoenix and those from anywhere else.

What I do notice is that the young professional type, like myself, in Phoenix tend to be amongst a very mixed crowd. The young Latino graduate is a new and still small segment but is very noticeable in Phoenix. This is due mostly to the large base of the Latino population. I include myself in the Latino segment. I am a member of a young professional organization in Phoenix along with many of my family members my age and we notice the influx of minorities into our organizations and the welcoming attitudes of the traditional white members. Race isn't an issue, but was brought up today by some from NY who noticed that our group did not focus on race like many of their organizations in the East did. I think Phoenix ends up being what you make of it. If you feel secluded and alone, you've probably secluded and alienated yourself and haven't reached out to the community. I say I am from the Seattle area because throughout my father's military career, this area was home for the most part and I went to high school all 4 years in the Puget Sound region. I compare Phoenix to Seattle and I like what I see in both places.

Overall, the people in Phoenix do like to have fun, travel, take trips "up-north" in transplant dialect, or to the "high-country" in the native tongue! LOL I have enjoyed Phoenix and cannot imagine living somewhere else. I think the new generation of those in Phoenix, those that have setup roots in Phoenix who came from somewhere else, will have children who will interact with natives and become the Phoenix version of New Yorkers, Bostonians, Chicagoans, Seattlites, etc. Many of my older coworkers who aren't foreign are from the Midwest and have teens and children who are Suns and D-Backs fans when they themselves are Cubs, Yankee, Phily, Brewer, etc. supporters. Traditions and pastimes like those transition into a cultural identity of a region. Phoenix having been flooded with newcomers has just begun to see its own traditions and adaptations of old AZ and Southwestern culture with culture from everywhere else.

Last edited by fcorrales80; 08-06-2008 at 07:24 PM..
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Old 08-06-2008, 07:32 PM
 
Location: 602/520
2,441 posts, read 3,686,979 times
Reputation: 1815
Quote:
Originally Posted by TXTrakah View Post
Unfortunately, I have to agree with the OP. I moved here a few months ago from Houston, and I have had an incredibly hard time making friends in this city.

Unlike some, I did not choose to move to this city. My partner's job in Houston was relocated here, so we did not have much of a choice in the matter. Also, his company did not give us much notice, so there was very little time for thought.

Although, he had been here quite a few times, I myself, had only been here once for literally a day and a half prior to moving. Just having been here that one time, I'll admit that I was not overly thrilled with PHX, and for some reason, I couldn't wait to get back home to Houston.

The funny thing is that I am not a native Houstonian, or a native Texan for that matter. And yes, I found many faults with Houston. But the funny thing is when I bashed Houston, I did it because I truly cared about the city, and Texas for that matter. I sincerely believed, and still believe, that Houston has a lot of potential. As for PHX, I feel nothing for it, literally nothing. It certainly isn't the worst place to live, but it certainly is nowhere near the best.

Getting back to the people aspect, in Houston I lived on the border of the Montrose, Heights, and River Oaks neighborhoods near downtown. These were very distinct neighborhoods filled with a cornucopia of different people. The rich, poor, middle class, students, gays, artists, musicians, blacks, whites, Asians, Hispanics, foreigners, all lived there, and all interacted with each other. The vast majority of people were warm and friendly. In my apartment complex alone, it was common to chat with my neighbors daily while our dogs ran around playing with each other. We also have fun things like the annual rodeo parade, and the art car show. Little did I know that I was living in utopia until I moved here.

Arriving here in Phoenix, I immediately got the feeling of isolation. Isolation both socially and geographically. For starters, the house we are renting was solely chosen by my partner, and I had never laid eyes on it until we moved in. The house basically looks like a gray cell block with a gravel yard both in the front and back. Sure, some would say that he picked a lousy house, but the fact is that many houses here look the same. In fact, everything here almost looks the same. The strip malls, the houses, the commercial buildings, and worst of all, everything is practically the same color, BROWN. Don't get me wrong here, I do realize that the idea is to blend in with the desert, but seriously folks, I think it is being taken just a little too far. What is so bad about having creativity in design and color schemes?

Anyway, getting back to the point. My neighbors here are extremely unfriendly. Not just with me, but with everyone else it seems. Nobody is ever outside their house unless they are going to work, or getting their mail. This is so vastly opposite of my life in Houston, and it is really sad. I guess since there are no lawns to mow, or grass for dogs to play in, the opportunity to meet one's neighbor is dramatically reduced.

As for meeting people at work, well I was very surprised to find out that everyone I work with is at least my parents age or just slightly younger. And to make matters worse my dept consists of just a handful of people. Again, this is just so vastly different from my life in Houston. And it is not to say that my little, older group, of coworkers are not nice people, because they certainly are, but other than work issues we do not have much to talk about. Hell, we cannot even talk about the weather, because there is not much to talk about.

Speaking of weather, I am an avid weather lover, and frankly the weather here is boring. After living in Houston, I can tell you folks the monsoon is nothing get excited about. I have seen far worse storms in Houston almost on a daily basis, which incidentally, made for some good conversation with others. And ironically, it is not the heat that bothers me here, it's the dryness. With the exception of right now, the dewpoint is just far too low for my comfort. Since moving here I have been "zapped" by everything metal I touch, and even while petting my dog! I am literally dreading the fall when the air completely dries again and that problem returns. Not to mention my skin, lips, and sinuses dry out as well. Now I do not have to have it as muggy as it is in Houston, and in fact, that got tedious at times, but to have a dewpoint of 7 is just as bad as 77 in my book. The only difference was my A/C would filter out the muggy air. Here, I would have to buy some kind of expensive whole house humidifier that would ultimately wind up competing with my A/C.

Also, I need to address crime here. Two months after we moved here we were burglarized. I have never been burglarized in my life. Sure, it happens everywhere, but the fact is it has never happened to me anywhere but here

To summarize my thoughts, yes, I agree that the people here do not seem very friendly overall, and also seem to lack that certain "spark". They also IMO, seem to be very into their own lives, more so than anywhere I have lived. And what is up with all the tattoos, piercings, and crotch rockets? Even the Hispanics here are vastly different here than in Texas. Many seem unfriendly here because they can barely speak a word of english. In Texas, most Hispanic people speak english, and even do so with a Texan accent. They also tend to be friendly, hardworking, and integrate well into society. My best friend from Texas is hispanic, and even he noticed the difference when visiting here.

Phoenix is brown and so are the buildings. Not golden brown like the rolling hillsides of California in the summer , just pain brown, or a beige shading. Painting buildings with the same drab color is equally uninspiring. Also very little originality in building design and neighborhoods.

Phoenix lacks any kind of real theme park, or awe inspiring water park. A Very odd thing for such a big and relatively isolated city with a mild climate.

Phoenix is a desert, and although I can take the heat, the excessive dryness is too much for me. Overall greenery is scarce, including trees and grass, and that happens to be important to me.

Phoenix does have a crime problem. I was a victim after only two months of living here. I am hoping to god that it was only an isolated incident, but the fact is I do not know my neighbors, nor do I have the cozy feeling of security that comes with that. Even if my neighbors saw the crime happening, I have the distinct feeling that they would not even bother reporting it.

Phoenix IMO does not have any real culture. It makes Houston feel like London in this respect.

Phoenix is isolated. I do not care how close you may claim Vegas, San Diego, and LA are, but the fact is they are at least 5 hours away, and that is not close for me. Tucson and Flagstaff do not count as "real" cities as far as I am concerned.

The fact is Phoenix I have tried to like it here, but the minuses outweigh the pluses. My personality, and the overall personality of this city, just do not fit the mold. This tends to make me cranky like I am now, which is never a good thing.

Please understand these are my personal feelings based on MY likes and experiences. Some will agree with me, and some will not. Is phoenix an absolutely horrible place to live, no. Is it a place where I personally feel comfortable and happy overall, no. Some will say, "If you don't like it, MOVE". Well, that is easier said than done, as any mature adult would understand. Ultimately I will move just as soon as the opportunity presents itself.
Sounds like you have more of a problem with the desert than you do with Phoenix. Yes, our architecture and landscape is overwhelmingly brown. That's an attribute of being in the desert. Go to Albuquerque, Tucson, or Las Vegas, and you'll see the same thing. Phoenix and Houston are not in the same setting, so I don't know why you expect them to be similar.

I don't know why you think Phoenix is isolated compared to Houston. To me, the cities that Phoenix is within driving distance to are much more interesting than the cities Houston is near. Dallas or LA? San Antonio or Vegas? With all the changes in scenery and the different activities you can partake in (skiing, snowboarding, hiking, water sports, etc.) in a relatively short distance, I would argue that there is a lot more to do and see in driving distance here than in Houston.

I never understand why people label their neighbors as "mean" or "unfriendly" just because they don't talk to their neighbors. Not everyone wants to have their neighbors in their business. You go home to be comfortable in your space, not to have intrusions from overly-friendly people. I guess having neighbors speaking to you at every sighting is an attribute of the South, because it is certainly not something I have experience anywhere I have lived.

I don't know anything about Mexicans here compared to Houston. All I know is that Phoenix does have MANY Mexican-Americans who have been here for many generations. I know several Mexican-Americans born here who don't know a word of Spanish and who have never been anywhere in Mexico but Rocky Point. Maybe it's an attribute of the neighborhood you live in.

I don't understand the fact that people label Phoenix as having a "crime problem." That's an attribute of Phoenix that baffles me. People here just seem to be scared and on edge here for irrational reasons. You want to see crime? Go to the west side of Chicago, Detroit, north Philadelphia, etc. Anyway, if you are a repeated victim of crime, maybe it really is time to think about moving to another neighborhood if you have the money. You make it sound as though you and your partner COULD be living in a nicer house than you're living in now. Maybe you live in a poor neighborhood. I am not sure I would blame the city for your problems if that's the case.
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Old 08-06-2008, 08:08 PM
 
430 posts, read 920,231 times
Reputation: 147
Default texas TXTrakah is right on

Correct, there is a major difference here with the people in neighborhoods. You don't find them outside unless its coming home, leaving home, checking the mail, other then that its pull in garage down, period. people are a little more friendly in public places then in your actual neighborhood. I am from Kentucky so you know I am friendly as a pup, lol. I talk to anyone which isen't always a good move on my part I have learned not to be pushey, if I speak to someone and they don't respond positive, I say no more. I have learned to speak less to people here, I have excepted the ways of this new environment, its ok, because I won't be here forever. I am looking forward to being back in my element, being in a walking neighborhood with people milling about, that say moring or evening as you pass each other, ok. maybe its corney, but, I like it! I would probably love mayberry too.
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Old 08-06-2008, 08:29 PM
 
Location: Phoenix
3,995 posts, read 6,022,623 times
Reputation: 859
Quote:
Originally Posted by azkylady2 View Post
Correct, there is a major difference here with the people in neighborhoods. You don't find them outside unless its coming home, leaving home, checking the mail, other then that its pull in garage down, period. people are a little more friendly in public places then in your actual neighborhood. I am from Kentucky so you know I am friendly as a pup, lol. I talk to anyone which isen't always a good move on my part I have learned not to be pushey, if I speak to someone and they don't respond positive, I say no more. I have learned to speak less to people here, I have excepted the ways of this new environment, its ok, because I won't be here forever. I am looking forward to being back in my element, being in a walking neighborhood with people milling about, that say moring or evening as you pass each other, ok. maybe its corney, but, I like it! I would probably love mayberry too.
Very true of Kentucky if you are white or in a neighborhood with people of your likeliness. And I know a lot of people in suburban Phoenix can be somewhat to themselves in their neighborhoods, but I'm sure most people have friends; even if not their neighbors. In older, established, and more central neighborhoods (like mine) people walk their dogs, run, walk to stores, etc. and are very friendly and always say hi or wave. However, how you described interacting with people and not being pushy, and backing off if nothing polite happens is true of any city. That is an important aspect to remember, city folk tend to be more "passive" in the crowd than a town where everyone is related or know one another. When I lived in NYC, despite walking everywhere and living with tens of thousands of people in the same 5 square miles, not everyone waved or said hi...most pushed and hurried by.

When I travel to other cities like NYC, Boston, and Chicago the pushing and rude comments stick out to me much more then before living in Phoenix. Seattle has the pedestrain traffic downtown but lacks the pushing and shrewd remarks and is more like Phoenix in attitude. There is still room in Phoenix and Seattle to not push and be "snippy" with one another. I think a lot of what happens in Phoenix is the newness of many neighborhoods and neighbors. However, if they move somewhere that resembles a denser and less car reliant neighborhood then people will interact more. As my experience goes, most of my neighbors do not have cars. Those of us that do, do not have garages that open and close with the push of the button. Many of the buildings in my neighorhood have space on the street to park and a few have parking in the back, or in central garages that service the neighborhood. My building is old, has a courtyard and front doors face the courtyard and eachother. Since our building is brick and from 1919, I never hear my neighbors while I am inside but interact with them everyday. Many of us have a beer together nightly and watch the D-Backs every night if we aren't at a home game. My dog's name, and everyone who owns one in my neighborhood, is known throughout the neighborhood and the kids yell for him when they pass by. I sense that many of you would have been better off in an older, although more expensive neighborhood, and one more central than in a new suburb or far flung area of Phoenix. Even then, I've heard many new neighborhoods like Estrella, Tartesso, Ventana, areas of Surprise, Chandler, Gilbert, Ahwatukee, Scottsdale, Arrowhead, Verado, and on and on have the same feeling that my old "hood" has.

Last edited by fcorrales80; 08-06-2008 at 09:21 PM..
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Old 08-06-2008, 09:44 PM
 
Location: Sonoran Desert
16,451 posts, read 19,321,679 times
Reputation: 8549
Quote:
Originally Posted by azkylady2 View Post
Correct, there is a major difference here with the people in neighborhoods. You don't find them outside unless its coming home, leaving home, checking the mail, other then that its pull in garage down, period. people are a little more friendly in public places then in your actual neighborhood. I am from Kentucky so you know I am friendly as a pup, lol. I talk to anyone which isen't always a good move on my part I have learned not to be pushey, if I speak to someone and they don't respond positive, I say no more. I have learned to speak less to people here, I have excepted the ways of this new environment, its ok, because I won't be here forever. I am looking forward to being back in my element, being in a walking neighborhood with people milling about, that say moring or evening as you pass each other, ok. maybe its corney, but, I like it! I would probably love mayberry too.
That may be true where you live, but it is not true where I live. I know my neighbors. We talk, play, and do lunch and movies together, go boating, and help each other with home projects. Stop the generalizing. Your experience may be common but it is hardly universal and "Phoenix -the people themselves" do not deserve to be painted by the very narrow brush of your limited personal experience.
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Old 08-06-2008, 09:46 PM
 
430 posts, read 920,231 times
Reputation: 147
Default I am in Ahwatukee

Its not very chummy here, everyone has a car, a garage, and dogs you hear from behind the walls, but, never really see. sounds like you have a nice community feel.
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Old 08-06-2008, 09:53 PM
 
430 posts, read 920,231 times
Reputation: 147
Default lol please, its not my limited personal experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ponderosa View Post
That may be true where you live, but it is not true where I live. I know my neighbors. We talk, play, and do lunch and movies together, go boating, and help each other with home projects. Stop the generalizing. Your experience may be common but it is hardly universal and "Phoenix -the people themselves" do not deserve to be painted by the very narrow brush of your limited personal experience.
its been said over and over here how people that move here note the isolation of the residents, not being outdoors, shut up inside, kids, who knows where they are, you know people have them, but, mystery as to what they do all day. people pull up shut the garage door, thats the way it is, why you deny it is beyond me, its not personal. who really cares?
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Old 08-06-2008, 10:39 PM
 
Location: Sonoran Desert
16,451 posts, read 19,321,679 times
Reputation: 8549
Well, I'm not denying anything. I am simply asking you (and others) to not generalize their experiences to conclude that "all" people and "all" neighborhoods here are alike. We are a diverse lot of friendly and unfriendly, sweet and sour.

I do have some tips to help people who want to live in friendlier environment than is typical, though.

1. Live in one of the new master planned communities that have a residents center and professionally managed actitives for residents.

2. Participate in the activities, attend the ice breakers and mixers, coffees and such. Be friendly to people you meet. Be the one to say "hello" first

3. Huge: Live on a cul-de-sac. CDS people confront each other much more often than those on straight drives do. Kids play in cul-de-sacs, parents come and get them offering you opportunity to say "hi".

4. If you have kids, participate in school activities. Talk to other parents. When you drop the kids off at someone's house, go to the door, introduce yourself. Make an effort to remember faces and names and greet those folks again when you see them at school, at the store. Kids can be a great way of meeting people.

5. If you see your neighbors outside shoveling gravel, grab and shovel and go offer to help them.

6. Pick up the neighbors papers and junk in the drive when you know they are away (cul-de-sac again) and put them near the door. They'll never know who did it, but they'll feel better about where they live and maybe open up.

7. Accept that some people just aren't approachable and prefer to keep to themselves. Living in a big city gives that kind of freedom too. But most folks yearn for friendly neighbors and a sense of community just like you do.

My list is not exhaustive. I know many people who have made lifelong, deep friendships here in Phoenix. There are probably some who contribute to the forum who have done so. Maybe they can share their "secrets" with us.

Last edited by Ponderosa; 08-06-2008 at 10:47 PM..
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Old 08-06-2008, 11:58 PM
 
Location: Midwest
799 posts, read 1,326,407 times
Reputation: 216
Quote:
Originally Posted by azkylady2 View Post
Correct, there is a major difference here with the people in neighborhoods. You don't find them outside unless its coming home, leaving home, checking the mail, other then that its pull in garage down, period. people are a little more friendly in public places then in your actual neighborhood. I am from Kentucky so you know I am friendly as a pup, lol. I talk to anyone which isen't always a good move on my part I have learned not to be pushey, if I speak to someone and they don't respond positive, I say no more. I have learned to speak less to people here, I have excepted the ways of this new environment, its ok, because I won't be here forever. I am looking forward to being back in my element, being in a walking neighborhood with people milling about, that say moring or evening as you pass each other, ok. maybe its corney, but, I like it! I would probably love mayberry too.
Yeah...what's up with that?
I don't know most of my neighbors.
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