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Old 09-17-2019, 04:38 PM
 
138 posts, read 196,783 times
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I'm 33yo and grew up in the Chicago suburbs in the '90s, the land of so many classic John Hughes movies, along with the same-era, same-setting classic 'Risky Business'. In my opinion, one common characteristic of kids and teenagers in the Chicago suburbs is the excitement of going to "downtown Chicago". Fields trips there always seemed more special, like you were an adult for a while, "all on your own" (/s) in the big city for the day. Following college, a common rite of passage for suburban Chicago teenagers is getting enough money saved up to rent an apartment with your friends *in the city*.

I've lived in metro Phoenix for several months now, and I think that metro Phoenix, especially Scottsdale, is a pretty great place to live. But my biggest disappointment with metro Phoenix is downtown Phoenix itself. Simply put, I've been shocked with how forgettable it is.

Whereas "moving to the city" is, as I mentioned above, a major rite of passage among teenagers in Chicago suburbia, "moving to the city" (specifically downtown Phoenix) seems to be of no interest to many of the young 20-something workers in my large suburban metro Phoenix office.

After Thur/Fri work in downtown Chicago, large groups of coworkers would often walk or talk the El and head together to a bar, and then another, then another, etc. The young people here in suburban Phoenix all drive their own ways after work and seem to spend little time with coworkers after work.

Perhaps it's unfair to*compare*Phoenix to Chicago.

To be clear, life in Chicago about half the year can be miserable, owing primarily to the weather (even in Phoenix's miserable weather time, you can still be on the golf course or at the pool, and early mornings are still great), and it's a high-tax, high-cost place to love. I think that there's some spectacular things about Phoenix. The drive to Flagstaff is stunningly gorgeous. Hiking up Camelback is awesome. Golf in shorts in January is so rad. The reasonably quick drive to Vegas or SoCal or a Mexican beach town is cool as well. But *The City* proper is such a letdown.

But it's very interesting to me that what makes Chicago great (awe-inspiring architecture, the manic energy of 20-something life when everyone you know is within a couple-miles radius and there's a ton to do within such a small area) is generally non-existent in metro Phoenix, where so much is spread out and the aura of "GOING TO THE CITY" common among Chicago suburbanites (and NYC-area Bridge and Tunnelers as well) just doesn't exist.

So what is your opinion on why, compared to Chicago, so few young people in Phoenix are interested in moving to the city center?**
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Old 09-17-2019, 04:55 PM
 
Location: Inside the 101
2,376 posts, read 6,281,986 times
Reputation: 2327
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ping322 View Post
I'm 33yo and grew up in the Chicago suburbs in the '90s, the land of so many classic John Hughes movies, along with the same-era, same-setting classic 'Risky Business'. In my opinion, one common characteristic of kids and teenagers in the Chicago suburbs is the excitement of going to "downtown Chicago". Fields trips there always seemed more special, like you were an adult for a while, "all on your own" (/s) in the big city for the day. Following college, a common rite of passage for suburban Chicago teenagers is getting enough money saved up to rent an apartment with your friends *in the city*.

I've lived in metro Phoenix for several months now, and I think that metro Phoenix, especially Scottsdale, is a pretty great place to live. But my biggest disappointment with metro Phoenix is downtown Phoenix itself. Simply put, I've been shocked with how forgettable it is.

Whereas "moving to the city" is, as I mentioned above, a major rite of passage among teenagers in Chicago suburbia, "moving to the city" (specifically downtown Phoenix) seems to be of no interest to many of the young 20-something workers in my large suburban metro Phoenix office.

After Thur/Fri work in downtown Chicago, large groups of coworkers would often walk or talk the El and head together to a bar, and then another, then another, etc. The young people here in suburban Phoenix all drive their own ways after work and seem to spend little time with coworkers after work.

Perhaps it's unfair to*compare*Phoenix to Chicago.

To be clear, life in Chicago about half the year can be miserable, owing primarily to the weather (even in Phoenix's miserable weather time, you can still be on the golf course or at the pool, and early mornings are still great), and it's a high-tax, high-cost place to love. I think that there's some spectacular things about Phoenix. The drive to Flagstaff is stunningly gorgeous. Hiking up Camelback is awesome. Golf in shorts in January is so rad. The reasonably quick drive to Vegas or SoCal or a Mexican beach town is cool as well. But *The City* proper is such a letdown.

But it's very interesting to me that what makes Chicago great (awe-inspiring architecture, the manic energy of 20-something life when everyone you know is within a couple-miles radius and there's a ton to do within such a small area) is generally non-existent in metro Phoenix, where so much is spread out and the aura of "GOING TO THE CITY" common among Chicago suburbanites (and NYC-area Bridge and Tunnelers as well) just doesn't exist.

So what is your opinion on why, compared to Chicago, so few young people in Phoenix are interested in moving to the city center?**
I'm not sure I follow. You're comparing people who live and work near downtown Chicago to people who work at your suburban office in Phoenix. Wouldn't it be more appropriate to compare apples to apples instead of apples to oranges? In other words, compare those who live and/or work in one city center to another? While I wouldn't claim that downtown Phoenix has anywhere near the vitality of the Chicago Loop and near north neighborhoods, you would probably find some downtown Phoenix workers who do socialize at nearby bars and restaurants after work. Likewise, if you surveyed people who work at a suburban Chicago office in Deerfield or Schaumburg, you probably wouldn't find many of them headed downtown when the office closes. Are we talking about where young professional choose to live, where they work, where they socialize, or a mix of everything?
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Old 09-17-2019, 04:57 PM
 
Location: Massachusetts
37 posts, read 18,030 times
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The best part of Chicago is getting out alive.
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Old 09-17-2019, 05:23 PM
 
3,811 posts, read 7,581,584 times
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Downtown Phoenix pretty much always sucked and was never a destination until a handful of years ago, but even now it's nothing great. I lived in Manhattan for a Summer and I "get" the appreciation for urban living, which in my opinion doesn't exist in AZ. I prefer suburban life anyway for the yards, quiet, swimming pools and 4 car garages.
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Old 09-17-2019, 05:30 PM
 
138 posts, read 196,783 times
Reputation: 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by exit2lef View Post
I'm not sure I follow. You're comparing people who live and work near downtown Chicago to people who work at your suburban office in Phoenix. Wouldn't it be more appropriate to compare apples to apples instead of apples to oranges? In other words, compare those who live and/or work in one city center to another? While I wouldn't claim that downtown Phoenix has anywhere near the vitality of the Chicago Loop and near north neighborhoods, you would probably find some downtown Phoenix workers who do socialize at nearby bars and restaurants after work. Likewise, if you surveyed people who work at a suburban Chicago office in Deerfield or Schaumburg, you probably wouldn't find many of them headed downtown when the office closes. Are we talking about where young professional choose to live, where they work, where they socialize, or a mix of everything?

I agree that comparing my suburban Phoenix office to my downtown Chicago office was a bad point. I should have clarified by adding the following: whenever I talk to people who work out in the Phoenix suburbs (Chandler), none of them seem to mind working in the suburbs, and none express an interest in working in downtown Phoenix. But when my downtown Chicago job would occasionally take me to suburban offices, the young coworkers that I met in those offices generally expressed annoyance at having to work in the suburbs, and wished that they were working in downtown Chicago.

Again, to me, the greater point is that I'm mainly surprised how the preferences of 20-somethings in metro Phoenix seem to be so vastly different to the preferences of 20-somethings in metro Chicago.

Last edited by Ping322; 09-17-2019 at 05:31 PM.. Reason: grammar
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Old 09-17-2019, 05:31 PM
 
Location: NC But Soon, The Desert
1,047 posts, read 388,402 times
Reputation: 2601
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nogi48 View Post
The best part of Chicago is getting out alive.
Wholly agree. I know a few people from there & they swear they're never going back. Can't blame em.

As for Phoenix Vs Chicago...I see comparisons between cities, states, even countries, all the time on these forums & others. Maybe Phoenix can be compared with a similar city, but not with Chicago. The two places are vastly different.
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Old 09-17-2019, 05:43 PM
 
7,575 posts, read 4,790,044 times
Reputation: 7012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ping322 View Post
I agree that comparing my suburban Phoenix office to my downtown Chicago office was a bad point. I should have clarified by adding the following: whenever I talk to people who work out in the Phoenix suburbs (Chandler), none of them seem to mind working in the suburbs, and none express an interest in working in downtown Phoenix. But when my downtown Chicago job would occasionally take me to suburban offices, the young coworkers that I met in those offices generally expressed annoyance at having to work in the suburbs, and wished that they were working in downtown Chicago.

Again, to me, the greater point is that I'm mainly surprised how the preferences of 20-somethings in metro Phoenix seem to be so vastly different to the preferences of 20-somethings in metro Chicago.
I don’t think it’s different people just different cities. Downtown Phoenix is fine but if you live in Chandler why would you want to drive to work there?
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Old 09-17-2019, 05:45 PM
 
Location: Inside the 101
2,376 posts, read 6,281,986 times
Reputation: 2327
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ping322 View Post
I agree that comparing my suburban Phoenix office to my downtown Chicago office was a bad point. I should have clarified by adding the following: whenever I talk to people who work out in the Phoenix suburbs (Chandler), none of them seem to mind working in the suburbs, and none express an interest in working in downtown Phoenix. But when my downtown Chicago job would occasionally take me to suburban offices, the young coworkers that I met in those offices generally expressed annoyance at having to work in the suburbs, and wished that they were working in downtown Chicago.

Again, to me, the greater point is that I'm mainly surprised how the preferences of 20-somethings in metro Phoenix seem to be so vastly different to the preferences of 20-somethings in metro Chicago.
Thanks for clarifying. I think I would have agreed 10 years ago, but maybe not so much now. I know a fair number of young professionals who live in or near downtown Phoenix but endure reverse commutes out to suburban offices in places like Chandler. They'd prefer to work near their homes, but the specialized work they do is currently situated in suburban locations. Residential construction downtown is booming, but employment growth is lagging it.
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Old 09-17-2019, 06:02 PM
 
655 posts, read 506,031 times
Reputation: 1357
Have you read John Hughes' story "My Vagina"? Startling to read in 1979.
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Old 09-17-2019, 09:12 PM
 
Location: Phoenix
596 posts, read 715,655 times
Reputation: 1380
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ping322 View Post
So what is your opinion on why, compared to Chicago, so few young people in Phoenix are interested in moving to the city center?**
If people wanted the Chicago lifestyle, they would live in Chicago. People live in Phoenix for a very different lifestyle. Pretty simple.
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