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Old 06-21-2008, 11:09 AM
 
Location: Phoenix
94 posts, read 291,547 times
Reputation: 43

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Today marks exactly a month since I moved to Phoenix, so I thought I'd give a "progress report," so to speak. Maybe others who are thinking about or getting ready to move are curious to hear from someone who just went/is still going through the transition.

I came at an odd time. Not just because it was the beginning of the summer--I was ready (or as ready as one can be) for that. I arrived smack in the middle of what I believe was one of the oddest weather weeks in recent Phoenix history: it started off with record highs, and by the end of the week was uncharacteristically rainy and with record low temps for the season.

This worked out pretty well for me, since my apartment's air conditioner turned out to be broken. Over Memorial Day weekend. I actually needed blankets more than a/c for a couple of days, and although it took a week to get it fixed, it was really just starting to warm up again by that time. Still, it was a rather bizarre introduction to late spring/early summer in Arizona.

Other than that initial bump, things have gone pretty smoothly. I did delay a bit in calling the pest control guy to come for an initial visit, which I regretted the evening I had a visitor. I've never lived anywhere with roaches of any kind, so the four-inch-long fellow who showed up in my living room--much to the delight and fascination of my cat, who however preferred to observe him from a distance--was kind of a shock. Urgh. I doused him with the only spray I had on hand (a can of air freshener that frankly should have gone in the trash back in Philadelphia), and I found him dead the next morning. Now my place has been treated (with a guarantee), and after inspecting some key outdoor spots the guy told me it seems the grounds here are kept pretty critter-free, so hopefully it won't happen again.

Those of you who remember the bug thread may recall that I hate and fear insects, so I'm a little surprised I wasn't more traumatized by the incident--especially considering that he flew right at me, after wandering around the perimeter of the room for a while. I guess I was somewhat psychologically prepared after reading these boards (and the pest control fellow had a few harrowing stories to share as well).

The moral of this story is: get pest control early and often if you want to avoid close encounters of the ew kind.

It's been hot lately. Really, really hot. I'm not used to three-digit temperatures in anything but baking, and have always preferred cool weather to warm. So the weather was the part I was most concerned about when moving here (I'm one of those who came here in spite of the weather, for a great job, rather than because of it). But I have to say, it hasn't really been a problem for me, at least not yet. I was skeptical about the whole "dry heat" business, but I am vastly more comfortable in this kind of heat than in the soupy, sweaty summers I've been used to everywhere else I've lived. I'm not saying I won't be relieved when it's over, but it's not anywhere near as awful as I feared. (Then again, I don't spend a ton of time outside.) When I hit the pool, it's usually around 6:30-7 a.m., and the water does indeed feel like bath water even at that hour. But it's still pleasant, and it feels great to dry off in the warm air.

I haven't had a full month's electric bill yet, so I'm a little worried about that. I keep my a/c between 77 and 80 most of the time in my east-facing apartment. It's warm upstairs in the loft, but I don't spend a lot of time up there, and the ceiling fan makes it more tolerable. The bedroom gets downright chilly, so these last few nights I've been setting the a/c to 84 when I go to bed. We'll see what the outcome is.

I haven't had a lot of time to explore the area yet. I've been to the Heard Museum and a couple of downtown restaurants, wandered around Old Town Scottsdale (although I keep forgetting about the Thursday art walk), Los Dos Molinos in South Phoenix, and a few other places. I took a day trip up to Sedona over Memorial Day weekend, and it was just as gorgeous as advertised. I'm hoping to make it to the Art Museum tomorrow, and I'm trying to decide whether the Desert Botanical Gardens is more of a fall/winter destination. I really want to see it. I also want to spend some time taking photos of the mid-century modern areas of Scottsdale (the Valley Ho and some of the surrounding neighborhoods), which are just fabulous and unlike anything I've seen anywhere else.

I will say that Arizona drivers are... special. I don't think I've been out in the car once without seeing a near-miss accident. Mainly, people seem to pull out into oncoming traffic without looking, or veer suddenly across multiple lanes without signaling to make an exit or turn. It feels a bit like driving in a video game. Driving in Italy was chaotic, but once you caught onto the underlying logic, it was fine. I don't think there is an underlying logic here, just a lot of people not really paying attention, or not considering the fact that those oncoming drivers might be distracted for just an instant. So I'm finding the roads a little stressful.

I'm looking forward to the monsoon storms, to exploring the area more (suggestions welcome), to finding some good local foods and recipes to try (ditto)--and, as I mentioned in the other thread, finding the area's best margarita. It's only been a month, so I know a lot can change, but so far, so good. I look forward to comparing notes with other recent or soon-to-be-newcomers.

Last edited by Plin; 06-21-2008 at 11:32 AM.. Reason: Forgot to include the driving stuff
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Old 06-21-2008, 11:42 AM
 
3,632 posts, read 11,000,716 times
Reputation: 1182
Very cool to post your experiences so far!

That's too bad about the roach. Eww, 4 inches! I've seen one of those once before, I called the grandfather of all roaches. I really didn't think we had any roach problems until I read people on this forum had some issues. I never,ever have them, but one apt did, but it was old and on a lake (that's where I met "The Grandfather").

Whereabouts do you live? We might be able to head you in some good directions.

You have done really good so far with visiting different places. That's cool.

You did arrive at a really weird time weather wise. That whole week I was like "this isn't phx weather, this isn't phx weather." I thought I was in some small town or something.

Your electric bill shouldn't be all that bad for a one bedroom apt. But, soon you'll know and then you can adjust your temps if needed.
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Old 06-21-2008, 11:51 AM
 
Location: The Miami Of Canada
1,044 posts, read 2,579,236 times
Reputation: 276
Thanks Plin for posting that! My sister also recently moved to the Phoenix area and she's been complaining that she's not used to the "dry" heat yet. I told her that I'm freezing my butt off here back home in Chicago (I don't enjoy my Summer if it gets below 85 degrees and it's been in the 70's so far this week).

Isn't your Landlord/Building Management responsible for spraying your unit for pests? I know you can't count on them totally but maybe you should find out if they did anything recently. Your story about the can of air freshener is funny because when I moved into my first apartment I had no clue about bugs other than hearing other peoples stories. I freaked out seeing my first roach and kept throwing whatever I had handy at it until it ran away (stupid, I know).

Keep up the posts when you can as I find it interesting to read.
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Old 06-21-2008, 12:09 PM
 
Location: Phoenix
94 posts, read 291,547 times
Reputation: 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by sablebaby View Post
Whereabouts do you live? We might be able to head you in some good directions.
I'm in south Scottsdale. I'm finding it to be a really convenient location for getting around, which is good. In cooler weather, I'd be in walking distance of Old Town, the library, etc., but at 113, there is no such thing as walking distance. Heh. Not for me, anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sablebaby View Post
You have done really good so far with visiting different places. That's cool.
Really? That's reassuring to hear. I've been feeling guilty for not having done more, but I seem to have been hit by a tsunami of sloth. I blame grad school.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sablebaby View Post
You did arrive at a really weird time weather wise. That whole week I was like "this isn't phx weather, this isn't phx weather." I thought I was in some small town or something.
The TV news was hysterical, with zooming close-ups of puddles, and interviews with construction workers to discuss the baffling phenomenon of how water and dirt mix together to form mud! Which, as a friend observed, is even stranger since it actually does rain here. I guess it was a sort of seasonal amnesia. But it was very entertaining to arrive from the (also cold and rainy) East Coast to see the weather treated in such sensationalistic terms.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sablebaby View Post
Your electric bill shouldn't be all that bad for a one bedroom apt. But, soon you'll know and then you can adjust your temps if needed.
It's a one-bedroom with loft and vaulted ceilings, though--which I love, but which may affect the bill. We'll see what happens... accurate budgeting is probably going to take a few months.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ITChick View Post
Isn't your Landlord/Building Management responsible for spraying your unit for pests? I know you can't count on them totally but maybe you should find out if they did anything recently.
I'm in a condo, renting from the owner, so my lease specifically states that I'm responsible for pest control. Which wouldn't be worth much if the complex HOA wasn't doing their part outside, but it seems they are. Whew.

The pest control guy said he's heard stories of everything from hairspray to starch being sprayed at bugs. He said that if it's sticky, and you spray enough of it, it will eventually kill them if you just have one or two who happen to have wandered in. If there's a colony and they've set up house somewhere, obviously, it's not going to do much for you.

I'm glad you guys enjoyed reading: I figured that we usually get views of people who've lived here a while, and those who are thinking about moving, but not many posts about the early adjustment phase. Which of course will be different for everyone, but it might be useful for people to get at least one perspective.
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Old 06-21-2008, 12:24 PM
 
162 posts, read 355,628 times
Reputation: 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plin View Post
Today marks exactly a month since I moved to Phoenix, so I thought I'd give a "progress report," so to speak. Maybe others who are thinking about or getting ready to move are curious to hear from someone who just went/is still going through the transition.

I came at an odd time. Not just because it was the beginning of the summer--I was ready (or as ready as one can be) for that. I arrived smack in the middle of what I believe was one of the oddest weather weeks in recent Phoenix history: it started off with record highs, and by the end of the week was uncharacteristically rainy and with record low temps for the season.

This worked out pretty well for me, since my apartment's air conditioner turned out to be broken. Over Memorial Day weekend. I actually needed blankets more than a/c for a couple of days, and although it took a week to get it fixed, it was really just starting to warm up again by that time. Still, it was a rather bizarre introduction to late spring/early summer in Arizona.

Other than that initial bump, things have gone pretty smoothly. I did delay a bit in calling the pest control guy to come for an initial visit, which I regretted the evening I had a visitor. I've never lived anywhere with roaches of any kind, so the four-inch-long fellow who showed up in my living room--much to the delight and fascination of my cat, who however preferred to observe him from a distance--was kind of a shock. Urgh. I doused him with the only spray I had on hand (a can of air freshener that frankly should have gone in the trash back in Philadelphia), and I found him dead the next morning. Now my place has been treated (with a guarantee), and after inspecting some key outdoor spots the guy told me it seems the grounds here are kept pretty critter-free, so hopefully it won't happen again.

Those of you who remember the bug thread may recall that I hate and fear insects, so I'm a little surprised I wasn't more traumatized by the incident--especially considering that he flew right at me, after wandering around the perimeter of the room for a while. I guess I was somewhat psychologically prepared after reading these boards (and the pest control fellow had a few harrowing stories to share as well).

The moral of this story is: get pest control early and often if you want to avoid close encounters of the ew kind.

It's been hot lately. Really, really hot. I'm not used to three-digit temperatures in anything but baking, and have always preferred cool weather to warm. So the weather was the part I was most concerned about when moving here (I'm one of those who came here in spite of the weather, for a great job, rather than because of it). But I have to say, it hasn't really been a problem for me, at least not yet. I was skeptical about the whole "dry heat" business, but I am vastly more comfortable in this kind of heat than in the soupy, sweaty summers I've been used to everywhere else I've lived. I'm not saying I won't be relieved when it's over, but it's not anywhere near as awful as I feared. (Then again, I don't spend a ton of time outside.) When I hit the pool, it's usually around 6:30-7 a.m., and the water does indeed feel like bath water even at that hour. But it's still pleasant, and it feels great to dry off in the warm air.

I haven't had a full month's electric bill yet, so I'm a little worried about that. I keep my a/c between 77 and 80 most of the time in my east-facing apartment. It's warm upstairs in the loft, but I don't spend a lot of time up there, and the ceiling fan makes it more tolerable. The bedroom gets downright chilly, so these last few nights I've been setting the a/c to 84 when I go to bed. We'll see what the outcome is.

I haven't had a lot of time to explore the area yet. I've been to the Heard Museum and a couple of downtown restaurants, wandered around Old Town Scottsdale (although I keep forgetting about the Thursday art walk), Los Dos Molinos in South Phoenix, and a few other places. I took a day trip up to Sedona over Memorial Day weekend, and it was just as gorgeous as advertised. I'm hoping to make it to the Art Museum tomorrow, and I'm trying to decide whether the Desert Botanical Gardens is more of a fall/winter destination. I really want to see it. I also want to spend some time taking photos of the mid-century modern areas of Scottsdale (the Valley Ho and some of the surrounding neighborhoods), which are just fabulous and unlike anything I've seen anywhere else.

I will say that Arizona drivers are... special. I don't think I've been out in the car once without seeing a near-miss accident. Mainly, people seem to pull out into oncoming traffic without looking, or veer suddenly across multiple lanes without signaling to make an exit or turn. It feels a bit like driving in a video game. Driving in Italy was chaotic, but once you caught onto the underlying logic, it was fine. I don't think there is an underlying logic here, just a lot of people not really paying attention, or not considering the fact that those oncoming drivers might be distracted for just an instant. So I'm finding the roads a little stressful.

I'm looking forward to the monsoon storms, to exploring the area more (suggestions welcome), to finding some good local foods and recipes to try (ditto)--and, as I mentioned in the other thread, finding the area's best margarita. It's only been a month, so I know a lot can change, but so far, so good. I look forward to comparing notes with other recent or soon-to-be-newcomers.
My fiance and I have also shared some of the same experiences, (except for the giant roach) and moved here about 4 weeks ago. Driving in PHX...I couldn't have said it better myself!!

If you like fresh foods/markets, you may want to check out the downtown farmers market. Compared to the midwest where we came from, we found the market to be awesome. All sorts of fresh vegetables, herbs, ect... We just went today and thought it to be fun. If you go, I would definitely get there when it opens at 8am. By the time we left, lines to pay were VERY long.

edit: Just about forgot to add...we are totally amazed by the consistent blue skies. It would be sooooo easy to be a weather man here!!
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Old 06-21-2008, 01:15 PM
 
3,632 posts, read 11,000,716 times
Reputation: 1182
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plin View Post

I will say that Arizona drivers are... special. I don't think I've been out in the car once without seeing a near-miss accident. Mainly, people seem to pull out into oncoming traffic without looking, or veer suddenly across multiple lanes without signaling to make an exit or turn. It feels a bit like driving in a video game. Driving in Italy was chaotic, but once you caught onto the underlying logic, it was fine. I don't think there is an underlying logic here, just a lot of people not really paying attention, or not considering the fact that those oncoming drivers might be distracted for just an instant. So I'm finding the roads a little stressful.

I'm looking forward to the monsoon storms, to exploring the area more (suggestions welcome), to finding some good local foods and recipes to try (ditto)--and, as I mentioned in the other thread, finding the area's best margarita. It's only been a month, so I know a lot can change, but so far, so good. I look forward to comparing notes with other recent or soon-to-be-newcomers.
haha, I was wondering how I missed the driving part, but then I noticed you edited that in. YES, you nailed it with your comments. It is like a video game sometimes. I just love when they pull out in front of me while I'm cruising at 50mph, with little time to slow down. You DO have to watch at all times. Whenever I look away for just an instant something happens. It's a constant reminder to pay attention as much as possible - you just never know!

You also nailed it with the stupid (!) weather news we have here. It's a MAJOR story when it rains, with lots of graphics and pictures of rain. Way over sensationalized for sure!
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Old 06-21-2008, 01:40 PM
 
3,341 posts, read 6,207,559 times
Reputation: 1926
Plin: I remember you telling me you'll be working at the Cronkite building in DT Phoenix, right? How will your commute be? Did you look into some apt. buildings in downtown? Or on the light rail line?

For the best margarita...go to Cibo Pizzeria at 5th Ave and Fillmore. Pizzeria Bianco is another one, which may or may not be slightly better, but it's practically impossible to get a table. Cibo on the other hand is always busy but no more then a 20-30 minute wait usually. I highly recommend it!
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Old 06-21-2008, 01:47 PM
 
Location: Phoenix
94 posts, read 291,547 times
Reputation: 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by HX_Guy View Post
Plin: I remember you telling me you'll be working at the Cronkite building in DT Phoenix, right? How will your commute be? Did you look into some apt. buildings in downtown? Or on the light rail line?
Yes on all counts, but in my one-week apartment search, I had a terrible time finding anything that was available, within my budget, and in an area I liked. Now that I'm here, I can get a better feel for the place, and have more time to search out a place down the line. The commute isn't too bad: depending on whether I take freeways or surface streets, and the traffic, I've found it to be anywhere between 20 and 40 minutes. Considering I only have to be down there two or three days a week for most of the year, and not usually during rush hour, it's quite doable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HX_Guy View Post
For the best margarita...go to Cibo Pizzeria at 5th Ave and Fillmore. Pizzeria Bianco is another one, which may or may not be slightly better, but it's practically impossible to get a table. Cibo on the other hand is always busy but no more then a 20-30 minute wait usually. I highly recommend it!
I'm actually going to Cibo next Saturday, and really looking forward to it. I want to try Pizzeria Bianco, too, but I'll need to set aside a block of time. Heh. I have pretty high standards for pizza, but I've been pleasantly surprised by the excellent gelato I've found here (even better than in Philly, which has the very good Capogiro), so I have high hopes.
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Old 06-21-2008, 01:50 PM
 
3,886 posts, read 6,311,617 times
Reputation: 1422
Yeah, I am so glad to hear your doing so much actually. Good for you. Don't let the heat stop ya, if your doing ok this week you will do fine. The roach story is funny. Wait until beetle season. Be happy you don't have scorpions. Roaches are nasty but don't sting or bite ya. And are easily controlled by spray.

If you think the weather man was freaking out then, just wait until Monsoon season hits. h aha ha They get ssssssssssoooooooooooooooo excited!!!!!
Last year they thought they spotted a small tornado and OMG they had such a fun time!!!! Our poor weather guys are just starved for attention. I mean how many days can you say "sunny and hot". lol They get a little jumpy when their hit with "partly cloudy".

Last edited by twiggy; 06-21-2008 at 01:51 PM.. Reason: Spelling, lol
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Old 06-21-2008, 02:06 PM
 
3,341 posts, read 6,207,559 times
Reputation: 1926
Oh oops...I thought you meant margarita as in margarita pizza (cheese only), not the drink.

If you're looking for the drink, you won't find it at Cibo. But if you're looking for the pizza, you definitely will.

As for gelato, there are some really good spots around town. One of my new favotires is Paciugo at I-17 and Happy Valley. It's actually a chain from Texas...but it's damn good!
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