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Old 01-28-2009, 12:38 AM
 
Location: US Empire, Pac NW
5,012 posts, read 6,553,295 times
Reputation: 4125

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So I was looking for jobs in engineering in the Phoenix area and I've gone to Phoenix on business before, including a three month assignment. Typically I think of Phoenix as a vast suburban wasteland devoid of culture (except the stale cowboy mentality which is wearing).

HOWEVER I was able to meet cool people, like the cost of living, enjoy the fact that I can be outdoors in shortsleeves and shorts in January, with the sun shining, etc. AND I am certainly open to new ideas and possibly places I missed.

So if someone is used to urban feel and not having to drive everywhere, while also being safe, with a vibrant nightlife and some level of ethnic diversity ... what neighborhoods would you recommend I look at? Or is Phoenix truly what I experienced in my time there - a beautiful land that will woo you but also suck the soul out of you?

PS: To give an idea of where I'm coming from, I grew up in Chicago and currently live in Seattle, always in urban / semi-urban areas. I was in the middle of a cornfield in college but ... that was college.
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Old 01-28-2009, 09:45 AM
 
Location: Oxygen Ln. AZ
8,672 posts, read 10,929,637 times
Reputation: 4796
Find a job first. Architecture and engineering fields are suffering due to the credit melting away. Personally, if I were in WA and employed, I would stay put.
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Old 01-28-2009, 10:31 AM
 
8,169 posts, read 9,873,098 times
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if you like the dense urban vibe you won't find it here

you can find most things those places have - but you will have to drive

there are a couple pockets that you could use as a home base that are very small scale enclaves - pending your interests - but it's a car driven metro
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Old 01-29-2009, 01:50 AM
 
219 posts, read 511,217 times
Reputation: 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by eskercurve View Post
So I was looking for jobs in engineering in the Phoenix area and I've gone to Phoenix on business before, including a three month assignment. Typically I think of Phoenix as a vast suburban wasteland devoid of culture (except the stale cowboy mentality which is wearing).

HOWEVER I was able to meet cool people, like the cost of living, enjoy the fact that I can be outdoors in shortsleeves and shorts in January, with the sun shining, etc. AND I am certainly open to new ideas and possibly places I missed.

So if someone is used to urban feel and not having to drive everywhere, while also being safe, with a vibrant nightlife and some level of ethnic diversity ... what neighborhoods would you recommend I look at? Or is Phoenix truly what I experienced in my time there - a beautiful land that will woo you but also suck the soul out of you?

PS: To give an idea of where I'm coming from, I grew up in Chicago and currently live in Seattle, always in urban / semi-urban areas. I was in the middle of a cornfield in college but ... that was college.
While I don't dislike the area, don't let warmer weather, and a lower cost of living be the SOLE reasons you move here. The novelty of sunny skies everyday will wear off, trust me. There is a lot to like in this area, but I'd be hesistant to move to this area for some of the reasons you specified. I moved here from near NYC, and I feel those coming from an urban area have more difficulty adjusting, but if you come from a more rural, midwest area, with crappy winters, those people tend to be in heaven here.
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Old 01-29-2009, 06:58 AM
 
Location: US Empire, Pac NW
5,012 posts, read 6,553,295 times
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Good posts everyone. I know the market is just sucking right now, but when it comes back I'm thinking low-cost markets like Phoenix will recover first.
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Old 01-29-2009, 12:02 PM
 
Location: Northern Arizona
1,248 posts, read 2,097,258 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eskercurve View Post
Good posts everyone. I know the market is just sucking right now, but when it comes back I'm thinking low-cost markets like Phoenix will recover first.
I dunno...when 47% of our local economy was comprised of home construction and related endeavors, not to mention the lack of corporate presence/headquarters (except for U-Haul and a couple others)

As unfortunate as it sounds, this city/metro were built on the very thing that got this country into trouble in the first place: People living beyond their means, and in Phoenix's case, buying homes they couldn't afford.
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Old 01-29-2009, 12:34 PM
 
488 posts, read 853,775 times
Reputation: 318
Quote:
Originally Posted by eskercurve View Post
So I was looking for jobs in engineering in the Phoenix area and I've gone to Phoenix on business before, including a three month assignment. Typically I think of Phoenix as a vast suburban wasteland devoid of culture (except the stale cowboy mentality which is wearing).

HOWEVER I was able to meet cool people, like the cost of living, enjoy the fact that I can be outdoors in shortsleeves and shorts in January, with the sun shining, etc. AND I am certainly open to new ideas and possibly places I missed.

So if someone is used to urban feel and not having to drive everywhere, while also being safe, with a vibrant nightlife and some level of ethnic diversity ... what neighborhoods would you recommend I look at? Or is Phoenix truly what I experienced in my time there - a beautiful land that will woo you but also suck the soul out of you?

PS: To give an idea of where I'm coming from, I grew up in Chicago and currently live in Seattle, always in urban / semi-urban areas. I was in the middle of a cornfield in college but ... that was college.
I'd recommend looking at the historic neighborhoods near and around downtown, like Roosevelt and Willo. The area around Central and Camelback and just east of there, as you head towards the Biltmore, aren't bad either. Old Town Scottsdale and the neighborhood just north of Desert Ridge Marketplace are semi-urban too.

The problem is that nowhere in Phoenix really feels as urban as Seattle, and certainly not Chicago. It's just too sprawling. There are areas - like along Central Avenue near the Heard Museum and downtown - that have echoes of Seattle or Chicago, but it doesn't have the same urban feel anywhere.

Phoenix is a challenge. It has some nice things - some good art, culture, theater, bike trails along the canal, great hikes in the mountains within the city, gorgeous weather in winter, sun, nice scenery, a fun sports scene,and some superb restaurants. The problem with it is that it's not all in the same area. You have to drive and drive to get to each individual thing. That gets frustrating after a while, particularly when driving through cookie-cutter suburb after cookie-cutter suburb, driving past the same chain stores that all look the same (the cute individual restaurants are hidden *by* those chain stores), especially in the endless hot summers. It doesn't exactly suck the soul out of you, but it can be frustrating.
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Old 01-29-2009, 03:43 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
1,581 posts, read 2,413,341 times
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Tempe offers a flavor of urbanism and nightlife, but only a flavor, particularly when compared to the other cities mentioned. Downtown Phoenix may pick up one day, but that's gonna take a lot of time.

Buckeye is right, though. Phoenix is very much driven by the real estate and consumer goods markets, and I just don't see that being something that springs back nearly as strong in a recovery. Phoenix is gonna have to find itself some new industry.

It's a nice place to visit, and if you're looking for suburban, family oriented lifestyle, it's probably a good place to be, but despite the new light rail (hooray, light rail!), there's very little "urban" in character about the Valley of the Sun.
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Old 01-29-2009, 08:42 PM
 
Location: US Empire, Pac NW
5,012 posts, read 6,553,295 times
Reputation: 4125
Hmm. I do happen to remember driving past some neighborhoods near Camelback that seemed pretty cool (and soem serious $$$ there too).

One other thing that reveals how shallow I am ... I think the women are hotter too. Just my own personal take. Not that it makes much of a difference ... I'm married.

That's the other thing too ... are there any neighborhoods where there is a significant Asian presence, especially Japanese? My wife is Japanese and she's not opposed to Phoenix, but she would get homesick if there wasn't anyone around to chat with, discuss things in Japanese, etc.
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Old 01-29-2009, 11:35 PM
 
Location: Michigan
12 posts, read 18,499 times
Reputation: 10
What about Glendale? Is that a relatively safe area? I have visited a couple times but we all know short visits are just a snapshot- and what areas should I avoid when looking for homes in Glendale?
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