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Old 02-07-2020, 03:29 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn, NY
9,871 posts, read 14,150,827 times
Reputation: 10846

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Keep in mind this is one person's opinion. And this person, although they were dead-on about most of the pros of Phoenix, with the cons, they were definitely dragging Phoenix from a negative and pessimistic viewpoint with that list. That con list was long! LOL

I could come up with 20 negative things off the top of my head for every city in the US--if I wanted.

If you look hard enough, all places are sh*t. But if you aren't looking for utopia, you will experience incredible things the city has to offer.
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Old 02-07-2020, 04:19 PM
 
Location: Inside the 101
2,745 posts, read 7,365,436 times
Reputation: 3171
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjbradleynyc View Post
Keep in mind this is one person's opinion. And this person, although they were dead-on about most of the pros of Phoenix, with the cons, they were definitely dragging Phoenix from a negative and pessimistic viewpoint with that list. That con list was long! LOL

I could come up with 20 negative things off the top of my head for every city in the US--if I wanted.

If you look hard enough, all places are sh*t. But if you aren't looking for utopia, you will experience incredible things the city has to offer.
Giving the original post as second look, it appears many of the pros are as exaggerated and dated as the cons. For example, Phoenix no longer has the advantages in terms of minimal traffic congestion and low housing costs that it once had. As suggested in another post, this really feels like something that would have appeared on this board back in 2007.
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Old 02-07-2020, 04:31 PM
 
Location: Victory Mansions, Airstrip One
6,637 posts, read 4,914,672 times
Reputation: 8969
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjbradleynyc View Post
Keep in mind this is one person's opinion. And this person, although they were dead-on about most of the pros of Phoenix, with the cons, they were definitely dragging Phoenix from a negative and pessimistic viewpoint with that list. That con list was long! LOL
A lot of the 'cons' on his list are a matter of personal taste or circumstance. I honestly don't care if my city/neighborhood is "diverse" or not; friendly people are what I'm after. Illegal immigration does not affect me, at least not directly. Public transportation? Sure, it's not great. But I've never lived anywhere that public transport was of much use to me.

Looking at his 'pros' list, I find the traffic is worse than he's describing. This might be because he lived in Phoenix years ago(?). Population growth is taxing the freeways and there are large numbers of accidents that cause massive traffic snarls, especially during commute times. IMO, it's only going to get worse and worse, so live as close to work as practical. Also, the air quality is not great.
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Old 02-07-2020, 04:41 PM
 
Location: When you take flak it means you are on target
7,646 posts, read 9,869,152 times
Reputation: 16449
Phoenix is located in the, "Valley of the Face of the Sun." Nuff said...

You haven't lived until you've been stuck on the freeway in a traffic jam in July when the reflected street temps are pushing 190 degrees and cars are burning their engines up.
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Old 02-07-2020, 06:00 PM
 
Location: Chandler, AZ
4,052 posts, read 5,050,618 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamies View Post
Phoenix is located in the, "Valley of the Face of the Sun." Nuff said...

You haven't lived until you've been stuck on the freeway in a traffic jam in July when the reflected street temps are pushing 190 degrees and cars are burning their engines up.
Affectionately known as a Car-B-Q
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Old 02-07-2020, 06:05 PM
 
656 posts, read 803,823 times
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Dated, ranting mess in serious need of editing.
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Old 02-07-2020, 07:22 PM
 
Location: East Central Phoenix
8,012 posts, read 12,145,657 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kent_moore View Post
I knew it, Phoenix is built for introvert like me who doesn't like sports, hates congested downtown, hates talking to random people, hate riding in a public transport. I could care less of cultural diversity.
If you don't like sports, maybe Phoenix isn't for you because we have all 4 pro sports franchises, as well as many other events throughout the year that are focused on sports. The other things you mentioned are just part of life in a large city. I don't care much about cultural diversity either, but I accept it. Your vision of Phoenix existed probably 40+ years ago, but not so much anymore.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kent_moore View Post
I live in a low income neighborhood, once in a while, I hear crime within 5 miles of our neighborhood, but they mostly domestic and organized crime, nothing to do with me. Been here for 5 years and I was never a victim of any crime.
I wouldn't be proud to live in a low income neighborhood ... in fact, I'd be setting my sights on moving to a better area.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kent_moore View Post
I have 4 kids who all went to a top-notch schools, one of the nation's bests. So cut the crap about AZ having low education standards.
By "top notch", do you mean public or private schools? If they went to public schools, then you must have low standards to believe that AZ (or anywhere in the nation) has great public education.
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Old 02-08-2020, 08:43 AM
 
5,425 posts, read 4,394,272 times
Reputation: 7245
I'll offer takes on this based on my experiences as a former resident, as I have been gone for about a decade. From those I still know in the area, not much has changed meaningfully. You will see RJ in bold before my take...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tenzo View Post
We have been offered a great job in Phoenix. We have asked friends about Phoenix and were forwarded this from a couple.

How true is it?
( Don't take any of this personally. Its obviously one person's opinion)

================================================== ===

I spent one year living in Phoenix and all in all, I did not like it there. But I'm not out to trash the city, I just want to be accurate and thorough with the good points as well as the not so good points. You should preferably visit any place before you decide to move there and not rely just on information that you've read on the Internet.

So here it is...

PROS

Pleasant climate from around October through around May. The summer heat is manageable as long as you drink plenty of water and don't walk around outside barefoot, lol. Seriously though, three or four
uncomfortable months are an easy trade-off for the other seven or eight months of glorious weather.

RJ: Mostly true. I would call the pleasant times Oct. 15 - April 30 as a rough estimate. I would not even call the Oct. 15 - April 30 period glorious. While the days are glorious, nights can be a little chilly. There were times I was in bars/night spots in Old Town Scottsdale at 1-2 AM in January and feeling quite cold.

Beautiful desert environs. Gorgeous sunsets, desert flora & fauna (the high desert country as you head north of Phoenix is especially picturesque as you head towards Sedona or Flagstaff).

RJ: True

Dry air means no mold, mildew or car rust. Even better, very few mosquitoes or gnats.

RJ: True

Excellent infrastructure. A modern city, well-planned, well laid-out and easy to navigate. An extensive freeway system without any toll roads. For a city of its population size, Phoenix is surprisingly uncongested. Your commutes may be lengthy in terms of mileage but traffic usually flows pretty well. Even if you encounter a traffic jam, you can usually find an alternate route to get you to where you're going.

RJ: Mostly true, except for the uncongested part. The layout is good. Yes, there is congestion on highways but there are side street alternate routes.

The roads are always easy to drive with no ice or snow or potholes to worry about, and the entire area (though surrounded by mountains) is very flat.

RJ: So true. Roads are in better condition than Dallas. Dallas has a pothole problem.

Very affordable housing and rents. One of the cheapest major metropolitan areas you will find anywhere in the U.S.

RJ: This was more true when I lived there but becoming less true now.

Well-connected to the rest of the country. A very good international airport (Sky Harbor) that is well-served by many airlines and domestic routes. The added presence of a feeder airport (Mesa-Gateway) means that airfares to/from Phoenix tend to be real bargains. Of course if you prefer not to fly, Phoenix is also within driving distance to many major metropolitan areas such as Las Vegas (5.5 hours), San Diego (7 hours) or Los Angeles (8 hours).

RJ: Mostly true. I will miss taking flights out of Terminal 2 now that it is closed. I enjoyed Terminal 2 when I lived there. Since moving away, I've only come back in Terminal 4, the most crowded and least pleasant terminal. Sky Harbor is a better airport than airports in a lot of cities. I really like how close Sky Harbor is to Central Phoenix. DFW is not close to Dallas or Fort Worth, though Love Field (Southwest's airport) is relatively close but not Sky Harbor close to Downtown Dallas. Denver International is so far east of Metro Denver, it feels like it is nearly halfway to Kansas.

For sports fans, Phoenix is represented by sports teams in all four professional leagues (MLB, NBA, NHL and NFL)

RJ: I enjoy playing sports more than watching them. I consider watching sports to be a waste of time.

Relatively clean. Although smog can be a minor problem at certain times of the year, I never found there to be much trash or litter around the city. Then again, this is probably because there aren't too many pedestrians around! (see Cons).

RJ: I didn't really think about this much when I lived there, so I'd say true.

CONS

The people: rude, flaky, obnoxious, aggressive, uneducated, unsophisticated, meth-addicted, rednecky, racist and xenophobic. I need to stress that this is strictly my own opinion, but I found the locals to be at least one (or a combination of some or all) of the above.

RJ: Very true. This was the second biggest reason why I left. It is closely tied into the first reason why I left, which is the quality of jobs issue that I'll get to later in this. When there is a metro area with a low quality of jobs, it leads to low quality people living there. Of all the adjectives listed above, I found rude and flaky to be the most common. I lived in a decent part of the metro area, but at least 1-2 of those adjectives are quite common depending upon where you are in the metro area.

Characterless. A giant sea of strip malls, chain restaurants, Orwellian neighborhoods and tract housing, all surrounding an empty shell of a downtown. Very commercialized and generic. Has the look and feel of a giant suburb, or a cluster of smaller suburbs. Lacks a certain cosmopolitan vibe.

RJ: True.

Awkward, insular lifestyle. You often feel like you're living in a bubble, due partly to the intense climate and partly to the urban sprawl that makes you so dependent on your vehicle. You'll leave your air-conditioned house and step into your air-conditioned car, from there you'll scurry into your air-conditioned office or the air-conditioned supermarket or mall and then back in reverse order. If you have a pet, may as well potty train them. You can't let a dog or cat outside during the daytime for most of the year - they can suffer third-degree burns.

RJ: Exactly true on an awkward, insular lifestyle during the May 1-October 15 period. I didn't have a pet living in Phoenix and still do not own one, but that seems true of pet ownership. I think this is related to the descriptors of aggressive and obnoxious above in people. The heat and insular lifestyle breeds that sort of behavior.

The area is very spread-out and little to nothing is within walking distance of your house or office. You'll find that you'll never really see or interact with your neighbors except to wave at them as your automatic garage door is closing. I always found it ironic how people ostensibly move to Phoenix for the weather, and yet once they arrive there, they really spend relatively little time outdoors.

RJ: Mostly true. Much of this is dependent upon area of residence. I would say that the most interesting, walkable areas are close to Old Town Scottsdale and Tempe. I was in my 20s when I lived there and now in my mid-30s. I lived in apartments when I lived there, and apartments are a different life form for neighbor interaction than single family homes. In any city, neighbor interaction in apartments varies from complex to complex, and can be dependent upon apartment complex management. Apartments are also transient too, with residential tenures rarely going more than 2-3 years in a complex. However, in the single family homes areas, which is much of the Valley, the reputation for neighbors not interacting much exists for a reason. It is true.

It is not easy to spend a lot of time outdoors in the summer. I would only climb Piestewa and Camelback between Oct. 15 - May 1. I probably could have done it more in the summer months had I gotten out at 6 AM, but a 20 something guy isn't excited to go to Piestewa/Camelback at 6 AM on a Saturday morning. As a 30 something guy now, I would be more inclined to do that. I would swim laps in the summer months in my apartment complex's pool in the earlier morning hours before the pool got crowded.


Disgusting tap water. You might hear a local bragging to you that "Atlanta has a 30-day water supply, while ours is 30 years". Be that as it may, the quality of the H2O sucks. It's hard water, and whenever you wash your pots and pans you'll often find this weird residue that never seems to go away.

RJ: I had no tap water issues when there.

Subpar job market. Phoenix's economy was hit hard by the subprime mortgage crisis, indicating that the economy is not diversified enough. Arizona tends to rank high nationwide in unemployment, and it is also a right-to-work state with relatively low wages. Keep in mind that worker productivity is always going to be negatively impacted in such a hot climate.

RJ: This was the number 1 reason why I left. I got there in the mid-2000s before the Great Recession hit. Even 2-3 years before the onset of the recession, I was unimpressed with the job market. The economy isn't diversified enough. Too much real estate. Too few corporate HQs. Right to work with low wages was my experience, though I was in my early years coming out of college at the time.

The metro area is best for ASU students, tourists, retirees, and the medical industry servicing retirees. Since moving away, I've enjoyed trips to Phoenix more than I enjoyed living in Phoenix day-to-day.


Boring, lifeless downtown. With the exception of the NBA/NHL arena and MLB baseball stadium, downtown
Phoenix is strictly a business district with little or nothing in the way of entertainment or nightlife. To get your groove on, you actually have to head OUT of the city to the suburbs such as Glendale or Scottsdale. I found Phoenix to be a very odd city in this particular respect.

RJ: True. Phoenix is one of the few metro areas that I am aware of where the hot singles and nightlife sports are in suburbs (Scottsdale, Tempe) rather than the core central city. Downtown Phoenix has improved since I left, but most single and unattached people try to center their lives around Scottsdale or Tempe (depending upon age) if they are financially able to do so.

Very little cultural diversity. For a city with such a large population, Phoenix is sorely lacking in this category. The local idea of "diversity" is the city's many Mexican chain restaurants and a few tiny shops selling Native American jewelry. It's difficult to find any type of international cuisine there (other than Mexican, and even that isn't as good as the locals will try to claim). Sky Harbor Airport has no direct international flights anywhere outside of North America, except for a sporadic flight to London (Emirates recently tried to launch a nonstop route to Dubai but it never materialized). In a nutshell: Phoenix is a big American city, but it is the last thing from an international city.

RJ: True

Urban sprawl and car-centric culture. Very spread-out. Public transportation is woeful. Forget what you may have read about that new light rail system. The metro area is much too big for it to be much use. Most people aren't too fond of standing outside waiting for a trolley in 110-degree heat anyway.

RJ: True

Ubiquitous soliciting and panhandling. Not one week will go by when you won't be walking through a parking lot into/out of a store, completely minding your own business when suddenly you are accosted by some white-trash goon or a group of 16 year-old punks asking you for money. This would happen to me even when I pulled into service stations just to get gas. I've never had this problem in any other region that I've ever lived in. But it would happen to me ALL the time when I lived in Phoenix. It gradually escalated from minor nuisance to major pain in the arse.

RJ: I recall this happening a few times when I lived there. I would have called it a minor nuisance.

Crime/fraud. Arizona is #1 nationwide in identity theft and #1 in adult kidnappings. Both fraud and violent crime are big problems. Arizona is a border state with very strict drug laws. At the same time, it also has very permissive gun laws (e.g. the Castle Doctrine) and an Old West mentality. All of these factors combine.

RJ: More true than false

Household pests, especially scorpions. I was lucky enough never to get stung by a scorpion, and I never even saw one. But it seemed that almost everyone else whom I met there had at least one run-in with these critters.

RJ: Limited experience here.

Illegal immigration. Another big problem in Phoenix. If you are thinking of starting any type of business there, make sure you fully vet your job applicants before hiring them!
High utility bills. You'll have your A/C running constantly for a good three months out of the year. Water bills tend to be very steep as well. You'll go through tanks of gas quickly as well due to the spread-out distances.

RJ: Illegal immigration is a massive problem in the entire U.S. Southwest and has been since at least the 1990s. True on utility bills and gas.

Atrocious public school system. Ranked at or near the bottom nationwide.

RJ: More true than false. There are some pockets with good public schools. The rankings speak for themselves. I am childless and has not been a major issue in my life, either in Phoenix or other cities.

Extremely conservative (both in politics and religion). If you're Republican, you'll feel right at home there. But if you're a liberal yuppie from San Francisco or Boston or Washington, boy are you in for a real culture shock. Arizona is a solid-red state and it follows that Phoenix is too, since it is the state capital and the seat of government (note though, that Tucson, which is 120 miles to the southeast, is decidedly liberal). On religion: you may also find yourself getting hounded by proselytyzers as the area has a sizable population of Latter Day Saints and Jehovah's Witnesses.

RJ: On politics, Arizona is less Republican than it is given credit for being in this quote, and this is changing fast. The City of Phoenix itself was a Democrat stronghold even in mid-2000s, and it is more so now. Arizona just elected its first Democrat U.S. Senator in 30 years in 2018. There might be a second Republican senator coming after the next election cycle. Even if the Republican holds that seat, it will be by no more than 2%. Based upon the 2018 and 2020 senate seat elections, Arizona cannot be called extremely conservative. Previous Republican Party senators were RINOs. Arizona is strange politically.

On religion: I think the presence of religion is neighborhood determined. The East Valley suburbs like Gilbert, Chandler, and Mesa would have a stronger religious component than you'd see in the southern half of Scottsdale (south of Shea), Tempe, or Central Phoenix. A typical person wouldn't notice much religion in the southern half of Scottsdale, Tempe, or Central Phoenix. North Phoenix (north of the Phoenix Mtn Preserve) and North Scottsdale (north of Shea) would be more religious, but not overwhelmingly so. The Sun Cities would be more religious with older people.


Worst, most unsafe and aggressive drivers in the country. I've lived all over the country and Phoenix wins all awards in this category. They're absolute maniacs. Try to keep your cool if you're ever confronted with any type of similar situation and don't allow it to escalate. Remember what I wrote above about the gun laws and the Castle doctrine (...you can see where I am going with this).

RJ: True on not letting road dispute situations escalate. Not sure how to evaluate safe driving habits of the populace at large. I might be forgetting after a decade away.
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Old 02-08-2020, 12:44 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ
6,400 posts, read 8,900,960 times
Reputation: 8486
I don't understand the point of this thread. Sharing a forwarded e-mail about the experience of one person who offers an assessment that can be found for any metro area? Nevermind the constant growing population. People don't stop coming but, by golly, this forwarded e-mail really makes me wonder.
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Old 02-08-2020, 01:56 PM
 
Location: In the hot spot!
3,939 posts, read 6,666,225 times
Reputation: 4091
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tenzo View Post
We have been offered a great job in Phoenix. We have asked friends about Phoenix and were forwarded this from a couple.

How true is it?
( Don't take any of this personally. Its obviously one person's opinion)

================================================== ===

I spent one year living in Phoenix and all in all, I did not like it there. But I'm not out to trash the city, I just want to be accurate and thorough with the good points as well as the not so good points. You should preferably visit any place before you decide to move there and not rely just on information that you've read on the Internet.

So here it is...

PROS

Pleasant climate from around October through around May. The summer heat is manageable as long as you drink plenty of water and don't walk around outside barefoot, lol. Seriously though, three or four
uncomfortable months are an easy trade-off for the other seven or eight months of glorious weather.
*This is true, for the most part. It also depends on how well you can take the heat. I prefer heat over cold, but the extreme heat (just like extreme cold) is not my cup of tea.

Beautiful desert environs. Gorgeous sunsets, desert flora & fauna (the high desert country as you head north of Phoenix is especially picturesque as you head towards Sedona or Flagstaff).
* True

Dry air means no mold, mildew or car rust. Even better, very few mosquitoes or gnats.
*True, but some people struggle with the arid climate. Nosebleeds are a common occurrence for some who first move here.

Excellent infrastructure. A modern city, well-planned, well laid-out and easy to navigate. An extensive freeway system without any toll roads. For a city of its population size, Phoenix is surprisingly uncongested. Your commutes may be lengthy in terms of mileage but traffic usually flows pretty well. Even if you encounter a traffic jam, you can usually find an alternate route to get you to where you're going.
*I give this a double star. The grid system makes driving and navigation easy. While traffic has significantly increased it's still fairly easy to get around...until the snowbirds come!

The roads are always easy to drive with no ice or snow or potholes to worry about, and the entire area (though surrounded by mountains) is very flat.
*The lack of potholes is no longer true, unfortunately.

Very affordable housing and rents. One of the cheapest major metropolitan areas you will find anywhere in the U.S.
*This too is rapidly changing. Our rents are some of the fastest rising in the nation thanks to all the people moving here.

Well-connected to the rest of the country. A very good international airport (Sky Harbor) that is well-served by many airlines and domestic routes. The added presence of a feeder airport (Mesa-Gateway) means that airfares to/from Phoenix tend to be real bargains. Of course if you prefer not to fly, Phoenix is also within driving distance to many major metropolitan areas such as Las Vegas (5.5 hours), San Diego (7 hours) or Los Angeles (8 hours).
*Debatable. We do have a decent airport, but unlike on the east coast where driving four or five hours allows you to hit three or four major cities, our nearest major city is six hours away.

For sports fans, Phoenix is represented by sports teams in all four professional leagues (MLB, NBA, NHL and NFL)
*True. Now if we could only get them to start winning championships!

Relatively clean. Although smog can be a minor problem at certain times of the year, I never found there to be much trash or litter around the city. Then again, this is probably because there aren't too many pedestrians around! (see Cons).
*As growth occurs this seems to be changing too. It's not as bad as a NY or LA, but it's not as clean as it was when we moved here years ago.

CONS

The people: rude, flaky, obnoxious, aggressive, uneducated, unsophisticated, meth-addicted, rednecky, racist and xenophobic. I need to stress that this is strictly my own opinion, but I found the locals to be at least one (or a combination of some or all) of the above.
*Totally subjective. Like anyplace, you'll have all people types. It comes down to who you choose to hang around. I have found my friends, loving, supportive and caring.

Characterless. A giant sea of strip malls, chain restaurants, Orwellian neighborhoods and tract housing, all surrounding an empty shell of a downtown. Very commercialized and generic. Has the look and feel of a giant suburb, or a cluster of smaller suburbs. Lacks a certain cosmopolitan vibe.
*There is much truth here. Although downtown is making some nice changes and is not as barren as it once was. Friends who live there love it.

Awkward, insular lifestyle. You often feel like you're living in a bubble, due partly to the intense climate and partly to the urban sprawl that makes you so dependent on your vehicle. You'll leave your air-conditioned house and step into your air-conditioned car, from there you'll scurry into your air-conditioned office or the air-conditioned supermarket or mall and then back in reverse order. If you have a pet, may as well potty train them. You can't let a dog or cat outside during the daytime for most of the year - they can suffer third-degree burns.
*Ok, there are times when it's just too hot to do anything outdoors (but people still do!). However, you learn the best times to do stuff in the extreme summer months. You can literally be outdoors all year long here.

The area is very spread-out and little to nothing is within walking distance of your house or office. You'll find that you'll never really see or interact with your neighbors except to wave at them as your automatic garage door is closing. I always found it ironic how people ostensibly move to Phoenix for the weather, and yet once they arrive there, they really spend relatively little time outdoors.
*It is spread out, but there are some neighborhoods where you can walk to a restaurant or local bar. They are few and far between, but Phoenix was designed around the automobile, not public transportation like cities back east.

Disgusting tap water. You might hear a local bragging to you that "Atlanta has a 30-day water supply, while ours is 30 years". Be that as it may, the quality of the H2O sucks. It's hard water, and whenever you wash your pots and pans you'll often find this weird residue that never seems to go away.
* I 100 percent agree with this!! They will tell you the tap water is safe, but they don't tell you about all the people who develop kidney stones! IJS.

Subpar job market. Phoenix's economy was hit hard by the subprime mortgage crisis, indicating that the economy is not diversified enough. Arizona tends to rank high nationwide in unemployment, and it is also a right-to-work state with relatively low wages. Keep in mind that worker productivity is always going to be negatively impacted in such a hot climate.
*This is one of my biggest disappointments. For a city of its size Phoenix doesn't punch its weight when it comes to good paying jobs. It has improved and is getting better, but the lack of Fortune 500 Headquarters speaks volumes.

Boring, lifeless downtown. With the exception of the NBA/NHL arena and MLB baseball stadium, downtown
*As I said earlier, it's getting better.

Phoenix is strictly a business district with little or nothing in the way of entertainment or nightlife. To get your groove on, you actually have to head OUT of the city to the suburbs such as Glendale or Scottsdale. I found Phoenix to be a very odd city in this particular respect.
*Hmmm, the entertainment options in the city are plenty and growing all the time.

Very little cultural diversity. For a city with such a large population, Phoenix is sorely lacking in this category. The local idea of "diversity" is the city's many Mexican chain restaurants and a few tiny shops selling Native American jewelry. It's difficult to find any type of international cuisine there (other than Mexican, and even that isn't as good as the locals will try to claim). Sky Harbor Airport has no direct international flights anywhere outside of North America, except for a sporadic flight to London (Emirates recently tried to launch a nonstop route to Dubai but it never materialized). In a nutshell: Phoenix is a big American city, but it is the last thing from an international city.
*Yes it's true for a city of its size. Again, it's slowly improving as more people move here.


Urban sprawl and car-centric culture. Very spread-out. Public transportation is woeful. Forget what you may have read about that new light rail system. The metro area is much too big for it to be much use. Most people aren't too fond of standing outside waiting for a trolley in 110-degree heat anyway.
*True

Ubiquitous soliciting and panhandling. Not one week will go by when you won't be walking through a parking lot into/out of a store, completely minding your own business when suddenly you are accosted by some white-trash goon or a group of 16 year-old punks asking you for money. This would happen to me even when I pulled into service stations just to get gas. I've never had this problem in any other region that I've ever lived in. But it would happen to me ALL the time when I lived in Phoenix. It gradually escalated from minor nuisance to major pain in the arse.
*This is not unique to Phoenix.

Crime/fraud. Arizona is #1 nationwide in identity theft and #1 in adult kidnappings. Both fraud and violent crime are big problems. Arizona is a border state with very strict drug laws. At the same time, it also has very permissive gun laws (e.g. the Castle Doctrine) and an Old West mentality. All of these factors combine.
*This is true, especially the identity theft.

Household pests, especially scorpions. I was lucky enough never to get stung by a scorpion, and I never even saw one. But it seemed that almost everyone else whom I met there had at least one run-in with these critters.
*Scorpions are straight from hell! The creepiest, ugliest insects you will ever see. Oh, and they fight back!

Illegal immigration. Another big problem in Phoenix. If you are thinking of starting any type of business there, make sure you fully vet your job applicants before hiring them!
High utility bills. You'll have your A/C running constantly for a good three months out of the year. Water bills tend to be very steep as well. You'll go through tanks of gas quickly as well due to the spread-out distances.
*This is a double-edged sword. Prior to the intense movement to curtail immigration I had a chance to work with more than a few fellows here from Mexico. They were hardworking, honest, intelligent people just trying to make a better life for their families. They reminded me of myself in many ways.

Atrocious public school system. Ranked at or near the bottom nationwide.
*Probably my biggest gripe about the state. We do have many good and decent schools here, but overall the problems stem from low teacher pay, to the low amount of money the state allocates for education compared to other states where the overall education is better. I used to teach in the public school system and left after numerous battles with the state board of education. My advice would be if you have kids and you move here make sure you stay involved and your kids should be ok.

Extremely conservative (both in politics and religion). If you're Republican, you'll feel right at home there. But if you're a liberal yuppie from San Francisco or Boston or Washington, boy are you in for a real culture shock. Arizona is a solid-red state and it follows that Phoenix is too, since it is the state capital and the seat of government (note though, that Tucson, which is 120 miles to the southeast, is decidedly liberal). On religion: you may also find yourself getting hounded by proselytyzers as the area has a sizable population of Latter Day Saints and Jehovah's Witnesses.
*It's not as red as it once was and, honestly, is probably closer to being purple right now. Yes there are lots of conservatives (whatever that means nowadays?) here, but there are more independents than anyone else.

Worst, most unsafe and aggressive drivers in the country. I've lived all over the country and Phoenix wins all awards in this category. They're absolute maniacs. Try to keep your cool if you're ever confronted with any type of similar situation and don't allow it to escalate. Remember what I wrote above about the gun laws and the Castle doctrine (...you can see where I am going with this).
*You do have to watch out for the drivers here. The one rule of the road seems to be "get your rear bumper in front of the other car and you're ok!" Car insurance can be pricy.
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