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Old 10-17-2015, 08:18 PM
 
128 posts, read 203,262 times
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I loved Tucson when I visited it and am thinking of buying property there. I am used to living in big cities (NYC, SF, LA), however, and am wondering whether Tucson will feel too small / claustrophobic after a while. Of course I will rent before buying but it'd be nice to hear perspectives from some long term residents.

Do you end up running into the same people over and over? Do people recognize you wherever you go? Do you have the feeling of anonymity like a big city?
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Old 10-17-2015, 08:49 PM
 
Location: Marana, AZ
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It's big enough that you won't run into the same people if you don't want to - but small enough that if you frequent the same places you will.

You can have the best of both worlds - it's spread out so far that if you want to try new things there are so many places to go and you can have the feeling of anonymity (especially during snowbird season when the population swells). If you want that close-knit feel then just stick to the same places and you'll get to know people.
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Old 10-17-2015, 08:58 PM
 
Location: Alamogordo, NM
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It's big enough that you won't run into the same people if you don't want to - but small enough that if you frequent the same places you will.

You can have the best of both worlds - it's spread out so far that if you want to try new things there are so many places to go and you can have the feeling of anonymity (especially during snowbird season when the population swells). If you want that close-knit feel then just stick to the same places and you'll get to know people.

OP - this is a good summation of Tucson's atmosphere for how big or small the city feels to you after a while. I have not lived in Tucson though I have lived in Willcox. And we spent a lot of time in Tucson. I may retire in Tucson. For a large city it does not have that feel of being overly a pain in the arse for driving in. Nor do the cops seem ta pull people over for stupid reasons.

It just has every theater or store under the sun, lots and lots of restaurants and lots and lots of sun. Plus, if you're a SE Arizona nut like I am, you can go to old Fort Bowie and hike around or go to Sunsites, Kansas Settlement Road or the Chiricahua Range and just hang out in the gorgeous SE Arizona outdoors. I love it.

But no, the city doesn't "close in on you" like a small city does. Tucson to me just has that unique quality of being a gas to be in without being too small. Or too big.

If I end up struggling to find a house I like in Benson, or Tombstone, or Bisbee, I might just get a house in Tucson come about 2021 when Lord willin' and the creek don't rise I'm planning on retiring. It would not be a penalty to live inside the city limits of this great town.
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Old 10-17-2015, 09:09 PM
 
Location: MN
613 posts, read 1,277,454 times
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Tucson and Albuquerque are the only two cities I've been to that are just the perfect size. Both are like major "small towns" offering a lot of culture and both are within close proximity to absolutely beautiful natural areas. In my experience, I see more of the same people in the more dense cities I've lived. Tucson has about a million people in the metro.
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Old 10-17-2015, 11:27 PM
 
Location: Tucson, AZ
613 posts, read 891,192 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lafemmeviolonista View Post
I loved Tucson when I visited it and am thinking of buying property there. I am used to living in big cities (NYC, SF, LA), however, and am wondering whether Tucson will feel too small / claustrophobic after a while. Of course I will rent before buying but it'd be nice to hear perspectives from some long term residents.

Do you end up running into the same people over and over? Do people recognize you wherever you go? Do you have the feeling of anonymity like a big city?
It may feel small to you insofar as amenities go, compared to the cities you are used to, but otherwise you'll be fine. I've lived here for the better part of 35 years now, am pretty social and I can say I don't regularly run into people I know. Obviously it's different on a location by location basis - some bars I frequent seem to have the same crowd on any given night, and obviously familiar faces abound, but that's true of any bar with regulars in any city.

In comparison, when I lived in Pittsburgh for only a few years (and Pittsburgh being a much larger town), I started running into the same people all of the time, everywhere. We used to joke that it was a city of 2.4 million, but only 30 people ever left their house!
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Old 10-18-2015, 08:04 AM
 
Location: Southern Arizona
9,527 posts, read 28,990,339 times
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I relocated to Tucson from the San Francisco Bay Area many years ago and have never experienced any of the "Too Small Negatives" mentioned.

Looking back, my only complaint is that I didn't "Get Out Of Dodge" sooner.
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Old 10-18-2015, 05:18 PM
 
Location: West of the Catalinas East of the Tortolitas
4,923 posts, read 7,823,004 times
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It's a lot like Colorado Springs in that it's got moderate "sprawl" with smaller suburbs of sorts, less expensive housing that it's big sister capital city, malls, and lots of Friday Night Lights high school rivalries; has only one interstate running along the perimeter so traffic is on surface streets, is south of the state capital which IS a big city with huge sprawl; has a major state University, yet has a small, personal airport while also being only about an hour or so from the capital's International airport; has a lot of restaurants, attractions, theater, and things to do, but is only an hour or so from the "big city capial" with its IKEA, major music concerts, major theater, major sporting events, and more. Like Colorado Springs, Tucson has it's own feel, it's own vibe, it's own culture, and it's own character. It's not a homogeneous city of endless sprawl, lots of interstates, huge traffic problems, and no defining characteristics. It has charm, history, foothills, desert, wildlife on the perimeters of the towns, easy access to the mountains east of Tucson, or west into the desert, and south to Mexico. It's easy to get around as it's built on a grid, doesn't have a large downtown, or huge skyscrapers, and basically has one of everything (except Ikea).
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Old 10-19-2015, 12:43 AM
 
Location: Tucson, AZ
613 posts, read 891,192 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcy1210 View Post
except Ikea
It's always amazing to me how much people value the presence of an IKEA ... I don't have a good or bad opinion of it myself, just surprised at how often in comes up in conversations about Tucson as well as other cities nationwide.
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Old 10-19-2015, 02:32 PM
 
15,456 posts, read 26,794,233 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beTucsonan View Post
It's always amazing to me how much people value the presence of an IKEA ... I don't have a good or bad opinion of it myself, just surprised at how often in comes up in conversations about Tucson as well as other cities nationwide.

If it is not IKEA, it is:

Fry's Electronics
Whole Foods
Trader Joe's
Aldi


I will agree that there is almost a perpetual thread over on the Cleveland Forum complaining that there is no IKEA in Cleveland although there is one in Pittsburgh.

I have to admit that when I was in Cleveland and had to drive to Pittsburgh, IKEA was a great option.

Once I moved to Chicagoland and found that there were several, I rarely went more than once every 18 months. In the 15 years, I think that I made perhaps two non-food purchases, none of which was furniture. The furniture is alright if you are planning to furnish a dorm room.
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Old 10-19-2015, 03:36 PM
 
300 posts, read 478,866 times
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I am from Pittsburgh, headed for a warmer climate 35 years ago, no regrets. I lived in Phoenix for 20 years before moving back to Tucson 4 yrs ago (Phoenix dirty air irritated my lungs). At first I missed the freeways and stores but no longer. Younger 'party animal' types would not like it here but this is great for retirees. If you are retired a good way to make lots of friends is doing volunteer work.
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