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Old 05-31-2018, 03:52 PM
 
132 posts, read 301,465 times
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Thanks so much for all the info -- I'm finding it really valuable for researching our possible move to Tucson. It's great to hear all the pros *and* cons.

And sorry if you thought I was AWOL. I was reading through and pondering on the much-appreciated responses. That, and work. And a new puppy. And a college kid briefly home. And grocery shopping. i.e. life and its chaos got in the way of a prompt response from me!

I'd love to hear more on what sorts of folks live in Tucson. Our impression -- and I have no idea that this is an accurate one -- is that there are lots of creative types there. True? False? There's really only one independent bookstore? Ouch. Coming from the land of Powell's that's tough to stomach. Someone mentioned the art museum and libraries leave a bit to be desired. What about local non-chain cafes and restaurants? (Is it true that many restaurants are in shopping malls?) What about locally brewed beer places? Farmers' markets? Yoga places?

I read on another post -- maybe one that someone helpfully linked to -- that there's a literary festival in Tucson. I'd love to hear more about that!

The photos of the desert, the mountains and the surroundings are stunning. Heat doesn't bother me (I grew up in tropical heat -- which I realize it totally different from desert heat). I guess we just need to make another trip, preferably during the hottest part of the summer (June?) and test-drive different neighborhoods. Which ones have 1+ acres and houses that don't look alike? As I mentioned in my OP, we loved the feel of Sam Hughes but fantasize about larger lots/property.

Again, thanks for all the responses!
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Old 05-31-2018, 05:06 PM
 
Location: Tucson
490 posts, read 662,017 times
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I am an artist and I have met so many artists in Tucson! To me the artists here are much friendlier and more approachable than in Boston or NY.

One of my favorite museums is the DeGrazia Gallery. I am a member now so that I can visit any time I like and I do go often. They have revolving shows in the small gallery and I hope to be having a show there at some point. I happen to like the Tucson Art Museum. Of course it is not the MFA or the MET but it is a lovely museum. Tohono Chul Park has a fabulous gallery with ever changing and interesting art shows. I also hope to be in one of their group shows at some point.

Bookmans is a great bookstore with multiple locations. Always fun to browse as you never know what you are going to find.

Tucson is not for everyone. It is far from everything, it is hot and there are lots of critters that can kill you (I try not to dwell on that but it is good to have a healthy respect for the desert). But for us, the desert has gotten into our bones. We love it. I have spent my entire life on the east coast so now we are moving out west in less than 2 weeks and are looking forward to the adventure.
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Old 05-31-2018, 06:00 PM
 
132 posts, read 301,465 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LaylaM View Post
Two years ago we were facing the exact choice that you are. Though we were in the Seattle area - same issues, basically. Also, our oldest daughter and her husband live in Portland so we well understand all of the amenities you're looking for. Our criteria was the same, with the exception of housing price range.

Initially, Tucson was near the top of our list. We love so many things about that city and it is a little blue dot in a red state. Plenty of like-minded people and a live and let live attitude from people with differing views. There is also a very prevalent libertarian vibe which we have no problem with.

Pros for us were:

* COL much lower than the PNW
* Incredible weather in the winter, early spring and late fall
* Whole Foods and TJ's are there
* Housing is still, relatively, reasonable
* Plenty of retail and other basic resources for a decent lifestyle
* Saguaro National Park is a wonderful place for hiking https://www.nps.gov/sagu/index.htm
* One of the best bookstores anywhere called Bookmans. Bookmans East | Bookmans Entertainment Exchange
* Southwest art and architecture is awesome
* Plenty of restaurants and cafes to choose from. Good Sonoran-style Mexican food

Cons for us:

* We visited throughout the year but ,once late spring rolled around, it was just too intensely hot for us. We know plenty of people who feel differently and others who sunbird elsewhere during the summer months.
* After all of our years in the PNW we had difficulty with the extremely dry climate
* We have dogs and decided that they were too old to adapt to the dusty, dry terrain
* The open carry gun law, which we do respect as a constitutional right, was just too foreign to us
* The crime rate is rather high and, if I was alone, wasn't sure I'd feel safe

Please keep in mind this is an 'outsider' point of view and, surely, others may have a very different perspective. And BTW, I agree with other posters that you will not find too much difference in temperature between Phoenix and Tucson - we considered both areas.

So many PNWers and ex-PNWers! Thanks for the detailed (and helpful) response. May I ask where you decided to move/moved?
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Old 05-31-2018, 06:41 PM
 
526 posts, read 761,680 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertaWa View Post

Bookmans is a great bookstore with multiple locations. Always fun to browse as you never know what you are going to find.
I know a lot of people in Tucson love it, but don’t get bookmans at all. It’s basically a large chain of junk stores that also happen to sell used books. It’s like shopping at a garage sale. When I want to go to a really quality bookstore I have to drive up to changing hands in Tempe.
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Old 05-31-2018, 08:08 PM
 
Location: Wine Country
661 posts, read 768,054 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maroon197 View Post
I know a lot of people in Tucson love it, but don’t get bookmans at all. It’s basically a large chain of junk stores that also happen to sell used books. It’s like shopping at a garage sale. When I want to go to a really quality bookstore I have to drive up to changing hands in Tempe.
The wide and interesting assortment of used books and funky vibe are exactly what IS cool about Bookmans. To each his/her own...

Last edited by LaylaM; 05-31-2018 at 08:59 PM..
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Old 05-31-2018, 08:45 PM
 
Location: Wine Country
661 posts, read 768,054 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sueisme View Post
So many PNWers and ex-PNWers! Thanks for the detailed (and helpful) response. May I ask where you decided to move/moved?
We moved to northern California, specifically, Sonoma County wine country. It has everything you're looking for but the housing price range is higher of course.
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Old 06-01-2018, 09:28 AM
 
132 posts, read 301,465 times
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It sounds like Bookman is a bit like the Strand in NYC, with its 18 miles of books! We love that place (lived in NY before Pdx).

Are there bookstores for new books? I have a recollection of visiting one on 4th Ave (or whatever the street with the cafes and restaurants near the college is called.) It was small, but had a nicely curated selection of books. Am I imagining this or did it go out of business?



Quote:
Originally Posted by LaylaM View Post
We moved to northern California, specifically, Sonoma County wine country. It has everything you're looking for but the housing price range is higher of course.

Ooooh -- I'm envious. That sounds like an amazing place to move!
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Old 06-01-2018, 10:26 AM
 
Location: Oro Valley AZ.
1,024 posts, read 2,471,649 times
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I'll chime in on the food and drink seen. I visit Portland several times a year. I usually stay in the Pearl District when I am there. For frame of reference, giving the Pearl District a 10 score in terms of walkability, quality & quantity of food and drink I would give Tucson maybe a 3 or 4, IMHO. Craft brews in Tucson metro is up and coming, but a loooooong way from Portland.
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Old 06-01-2018, 10:26 AM
509
 
3,862 posts, read 4,761,665 times
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Both Washington and Oregon have open carry laws that are just like those in Arizona. In fact, I see as many people openly carrying in Washington and Oregon as in Arizona.

Portland isn't very diverse and really sheltered from most of America. Tucson is a lot more diverse than Portland and I can see where it would be uncomfortable for people that have lived in Portland. Portland is a nice town, Tucson is a gritty town.

For people that have lived sheltered lifestyles the gated communities in Arizona are very popular for that reason. That way folks don't have to deal with people NOT like them.

Of course, for me that is the charm of Arizona and Tucson. But if all you want out of Arizona is sunny skies, a gated community is perfect for you.

PS...Bookmans does not even come close to Powell's. Powell's is the best thing about Portland.
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Old 06-01-2018, 10:30 AM
 
132 posts, read 301,465 times
Reputation: 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertaWa View Post
I am an artist and I have met so many artists in Tucson! To me the artists here are much friendlier and more approachable than in Boston or NY.

One of my favorite museums is the DeGrazia Gallery. I am a member now so that I can visit any time I like and I do go often. They have revolving shows in the small gallery and I hope to be having a show there at some point. I happen to like the Tucson Art Museum. Of course it is not the MFA or the MET but it is a lovely museum. Tohono Chul Park has a fabulous gallery with ever changing and interesting art shows. I also hope to be in one of their group shows at some point.

This is helpful -- thanks. (And hope you're in one of their group shows soon!)
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