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Old 12-11-2009, 09:46 AM
 
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i am an la native, but getting out as soon as i am done with grad school this june. i have done relocation scouting to a lot of places. i have been to austin, tx 3x and really like it, but property values are sky rocketed. i really loved louisville, ky but i think i would die in their winters. i already was freezing when i went in october. i pretty much realized i need a city that doesnt get colder than maybe the high 50s during the day. i would much rather go through heat or humidity (spent august in the south) than cold weather and a ton of snow.

anyway, i went to asu in tempe and didnt really care for the phoenix metro. never really checked out tucson, but my grandmother suggested it since i will only check out certain cities according to weather (love austin, will check out the miami metro again but to me, it is too much like la).

here are some questions i am hoping someone could answer:
1. what would be the bohemian zipcodes (NOT a super urban area please) to check out for a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom HOUSE?
2. i know there is a decent size jewish community in tucson, but are there are many jewish under 40 singles? reason i ask is louisville, ky has a nice size jewish community, but most of the young people left.
3. a few of my teacher friends lost their jobs and headed out towards phoenix. they told me they got jobs right away because it is hard for the schools in arizona to attract teachers based on how little they pay them. as of now, anyone know if there are jobs in the field of school counseling and special ed. in the tucson area?
4. what would be some school districts to look into that are no more than a 30 minute drive from tucson in traffic? I CANNOT HAVE A LONG COMMUTE ANYMORE! I WILL LOSE MY MIND!

thanks
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Old 12-12-2009, 02:17 PM
 
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hi Naomi! considering Tucson, huh? I grew up here so hopefully I can help I lived in Phx for a few months and I didn't care for it much either. Fun place for a little while, but that's it.

1) I'm not sure what you mean by bohoemian, but U of A area/4th ave is sort of that way. however, it is skechy in most parts so I don't recommend it. It is mostly college kids too. It is fun for a night out though. Depending on which school you work for, will also determine where you would search where to live. However, if you sort of know what area of town you want to live, it can help narrow down your job search too. The east side is safer, but it also has pockets of skechiness. I grew up there though and I always felt safe. The north side, River rd. and north are nicer and also generally safe, but it can be a little more expensive, still cheaper than LA by far though! the SE side of town is also nice/safe. Central Tucson is very mixed with nice/safe parts and I'd live in a gated community if you can, even though it doesn't eliminate the entire problem. Stay away from south Tucson, it has pockets of nice places, but overall, it is dangerous and you will need mace. Rents range from $300 for a studio-$1400 is for a 3bd/2ba, also depending on amenities. Are you moving down with friends or looking for a roommate? I think its best for you to rent a place by yourself for a few months until you find a roommate you can trust here (I'm sure you know after growing up in LA!). a 1bd/1ba is super cheap here if you don't need too many amenities. Also something to keep in mind, a lot of condos have recently been built/being built here and they can be similar to LA prices for a 1bd, but gets cheaper to split a 2bd with roommates. I don't think they are necessary because you can find similar amenities in other complexes if you search hard enough.

2) We have quite the jewish community here. The north side of town is "Jewish". Catalina foothills school district (on the north side) is also very "jewish" if you wind up teaching there. Our JCC is even bigger than the on Tempe (I think that's the one I'm thinking of..lol) and they always have events..I'm sure there's a hannukah party going on sometime this weekend. There's also a hillel at the UofA. The only jews I run into these days are my mother's friends (I'm jewish..I think you knew that! haha), and my customers..I work down the street from Catalina Foothills high school. These people tend to be older, but I know there are a lot of young jewish people around here as well. Anshei Israel is the reform synagogue (I grew up going there) and a lot of young people go there. I'm not sure about the other places. Also a lot of young jews are attending the UofA as well, it has a smaller feel than ASU, but is similar.

3) as for teaching..I grew up with a lot of teachers who did not care too much. The young teachers I had were the ones that cared the most. Parents will appreciate you if you're one of those! I know our schools systems are going through budget cuts, but it doesn't sound like they're cutting salaries and jobs. One of my friends just had an interview for guidance counselor at U of Pheonix so I imagine they're hiring. I don't know where you could look, maybe google TUSD, Catalina Foothills SD, Sunnyside and something should come up where you can check employment. Special ed teachers are always needed here..I think you'll be able to find something. You will also have to be credentialed to teach in AZ.

4) TUSD is throughout Tucson. on the outskirts of town is where you get into other school districts; Vail, sunnyside, CFSD, Marana and so on. Your commute will not be more than 30 minutes if you live within these areas. You pretty much have to live on the otherside of town for that long of a commute to anywhere here. If your commute is close to an hour, you live too far from Tucson proper . Traffic here won't lag your commute more than 20 minutes (if its really bad), but you will have a lot of tailgaters, red light runners, and just plain illegal drivers (I had a guy turn left from on coming traffic, right in front of me after the light turned green, when it was my right of way..good thing I was paying attention!), but if you handled LA all these years, you will be fine!

Hope that helped! sorry it was 9879080 pages long!
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Old 12-13-2009, 02:59 AM
 
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hi!

yeah i am actually, but i have never been to tucson. austin is still my #1 choice though in the long run. i just realized how crappy the market is in my field and i remember i met someone who ended up this year with a job in phoenix saying they were desperate since the pay there is so bad. i figure it would be the same in tucson (could be wrong though). anyway, i want to check out tucson. when i was in az, i was an idiot and didnt really check out much of the area aside from the phoenix metro.

since i did a lot of relocation scoutting this year, i realized i could never live somewhere where it is typically cold. louisville,ky, a city i recently went to, is a great city, but i know i could never survive their winters!

thanks for the suggestion. i dont think i would want to live in a neighborhood though where most people are really young party goers. by bohemian i mean like people who are characters and stray from the norm. id like to live in an old hippy area lol, but i think thats in sedona!

i like the fact that is a large jewish community there. i dont think i could live somewhere where there wasnt a jewish presence.

which districts are the "better" districts? i appreciate all your feedback!
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Old 12-13-2009, 12:19 PM
 
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some would say that an "old hippy area" and a "better district" are mutually exclusive terms!

you may want to check out the areas bounded by Speedway on the N, the university on the E, the RR tracks on the W, and Broadway on the S...including downtown....lots of older residential in this area and lots of students, but a decent, walkable, liberal, tolerant place....

was just down at the very, very popular 4th Avenue Street Fair yesterday, near the center of the above-described area....you would love it....lots of artsy-craftsy booths, entertainment, fun, people watching.....

4th Avenue – Tucson, AZ » Street Fair General Info
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Old 12-13-2009, 02:39 PM
 
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ya, teachers get paid pretty crappy here. All my friends that have teaching jobs, are in CA, D.C. and one is studying in N.C. to be a teacher. My friends boyfriend went abroad to korea to teach art. If you think the crappy pay wouldn't be so bad for you, then by all means, come on over! Tucson is very similar to Phoenix but on a much smaller scale, with our only freeways being I-10/I-19 and Oracle if you take it far north enough, and the weather is a little bit more tolerable. I think some parts of Tucson is prettier, especially the mountains. Camelback mountain is not much of a mountain to me..lol, not that Tucson's are better but ours have more activity and hiking to do.

I know what you mean about the cold! I thought about moving to Denver, and I don't know if I can handle the random days of arctic temps! brrr. Our winters here do get cold, but not nasty cold. We get snowfall every few years but it never sticks long enough to even see it on the ground, but our mountains get snow every year and its lots of fun! only a 20 minute drive away. Our summers are like LA's heat wave days, but our 100 degree temps are around 2 months straight, luckily our monsoon storms cool things off a little bit.

It doesn't sound like UA area is your thing. I kinda knew that anyways, but I figured I'd suggest it! You may like downtown or even central Tucson, but like I said, its not black and white as far as nice/safe areas go like the rest of Tucson. You'll find nice condo's in central down the block from a nasty area, which is why I recommend you live in a gated complex if you choose that. The more jewish areas are gonna be either UA area or northwest/northeast part of town. You'll love going out on 4th, but I'll warn you, its exactly like Mill Ave, but more run-down looking. AZ as a state has the same model for every city..even NAU has their "Ave" where they go to bars/clubs. and I love Sedona! You should go whenever you have a chance!

As far as "districts", do you mean school districts? I graduated high school almost 6 years ago so I'm not sure, but I know TUSD was going way down, but it is the biggest district in Tucson and we have magnet schools throughout, but they tend to be in "rougher" areas. Catalina foothills seems better from what I remember when i was in BBYO (a lot of the girls went there). They had good programs and the high school itself is beautiful. who knows, they may even pay better. There's also Vail school district (I think that's the name of it), which is pretty nice and new also, but that's SE of tucson and there is nothing going on out there and i'm afraid you would hate living there. You could always commute from Tucson, but if you have classes to teach at 7:30 a.m., that wouldn't be fun.

feel free to ask me any more questions you may have!
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Old 12-13-2009, 04:21 PM
 
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oh i mean i want to live in an old hippy area like an an adobe style house (i wish, so i will settle for a 1 bedroom apartment!) with kind of crazy old hippies for neighbors. i dont know if you have ever been to topanga in los angeles, but yeah an area like that

that being said, i do want a good school district to work for. i have worked in super low income schools and yeah, there tends to be behavior problems from kids their, low morale among staff, and parents arent involved. i have also worked at schools where it has a range of low income to wealthy, a diverse student body, high morale among staff, and with parents being involved (often overly involved, but i prefer working with parents that are demanding vs. parents that offer no support at home). i figure since i will be working full time most of my life, i would rather be at a place that i enjoy working at, vs. one where i am watching the clock. i know that sounds horrible, but i enjoy working in schools where most parents are involved or at least try to be, where their families stress education at home.

thanks for the suggestion


Quote:
Originally Posted by azdr0710 View Post
some would say that an "old hippy area" and a "better district" are mutually exclusive terms!

you may want to check out the areas bounded by Speedway on the N, the university on the E, the RR tracks on the W, and Broadway on the S...including downtown....lots of older residential in this area and lots of students, but a decent, walkable, liberal, tolerant place....

was just down at the very, very popular 4th Avenue Street Fair yesterday, near the center of the above-described area....you would love it....lots of artsy-craftsy booths, entertainment, fun, people watching.....

4th Avenue – Tucson, AZ » Street Fair General Info
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Old 12-13-2009, 04:26 PM
 
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hah i just figure since people dont want to work in arizona and i just am looking for something less than 3 years, to hang out somewhere where i actually can get a job you know? no one is getting hired here in most places of ca. it has even affected special ed because now they are combining classes and cutting classes to help with the budget! awful!

i noticed every college town does have the same street that young people hang out. its the same everywhere really. austin has 6th st, los angeles has wilshire, tempe had mill, etc. a lot of people looked down on 6th in austin as being only for college kids, but there were plenty of dives there where the crowd was very mixed which was cool. my favorite bar there is the jackalope. whats central tucson like? id like an area that is quiet and looks like i am actually in the desert. i will say this about tempe, when you drove on certain streets and stuff, the desert was beautiful.

never got a chance to go to sedona, but i hear its beautiful. i actually liked flagstaff, but its way too small for me.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mir86 View Post
ya, teachers get paid pretty crappy here. All my friends that have teaching jobs, are in CA, D.C. and one is studying in N.C. to be a teacher. My friends boyfriend went abroad to korea to teach art. If you think the crappy pay wouldn't be so bad for you, then by all means, come on over! Tucson is very similar to Phoenix but on a much smaller scale, with our only freeways being I-10/I-19 and Oracle if you take it far north enough, and the weather is a little bit more tolerable. I think some parts of Tucson is prettier, especially the mountains. Camelback mountain is not much of a mountain to me..lol, not that Tucson's are better but ours have more activity and hiking to do.

I know what you mean about the cold! I thought about moving to Denver, and I don't know if I can handle the random days of arctic temps! brrr. Our winters here do get cold, but not nasty cold. We get snowfall every few years but it never sticks long enough to even see it on the ground, but our mountains get snow every year and its lots of fun! only a 20 minute drive away. Our summers are like LA's heat wave days, but our 100 degree temps are around 2 months straight, luckily our monsoon storms cool things off a little bit.

It doesn't sound like UA area is your thing. I kinda knew that anyways, but I figured I'd suggest it! You may like downtown or even central Tucson, but like I said, its not black and white as far as nice/safe areas go like the rest of Tucson. You'll find nice condo's in central down the block from a nasty area, which is why I recommend you live in a gated complex if you choose that. The more jewish areas are gonna be either UA area or northwest/northeast part of town. You'll love going out on 4th, but I'll warn you, its exactly like Mill Ave, but more run-down looking. AZ as a state has the same model for every city..even NAU has their "Ave" where they go to bars/clubs. and I love Sedona! You should go whenever you have a chance!

As far as "districts", do you mean school districts? I graduated high school almost 6 years ago so I'm not sure, but I know TUSD was going way down, but it is the biggest district in Tucson and we have magnet schools throughout, but they tend to be in "rougher" areas. Catalina foothills seems better from what I remember when i was in BBYO (a lot of the girls went there). They had good programs and the high school itself is beautiful. who knows, they may even pay better. There's also Vail school district (I think that's the name of it), which is pretty nice and new also, but that's SE of tucson and there is nothing going on out there and i'm afraid you would hate living there. You could always commute from Tucson, but if you have classes to teach at 7:30 a.m., that wouldn't be fun.

feel free to ask me any more questions you may have!
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Old 12-13-2009, 04:49 PM
 
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Tucson is a good transitional place for you if you're looking at 3 years. I'm here on a transition as well (though I grew up here so it was easy to come back), but I have no idea where I'll end up, we'll see. You're right nobody wants to work here! but if you want to, they'll take you, as long as schools are hiring. this is perfect timing too for the next school year, assuming you get your AZ state credentials in time.

Central Tucson is almost like west L.A. without million dollar homes (I didn't spend a whole lot of time there aside from Santa Monica, but from what I remember..)..some parts are nice, and then down the block its nasty looking and run down. It can be busy and somewhat loud, especially the closer to UA that you get. All of Tucson pretty much looks deserty but central is mostly dirt lawns and brick houses/apartments that have fenced gates and then the nice adobe sprinkled in. My mom's neighborhood is east/central and her duplex is adobe style with tile flooring, but right next door its all brick with dirt lawns..very mixed. For that reason central does not really feel like the desert you're describing of Tempe. North/SE/Oro valley just NW of Tucson looks like orange county in a desert..very pretty with adobe style homes like in the nice places in Tempe/Scottsdale. I think I drove through Topanga..but I don't remember much about it, lol. I spent a lot of time downtown (school) and Santa Monica (work) and then we went to Northridge and Sherman oaks fashion square (lived 2 blocks from there) a lot for shopping. Everyone all over the valley seemed pretty much the same to me. the hippie type of people are kind of throughout Tucson, except the south side. In my time growing up here, we ran into a lot of people that were "green" and into organic food and stuff like that, but they lived anywhere really that was pretty safe. Those people are also a lot of times from CA and Californians live all over our state.

I've never been to flag but my friend invited me to go with her in the coming weeks and I'm so excited to see real snow! haha. I didn't see much of Sedona since we were driving through to the grand canyon but we did stop, and I couldn't get over all the red rocks and red sand mixed with green..soo pretty!

Now its up to you to come on down! bring a map and you'll learn Tucson in 2 days, especially coming from LA..it took me a week to learn Pheonix and even then, I barely got lost..our grid like streets make navigation super easy here! Also there are no freeways here that go through town so 20 miles through town will take you almost an hour to drive vs. 30 minutes or less..but 20 miles from anywhere here are complete opposite ends of town, or headed to a different town.
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Old 12-17-2009, 04:21 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Naomi Manischewitz View Post
i have been to austin, tx 3x and really like it, but property values are sky rocketed.

anyway, i went to asu in tempe and didnt really care for the phoenix metro.

1. what would be the bohemian zipcodes (NOT a super urban area please) to check out for a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom HOUSE?

2. i know there is a decent size jewish community in tucson, but are there are many jewish under 40 singles? reason i ask is louisville, ky has a nice size jewish community, but most of the young people left.
I will make a general statement: Arizona and New Mexico have been a huge disappointment to me in terms of their lack of Bohemian and Liberal Jewish influences. I do not like the relatively Socially Conservative nature of Albuquerque, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tucson, Santa Fe, and Flagstaff. The same families have been running these places for decades, and they are neither Bohemian nor liberal. The politicians are far from being fiscal conservatives, taxing and spending like drunken sailors, with Arizona facing massive budget problems.

Sedona perhaps is the lone exception, attracting out-of-state members of the new age and alternative medicine businesses, but the surrounding communities (Cottonwood, Flagstaff) are very conservative. It seems that one has to go to the West Coast, Boulder, Austin, or New England, to find Liberal political landscapes. This is reflected by the Creative Class and Bohemian Scores from Dr. Richard Florida. Tucson and Phoenix do not rank very high:

"The Rise of the Creative Class" by Richard Florida
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Old 12-17-2009, 09:03 AM
 
Location: Tucson
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Originally Posted by CCCVDUR View Post
This is reflected by the Creative Class and Bohemian Scores from Dr. Richard Florida. Tucson and Phoenix do not rank very high:

"The Rise of the Creative Class" by Richard Florida
Not that having many gays is any sign of creativity to me , but Tucson actually ranks quite well for a modest city of its size.
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