The design of the metropolitan area, or lack there of, has allowed the area to sprawl outward in each direction for about 120 miles in each direction. Commercial and residential developments are massive and kept separate from each other, making it possible for the nearest post office, gas station, or grocery store to be several miles away and your house. Experienced drivers from real cities, will find Phoenix traffic unbearable as most native Phoenix residents have very poor driving skills with a particular affinity for speeding and tail-gating. Residents of new developments must wait years before traffic lights and additional lanes are installed on nearby major roads. Despite the multiple car pile ups that occur in Phoenix daily, the city still allows drivers to talk on their cell phone while driving.
The fast pace of growth has resulted in several social problems. New tract housing developments usually build there own elementary, junior, and even high schools. Consequently, there are an abundance of little independent school districts that receive little over-sight from the city and the means to properly educate students. The lack of social interaction between residents due to sprawl has led to an epidemic of meth addiction. Sprawl has also restricted police to patrol cars only. The police focus their attention on providing speeding tickets in areas with artificially low speed limits. Violent crime and particularly car theft are common.
The weather is very mild during the winter with warm days and cool nights. But it is extremely hot during the rest of the seasons, forcing everyone to live in air conditioning 24 hours a day for eight months of the year.
Phoenix can be divided into roughly four parts: the North, West, South and Downtown. The Northern part of Phoenix is comprised of the historically nouveau riche enclaves of Paradise Valley and part of Scottsdale which is actually designated as a city itself. The people from these areas like to flaunt their wealth but are in fact heavily in debt,; foreclosures and repossessions are not uncommon here. The Western and Southern parts of Phoenix are comprised of older tract housing...and pretty much nothing else. There is more foot traffic and higher commercial density in Tempe (Southern Phoenix) due to the presence of ASU's campus and the airport. However, the cultural activities and amenities in the area will never be mistaken for anything in a real city. For the most part, bars, fast food chains, and tattoo parlors mix in with older tract housing developments in the area. The downtown of Phoenix is absolutely dead. There are about 40 high-rise buildings that house government offices. These buildings are lit at night to lend a night-scape for the surrounding area during the evening despite the fact that no one is inside them.
It you're from the North East, Miami, Chicago, or another real city and enjoy culture then don't move to Phoenix.
guy 2: Who isn't movin out to Phoenix man.
Transplant from non-Chicago Midwest: I'm not sure, I've never had to deal with HOA's and smog restrictions before. Where can I get some good sweet corn and a steak?
Phoenician: Not sure... but theres a good sushi place down the street, you can even carry a gun there!! Its the Wild West man.
Transplant: Ya... I could do that at home too... minus the sushi... what is this.. japan?
I’ve lived here for four years and don’t know what’s so great about it. What’s so great about 100-plus degree weather for months at a time? And the only things to do are golfing and hiking, which can only be done during the winter months. And don’t get me started on the people. I don’t find them to be friendly and relational, like in the South. Most people I’ve met have dull personalities and don’t act like they want to get to know you as a person. The people are hostile on the road and act like they own it. If your car breaks down, instead of helping you they drive by and give you the finger as if you caused a mere one-second delay on the road. In all honestly, the people just downright suck. They are basically southern California wannabees. There’s also too much air pollution. Too much crime. And there’s very few good jobs for the cost of living. The school system is awful and the state of Arizona ranks 50th in education. It is the ugliest most sprawled out city ever built, with miles of identical housing developements and strip malls. I find it to be a bad place to settle down and have a family. Sorry, you native Phoenicians, but all of this is true. However, the Phoenix area has a number of really cool restaurants (primarily in Scottsdale).
There’s more to dislike about Phoenix than to like about it, in my opinion.
There is a short period of mild weather from December to March, but 100-120 degree weather rules the rest of the months. In August/September there is a limited period of a few weeks called 'Monsoon Season' where it rains for several hours.
Phoenix is home to the biggest party school in the nation, Arizona State College. A beautiful campus set in the middle of downtown Tempe, it is in the middle of several points of attraction, including the newest baseball stadium, Bank One Ballpark - also known as BOB. ASU is a growing college of about 50,000 students, most of which are as hot as the weather.
Despite being a major, metropolitan city, Phoenix is distinctly dull and soul-less. It has no major theatre companies or enriching artistic outlets. It's at best a glorified rest stop for folks on their way to California. It's a web of suburbs comprised of 'pink houses' - developments that rely on the same four or five architectural structures to create identical houses with pink or salmon colored roofs. Like most of the manufactured homes, the people are fake - as in silicon implants and liposuction.
Phoenix also has the rare pleasure to host a large population of what natives call 'Snow Birds'. Snow Birds are a flock of elderly couples and singles that come into The Valley during the three or four months of mild weather and stay in their homes in Sun City and Sun City West until summer begins and they travel again to the norther, cooler climates. They drive very slowly, clog up the freeways, and generally annoy the public.
Said to live for 500 or for 1461 years, the phoenix is a male bird with beautiful gold and red plumage. The Phoenix was said to rise from ashes.