April 2009 marks 30 years that I have lived in the Valley of the Sun. While it is easy to only focus on the good points of a vacation spot, I suspect that there are few perfect places to live.
There are some aspects of Phoenix living that I enjoy, and some things that I wish were different. Let's start with why I like living in Greater Phoenix.
Five Things I Love About Living in Greater Phoenix
- I enjoy spectator sports. When I first moved to the Valley of the Sun, the Phoenix Suns were the only game in town. High school and college sports were prominent, but being from New York I didn't have a school allegiance here. Now we have pro basketball, baseball, football, hockey, NASCAR, golf, beach volleyball, and more.
- I no longer have to travel to Los Angeles or New York to see quality theatre productions. We get all the big name concerts here, as well as touring Broadway productions, Cirque du Soleil and other professional companies. We also have many local professional and semi-professional theatre, dance and music organizations including symphony orchestras, ballet and opera. People who say there is no culture in Phoenix are silly.
- There's so much to do. I am always amazed at the number of people who come here and tell me that there's nothing to do here. There are parks and hiking and biking and shopping and movies and shows and concerts and clubs and thousands of restaurants and pools and rec centers and festivals and sporting events and tennis and golf and ... okay, I'll stop. There are also hundreds of volunteer opportunities where you can meet others and do some good. When people tell me that there's nothing to do here, I always ask them what they did for recreation where they came from. I usually get a blank stare. (Yes, if you're a surfer you'll have have it rough here!)
- Having come from a part of the country known for concrete and skyscrapers, I never tire of seeing mountains, hearing and seeing birds, seeing stars at night and Arizona sunsets. I still get excited when I see a jackrabbit or a coyote. I love the desert in bloom.
- You knew I had to mention the weather. I love the weather. You'll get no argument fro me -- it gets oppressively hot in the summer. By the time August comes around, and there's still two months to go, it can be a drag. But the sun almost always shines, the sky is almost always blue, and I find it much easier to get cool when it is hot than to get warm or dry when it is cold and wet. I can drive for less than 2 hours and be in the mountains, at least 20 degrees cooler than in Phoenix. In the winter I can ski if I drive a couple of hours farther than that. We spend just as much time hiding from our weather indoors as people do that have harsh winters. It's just a matter of which you prefer. I'll take sun.
Not everything is perfect here, though. There are definitely some things about living in Greater Phoenix that I dislike. Read on to see five things that I dislike about living in the Phoenix area.
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