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Phoenix: What the fuck is there to do?
#1

So today I've been told by my company that I have two choices:  Move to Phoenix in July, or lose my job in July.  Now, I'm a born and bred Southern Californian, so I am used to being able to go to the beach and go to the mountains on the same day, and the majority of my favourite stuff to do and places to go are in L.A.  Bars, movies, museums, art shows, etc.

Is there ANYTHING in Phoenix that's comparable?  Seriously, the sacrifices that I would have to make to my lifestyle in order to retain my employment seem too severe.  And that's not even touching that fucking state's politics.

Can anyone give me reasons why living in Phoenix would not be an endless fucking nightmare?

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#2

Poverty is no good in California?  If the job is one that you cannot replace soon and with the same wage, I would go to Phoenix. Forget the beach or the mountains because that is your social life. We are talking about the job that allows you do have money to drive to those places without having to live in either place in your sun bleached tent and 10 inch beard.  Moving can be good if you allow it to be a career builder move.  Work there 1-2 years while finding a better job back in California.


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#3

If there's fuck all to do other than work and sleep, I'd end up killing myself after six months.  And since I'd be in fucking PHOENIX, how am I supposed to network to get an equivalent job in L.A.?  Advancement in the company itself will end up being stagnated as well, since this seems to be in part a calculated move to keep people in my department from moving in to corporate jobs.

The point isn't 'Will moving to Phoenix be good for my career/good for me economically?'  As the answer to that is 'yes, probably.'  My immediate superior will not be making the move, so I'd in all likelihood get bumped into his position, which puts me (I believe) at around 40-50 thousand a year, salaried.  Combined with the lower income tax and significantly lower cost of living, I'd probably be able to live like a fucking king as far where I live and shit I can buy.  The point is: beyond the superficial 'I've got money' pleasures, is there anything to do out there that would make my life bearable?  Are there any good rep theatres?  Are there any speakeasy type bars?  What's the art and culture atmosphere like (is there a Gallery Row like section of Downtown, etc)?  Where would I have to live/how far would I have to drive to get far enough from the city that light pollution wouldn't annihilate any attempts at astrophotography?  Is there any good mountain biking anywhere in the city?  This is the shit that keeps me from going completely fucking suicidally stir crazy, and without it, it doesn't matter how much I'd be making or how nice an apartment or house I could live in, living there would just plain not be worth it for me.

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#4

I've visited Phoenix a dozen or so times and, honestly, it's not someplace I would want to live. There are areas that are beautiful and some decent mountains (keep in mind I'm from Ohio so all mountains are nice to me) but I've never really found much to do. Obviously, someone who has lived there will have more to offer but I'm not fond of the area.

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#5

Okay, first of all, relax my friend. I've lived in Phoenix my entire life (I'm 27), and it's not the horrible fucking cesspool, boiling over hell's fire that it's made out to be. It's not metropolitan and flashy like L.A., but it's not the worst place in the world to live. You just have to put forth a little bit of effort to find the beauty and the interesting things to do.

Which part of Phoenix are you moving to? A lot of people say "Phoenix", but to people from out of town, that can encompass a ton of geography. Central Phoenix has come a long way in the past five to ten years, and has become pretty hip. The light rail opened the area up to a lot of good restaurants and bars, and other places to hang out. Tempe's got some interesting places, as well, and you can always catch a ball game or cruise around the university area for a good brew, or some decent food.

There's plenty of museums (Phoenix Art Museum, the Musical Instrument Museum at Tatum and the Loop 101 is rad), lots of gorgeous hiking and bike trails (I took the liberty of finding you a listing: http://www.trails.com/activity.aspx?area=10152), and believe it or not, we have some of the hottest women around. The local music scene is solid, and there are some great hole-in-the-wall places to see good bands.

And if you want to get out of the city, Sedona is stunning, Prescott is cozy as hell, and Flagstaff is a rad little college town with great atmosphere -- all of which are close enough to visit for a day trip. We've lucky enough to have all sorts of climates and ecosystems available to us. We've got deserts, forests, snowy mountains, lush green lands, and lots of historic towns and landmarks to check out.

Let me know which part of the valley you're moving to, specifically, and I'll point you to some cool places near you to get you started.

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#6

I haven't figured out where, exactly, in Phoenix I'll be.  I'm interested in the Alta Phoenix Lofts, because the price for the studio loft, while a bit pricey for Phoenix, is dirt cheap compared to something similar in Southern California, it's only about 6 miles from the office by foot/bicycle, it's right next to ASU, and a couple of blocks from some interesting looking bars and galleries (one of which hosts Dr. Sketchy's, which might be something I'll start doing once I'm out there).  But I haven't yet been able to actually go out there and look around, and I'm not even sure when exactly I'll be moving.

And thanks for the trail thing, but it kind of proves my point.  I'd have to get a bike rack and drive about 8-10 miles to get to the nearest place to go mountain biking if I were at the lofts.  In Thousand Oaks (where I live now), there are three protected open spaces and a state park for hiking and mountain biking within a four mile radius of where I'm sitting.  If I lived in Hollywood or L.A. I'd still have easy access to Griffith Park at a minimum.

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#7

There are a lot of bars and stuff around ASU. My brother used to work at a bar that was pretty nice, and there's a lot in that area. Hiking in Sedona is fantastic and there are great hikes around Phoenix too. Don't go to Flagstaff.

I guess Flag is nice if you aren't stuck there for four years. There's skiing!

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#8

Fafhrd, I know exactly where Alta Lofts is, and that's a pretty solid area. That ASU location is sort of an annex from the main campus in Tempe, but it's a nice, small campus, and there's plenty of cute college girls roaming around. You've got the Arizona Center right down the street, and plenty of cool bars and places to hang out (I recommend the Rose and Crown Pub on Adams Street). Also, Pizza Bianco is supposedly fantastic, but there's a ridiculously long wait because it's famous or something.

The US Airways Center and Chase Field are a stone's throw away, and there's plenty of great places around there. Check out The Old Brickhouse at 1 East Jackson Street.

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