I love Phoenix. I haven’t lived there for many years now; I love visiting as much as possible. I was born there, spent the first few years of my life in Chandler, and then spent the next several flying back and forth between Houston (with my dad during the school year) and Phoenix (to see my mom for every vacation of at least a week in length). When i say Phoenix I mean the Phoenix area, so that includes Chandler, Mesa, Tempe, Scottsdale, Gilbert, etc.
I don’t mind the heat during the spring and summer months, and I definitely prefer hot to cold, and a dry heat to the humidity of Houston. My ideal temp is 80F with a breeze, but I’m cool with it being warmer. But it isn’t the weather I think of most fondly.
I have several family members there, even though my mom has moved to Seattle and my dad is here in Houston, my aunts Lynda and Lisa (my mom’s twin sisters) live in California, Grandma Chris (my mom’s mom) lives in Seattle too, and Grandma Jean (my dad’s mom) passed away a few years ago. Grandpa Mel (my mom’s dad), Louise (my dad’s twin sister), and her children (John and Jean; and Jean is pregnant with her third child) still live there. But as much as I love my family members and love being with them they are not not the only reason I like being in Phoenix.
The most beautiful sunsets I’ve seen are in Arizona, they even beat Hawaii’s. You get all sorts of purples, reds, oranges, pinks, yellows, and blues. And at night you can get above the city or out in the less populated areas and see the stars. But other places have good views of the sky.
Over the last twenty years they have attracted several major businesses to the area (Intel, for example, opened a factory down the street from where we used to live). They have a contest for the most innovated companies to move their each year to win grants. But I’m not here to make a business case for the city.
Taliesin West is nearby, it is one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s schools (there are some familial connections there too). At Taliesin (which means “Shining Brow”) focuses on organic architecture, embracing surroundings rather than dominating them. The whole city has adopted this, though not intentionally, but you can see in the make of the buildings, the colors of the cars (tans, whites, yellows – mostly light, earthy colors), and how residential and commercial areas will be interrupted by small farming plots sprinkled throughout some areas. And while I like this mentality, it is not unique to only Phoenix.
I don’t know for sure what all it is, it for sure isn’t just one thing that makes me love Phoenix. I like the Native American inspired artwork everywhere. I like the desertscapes. I like the mountains. I like the freeways that make getting from one side of the city to the other (and unlike Houston, the HOV lanes are actually convenient). I like the bright colors. I like the sunsets. I like the great Mexican food (I like Tex-Mex too, but there is a difference between the regions). I like the wildlife (roadrunners, rabbits, coyotes, etc). I like the Gold Rush and Wild West history of the surrounding areas. Grandma Jean would say “Arizona is casual.” and I do like casual.