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Old 03-15-14, 08:45 PM   #1
cbr9927
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Is Flagstaff the best place to live in Arizona?

Been thinking of packing it up and leaving South for the SW if I could. I have my eyes set on Flagstaff, AZ.
Its got 4 seasons, in winter I could hitch the bike or motorcycle and in 2 hours go riding in winter in Phoenix.
From the pics it looks just like Washington State but with tons more sun.
Is there a Chinese grocery store there?
I know it gets pretty cold in winter and that's fine as long as I don't get rained on every day like Seattle.

So lets hear the bad. Housing, Lack of Diversity? Too Boring?
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Old 03-15-14, 10:44 PM   #2
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Might have better luck in the SW forum.

I've only been to NM. The SW is too flippin' dry for me. Mouth, skin, eyes...everything dries out. I did a weeklong tour there. Santa Fe was nice though.
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Old 03-16-14, 12:43 AM   #3
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Nice place to visit, also Sedona, Jerome. I'm web footed so the PNW is my kinda country.
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Old 03-16-14, 12:53 AM   #4
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The dryness in New Mexico never bother me the 2 times I went to ABQ-Santa Fe. Denver was another story, my lips were on fire from being so chapped.
I think Albquerque is a great place to live, not big or small. Its has a bad rep for crime I hear, I did not sense it was different from another city I went to in that regard.
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Old 03-16-14, 01:07 AM   #5
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It's closer to Denver climatically than Seattle.

Very high elevation, pretty dry all the time.

The trees are mostly Ponderosa Pine and the actual forested area is a pretty small patch up around Flag, so it's rather unlike the vast swaths of fir up here.

Can't comment on much else since I lived there in 89-90 so I'm sure a lot of city life has changed there.
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Old 03-16-14, 03:18 AM   #6
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there is a ton of stuff to do if you love the outdoors within a 2 hr drive.
meteor crater. petrified forest national park. grand canyon national park (south rim). wupatki nm. sunset crater nm. sedona. mts humphreys and agassiz. kachina bowl.
walnut canyon nm. montezuma castle nm. prescott. hopi country.

monument valley, navajo nm, lake powell, the colorado river, canyon de chelly nm, paria canyon and phoenix are just a little more.

downside...it is the skin cancer magnet of az. liberally apply high spf sunblock if you do end up there. it is at 6,900 ft so it's not a surprise.
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Old 03-16-14, 04:52 AM   #7
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So lets hear the bad.
it's arizona
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Old 03-16-14, 08:32 AM   #8
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Yeah, AZ is about as progressive as GA.
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Old 03-16-14, 10:01 AM   #9
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I like AZ but am more a Tucson kind of guy rather than Flagstaff.
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Old 03-16-14, 03:23 PM   #10
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Any ideas on whether they have jobs for you?
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Old 03-16-14, 04:01 PM   #11
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Any ideas on whether they have jobs for you?
Parent's inheritance? No joke.
I worked in the health care field clerical. A woman's job really , but it did pay the bills for me.
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Old 03-16-14, 07:26 PM   #12
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I like AZ but am more a Tucson kind of guy rather than Flagstaff.
+1 on Tucson, but it's really the only place I've ever really visited in AZ. Never stayed anywhere else. Didn't like the looks of Phoenix, driving into and out of it, on a bus or in a car, but didn't stop to check it out.
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Old 03-17-14, 05:54 PM   #13
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The Phoenix valley area is the largest metropolitan area, followed by Tucson, and the Prescott. Phoenix is the easiest to find work in, Tucson and Prescott much less so, but they are superb places to live, Tucson if you want the desert and clean air, Prescott if you want clean air, colder temperatures and woods mixed with the desert. Nowhere in AZ tends to have well paying jobs unless you own your own company, or have an in demand skill that can't easily be done by illegal immigrants, or maybe if you work through the web and it doesn't matter where you are, etc. Diversity? Arizona has that in bountiful supply. People come from all over the US and Mexico to live there, and in particular I am fond of Mexican culture's friendliness, music and food. Chinese grocery store? Only one I know of is in or near Phoenix. Even Maricopa county isn't bad if you don't have to commute all over the place and have an air filter in your house.

Flagstaff is a very nice place, just like every other part of AZ that isn't Phoenix. Finding work in Flagstaff is not so easy, since not so many people live there. Great place for a vacation though.

To keep things in as accurate of perspective as possible, last I checked AZ has the 49th lowest wages of any state, with only New Mexico residents worse off. If this can be feasibly gotten around, the south west is in my opinion the best place in the US to live.
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Old 03-17-14, 06:11 PM   #14
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If you need 4 seasons, Flag and Prescott come to mind.
However moved to Tucson w-a-y back in 1978 and we are still here and never regretted our move from the Midwest. Jobs and wages are not the greatest; it is a right-to-work state and the low wages reflect that. Housing is less expensive than CA or back east.
Have been retired for 19 years (we are ages 81/78) and bail out for the summer to someplace 'up north' for 3 months.
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Old 03-17-14, 06:32 PM   #15
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I hate Seattle, it is so crowded. Look at the city on a map, surrounded by water left and right that restricts traffic flow and makes me feel claustrophobic.
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Old 03-18-14, 09:08 AM   #16
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Along with Michigander's comment about work being difficult to find and the nation's lowest wages, it also has some of the highest foreclosure-rates. While you may find a house cheaply, you'll be surrounded by desolate slum-like abandoned houses with squatters. My sister-in-law has been trying to get us to move out there for years, citing the cheap house across the street that's dropped from $250k to $120 to $80 in the past couple years (still on the market all that time). Last sign of activity was cops taping off the place to pull out some bodies.

Even more important than jobs & housing would be the locals. Rent a vacation place for a month or two and see how you like them. We've done this all over and have actually determined that Portland is probably where we'll go next. Noticed an interesting thing soon after we crossed the border, no one locks ups! Pulled into a gas-station late at night, but they were closed. Car being worked on in the outdoor-bay was open, hood up, keys in ignition. Place was unlocked, so I used the toilet. Across the parking-lot was a coffee-hut, all their patio furniture out in the open ready for business. In the city, public-parks had folding-chairs laid out for people to use, even after dark! City was clean, not too crowded nor busy. Didn't have any problems finding parking, everyone was very polite and cordial. The two food-truck parks were awesome!

We can get a very nice place on 25-30 acres in Portland for what it cost us for average home in Santa Barbara or S.F. Bay Area. Although the motorcycle riding doesn't look to be as diverse as Bay Area.

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Old 03-18-14, 09:27 AM   #17
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Yeah, AZ is about as progressive as GA.
sign me up then.
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Old 03-18-14, 09:42 AM   #18
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I hate Seattle, it is so crowded. Look at the city on a map, surrounded by water left and right that restricts traffic flow and makes me feel claustrophobic.
I don't feel claustrophobic there but certainly understand how people can. I like Seattle but it does feel like a hemmed in sliver of city.
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Old 03-18-14, 10:00 AM   #19
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i didnt mind az to much when i lived there,
I enjoyed the people, and the work I did, I lived in a house with 3-4 other motorcyclist.
i worked nights so the weather wasnt too bad, was before i got into bicycles too much.
I won't go back to stay, but i will go visit.
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Old 03-18-14, 10:01 AM   #20
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I don't feel claustrophobic there but certainly understand how people can. I like Seattle but it does feel like a hemmed in sliver of city.
i lived in a small town near seattle, it had too many people for me in a small area. i felt better watching them all from across the water.
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Old 03-18-14, 10:19 AM   #21
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Prior to Seattle I lived in Hong Kong and NYC. Seriously Big city life is done for me, I am in my mid 40s and its time to go to a mid size city. I've traveled a lot in the States and liked Albuquerque NM the most. Sense of space and freedom is very important to me now. I like to get in my motorcycle and in minutes to away from people, I can do that in a way in ABQ.
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Old 03-18-14, 05:02 PM   #22
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Being on the outskirts of the Phoenix Valley, somewhere like Apache Junction, is quite manageable, given your parameters. There are millions of acres of National Forest bordering on it, and they are stunningly fun to drive or ride through. The one problem you can run into is jam packed traffic on the way out if you're a monday to friday nine to fiver weekend vacationing on your way out or back in. Otherwise shouldn't be too much trouble.
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Old 03-18-14, 09:18 PM   #23
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I love Flagstaff. Lived there for 5 years while in college and vacation there every few years. Last we were there was this past December.

Flagstaff is nothing like the rest of Arizona. I would describe as much less conservative and has been mentioned the climate is very different. All four seasons - snow in the winter, Summer highs around 90 and rain showers pass through often on Summer days. As far as housing, prices are closer to resort town kind of rates and there isn't much foreclosure. In fact we look into living there every few years and the house prices are comparable to where we live in California.

They have great microbrew places and restaurants. It's difficult to get around and not a lot of available jobs. They're kind of their known island up there.
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Old 03-18-14, 09:35 PM   #24
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Yeah, AZ is about as progressive as GA.
Depends on which part of the state. Statewide politics are dominated by the Phoenix area because of its high population and that area is quite conservative. But Tucson, to the south, has liberal politics, and Flagstaff is somewhere in between. When I lived in Tucson in the '70s we had Mo Udall as our congressman and he was one of the most liberal at the time, but we also had Goldwater in the Senate. Bruce Babitt, who was a rather liberal Sec. of the Interior, was from Flagstaff.

I did do some bicycling around Flagstaff during the summer - beautiful mountain areas and nice summer climate. But it does have a real winter which would curtail the cycling considerably.
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Old 03-19-14, 09:04 AM   #25
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I just bought a ticket for a 3 day stay in PHX. Which is the more scenic drive from Phx to Flagstaff or Phx to Tucson?
Flagstaff looks like any medium city outside Seattle suburbs with all those trees and mountains.
Is driving from Phoenix to Flagstaff as awesome in scenery as from Albuquerque to Las Cruces, that was a scenic marvel.
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