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Old August 9th, 2005, 04:04 AM   #1
WinnipegPatriot
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My trip to Phoenix!

Pics to come, but I just wanted to offer some comments about my experience here.

I cannot believe how dreaery downtown and its periphery are. So much deterioration. There was nobody to be found saturday afternoon in downtown Phoenix. The east side of downtown was especially depressing. I think the revitzaltion is finally starting in downtown Phoenix, with the intention of getting more people to live downtown, as well as the ASU, and light rail, etc. This city, with its huge population base and healthy population growth, has so much potential.

We stayed at the Doubletree near the airport, and this was a great hotel. The service was excellent, and guests are treated to a complimentary hot breakfast buffet. We had dinner at Oreganos in Tempe, and it was very good--worth the 45 min wait for our Chicago deep dish pizza.

As I write this, I am in my room at the Hilton El Conquistador in Tucson. Tucson is a carbon copy of Phoenix, and I don't think I will ever come back here. Downtown Tucson is very depressing.

Just some thoughts. I did take pics and will post soon!!!!
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Old August 9th, 2005, 04:17 AM   #2
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LOL I love Tucson, it is gourgeous and manageable. I haaate Downtown Pheonix it really didnt do anything for me, but other parts of Pheonix are fantastic. The gazillion Californians moving to AZ cant be wrong...or maybe they can, thats probably who is f***ing up Pheonix actually...DAMN THEM. But yeah I look foward to your pictures definately.
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Old August 9th, 2005, 06:02 AM   #3
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I'm glad you enjoyed our anti-city. Phoenix, as the name implies, is about rebirth. Ancient indigenes, the Hohokams, lived here several centuries ago and then mysteriously disappeared. Drought? Maybe. Or soil salinization causing crop failure. Someday, this metastasized sprawl will implode, and we'll start all over again. And what monuments will we leave behind? A 200 mile canal bringing Colorado River water to Phoenix? Hundreds of bulky big box stores? I almost wish I could be an archaeologist in 2400 sifting the desert and finding evidence that, yes, an anti-city once flourished here.
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Old August 9th, 2005, 10:37 AM   #4
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Well, minus any negativity, I'm also glad you managed to have a good time in the Phoenix-area.
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Old August 9th, 2005, 05:57 PM   #5
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Please take your time for Tucson and dont judge that quickly. Tucson is a beautiful city.

Many Tucson pictures:
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=231006
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Old August 9th, 2005, 07:05 PM   #6
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Downtown Phoenix is depressing. If you want a semi-urban experience anywhere in the Valley, you have to go to Tempe or Old Scottsdale.
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Old August 10th, 2005, 01:00 AM   #7
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Tempe is great indeed.

We were in downtown Tucson Monday afternoon, and it was a ghost town almost--hardly any people around. Does everyone stay indoors where the A/C is? Someone said for a great shopping area, check out Fourth Ave...um, it was horrible. Decrepit stores, and vacant buildings. Virtually every part of downtown is in rough shape! It just does not make sense why both cities are not beacons with such population growth. Both downtowns should be very vibrant, and perhaps some of you can tell me why the suburbs are so much more vibrant than the downtowns?

Bill Johnsons on Van Buren--awesome ribs!!!
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Old August 10th, 2005, 01:51 AM   #8
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Tempe is somewhat vibrant because it has a huge university with thousands of students living close by, many of them without cars. It also has its old main street intact, which is invaluable for creating pedestrian scale and ambience. It's by far the best downtown in Arizona. Scottsdale has lots of stores in its historical downtown area, and growing density. On the other hand, it doesn't have the same foot traffic as Tempe. Instead, just lots of tourists looking for trinkets and restaurants.

Tucson's forlorn downtown is, indeed, an embarrassment. Like Phoenix, Tucson is a car town and figuring out where to park cars while keeping the urban fabric proved too difficult. Also like Phoenix, Tucson's original urban footprint is very small and was incapable of accommodating the huge growth spurt following World War II. People wanted modern cars, big houses, and shopping centers with acres of free parking. It got all that, and the result is a place that is no place, the perfect emblem of automotive America.
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Old August 10th, 2005, 09:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WinnipegPatriot
Tempe is great indeed.

We were in downtown Tucson Monday afternoon, and it was a ghost town almost--hardly any people around. Does everyone stay indoors where the A/C is? Someone said for a great shopping area, check out Fourth Ave...um, it was horrible. Decrepit stores, and vacant buildings. Virtually every part of downtown is in rough shape! It just does not make sense why both cities are not beacons with such population growth. Both downtowns should be very vibrant, and perhaps some of you can tell me why the suburbs are so much more vibrant than the downtowns?

Bill Johnsons on Van Buren--awesome ribs!!!
Your statement about Tucson are simply not true. It is ridiculous to judge a city that fast. 4th Avenue and Congress is a great place to hang out in the nights on the weekends with numerous bars, cafes and restaurants. Also if you had some education you would have noticed and mentioned the wonderful Art-Deco and Adobe architecture that you find in the areas surrounding downtown. Also, the U of A is one of the most beautiful campus in the whole nation. Moreover, University Boulevard and Main Gate square are a very urban places. Of course Tucson will be more vibrant after school starts end of August.

Tucson is a wonderful city - that's why many people come here! I am tired of people like you bashing our cities without any reason. Thats not fair.

See what you missed!

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=231006
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Old August 10th, 2005, 09:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyland
Your statement about Tucson are simply not true. It is ridiculous to judge a city that fast. 4th Avenue and Congress is a great place to hang out in the nights on the weekends with numerous bars, cafes and restaurants. Also if you had some education you would have noticed and mentioned the wonderful Art-Deco and Adobe architecture that you find in the areas surrounding downtown. Also, the U of A is one of the most beautiful campus in the whole nation. Moreover, University Boulevard and Main Gate square are a very urban places. Of course Tucson will be more vibrant after school starts end of August.

Tucson is a wonderful city - that's why many people come here! I am tired of people like you bashing our cities without any reason. Thats not fair.

See what you missed!
Skyland, Winnipeg is a real city, with a real downtown, real nightlife, and a big downtown population. It's doubtful those of us in Arizona can simply bullshit about how great our cities are contrary to all visible evidence. I agree Tucson has its charms (considerably more than Phoenix), but it's hardly an urban mecca. I keep hoping Tucson will revolt against its Phoenix-lite growth paradigm. But the growth machine is extremely powerful and has a vested interest in cheap sprawl.
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Old August 10th, 2005, 10:15 PM   #11
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Haven't been to Phoenix, but I found Tucson passable - though I was there in January. IF you think tehre are going to be tons of people walking around in July or august, you are crazy.

There are some places that are quite hangable, though there is a bit too much suburb, but it is the sunbelt.

All I can say is if you gave me choice between Tucson and Winnipeg - I'd go Tucson.
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Old August 10th, 2005, 11:07 PM   #12
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^Tucson is very nice in its way. The natural setting is wonderful, the weather for 8 months a year is very good, and there's enough of a college scene near downtown to substitute for real urbanism. Tucson, too, is much more liberal than Phoenix which gives it a hip and laid-back air (almost like Tucson played Austin to the Dallas of Phoenix).
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Old August 10th, 2005, 11:09 PM   #13
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hahaha, phoenix sux guys, dry heat hurr no downtown cafes durr canada for teh wins burr.
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Old August 11th, 2005, 12:34 AM   #14
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Quote:
the wonderful Art-Deco and Adobe architecture
The ones that are crumbling, and have been neglected?

My intention was not to start a fight, but simply that I was a little stunned to see both cities the way they are. I knew Phoenix was the epitome of urban sprawl, but I did not think both cities' downtowns were in such rough shape. In Phoenix' case, I think it is heading in the right direction; Tucson does not seem to have any plans to recreate its core. With many people moving to these two cities, developers really need to build infills and densify the downtowns of Phoenix and Tucson. You do not want to become like Detroit where the downtown takes a back seat to the suburbs. The cities should not allow developers to build new communities, but rather insist on infills and existing communities. Downtown Tucson has what, 3000 residents? Not good!

I did not intend to offend.
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Old August 11th, 2005, 02:29 AM   #15
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Tucson has a redevelopment scheme called Rio Nuevo which intends to put more residents downtown. One of the perennial issues with urban revival is how to get people downtown without destroying downtown with parking lots/garages. I'm not sure how Tucson will handle that.

I'm old enough to remember when Tucson's downtown was vibrant and busy. Sadly, suburbanization took its toll and by the late 70s, downtown Tucson was moribund.
There are still some wonderful neighborhoods around downtown, and I think it's these places which will eventually knit together and create the urban fabric presently missing. Wonderful old buildings, even delapidated ones, are miracle cures when it comes to urban triage. Tucson still has some, and in them it's revival will be seeded.
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Old August 11th, 2005, 02:53 AM   #16
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With so much going for it (climate, solid population growth, etc) just imagine the kind of downtown Tucson would be if developers really started building there; BTW, does the city offer any incentives for developers to build downtown? I also noticed the lack of hotels (names like Hyatt, Marriott, Four Seasons, etc) in downtown. I saw a Radisson, but it was kinda yucky!
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Old September 16th, 2005, 01:49 AM   #17
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I recently went to PHX & tucson from portland on a HS sophomore trip and overall I enjoyed it, though the two cities to me are VERY different. I see tucson as more liberal compared to phoenix by a long shot. Tucson to me has more natural wonders IE sobino canyon, caves and when you drive down the W side of the slope entering Saguaro near the vicinity of the museum is by far one of the best views ive ever seen*specially at sunset . Tucson also seemed different that they aren't as in a rush to build huge massive loops and freeway bypasses though even as a portlander for a city of 500k+ they do need more b/c they dont even has light rail and driving from point A to B takes way to long!! on the unique side for a city its size, it remarkably has a small town feel to it which i find just different coming from portland and visiting other major cities in the west like denver, sacramento, seattle, SF etc. Tho the downtowns are pathetic in terms of city size there are some few brightspots like tucsons county courthouse i believe?(whichever one has the cool greendome with the funky design on it) I love the weather for both and phx is more cosmopolitan esp with tempe and scottsdale area however the thing I alsolutely hate about both is that they have that GRID crap, its easy to find your way around yes but its the same thing every 5blocks or so its a major street that has 6lanes and that spans in a straigh line as far as the eye can see.....top that off with a strip mall oscillating between 2/3 major roads like this and its no wonder why it recieves such criticism. dont call me a hater tho, i love both places and considering ASU or UA most likely. I say overall put light rail all around phx, attract more ppl downtown with condos/mixuse to give a nice street vibe and please dont let the sprawl end up merging the two cities together in 40 years!!!
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Old September 16th, 2005, 11:54 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PDX503
please dont let the sprawl end up merging the two cities together in 40 years!!!
Too late. Tucson and Phoenix are already sending out sprawl tendrils in each other's direction. Midway between them, Casa Grande is rapidly becoming a Phoenix boomburb. There's 110 miles of desert blooming stucco/frame crapola. And please! No mass transit. Arizonans will tolerate a little of that in central Phoenix and Tempe, but as any Republican can tell you, Jesus wants you to drive, preferably an SUV.
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Old September 16th, 2005, 10:54 PM   #19
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man that is a shame that they will prob end up together many years from now which is a pretty horrid picture, and i totally agree with the SUV statement sidenote: if they know the two areas will grow so fast towards one another why dont they build a commuter rail line from phx to tuc? are their any talks of this or they more for just widening the I10 to 16 lates or something?
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Old September 19th, 2005, 06:02 PM   #20
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There's been a lot of wishful thinking about a commuter rail line between the cities, but nothing substantial has been proposed. AMTRAK doesn't even serve Phoenix anymore. The nation's 6th or 5th largest city!
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