This blog explores the history of Phoenix, Arizona and a little bit of Los Angeles and San Francisco, California

Phoenix, Arizona and the luxury of space



One of things that I noticed when I moved back to Phoenix from Los Angeles was the luxury of space. Not only big skies, but wide streets, plenty of parking, plenty of room to move. Even the gas stations amazed me, with the generous amount of room around the pumps, and most often a huge expanse of land between it and the road, with nothing but landscaping.

For people who grew up in Phoenix, and have never lived anywhere else, this seems to be invisible to them. But I remember the narrow streets of Minneapolis, where I grew up, and the crowded spaces of Los Angeles. I have never lived in really crowded places, like Manhattan, or Tokyo, and that kind of stuff makes my mind boggle!

When I left Los Angeles, the city had just placed a maximum on the number of people who could legally live in a one-bedroom apartment: twelve. Twelve. And the apartment complex where I lived had one (1) parking space for me. If someone else parked in it, I had to drive around the neighborhood for quite a while, looking for street parking.

I also noticed the shoulders along the side of the freeway in Phoenix, where you could pull over in the case of an emergency. Most of the freeways in Los Angeles that I recall were solid lanes, with no room along the side. It's what I have come to appreciate as "margin for error", and "breathing room".

No, I have no desire to go live out in the middle of nowhere. I like the balance of life, and room, in the Phoenix, Arizona area. And every once in a while, when I am riding along with someone who grew up in Phoenix, they will mention how terrible the traffic is, or how crowded somewhere is, or how long they have to wait in line, or the lack of parking, or something like that. And I just smile and look at the luxury of space.

I like Phoenix.

Image above: the Superstition Mountains, Apache Junction, Arizona.


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