Exploring the history of Phoenix, Arizona and a little bit of Los Angeles and San Francisco, California. This blog is advertising-free, and is supported by my subscribers on Patreon. History adventuring posts are shared there daily. The basic tier is a dollar a month, and the PhD tier, which includes "then and now" photos, billboards, aerials, videos, and super high-definition photos, is five dollars a month, and is discounted for seniors, veterans, and students. If you're a subscriber, thank you! You make this happen!
My town as seen through other people's eyes - Glendale, Arizona
I live in Glendale, a suburb of Phoenix. I've lived there since 1993, and hopefully I'll never have to leave, until my days are done. I like it here. To me, it's what I always wanted, a house in suburbia. And more specifically, I wanted a garage. I've owned a lot of nice cars and I always hated the thought of them having to sleep outside. So that's what my house looks like, mostly a garage, and a place for me in a couple of rooms behind it. It's a wonderfully safe, and slightly-boring piece of the endless suburbia that surrounds Phoenix. I love it here, and it's what I worked hard to get, and keep. I have a mortgage, and pay a Home Owner's Association, which will leave a note on your house if you have weeds in your yard getting out of control.
Every once in a while, however, I get to see my town through the eyes of other people, and I get a big kick out of that. As a city, Glendale ranges from some very expensive real estate (further north of me) to the sketchy parts of Grand Avenue and the "less than fashionable" parts of downtown Glendale. There are malls, and there are also farms. What you see can often be determined by who you're with.
If you hang around with me, I'll take you to the Sahuaro Ranch, or to Glendale Community College, which is my immediate neighborhood. I may take you to Parson's Restaurant, or Manuel's. Heck, we might even get crazy and go to the McDonald's! My Glendale is suburbia, with what I've found of historic interest. But mostly it's suburbia. Look! Another Starbucks! Hey! Another Starbucks!
For me, the most dramatic change in how things looked was when I went on a ride-along with a Glendale police officer in the 1990s, the husband of one of my co-workers at the time. His Glendale was a darned scary-looking place, and he loved it. His "beat" (or whatever they call it) didn't include my dull neighborhood, it was mostly along Grand Avenue, where there are a lot of petty criminals - mostly related to drugs and people who are trying to figure out how to get money to get more drugs. And that meant a lot of stealing was going on.
Now waitaminute, I'm not saying that stuff isn't stolen in "nicer" neighborhoods. The first year that I moved into this house, my neighbor got his Lexus stolen from his driveway. I noticed that after that, he emptied out his garage of junk and put his new car in the garage. Of course if the bad guys really want your car, they'll break into your garage, but chances are they'll just go for something easier. I liked having my car in a locked garage, as I mentioned before.
Of course, I have friends who are more upscale than me. Their Glendale is about the Arrowhead Mall, and the restaurants on Bell Road. If I'm lucky I'll be invited to have lunch with them, and I'll watch them tip more money than I pay for most meals. Most of my north Glendale neighbors drive gigantic SUVs that get, I guess, about ten miles to the gallon. They don't have the flashy wealth of Scottsdale, but there's money there, make no mistake. If you're a Real Estate agent, you know that. And I often wonder what Glendale looks like to you?
Thanks for looking at Glendale with me! Welcome to Glendale!
Image at the top of this post: ad for Glendale, Arizona in 1910
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History Adventuring posts are shared there daily including "then and now" photos, billboards, aerials, videos, and super high-definition photos of historic Phoenix, Arizona. Discounts for seniors, students, teachers, and veterans.
Posted by Brad Hall