The luxury of space in Phoenix, Arizona
It wasn't until I moved to Phoenix, in my teens, that I saw so many wide-open spaces, right there in the city. I grew up in Minneapolis, in a neighborhood that had very narrow streets, and so many houses that you really couldn't get a sense of open space unless you were out on a lake. In fact, it's hard for me to picture Minneapolis before all of the development happened, as an open prairie. Not as open as the "Little House on the Prairie", which is further south, but the neighborhood where I grew up wasn't heavily forested, that sort of thing doesn't start in Minnesota until you're more north of Minneapolis.
And so I learned about the luxury of space. I also learned it again when I moved back to Phoenix from Los Angeles, which is so densely built up that I could barely breathe there. And now I've learned why the luxury of space is so expensive.
I have a good friend who recently left LA to go live in the luxury of space in Oregon. He had enough money to buy multiple acres, and the only noisy neighbors that he has are woodpeckers. And it's nice to be wealthy, and be able to afford the luxury of space.
Here in Phoenix, I see the luxury of space being eaten up by developers. They take wide open areas and subdivide them into houses, apartments, and condos. I often hear people complain of these greedy developers, who take away the luxury of space in return for crowded areas, with more traffic, more people, more congestion. And it makes me wonder about the luxury of space?
I often hear people ask why "they" don't preserve an historic building? And I know what they mean - the wasteful government that's stealing their money in taxes should pay for the luxury of keeping an old building preserved, just for the luxury of it. Or they may wonder why "some rich person" doesn't pay for it? I actually know rich people who have, but there's a limit to what they can do.
The population of Phoenix, and Maricopa County, has been growing explosively for over 100 years. People want to live there, and they need a place to live. The luxury of space is something that most people can't afford, but if you can, I recommend that you do so. Paying for restoration and upkeep of an historic property would be the minimum, it would be nice if you allowed free guided tours. If you can't, I understand.
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Posted by Brad Hall