Exploring the history of Phoenix, Arizona, just for fun. Advertising-free, supported by my patrons on Patreon. Thank you!

The desirable neighborhoods of old-time, and modern Phoenix, Arizona


As someone who has a fascination with Phoenix, people will often ask me about neighborhoods. They might say, "Is it nice?" or "Was it nice back in the day?", and I know what they mean. They wonder if it was, or is, expensive, or ritzy. Well, most of the time they mean that. But I listen to these people and in my mind I substitute the word "desirable". And when I do that, I see neighborhoods through many different perspectives.

Speaking for myself, a desirable neighborhood for me when I first moved to Phoenix meant at the very least a place I could afford. It also meant a place where people wouldn't complain about my noisy little car, a place where there were other young people like me, living the best they could on slender means. As I got older and more successful, a desirable neighborhood was a place with a garage, and a Homeowner's Association.

Of course you can take the concept of a desirable neighborhood to an extreme, and consider anywhere that crime can be committed without being detected to be desirable to a person who wants to commit crimes, like selling illegal drugs. And then there's the grey area - where people are doing things that are illegal, but not really all that terrible, like fixing cars in their backyard, or holding garage sales every week with stuff they've found. That's kind of what is known as the "grey market", and for some people that would make a neighborhood desirable, or undesirable.

I never wanted to be rich, and I got my wish. On the other hand, I never wanted to be poor, and I got that wish, too. I live in a desirable neighborhood, and it's my dearest wish to live there until my days are done. If you've found that place too, you're lucky, and that's all that matters. You live in a desirable neighborhood, and Phoenix has always had those.

Image at the top of this post: The Bella Brisa under construction in October of 2019, Peoria, Arizona. Whether it's desirable or not depends on you - for me it's not, because I don't have $300,000, and never will.


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