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Guest liquidmethane

Tempe, AZ

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I did my undergrad at ASU, so if anyone has questions, feel free to ask.

Yes, the summers are brutal and the first 3-4 weeks of school, you literally melt walking to class (even wearing as little clothing as is socially acceptable--and practically naked is acceptable here), but after that it's really not so bad. It's actually beautiful in October/November and March/April. You never have to worry about shoveling snow or hurricanes or tornadoes or any other scary weather. Occasionally we'll have a really bad monsoon that'll do some damage, but that only happens once every couple of years. In my opinion, it is absolutely necessary to have a car, even though Michael Crow wants to convince everyone otherwise. Frankly, the lightrail just isn't expansive enough at this point, and relying on public transportation in the summer is just awful (waiting at the bus stop/standing on a crowded bus full of hot, sweaty, sticky people is really unpleasant). There are some cool cultural-y things... One is first Fridays. On the first Friday of the month all the local art galleries downtown open up and you can take the bus for free and there are tons of street musicians and street vendors. There are also local theatres downtown and tons of bars and stuff on Mill. Scottsdale also has good night life and you're an hour max from any of the sporting arenas (~1 hour to hockey and football, ~20-30 minutes to basketball and baseball, ~20-30 minutes to most concert venues), plus Gammage auditorium gets a ton of traveling Broadway shows every year if you're into theatre.

As far as hiking goes, there are several mountains pretty close to campus (South Mountain, Camelback, etc). It's also really easy to head to Sedona (~2 hours North) for the day or the weekend and they have great hiking. You can head up to Flagstaff for skiing/snowboarding (~2.5 hours north) and there's the Grand Canyon, which is great any time of the year. There's also some pretty good hiking if you go into Tucson. You can easily do any of those trips in a day or a weekend. You're also only about 6 hours (by car) away from the beach/all the amusement parks in the LA area, Vegas, and Rocky Point. You're about 10-12 hours (by car) away from Denver/Durango, which are great places to cool off in the summer, or you can go ski in the winter.

Edited by moralresearcher

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I'm deciding between ASU and UCLA for my PhD. I visited both, and came away with a positive impression of both locations. I'm interested in hearing what people have to say about Tempe (especially current students). Are the summers tolerable? Do you like the city and surrounding area? Do you get a chance to get out of town for some hiking/camping, skiing, etc.? What are the people like? I noticed that everyone is white. Tempe seemed to have a lot of fun bars, pubs and restaurants -- is that true? Any other thoughts/comments?

What's your overall experience in Tempe, and would you recommend it?

Thanks!

I've lived in AZ all of my life, and I'm currently in Tempe.

ASU gets a lot of flak for being a "party school," and I was really unimpressed with my undergrad experience there, but their graduate programs seem to be of a much higher caliber and I could see myself enjoying that more. Escaping the "bro party atmosphere" isn't too difficult in tempe either. Mill Avenue is the main downtown area of tempe and is loaded with bars, all of which aren't really my scene. The nice thing, however, is that there are lots of bars off the beaten path pretty close by, enough to help you find somewhere that will be suited to your tastes no matter what.

I personally feel that the Phoenix area is a bit lacking in culture compared to other cities of similar size, but I may be jaded because of living here my whole life.

There are tons of opportunities for hiking and such out here, both in town and a little ways north in places like Sedona. We have a lot of avid hikers who live here too, so finding people to join you would be easy.

Summers are hellish no matter who you are, but you get used to it and you learn to stay inside. It's probably very similar to how someone in snowy parts of the country feels about the winters.

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Haven seems pretty nice and is slightly removed from campus, which is something you want. I would highly advise against Quadrangles, I've heard a lot of really bad things about them.

I'd definitely look for apartments a couple miles or more away from campus in Tempe. You'll save a lot of money and the ones right next to campus are often really sketchy

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Hello Everyone,

I am in need of advice and information about Tempe. I visited last year, but what's the area REALLY like? I will be attending Graduate school at ASU. Can you give me any recommendations regarding apartments off campus. Anyone know about La Mirage, The Enclave, Mandarina, or any others (including good Scottsdale complexes)? How are their areas? Anybody rely on public transportation to get to campus? How safe is the light rail and orbit? A lot of crime? Though I'm pretty street smart, any particular safety precautions in relation to the Tempe area? Any advice is much appreciated!

Thanks!

Carter

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I'm in the same situation, only I already have housing. I've been out there to visit twice now, (the last time for a week,) so I think I got a little bit of a feel for how the area is. I don't know about the complexes you mentioned. I get the idea that that light rail is quite safe, though crowded, and obviously its route is very limited. As far as crime goes, the closer you are to campus, the better the neighborhood is, generally speaking. South Scottsdale (right across the river from campus) is pretty nice, IMO, even though it's the older part of Scottsdale, and you might be able to find housing there. I'll be staying there temporarily from next week. The drawback to that area is that there is only one bus line that runs north/south to the ASU area, but it's also close enough to bike (or even walk if you like walking,) which I plan to do.

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I went to undergrad there, and I lived off campus. I don't know much about public transportation though, except that a lot of people I knew used the light rail from time to time. I never did. A bike works great, no hills or anything. As long as you don't mind riding in 100+ heat and getting to class drenched in sweat!

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I live in Tempe and, while I managed with the bus system my first year out here, that was when the bus pass was free. Now it costs money to get the bus pass, and I wouldn't be surprised if the price goes up (even paying for a day pass has more than double in price in about 3 years). Besides, my car has been so much more reliable than the city bus or Orbit systems. I live 4 miles from work and can get there in maybe 15 minutes by car. I would have to give myself close to 45 minutes to use the bus sytem to get there plus walk a bit to the office. The buses here aren't great and lots of odd characters ride the bus.

And the 100+ degree temps can start by April (last year it was April 1st) and don't consistently cool down until October. I can't wait to get away from these ridiculously hot summers! The low humidity is nice for my hair, but 115 degrees is 115 degrees. That time of year, I open my car, turn on the ignition, turn up the AC, lower the windows, and stand outside until it's cool enough to get inside. And that's even with a sun shade for my windshield. So, I'd definitely recommend a buying a shade or trying to park in the shade whenever possible.

There's a lot of great hiking in the area for those who like that.

I think your grad experience will depend on your department. I found a few very supportive professors here and am very gradteful for their guidance, and even more who were extremely discouraging. Even though I'm close to finishing my degree here (in a different field than I just applied for), I'm choosing to move on to something else. Hopefully your department has more of the supportive type.

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I'm also on the search for apartments in the Tempe area, which (to me) must be within walking distance to campus. I don't see what's so wrong with having undergrads in Quadrangles...the cost for absolutely EVERYTHING (including all utilities and even monthly pet fees) is only $825-835 for a one-bedroom apartment. And who would expect otherwise from a city with over 80,000 undergrads? It's a gated community, so I'm sure they would stay on top of any disruptive behavior...

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Hi, all!

I'd like to thank misterc for warning me--after looking into reviews rather than just their site and admin office, I can see that you're very, very right. Whew...close shave.

I'm very interested in Grigio Metro. Are there any current Grigio Metro residents out there? I've heard that if I say you referred me, we both get $250.

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Bump

Any comments on Apartments for Grads walking distance to ASU.

Want to get away from the Undergrad party scene.

I see the west side of Mill Street is mentioned, how far west and is it safe to walk? Seems like the apartments are all east of campus and in the undergrad zone or miles to walk/bike.

Will be heading to Tempe to review area and looking for locations to review over long weekend.

Thanks

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I am applying to ASU and had a few questions about the area:

1.I am a grad student and would prefer a safe quaint area that may cost a bit more as opposed to a cheaper less safe atmosphere. I am intending to have a car and wouldn't mind a 10 - 30 minute drive away. Anything above that is kind of pushing it.

2.What is the crime situation like? I have heard Mesa and Guadalope surrouding areas can be a bit raunchy but that Tempe and Scottsdale are decent. I've read on here and elsewhere that property crime is still a major concern too and that precautions need to be taken everywhere.

Thanks

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I am applying to ASU and had a few questions about the area:

1.I am a grad student and would prefer a safe quaint area that may cost a bit more as opposed to a cheaper less safe atmosphere. I am intending to have a car and wouldn't mind a 10 - 30 minute drive away. Anything above that is kind of pushing it.

2.What is the crime situation like? I have heard Mesa and Guadalope surrouding areas can be a bit raunchy but that Tempe and Scottsdale are decent. I've read on here and elsewhere that property crime is still a major concern too and that precautions need to be taken everywhere.

Congrats on applying! Yes, avoid Mesa at all costs. I highly recommend looking on Google Maps or ValleyMetro.org to see where the lightrail is and living close to that--it goes straight to campus from Phoenix and from Tempe. From your description, I think you'd be happiest in Chandler, which is a bit of a drive from campus but worth it. It was listed as one of the best places to live in the country, and crime is ridiculously low. If you choose Tempe, I recommend southern Tempe (closer to Chandler). Scottsdale is incredible (particularly north Scottsdale, close to Old Town / Main Street), but it's far and ridiculously expensive.

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Thanks for the advice! I will be having a car. Is it possible to drive to the ASU campus or will I need to rely on the light rail? And how far is Chandler?

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If you lived in west Chandler--that is, directly SOUTH of ASU's Tempe campus, only 20 minutes or so! I recommend the lightrail simply for money's sake ($150 unlimited yearlong pass, including the bus system, compared to $780 for a parking spot), but that seriously limits where you want to live. Here's an awesome site with all of the rentals on the lightrail:

http://lightrailconnect.com/rentals/

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Thanks newpsyche! How is driving out there? I have heard quite conflicting stoires. I have heard that roads are open not much congestion and that its usually easy going. Then I've heard that traffic is horrible, people drive awfully, drastically disobey speed limits, and run red lights.

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Haha! I'm not sure where you heard that, but no! There are "snowbirds", or retirees who come down from Minnesota and Wyoming in early November and stay until April. (The weather is glorious.) They aren't the best drivers, I guess, but I love the grid system and there are tons of freeways. It takes no time at all to get from point A to point B via driving--much better than the East Coast!

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Grigio is a nice apartment complex. If I don't make a mistake there two complexes of this group on Tempe. One is located on Apachi Dr. and the other somewhere near Tempe lake. The one on Apachi Dr. is more convenient to live in since it's close to Light Rail. 

 

Though there is a big problem with the atmosphere aside from being an over-priced apartment complex. I prefer to live in a complex where tenants are mostly Americans ! or Asians (as they are peaceful and neat people). 

Edited by Radian

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I am even more seriously considering ASU now and I am wondering where would be good places to look at living with the priorities being 1.Safety 2.Living quality (no undergrads blasting music at 2 or 9 am, no poor qualiy floors and walls to I hear the people arguing next door or above me or hear them stomping around) 3.Proximity to campus (I have a car and would prefer anywhere from an easy short drive if possible).  I don't want to sound cocky but price is not an issue, as I am getting absolutely robbed where I am living now and the amount I pay for rent, the only apartments I've seen around Tempe for that price are 3 - 4 bedrooms.  I'd prefer to pay more for better as long as it meets my priorities!  Can anyone give me some advice?

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Grigio Metro!!!!!! Message me for details if you would like them. Trust me, I've looked all over and am so happy here.

 

But if price is no issue at all, also consider Mandarina and The Lofts at Rio Salado.

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I am an international student and I am going to be attending ASU Phoenix Campus for PhD in Public Policy beginning fall 2013 while my wife would start her PhD in Socio-cultural Anthropology at the Tempe Campus. We have two kids (one is going to be four years in fall and the other 2 years). I need comments from people familiar with the area about the following:

  1. Would you recommend University housing? How does it compare to off-campus Housing in terms of rates and comfort? What is the market rate for a decent 2 bedroom apartment?
  2. Which is the better place to live? Phoenix, Tempe or some place in the middle? I understand the University family housing is available at Phoenix only.
  3. Where better pre-school facilities will be available? Any idea about the rates?

I complete my Masters from Berkeley and the experience was amazing. Is Tempe/Phoenix as good or worse?

Any comments and guidance will be very helpful.

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Hi All,

 

A few past posts have suggested in so many words that public transportation is terrible/not sufficient for getting around. However, visits to the website for public transportation shows me that pt is pretty extensive. It at least extends into downtown PHX. I understand that for some far places, pt just doesn't extend. However, I'm someone who is used to using public transportation/walking for many things, so I'm used to what can come w/ the territory. If I decide to attend ASU, having a car is not an option for me - at least at the moment. Some of the previous comments about pt seem to be from ppl who aren't that comfortable w/ using it. So, can someone please give me a straight, more insightful answer about simply getting from point a to b? For example, when ppl say using it for the grocery store is out of the question, are they moreso referring to carrying grocery bags or to there not being pt stops close enough (again, I'm used to using pt for things like getting to the grocery store)? Could I still successfully get around Tempe and even some areas of PHX using pt and not a car? 

 

Thanks

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