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Guest liquidmethane

Tempe, AZ

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Tempe native here! although i choose not to live there because you feel like you are in the middle of a concrete jungle... its one of the best run cities in phx metro. great parks, lots of city events at beach park, a wonderful downtown, the only IKEA in phx area, free shuttles, well-paved roads (I love tucson but, potholes are everywhere. Tempe is just so well taken care of :) THEY HAVE MONEY), and the light rail makes it fun to check out downtown phoenix and sports/music events there (although tempe has plenty of music on its own). Sometimes you may want to check out mesa but, eh? (sorry, tempe people hate on mesa but its ok)

 

Hiking... yes try camelback. Also south mountain is very close. just DO NOT GO HIKING ANYTIME AFTER APRIL until NOVEMBER. unless you go super early in the morning. IT IS TOO HOT. idiot people have DIED hiking in AZ during the summer/fall. 

 

If you are ok driving... take a drive up to lost dutchman state park/aka the superstition mountains for some beautiful scenery/hiking in the winter or spring, and the lakes up there are awesome too (saguaro and canyon lake).  Try going up north to "rim" country for some beautiful camping in the pines (see around payson, pine, and strawberry) Horton springs or fossil creek are  personal faves.  Also tubing on the salt river is fun and you don't HAVE to go when all the drunk people are there. Try going on a weekday morning. Its lovely. (i'm a nerd)

 

on housing...

-look for places to live along Orbit/flash shuttle routes. They are free shuttles that can take you to campus in AC comfort (although you may be chatted up by a nice homeless person). search for a map online. 

-The neighborhoods south of campus are very nice, and there are a few apartments located within them. Look for anything on college avenue. Camelot apartments on broadmor and college, for example.

-west of campus is a bit sketchy but it is so convenient. Many people i knew lived off of 1st street in apts by the lake- salado springs apts or south bank apts.. also anything off 13th street (there are some condos on 13th and roosevelt that get rented out to grad students) is very convenient and quiet.  

- I dont know much about east of campus only that it used to be rough when i was growing up but it seems to be on the up and up since the lightrail.

-north of campus, you cross the lake and you are in sketchyville as well, only a little prettier because of papago park being there.

-people are right. Housing in tempe is expensive for lower quality because of the prox, to campus. central mesa is cheap but yuck in my opinion. Ahwahtukee/scottsdale/chandler are fancy or newer but expensive probably. 

-south phx is NOT a nice place to live. avoid it like the plague. and anything around the airport. But you CAN find cheap houses to rent there. just beware. Try zillow rentals/hotpads/craigslist to find houses to rent. 

- if you have kids toddler age, take them to the library and the historical museum (they are in one complex together) for storytime and wild wednesdays. preschool age, there are great prek options provided through not only ASU but also tempe elementary school district. Send your older kids to broadmor elementary.

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I am considering ASU for my PhD after doing my undergrad at UC Davis and I am wondering, is there is any co-op style housing or alternative living relatively near ASU campus? I am looking for something with a little bit more community than your average apartment complex...

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On 1/30/2016 at 10:34 AM, enzyMancer said:

I am considering ASU for my PhD after doing my undergrad at UC Davis and I am wondering, is there is any co-op style housing or alternative living relatively near ASU campus? I am looking for something with a little bit more community than your average apartment complex...

I have not heard of this, other than student complexes which tend to be rowdy.  Will your program be in Tempe? 

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I am starting my PhD in English at ASU this August. My girlfriend grew up in the Phoenix area before her family moved to central Illinois, and she's excited to go back! I've never been to AZ before (just NM a few times the last few years), so I don't know what life in the desert will be like after 31 years in the upper-Midwest.

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Is it basically like SoCal inland weather wise? I'm pretty interested in doing a PhD program at ASU. I don't mind the heat and don't really frequent the beaches in SoCal anyway. :)

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On 1/30/2018 at 3:02 AM, AccessGranted said:

Is it basically like SoCal inland weather wise? I'm pretty interested in doing a PhD program at ASU. I don't mind the heat and don't really frequent the beaches in SoCal anyway. :)

Bahahahahahahahahaha NO.

The weather here is not like San Diego or LA at all. Summer lasts from April 1 to Halloween, unless it's longer. And by summer I mean walking outside feels like standing beneath a rocket silo during blast off. During these months, you will become adept at moving quickly from building to building, never looking directly at the sky for fear of burning out your corneas. A light breeze is equivalent to turning your hair dryer on high and pointing it directly at your face. You will have to get a second job to pay for your air conditioning (my electric bill for my 700 sq ft apt averages $45 in February and $215 in August) and your water (you cannot drink the tap water here. My pets get the bottled stuff. I won't even boil pasta in the tap water).

That being said, there are some upsides to Phoenix: There's a large job market for call center workers, so finding part time/summer work is a cinch. You're a few hours drive from Mexico, Flagstaff, and Cali. You can weekend in Vegas. . . . that's about it for upsides.

Phoenix, as best as I can describe, is the suburban shopping mall of American cities. Everything here is a retail chain, repeating in a fractal pattern across the landscape which seems to stretch from New Mexico to California because Phoenix likes to swallow smaller cities whole. Shockingly, there is little diversity and even less culture. We rival LA for traffic, but our public transportation system is a joke -- although supposedly we have a thriving rideshare market.

Things I can recommend: Phoenix Comic Fest (I think we're third or fourth largest in the country now), the Museum of Musical Instruments, and using the city's central location to go other places as often as possible. Also, it's not cheap to live here, but it's nowhere near as expensive as Cali.

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28 minutes ago, GallifreyGirl said:

Bahahahahahahahahaha NO.

The weather here is not like San Diego or LA at all. Summer lasts from April 1 to Halloween, unless it's longer. And by summer I mean walking outside feels like standing beneath a rocket silo during blast off. During these months, you will become adept at moving quickly from building to building, never looking directly at the sky for fear of burning out your corneas. A light breeze is equivalent to turning your hair dryer on high and pointing it directly at your face. You will have to get a second job to pay for your air conditioning (my electric bill for my 700 sq ft apt averages $45 in February and $215 in August) and your water (you cannot drink the tap water here. My pets get the bottled stuff. I won't even boil pasta in the tap water).

He was asking about inland California which is exactly like Phoenix. More so the Coachella Valley, the Riverside side of the inland empire is a little cooler. LA and San Diego are coastal areas. 

Thank you for the rest of the information about Phoenix. I’m contemplating ASU and I got the impression it is diverse and fun. I like your perspective and is something to consider since I really was only there 2 days.

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Lots of hyperbole from GallifreyGirl.   She is entitled to her opinons, but they are not shared by everyone.   I've lived in Phoenix for 20 years and love it.  Sure it's hot in the summer (May to mid-October), but it beats living in the American South.  We moved here from New Orleans and the summers were easy by comparison.  Winters are awesome.  There's a reason why so many mid-westerners and Canadians live here half a year.  Tourism is stronger than ever. 

Tempe is a great college town.  I have three sons who go to large colleges far from Arizona.  When they are home, they all like to visit friends, hang out in Tempe, and enjoy the clubs and restaurants.  There is a light rail stop on campus that let's you ride downtown (ASU has a huge downtown campus) or to other areas.  Bus service is good for students.

Is Phoenix New York City or San Francisco?  Of course not.  But people are friendly, it's very easy to get around by car, and the Sonoran desert is beautiful.  Not diverse?  Less than 1/2 of Phoenix is non-Hispanic white. 40% are Hispanic/Latino, 6.5% African-American, 3.2% Asian (the fastest growing segment), and 2.6% Native American.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phoenix,_Arizona#Demographics  The surrounding suburbs, like much of the US are generally less diverse.  My sons all attended BASIS Scottsdale, US News' top-rated high school.  Half the students there are Asian.

Utility bills? Yes, air-conditioning is expensive, but you won't be paying much in the winter for heating.  In fact, Arizona is ranked 43rd in overall energy costs. Only eight states (including D.C.) have lower energy costs. https://wallethub.com/edu/energy-costs-by-state/4833/

I agree that the tap water is not tasty, but it is completely safe to drink.  If you don't like the taste, get an inexpensive water filter.  There's no reason to buy bottled water, particularly for your pets!  (They will happily drink the tap water.) Save money and use it to pay your summer electric bill.

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Hi! I will be starting my Ph.D. at ASU this fall. I am from India, so I am guessing the heat shouldn't be too much of an issue, although I have heard from fellow Indians that they do avoid staying on in Tempe during the peak summer months. Can someone tell me about Tempe as a city? Since I will be spending about five years there, I figure it would help to get a sense of what the city has to offer, and what the evenings/ weekends can look like. Also, would it make sense to live in the student apartment complexes or are there better neighborhoods near the campus?

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Hey everyone,

I'm considering coming to ASU for my masters in Counseling but also deciding between a few other schools. I've never been out to Tempe/Phoenix, so just wondering what the general vibe/feel of the campus and city are like? What all there is to do, what people are like, etc... Any input would help :) Thanks! 

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On 28/03/2018 at 12:52 PM, clabake said:

Hey everyone,

I'm considering coming to ASU for my masters in Counseling but also deciding between a few other schools. I've never been out to Tempe/Phoenix, so just wondering what the general vibe/feel of the campus and city are like? What all there is to do, what people are like, etc... Any input would help :) Thanks! 

Same! Let me know if get inputs! Thanks :)

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I live in Phoenix and get to Tempe quite often.  I think it's a great college town.  I have three sons in college.  Although all of them go out of state, they have many friends at ASU, who have enjoyed their time in Tempe.  When my sons are home, they spend quite a bit of time in Tempe and really like the atmosphere.  Two of them have taken summer classes at ASU and enjoyed the experience even with the summer heat.

There's a light-rail stop on campus that provides easy access to downtown Phoenix and ASU's downtown campus which includes the law school, health, and other colleges.  Downtown has become a popular place for young people to live too.

You will love the weather most of the year.

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Does anyone have recommendations for places to live in Tempe?  I'm looking for the best place for grad students/young professionals.  Not to far from campus, but far enough away to be out of the undergrad party scene.  

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On 4/20/2018 at 6:49 PM, potentiallylovely said:

Does anyone have recommendations for places to live in Tempe?  I'm looking for the best place for grad students/young professionals.  Not to far from campus, but far enough away to be out of the undergrad party scene.  

Hi! I came to ask the same question. Have you had any luck finding somewhere? 

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22 hours ago, ashleyem3811 said:

Hi! I came to ask the same question. Have you had any luck finding somewhere? 

Hello! I just finished my second year of grad school at ASU and I absolutely love it! I personally live in a suburb about 30 minutes away from campus because I REALLY did not want to be near the undergrad scene, but friends that do live in Tempe suggest the west side of campus because it has more of a neighborhood feel. It also seems that south Tempe (near the Chandler border) is a nice area - you get the suburb feel but it's also quick to campus. With that being said, most people drive, and a good parking permit will run you $720 (SO WORTH IT to avoid the heat). Some use the lightrail system but it can be sketchy, especially for females. I personally have never heard of anyone experiencing anything on the lightrail, but there are a lot of homeless people that use it so people do feel a bit uncomfortable. 

The Tempe/Phoenix area is definitely not the coolest (ha) city that exists, but it's actually very up-and-coming so we get the benefit of cheaper cost of living AND fun restaurants and bars. I hope this is helpful - let me know if you have any other questions. Good luck!

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On 6/6/2018 at 9:06 AM, psychsquirrel said:

Hello! I just finished my second year of grad school at ASU and I absolutely love it! I personally live in a suburb about 30 minutes away from campus because I REALLY did not want to be near the undergrad scene, but friends that do live in Tempe suggest the west side of campus because it has more of a neighborhood feel. It also seems that south Tempe (near the Chandler border) is a nice area - you get the suburb feel but it's also quick to campus. With that being said, most people drive, and a good parking permit will run you $720 (SO WORTH IT to avoid the heat). Some use the lightrail system but it can be sketchy, especially for females. I personally have never heard of anyone experiencing anything on the lightrail, but there are a lot of homeless people that use it so people do feel a bit uncomfortable. 

The Tempe/Phoenix area is definitely not the coolest (ha) city that exists, but it's actually very up-and-coming so we get the benefit of cheaper cost of living AND fun restaurants and bars. I hope this is helpful - let me know if you have any other questions. Good luck!

Thank you so much for the information, this was very helpful! Out of curiosity, did your friends who live west of campus mention any specific apartment complexes they've had positive experiences with? 

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