ARIZONA – The SECOND Worst Place To Live#

A poll came out today naming the best and worst places to live in America and Arizona was named “the second WORST place to live”. I find that very interesting. I happen to live here in Arizona now and am very happy, except during the extremely HOT summer. I think you should know that going in…  it IS the desert!

Supposedly,  Arizona is full of angry white people. Really? Living here, I had not seen such a diversified bunch of people since I lived in New York City. There are Asians, Native Americans, Whites, Hispanics, African Americans, and every other ethnicity in between all living in harmony, it is the perfect American melting pot.

I think some of the ridiculous assumptions people from outside the boundaries of the state may have are that we are all a bunch of stereotypical paranoid racists. This is simply not true.

What may not have helped the case of the state is:

1. Arizona Bill SB 1050 and the belief we are too tough on illegal aliens           2. Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his idiosyncrasies  (though people are now turning against him, it seems for being over-the-top)

3. Governor Jan Brewer and her helpless babbling and woo hooing!

Some of the great things we have going for us here are:

the beauty of the Grand Canyon,

the awesomeness of Sedona,

the escape of the cool mountains in the North like Payson and of course

the amazing and beautiful desert itself.

We have many great golf courses, unbelievable spas and resorts also, the most wonderful weather about 9 months of the year. We do not have snow storms, (down in the low desert like Phoenix) earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes or most of the weather worries that the rest of country does. So can you tell me why it is so bad here?

But you know what . . . it is okay with me if people believe these myths. The less people that like it here in Arizona, the less people move here and make it more congested for us, the residents.

I have a funny anecdote to go with that. My mother and father moved to Naples, Florida about 25 years ago. They loved it and thought it was Paradise. My mother, though thought it was always changing once she got there. She was not one for change. Naples was always being built up, the area was always growing, and it upset her. She was always a little verklempt and would grumble about it. She felt that once she got to Florida, the gates should be closed, no one else should be allowed to move there. We always laughed about this little foible, it was kind of endearing. It was as if she should have been the last allowed to enter Florida proper, lock the gates and throw away the key. Perhaps because as we get older we don’t like change?

So, I’m good with everybody thinking it’s TERRIBLE here in Arizona. This way, no one else will come and change it.  So it’ll stay as is, the horrible, terrible, nice MY Arizona….

© Evelyn Garone 8/2011

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About Evie Garone

I am an outspoken woman with independent views of the world. I am spiritual but also realistic. I've successfully raised two men who I've sent off to college and am now following my love of the arts, including painting, drawing and writing. Thus, two blogs, two books I sporadically work on, voracious reading, among other loves keep me busy.
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37 Responses to ARIZONA – The SECOND Worst Place To Live#

  1. I agree with you. I love living in Arizona, but if everyone else thinks it’s terrible that leaves more of Arizona for us.

    • Evie Garone says:

      Yup! So stay outa MY Arizona!!! Evie

      • rose says:

        Hi I think that it would be nice to live there but I really don’t to get yelled at.Do you think that. I should mtherove

      • Evie Garone says:

        I write tongue in cheek so when I wrote this comment I was kidding. As for my other commenter who said she had a terrible time here, it’s never happened to me, so I don’t know. I would visit in the heat of the summer and check it out if you can handle the heat….just a suggestion. But everybody is different and everybody likes different things, so no I wouldn’t presume to tell anyone to move here it’s your decision. Good luck with that!

  2. Tonia says:

    Totally agree! I am an AZ native and LOVE being here – even in the summer.

    • Evie Garone says:

      I’ve been here 6 years and used to enjoy the summers. I find they are starting to get a little too long & hot, but the bad comes with the good! Thanks for reading! Evie

  3. James says:

    never seen such an awful place in my life. Ill take a ssnow storm over a dust storm. You ought to do some research about the air quality here. Worst in the United States.

  4. Tom Edmonds says:

    I understand your sentiments Evie. I moved to Arizona several years ago to do contract work and I fell in love with the desert. I would have been content to live there the rest of my days. Unfortunately, my family did not share my love of the desert, they completely hated it. I’ll never understand it. The desert still calls to my soul, for me it felt like a spiritual place.

    • Evie Garone says:

      Oh, I’m so sorry……….the harsh summers aren’t for everybody and neither is the desert necessarily. What a shame for you! It does do something for the soul here! The open spaces talk to me, the mountains all of it. I feel so closed in now when I go to the North East and can’t wait to get back here. I love all the sunshine, too. Perhaps when you get older you can retire here? Well, I wish you well…..thank you for reading….Evie

  5. The landscape is pretty; the weather is nice. The people here have been horrible, harrassing and rude to me. Nothing is perfect. . . .I know.

    • Evie Garone says:

      Wow….I am so sorry to hear about the people you meet. I find if anything people are so busy with their own lives they come across disinterested or insincere……but since most people here are from somewhere else…I don’t blame it on Arizona, it is just life! Perhaps we should get together, ha ha ha! Evie

  6. I am glad you allow individuals to leave a reply. I have been in Tucson for nearly 10 years; stuck here. The landscape is beautiful in my opinion and the weather is ideal. However, I have been subjected to some of the worst personal abuse I have ever witnessed in my life. The people do a lot of drugs; I found the city has one of the worst statistics as far as mental illness in the nation which I believe is tied to drug abuse. If they are not abusing drugs; they are abusing a person minding his or her own business–in this scenario: me. There has not been a day that goes by I am not left alone; or am personally insulted or have been assaulted: I mean that psychologically. The Rondstandt Center where you pick up the bus is filled with drugs. I stopped using the bus system then received continual abuse by persons driving vehicles asking if I wanted a ride. I am a very conservatively dressed woman of maturity. There is nothing about my appearance that should evoke this type of toture. It truly is a nice and charming place at first; but the inner-core of the city is full of deviates and low-lifes. The persons who do not appear low-life can be just as bad. I have never encountered so much lying in my life! I do not recommend this city as far as the people. They are simply no longer human. Perhaps you live farther out: which maybe if you have a car is a way not to know some of the city’s bad points. They have not stopped harrassing me since I have arrived. I pity the whole lot. I am glad you have found the sunny Arizona: the one I was seeking when I came here. God Bless. . . and thanks for allowing me to vent. This just has not been a good experience for me. I received much respect in my past life. Now I know how innocent people feel who constantly receive emotional abuse from maybe their family. I come from a very good family so would not know about such behavior until now; and from perfect strangers! Some or a good many of these people do not know where to properly “fan” their insecurities. That is no excuse: I believe they can control their poor behaviors; and I think they find the abuse a form of entertainment. It is sad to witness that so many people in one place share the same mental abuse issues. Again, God Bless. . . In light of the following, I am thankful for God’s Arizona sunsets . . they have been beautiful here. Thank the good Lord in Heaven: He is what keeps me going.

    • Evie Garone says:

      I don’t even really know what to say in response to your comments except I am sorry you are having these issues. As you say I am lucky enough to have my own car so yes, I don’t even see the same side of life you are talking about. As for Tuscon, I am far from there….I live in Phoenix, actually a little neighborhood called Ahwatukee and as I said people here keep to themselves. That is my biggest complaint, I wish people were friendlier. As you said, people are always on each end of the spectrum of life and outlooks. I wish you luck with your life going forward.

  7. By the way the place is the people. . . .no matter their origination. I would be quite happy in a place where the people kept their nose in their own business: meaning disinterested as you term it. Glad you have not seen what has been revealed to me. I am a very positive person; I know my attitude is not based how I think as a person. It is based on what I have pitied and seen. Again, I am glad you have not encounted such an unfortunate set of circumstances. And in all fairness, I never encounted it in certain places myself. I have also thought life was a candy store for a long time; within certain environments. Again: God Bless. We all see different pictures or angles of the same landscape for a reason my friend. Thanks for your optimistic reply. It has been beneficial for me to vent. However, remember when you are smiling, there may be someone up the road not able to smile. Remember 9/11? Peoples’ lives had been devastated; however, there were people in the next block enjoying their cappucinos; not even thinking about the devastation. That is just life too.

    • On that other post I meant to type encountered–not encounted. (And I did so twice: at least I was consistent.) And once again, the point being: How is man able to smile when another man is not able to properly express him or herself or is ailing from others’ continual psychological abuse? Maybe that is why frivolity was so frowned upon during the first half of the 20th century: Who is to say ? I just read words to the effect which I imparted above when I was leaving the idyllic world which I was accustomed for this one. And people wonder why it is they feel depressed. Is it because they are lying to themselves about the true nature of certain persons? Better just to pity the poor fools whom I speak than to believe they will get better any time soon. You have been a great friend to listen! Best to you. . . now and in the future. Keep that sunny disposition going: I am very glad you are happy!

  8. marcy daniels says:

    I feel I have to respond to the original paragraph regarding living in Arizona.
    Being from the Coast of CA my whole life, I had the opportunity to take a job transfer to Scottsdale AZ.
    I took this job believing what the earlier post mentioned as well as all the misleading info I received from others about AZ.
    First, the weather is NOT great 9 months a year!
    It is HOT 9 months a year! Above 90. Also the winters are NOT 70 and sunny. They are freezing. With a few drops of rain. Summers? Not only HOT and miserable to the point of feeling your living on MARS but the disgusting dust storms that come thru. This State is so disgusting I kept wondering how in the world anybody could live there?
    I began to feel sorry for any animals or pets that didn’t have a choice? You can’t go for walks etc.. everywhere you go is by car! No bikes , trails etc.. why should there be? The people??? Omg! In Scottsdale I saw the worst facelifts, bad boob jobs, and more surgery spectacles I’ve ever seen! I’ve been to Beverly Hills! Nothing compares to the phonies in Scottsdale! I began to understand why people would tell me the nightlife is great? No its not! There’s nothing original about any bar any restaurant or any people!!! It was to me the worst place I have ever seen in my life!!! Whoever posts those lies about AZ has to be a real estate agent! Golf? You like golf? I’ve seen all the courses are their nice but, CA has the best and most beautiful courses in the world. So how can a few golf courses in the flat desert that you can only play at 4 months out of the year bring people to AZ? And to have to stay in a building 9 months a year! But tell people sedona is pretty and grand canyon? Yes its pretty but how long of a drive to get there for a few hours? Thank god I got out of there a year later! I wouldn’t wish that place on anybody! And you all who claim you like it obviously have to make excuses for your existence there! Warning, Do not believe anybody who’s stuck living in AZ. Misery obviously loves company.

    • Evie Garone says:

      Marcy…….
      Wow, Tell us how you REALLY feel! Obviously we are going to have to agree to disagree! I like the warmth of Arizona, though I must admit by the end of the summer I do want to get the hell out of the state, but I’d take the HEAT anytime over the SNOW and cold that was the norm in the North East where I come from. As for the Coast of California that you love so much, I cannot do the humidity in the air, it hurts my bones, so we all have our “things”. I’m glad you have what you like and I have what I like! To each his own, I think Sedona is lovely and do not mind driving up to see it. I think the open desert is beautiful, though I do think California and the beach is beautiful, too I think the Pacific water is way too cold, but I will not trash it like you felt the need to do to Arizona!
      Why the vitriol? I agree with your opinion on there being a lot of plastic surgery in Scottsdale, I keep my distance from that fake city…..but Cali. has that, too! Again, to each his own…….actually we take out-of-towners to restaurants to “see” the fake show of plastic and boobs and get a kick out of it…lighten up! Life’s too short! There are bike trials and hiking trials ALL over Arizona I don’t know why you are so negative, what the hell are you talking about……..????? I do not golf, I just mentioned it……..what is your problem, and NO I’m not a Real Estate Agent, and if you read the blog right, I said I DIDN’T want people to come to ARIZONA to make it crowded………I’m glad you left if you were so unhappy and hope you are happier now! Though I doubt it………

      • marcy daniels says:

        Hello again.
        Seriously, if it sounds negative to you its because it is! The reason I responded to your post is because of what you said about AZ.. This is exactly what is said to many people who ask a local about the state of AZ. Its very misleading. It also could trap a lot of people who move there but who cannot get out. I’ve heard of many stories from people who were mislead but couldn’t leave because of various reasons.
        You are absolutely right about the moisture in the air and arthritis etc. AZ was known as the State to move to for the older generation. This created Sun City AZ and various retirement communities. But in the past few years, AZ has become known as the worst state for the air quality.so, I’m not sure this is better than sore joints? I respect your opinion on the state you obviously love and care about. But, please be honest about the summers and please stop saying there are places to escape that take hours to get to like the grand canyon and Sedona. There’s also Flagstaff.. Beautiful too. I was very fortunate to be able to leave AZ only after a year. But I know there’s probably many who can’t! It sounds as if you are from either the Midwest or back East, snow, snow, and more snow. I have lived in Tahoe years ago. I think its what you make of your surroundings and how you utilize it! I loved to ski, obviously you live the desert and that’s great. But I know the weather in AZ isn’t what you say it is. And AZ is a grid. Bike trails? Really? Everything seemed like nothing but a bunch of strip malls. Are your bike trails the type you find in gated neighborhoods? Around the blocks and blocks of houses with rocks instead of grass? To each his own. But please be honest about your State! You forgot to mention a few very important things. And next time you take your friends out for entertainment? Just have them watch a few video clips of the Gov of AZ. That’s always good for a few laughs!!! And cmon, you’ve got to agree with me on that one?

      • Evie Garone says:

        OMG Marcy………..I really am being honest…….why do you doubt me when you don’t even know ME?! Just because you don’t like AZ doesn’t mean everyone has to AGREE with you! I think you should let it go girl! We get it already YOU DON”T LIKE ARIZONA! WELL GOOD FOR YOU! Did you read what I said AGAIN, I said I DON’T want anyone NEW coming here???? Yes it is hot as hell here, but I have suffered from cancer if you must know and am very thin and like the heat and swim in my pool……also if you give the desert more than 1 year your blood thins and you can adjust to the heat……but I don’t have to justify the desert to anyone……if you DON’T like it go live your life somewhere else and leave us alone to enjoy our lives!
        I also do not know where you get your other information, I DO NOT live in a gated community, but there are many bike trails and hiking trials all over and mountains to climb where I live if you chose to live a happy life free of complaint! By the way Mars is further from the sun than earth, so it’s cooler, FYI, you might want to get your facts straight!!! Hey, if you want to talk about politicians…..your Nancy Pelosi is the gift that keeps on giving, so don’t throw stones! Jerry Brown was pretty good, too…Aliens abductions and all! And I have a front lawn & a back lawn! We play croquet, badminton and I lay out in the sun and tan. I open my windows for fresh air…….I do not understand where you’ve lived…..sounds like two different places!

      • marcy daniels says:

        Evie, now cmon? Please reread the article you wrote? You asked why do people believe the myth about Arizona? You welcomed replies? And obviously you monitor them as well? I’m not asking people to agree with me. I am just speaking the truth. And when I said ” Living in Arizona was like living on Mars”? I meant the obvious look of Arizona. It really does seem like your on the planet Mars. I have no doubt others would feel the same? Not everyone. But I’m sure some.
        Your article was about your questioning the reason Arizona was the 2nd worst place to live. You disagreed and said it was a myth? I know why its the 2nd but in my opinion is the 1st. And I’m questioning you on why you say its a myth. I’m sorry to hear of your illness and wish the best for you. When people open up a forum based on opinions , then obviously some opinions aren’t to your liking but that’s OK…But there’s also facts! And this is why Arizona made the list of the 2nd worst place to live!

      • Evie Garone says:

        Marcy, Again I thank you for your comments……of course you are welcome to your opinion too. I believe when I reread the post it was stated that it was a poll that came out. I am happy that you got out of Arizona since you were so unhappy and I am happy for those of us that are happy here. . .I would really like to live in the Caribbean as my dream place but I find I can be happy anywhere I find happiness inside and with my family. Good luck to you in the future and thank you for reading my blog! I think we’ve talked this subject to death…

  9. Ananya says:

    I’m 14, lived in Mesa AZ my whole life, and couldn’t love it more! I hate all the stereotypes of Arizona, they are definitely not true.
    Arizona is a beautiful place to live.

    • Evie Garone says:

      Hi……I’ve lived in Arizona for 8 years now and I really like it…..I’m so glad you love it here…good for you! I wonder if you read the comments I got for my blog….weren’t they weird? Some people are really strongly against Arizona and I don’t know where the hate or stereotypes come from, but Hey, everybody can’t like everything, right?

  10. Lupita says:

    TERRIBLE place to live. I moved here from California and currently live in Chandler. People here are very unfriendly.

    No respect, live on the same block fir nine years and not know a single person. Also they make it a point to not know anyone.

    Everyone keeps telling me that my only problem with being here is the fact that I am black.

    So far most that I come across that will pretend to be friendly are looking for or wanting sex, out to use others, or are on some kind of drugs.

    I wouldn’t recommend anyone to move here.

    • Evie Garone says:

      I do agree people do not seem friendly. I can’t comment to you being black, as I am white and I too find it hard to meet people. I haven’t noticed the drug problems or sex problems but I have noticed that people are into their own things and aren’t open to making friends…..I wonder if it is partly because of the heat and the way our neighborhoods are set up with the walls and drive-up garages? Whatever it is it is a shame, my neighbor in NJ were much more friendly, I knew all my neighbor. I am sorry for your problems and feel your pain, I feel alienated here, too!

      • Marie says:

        Hi Evie, I lived in AZ in the 80′s and really did like it but missed CT so bad I had to come home. I am thinking of moving there again when I retire. I lived in Ahwatukee for a while with my sister (who now lives in Payson.. would never move there!!..) and loved it and would like to move back to A. How is it now? I am a single woman (65) so curious as to the social scene. I did find, even in the 80′s, that it was so hard to make friends. Now, unlike then, there is the internet for dating if you are single and the Meetup groups to join to meet other friends. Please tell me your thoughts and any insight you can give me of the Ahwatukee I so loved way back then.

      • Evie Garone says:

        Marie, I have to say……it is HOT!@! HOT HOT! here now and has been since April and will be ’til Oct.so be prepared to spend much time inside in the AC. When people say it is a dry heat, yes like opening your oven door and jumping in! Ahwatukee is a beautiful place, there is a lovely mountain in our back yard but, but it is hard to meet people! There is a nice woman’s group I belong to called AFFAN that you could join that you would fit right (age group) into if you like to join things and like to read, knit, play cards, games, etc. I could suggest. I happen to be a little young for it though I’ve been a stay at home Mom so I’ve had a little trouble with the friends “thing”. People are NOT truly friendly…..they “act” chatty but do not follow up or pursue true get-to-gethers or friendships…people are very transient here and very superficial. Also, these walled communities with automatic garages are not conducive to meeting your neighbors like the NE… but everywhere has ups and downs Evie

    • Laura says:

      I happen to agree w/ you. I lived in Chandler for a few years and later moved to Gilbert. Which isn’t much better. The people here are very unfriendly no matter who you are. I’ve come to realization that they’re not real and true friends…I’ve had enough of living here after 14 long years. Jobs are too and few and very unprofessional. The racist I’ve found a few companies to be w/ me out here. I just can’t wait to go home back East where people are true and communicate w/ each other…

  11. Marie says:

    Thanks for your response. I know its hot from the one year I lived there. Even her pool was not much relief since the water was so warm. Right now I live a short walk from the ocean so that might be a tough one to give up.
    My sister’s house was about one block from that mountain and we hiked it often when I was there. I may be 65 but I run, kickbox, hike and keep active. I am not one to stay inactive. I do like to read tho. My one sedintary pleasure. It is so ironic what you said about true friendships being hard to form. I said the exact same thing to my sister when I lived out there. It was a reoccuring theme and I worked and interacted with people all day long. If I come now I will not be working and that may pose a problem for sure as far as meeting friends. Mmmm I guess I will know what to do when the time comes right?

    • Evie Garone says:

      Marie, If you do come out..please let me know…I would love to get to know you, you sound like a nice and interesting woman! You are far more active than I, though I try! I have been trying to get back into the swing of things since my brush with the big “C” and remplisage (shoulder surgery). I have been trying T’ai Chi, water aerobics, yoga again, walking, (thinking of running, tennis, hiking when cooler) etc. I don’t know if I could give up the ocean, that is my true love! My husband and I are on the hunt for a beach house somewhere in the great wide world…the hunt is the fun! Maybe Belize?! Evie

      • Marie says:

        The ocean is my true love as well. I am guessing the best case scenario for me will be coming out for three or four months a year.
        I am glad to hear that you are recouped from the big C and shoulder surgery. I think water aerobics would be a wonderful start for you. I loved it but it was a bit tame compared to my beloved kickboxing.
        Anyway, I am coming out there in Sept. to see my sister. Wish she still lived in Ahwatukee then we would be a stones throw away. She got tired of the valley and moved to Payson about 10 years ago.
        If I ever get to the valley for the day (beside coming into Sky Harbor) I will let you know.

      • Evie Garone says:

        You take care of yourself and thanks for visiting my site! Rock on my sister or should I say KICK ON! You inspire me to think of getting even tougher! I hope you have a fabulous visit with your sister and do let me know if you are ever here. If you ever want to talk, drop in and visit my site! Peace, Evie

      • Marie says:

        Okay, thanks Evie. Same here if you feel like you want a good NE perspective on things let me know. I will be here. I always actively search AZ information which is how I found you. If there is anything you want to tell me about AZ living please feel free. I am so anxious for that kind of info. I have so many questions about areas and places to live, etc. Enjoy your day… Marie

  12. Jim D. says:

    Hi, hoping to join you soon. Looking at the Yuma-FF-Welton range. I was in the Sinai desert with the UN for six months and loved it! I have bad allergies on the East Coast and also love climbing unforested mountains for the view. My wife cannot stand any temp below 75. lol

    • Evie Garone says:

      Good luck to you there….the desert was terrific for allergies but not so much anymore because non-native trees,shrub,flowers,etc. have been brought in to beautify the lower desert. I wish you well and hope you will be happy here. The winter might be cooler..you’ll have to see…..Hiking should be great!

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