But the place drives me a little nuts. It's got only one freeway. The max speed limit is 40 mph. People don't want the city to grow and are completely blind to the fact that it's growing around them. Any effort made to make traffic better gets shot down with a big fat "Don't PHX Tucson!" Most of my time spent in the car there is also spent cursing, clenching my teeth, and generally angry. The people of Tucson pretty much despise Phoenix for the metropolis that it's become. I admit, I had the same mentality... until I moved here five years ago. I first lived in Scottsdale, then Moon Valley, Deer Valley, and then Central Phoenix. And then, I move to the greatest place of all... Ahwatukee.
Ahwatukee is a great little neighborhood in Southern Phoenix. It's technically Phoenix, but is known by it's own name, like the fancy areas of NYC like the Meat Packing District. It's known as the world's largest cul-de-sac because it has few access points (only 2 exits off the freeway) and is bordered by the Gila River Indian Community to the South and the South Mountain Park to the North. Even though it's not true, I've heard some people joke that Ahwatukee is Navajo for "South Scottsdale" and that the community sprung up because people couldn't afford or grew bored of Scottsdale and moved South. The reality is that it's Crow for "land on the other side of the hill," referencing South Mountain. You're welcome for the history lesson.
What I love about Ahwatukee is the convenience. We literally have everything we could possibly need within 5 minutes. We have every major store, restaurants, hospitals, golf courses, and the town itself is really just beautiful. Seriously, I have Hobby Lobby, Michael's and Joann Fabrics on 3 of the 4 corners of my closest intersection. It's heaven. There are wide sidewalks up and down most of the area's streets, making running and biking very nice. South Mountain offers hiking and mountain biking trails. Thanks to the numerous golf courses, we also see a ton of golf carts. It's also really close to Chandler and Tempe, making going to Dave & Buster's and Chandler Fashion Square convenient. Because the neighborhood borders the Gila River reservation, we're also only 3 minutes from 2 brand new casinos. Cha-ching! We're also only 12 minutes from the airport and only about an hour and a half from Tucson, making trips for us and my parents very easy.
The downside to the awesomeness of Ahwatukee is the real estate market. It's currently too rich for our blood. Our apartment is a steal, people. I seriously don't know how we got so lucky. Unfortunately, the chances that we'll be able to stay in the neighborhood are slim to none. But I intend to enjoy it's beauty and conveniences until the end of March. I can only hope we find another neighborhood that has a lot of what Ahwatukee has to offer. And if nothing else, we'll have great memories of our first year of marriage here.