Thursday, May 20, 2010

Ahwatukee: Brooke speak for Awesome

This morning, Salt wrote about her lovely home of Baltimore. It inspired me to write about my own home. My problem is, I kind of have two homes. I grew up in Tucson. It's where I went to school, made friends, and it's where my family still lives. It's artsy, fun, and the epitome of a southwestern community.

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.


BrownEyedGirlsMom said...

YOu have turned into a South sider - JK!!! I have always lived on the north side of town - I wish it was closer to you so we could hang more often! And you know the ESPN family loves Tucson - but I agree with your observations about it! It holds lots of great memories for us!

Salt said...

That is exactly how I feel about where we live. The area is called Lutherville and our apartment community is surrounded by big beautiful old Victorian houses, yet somehow our rent is very manageable. I would love to stay here, but I don't think we can afford it. Either way we will be staying in the Baltimore area though.

Where you live looks so beautiful!!!

ncsuzy said...

I saw your post on Kelly's Korner Show us where you live and had to comment. I too moved to Ahwatukee during my first year of marriage back in 1999 and lived in a sweet little apartment. I fell in love with Ahwatukee, but like you it was too rich for our blood. When we could finally buy a home we bought in Gilbert, but as soon as our son was born 4 years later, I found a way to get us back to Ahwatukee. We bought a fablous little house that we would still be living in today if my husband's job had not transferred us back to NC. Your post brought back such memories of that wonderful time in Ahwatukee. Thanks for sharing, and I know you will wind up in a wonderful home there too one day!
Susan :)

Connie said...

My brother & his family, my sister and my mom live in Ahwatukee and they love it. It is a great place to visit and it does have everything quite close! I hope you'll be able to buy something nearby.


Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

What a fun post reading about all the towns...I finally have a few hours to blog hop...Be sure and check out my new post on a GREAT FATHERS Day gift, plus a great Disney giveaway that ends Monday...Some really fun stuff...