I've been to Phoenix 5 or 6 times in as many years, so I kind of have a feel for the area. But now I'm entertaining the real possibility of moving there.
So where to settle?
Personally, I like areas with a variety of offerings (food and drink-wise) within an easy commute, if not walking distance. Based on this, do you locals have any suggestions as to specific neighborhoods, zip codes, etc. I should target for home hunting?
For example, I like the concentration of food/drink/entertainment on Mill Ave. in Tempe, but as I age (a ripe old 33), this is no longer my scene. It's cool, but after a long spell in L.A., I'm tired of transient neighbors who move on after a year or two. I've also stayed in Scottsdale, which blends hip and unique with old money and retired. It's fine, but am I missing any areas?
I much prefer Mom & Pop or ethnic anything to Chiles or the Olive Garden. I choose red leather booths and strong cocktails over bootie bars and clubs scenes. But as a suave single in a new town, I also want to be near a similar demographic. It does me no good to be in the boonies, with a dive on the left and a Pho noodle shop on the right if there's no crowd with whom I can share the delights. Know what I mean?
I'm not rich, so don't suggest a hillside mansion above the Phoenician. I'm just a middle class guy who loves diversity in food and life.
Suggestions? Replies win an invite to my pool party, if I get a place with a pool.
P.S. Does anyone have links to what kinds of food-related foliage grows well in Phoenix? Fruit trees? Herbs? I'm guessing chiles, but what else?