Photo: meunierd/Shutterstock

14 Things You Get Addicted to in Arizona

by Angela Orlando Sep 29, 2017

1. Body lotion

A typical Arizonan has as many bottles of lotion stashed around as a smoker does lighters. But after a few years, slathered with moisturizer or not, a desert dweller’s skin comes to look leathery and reptilian.

2. Black lights

Most people only use black lights for ambience at parties, Arizonans keep them around to locate their average, everyday scorpions.

3. Hats

Those 296 days of sunlight hitting Phoenix desiccate even the toughest hide. Some pedestrians are so serious about their shade that they skip the hat and protect themselves with parasols instead.

4. Hot sauce

The liquid kind that comes in a tall, thin bottle, not jarred and chunky like salsa. But we’re addicted to spicy salsa, too. Either way, food has to be hot, or it’s bland.

5. Yards

Most residents are single-family dwellings, not apartments, for better or for worse. Arizonans are accustomed to owning acreage.

6. Limeaway

We don’t have much mildew in our bathtubs, but the lime deposit buildup from our hard water is just as thick and difficult to clean. Some people use vinegar and baking soda. That works for a week or two. No one wants to know what’s in Limeaway, but at least it’s a more permanent solution.

7. Air conditioning

Any car being sold without it had better cost less than $200.

8. Going out without winter gear, not scraping the car’s windshield (very often), and seldom needing to shovel the driveway.

Contrary to popular belief, it snows throughout most of the state, but Southern Arizonans enjoy not having to deal with seasonal chores to any extreme. As for the Northerners, there are January days that could be happening in Montana — and they have their own addictive appeal.

9. Drive-through liquor stores

For most people, they are a counterintuitive and dangerous business model. For Arizonans, they’re a convenient stop on the way home from work.

10. Space

More than 30% of Arizona’s land is publicly owned and “held in trust for the American people,” so while you sometimes have to ask permission to be in a forest or desert, there are plenty of opportunities to just go where you want. This land truly is your land.

11. Starlight

Generating artificial light pollution is against the law in most of the state, and the Dark Sky Campaign is active. Not only does over-illumination interfere with the state’s rich astronomy economy, but it affects Arizona’s diverse wildlife and human health.

12. Revitalization

Suburban sprawl continues at a rampant pace, but Phoenix, Tucson, and Flagstaff are investing in their downtown cores. Increased investment in public art and restoration of historic buildings are just two examples of how city-center living is becoming a priority.

13. Jaw-dropping sunsets

Yeah, other places’ sunsets are great, but will never compare to Arizona’s sky at dusk.

14. Inexpensive cost of living.

Rent is at least twice as high in Los Angeles than Phoenix, and overall living expenses in Phoenix are about half as much as New York. We’re talking Southern Arizona here. Flagstaff up north is just as expensive as any other college town, but most of the folks who live there are hooked on the town.

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