Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Out of Arizona

Back in Tucson for the flight home tomorrow morning.

I can't say enough about the scenery in and around Sedona. I will probably say too much about the sociology of Sodona, but that will have to wait for a later posting.

The drive from Sedona to Tucson was pleasant enough, especially the stop for lunch at T. Cook's in the Royal Palms resort near Scottsdale. I don't mean to turn this into a travelogue, but I heartily recommend you try T. Cook's if you're in the vicinity. You'll thank me for it.

We're at a Holiday Inn near the airport, and while there was no need to drive through central Tucson to get here, I wanted to see some of the old neighborhoods I remembered.

The changes since I lived in Tucson are disagreeable. When I first visited in the early '90s, and even when I called it home later, Tucson seemed to be an exception to the standard development process of American cities, namely, flight to the suburbs. Many parts of the older, central area remained solidly middle class, even affluent in the north toward the foothills. Today I saw evidence typical of urban "hollowing out" -- the inner residential neighborhoods have become shabbier and poorer-looking, not to mention more hispanic.

The trend is evident: people who can afford it are settling in or moving out to the new "edge city" developments and the ritzy foothills. I don't blame them and would do the same. Who wants to live amid growing signs of an underclass and probably crime?

Do I blame Mexicanization? Yes, I blame Mexicanization.

No other significant causal factor exists. Central Tucson isn't -- well, wasn't -- a slum. Lots of the houses have character, and the desert and tropical landscaping leaves nothing to be desired. The cacti, date palms, oleander, bougainvillea, banana plants, palo verde trees and the rest always used to lift my spirits, as did the mountains and the big sky. Other than open borders, there was no reason for whites and long-established Mexican families to head for the hills.

How much longer can we Americans retreat from social devolution?

Arizona has already ceded so much, thwarted by a central government and ruling class that wants a servile, alien population dependent on government handouts.

As you may have heard, Arizona is trying for a game changer. Unlike what is only a slogan for Barack Kenyatta and his goon squad, this change is utterly real and necessary for Arizona and ultimately for what is left of the true spirit of the United States of America.


Van Wijk said...

Your recent posts have been very painful to read. I was born in Tucson, and raised there and across the Southwest. I've not seen the place in around 5 years.

I'd venture to say that very few in the blogosphere know what it feels like to have their home city conquered. It's a crushing feeling. And it inspires incredible rage.

MaryJ said...

I've seen it happen three times: my birth city, the small town I grew up in, and the working class but decent suburb I lived in for 17 years. The church my parents supported for 35 years once had ONE Spanish language service on Sunday evenings. When I went back to visit a few years ago, the church bulletin and most church literature on display in the vestibule were in Spanish.

My birth city is now a notorious gangland province, with a homicide per capita rate that is the same as Mexico's. When I was born, it was a nice place for a family of modest means to raise their kids. Humble, but clean, safe and nice.

Wahrheit said...

I returned nine days ago from a week's vacation in Arizona and I love the state--if I didn't have such a good job in Alaska I would probably be moving there.

Talked to a good number of people and read a lot about 1070 and I will back up your reading that there is a sense of grim determination, of taking a stand that the problem must be addressed now. Also, the threatened boycotts are merely hardening this determination.

Rick Darby said...

Van Wijk,

Well, it's not that bad. I didn't get the impression Tucson has been conquered. Just that it is more of a haves versus have-nots city than it used to be, and that the well-off are increasingly to be found on the periphery east and northwest.


I empathize with you. One of the worst things that has happened to the country in the past 40 years is the virtual disappearance of solid, decent lower middle class and working class neighborhoods and towns. Thanks to population replacement and economic changes, with every passing year the U.S. moves toward a Third World–like division between a mandarin upper class and masses of the beaten-down and dependent.


I'm glad you got the same impression in Arizona about the residents' determination. I was worried that I might have been generalizing from insufficient data.