We start our journey in the "Central North west Phoenix" area. I’m going off of my memory and these pictures from 2 months previous.
8245 N 27th Ave Phoenix AZ 85051
I'm not sure if this was the intention, but the main gate was wide open as I drove in. It was on an awfully lonely stretch of road. I've become used to seeing people on every street corner and on every sidewalk, but I want to say that at the time I drove by, this street happened to be empty, which was odd. It might be because I-17 happens to run really close to it, and if you had to get on, or around I-17, you would take a different route unless you already lived on that road. So that's a point in it's favor.
When I parked another guy happened to pull up beside me, when he got out I asked him if I had taken his spot (this was a gated community after all) and he politely said no. So I would also chalk up random kindness from a stranger as a point.
The buildings were all two story, and I believe they all had 8 rooms per level. This would mean you share one wall and staircase with one neighbor, another wall with another neighbor, and a floor/ceiling with another neighbor, three neighbors in all. The actual part of the staircase you would share is probably only 8 steps and a landing.
Something that this apt had that I thought was really cool, was that as you came to the top of the stair, there would be a 4x4 porch with a door that had a deadbolt. After entering that door, would be a 4x16 porch that was kinda like outdoor storage. All the ground floor places had some sort of screen that went floor to ceiling so you couldn't just hop over the fence and make off with someones stuff.
The porch area looked really nice, kinda like a place where you could let a dog bounce around in.
This was all I saw from the outside, the grounds were clean and they had an additional locked entrance to their pool.
After turning the corner and driving a few miles down the road, I did come notice several youths hanging out at a convenience store.
4221 W Dunlap Ave Phoenix AZ 85051
I rolled up to Villa Serna that had a Dairy Queen right beside it. There was what I assume a high school age girl working there. I asked her if she felt safe in the neighborhood and she said yes. I asked her what she thought about the Villa Serna and she said that one of the people who worked there lived there. So that's a point in their favor.
I didn't see a pool at the Villa Serna, that's unfortunate.
Again, gated community with the main gate left wide open.
At these apts you did share a few steps and a landing with one neighbor, you would also share a wall with them, then another neighbor on the other side, and some other neighbor would share the whole backside of the apt. Of course if you lived on the corner of the building, this would limit you to two neighbors.
They did have an outside grill which I though was interesting, and they looked like rather nice walkways between the buildings.
These apts would also an enclosed porch area, a room (I assume living room) would have a sliding glass door leading to the enclosed porch area, perfect to let dogs run out and play in. if you were direcly at ground level, it would instead be a row of shrubs. This place did have a "sense of cheapness to it". I know that sounds hard to describe, I'm not sure if it was the occasional baby cry, the music I could hear faintly in the background, or just the look of the tenants, but something told me I would want a discount to live there.
Driving to the South side of town. Right along I-10, about halfway between the loop and I-17.
5335 W McDowell Rd Phoenix AZ 85035
Not to much to say about this place. I walked throught it and just didn't feel safe, not to mention that there was trash. Not completedly covering everything, but enough that you would say "huh... there's trash here".
After "the most pregnant teenager I ever saw" and the group of men chatting and laughing and just all the dirt and grime on the roads there. I decided against it and left.
Villa del Sol
Oddly I had some picks of this place. I think I started to check it out, and wasn’t as frightened of it as I was of Lynnwood, but I do think I ran into some more trash, and a pack of children just running around screaming, and eventually left. I want to say I saw a pool.
6161 W McDowell Rd Phoenix AZ 85035
McDowell appeared to be a pretty busy street that wasn’t really sidewalk friendly. So while there was a lot of cars driving back and forth, I didn’t really see a lot of people at the street entrance.
Now this was a gated community that seemed to take itself seriously, as though they were trying to keep the people in Lynnwood out. However they did have a gate on the sidewalk that a person could walk through, and it was propped open. The car gate required a code or something similar before it would open to allow you to drive through.
I walked around, saw a really big pool that some kids were playing in, that was pretty far separated from the apartments (I assume to help reduce noise). The buildings here were 2 floors with 4 apts per floor, so one neighbor shares your porch and a wall, another shares a wall, and another the floor/ceiling. Instead of just a few steps, you would share the entire staircase and half of a porch that ran from their door all the way to yours. It also came with a sliding glass door exit to an enclosed porch area. Perfect for the dogs to run and play in.
This place thoroughly impressed me with it’s cleanliness and sharpness. If that was a big concern, this was definitely a place to check out.
Did you ever wonder if someone would think it odd that no one would accost a person walking around with a camera? One guy did pull back the curtains to give me an odd look, I just waved, and to my amazement he waved back. Kindness to strangers, that’s a point in it’s favor.
Now we head just South of I-10.
101 N 91st Ave Tolleson AZ 85353
Well lookee there, someone doesn’t want to be Phoenix, instead they are “Tolleson”. Of the 5 weeks I’ve spent in this town I can’t remember seeing that at any other time. And I printed out directions to this place 2 months ago. I’m just playing with the citizens of Tolleson, I’m just making light that the rest of the country just knows everything in sun valley as “Phoenix”.
Copper Cove was actually the one gated community that I had a hard time getting into. I had to scope it out, check all the entrances, and there was a tenant playing with her kids right beside the car gate (that required a code to get in), so I figured she would likely rat me out if she saw me tailgating in or just walking in. I eventually found a sidewalk gate for people to walk through that was just barely latched. Even then it required a little finesse and pen to push the latch in enough to open the gate. That’s a point in their favor for protecting the grounds that well.
There were some kids out playing in the parking lot, but they looked clean cut, although I’d say watch out for them since they were pushing one kid along on a big wheel.
Copper Cove had two story buildings with 4 apts per floor, but I think you would just share stairs and a landing with one neighbor, another neighbor sharing a wall, and another neighbor on the floor/ceiling. So really only two neighbors you might have to deal with.
Copper Cove also impressed me with it’s cleanliness and sharpness.