Phoenix, Arizona is the sixth most populous city in the country, and the Phoenix metro area is the 13th largest in the country.
Phoenix isn't very different from most cities in that you'll find people who love it here and people who hate it. Being a sunbelt state, the population here is relatively transient; people move here for sunshine and better opportunities, and people leave here for various reasons, including five months of hot weather.
One thing is certain, there are telltale signs that a person is from Phoenix. Here are ten of them.
You Call Yourself a Phoenician
As a resident of Phoenix, you know better than to use words like Phoenixites, Venetians, or Phonies. Phoenicians live in the capital of the State of Arizona, so they are also referred to as Arizonans—not Arizonians—but even people who live in Arizona get that one wrong.
If you live in Arizona, you might also know that you and the other Arizonans who fill up all the San Diego beach rentals during the summer are known as Zonies by the residents of that town.
You Park in the Shade
Shade is preferred, even if that means you have to walk farther to get to your destination. We understand what happens to the interior of cars when they sit out in the desert heat. Door handles may get too hot to handle, as will steering wheels unless they have been covered or you are wearing gloves. For that reason, every bit of shade in a parking lot is considered a prime location. Kids and pets should never be left inside a car here, even with the window cracked. Not joking.
You Find the Humor in the Heat
Phoenicians of a certain age all remember where they were on June 26, 1990 when the temperature in Phoenix hit 122 degrees (Fahrenheit). People from Phoenix know that 122°F doesn't feel much worse than 115°F and we have several of those days every year. Yeah, some [crazy] people even play golf on those days.
Our Fox10 weather guy in 2015 experienced a malfunction of his weather map and made the best of it. It was a real broadcast, not staged, and is too funny—worth the 1 minute look.
By the way, Phoenicians don't really say, "...but it's a dry heat."
You Know How to Drive in a Haboob
Not only is it a fun word to say (haboob, haboob), but it is a real thing. During our monsoon months, June through September, we get some pretty serious desert weather. If you are from Phoenix, you know how to drive safely when a wall of dust envelops the city and you happen to be out and about at the time. If you aren't driving when it happens, you know enough to not get in your car for a while.
You Eat Your Ice Cream Fast
You know you need to eat ice cream quickly or inside, in air-conditioned comfort, or it won't last long. Better yet, start ordering your ice cream in a cup.
You Drive South to Tucson
Tucson is really south of Phoenix, not east. All cities have some confusing issues related to driving, and people who are from Phoenix understand that Tucson is due south of Phoenix, and that I-10 is generally an east/west Interstate traversing the U.S. It just so happens, though, that between Phoenix and Tucson, I-10 runs north/south. Still, the road to Tucson, south of Phoenix is the eastbound I-10 and the road to Phoenix, north of Tucson, is the westbound I-10. Oh, never mind.
You Don't Mess With Daylight Savings Time
As a Phoenician, you never have to explain to your out-of-town relatives and friends why people in Phoenix don't change their clocks. We don't change to a California time zone. Not ever. We simply stay on our time zone. Only one other state besides Arizona does this, and really, we've got this one right and all of you in those other 48 states are wrong.
Scorpions Don't Freak You Out
Scorpions are all over Phoenix, and most people from Phoenix have seen one (or many) at one time or another. Fatalities from scorpion stings are very rare. We have other creepy (and dangerous) critters here, too, like rattlesnakes. People from Phoenix—the smart ones, at least—know what to do and what not to do when they encounter anything that spews venom.
You Recognize Larry Fitzgerald Right Away
Larry Fitzgerald is a much-beloved guy in Phoenix, not only for his work on the football field with the Arizona Cardinals, but as a good community citizen. We need all the great roles models that we can find, and he's one of the good ones. Larry Fitzgerald is Hall of Fame material, both for his football career as well as his sportsmanship and philanthropic activities in the Phoenix area.
You Are Spoiled for Sunsets
You're used to sights like this because we have them all the time. It isn't that the sunsets in Phoenix don't still amaze you after all these years of living here, it's just that you aren't surprised at how many gorgeous sunsets we experience.