In a recent post, I had mentioned the website City-Data as a good resource for facts and figures on Phoenix. However, I forgot to mention one of the best things about City-Data: their excellent forums.
Between anonymous cowards posting racist remarks on the Craigslist forums and the armchair politicians debating our resident hero/villain Sheriff Joe Arpaio on AZcentral, it would seem that valley residents have found plenty of local forums to post their thoughts on. However, there are several reasons why I keep coming back to the Phoenix forum on City-Data instead of those other sites.
The City-Data forums are moderated, which keeps the discussions family friendly as well as relevant to life in Phoenix. They are well-organized and boast a userbase of thousands of members. But mostly, I keep coming back to them because they are so interesting.
People on there chat about everything from last night's monsoon storm to the new high-rise building under construction downtown. It's a great place to hang out and get a feel for what's going on in Phoenix. Take a look at this post I came across called "Top 15 Myths About Phoenix." It's written for people who don't live here (like many of the topics on the City-Data Phoenix forum) yet it tells the straight truth. It's such a good article, I wish I had thought of it myself!
Although most of the posts are geared towards people relocating here from other states, that same information can be useful if you're thinking about moving from one part of the valley to another. Phoenix is a huge place, after all. People in Apache Junction, Queen Creek, and Chandler probably don't make too many trips up towards Sun City, Surprise, and Peoria. What are the schools like, what are homes selling for, and all sorts of observational humor.
For an honest and entertaining picture of life in Phoenix, I encourage you to browse around the City-Data Phoenix forums.