Do You Know Where Ahwatukee Is?

by Kristie Rohwedder

When I tell people I grew up in Ahwatukee Foothills, they usually shrug and say they they've never heard of it. And I get that. It's one part of Phoenix. I mean, I can't even name all five NY boroughs off of the top of my head, so how can I expect someone to know all of Phoenix's nooks and crannies? Heck, I'm shocked when someone says they're familiar with Ahwatukee.

Ahwatukee (awa-Tukee) is a lil nugget of Phoenix, about 20 minutes away from downtown. Its layout and limited freeways have earned it the unofficial title of “The World’s Largest Cul-de-Sac." But it isn't actually a cul-de-sac: It's an urban village with a dash of suburbia and spectacular mountain views.

If you're from Tukee, you know what I'm talking about. And if you're from here, there are some things only you can truly understand.

You Know that The AMC 24 = Everything

There isn't any other place on the planet to see and be seen quite like the Ahwatukee AMC 24.

Whenever You Drive By a Pat & Oscar’s, You Light a Candle for the Tukee Oscar's

A Pat & Oscar’s sighting will only make you reminisce about the days there was an Oscar’s on Ray Road. You will crave breadsticks.

You Ice Skated For the First Time at Polar Ice

Odds are, you’ve never been ice skating outside. Instead, you’ve spent many a Friday night skating at an indoor rink while wearing a pair of rented ice blades and eating Dippin' Dots.

You Just Want to Wear Tank Tops & Flip Flops

(I do realize that GIF is of a slipper, not a flip flop. But the kitten makes it okay, right? Right.)

Flip flops go with every outfit and every occasion and every weather forecast. Period. You won't bother with rain boots. You have flip flops, and flip flops have yet to let you down. Monsoon season will not harsh your flip flop vibe.

You went to DVHS or MPHS

You Care About The Ahwatukee Bowl

If you're from Tukee, you know that the MPHS/DVHS rivalry is a very real thing. And you know that every fall, the schools' football teams are pitted against one another in the Ahwatukee Bowl. And you know that it's a big effing deal to the community.

You Crave Water & Ice's Hawaiian Shaved Ice

They sell water and bags of ice. Water and ice are both very important, especially in the desert. But there is more to this story: Water & Ice sells Hawaiian shaved ice. And it is phenomenal.

You've Had Many A Good Night's Sleep

Because Tukee is very quiet. Aside from the occasional owl hoot or coyote howl, it's dead silent at night.

You Approach Any And All Large Dogs With Caution

How many times have I seen coyotes taking a casual stroll through a residential neighborhood? Answer: too many to count.

You've Run Into A Former Teacher at CK's

CK's might be the town's oldest bar and grille (businesses and restaurants always be changing in Tukee), and it is quite the happenin' establishment. A happenin' establishment where ya might spot one of your old teachers, that is.

Your Life Changed When the Chandler Mall Opened

The Applebee’s on Chandler Blvd. Was Very Important to You

You probably cried when you found out the Applebee’s on Chandler Blvd. closed up shop. I know, I know. It still hurts. They may have taken away the wonderfully greasy appetizers and floor-to-ceiling tchotchkes, but they won't ever be able to take away our memories.

...As is The ALEX Bus

Though it is not a Catbus, the Ahwatukee Local Explorer (ALEX) means a lot to me. You could say it fills an ALEX bus-shaped hole in my heart. It cruises around Tukee, doesn’t cost a thing, and usually runs on schedule. It’s basically a preteen’s dream. You want to go to Target but you don’t have a ride? ALEX has your back.

You Don't understand How People Couldn't Have Pools

It boggles your mind when you go to a house/condo/apartment that doesn’t have its own pool or access to a community pool. Swimming is a way in life in Tukee. No, this isn't a town of fancy-ass royals with fancy-ass bejeweled swimming pools (I take that back: there are some very wealthy people in Tukee with, like, infinity pools and shit. But they aren't the norm.) It's a town in Arizona. Therefore, pools are a priority and they are everywhere.

You Know Someone Who Claims They’ve Seen a Skin-walker

The legend of the skin-walker did not start in Ahwatukee, but that doesn't mean the legend isn't important to the town. There's at least one person in every group of friends who swears up and down that one time they spotted a shapeshifter lurking around the desert. Spooky.

You've Jogged the Lakewood Loop

You might've underestimated how long it'd take to run around the Lakewood Loop (it's bigger than it looks!), but hey — you did it. And that's all that matters.

You Can Spell "Ahwatukee"

Dead giveaway.