If Spokane were a glass, one could spend days arguing whether it were half full or half empty. Truth be told, there's a strong case for both. The half-full Spokane has a quiet upscale downtown nestled picturesquely on the banks of the Spokane River. It has snazzy new restaurants, old brick buildings, coffee shops, and cinemas, as well as Riverfront Park and Spokane Falls. There is a thriving local music scene attracting concerts and events. People remark on how it feels like a small community, even if it has the advantages of a mid-sized city. Not too far from this is hiking, climbing, swimming, and skiing aplenty. The half-empty Spokane is notable for low-rent housing, ugly and abandoned buildings, and congestion. It easily falls into the white trash stereotype with poverty, drug abuse, and mullets being endemic. This is the Spokane that has an influx of meth houses and sexual predators.
Gonzaga is positioned somewhat between the two. The campus is on the river and only a 15- or 20-minute walk from downtown, Riverfront Park, and all the sports and concert venues. But it is also surrounded by the somewhat impoverished Logan neighborhood, and one can quickly run into the depressed and ugly sections of town. The campus itself, however, is clean and beautiful. It's entirely possible to live only in the nice Spokane, mainly on campus but enriched by excursions to downtown or the South Hill. But to think that’s all there is to Spokane would be blatantly false.