Being a former Del Norte resident, I couldn't agree with you more...though our adoptive Willo neighborhood is pretty great as well!
Best Historic Neighborhood Phoenix 2009 - Del Norte Place
In the realm of central Phoenix historic districts, Del Norte Place is flanked by some heavy hitters: Encanto-Palmcroft, Willo, Roosevelt, and F.Q. Story. But this little sleeper of a neighborhood, dating to the 1920s, is an idyllic place. Its broad, tree-lined streets and carefully manicured lawns make you feel you're somewhere else, like Mayberry. People hang out on their front porches and kids ride their bikes and play in the street. The architecture varies from English Cottage to California ranch, with front porches rather than monster garages.
Spend any time here and it's evident that this is a tight-knit neighborhood. The well-organized Del Norte Place Neighborhood Association is all about being, well, neighborly. They organize neighborhood yard sales and get together for summer BBQs, holiday parties, and Easter egg hunts. Now, who's got the apple pie?