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View Poll Results: Chicago MSA vs Philadelphia MSA: Most bang for your buck?
Chicago MSA 90 54.55%
Philadelphia MSA 49 29.70%
Too close to call 26 15.76%
Voters: 165. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-29-2011, 10:30 AM
 
Location: NY-NJ-Philly looks down at SF and laughs at the hippies
1,152 posts, read 961,876 times
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Compare these two cities/MSA metro areas by the listed criteria in terms of bang for your buck.

Bang

Beaches/Waterfront - List your favorites and explain why.

Dining - Compare in terms of quality and quantity of restaurants. Avoid discussing extremely expensive restaurants, discuss places a middle class American can afford.

Economic Niches - Discuss which city has the best economic niches for workers with an MBA. Avoid speaking about unemployment rates or current economic situations, simply their niches.

Location - Quick weekend vacations within driving distance, roughly 3 hrs.

Parks and Squares - List your top parks and squares in each city and explain why.

Sports Bars/Sports Environment - Which city has the best sports bars and sports environment.

Unique Neighborhoods - Name a couple neighborhoods that you feel are unique in both of the cities and explain why.

Weather - How much colder is Chicago than Philadelphia during peak winter months?

Other - I listed attributes most important to me. If you feel something should be added then do so. I left airport, landmarks, museums and transit off of my criteria on purpose. Feel free to mention these attributes, but please don't turn the thread into an argument over any of those topics.

Buck

Real Estate Prices (Buying a Home)

Rent Prices

Taxes

Last edited by Gateway Region; 06-29-2011 at 10:48 AM..
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Old 06-29-2011, 10:36 AM
 
4,945 posts, read 8,266,499 times
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Bang

Beaches/Waterfront areas - Chicago has closer proximity to water which is nice if you don't want to get out of town but Philly is a car ride away from the ocean. Tie

Dining - Chicago

Economic Niches - Chicago

Location - Philly

Parks and Squares - Philly

Sports Bars/Sports Environment - Tie

Unique Neighborhoods - commerical Chicago - residential Philly

Weather - Philly

Other - Philly close proximity to other east coast cities

Buck

Real Estate Prices (Buying a Home) Tie

Rent Prices Tie

Taxes Philly
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Old 06-29-2011, 10:54 AM
 
Location: The City
21,945 posts, read 30,822,191 times
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This is a tough one; close overall I would assume and likely the end user and specific neighborhoods and personal preference will dictate the choice

Both will also have wide ranges of housing costs so it it difficult to compare at a macro level. I believe their relative COL is very close though in aggregate

Thought Finest gave a decent summary above; the nod for some of these categories may be very personally subjective. i.e beach for example (yes in DT Chicago, but also no close beach scene which does exist an hour away in Philly so that to me would be a personal preference.)

To me it almost better to compare specific neighborhoods, in this respect Chicago will have more of every kind

Last edited by kidphilly; 06-29-2011 at 11:17 AM..
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Old 06-29-2011, 11:38 AM
 
Location: New York City
4,870 posts, read 4,511,920 times
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Bang

Beaches/Waterfront - Chicago is closer to water, but philly has beaches only 2-3 hours away. Tie

Dining - tie, both have their bit seller foods, and great restaurants.

Economic Niches - Maybe edge to chicago in 2011, but philly does have a large medical industry, and expansive colleges,

Location - definately philly

Parks and Squares - philly.

Sports Bars/Sports Environment - tie

Unique Neighborhoods - philly

Weather - depends what you like, i like warmer weather.

Other - philly ideal location, top notch suburbs.

Buck

Real Estate Prices (Buying a Home)- tie

Rent Prices- tie

Taxes- philly


both cities are very similar, in all aspects. Even when comparing the suburbs, they are very similar. Philly city is probably more affordable than chicago overall, but suburban philly i think is more expensive overall. Also philly is on an upswing right now, and chicago is not, so i would say that philly has a brighter future.
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Old 06-29-2011, 01:32 PM
 
Location: Chicago (from pittsburgh)
3,678 posts, read 4,353,592 times
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Bang


Beaches/Waterfront - Chicago. Chicago's urban waterfront is great.


Dining - Chicago by a hair if discussing strictly "moderate priced places". Chicago's high end dining is more extensive by a fair margin though.


Economic Niches - I'd say tie.


Location - Philly for sure.


Parks and Squares - It's a tie but I personally enjoy Chicago.


Sports Bars/Sports Environment - Wrigleyville. Not my scene though.


Unique Neighborhoods - I like both. Partial to Wicker Park, Bucktown, Lincoln Park and Logan Square in Chicago. Enjoy many Philly hoods too but I'm more familiar with Chicago.


Weather - How much colder is Chicago than Philadelphia during peak winter months?
This is something that a Google search can yield. Philly is slightly warmer and has better weather I'd say.

Other - Too many to list on my iPhone

Buck


Real Estate Prices (Buying a Home)- Depends in area.


Rent Prices- Tie


Taxes- Tie. Both have different areas that are better than others.

I enjoy both cities immensely.
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Old 06-29-2011, 01:35 PM
 
Location: Chicago (from pittsburgh)
3,678 posts, read 4,353,592 times
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Income comparisons should be added to the "buck" section
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Old 06-29-2011, 04:51 PM
 
Location: Philadephia!
191 posts, read 162,602 times
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Chicago def.

Philadelphia is just a thread more expensive. Not by much though.
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Old 06-30-2011, 04:08 AM
 
Location: NY-NJ-Philly looks down at SF and laughs at the hippies
1,152 posts, read 961,876 times
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I am surprised by how many people believe Chicago has higher taxes than Philadelphia. I never researched taxes in Chicago, but just assumed they would be more expensive in Philadelphia. Also, I noticed on the voting patterns tons of people are just voting for the city they live in or voting against the city they hate. I wish these people would explain why and add to the discussion.
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Old 06-30-2011, 07:53 AM
 
6,041 posts, read 10,367,833 times
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Hey! My responses are in the sections below

Compare these two cities/MSA metro areas by the listed criteria in terms of bang for your buck.

Bang

Beaches/Waterfront - List your favorites and explain why:

Chicago wins this easily. One of the best high rise skylines in the world against a big lake shore with a beach right there.

Philadelphia doesnt really have a waterfront, unless somebody counts the river next to it so I guess it still counts. And across the river is Camden New Jersey.

The waterfront in Philadelphia does not seem to be used that well, mostly because Camden is just across the river. However, there are some great neighborhoods not that far away from the river.



Dining - Compare in terms of quality and quantity of restaurants. Avoid discussing extremely expensive restaurants, discuss places a middle class American can afford.

Chicago wins this again easily. It has a larger quantity of quality affordable restaurants than Philadelphia. But Philly still has some good restaurants. It is just that Chicago has more variety and higher quantity of the quality.

Economic Niches - Discuss which city has the best economic niches for workers with an MBA. Avoid speaking about unemployment rates or current economic situations, simply their niches.

Both cities have great economies and a good diversity of different economic fields. I would say it is almost a tie but Chicago is probably a bit better than Philly with this.


Location - Quick weekend vacations within driving distance, roughly 3 hrs.

Yeah. I would say Philadelphia wins this pretty easily.

Chicago is kind of isolated in its Midwest location. Go 3 hours and someone can go to Wisconsin or Michigan. Minneapolis is a bit further than that and seem like an ok destination. There are some pretty good lakeshore, farm, and nature scenery places not that far away from Chicago.

But Philadelphia does much better in this regard. Just one hour and a half away and you are in New York City which is easily a one day trip. Go one hour the other direction and you are in Washington DC. Go one hour away east and you can reach the Atlantic ocean coastline along New Jersey coastline such as Atlantic City. Two hours north you can reach the Pocono mountain hills nature scenery area.


Parks and Squares - List your top parks and squares in each city and explain why.

I would say both cities have plenty of great parks and squares. But Chicago seems a bit better than Philly in this regard.

Sports Bars/Sports Environment - Which city has the best sports bars and sports environment.

I would say both cities are good for that stuff.

Unique Neighborhoods - Name a couple neighborhoods that you feel are unique in both of the cities and explain why.

Both cities have plenty of unique neighborhoods. I think Chicago does slightly better just because it is a bit bigger.

For Chicago, it is Chicago Loop, and all the Northern neighborhoods. I don't know the specific neighborhoods in Northern neighborhoods but I would say at least 10 great unique neighborhoods there other than Chicago Loop.

For Philadelphia it is Center City, Rittenhouse Square, Society Hill, and Walnut Hill. I am sure there are like 4 other unique neighborhoods.



Weather - How much colder is Chicago than Philadelphia during peak winter months?

Well Philadelphia is cold in the winter generally but Chicago gets a few notches colder than that and is usually 10 degrees colder than Philly from November to March. Also bitter arctic cold is more frequent in Chicago than Philadelphia. They both can get equal amounts of snowfall but some years Chicago gets more snow than Philly.

Other - I listed attributes most important to me. If you feel something should be added then do so. I left airport, landmarks, museums and transit off of my criteria on purpose. Feel free to mention these attributes, but please don't turn the thread into an argument over any of those topics.

Both cities are great places. They have plenty to offer. They also both offer plenty of urbanity. However, Chicago offers more high rise urbanity while for Philly it is more mid rise and low rise stuff. Overall, I would pick Chicago over Philadelphia.


Buck

Real Estate Prices (Buying a Home)

Both cities are actually affordable in terms of national standards especially for such desirable great cities. Relatively cheap real estate. Much more affordable than New York City.

Rent Prices

Same thing I said for real estate prices. Relatively cheap rents.

Also both cities offer plenty of great paying employment opportunities which is the added bonus to the relative affordability.

Illinois was actually rated the best state in the entire USA for cost of living in proportion to salary opportunities. Pennsylvania also made the top 10.


Taxes

Not the best in the USA but also not the worst for taxes.
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Old 07-01-2011, 11:46 AM
 
Location: Denver
6,628 posts, read 12,119,712 times
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Quote:
Bang
Cool topic! Two of my favorite cities in the country.

Quote:
Beaches/Waterfront - List your favorites and explain why.
Chicago by a wide margin. Philadelphia has access to some beautiful beaches in South Jersey, but Chicago has beaches which are probably just as nice. The main reason this is so far in Chicago's favor is the fact that the beaches are located next to the Financial District. When it comes to beaches/waterfront, Chicago offers one of the finest & most unique scenes in the country.


Quote:
Dining - Compare in terms of quality and quantity of restaurants. Avoid discussing extremely expensive restaurants, discuss places a middle class American can afford.
Hmm, this is a tough one for me. I haven't had the opportunity to eat extensively in either city, but they seem pretty similar. If we're going to compare their "signature" foods (Chicago Pizza vs Philly Cheese Steak), give me the cheese steak. I wasn't a huge fan of Chicago's pizza and I loved the cheese steak, so that's an easy choice for me. In terms of overall dining, I feel like they would be pretty equal with maybe a slight edge to Chicago due to its size and greater diversity.

Quote:
Economic Niches - Discuss which city has the best economic niches for workers with an MBA. Avoid speaking about unemployment rates or current economic situations, simply their niches.
This really depends on what field you're working in. If you're going into finance, business, or logistics, the answer is Chicago, hands-down. However if you're involved with science/tech/life sciences, Philadelphia is the clear winner here. While both of these cities are often noted for their high-crime and Blue-Collar Population (Philly)/Simple Folk (Chicago), they both boast some very powerful white-collar workforces.

Quote:
Location - Quick weekend vacations within driving distance, roughly 3 hrs.
Philadelphia, no doubt about it.

Chicago has the lake, which is very nice...but it's sort of isolated aside from that. I've been told there are some beautiful natural areas there too, but I haven't seen anything overwhelmingly great or anything that Philadelphia couldn't offer either.

Philadelphia on the other hand has the New Jersey Coast (avoiding the other name so as not to draw negative connections), Cape May, the Appalachian Mountains, New York City, Washington DC, Baltimore...Philadelphia benefits from a fanastic location.

Quote:
Parks and Squares - List your top parks and squares in each city and explain why.
The best park in either city would be Millennium/Grant Park in Chicago. They're located right on the edge of downtown, surrounded on 2 1/2 (the South is still developing) sides by skyscrapers, and Lake Michigan on the third side. It's arguably the best waterfront park in the country.

The best square in either city would be Rittenhouse in Philadelphia. It's a beautiful green square, surrounded by high-rise buildings. It sort of reminds me of Post Office Square here in Boston, but instead of commercial towers, it has residential. Definitely a beautiful place.

Quote:
Sports Bars/Sports Environment - Which city has the best sports bars and sports environment.
Yikes, this is a tough one. Along with New York and Boston, these two cities make up the Top 4 sports cities we have in this country, hands down. There is no argument. Chicago fans are known for being nicer (aside for when someone poisoned a Steeler fan last year in a Chicago bar and he went blind...permanently I think).

I haven't been in many sports bars in either city. In Chicago I didn't go because I wasn't near Wrigley (I went to some downtown, which were nice). In Philadelphia I didn't go because I'm from Boston and figured if I wore anything from Boston or said anything with an accent, I would receive Philadelphia's complementary bottle service (aka beer bottle to the head)...also because I didn't know where any were. I probably would have gone if I had known where to go. I imagine they're probably equal here.

In terms of the environment the stadiums are in, Chicago wins by a hefty margin. Philadelphia's sports complex is very cool, but not many places are going to beat Wrigley Field/Wrigleyville or the beautifully restored Soldier Field. However, the United Center and U.S. Cellular are both hideous.


Quote:
Unique Neighborhoods - Name a couple neighborhoods that you feel are unique in both of the cities and explain why.
I think both offer very unique neighborhoods, just from a different era. Chicago has the bungalow housing single-home neighborhoods of the late 1800s/early 1900s while Philadelphia offers one of the most beautiful Colonial stocks in the country. Both are loved for different reasons, but I prefer the Colonial variety, so I'd give the edge to Philadelphia here.

Quote:
Weather - How much colder is Chicago than Philadelphia during peak winter months?
Philadelphia is milder, but I've heard Chicago summers are more/less the best thing ever. I'll call it a draw.


Quote:
Other - I listed attributes most important to me. If you feel something should be added then do so. I left airport, landmarks, museums and transit off of my criteria on purpose. Feel free to mention these attributes, but please don't turn the thread into an argument over any of those topics.
Can't really think of much...you got pretty much everything.

Quote:
Buck


Quote:
Real Estate Prices (Buying a Home)
According to this, the median home prices in the metros went:

Philadelphia: $199,000
Chicago: $155,000

So Chicago is slightly more affordable than Philadelphia in this department.

Quote:
Rent Prices
Metro Studio 1 Bed 2 Bed 3 Bed
Philadelphia $888 $957 $1,155 $1,706
Chicago $965 $1,009 $1,360 $1,820

Before people raise their eyebrows about the fact that studios cost so much, take into account that this is for the metro. I would be willing to bet 95% of studio apartments are located in the heart of the city, in areas which are of higher land value. 1 & 2 BR apartments can be located anywhere in a metro, including low-income areas. For this reason, studio apartment numbers will seem high.

Interesting that real estate is more expensive in Philadelphia, but rent is more in Chicago.

Quote:
Taxes
No clue.
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