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Old 07-23-2017, 01:04 PM
 
Location: Boston Metrowest (via the Philly area)
4,265 posts, read 7,192,396 times
Reputation: 3952

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MMS02760 View Post
I found Philly to be a bit boring and much of it lacking character. The grid pattern with wide streets belie its age and while helping traffic flow give it little charm. Much of the historic parts are a bit from downtown area by city hall where I stayed. Seemed to have little connection to the Delaware River. It was a wasteland between the stadiums and center city. Would not know you were in such a big city on the nearby streets. South Philly neighborhood with Italian district and steak & cheese places was dumpy. Area by Temple was downright scary. Liked parts of the city (Independence Square/University City/South St) but they weren't really cohesively connected. My overall impression was rather blah and felt the city tried too hard to be like NYC but failed.
Philly is many things, but lacking character and wide streets are absolutely not among them. Few would also call the city "boring," as it's one of the few US cities that folks from ALL walks of life, with so many different interests and experiences, live in.

I've also yet to come across another city with such architectural variety over such a small area (yes, rowhouses have literally hundreds of styles), and small-scale streets.

Your description of "wasteland" is also extremely insulting, as South Philly is chock full of interesting architecture and culture. It's a shame that you decided it wasn't worth your time.

Last edited by Duderino; 07-23-2017 at 01:57 PM..
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Old 07-23-2017, 01:07 PM
 
Location: Nashville TN, Cincinnati, OH
1,798 posts, read 979,158 times
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I think Philly does not have much of a national reputation good or bad, I never think about it. I like Philly but it has a location in which it is overshadowed by NYC, Boston and DC.
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Old 07-23-2017, 01:18 PM
 
Location: Boston Metrowest (via the Philly area)
4,265 posts, read 7,192,396 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shakeesha View Post
I disagree. Chicago and San Francisco are better.
For those who prefer human-scaled, street level urbanity, that's where the perspective of Philly prevailing comes from.
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Old 07-23-2017, 01:32 PM
 
9,701 posts, read 6,676,246 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duderino View Post
For those who prefer human-scaled, street level urbanity, that's where the perspective of Philly prevailing comes from.
Yeah, Philly is at arguably #2, if you like European-style street level urbanity.

It's REALLY strong in this regard for U.S. standards, better than SF and MUCH better than Chicago. Philly streets are small and buildings are old and urban.
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Old 07-23-2017, 01:36 PM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
3,504 posts, read 2,731,636 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NOLA101 View Post
Yeah, Philly is at arguably #2, if you like European-style street level urbanity.

It's REALLY strong in this regard for U.S. standards, better than SF and MUCH better than Chicago. Philly streets are small and buildings are old and urban.
What would you put as number one? I'm assuming NYC, but perhaps you're speaking of DC, given the criteria of European-style?
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Old 07-23-2017, 01:40 PM
 
9,701 posts, read 6,676,246 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CityGuyForLife View Post
What would you put as number one? I'm assuming NYC, but perhaps you're speaking of DC, given the criteria of European-style?
NYC by a landslide. NYC has like 5 million people living in extreme high density. No other metro has even 100k people in equivalent environments.

And NYC has huge areas that are as human scaled as Philly but even denser (much of Manhattan south of Midtown and much of Brooklyn). It's like the best aspects of Philly married with the best aspects of Chicago, then supersized and mega-densified.
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Old 07-23-2017, 01:42 PM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
15,669 posts, read 18,223,008 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westburbsil View Post
I am curious. I was just in Philly and have been many times. I find it to be a great American city. Yet anytime I talk to someone and tell them I am going to Philly the responses are always the same. "I'm sorry," "why," Filthadelphia?
Couldn't tell you why. Philadelphia is a very good, urban city. I can't see how someone could take a hop-on hop-off double-decker tour of the city and not be impressed.

Maybe the people who have a negative view of the city spent their time in the worst, run-down parts of it. Who knows?
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Old 07-23-2017, 03:21 PM
 
Location: Erie, PA
2,276 posts, read 928,196 times
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Philly doesn't have the worst perception problem among major U.S. cities.

That "honor" would go to Detroit.

It's a shame, because not all of the city is like it is commonly depicted.

I've been to Philadelphia and it was okay. I was in both gritty sections as well as more middle-class sections of it; it wasn't bad.
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Old 07-23-2017, 05:06 PM
 
1,953 posts, read 2,570,265 times
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Philadelphia does have a perception problem, and much of it is generated by Philadelphians themselves. Too many people you run into hear just flat out seem to be angry and/or unhappy -- often simply about being in the city. The infamous Philadelphia "Addytude" -- which some folks take pride in -- didn't develop out of the ether.

It is a most unique city build on an intimate, walkable European scale. It has amazing architectural diversity, has high culture and a unique sense of maintaining its natural environment: Fairmount Park is the largest in-city park in the world. Also the Paris-inspired City Hall is the largest municipal building in the world. Despite its compactness and density, several sections of the city, esp in the northwest section, seem semi-rural or deep in forest land. And Philly still has a working farm as well as the Saul Agricultural High School, with horses and a petting farm. And immediately adjacent to the NW section (at Chestnut Hill) is the huge, gorgeous and decidedly rural Erdenheim Farm, with its centuries old farm houses and brick barns... This stuff is simply amazing for any American big city...

And Philly's comprehensive rail and bus transit network allows one easily to live without a car. (no it's not the New York subway, as so many locals will state, but why must everything in Philly be compared to one of the largest and most cosmopolitan cities on the planet just because it's nearby?)

Unfortunately too many Philadelphians rag on their city. I can't tell you how many times I've run into Philadelphians, of multiple races, say they literally "hate" the City. When I was apply for a job in the city a number of years ago, 3 separate people asked me why I would leave a "great" city like D.C. to come to Philadelphia? One young Philadelphia guy told me he prefers to hang out in Baltimore because Philly is "dead."

And of course we know about the "Filthydelphia" reputation which, I have to admit, is deserved. It's overall the dirtiest big city I know of in America -- New York included (and in my mind NYC gets a bit of a bye in squeezing so many people into a limited space). I've seen lots of trash in gutters, in row house yards, backyards and RR rights of way, among others. I've seen people, even along Lincoln Drive in Fairmount Park (Wissahickon creek) actually throw trash out the window... this is true of even solid middle class areas like Germantown, Mt. Airy (which is partly upper middle to wealthy) and Roxborough.

... and worst of all, I've never lived in or visited a place where I've seen so many cases of human feces in public places -- even in the middle of the corridor of Suburban train station on a Saturday morning.

With all the beautiful areas and buildings I've noted (esp in Center City), there are significant portions that have a kind of rundown appearance too. Too many. Even in City Hall, which they've finally really fixed up a few years ago to make this gem of a building more people friendly -- it's central courtyard is now permanently open and the front plaza (facing 15th Street) now has dancing fountains in Summer for kids to romp in (ice skating in winter), outdoor seating and a few daytime restaurants. But inside City Hall is still a dungeon with some paint peeling walls and poor lighting... Such is the nature of Philly...

... I will add that Philadelphians often, unfairly, downplay their special nature, especially the arts, because of an inferiority complex to New York which is only 90 miles up I-95. That's too bad because this highly interesting city has so much uniqueness, physical beauty, culture, restaurants and entertainment.
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Old 07-23-2017, 05:22 PM
 
1,709 posts, read 692,689 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheProf View Post
And of course we know about the "Filthydelphia" reputation which, I have to admit, is deserved. It's overall the dirtiest big city I know of in America -- New York included (and in my mind NYC gets a bit of a bye in squeezing so many people into a limited space). I've seen lots of trash in gutters, in row house yards, backyards and RR rights of way, among others. I've seen people, even along Lincoln Drive in Fairmount Park (Wissahickon creek) actually throw trash out the window... this is true of even solid middle class areas like Germantown, Mt. Airy (which is partly upper middle to wealthy) and Roxborough.

... and worst of all, I've never lived in or visited a place where I've seen so many cases of human feces in public places -- even in the middle of the corridor of Suburban train station on a Saturday morning.



.
I think the word these days is "gritty". In all seriousness though, that is my biggest problem with Philadelphia, too. I rather have "sterile" cities i that means they are actually clean and maintained the super "urban" and "gritty" places if those descriptions merely are an excuse for filthy.
Philadelphia is a great city but I do wish they would clean it up it is unbecoming for such a place.
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