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Old 07-06-2010, 10:15 PM
 
26 posts, read 68,648 times
Reputation: 17

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Hey everyone.....


So we are literally 3 days away from hitting the road to move to Philly from San Diego. My wife was accepted into grad school there at UPenn and we are renting an apartment off 45th street between Walnut and Spruce Street.

Sitting at the table of my wife's going away party tonight, a co-worker yabbers on all night downgrading the area. Basically saying because of the fact we are white, we are going to have some serious problems.

Going on and on about how people are gang raped, murdered, etc..and that we need to be carrying guns just to survive in that neighborhood. Apparently he's lived there back in the 90's and had to move out because it was so bad.

We are two young very laid back, mind our own business, type of married couple. I'm gonna take his stories with a grain of salt but I would LOVE any input to repute his shinagains so I can feel a little more at ease about the whole thing.

Its bad enough with the stress as it is. I don't want to have to worry about my wives safety. Growing up in a vario my entire life, I am very "street savy" and not to worried about it.

From what I've read on these boards, as long as I'm not gang-banging, selling drugs, or anything else along those lines, then we'll be fine
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Old 07-07-2010, 07:38 AM
 
20,219 posts, read 28,289,203 times
Reputation: 18063
It's not the best neighborhood to be out in at night, but if you utilize some "street smarts" your odds of not falling victim to a crime will increase. I'm not sure I agree with the violent crime aspect of your friends tirade as much as I might about muggings or car/home robberies. You'll more than likely fall victim to the latter in that neighborhood.
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Old 07-07-2010, 07:48 AM
 
Location: the luxury ghett-oh-noes
180 posts, read 608,342 times
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I've had friends live (alone!) on 44th and 45th just south of Walnut without incident. It is not quite as nice as it is further south, such as around 45th and Pine, but you guys should be fine. You will need to be vigilant in this area, especially at night, but during the day you shouldn't experience problems. Your wife can also take advantage of the Penn shuttle at night which will drop her off right at your door, and if she's on foot, can get security escorts home as well. Penn security will escort out to about 43rd street, then the University City district patrol will take over.

The easiest way to avoid incident here, anywhere really, is just to not make yourself targets. Don't walk with an iPod on so you can hear all of what's going on around you, minimize your talking on cell phones for the same reason. Also check the crime log published in the Daily Pennsylvanian every week--you will get an idea of incidents in this area.

You will be close to some nice small restaurants and coffee shops as well. You can find them dotted all around the neighborhood but some in particular not far from you are Unitea (great iced tea, especially in this weather), Tampopo (fast Asian fusion, not bad), Local 44 (a favorite neighborhood pub). These are clustered around the 44th and Spruce intersection, not far from where you'll be living.

Good luck.
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Old 07-07-2010, 08:26 AM
 
434 posts, read 1,084,777 times
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I went to Penn and lived in West Philly in the early-to-mid 1990s. I agree it was a bad neighborhood then, though perhaps not as dire around 45th St as your "friend" made it sound.

In any regard, things have DRAMATICALLY improved in West Philly. So much so that it's now called "University City" instead.

Penn has put a lot of money into improving the areas West of campus (as one example, I understand they've provided financial incentives to faculty & staff to live in University City as a way to increase the number of families) and it has worked. 15 or 20 years have passed and it's practically unrecognizable from my college days.

I'm a married woman with two kids and I would live there. Perhaps that says it all.
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Old 07-07-2010, 08:38 AM
 
7,960 posts, read 17,609,148 times
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I also lived in University City in the mid 90's and have visited the neighborhood as recently as a few weeks ago. I would agree that UC has improved significantly; it had already come a long way IMO when I had moved there. That said, I would also agree that using a bit of street wisdom at night wouldn't hurt in any urban environment.

University City houses and attracts a wide socioeconomic spectrum. There will certainly be a significant if not a majority of white households north to Walnut and west to about 48th. Many of them are even homeowners.

It sounds like you're prepared for city living; you and your wife should be fine.
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Old 07-07-2010, 12:24 PM
 
26 posts, read 68,648 times
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Thanks everyone for the sound advice...We are soooo looking forward and anxious to living in West Philly/UC that his comments kinda put a damper on things.

However your guy's insight and experience have helped out a lot. Thanks again and see ya in Philly
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Old 07-07-2010, 10:20 PM
 
Location: South Philly
1,943 posts, read 6,034,314 times
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For a few years I was a semi-regular at Abyssinia (the Ethiopian spot at 45th & Locust) as well as at the bar upstairs (Fiume). This was 2004-2006. I have friends who live at 48th & Walnut so that was the most convenient place (for them) to meet up. The food is still mediocre (at best) but the neighborhood is much improved - not to say that i thought it was bad back then. Seriously, just look at the menus at some of the cafes and restaurants (Local 44, Tampopo, Green Line Cafe, Rx, etc) around there and draw your own conclusions. I can help you out - people in the 'hood don't eat sushi or drink craft beer.

That neighborhood is probably 75% students, faculty, staff or recent grads. Unless some Chinese or Indian students are trying to make fun of you for being intellectually inferior while trying to attribute it to your ethnic background I can't imagine being harassed for being white. Most of your neighbors will be white.
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Old 07-09-2010, 08:17 PM
 
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I'm white and have just moved into a predominantly black neighborhood (east mt airy) from LA - and every single one of my neighbors on the block have introduced themselves, made sure I knew where the markets are and when to take the trash out, even brought over a garden tool for me to borrow because it looked like I was having a hard time digging up my flower beds.

I have never had such a warm welcome to a new place in my entire life. Southern CA could use a few pointers on how to be neighborly from these fine folks.
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Old 07-10-2010, 10:16 AM
 
Location: South Philly
1,943 posts, read 6,034,314 times
Reputation: 645
Quote:
Originally Posted by FinsterRufus View Post
I'm white and have just moved into a predominantly black neighborhood (east mt airy) from LA - and every single one of my neighbors on the block have introduced themselves, made sure I knew where the markets are and when to take the trash out, even brought over a garden tool for me to borrow because it looked like I was having a hard time digging up my flower beds.
Yes, my post focused on the misinformation in the OP but you are dead on.

I'm also white and most of my neighbors are not. Half of them don't speak english very well but no one has ever been anything but friendly and accommodating. You might want to make it part of your homework before moving somewhere but it's ridiculous to start with the assumption that because you look different from most people in your neighborhood that they're going to give you a hard time.

In this day and age I think most people have expectations about how their neighbors live and relate to their other neighbors and are less concerned with what they look like.
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Old 07-20-2010, 07:29 PM
 
26 posts, read 68,648 times
Reputation: 17
Just following up on my own thread here in the event that anybody cares. Anyhow, after a week and half long trip from San Diego in a truck with 3 cats and stopping at almost every state to see family.....

We made it to Philly !!!!

Been here for two days and got to say that the wife and I love it here so far. The neighborhood is extremely diverse and the locals hanging around the area have been nothin but nice whenever I ask for directions to the local liquor store or what have you.

The only con that we have experinced here are these damn freeways and having to drive through Philly itself to get to them. I swear every freaking exit in this state is a highway. If you miss your exit, you have to jump on two of them just to turn around.

I've also noticed that I can't rush through those intersections when that light turns yellow. People start walking as soon as it turns that color. Ain't like that back home in San Diego. Yellow always meant speed up
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