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Old 06-27-2007, 08:41 AM
 
9 posts, read 24,783 times
Reputation: 12

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Hi everyone,
I'm looking for advice about which city to move to at the end of the summer. I'm 25, single, and like living in cities (spent about 3 years in London, which I adore). I've only come to Philly a couple times, most recently in April to see whether I liked it. I thought it was beautiful and vibrant and cool, but then again, it was only 3 days, so I'd like some input from people who actually live there to see whether that was an accurate assessment.
I'm a librarian, so while I'll have a nice stable job and ok salary, I won't have any say at all over where I'm working, so I need some idea of the city as a whole (I realize that every neighborhood is different, and crime rates vary widely, of course).
My questions are:
1. how is public transportation? fast or slow? safe or scary? efficient enough to sell the car? anyone use the philly carshare service? thoughts?
2. what's going on with the young hipster scene? Are there lots of young people doing interesting things? lots of live music? good cheap entertainment? I'm pretty sure I know the answer to this one, but I'd love to hear any opinions you have.
3. do you feel a sense of community? This is a little strange, and I know you don't necessarily know your neighbors, but I used to love living in my place in London where everyone was different, but mostly they were friendly and willing to talk to strangers once in a while.

But mostly, if anyone can give me a comparison to living in Chicago (same situation, same questions) i would really really appreciate it.

Thanks!
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Old 06-27-2007, 10:33 AM
 
Location: .N6 A4
3,480 posts, read 4,373,748 times
Reputation: 2807
Quote:
Originally Posted by prettyisa View Post
I'm a librarian, so while I'll have a nice stable job and ok salary, I won't have any say at all over where I'm working, so I need some idea of the city as a whole (I realize that every neighborhood is different, and crime rates vary widely, of course).

My questions are:
1. how is public transportation? fast or slow? safe or scary? efficient enough to sell the car? anyone use the philly carshare service? thoughts?
The buses seem kind of slow to me (and they've tended to be very crowded just about any time I've used them). The El, the subway, and the subway-surface cars (which are good for heading out through Universtiy City/West Philadelphia) seem fairly fast. I live in center city, without a car, and don't actually use public transportation very often. I walk most of the time, and take taxis now and then. I would say the El and subway can be a little scary at night, though I'd have trouble putting an exact time on it (maybe after 10 or 11?). (I'm male, incidentally, so I'm not going to have all the same concerns as a female using the subway late at night.)

Quote:
2. what's going on with the young hipster scene? Are there lots of young people doing interesting things? lots of live music? good cheap entertainment? I'm pretty sure I know the answer to this one, but I'd love to hear any opinions you have.
I'm pretty much out of the young hipster scene, but I'd definitely say there is a lot going on. Check out the Philadelphia Weekly and Philadelphia City Paper for a surface impression of what's happening.

Quote:
3. do you feel a sense of community? This is a little strange, and I know you don't necessarily know your neighbors, but I used to love living in my place in London where everyone was different, but mostly they were friendly and willing to talk to strangers once in a while.
I have found that this has varies from one block (or even apartment building) to another. I don't think Philadelphia is either universally friendly or universally standoffish. I think that if you take the initiative of talking to the people around you, you'll at least find some who are receptive. I haven't actually lived in that many different neighborhoods, but I've found the Rittenhouse area, and that general section of center city, pretty friendly. (I've heard people say it's not a real neighborhood, but I think that's probably mostly sour grapes. I didn't have any more sense of community when I was living up in the Spring Garden/Art Museum area than I did when I lived in center city.)

On a negative note, I will be moving from this area primarily to get away from airborne mold (to which I am allergic), humidity, and poor air quality.

(I'm a librarian too. Maybe you can have my job.)
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Old 06-27-2007, 11:51 AM
 
7,968 posts, read 18,083,780 times
Reputation: 2593
I would have to concur with pretty much everything that Apartment Nomad with my own slight spin on things.

Philly is probably neck and neck in terms of mass transit options. The closer you live to Center City, the more choices and/or frequency you will have. If you choose to live in or near downtown, you will find plenty of late night taxis to hail down if you aren't comfortable using transit alone at that time.

Philly's hipster scene is alive and well in various Center City neighborhoods (particularly Old City and Northern Liberties) as well as University City and Manayunk among others. Add a .com and .net to find the two great sites mentioned above.

Like most Philadelphians, I am usually loathe to compare the city to New York... but in this case, my opinion is that you will get a bit of New Yorker-type "attytood" but we're likely to warm up to people a lot quicker. (Just don't wear an opposing sports team's jersey in the upper deck of any arena or stadium. ) That said, I will give credit that Chicago has a reputation for being a "kinder, gentler" version of New York in many ways. But then, if I had to deal with the stiff winter winds of Lake Michigan, I'd be nicer to people too.
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Old 09-20-2007, 02:59 PM
 
1 posts, read 3,235 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by prettyisa View Post
Hi everyone,
I'm looking for advice about which city to move to at the end of the summer. I'm 25, single, and like living in cities (spent about 3 years in London, which I adore). I've only come to Philly a couple times, most recently in April to see whether I liked it. I thought it was beautiful and vibrant and cool, but then again, it was only 3 days, so I'd like some input from people who actually live there to see whether that was an accurate assessment.
I'm a librarian, so while I'll have a nice stable job and ok salary, I won't have any say at all over where I'm working, so I need some idea of the city as a whole (I realize that every neighborhood is different, and crime rates vary widely, of course).
My questions are:
1. how is public transportation? fast or slow? safe or scary? efficient enough to sell the car? anyone use the philly carshare service? thoughts?
2. what's going on with the young hipster scene? Are there lots of young people doing interesting things? lots of live music? good cheap entertainment? I'm pretty sure I know the answer to this one, but I'd love to hear any opinions you have.
3. do you feel a sense of community? This is a little strange, and I know you don't necessarily know your neighbors, but I used to love living in my place in London where everyone was different, but mostly they were friendly and willing to talk to strangers once in a while.

But mostly, if anyone can give me a comparison to living in Chicago (same situation, same questions) i would really really appreciate it.

Thanks!


1. transportation is pretty fast and pretty good once you get to know where everything connects and such, and walking is nice too
2. theres a pretty huge hipster scene, what with all the UArts students and people from the surrounding colleges. and theres tons of live music, usually something somewhere every night, and at applebees they have a karaoke night on thursdays (i would never go to that!!) and theres a lot of good cheap entertainment especially with the music scene (check out R5 productions, their shows are usually under $10)
3. people are friendly! the nicer you are, the nicer they are. depending on the places you hang out, you're very likely to meet a few great people

the best places to live are definitly around center city but it really depends on your budget. find someplace that is near transportation like a subway or something.
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