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View Poll Results: Where do you live?
Center City 18 25.00%
North Philadelphia 7 9.72%
South Philadelphia 7 9.72%
West Philadelphia 6 8.33%
Southwest Philadelphia 2 2.78%
Northeast Philadelphia 7 9.72%
Northwest Philadelphia 8 11.11%
Outside of the city 17 23.61%
Voters: 72. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-26-2017, 07:10 PM
 
Location: South Philadelphia
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Bait and Switch is a good seafood restaurant down the street from Hinge too.

Hard to beat where I live now though. So many good options.
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Old 04-26-2017, 08:25 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thedirtypirate View Post
Bait and Switch is a good seafood restaurant down the street from Hinge too.

Hard to beat where I live now though. So many good options.
If I lived in Center City, I'd feel kind of trapped because I probably wouldn't own a car. I'd feel limited with the options available to me within a leisurely walking distance.
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Old 04-26-2017, 08:26 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
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Originally Posted by thedirtypirate View Post
Bait and Switch is a good seafood restaurant down the street from Hinge too.
Yeah, I want to get there for their oyster happy hour.
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Old 04-26-2017, 08:26 PM
 
Location: The City of Brotherly Love
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I'll be moving to my first apartment in the Templetown/Cecil B. Moore neighborhood of North Philly on June 1st! After I graduate from Temple next May, I am looking at neighborhoods in every section of the city except the Northeast. My short list consists of: all Center City/University City neighborhoods, Fishtown/NoLibs, Fairmount, Pennsport, Manayunk, and Spruce Hill.
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Old 04-26-2017, 08:35 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
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Originally Posted by PhilliesPhan2013 View Post
I'll be moving to my first apartment in the Templetown/Cecil B. Moore neighborhood of North Philly on June 1st! After I graduate from Temple next May, I am looking at neighborhoods in every section of the city except the Northeast. My short list consists of: all Center City/University City neighborhoods, Fishtown/NoLibs, Fairmount, Pennsport, Manayunk, and Spruce Hill.
How about SW?
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Old 04-26-2017, 08:47 PM
 
Location: The City of Brotherly Love
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2002 Subaru View Post
How about SW?
If I did have to live in the SW, which I define as south of the Media/Elwyn Line (some people define it as south of Baltimore Avenue), 54th and Chester Avenue would probably be as far as I would go. Like the NE, the SW is very auto-oriented. The homes in certain sections, such as Eastwick, also lack the character of older buildings. If I did live in the SW, it would have to be along a trolley line.

As an aside: although I grew up in West Philly, the SW has always been the part of the city where I take extra precaution to be aware of my surroundings. I'm not scared of any portion of this city, but the SW can be unnerving at times, especially at night.
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Old 04-26-2017, 08:49 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
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Originally Posted by PhilliesPhan2013 View Post
I'm not scared of any portion of this city, but the SW can be unnerving at times, especially at night.
You ever been to 8th and Venango? lol
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Old 04-26-2017, 08:53 PM
 
Location: The City of Brotherly Love
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2002 Subaru View Post
You ever been to 8th and Venango? lol
Believe it or not, I have! I've also been to 2nd and Indiana, Kensington and Somerset, 29th and Lehigh, and many other places that would make other people question my sanity lol! I really enjoy exploring this city, even the "bad" parts.

Not to mention that I have made many pizza/Dunkin runs at 2AM while under the influence at Temple parties! I'm probably going to slap myself for doing what I do now when I become older and look back on my youth haha
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Old 04-26-2017, 08:58 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilliesPhan2013 View Post
Believe it or not, I have! I've also been to 2nd and Indiana, Kensington and Somerset, 29th and Lehigh, and many other places that would make other people question my sanity lol! I really enjoy exploring this city, even the "bad" parts.

Not to mention that I have made many pizza/Dunkin runs at 2AM while under the influence at Temple parties! I'm probably going to slap myself for doing what I do now when I become older and look back on my youth haha
Just be careful, young man! You saw those areas, now stay out of them. I take photos - shoot and scoot ... I wouldn't go into those neighborhoods without a motorized vehicle.
Thirty/thirty-five years ago, when I was a teen, I had the pleasure of 'exploring' the city with my dad on his tow truck (a side hustle to his Teamsters job). He had some balls, going into some of those neighborhoods ... amazing he never got set up and robbed, or worse. I know one thing, it taught me to appreciate Bridesburg.
When I was in my twenties and early thirties, I liked the thrill of those neighborhoods, (getting shot at in Frankford, me and my buddy breaking down near 8th and Marshall, bricks thrown at my car, looking for the corner boy who 'beat' us so we could run him down, seeing naked people wacked out on PCP, attacking buses or fistfighting - that sort of stupid nonsense), but once I got married I figured I made it this far, I just want to stay out of trouble and try to slide into retirement some day. I was actually very tame, I just put myself in a lot of situations that could have ended badly.
Stay out of Hunting Park and Frankford.

Last edited by 2002 Subaru; 04-26-2017 at 09:29 PM..
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Old 04-26-2017, 10:15 PM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spreadofknowledge View Post
So for the newcomers... Can some natives describe how each section of the city differs from one another.
Here's a rough description of the broad geographic divisions, what distinguishes each from another, and (some but not all of the) principal neighborhoods within them:

Center City
The original 1682 settlement Thomas Holme laid out for William Penn. Bounded by the rivers on the east and west, Vine Street on the north, and South Street on the south. (The southern boundary for Center City's ZIP codes, however, is Pine Street, so you will find the two southernmost blocks of Center City lumped in with South Philadelphia when stats based on ZIP codes are compiled.)

Neighborhoods within Center City are: Old City, Society Hill, Washington Square West, Chinatown, "Avenue of the Arts" (South Broad Street), Rittenhouse Square, Fitler Square, Logan Square. The "Gayborhood," which is roughly coterminous with "Midtown Village," is a subneighborhood within Washington Square West, but you will often hear both terms used independently.

(You may also hear references to "Greater Center City" these days. This is a term coined by the Center City District to refer to the neighborhoods to Center City's north and south that have been transformed by spillover development and even function as "bedroom suburbs" of Center City. The boundaries of "Greater Center City" extend into North and South Philadelphia and are also drawn at ZIP code boundaries: the ZIP codes covered in this territory are 19123, 19130, 19146 and 19147, and the neighborhoods roped in are Northern Liberties, Callowhill, Poplar, West Poplar, Spring Garden, Fairmount and Francisville in North Philadelphia and Southwark/Queen Village, Bella Vista, Hawthorne, Graduate Hospital, and parts of Pennsport, East Passyunk, and Point Breeze in South Philadelphia.)

This area is the heart of the city and contains most of its central business district. (A portion of the district has jumped the Schuylkill. See "University City" in West Philadelphia.) It's mostly affluent, though Wash West has a sizable student population (Jefferson and the University of the Arts) and Chinatown is mostly low income.

(I lived in Wash West, in or on the fringe of the Gayborhood, for 28 of the 34 years I've lived in this city.)

South Philadelphia
Everything between the rivers south of South Street, extending to the Navy Yard, which sits where the Schuylkill flows into the Delaware at Girard Point. (Actually, the rivers meet near the Navy Yard's west end, Broad Street in the Navy Yard ends at the Delaware.)

Neighborhoods in South Philadelphia include those mentioned above in "Greater Center City," Packer Park, Whitman, Girard Estate and Grays Ferry.

Once heavily Italian east of Broad and mixed but mostly Irish west of it, the area east of Broad has gone all multiculti, with pockets of Southeast Asian (Vietnamese, Cambodian, Thai) and Hispanic settlement; the fabled "Italian Market" is as Mexican as it is Italian these days. Millennials and younger, upwardly mobile whites have also moved in, as they have in Point Breeze on the other side of Broad, a neighborhood that became almost all black (and one of the city's most dangerous) after the whites fled. It's no longer dangerous, but some of the rowhouse blocks still have a run-down appearance. Girard Estate is unique among South Philly neighborhoods in that it consists just about entirely of twins, many in the Arts and Crafts style, dating to the early decades of the 20th century. Elsewhere, rowhomes rule, except in the newer Packer Park.

North Philadelphia
This district extends from Vine Street all the way to the city line at Cheltenham Avenue. Within it are most of the city's poorest neighborhoods and one of its wealthiest, a well-kept secret known mainly to those who live in or near it.

The poorest neighborhoods lie between Girard Avenue and Wingohocking Street, with the poorest of the poor on the west side of Broad. Temple University lies near the center of the district, and its hospital and medical school are a mile further north of the main campus. Neighborhoods within North Philadelphia include, besides those mentioned as part of "Greater Center City," Kensington (East and West), Strawberry Mansion, Sharswood, Tioga, Nicetown, Hunting Park, Logan, and East and West Oak Lane (not a complete list)

The median household income of the neighborhoods tends to rise as you head north. Logan is the lower-income gateway to the black middle-middle-class precincts of Ogontz, the Oak Lanes and the neighborhoods to the west of West Oak Lane (see Northwest Philadelphia). Bosky East Oak Lane is the well-kept secret; its leafy streets are lined with the sorts of large houses you see on the Main Line and in the suburbs to its immediate north, and the median household income in one of its Census tracts is about $115,000, with two others adjacent to it nearly as high. This is the premier address for Philly's quiet black bourgeoisie; West Oak Lane, across Broad, is home to the solid middle of the black middle class. There are also sizable concentrations of Latin Americans in the "Zona del Oro" centered on North Fifth Street south of Erie Avenue (5th and Lehigh is the central commercial intersection of this area) and of Koreans in Olney (Fifth Street north of Roosevelt Boulevard is this neighborhood's commercial district). Many erroneously refer to the neighborhood around Olney subway station, named for the cross street (Olney Avenue), as "Olney"- it's not; Broad and Olney is where Logan, Fern Rock, and Ogontz meet.

The River Wards
These neighborhoods look like they should be considered part of Northeast Philadelphia, but they're not, nor are they considered part of North Philadelphia. I put gentrifying East Kensington, which lies just above Fishtown, the southernmost of the River Wards neighborhoods, in with North Philadelphia, but I suspect its residents may no longer consider themselves part of that area.

The neighborhoods that comprise the River Wards are Fishtown, Old Richmond, Port Richmond and Bridesburg. All are experiencing gentrification to a greater or lesser extent save Bridesburg, a working-class, largely Irish neighborhood that exists in splendid isolation from the rest of the River Wards thanks to Frankford Creek on its south and the former Rohm and Haas (now Dow) chemical plant to its west. It's furthest along in Fishtown and is only grazing the edge of Port Richmond right now. (That neighborhood is separated from the ones to its south (Old Richmond and Fishtown) by a huge railroad right-of-way that led to a large coal pier once upon a time, which may account for the slowness of what I call "the Wave" washing over it.) Port Richmond's main commercial thoroughfare, Aramingo Avenue, is one of two big-box heavens in the city, the other being South Columbus Boulevard along the Delaware in Pennsport (see South Philadelphia).

Northeast Philadelphia
This is the area I refer to as "our vast in-city suburb." It's the last part of the city to be fully built out, with its northernmost reaches undeveloped as late as the 1970s. The Lower (or Near) Northeast developed earliest; it also contains the third-oldest settlement in the present-day city, the community of Frankford, where the El ends. Development gradually spread northward and eastward from these older areas in the decades following World War I, reaching Cottman Avenue by 1930 (on its east end) / 1950 (on its west end). Cottman Avenue, the main east-west thoroughfare across the middle of this district, is the dividing line between the Near and Far Northeast (the latter is never called the Upper Northeast). It's the largest of the city's districts both in area and in population, accounting for about one-third of its 135 square miles and about 450,000 of its 1.5 million residents. It's also the only part of the city that has a record of voting Republicans into elected office; the one Republican district member of City Council (two of the at-large seats are reserved for the minority party; Democrats outnumber Republicans in Philly by a 7:2 margin) hails from the Northeast's 10th Councilmanic District.

Neighborhoods in Northeast Philadelphia include Frankford, Lawndale, Crescentville, Oxford Circle, Castor Gardens, Wissinoming, Tacony, Rhawnhurst, Mayfair, Bustleton, Somerton and Torresdale (not a complete list).

This was the part of the city many whites fleeing the spread of African-Americans into white neighborhoods moved to, and their fears colored their reaction to some city improvements proposed for the district, most notably the Roosevelt Boulevard subway in the 1950s. It may be a delicious irony, then, that the Lower Northeast especially is experiencing the largest influx of immigrants of any part of the city, with most coming from Central and South America and the Caribbean. There's also a sizable Russian population in the western part of the Far Northeast.

(I lived just off Oxford Circle for 18 months in 2011-13.)

Northwest Philadelphia
Like Northeast Philadelphia, Northwest Philadelphia is something of a world apart from the rest of the city; unlike it, it's long been more polyglot and heterogeneous in just about every way. The term "Northwest Philadelphia" entered common usage only fairly recently; for most of its history, people just spoke of its constituent neighborhoods.

There are six of those, with the Wissahickon Valley separating two of them from the rest. The ones lying below the Wissahickon are Roxborough and Manayunk; above it lie Chestnut Hill, Mount Airy and Germantown. The Wissahickon, which flows "north-south" through the neighborhood (actually, northwest-southeast), turns southward at the edge of Roxborough and cuts it off from East Falls, the sixth neighborhood, which lies due south of Germantown and whose northern edge shares Germantown's ZIP code.

The ratio of single-family homes to those of other types is probably highest in this part of the city. Germantown, founded by German immigrant Daniel Pastorius in 1683 in response to William Penn's invitation, is the second-oldest settlement in present-day Philadelphia and its single largest neighborhood, with some 65,000 people living within its boundaries. (I've lived in Germantown since March of 2013.) Chestnut Hill, its northernmost neighborhood, contains the highest point in the city of Philadelphia, and its residents' incomes are also the highest - or were until Society Hill surpassed it sometime around 2010. Mt. Airy, the neighborhood between these two, gained a modicum of national fame in the 1960s when real estate agents there vowed to fight white flight, welcome African-Americans to the community and ensure that it became and remained integrated. Their efforts worked, by and large, even though the neighborhood as a whole today is about two-thirds Afriean-American, with the bulk of that population living in East Mt. Airy. East Mt. Airy's upper reaches, hard by the city line on Cheltenham Avenue, bear strong physical resemblance to the early post-World War II neighborhoods of Northeast Philadelphia and are their African-American analogues in terms of socioeconomic status. Manayunk, along the Schuylkill and otherwise encircled by Roxborough, has the look of an old mill town but the feel of a playground, as its Main Street is where many Main Line college students come to party on weekends. The grownups mix and mingle with them.

West Philadelphia
Northern Liberties and Southwark may have been Philadelphia's earliest suburbs, but the oldest of the modern-era suburbs lie in this part of the city. Those would be the streetcar suburbs of University City and the railroad suburb of Overbrook Farms, next to the first station on the storied Main Line.

Most of West Philly is rowhouse territory, with Baltimore Avenue and Fairmount Park serving as boundaries between the three broad divisions. Neighborhoods in West Philly include West Powelton, Cedar Park, Carroll Park, Wynnefield, Wynnefield Heights, Overbrook, Overbrook Park, Parkside and Overbrook Farms (not a complete list). Powelton Village, Spruce Hill and Walnut Hill are all neighborhoods within the subdistrict known as "University City."

Much of the district is African American and working class. U-City is more affluent, as is Overbrook Farms, and Wynnefield and Wynnefield Heights largely black middle class. Thanks to the return of a younger generation of white residents than the ones who fled it when crime spiked in the 1990s, Cedar Park today has the best black/white population balance (just about 50:50) in the city. Housing stock varies from the ubiquitous two-story row houses to substantial Victorian twins in U-City to Midcentury Modern homes in Wynnefield Heights. Overbrook Farms, a National Register historic district, boasts large single-family homes from the turn of the last century.

Southwest Philadelphia
The gentrification of South Philadelphia has left this district of the city its most uniformly low-income one, and no matter which tracks you refer to, this area's on the wrong side of them. Neighborhoods include Paschall, Kingsessing and Eastwick. According to the Wikipedia article on the district, it's also the city's most barren, with a tree canopy of less than one percent.

This district, however, is also a land of opportunity, as it's where most of the immigrants from West Africa to this city have settled. There's also a pocket of Vietnamese settlement in the neighborhood. Philadelphia International Airport, or at least that part of it in the city limits, lies at this district's southern tip, as does the Tinicum Marsh, home to the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge. The nation's first botanical garden, Bartram's Garden, lies at its northern end. Most of it was developed between World War I and World War II, with Kingsessing being slightly older and Eastwick much newer (historic Eastwick has pretty much been wiped from the map; what remains are the newer 1960s housing developments of what the planners tried to call "International City," a term that, unlike "University City," never stuck).

Others are welcome to fill in any gaps I left.

Last edited by MarketStEl; 04-26-2017 at 10:45 PM..
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