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Old 11-13-2007, 10:27 PM
 
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Hey,
I was pretty interested in the topic of Philadelphia and the greater metropolitan region. If you are from or know much about the area, please share your insights to any of my questions. Thanks.

I specifically was interested in knowing

1) Is Philadelphia considered a Northern, Mid Atlantic, both, or neither city?
-I always considered Philadelphia to be a northern city like New York as opposed to Baltimore and DC.
-My reason for this is that Philadelphia is in Pennsylvania which was and is considered a northern state, and borders New Jersey within the metro area, and extending to Delaware, another northern state I thought.
-Further Philly's economy seemed very much to be one historically based on shipping and industry as opposed to agriculture, as in the south.
-The accents of the residents seemed somewhat close to New York, a northern accent, as opposed to Baltimore which is a bastardized southern accent.
-Not to mention Philadelphia has a very big sports identity, which again is more like a northern city than the more apathetic mid Atlantic and south.
-All of these factors lead me to believe Philadelphia is a northern city.

2) However, I am a bit confused.
-Unlike, say Boston which is undoubtedly northern and in New England, geographic books tend to vary when classifying Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware.
-Some classify PA and NJ as northern or mid Atlantic.
-Same goes for DE, which also gets classified at times as southern.

-Further, while Philadelphia is only 90 miles to New York, it is barely 100 miles to Baltimore and 140 to Washington, both Mid Atlantic towns.
-This makes classifying it even harder.

-If one were to classify Philadelphia as northern, how is it that its geographical region evolves within 100 miles of Baltimore, the heart of the mid Atlantic?
-Similarly if one were to classify Philadelphia as Mid Atlantic, how is it the geography region evolves within 100 miles of New York, a clear northern city?

-I feel Philadelphia is Northern again due to the states its sphere influence engulfs, its ethnic demographics, accents, history, economy, and culture.
-If it were say 200 miles from Baltimore it would be a slam dunk.
-The fact it is so near the Mid Atlantic is what makes it confusing.
-Can someone explain?
-Am I right?

3) Metro Region
-What exactly encompasses the Philadelphia metro region?
-Is the Philadelphia region much like New York in that it is part of a tri state region?

4) Pennsylvania
-What counties, cities, how deep and far north and east into Pennsylvania does the Philadelphia region, influence, and commuters go?
-One thing I noticed, I once took the PA Turnpike extension from the NJTP to the first exit, and the south into Philly.
-Having lived in the New York tri state region, and now the DC region, I was surprised to see how rural looking the Levittown region of Pennsylvania. To me it looked as if it was the sticks, not a satellite suburb of a very old and large, influential metro region.
-In DC this used to not be uncommon, since most of the growth is new. In Philadelphia though, I thought it would be more like New York with a large commuting radius and sphere of influence given its huge and old urban population.
-That region is very close to the edge of the city limits and looked like it does maybe 50 miles from DC. Was this just a false illusion and if not how do you explain?

5) New Jersey
-Similarly, I ask the same question for New Jersey.
-What counties, cities, how deep and far north, south, and east does the Philadelphia region, influence, and commuters go?
-Is it only South Jersey or also Central and Northwest Jersey?
-Where in New Jersey does it go from being part of the New York region to more Philadelphia based?
-Is there a specific line of demarcation, or river, where it suddenly shifts, a county line or is it more gradual, and if so, where?

6) New Jersey II
-Again I have been surprised to notice driving down the NJTP how rural SJ appears in contrast to North Jersey. In fact, when I was young, I was shocked to learn that Philadelphia bordered South Jersey because on the NJTP one gets the feeling you are out, again, in the sticks.
-Whereas in the New York region it is heavily built up and developed all along throughways like I-95 and the GSPkway in North Jersey, once you cross the Delaware Memorial Bridge into Salem County you would never guess you are so close to Philadelphia.
-Looking at a map I was stunned to see the NJTP runs within maybe 12 miles or so parallel to Philadelphia. This area of the NJTP has a lot of trees which easily mask any low density development. Contrast this to North Jersey where the road is 5 lanes or more with factories, high rises, all over. Again is it my illusion or is there an explanation for the contrast?
-I really have a hard time comprehending this because I always felt Philadelphia was a major metro region, yet the fact it's landscape is so undistinguished within 15 or so miles of center center seems contradictory.

7) Salem County
-Again I am shocked at how rural this county looks from the NJTP given its proximity to Philadelphia?
-I don’t get how you cross the Delaware Memorial Bridge, where it is built up, and you can see both Wilmington and Philadelphia, yet it looks rural?
-Someone familiar with this county, can you describe it?
-Is it rural or part of the Philadelphia metro region?
-Would you describe it as northern or southern/mid Atlantic?
-What are the residents like, do they have southern accents and, no offense, hickish?

8) Delaware
-Similarly, I ask the same question for Delaware.
-What counties, cities, how deep and far north, south, and east does the Philadelphia region, influence, and commuters go?
-As I have driven on I-95 it seems Delaware, New Castle County, is very built up and part of the Philadelphia region. Until you pass Christiania to Newark and it gets rural looking.
-Is this the case?
-Why does the sphere of influence or commuting zone appear to abruptly end even though it is still near Philadelphia?
-Is this really commuter range for Philadelphia or mostly Wilmington?

-What about Kent County, including Dover? Is this part of the Philadelphia and commuting region? I am confused because while it appears closer to Philadelphia I have heard they get Baltimore stations too.
-What about Sussex County?
-Overall would you consider Delaware to be a Northern/Southern/Mid Atlantic or mix state?
-I find this hard to classify because if part of the Philadelphia area, I would consider it northern.
-I have heard northern New Castle residents have a northern accent.
-I also though have heard southern Delaware is Baltimore and DC based and has southern accents, which makes it hard to classify. Is it possible the state is both?
-If so, where does the shift begin?

9) Maryland
-I'd also like to ask, is northern Maryland, Cecil County, part of the Philadelphia region, making it a quad state region.
-I don't understand why whenever I drive south on I-95 after Christiania, Delaware becomes rural all the way into Cecil County.
-Philadelphia is a city of close to one million and regarded as large market. People in the New York region commute within a 60 or more mile radius.
-This is not uncommon in DC as well.
-I would assume for a big market like Philadelphia it would be well built up and with commuters within at least a 45 mile radius for something as old as that town.
-I don't understand than why around Christiania, less than 40 miles from Philadelphia into northern Maryland, it seems to be well outside the commuting range?
-Is it, and do you have an explanation?

10) Baltimore to Philadelphia Shift
-Is there a location where it shifts from being Philadelphia based to more Baltimore, and if so, where in Delaware, Maryland, and Pennsylvania?


11) Relative to the rest of Pennsylvania, what is Philadelphia's relationship?
-While undoubtedly the largest market, is Philadelphia the flagship icon for the state as say Boston would be in Massachusetts or is Philadelphia, while a big market, an anomaly relative to the rest of the state?
-Is it seen as simply being representative of southeast Pennsylvania, but those outside this region choosing to identify more with the culture of Pittsburgh if not holding a grudge against Philadelphia?
-If so why, and where does this begin?

12) How would you identify the mainstream residents of the Philadelphia region?
-Having again lived in the New York region, outside of the mass immigration I would say the region is both blue and white collar northern.
-Having lived in the DC region I can say this white collar and mid-Atlantic with many transplants and hicks.
-What about the Philadelphia region? Is this largely characterized by white, blue collar, or both? How about it being northern/mid Atlantic?
-Does the region have a lot of hicks, or is this outside the region, and where does that begin?
-I heard that Pennsylvania is very hickish once you leave the Philadelphia region.

13) New York commuters
-Are there a lot of New York commuters in this region?
-I believe I read there are a surprising number of NY commuters in this area, which I find shocking.
-First while the two cities are close, still it is 90 miles away. Yes Acela is fast, but it does not run regularly like a metro line and is quite expensive.
-Further Philadelphia is not some satellite city, it is a major, old big market, I would find it shocking that it would be a satellite city since it has its own identity.
-If this were the case, is it really commuter or just transplants?
-Further if someone lives in the Philly region but commutes to the New York region, which region do they identify with? Would they more likely be a Philadelphia or New York sports fan?
-I would expect if this were the case that Philadelphia would not have much of a big pride identity and many more New York fans at their sports evens which is not the case making me question this.
-Also, is this the entire Philly region, or if this phenomena does exist, is it more in Central NJ, which is ground zero between the two mega cities?

14) Which cities do you consider to be your biggest rival or have the most animosity towards?
- Is it New York due to size and proximity?
-Pittsburgh since it's instate?
-Washington or Baltimore given proximity?
-How would you rank, and is there a strong anti-New York sentiment across the region or is this more in South Jersey and due to opposition of North Jersey dominance?

15) Lastly I'd like to know, is Philadelphia or the region a big hockey area?
-It seems in Philadelphia the Eagles are number, but oddly for a US City with 4 major teams, the Flyers number two.
-I base this on the fact the Flyers always appear to sell out, and have a large road fan base presence.
-Those I know from Philadelphia I most often see them in Eagles then Flyers then Phillies then 76ers gear.
-Is this again an illusion?
-Are the Flyers are legit number two or is it just their fans are more loyal and visible?
-I don't understand why given Philadelphia has a big African American population which traditionally steers towards the NBA not the NHL.
-Where do most of the hockey fans come from?
-The city or suburbs, and which, PA/NJ/DE?

-Relative to New York and Pittsburgh, is Philadelphia a bigger hockey town, or is it like those two with it being big however way behind other sports, like the Steelers or Yankees/Giants?



Thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 11-14-2007, 08:20 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia
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PA counties in the Philly Metro Area - Bucks, Motgomery, Chester, and Delaware.
I guess you can also say Lancaster and Berks are in Philly's sphere of influence.

NJ counties - Camden, Burlington, and Gloucester.
Salem, Cumberland, Atlantic, and Cape May counties are in Philly's sphere of influence.

The border between the Philly and NYC metro is blurred. The borderlands are basically Mercer and Ocean counties which have both Philly and NYC influences. Some say I-195 is a good border line between north and south NJ.

The Philly-Baltimore border is much clearer. Cecil County, MD is part of the Greater Philly Metro Area and is mostly rural so that serves as a good transition btwn Philly and Baltimore. As for Delaware, I believe the 2 northern counties (New Castle and Kent?) are in the Greater Philly Metro and the southern county (Sussex?) is part of Baltimore.

Not too sure about commuting patterns, usually most people do not commute to Philly from south of Wilmington. Philly does not have as strong a job market as DC and NYC do and housing prices are more affordable, therefore people do not have to usually move great distances away from the core.

I'd say New York is Philly's biggest rival given the sheer size of NYC, the close proximity and the blurring of the metro areas.

Again, these are just my general observations and opinions. Anyone feel free to add on.
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Old 11-14-2007, 08:27 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia
690 posts, read 2,640,973 times
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Also, regarding your comments on the NJTP, the portion in Salem and southern Gloucester county is most definitely rural. However the portion of between exits 5 and 4 to between exits 3 and 2, south jersey is heavily developed and suburbanized. It is deceiving on the NJTP as the narrower roadway coupled with the large right-of-way allows it to be tree-lined and hidden from the development. This is not the case in North Jersey where the right-of-way had to be used to widen the roadway significantly.
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Old 11-14-2007, 01:56 PM
 
Location: Boston Metrowest (via the Philly area)
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You posed a lot of questions, so I'll do my best to give a generalized answer:

With regard to what you saw as rural areas relatively close to the city core, you're correct that sometimes you'd never guess that you're so close to such a major city. However, two points: 1.) That is not unique to the Philadelphia. 2.) I don't necessarily agree that an older metro area would have to be completely developed everywhere near the city core -- in fact I believe the opposite. From my experiences, considerably rural areas can be found no more than 15 miles outside of Boston, Baltimore, and DC. In the New York metro region, as well, Sussex County in New Jersey is pretty rural, and that is no further than 50 miles from the city. Thus, I believe that because these are older cities, development was more emphasized at the core, as suburbia was largely not realized until the mid-twentieth century (i.e., Levittown).

About regional identity, Philadelphia is a surefire Northeastern city (Mid-Atlantic could also be applied, as I see that term only as a differentiation of the non-New England Northeast). As well, Baltimore historically may have been in a border state, but its industry, economy, ethnic heritage, and Mid-Atlantic accent very similar to that of Philadelphia's inextricably links it to the North. DC arguably has more historical Southern influence than Baltimore, but certainly the suburbanization of the entire Northeastern corridor (which also resulted in a mass influx of Northerners to the Washington area) over the past 50 years has as undoubtedly linked the Washington/NoVA MSA culturally and economically to the Northeast. Today it brings up the tail-end of the the BosWash megalopolis.

As far as the cultural and economic spheres of influence go for the Philadelphia area alone, the vast majority of South Jersey (Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Salem, and Ocean Counties), Northern Delaware (New Castle and Kent Counties), the Northeastern Maryland corner (Cecil County) and Southeastern Pennsylvania (Montgomery, Chester, Bucks, Delaware, Berks, Lancaster, and to some extent, the Lehigh Valley - Lehigh and Northampton counties) are all influenced by Philadelphia in some way, shape, or form -- whether it be media (sports, news, local cable channels), culture (food, hobbies), consumer trends (shopping) and job markets (commuter patterns).

Delaware Valley - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Although Mercer County (i.e., Trenton) in New Jersey has more economic and historical ties to Philadelphia, it has been added to the NYC MSA. If anything, that is one county that should be seen as the "dividing line," even though it certainly does just meld together, to which the previous poster already alluded. There definitely is a little more of a clear cut definition between the Balt/Wash region and Philadelphia in rural Cecil County, Maryland, as was already stated, but I'm sure that will not be the case for too long.

I hope my assessment give you some perspective from someone who is from the area.

Last edited by Duderino; 11-14-2007 at 03:02 PM..
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Old 11-14-2007, 07:30 PM
 
Location: Montco PA
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What are you, trying to write a research paper? Interesting questions you ask.

Random thoughts:

I agree that Levittown can be seen as somewhat "rural" but I don't think it's because of open space. I think it's the general lack of a modern feel there (the homes are old, and, in my opinion, a bit ugly (hick-y, you might say), the lack of street lighting, the lack of adequate infrastructure, the fact that much of the development occurred there at the beginning of what we now call suburbia, etc.). Check out Whitemarsh Township, which borders Chestnut Hill (a Philadelphia neighborhood). There's about 1 square mile of open space (mostly estates) there. I agree that this is not unique to Philadelphia. In fact, not that far outside Boston you'll find Walden Pond, which to me is not a farming-rural but a woode-rural area. Also, you definately see rural outside Baltimore, and, if I'm not mistaken, Baltimore County has a significant number of active farms.

How is Levittown the "sticks" to you? It's certainly no Tyson's Corner VA or Seacacus NJ, that's for sure. But it's fairly built-out with housing. Have you actually ventured into Levittown, or are you basing your opinion on the brief shelter of trees that you see off the PA Turnpike? Philadelphia is surrounded by old communities. In my opinion these communities have created impediments to suburban sprawl. It's hard to build a massive office park when every 3 miles in suburban Philadelphia you are in another small town. So instead of edge cities like Tyson's Corner, you get lots of places like Horsham that have about 2-3 million square feet of office space (edgeless cities).

Philadelphia's infrastructure (interstates, etc.) is largely outdated and inadequate, so it's tough to commute from DE or MD to the city. However, there's lots of people who commute 50 miles from the Lancaster area to the King of Prussia area for work (KOP is an edge city of Philadelphia). To commute from Lancaster to Center City is just not very feasible.

Philadelphia is surrounded by a huge band of suburban sprawl, though it's not as dense as NYC's sprawl. Drive around 10-15 miles outside Center City to places like Plymouth Meeting, Conshohocken, and King of Prussia, and you'll see quite a few mid-rise buildings. Drive another 10-15 miles out (to places like Collegeville or Lansdale) and you'll see big pharma complexes and new shopping centers.

I see very little anti-NYC sentiment in suburban Philly (PA side). You might be right about the anti-NYC sentiment in South Jersey because there is a belief by many there that they are generally ignored in favor of North Jersey (I would tend to agree with this, but I don't live in NJ so I'm not the expert).

Another thought: Until recently, PA has been on a fairly significant 40-year slump, bleeding industrial jobs. This has largely slowed down, and in some places things are looking up. The last 40 years right outside Philly have included massive layoffs at industrial facilites in places in Lower Bucks County and Eastern Delaware County. With all these layoffs, there hasn't been much new growth in these regions. They are essentially rings of blue-collar housing surrounded by abandoned industrial sites.

Last edited by BPP1999; 11-14-2007 at 08:10 PM..
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Old 11-21-2007, 04:57 PM
 
Location: Willow Grove, PA
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Sorry, but I had to snip your commentary as the response was too long to post correctly. I just kept the beginning of each question for reference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluecountry View Post

<snip>

I specifically was interested in knowing

1) Is Philadelphia considered a Northern, Mid Atlantic, both, or neither city?
-I always considered Philadelphia to be a northern city like New York as opposed to Baltimore and DC.

<snip>
Mid-Atlantic & Northern are subjective terms. It appears that you're really caught up in categorizing cities as one of the other, when in reality, they're somewhat interchangeable. Mid-Atlantic is really a term that reflects the blending area between the notheast & southeast...in some ways, New York city is considered to be Mid-Atlantic as well, such as in meteorology, where Mid-Atlantic refers to a specific climatology that's indigenous to the DC to NY corridor.

All of the old port cities of the Mid-Atlantic/Northeast really grew because of access to the raw materials required for heavy industry. Philadelphia was considered "The workshop of the world" in the 19th century becasue of it's industrial dominance. Access to the coal regions of central PA along with it's status as a major port led to the growth of the Pennsylvania Railroad, Baldwin Locomotive Works, Stetson Hats, Disston Saws, etc. Philadelphia was also the largest city in the US at that time.

As far as accents go, Philadelphia has a distinctive accent of it's own. Baltimore does as well, and I would say that the Philadelphia accent is fairly close to the Baltimore accent. New York's accent is closer to a New England type of accent.

Quote:
2) However, I am a bit confused.
-Unlike, say Boston which is undoubtedly northern and in New England, geographic books tend to vary when classifying Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware.

<snip>
Again, you're hung up on labeling a city as one or another, when in fact, it's unnecessary and ambiguous. Baltimore & Philadelphia are almost identical in many ways. I don't understand why you feel it's so important to label a city as one or another?

Quote:
3) Metro Region
-What exactly encompasses the Philadelphia metro region?
-Is the Philadelphia region much like New York in that it is part of a tri state region?
I think this has already been answered, but it's pretty much a tri-state area, with maybe some spherical influence into far northeastern Maryland. South Jersey is pretty much undefinable, but I wouldn't really use I-195 as the border as some do. I would probably go by the old East Jersey/West Jersey borderline up through Mercer County, where Trenton is kind of in the New York sphere of influence. If you use I-195, you're including much of Ocean County, which clearly identifies more with New York than Philadelphia. Central Jersey is merely the area that is created by the blending between the New York/Philadelphia spheres of influence.

Quote:
4) Pennsylvania
-What counties, cities, how deep and far north and east into Pennsylvania does the Philadelphia region, influence, and commuters go?
-One thing I noticed, I once took the PA Turnpike extension from the NJTP to the first exit, and the south into Philly.

<snip>
I would consider the Philadelphia sphere of influence to include: Philadelphia, Delaware, Chester, Montgomery, Berks, Bucks, Lehigh & Northampton counties in PA; Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Atlantic & Salem Counties in New Jersey; New Castle County in Delaware; and Cecil County in Maryland.

The Delaware Valley exit is the first exit in PA, and it does not anywhere near resemble the sprawl that stretches out and encompasses the next 5 exits of the PA Turnpike. That being said, Levittown is far from rural. Route 13 (on which my office in Bensalem happens to sit) isn't a major artery to get to Philadelphia. Most of it is older, somewhat blighted , typical 1950's suburbia that has had trouble keeping with the times.

The next exit is the Philadelphia interchange, a major junction with US Route 1 and PA route 132. If you were exit there and go south on Route 1, you'd be on a 12-lane mega-boulevard within the city limits within a mile.

After that is Willow Grove, which is the crossroads of the major north-south highway between Doylestown and Philadelphia, where is becomes Broad Street. If you head south on 611, you wouldn't see any open space at all until it ends in far south Philadelphia at the sports complex. I'd out the traffic lights per mile count as 6 or more traffic lights per mile for the entire stretch. Also, Willow Grove is a major shopping area, with 3 million sq ft of retail space, and is immediately adjacent to Horsham, which has over 3 million sq ft of office space.

Fort Washington is the junction with PA 309, which is the only north-south expressway in the northern suburbs. It's also a major office hub in it's own right, with similar square footage as Horsham.

The next interchange is Mid-County/Norristown, which is really two separate interchanges within one highway complex in Plymouth Meeting. It's the confluence of two interstate highways (I-276 & I-476), and is also one third of what is referred to as the "golden triangle". The golden triangle is the area bordered by three interstate highways (I-76, I-276 & I-476), with the towns of Plymouth Meeting (I-276 & I-476), Conshohocken (I-76 & I-476) and King of Prussia (I-76 & I-276) as the points. In the center is the town of Norristown, which is also the county seat for Montgomery County. This area is generally considered the crossroads of the Philadelphia suburbs, and maybe the center of economy & commerce for the whole region.

The next interchange is Valley Forge, which is located in King of Prussia. This one is the big one, as it's not only at the confluence of the Pennsylvania Turnpike (I-276/I-76 to the west) and the Schuylkill Expressway (I-76 to the east), but it's also where those interstate highways junction with two other major highways, US 202 & US 422. Located at this junction is the largest shopping complex (by square footage) on the east coast, The Court & The Plaza @ King of Prussia.

Quote:
5) New Jersey
-Similarly, I ask the same question for New Jersey.
-What counties, cities, how deep and far north, south, and east does the Philadelphia region, influence, and commuters go?

<snip>
I think I already answered this question.

Quote:
6) New Jersey II
-Again I have been surprised to notice driving down the NJTP how rural SJ appears in contrast to North Jersey. In fact, when I was young, I was shocked to learn that Philadelphia bordered South Jersey because on the NJTP one gets the feeling you are out, again, in the sticks.

<snip>
There's no doubt that North Jersey is much more dense and industrial than South Jersey. There's very little open space left in the entire state, and most of it is in South Jersey, or in the far northwest section of the state.

One important fact that most people overlook in the road structure of the New Jersey Turnpike is it's function in different sections of the state. In North Jersey, it's a combined thruway/commuter road with interchanges in close proximity to each other. As a result it's duplexed with as many as 12 lanes to handle the total traffic volume. At the present time, there is a project to extend that duplexed highway structure all the way down to exit 6 in conjuction with the proposed I-95/PA Turnpike junction currently in the works. Below exit 6, the NJ Turnpike is mainly a thruway, with the main purpose of passing people through the state and down to the Delaware Memorial Bridge. The exits are stretched much farther and the right of way is undisturbed, which gives it a wooded appearance. The commuter highway duties are handled by the much more heavily-traveled I-295, which has as many as 8 lanes and yet is still prone to heavy traffic jams and other issues commuter highways are prone to have. If you take a close look at, say, Google Maps, you'll see that these roads parallel mostly all of the way through South Jersey, and in some locations are close enough together that you can see the other highway right next to you. It's just two different ways of handling the same types of traffic.

In reality, the New Jersey Turnpike passes through heavy suburban sprawl areas such as Moorestown, Cherry Hill, Deptford, etc. Salem County is mostly still rural in character, but the monster that is squeezing all of the develop-able open space in the state is slowly creeping down the river.

Quote:
7) Salem County
-Again I am shocked at how rural this county looks from the NJTP given its proximity to Philadelphia?

<snip>
I think I mostly answered this above. The area is still mostly rural, and there aren't southern accents there. Actually, I'm curious why you would associate a rural area with having southern accents or being "hickish"? I'm sure the people of Charlotte of Atlanta, for instance, would take great offense to that stereotype.

Quote:
8) Delaware
-Similarly, I ask the same question for Delaware.
-What counties, cities, how deep and far north, south, and east does the Philadelphia region, influence, and commuters go?

<snip>
New Castle County is the only county in Delaware within Philadelphia's sphere of influence, although Kent County is a blended area. I don't consider Kent or Sussex Counties to be within the Baltimore sphere of influence; they're more aligned with the Eastern Shore of Maryland, which is really not part of any metro area.

Quote:
9) Maryland
-I'd also like to ask, is northern Maryland, Cecil County, part of the Philadelphia region, making it a quad state region.
-I don't understand why whenever I drive south on I-95 after Christiania, Delaware becomes rural all the way into Cecil County.
-Philadelphia is a city of close to one million and regarded as large market. People in the New York region commute within a 60 or more mile radius.
-This is not uncommon in DC as well.

<snip>
Philadelphia actually has close to 1.5 million people, with almost 6 million in the Philadelphia Metropolitan Area. You can't compare it to New York City. Actually, NYC is in a class of it's own, as the city has close to 8 million people, with a total of 22 million in the New York Metropolitan Area.

Philadelphia's urban/suburban structure is very similar to other large cities. The sprawl stretches along corridors of highway and mass transit access. Philadelphia's mass transit system is actually much more advanced than many other metro areas, with mass transit usage second in the nation to only New York. While the system doesn't address the modern problems associated with suburb-to-suburb commuting patterns, it's extremely effective as a hub & spoke style system meant to move people in and out of Center City in large numbers. If you were to follow the major arteries that lead to Philadelphia, you'll see major suburban sprawl. Good examples are US Rt 422 through Montgomery County, US Rts 30 & 202 through Chester County, and I-476 & PA Rt 309 through Bucks County into Lehigh County.

Quote:
10) Baltimore to Philadelphia Shift
-Is there a location where it shifts from being Philadelphia based to more Baltimore, and if so, where in Delaware, Maryland, and Pennsylvania?
Baltimore's sphere of influence converges with Philadelphia's sphere of influence in & around Cecil County, MD and then up through York & Lancaster Counties in PA, which seem to be to Baltimore what the Lehigh Valley is to Philadelphia.

Quote:
11) Relative to the rest of Pennsylvania, what is Philadelphia's relationship?

<snip>
Philadelphia pretty much stands alone against the rest of the state. Over 1/3 of the state's population is centered around Philadelphia, so the rest of the state thinks of it as a big bully trying to run the rest of the state. This is actually well-documented in political circles, where it's extremely difficult to elect a governor or senator from the Philadelphia area. So yes, I'd say that Philadelphia is an anomaly to the rest of the state. I'd also agree that the balance of the state probably has a closer association with Pittsburgh than with Philadelphia. Philadelphia is still the flagship of the state, and I think most of the state is resentful of that fact.

Quote:
12) How would you identify the mainstream residents of the Philadelphia region?

<snip>
If by "hick", you mean rural, then yes, most of Pennsylvania is more rural in character. The Philadelphia area is, again, very similar to other major metro areas. It's a major center for insurance, pharmaceutical and chemical companies, and has a very diverse population as a whole, which is fairly segregated by area. The region's economy is still very vibrant, with plenty of high-tech companies and many different manufacturing facilities. There is a mix of white collar & blue collar types just like any other area, with some rural texture on the edges of the Metro area.

Quote:
13) New York commuters
-Are there a lot of New York commuters in this region?

<snip>
There is a fairly large sector of New York City commuters in the northern sections of the Metro area, but you have to realize how close together these two cities really are. Sure, it's 90 miles from Center City Philadelphia to Manhattan, but it's considerably less on a train ride from Trenton to Manhattan. Many of the residents in Lower Bucks/Central Bucks Counties can make the 50-60 mile commute to Manhattan quite easily as Trenton is right on the Delaware River. SEPTA & NJ Transit share a major transit hub with Amtrak in Trenton. Most commuters don't use the Acela for this commute, they use NJ Transit because it costs considerably less.

You really need to consider the sheer size and influence of New York City. It's by far the largest city in the US, and is arguably the world's financial capital. You just can't compare it to any other American city.

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14) Which cities do you consider to be your biggest rival or have the most animosity towards?

<snip>
There is an inferiority complex that Philadelphians seem to have because the large shadow cast by New York and Washington DC. We have New York as the dominant financial center to our north, and Washington DC as the dominant political center to our south. We used to be BOTH, and now we just sit in the middle and feel neglected or overlooked. As a result, Philadelphians feel the need to either 1) unnecessarily degrade the city fulfilling the feeling of inferiority, or 2) overly tout the virtues of the city, looking for validation as the major hub city that it truly is.

A lot of anti-New York sentiment probably has its roots in sports, but that's another story.

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15) Lastly I'd like to know, is Philadelphia or the region a big hockey area?

<snip>
I would rank the sports teams in this way:

1) Eagles
2) Phillies
3) Flyers
4) Sixers

Clearly, the Eagles have owned this town for a while. It wasn't too long ago, however, when the Phillies owned the city. There are a combination of factors that led to the slow decline in interest in the Phils, but you still can't rank the Flyers above the Phillies. Baseball is just too big. Hockey is more of a niche sport, and is a distant 4th among the majors. The Phillies sell over 3 million tickets every year, while the Flyers sell about a 1/4 of that. Baseball is a sleeping giant in this city - we've just been waiting for an ownership group that clearly focuses on winning. We haven't seen that focus since the Carpenter family sold in 1981.

That's not taking anything away from the Flyers, which is arguably the most popular American hockey franchise. Their strong local following has it's roots in the era in which they came into prominence. The Broad Street Bullies of the 1970s became the catalyst for the golden era in Philadelphia sports, and created many lifelong diehard fans in the process.

The Sixers lag behind for unknown reasons, but my theory is the strength of the Flyers along with the popularity and success of the local college basketball teams. Look at "The Big Five": Temple, Villanova, St. Joe's, Penn and LaSalle. Along with Drexel, they're all competitive basketball programs with varying degrees of national prominence. It also doesn't help that the Sixers are usually mediocre at best.

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Old 01-30-2009, 11:14 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
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Default best city

Is Philadelphia the greatest city ever, yes of course so.
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Old 11-10-2012, 05:19 AM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
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Partly piling on, partly "revising and extending" previous remarks:

I would definitely include Cape May County, NJ, within the Philadelphia sphere of influence, as one poster did but another did not. Most of the shore communities in that county, from Ocean City at the northern end to Cape May itself at the southern, are popular destinations for Philadelphians (and, in the case of Wildwood, Québecois) but not New Yorkers.

I agree that Mercer County, NJ, is split between the Philadelphia and New York spheres of influence - Princeton University is located where it is for precisely that reason - but give a slight edge to Philadelphia, based largely on media reach. Philadelphia's largest broadcast TV station, WPVI (6ABC), maintains a Trenton bureau, and two of its other three major network affiliates, KYW (CBS3) and WCAU (NBC10), regularly cover the Trenton area in their local news reports. No New York media save The New York Times maintain bureaus or station correspondents in Trenton, and the Times does so only because of the state capitol's location there. What would pass for "local" news in Trenton is left to the local newspapers (The Trentonian and The Times) and the Philadelphia media. My understanding was that Mercer County was shifted from the Philadelphia CSA to the New York one mainly to give Federal employees in the county a backdoor pay raise thanks to the higher cost of living differential for New York; the commutersheds from the county support an attachment to either.

Like Trenton, Wilmington - Delaware's largest city - is a subcenter in its own right; Cecil County, MD, is part of the Philadelphia region because it is a commuter suburb of that city, as is surrounding New Castle County, or at least its southern half (northern New Castle residents commute in both directions more, IMO). Wilmington, BTW, has a VHF TV station as well - WHYY, the region's PBS outlet and its largest public TV station, is licensed to the city and maintains studios in both Wilmington and Philadelphia. (Channel 12 is the only VHF TV station licensed to the state of Delaware.)

As for the whole "Mid-Atlantic" / "Northern" thing: "Northern" in this context should be better thought of as a cultural term contrasted with "Southern", again as one poster did. There is some Southern influence in the region; don't forget that the Mason-Dixon Line separates Maryland from Pennsylvania and Delaware, the University of Pennsylvania's medical school, the nation's oldest, educated most of the South's doctors prior to the Civil War, and the conflict between abolitionists and Southern sympathizers played itself out within the city of Philadelphia in the runup to the war. Inasmuch as the two more southerly cities of the Mid-Atlantic region, Baltimore and New York, were originally in the "Southern" orbit (no matter how ill the label fits industrial Baltimore), the "Mid-Atlantic" designation now IMO signifies both the economic interconnection of the cities of the Northeast Corridor and the cultural shifts that have firmly moved both of those two cities into the Northern camp. (Trivia: How many of you have read the words to "Maryland, My Maryland," the Free State's official state song? It's a call to rally Marylanders 'round the Confederate cause.)

Philadelphia ceased to be the largest city in the US in the 1820 census, IIRC, when New York eclipsed it; the opening of the Erie Canal in the 1820s cemented the latter's dominance.

Regarding King of Prussia and the "Golden Triangle" as the region's economic center: While I think that the residential boom in the city center has made Philadelphia a far livelier and more interesting place, I worry about what it means for the city as an economic engine. When one of the signature office towers that sparked the skyscraper wave of the 1990s, Two Liberty Place, is converted to half residential, that IMO is a sign of Center City's weakening as an economic center. (Some would argue that that center has merely shifted westward, across the Schuylkill, where University City has become a major employment hub thanks to the "eds and meds" concentrated there.)
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Old 11-10-2012, 03:00 PM
 
630 posts, read 809,721 times
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NY is vertical and Philly is horozontal. NY is mostly mid to highrises and Phill is mostly low to mid rises with some highrises in downtown. NY is fast paced and Philly is slower paced. People are the same. NY is wealthier economically. They're about 90 mins from each other if driven on I 95.
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Old 11-10-2012, 03:03 PM
 
Location: North by Northwest
7,393 posts, read 9,419,039 times
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Originally Posted by foo cities View Post
NY is vertical and Philly is horozontal. NY is mostly mid to highrises and Phill is mostly low to mid rises with some highrises in downtown. NY is fast paced and Philly is slower paced. People are the same. NY is wealthier economically. They're about 90 mins from each other if driven on I 95.
Pure brilliance.
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