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Old 05-17-2014, 10:05 AM
 
11 posts, read 25,753 times
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Somebody please give me some insights/advice here.

So I've been in Philly for a few years now. I currently live in South Philly (Queen Village) with a couple of roommates (young professionals). I am a grad student at a school in the area and I have a low-paying graduate internship at a company along the Manayunk regional line (I don't own a car).

My roommates are moving to TX for jobs and I will not be able to afford rent on my own. I am thinking about moving to a one bedroom place because I want to live on my own. Thing is, there aren't many one-bedroom places in South Philly, or at least, ones that are affordable.

When I look on Craigslist, there seems to be quite a few places in the Hispanic-heavy areas of Kensington that are really, *really*, cheap. However, when I tell native Philadelphians that I am considering Kensington, many act as if I will be shot/stabbed my first day there. I like the prospect of living in Kensington because it is close to the Market-Frankford blue line and also because the rent is dirt cheap.

My question is: Is Kensington really that bad? I've only really driven through and, while it certainly is a poor area of the city, it doesn't strike me as being as bad as people say. Part of the reason that I am desensitized to such a gritty area of the city is that I am from a heavily Mexican area of Southwest Detroit (though I know that the Hispanics in Kensington are primarily Puerto Rican and Domincan).

Anybody have any thoughts on such a move? Is it as dangerous as people say? Is Kensington more dangerous than Hispanic-heavy neighborhoods in other big cities in the country?

Thanks.
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Old 05-17-2014, 10:15 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
4,318 posts, read 4,830,690 times
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I'm new to Philly myself. But I know one girl a Philly native from Strawberry Mansion, which is a pretty bad area. She says avoid Kensington at all cost. I think it's because there are a lot of drug addicts hanging around there. So the area doesn't sound safe. But again, I'm not really qualified to say anything. I'm just sharing what I've heard. Also, I have heard from many people that people have been robbed at the Frankford train station. I've been through Frankford, and the area is definitely one I would walk down at night. You may be better off getting another roommate off Craigslist.
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Old 05-17-2014, 10:56 AM
 
Location: Macao
15,687 posts, read 34,675,136 times
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I don't generally want to put up negative stuff about places. But this is a pretty interesting video, and Kensington seems to be the focus of the documentary for Philadelphia on Drug's Inc.


Drugs Inc S04E7 Philly Dope - YouTube
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Old 05-17-2014, 11:48 AM
 
Location: Philly
9,823 posts, read 13,562,849 times
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perhaps a little perspective is needed. kensington isn't a neighborhood, per se, but a large area of the city. not all parts of kensington are bad but so parts are awful (particularly the somerset and hungtingdon stops). there is one stop along the el that seems to have hung on, tioga, but other than that, and it's cheap because of what surrounds it. generally, the best parts of the neighborhood are the parts that abut fishtown and increasingly northern liberties. I wouldn't rule kensington out but some parts are not worth considering. fairhill is hispanic but all but the poorest have moved out of that part. that video is a good promo for changing the drug laws
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Old 05-17-2014, 03:56 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
1,042 posts, read 1,173,447 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pman View Post
perhaps a little perspective is needed. kensington isn't a neighborhood, per se, but a large area of the city. not all parts of kensington are bad but so parts are awful (particularly the somerset and hungtingdon stops). there is one stop along the el that seems to have hung on, tioga, but other than that, and it's cheap because of what surrounds it. generally, the best parts of the neighborhood are the parts that abut fishtown and increasingly northern liberties. I wouldn't rule kensington out but some parts are not worth considering. fairhill is hispanic but all but the poorest have moved out of that part. that video is a good promo for changing the drug laws
I agree with you about the SE section of Kensington that abuts Fishtown, it's coming up (which is nice to see), but one still has to watch their ass and their belongings.
The rest of Kensington is rough, very rough (esp west of Front St and Kensington Ave), I wouldn't recommend it to an enemy.
My friend's brother lives right next to the Tioga el stop and it's bad, it by no means has "held on." I know the neighborhood well and it has more than it's fair share of junkies, hookers, crime and Section 8 housing. Avoid.

Last edited by Larry Bowa; 05-17-2014 at 04:47 PM..
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Old 05-17-2014, 03:58 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
1,042 posts, read 1,173,447 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by branh0913 View Post
I'm new to Philly myself. But I know one girl a Philly native from Strawberry Mansion, which is a pretty bad area. She says avoid Kensington at all cost. I think it's because there are a lot of drug addicts hanging around there. So the area doesn't sound safe. But again, I'm not really qualified to say anything. I'm just sharing what I've heard. Also, I have heard from many people that people have been robbed at the Frankford train station. I've been through Frankford, and the area is definitely one I would walk down at night. You may be better off getting another roommate off Craigslist.
Do you perhaps mean you would walk down Frankford Ave in Fishtown? Because the neighborhood of Frankford is one of the most dangerous in the city, I've actually been shot at there.
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Old 05-17-2014, 05:02 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
4,318 posts, read 4,830,690 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Bowa View Post
Do you perhaps mean you would walk down Frankford Ave in Fishtown? Because the neighborhood of Frankford is one of the most dangerous in the city, I've actually been shot at there.

I wouldn't walk down there. Period.
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Old 05-17-2014, 06:40 PM
 
792 posts, read 1,056,938 times
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You definitely want to stay away from the parts of Kensington with the 19133 zip code AKA The Badlands.
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Old 05-17-2014, 06:44 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
11,828 posts, read 9,827,294 times
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^Yeah, the book 3rd and Indiana by Steve Lopez is the Badlands. I agree with what pman posted.

I am seriously considering buying a rental property along the EL in Kensington because it's just so damn convenient and cheap-but much of it is in contention for the worst parts of Philly.
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Old 05-17-2014, 07:41 PM
 
Location: Philly
9,823 posts, read 13,562,849 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Bowa View Post
I agree with you about the SE section of Kensington that abuts Fishtown, it's coming up (which is nice to see), but one still has to watch their ass and their belongings.
The rest of Kensington is rough, very rough (esp west of Front St and Kensington Ave), I wouldn't recommend it to an enemy.
My friend's brother lives right next to the Tioga el stop and it's bad, it by no means has "held on." I know the neighborhood well and it has more than it's fair share of junkies, hookers, crime and Section 8 housing. Avoid.
west of front st south of berks and really norris sq is cleaning up nicely. perhaps the relative health of tioga is more a reflection of just how bad the rest of the el stops are. i use that stop irregularly and havent had a problem. im on foot. other passengers look like they have jobs or with families.still this is that slumlord from port richmlnds territory, robert coyle. i used the somerset stop once and that was enough...and i go just about anywhere
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