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Old 11-24-2018, 11:44 PM
 
Location: South Park, San Diego
4,675 posts, read 7,134,920 times
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Without hijacking a similar thread for our completely different demographic and desired parameters, which neighborhoods would you recommend for us to explore? Two guys, mid-50s, no kids “retiring” in a couple of years - both of us would likely still seek out out some work to keep us busy, me with architectural projects and my partner with whatever he will focus on.

We are the guys who just dived into your city a month ago for visit and wedding and loved it - apparently just hit the last mild weather weekend what with the cold snap that just swept through. But that doesn’t scare us off and are still enamored enough with your city to start doing some targeted research as one of only a handful of cities we would ever consider moving to- with your help.

We love our niche here and realize that Philly is a distinctly different city but will at least describe those qualities that resonate most with us here hoping to at least capture a similar essence there.

We live in a compact historic house with a nice garden just a 5 minute walk to great restaurants and neighborhood bars and a half hour walk to downtown. We hang out with most of our neighbors socially and are very connected to the neighborhood and city with season tickets to baseball, hockey, ballet and theater and weekly walks to galleries and neighborhood festivals.

There would be two scenarios that we would be in interested in exploring. One; an area similar to what we have now- a SFH with a yard -it could be small- in a city adjacent suburban neighborhood that was still walking distance to a “village center” and an easy transit/ride share to downtown. Two; a more true urban experience with a tight little row home or condo in a vibrant, safe and fun downtown neighborhood.

We welcome your advise on recommended areas. Thanks!
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Old 11-25-2018, 08:25 AM
 
8,322 posts, read 4,495,825 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T. Damon View Post
Without hijacking a similar thread for our completely different demographic and desired parameters, which neighborhoods would you recommend for us to explore? Two guys, mid-50s, no kids “retiring” in a couple of years - both of us would likely still seek out out some work to keep us busy, me with architectural projects and my partner with whatever he will focus on.

We are the guys who just dived into your city a month ago for visit and wedding and loved it - apparently just hit the last mild weather weekend what with the cold snap that just swept through. But that doesn’t scare us off and are still enamored enough with your city to start doing some targeted research as one of only a handful of cities we would ever consider moving to- with your help.

We love our niche here and realize that Philly is a distinctly different city but will at least describe those qualities that resonate most with us here hoping to at least capture a similar essence there.

We live in a compact historic house with a nice garden just a 5 minute walk to great restaurants and neighborhood bars and a half hour walk to downtown. We hang out with most of our neighbors socially and are very connected to the neighborhood and city with season tickets to baseball, hockey, ballet and theater and weekly walks to galleries and neighborhood festivals.

There would be two scenarios that we would be in interested in exploring. One; an area similar to what we have now- a SFH with a yard -it could be small- in a city adjacent suburban neighborhood that was still walking distance to a “village center” and an easy transit/ride share to downtown. Two; a more true urban experience with a tight little row home or condo in a vibrant, safe and fun downtown neighborhood.

We welcome your advise on recommended areas. Thanks!
A frequent poster, Pine to Vine, should be the perfect person to answer you. He and his husband/partner retired here from Houston, I think, 7 years ago They selected a list of ciities....visited those cities...visited Phila. AND their search was over!

Being a fanatical urbanite, I would suggest the latter wrt your location request. There's sticky post that we suggest eventual movers to the area fill out.

Urban housing can be a new high rise to a low rise townhouse/row house. I live in Spring Garden which is part of Greater Center City nowadays. In fact there was a post a few days ago about a condo unit at 1709 Green St which is in Spring Garden.

Also look at Philly Curbed.

No worries on this board about your demographic. There are at least 5 openly gay regulars on this board. I'm one of them.

Oh, I see that you mentioned ballet. There's a ton of dance going on in the Phila. area. Examples: The PA Ballet, of course. Tap(Footwerks), edgy/inventive(Brian Sanders' Junk).
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Old 11-25-2018, 12:05 PM
 
8,322 posts, read 4,495,825 times
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OP, one point. Pennsylvania does not tax retirement income.
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Old 11-25-2018, 12:15 PM
 
Location: South Park, San Diego
4,675 posts, read 7,134,920 times
Reputation: 8543
Quote:
Originally Posted by kyb01 View Post
A frequent poster, Pine to Vine, should be the perfect person to answer you. He and his husband/partner retired here from Houston, I think, 7 years ago They selected a list of ciities....visited those cities...visited Phila. AND their search was over!

Being a fanatical urbanite, I would suggest the latter wrt your location request. There's sticky post that we suggest eventual movers to the area fill out.

Urban housing can be a new high rise to a low rise townhouse/row house. I live in Spring Garden which is part of Greater Center City nowadays. In fact there was a post a few days ago about a condo unit at 1709 Green St which is in Spring Garden.

Also look at Philly Curbed.

No worries on this board about your demographic. There are at least 5 openly gay regulars on this board. I'm one of them.

Oh, I see that you mentioned ballet. There's a ton of dance going on in the Phila. area. Examples: The PA Ballet, of course. Tap(Footwerks), edgy/inventive(Brian Sanders' Junk).
Thanks for the quick reply and direction. I have read many of Pine to Vine’s posts in the General Forums and his enthusiasm for the city is partly why we confirmed so quickly to our wedding invitation there to check it out for ourselves. Apparently we caught the Philly bug as well haha.

Since this is an exploratory excursion from afar at this point, diving into potential neighborhoods and areas through the internet is somewhat daunting without a couple of good docents to point the way and narrow the focus so that’s what we are hoping for. Then in our next visit hopefully in a few months we will be able to scope out those areas in particular as we take in more of the city.

Cheers!
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Old 11-25-2018, 02:28 PM
 
8,322 posts, read 4,495,825 times
Reputation: 2772
Quote:
Originally Posted by T. Damon View Post
Thanks for the quick reply and direction. I have read many of Pine to Vine’s posts in the General Forums and his enthusiasm for the city is partly why we confirmed so quickly to our wedding invitation there to check it out for ourselves. Apparently we caught the Philly bug as well haha.

Since this is an exploratory excursion from afar at this point, diving into potential neighborhoods and areas through the internet is somewhat daunting without a couple of good docents to point the way and narrow the focus so that’s what we are hoping for. Then in our next visit hopefully in a few months we will be able to scope out those areas in particular as we take in more of the city.

Cheers!
Remind us where you stayed while you were here and/or what you saw. That could narrow down choices we might suggest.

Also there are suburban walkable towns that have their own "downtown"/main streets and have train transit into the city particularly on the Main Line.

Your housing budget is fine for lots of options.
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Old 11-25-2018, 06:14 PM
 
Location: North by Northwest
7,413 posts, read 9,489,941 times
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If they want to keep the status quo, Chestnut Hill is perfection. Ardmore or Bryn Mawr on the Main Line or Media In delaware County, or Collingswood or Haddonfield in South Jersey, would be great, too.

Going the more urban route, there are some quieter side streets in Rittenhouse and Fitler Square in western Center City, and Washington square and Society Hill toward the east, that are still close to the action.

University City/Clark Park toward Baltimore Avenue would be a hybrid of sorts.
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Old 11-25-2018, 09:00 PM
 
Location: South Park, San Diego
4,675 posts, read 7,134,920 times
Reputation: 8543
Quote:
Originally Posted by kyb01 View Post
Remind us where you stayed while you were here and/or what you saw. That could narrow down choices we might suggest.

Also there are suburban walkable towns that have their own "downtown"/main streets and have train transit into the city particularly on the Main Line.

Your housing budget is fine for lots of options.
We stayed at the Kimpton Monaco overlooking Independence Hall and The Liberty Bell. Walked all over Center City- Society Hill, stayed a lot of time on Market Street walking it from end to end several times and diving into City Hall, The Wanamaker building and the Reading Terminal Market also South Street, The BF Parkway. Had breakfast at High Street on Market twice, hit up The Red Owl, Bud and Marilyn’s and The Graffiti Bar The first night. Went to Talula’s Garden and One Tipping Place the 2nd night (tried to get into The Ranstead Room but didn’t pass muster) The wedding venue was The Free Library - amazing! Went on a couple of Historic Architecture tours in some 18th century houses, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, (almost a little overwhelming- like The Met it is a museum best experienced in small selective doses with docents preferably) The Science Institute, Benjiman Franklin Museum, Jewish American Museum, The Barnes Foundation (wow!) and the Mütter Museum - same day as the Barnes so, great juxtaposition! We walked 7 or 8 miles a day so while it was limited in length I think we got a decent sense of the City.

As I read the extensive recommendations from ElijahAstin (Thank you!) I am realizing that including suburbs here is not where we want to be. We live in a first ring streetcar suburb, less than two miles and easy walking distance to downtown. We pretty much loathe traditional suburbs (no offense to those who live there) but have no need for good schools, sleepy streets and lifestyle by car. So a comparable location in Philly is effectively The City, so keep us close there please. Within that context though we could be equally amenable to a 100 y.o. rowhome or a brand new condo/apartment. Being an architect I have both vision and standards.

Great light, a little bit of outdoor space, a functional floor plan (or one I can create), one dedicated parking space, a safe and moderately quiet street and we are good to go. Coming from the safest big city in the country I would say we are not blasé of that quality and place a high importance to it but petty theft we can live with, muggings, not.

Actually that listing on Green St. in Spring Garden (other thread) is just about ideal. Great dt location, outdoor space, some style and a parking place for $550k. I wonder if the OP is the pending buyer.

Im sure different areas have different personalities and characteristics even within the close context of the core city. Even one street away can make a difference. We are in no rush but it would be great to get straight to knowing the No Go zones as well as the up and coming areas to keep an eye on.

Last edited by T. Damon; 11-25-2018 at 09:25 PM..
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Old 11-26-2018, 06:59 AM
 
8,322 posts, read 4,495,825 times
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OP, the "suburban" places Elijah and I mentioned are not like what you probably view as suburbs.

All of the Main Line towns(Narberth, Wynnewood, Ardmore, Haverford, Bryn Mawr, etc) are actual towns with main streets. Nothing to do with sprawl. I grew up in Haverford so I am bullest about all of those towns.

Elijah also mentioned Chestnut Hill(in the NW part of the city) and Media. Media is also "townish". Importantly for Center city access, they all have train access into CC. A lot of people on this board overlook Overbrook Farms which is in western West Philly. It has amazing houses. It, too, has train access into the Center City.

The property, on Green St, that got mentioned, is in Spring Garden. The adjacent neighborhoods are Fairmount and Francisville. To west and north respectively. I've lived in Spring G since the mid-90s. I love it there.

The Free Library(wedding location) is the southern edge of Spring Garden. It sometimes labeled Franklin Towne.

A lot of new rentals props, in Center City/ University City, have been built over the last few years and still under construction or proposed. It sounds like you are not interested in rentals. Correct?
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Old 11-26-2018, 09:47 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia
11,834 posts, read 9,917,683 times
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Most rowhomes in Philly are SFH and many have small yards in the back-some also have a front porch and/or front yard too.


I'd recommend Fitler Square which is in Center City but is mostly small rowhomes with tiny backyards compared to Rittenhouse Square which has many high rise buildings and brownstone style homes---3-5 stories- often subdivided, although some remain as the original huge SFH. Also I'd look at homes near the Art Museum and Fairmount neighborhoods, which are just outside Center City and mostly SFH. Another idea is University City Area--Spruce Hill/Clark Park. These are some of the first "streetcar suburbs" in the country with many trolley lines still operating (they go underground near Clark Park into Center City). Many of the homes here are large 3 story Victorian twins with more yard---you could buy a Multi-unit to cut your expenses if that much home isn't needed.
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Old 11-26-2018, 09:48 AM
 
279 posts, read 302,675 times
Reputation: 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by T. Damon View Post
We stayed at the Kimpton Monaco overlooking Independence Hall and The Liberty Bell. Walked all over Center City- Society Hill, stayed a lot of time on Market Street walking it from end to end several times and diving into City Hall, The Wanamaker building and the Reading Terminal Market also South Street, The BF Parkway. Had breakfast at High Street on Market twice, hit up The Red Owl, Bud and Marilyn’s and The Graffiti Bar The first night. Went to Talula’s Garden and One Tipping Place the 2nd night (tried to get into The Ranstead Room but didn’t pass muster) The wedding venue was The Free Library - amazing! Went on a couple of Historic Architecture tours in some 18th century houses, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, (almost a little overwhelming- like The Met it is a museum best experienced in small selective doses with docents preferably) The Science Institute, Benjiman Franklin Museum, Jewish American Museum, The Barnes Foundation (wow!) and the Mütter Museum - same day as the Barnes so, great juxtaposition! We walked 7 or 8 miles a day so while it was limited in length I think we got a decent sense of the City.

As I read the extensive recommendations from ElijahAstin (Thank you!) I am realizing that including suburbs here is not where we want to be. We live in a first ring streetcar suburb, less than two miles and easy walking distance to downtown. We pretty much loathe traditional suburbs (no offense to those who live there) but have no need for good schools, sleepy streets and lifestyle by car. So a comparable location in Philly is effectively The City, so keep us close there please. Within that context though we could be equally amenable to a 100 y.o. rowhome or a brand new condo/apartment. Being an architect I have both vision and standards.

Great light, a little bit of outdoor space, a functional floor plan (or one I can create), one dedicated parking space, a safe and moderately quiet street and we are good to go. Coming from the safest big city in the country I would say we are not blasé of that quality and place a high importance to it but petty theft we can live with, muggings, not.

Actually that listing on Green St. in Spring Garden (other thread) is just about ideal. Great dt location, outdoor space, some style and a parking place for $550k. I wonder if the OP is the pending buyer.

Im sure different areas have different personalities and characteristics even within the close context of the core city. Even one street away can make a difference. We are in no rush but it would be great to get straight to knowing the No Go zones as well as the up and coming areas to keep an eye on.
From what I read are your preferences, based off your replies, I would suggest staying in the city proper.
Specifically, I would start my search in the following neighborhoods in this order...
* Fairmount/Art Museum (including parts of Spring Garden neighborhood)
* Queen Village
* Northern Liberties
* Washington Square West
* Old City
* Bella Vista
* Clark Park (University Cit)

There are a dozens of other suitable neighborhoods obviously, but the above will give you a nice spread of housing cost and diversity, while all being quite safe, architecturally interesting and highly walk-able. Also, you should be able to tour all of these areas, at least superficially, in a weekend (albeit the days will be long ones).
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