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Old 01-24-2010, 11:40 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
483 posts, read 1,052,808 times
Reputation: 310

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Wow ... still going strong. I have been through the city (driving) since my original post. It seemed like a major U.S. city - no doubt. Some of the blight in the northern sections could use some repair however. There seems to be a lot of potential in the city for the future. A nice mix of historic areas, urban character and some new construction is something that is not found in many sunbelt areas, including where I currently reside, Atlanta. But anyway, I might have an opportunity to move to Maryland in the future for occupational reasons, and being near your fine city would definitely be a perk.
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Old 02-05-2012, 12:25 AM
 
5 posts, read 5,317 times
Reputation: 10
Sorry to revive this thread as my firs post but...

There's a reason they chose a "sleepover" campaign. Philly is not an exciting city. In the last ten years it has lost a lot of its luster, and a lot of its entertainment. If you don't believe me, just go on any ticket site and click on any category, they will come up with only a handful of listings. Even in the arts (which back in the 90's was Philadelphia's strong point) have waned. All of my favorite art houses have either closed down or cut back on their workshops and studio time. Along with it, I have seen all but a handful of my artist friends jump ship or quit entirely. Philly is a wasteland of bars and dance clubs, with very little to offer an outside visitor who wants something more. The museums are great the first 50 times. But not much has been changed or added since I was a kid. The only thing that has kept my spirits alive these past few years have been Phillies games which just happen to be the most expensive tickets in town.

Media, Phoenixville, and a few other suburban areas kick Philadelphia's ..... Media actually has a ...gasp... community, with more lectures and free events, festivals, and community get-togethers than I can name. Small sub-philly towns are also where you find the shops worth shopping at and the people worth talking to.

Philadelphia could probably change this if they improved their transportation infrastructure. $12.50 round trip by train to Philadelphia on trains that only run every 40 minutes and stop at midnight is unacceptable. By car, two curvy lanes into the city is pitiful. Even when I need to run an errand midday the blue route is a mess. If getting into Philly wasn't such a pain in the ...people might actually go more often.

After living in Seoul for a few years. most U.S. cities look like **** holes in need of a serious facelift-defibrillator combo. I would say Seoul is more of a 24 hour city and has better transportation than even NYC and it's 10X cheaper. The United States city with the most pulse is Los Angeles. They may be lacking in transportation, but the stuff to do there is endless.

Last edited by Tone509; 02-05-2012 at 11:25 AM.. Reason: watch the language; re-read the Terms of Service
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Old 02-05-2012, 02:34 AM
 
Location: University City, Philadelphia
16,016 posts, read 5,028,331 times
Reputation: 9622
In my opinion, if a person wants to really appreciate Philly you have to do a little research and investigate it. Philly only reveals itself to those that do a little work.

Most people see the most famous historic sites like Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, the Betsy Ross House; they might take in a meal at Reading Terminal Market or in Chinatown ... and that's it.

-- No other city in North America has more examples of Georgian architecture than Society Hill.

-- Fairmount Park is the largest urban park in the US.

-- Our museums are some of the best in the country. When the Barnes Collection opens on the Parkway, Philly will have more French Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings outside of France; more than NYC.

-- Philly has not one or two, but over a dozen registered historic districts.

When I have out of town visitors I show them Manayunk and Chestnut Hill; take them to a quirky museum such at the Mutter Museum or the Rosenbach Museum; show them City Hall and the Academy of Music and the Kimmel Center; stroll along South Street and also The Italian Market; walk along the lanes and courtyards on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania; take them to the Morris Arboretum; admire the monuments and mausoleums of Laurel Hill Cemetery; go shopping along Walnut Street or Antique Row ...

... really there IS a lot to do here.

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Old 02-05-2012, 07:36 AM
 
Location: NYC
2,782 posts, read 2,287,968 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clark Park View Post
-- Fairmount Park is the largest urban park in the US.
No it isn't. Not by any measure. Not even the largest on the east coast.
It's not even close to being the largest parks system, and the "single" part of the park that's often used to make statements like this includes 3 sections of the park that are not actually contiguous (East Park, West Park, and the Wissahickon), plus the Zoo, plus the Schuylkill river itself in the counted acreage. And even if all of those things are counted together as connected it still wouldn't be the largest such park.

(Sorry, I just have a pet peeve about this mythical "fact" being continually repeated as a bragging point for the city, given the overall neglected state of the parks system)
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Old 02-05-2012, 10:22 AM
 
Location: South Jersey
7,785 posts, read 10,472,685 times
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the largest park in the US is South Mountain Park in Phoenix, Arizona, second is the Phoenix Mountain Reserve, third is Fairmont park is third. Nothing on the east coast is even close.. BUT the Phoenix parks are not urban parks like Fairmont is. So technically Fairmont park is the larges urban park in the US.

http://www.ratestogo.com/blog/largest-city-parks/
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Old 02-05-2012, 10:51 AM
 
Location: Center City
3,979 posts, read 3,303,966 times
Reputation: 5074
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clark Park View Post
In my opinion, if a person wants to really appreciate Philly you have to do a little research and investigate it. Philly only reveals itself to those that do a little work.
Great post. The above quote is the only one I disagree with. From the many significant historical sites to number and variety of high quality museums to performing arts centers on S Broad to Walnut Street shopping to the sports arenas, one doesn't need to do any work at all as Philly's many offerings are pretty much in clear view. Given the number of riders on open air tour buses that now run even in January, it seems a number of folks from elsewhere have taken notice, as well.

If someone feels a city with one of the top 5 downtowns in the country located within two hours of some of the nation's top historical sites, charming small towns, cleanest beaches and most dynamic cities is boring and 2nd rate, I will not argue with them. I do believe they are a touch more jaded than me, however.
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Old 02-05-2012, 12:29 PM
 
5 posts, read 5,317 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clark Park View Post
In my opinion, if a person wants to really appreciate Philly you have to do a little research and investigate it. Philly only reveals itself to those that do a little work.

Most people see the most famous historic sites like Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, the Betsy Ross House; they might take in a meal at Reading Terminal Market or in Chinatown ... and that's it.

-- No other city in North America has more examples of Georgian architecture than Society Hill.

-- Fairmount Park is the largest urban park in the US.

-- Our museums are some of the best in the country. When the Barnes Collection opens on the Parkway, Philly will have more French Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings outside of France; more than NYC.

-- Philly has not one or two, but over a dozen registered historic districts.

When I have out of town visitors I show them Manayunk and Chestnut Hill; take them to a quirky museum such at the Mutter Museum or the Rosenbach Museum; show them City Hall and the Academy of Music and the Kimmel Center; stroll along South Street and also The Italian Market; walk along the lanes and courtyards on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania; take them to the Morris Arboretum; admire the monuments and mausoleums of Laurel Hill Cemetery; go shopping along Walnut Street or Antique Row ...

... really there IS a lot to do here.

As I said. The museums they have get boring after ten visits. When was the last time you ever saw a retrospective by a modern mainstream artist at the PMA? admit it. It's rare. Philadelphia is so desperate for something new that they stole the Barnes collection from the main line. In the last three months the only show worth seeing at the Kimmel was the Kekko Fornarelli show and tickets there were $60 each. Manayunk and chestnut hill are okay, but you can't live there due to cost, they are difficult to get to from downtown Philly or the suburbs unless you have a car, and both are currently suffering from rent increases that have forced every other store to go dark. Downtown Media or Allentown are much better alternatives.

Morris Arboretum doesn't count as Philadelphia. It's so far northwest, it's practically part of Plymouth Meeting. No one in their right mind would take a taxi. Its way more accessible to folks from the main line with a car. Antique row is a sham. You're better off going to downtown Wayne. It's honestly the best place to find rare crystal and antiques tat are relatively affordable.

If you just decided to drop by downtown Philly today, I bet you would be stretched thin to find something new and interesting to do. If you live in the area you are better off hanging out somewhere else.
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Old 02-05-2012, 03:05 PM
 
Location: NYC
2,782 posts, read 2,287,968 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frankgn87 View Post
the largest park in the US is South Mountain Park in Phoenix, Arizona, second is the Phoenix Mountain Reserve, third is Fairmont park is third. Nothing on the east coast is even close.. BUT the Phoenix parks are not urban parks like Fairmont is. So technically Fairmont park is the larges urban park in the US.

Blog Archive The Largest Urban Parks in the World
Nope. Technically, it is not. And that blog post doesn't really shed any light on the situation.

It's a very popular misconception that doubtlessly stemmed from a PR campaign that made this (false) claim at some point. Similar claims have been made by other cities, but it's not something anyone ever bothers to check. I wouldn't be surprised if the claim originated in something put together by the Fairmount Parks Commission when they were begging for funding at some point, and looking to exaggerate their status. I honestly used to think it was true myself, until traveling around caused me to question it and looked at the numbers.

If talking about the city parks system (sometimes claimed as the largest in the country or world):
The entire Fairmount Park System = 9,200 acres
The New York City Parks System = 28,000 acres, and that's just 90 miles up the turnpike in an area no less urban.

If talking about a single urban park:
I totally agree with you that the desert parks in Phoenix are not really urban. But the Fairmount Park claim is still highly questionable at best.
The claimed largest "single park" in the Fairmount park system, according to the Fairmount Parks Commission, is the 4,239 acres that you only get by combining East Fairmount Park, West Fairmount Park, the Zoo, the Horticultural Center and Wissahickon Valley Park.
I grew up in NW Philadelphia and spent a lot of time in those parks, so I am very familiar with that particular area, and know that claiming all of those places as a "single park" is a stretch. East Park and West Park are NOT contiguous, but are separated by a substantial river, an interstate highway, and a railroad, which is why even the parks commission classifies them separately. And then Wissahickon Valley Park is not contiguous with either East Park.or West Park, but is separated from West Park by about 3/4 of a mile. They are 3 separate parks, none of which are especially huge by themselves, that are close to each other.
Compare that to Griffith Park in Los Angeles, which is a contiguous 4,310 acres in the heart of LA, immediately adjacent to Hollywood.
Or for a more nearby example, if you use the same methodology used to define the 4,239 acres of "Fairmount Park", you could put together Pelham Bay Park (2,765 acres - larger than any actual single section of Fairmount Park, even the Wissahickon), Van Cortlandt Park (1,146 acres), the NY Botanical Gardens (250acres), and The Bronx Zoo(265 acres), which are all close to or adjacent to each other in the Bronx, and and get a "single park" of 4,426 acres just in the Bronx alone.
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Old 02-05-2012, 04:44 PM
 
958 posts, read 271,926 times
Reputation: 228
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clark Park View Post
In my opinion, if a person wants to really appreciate Philly you have to do a little research and investigate it. Philly only reveals itself to those that do a little work.
Exactly. Actually, I would say that goes for the entire metro and its people, too.

Philadelphia and its entire metro is easy to hate, easy to crap on, easy to misunderstand and put down for people who feel a need to do so. It's easy to not give Philadelphia the same lee-way other cities get or try to put it down to boost your own city. It's even easier to do that to the people in the metro.

Fact is though, I wouldn't want to raise my kids (when I have them of course) anywhere outside of the metro, and while other places are nice to visit or live for a bit, the Delaware Valley (specifically Eastern Delco) is where I want to come back to and raise a family one day. Let's see how many people say the same about LA or DC or any of those places.

Are places like Delaware County or certain other places in the metro outside of Philadelphia all that great to visit as a tourist? Not when compared to other major metros, no, but good luck finding a better place to live if you're all about real community and great neighborhoods.

Here's the thing that I think annoys people who dislike the metro the most: We don't need them and don't care what they have to say. No matter what people may like to pretend is true of the metro, we really don't give a crap about New York, and we look down on LA as flashy and fake. And Chicago? The only time I ever even remotely thought about Chicago was when it came to sports.

Does the entire metro have a long ways to go to get to its true potential? Most definitely, but there is absolutely nothing second-rate about any part of the Delaware Valley when it comes to things that actually matter, non-superficial things.

Quote:
Originally Posted by skispeakeasy View Post
As I said. The museums they have get boring after ten visits. When was the last time you ever saw a retrospective by a modern mainstream artist at the PMA? admit it. It's rare. Philadelphia is so desperate for something new that they stole the Barnes collection from the main line. In the last three months the only show worth seeing at the Kimmel was the Kekko Fornarelli show and tickets there were $60 each. Manayunk and chestnut hill are okay, but you can't live there due to cost, they are difficult to get to from downtown Philly or the suburbs unless you have a car, and both are currently suffering from rent increases that have forced every other store to go dark. Downtown Media or Allentown are much better alternatives.
Okay, well first of all.. don't say "I'm from Philly" if you're in the suburbs. I can't stand when people do that. I grew up like 2 miles down Baltimore Ave from West Philly in a very urban "suburb" and you don't see me saying "I'm from Philly", because I'm not. I'm proud to be from where I'm from.

Downtown Media is better than Philadelphia? Are you kidding me? I'm up that way quite often and I would never in my life say that.

And sorry.. but the REAL communities in the still-working-class parts of Philly and the working class parts of Delco completely blow this idea of "community" that people in more monied areas have out of the water. When you're raised by an actual neighborhood and not just by your parents then you can talk about a community, because that's what one is. When you grow up on block parties and community gatherings and joining together as a community to fix things and get things done, then you can talk about community. Some of the strongest communities in the country exist in this metro.
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Old 02-05-2012, 05:02 PM
 
Location: a swanky suburb in my fancy pants
3,391 posts, read 4,717,850 times
Reputation: 1492
Quote:
Originally Posted by skispeakeasy View Post
Sorry to revive this thread as my firs post but...
.
Honestly I think you are blaming Philadelphia (and all U.S. cities?)
for what really sounds like a personal problem.
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