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Old 03-21-2009, 05:42 PM
 
Location: Houston, Texas
9 posts, read 20,300 times
Reputation: 12

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Hello to everyone on City-Data!

I have a couple of questions that I would like to ask about the City of Brotherly Love regarding diverse yet cheap INNER city neighborhoods. Here's a little info about me that would probably help ya'll point me in the right direction:

1. I'm moving to Philly for a job, the job is secure so employment is not an issue, I will be making about $24 hourly on this job (around $3200 a month if I work full time) I plan on visiting in May and moving in June.

2. I'm a socially liberal person so I would like to live in a diverse area with people of different races, nationalities, and sexual orientations.

3. I'm a young , single guy (earlier twenties) so being close to a good/great nightlife scene would be awesome too.

4. I have a vehicle, but would prefer to use public transport to get to and from work (and keep the car as a luxury). Which neighborhoods offer easy access to Septa's rail lines, trolley's, and elevated rail lines?

5. Living near Center City would be pretty cool, a couple of my friends live around the University City area, how far west can you venture out beyond University City before safety becomes an issue? (From reading these posts everybody says West Philly is not the place to be, but for a young, male college student who can handle his own would it be that bad, or are people on here just dissing West Philly?) Ideally I will be renting. West Philly seems to have some of the cheapest real estate/apartment values........

6. I've visited Philly when I was 9, don't really remember much except for the Zoo. I have a very strong southern accent, do people on the east coast find that annoying or could they care less?

Thx for any help, I need it!

PS: Please don't recommend any suburban area's of Chester, Berks, New Castle, etc, looking for neighborhoods exclusively in the Philadelphia county area.
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Old 03-21-2009, 10:32 PM
 
1,623 posts, read 5,938,419 times
Reputation: 449
It depends where you will be working. I would choose South Philly over West Philly as on the whole it is safer. If you have to have West Philly, ask your friends or stay within University City. Most of the stuff going on in and around University City is property related. Muggings aren't frequent but are certainly possible anywhere in the city and with the economy on the downslide, people are getting more desperate so muggings will probably continue to rise...that is where South Philly wins out over West Philly IMO.
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Old 03-22-2009, 07:45 PM
 
8,002 posts, read 18,351,081 times
Reputation: 2692
Diverse and cheap don't necessarily go together in Philly.... but a 20something person would definitely enjoy University City and South Philly, each of which can be relatively inexpensive given their proximity to Center City.

I don't know enough about the gentrifying mosaic of South Philly to make recommendations there... but having lived in University City on two occasions, my personal comfort zone was between Walnut to the north, Springfield to the south and 49th Street to the west. (East are UPenn, Drexel U, and downtown). You'll probably want to live west of 43rd to avoid the students. Off-street parking does not exist in UC... and you'll need to get a resident permit for your car. But it's a diverse area with interesting restaurants and a decent park to spend time. (Clark Park) You'll also have up to two bus and light rail routes to choose from, depending on where you live. There's a fair chance that you'll be living in a converted home... or even a separate space in someone's actual home. Look up ucityphila.org for more neighborhood information.
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Old 03-23-2009, 08:11 AM
 
Location: Houston, Texas
9 posts, read 20,300 times
Reputation: 12
Thanks for all the information I really appreciate it. I just visited that UC website and found it to be very informative. But I do have more questions regarding South and West Philly.

"orrmobl"
If I stayed in South Philly I would prefer to stay in a neighborhood close to the Italian Market area, is Bella Vista affordable or expensive? Most likely I will end up staying in the University City area based on it's proximity to center city and people around my age but I won't know for sure until I come up and visit in a couple of months.

"Tone509"

What is the rent range in the UC area? I can pay around $650-1200 per month, is that enough? And what is the deal with the parking? Did you pay to park you car in a garage monthly? I can leave my car here with my parents if I don't need it, from what I hear Philly offers a car share program, and SEPTA is ok for public transport.
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Old 03-23-2009, 08:35 AM
 
Location: Center City, Philadelphia
33 posts, read 98,811 times
Reputation: 36
EastTex,

Live in Center City.

You can find reasonable one-bedroom aptartments for under $1000 a month. Try Washington Square West- it's safe, diverse, and in the middle of center city (so you can walk both to Old City and Rittenhouse area.) It seems to be a little cheaper than the rest of Center city too- other than China town, perhaps.

Also, you won't need the car if you work in center city or near a SEPTA/PATCO stop. I have been carless for a year and have no regrets. I havent even used Philly Car share or Zipcar either.

As for being from the South- I'm a southerner as well- born and raised in southern Georgia! I lost my accent however when I moved to Virginia for school. But, I think you could actually use your accent to your advantage. I never hear southern accents in Philly. Most non-natives seem to be from the Northeast, a southern accent would be down right exotic here in Philly. Honestly, I think the girls here will really like it!

Welcome to Philly! Godd luck!
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Old 03-23-2009, 09:14 AM
 
8,002 posts, read 18,351,081 times
Reputation: 2692
Quote:
Originally Posted by easttexguy View Post
Thanks for all the information I really appreciate it. I just visited that UC website and found it to be very informative. But I do have more questions regarding South and West Philly. [u]

"Tone509"
What is the rent range in the UC area? I can pay around $650-1200 per month, is that enough? And what is the deal with the parking? Did you pay to park you car in a garage monthly? I can leave my car here with my parents if I don't need it, from what I hear Philly offers a car share program, and SEPTA is ok for public transport.
I'm glad to see that you found some good information on that website. I'm not current on rental rates but I believe your range is fine as long as you're not looking at the high-rises near the Schuykill (SCHOOL-kill) River. Unless you're working on campus at Penn or Drexel, on-street parking is the rule in University City. Assuming you'd be commuting from UC to downtown, you might only need a car for day trips out of town. Philly Car Share and Zipcar are cool if you have errands to run that require more flexiblity (and less funds) than a cab ride.

And yeah I agree with Rickford regarding your accent: some people might be mildly amused or curious at most, but many probably won't care. I also agree that it might help you stand out with the ladies, especially if you play up the "Southern Gentleman" angle.
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Old 03-23-2009, 10:05 AM
 
Location: the luxury ghett-oh-noes
180 posts, read 631,467 times
Reputation: 538
$650-$1200 will definitely find you something nice in the University City area if this part of the city interests you. Many apartments will be in older, converted houses; there are some high rises in the area around the Penn campus but those tend to be very expensive. A complex in UC called Garden Court Plaza has its own secure parking and is in a very pretty area of UC (47th and Pine St.). Rents on 1 br apts. are around $1100 w/o parking, which is an extra $125/mo.

No matter which area you set your sights on, try to visit both day and (especially) night, to see if you are comfortable. Where you're looking to live and where has been suggested is for the most part very safe, but you still need to keep your head on a swivel if you're going to live here in the city.

I am also a southerner and people here dig my accent and usually get it right on the first guess where I'm from. No one I've ever met finds it annoying--I always get compliments on both my home state and the way I sound, so you have nothing to worry about there.
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Old 03-24-2009, 03:33 AM
 
Location: Houston, Texas
9 posts, read 20,300 times
Reputation: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickford View Post
EastTex,

Live in Center City.

You can find reasonable one-bedroom aptartments for under $1000 a month. Try Washington Square West- it's safe, diverse, and in the middle of center city (so you can walk both to Old City and Rittenhouse area.) It seems to be a little cheaper than the rest of Center city too- other than China town, perhaps.

Also, you won't need the car if you work in center city or near a SEPTA/PATCO stop. I have been carless for a year and have no regrets. I havent even used Philly Car share or Zipcar either.

As for being from the South- I'm a southerner as well- born and raised in southern Georgia! I lost my accent however when I moved to Virginia for school. But, I think you could actually use your accent to your advantage. I never hear southern accents in Philly. Most non-natives seem to be from the Northeast, a southern accent would be down right exotic here in Philly. Honestly, I think the girls here will really like it!

Welcome to Philly! Godd luck!
Went on the internet and researched that neighborhood and that area seems like a pretty cool area. Wikipedia said it was close to an area called the "Gayborhood", which I have no problems with as long as it's within my price range and diverse. Being able to go careless would be a dream, in Houston you need a car because public transportation is really poor and the city is sprawled out. Oh yeah, I will most definitely use that accent to my advantage with the ladies....... Thx for the advice I really appreciate it.
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Old 03-24-2009, 03:35 AM
 
Location: Houston, Texas
9 posts, read 20,300 times
Reputation: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickford View Post
EastTex,

Live in Center City.

You can find reasonable one-bedroom aptartments for under $1000 a month. Try Washington Square West- it's safe, diverse, and in the middle of center city (so you can walk both to Old City and Rittenhouse area.) It seems to be a little cheaper than the rest of Center city too- other than China town, perhaps.

Also, you won't need the car if you work in center city or near a SEPTA/PATCO stop. I have been carless for a year and have no regrets. I havent even used Philly Car share or Zipcar either.

As for being from the South- I'm a southerner as well- born and raised in southern Georgia! I lost my accent however when I moved to Virginia for school. But, I think you could actually use your accent to your advantage. I never hear southern accents in Philly. Most non-natives seem to be from the Northeast, a southern accent would be down right exotic here in Philly. Honestly, I think the girls here will really like it!

Welcome to Philly! Godd luck!
Went on the internet and researched that neighborhood and that area seems like a pretty cool area. Wikipedia said it was close to an area called the "Gayborhood", which I have no problems with as long as it's within my price range and diverse. Being able to go careless would be a dream, in Houston you need a car because public transportation is really poor and the city is sprawled out. Oh yeah, I will most definitely use that accent to my advantage with the ladies....... Thx for the advice I really appreciate it.
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Old 03-31-2010, 12:23 AM
 
1 posts, read 2,498 times
Reputation: 10
Moderator Cut
How are you making out in philly, it's been a year....

Last edited by FindingZen; 03-31-2010 at 07:31 AM.. Reason: posting private emails on a public website is not recommended
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