Coming to Check Out Philadelphia Area (Pittsburgh, New Castle: rent, chapel, appliances)
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I'm from the west coast and agree with a lot of what Shino is saying.
But, there are also some really wonderful things here. Terrific array of museums, including world class art museum, lots of interesting art galleries, and, if you have any interest in early American history, it's hard to beat Philadelphia. I remember wondering around Center City my first year here, looking over and seeing Benjamin Franklin's grave. For me that was a really cool experience.
and let's not forget about the destruction that happened in Center City after the Phillies won the World Series, not very classy.
this only happens in Philadelphia? It was pretty tame here compared to what happened recently in LA or Boston the year before . . . and on every college campus when their team wins a championship.
So, you can't claim crime only happens in bad neighborhoods.
never did. but the murder and mayhem you're talking about happen in North Philly and a shrinking portion of West Philly. You make it sound like walking down Walnut St. is the wild west.
Chicago is the 3rd largest city in the country, Philadelphia is the 6th. So, twice the size.
Chicago has exactly twice the population and more than twice the number of police being killed in the line of duty. You mentioned it as being infinitely a nicer city than Philadelphia.
NYC is the first and in 2009, they've had 0 actually killed in the line of duty (not accounting for accidents). So what's your arugement now?
My argument is that NYC has a much larger police force, the effects of which are magnified because of the population density there. They also always patrol in groups of 3 and 4. It's not that cops in NYC don't get shot at or don't have people that try to shoot or stab them - it's that it's a lot harder to get away with.
No one even mentioned the taxes and cost of living being much higher here than Texas.
Yeah, that was actually mentioned before you joined the thread.
How much do you think a 2 bdrm condo in the larger cities of Dallas/Houston cost compared to one of the same quality here? My rent for a 2bdrm brand new apartment with full size washer/dryer in the best part of town of where I lived before moving to Philly was $1000/ month, now my 1 brdm, significantly smaller place is 68% more.
Craigslist shows 2 bedroom apartments in and around downtown Dallas consistently offered for $1200 - $1700 with the average looking to be more like $1500.
Regardless, try taking some responsibility for your actions. It's not the city's fault that you weren't more selective in your apartment search. If you didn't want to live in a small apartment in an overpriced neighborhood why didn't you look somewhere else? For $1600/month you could have rented a 3 bedroom house in Chestnut Hill or something of comparable size a few blocks from Penn.
I'm from the west coast and agree with a lot of what Shino is saying.
I'm curious to hear about your experience and what points you agree with her on . . . and not to be argumentative but just because you're in the suburbs.
Were you living in the suburbs somewhere else? Do the 'burbs here not compare favorably?
When I first moved here I was living in Voorhees, NJ. Hated the location. As soon as my lease was up I bought a house in Collingswood. It was better but I found myself in the city so much it didn't make sense to stay in Collingswood so, after a year I moved again (kept my house - just renting in the city).
I absolutely hated my first 6 months in the city and couldn't wait til my lease was up. My tenants wanted to renew their lease and I told them no, that i'd be moving back in. By the time the year was up I was a lot more reluctant to go back to Collingswood and the time was right to sell - and now that my tenants were out - I could. I convinced my landlord to let me sign a 6 months extension and he did.
I think my initial apprehension had to do with my sense of isolation. The center of my social life was now across the river. It wasn't far but not always convenient to shuttle back and forth, especially since I was working here. It took me a year to build a life in the city but once I did it was a lot more rewarding than what I had on Haddon Ave.
I believe you were the one that compared Chicago to Philly with the cops being shot and did agree with me that Chicago is nicer than Philly. So...
We live in Rittenhouse, so yes our rent is going to be higher, however we need to be close to HUP due to my husband's job and West Philly is not our cup of tea. We have friends there that love it, but it's just not for us. We actually looked for 6 or 7 months at apartments before moving into the city because we originally lived out in the burbs, we're just selective in the type of place we want to live in...doorman building, washer/dryer in unit, etc. So yes it's going to cost, but considering I had a washer/dryer in my apt when I first graduated from college, I wasn't going to downgrade now and for safety sake we wanted the doorman building. I'm not complaining about my building or my rent, it's just much more for a lot less room than I had before for more than half the price, however that's the price I'm willing to pay to live in an urban environment.
What about buying a condo? My friend bought a townhouse in the River Oaks section of Houston, which is known to be the most high-end area of Houston for under $250k. What sort of condo can you buy in Rittenhouse/Society Hill for under $250k that is fully upgraded, 2 bedrooms, 2000 sq ft, outdoor space?
I apologize, however the nice areas of the cities I lived in didn't have the crime that I mentioned before, certainly not people driving cars through store-fronts and I lived in a city that won two super bowls while I was there...there were no riots, violence, etc. However, maybe I just have higher expectations of how the publicum should act?
As I've said, not every thing about Philadelphia is bad, it's just not for me and will be different for someone moving from small-town Texas.
You're entitled to your opinion just as much as I am and I wonder why you're constantly trying to prove me wrong on the points I make? Not everyone has to agree with you just like they don't have to agree with me.
I'm actually from Texas, got my undergrad there, got my master's in another Southern city then moved up here several years ago and agree with Shino too.
The people here are NOT warm and friendly like they were in the South and personally I did not exchange superficial pleasantries with my neighbors down there and just discuss the weather as Solibs would like to say. We talked about everything going on in our lives, the neighborhood, etc..they would watch my place and cats when I went out of town. Now, I don't even know my neighbors! They duck into their places as quickly as possible, everybody stares at the floor or their blackberries in the elevators, you pass people in the halls and they just look down. Heck, at this point, I would like to exchange some superficial pleasantries about the weather vs. the cold silence that envelops everyone!
Another example...I belonged to a gym where I came from and one here. I go at the same time I went to my old gym...basically the crack of dawn, so one sees the same people every time. Before, everyone would talk to one another, you knew what their names were, what they did for a living, what their families were up to, where they were going on their next vacation, people would talk about the local sports teams, etc. Here, they exchange "hello's" in the morning, but no one talks after that! I bet most of the people I work out with don't even know one another's names! I have TONS of other examples but those are the most striking.
The weather is also important...only living in Texas and then another Southern climate and then moving to the North, what 35 degrees feels like for someone used to it vs. someone, who is not, is totally different. Then lets add the wind tunnels that form between the buildings making it so you can sometimes barely take a step forward and/or chills you to the bone, it's cold..teeth chattering cold! Spring also comes a lot earlier down there, I'd say it doesn't consistently stay up above 70 until maybe mid-May up here. Plus, this summer was unusually cold and rainy, which followed an unusually cold winter...remember all those 20 degree highs and Artic Blasts we had this winter? As I said, for someone used to Texas winters, it's hard to get used to! Plus, it's gray and overcast here a lot, in Texas the skies are blue and the sun is out a lot more than here. That can also take a toll on you, for lots of people in fact.
I'm suprised solibs found Nashville, Atlanta, and the UNC-Chapel Hill area boring! I must say he/she must not have been there very long or looked very hard! I have friends, who are transplants to those areas, so not even from the South in many instances, that love living there and I love to visit. The restaurant scene in all three is great, especially Atlanta, there's lots of outdoor activities to do in those places, then the local culture of each place. A lot of my friends have visited me since I moved up here, but they have told me they wouldn't want to live here. So, like Shino...my friends aren't clamoring to move to the "Great White North" as one of my guy friends terms it. Also, I personally find Charlotte to be boring and some other places in the Carolinas to be much nicer. However, every one is entitled to their own opinion!
Also Solibs where in Dallas and how big were the $1700/month apartments? Were they in the Highland Park or Turtle Creek area and 2-3 bedrooms? I'm from Dallas and the cost of living in Dallas is SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper than in center city Philadelphia. The average cost of a "nice" one bedroom apartment in Dallas is probably $800-$1000 dollars. That's what both my siblings pay. Shino said her one bedroom apartment is approx $1600, for $1600...just looking at Craigslist this exact moment in Dallas gets you a 3 bedroom apartment with stainless steel appliances and parking. Most of the rents being advertised are much much lower or significantly higher like low $2k for the Turtle Creek area, which is an extremley high end area, however bigger than a one bedroom. My rent is lower than Shino's, but I can guarantee you it's not the same quality I could get in Dallas for the same amount of money, nor include what most Texans/Americans take as a right...a parking spot! So, let's make sure we're comparing apples to apples here, why don't we? :-)
Sure Philly has lots of great things going on, but we can't overlook the not so great things either and the differences one feels when they're not from here!
I'd also like to add I have friends from grad school that were from Chicago, DC Area, NYC, SF, etc, who went back to work there and have visited me here in Philly and they don't want to move here either, so it's just not my Texan or Southern friends, who feel that way. So it's not s a Southern or Texan thing, but even our neighbors in Manhattan and DC share some of the sentiments Shino's friends do.
Well, everyone to their own. Personally, it would drive me freakin' crazy if strangers or aquaintances were chit-chatting with me all the time. I go to the gym to workout and get out of there ASAP. In fact, I bought an ipod for the sole reason so I wouldn't have to talk to people when I'm trying to squeeze an hour workout into my crazy day. Same goes for my neighbors. I want to be on pleasant terms with them, but I sure as h*ll don't need to know about their ongoing health saga or their son's divorce. I guess it just comes down to preference.
This weather issue really confuses me though. This isn't the 1500s. I think most people in the country know the basic weather situation in all the major regions in the U.S. And, I'm sure that people who are seriously considering moving here have the forethought to actually go online and see what the weather is like.
Oh yeah, forgot to address the rental market that keeps popping up on this thread. I'm not sure why some consider it a positive that rents are so low in these what seem to be "utopian" Southern cities. All that really means is that housing demand is low (most likely from an iffy job market), and ultimately, housing is a weak investment. I see that as a major detriment to an area -- unless you want to rent for the rest of your life.
To each their own Commuting North, to each their own. Spoken like a true Northerner too. It's just a different way of life and thinking. Also, no one chit chatted during the work out, it was before the place opened or in the locker room getting ready for the day. Property prices in California are much higher than what they are in Philly, Chicago, some places in DC, etc however I wouldn't consider California to be better off than those areas or even here economically, so the arugement doesn't make sense about lower rents being indicative of a bad job market unless you're saying that the areas I mentioned are worse off than Los Angeles, San Francisco, Palo Alto, South Orange County, etc.
Well I'm on good terms with just about every single person in my gym and we always say hi to each other and exchange a few pleasantries before workouts or in-between sets. I just don't need to hear life details about strangers, that's all. I guess I've just have different experiences. The property market in CA is notorious for being possibly the most inflated and over-priced market in the world over the last four years. You can't accurately compare the CA housing market to anything.
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