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Harrisburg area Cumberland, Dauphin, and Perry Counties
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Old 02-24-2014, 06:54 PM
 
3 posts, read 10,135 times
Reputation: 10

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Hi everyone,

Yet another "may be moving to the area" post, this one by a couple of flaming liberals (and 50% athiest, so won't be finding community in a church) who are totally open-minded about their neighbors but understand that not all of their neighbors will be open-minded about them. So we're looking for suggestions of neighborhoods to look in that are family-friendly (we have a 1.5-year old), decent amount of space with small yard (what toddler doesn't want to be outdoors all day?), but also hopefully gay-friendly, diverse, and potentially even walkable (we're transplanted NYers now living in Santa Monica/Los Angeles. We're hoping to buy a house, cost not an issue, and are just looking for the best fit for our family in a good school district. I'll be working from home, my spouse will be working at the medical center in Hershey. Thinking that we'd be okay with up to a 45-min commute to/from Hershey, but closer would be better.

Is there ANY neighborhood that comes to mind as a potential fit? We'll be out there soon to look at real-estate and neighborhoods and would love any help in narrowing the field...

Thanks!
-CiCA
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Old 02-24-2014, 10:52 PM
 
47 posts, read 68,448 times
Reputation: 86
no good neighborhoods in pennsylvania to fit your lifestyle, sorry. maybe maryland would work for you.
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Old 02-25-2014, 08:06 AM
 
Location: Crafton, PA
1,172 posts, read 1,958,292 times
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Hmm...you will be a little hard-pressed to find a place outside of Pittsburgh or Philly (and some of the smaller cities) with a liberal mindset, though I think pockets of less-conservative do exist. I don't know for a fact but have gotten the impression that some of the west shore neighborhoods (namely Camp Hill) are less conservative. Perhaps this is due to a large number or state workers living on the west shore. You could also try some of the towns with small colleges (Elizabethtown, Carslile, Millersville, etc...). I think, in general, the small towns around Harrisburg seem to be a little less conservative when compared to the towns closer to Lancaster, York, and Lebanon. I have quite a few liberal friends in the Harrisburg area and they seem to like it there. Hershey itself may on the less conservative side as well.
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Old 02-25-2014, 08:28 AM
 
4,267 posts, read 10,387,105 times
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As mentioned the entire 717 LHY area is much more conservative than even far upstate NY, not even comparing the bicoastal areas. We do have public radio sharing the left side of the dial with various religious stations, but the public radio offers no hint of Pacifica even now that it has converted from part-classical to news/talk.

There are some signs of change in Hershey, the Derry Twp Board of Supervisors (i.e. the local government, "Hershey" does not exist) actually came within a few votes of flipping from R to D last year. There is some ethnic diversity but not so much economic or political, what political tension there is is bewteen an auto-centric unimaginative complacent establishment relying on reflexive R voting, and a group who seems to recognize that excessively boring auto-centrism is driving away young talent that the Entities (the Medical Center, School, HE&R, and Company, sometimes in that order) need to survive.

The west side of Lancaster City, and very arguably Camp Hill Borough, might be slightly more progressive, but both would be about at the edge of the 45 minute one way commute to Hershey Medical Center. Harrisburg City neighborhoods are mostly row homes without real yards, and one would also likely have to budget for private schools in addition to significantly higher taxes.

Hummelstown Borough, Palmyra Borough, and Middletown Borough have walkable areas but would not even be as progressive politically as Hershey (meaning "what church do you go to" might be the first question in these other areas, instead of third or fourth).

It almost seems you might as well move to Hershey and reduce your commuting time and carbon footprint. With a bicoastal budget, the Hershey village areas roughly between Pronio's Market and the school complex should be well within reach, and a long walk or short bike ride from the Medical Center or the theme park. Watch for sinkholes, they're not just in Palmyra as many locals seem to think/conveniently say.
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Old 02-25-2014, 10:36 AM
 
3 posts, read 10,135 times
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Thanks so much, everyone--this is super helpful, and seems to echo (but more specifically, thank you!) what I'm gathering from reading old threads on this board. I don't think we feel as if we need to be surrounded by like-minded dems, but reading about the old-vs-new problems and difficulties of newcomers fitting in in Lancaster had me a bit nervous. I don't need all our friends and neighbors to agree with me; I'd just like them to accept us and embrace us anyway. =)

So it sounds as if we'd be looking at Camp Hill Borough, west side of Lancaster, Elizabethtown, possibly Hershey village--are there any other areas of Harrisburg that would also be worth looking at?

Ki0eh--what is the public radio station there? Is it out of Harrisburg?
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Old 02-25-2014, 12:45 PM
 
4,267 posts, read 10,387,105 times
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witf.org
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Old 02-27-2014, 07:49 AM
 
20 posts, read 30,344 times
Reputation: 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by CluelessInCali View Post
Hi everyone,

Yet another "may be moving to the area" post, this one by a couple of flaming liberals (and 50% athiest, so won't be finding community in a church) who are totally open-minded about their neighbors but understand that not all of their neighbors will be open-minded about them. So we're looking for suggestions of neighborhoods to look in that are family-friendly (we have a 1.5-year old), decent amount of space with small yard (what toddler doesn't want to be outdoors all day?), but also hopefully gay-friendly, diverse, and potentially even walkable (we're transplanted NYers now living in Santa Monica/Los Angeles. We're hoping to buy a house, cost not an issue, and are just looking for the best fit for our family in a good school district. I'll be working from home, my spouse will be working at the medical center in Hershey. Thinking that we'd be okay with up to a 45-min commute to/from Hershey, but closer would be better.

Is there ANY neighborhood that comes to mind as a potential fit? We'll be out there soon to look at real-estate and neighborhoods and would love any help in narrowing the field...

Thanks!
-CiCA
I grew up pretty much my whole life in Central Pennsylvania (Lebanon County to be exact). I'm sorry to say but the culture of the area is overwhelmingly conservative with the exception of maybe Hershey and parts of Harrisburg. People in central pa tend to stick to their ways and still live in the 1950s for the most part and are happy with it being that way. Gay friendly? It's not uncommon for people to yell "*****" out their pick-up trucks here. (It's happened many times to me and people I know). Church seems to be an everyday part of peoples lives here.

The area IS very heavily family oriented though but in a very white, heterosexual, christian, small-town sort of way.
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Old 03-01-2014, 08:22 AM
 
200 posts, read 543,438 times
Reputation: 190
Your initial characterization as 'flaming liberal' suggests that California is your true home. You might want to do some soul searching to decide if you really want to leave your true home for Pennsylvania or anywhere else. I know if I were living in an area perfect for me, I would not want to uproot for any far away job no matter what the minor benefits of that job would be.
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Old 03-03-2014, 07:52 PM
 
Location: Brookline, PGH
876 posts, read 1,012,019 times
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My parents are atheists and pretty far to the left politically, settled down in a development between Carlisle and Boiling Springs, and have gotten along just fine for the past 30+ years.

The area is conservative and religious, but it also has a fairly strong "live and let live" ethic. People that have extremely different life views than yours mostly just let you be.

And there are plenty of folks in the mid-state who are progressive, secular, and counter-culture. Those of us who grew up there got really good at sniffing each other out.

Anyway, what characteristics are you looking for in a neighborhood outside of political leanings? Are you looking for a rural setting, an exurb, or a borough? Do you prefer classic victorian style, post-war housing stock, or contemporary architecture?
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