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Old 12-26-2008, 02:08 PM
Location: Edwardsville, PA
12 posts, read 34,442 times
Reputation: 11


Hi, I have just recently graduated college and now have a job offer in Wilkes-Barre, PA. I was just wondering if anybody could give me some insight on such things as cost of living, things to do, apartment recommendations and overall experiences. Is there a good social life there for a 22 male? I would be coming from northwest ohio where I just graduated.

Any help is appreciated.

Thank you!
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Old 12-26-2008, 03:55 PM
Location: Wilkes-Barre, PA
2,014 posts, read 3,899,256 times
Reputation: 1725
Hang in there Langen, some of the best and brightest in NEPA such as ScranBarre will be around to help you soon.

I live in Wilkes Barre and love it so my opinion will be biased towards the positives. There is a renewed growth and revitilization going on here. Mayor Leighton has done a wonderful job bringing new infrastructure to the downtown area and the new riverfront project is almost completed. As a young college age man you will likely enjoy the new growth of the downtown which is more and more being developed to enhance the lives of college students attending King's or Wilkes U. The nightlife is growing around there bigtime and you will likely find like minded people to gather with at the watering holes.

The nature here is great with many parks in the summer and skiing and hunting in the winter, the landscape of the valley is beautiful. For shopping, there is a hugh section in Wilkes Barre Township with almost every national chain and I'm sure more coming in the future.

Cost of living for housing is less than Ohio I believe but you may pay a little more for food, clothing and other supplies. I think this is due to the shipping from the coast but I see the cost of living as about average for the country on the whole. The only real savings you get is the real estate but the high taxes offset alot of that anyway.

Apartments I wouldn't try to recommend because I have read other more informed people here say a place is bad from experience. The only one I always think looks nice from the outside is Mayflower Crossing but I think I remember some people coming here and saying it was bad. Wait out some responses from these others.

Mayflower Crossing Apartments

People will be up here soon bashing the city for its crime as well but I haven't seen a dangerous situation since I have been here and W-B Proud will be sure to tell you how we only have one homicide this year. I don't see any reason why you wouldn't be happy here, if you find you like the job but don't like living in Wilkes Barre there are many other great areas within a short car trip. Dallas, Shavertown or even parts of Kingston may be a better fit for you. I would suggest though to try and find Apartments on the fringes of the valley such as Mayflower or there is a complex in Pringle on the Back Mountain side of the valley that overlooks the valley looking east.

Good luck in your decisions and keep your eye out for some more informed posters.

Last edited by Chefkey; 12-26-2008 at 03:58 PM.. Reason: one little stinking typo
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Old 12-27-2008, 12:02 AM
Location: Marshall-Shadeland, Pittsburgh, PA
32,617 posts, read 77,624,272 times
Reputation: 19102
Chefkey gave you a good introduction to the city, but to be fair, there have been two murders in the Diamond City this year, if I'm not mistaken. That's still a far-cry from some years when there would be one every six weeks though!

Like its sister city of Scranton, Wilkes-Barre currently has a mayor who has devoted nearly 100% of his resources towards revitalizing the downtown, and Mayor Leighton's critics would argue that this has come at the expense of the city's neighborhoods, similar to those who criticize Mayor Doherty in Scranton.

I, too, am a 22-year-old male who will soon be graduating from King's College in Wilkes-Barre with a B.S. in Accounting. I grew up midway between Wilkes-Barre and Scranton and continue to live there, so I'm pretty familiar with both cities. In my humble opinion by 2010 Wilkes-Barre's downtown will blow Scranton's downtown out of the water. It is simply more dense and walkable, bounded on the north by King's College, the south by Wilkes University, the west by a soon-to-be-completed Riverfront Park, and the east by a wide boulevard---with Public Square in the epicenter. Scranton's downtown has no rigid boundaries and is pretty haphazard in comparison. However, Scranton has the superior neighborhoods, in my opinion. If you could pull out Wilkes-Barre's downtown and Scranton's neighborhoods, you'd have one mighty fine city, I do reckon!

Judging by what you described you're probably going to use Toledo as a reference point. I've honestly never been to Toledo, but from what I've heard it's a declining Rust Belt city dealing with population loss, urban sprawl, and crime issues. We're similar here as well. Crime isn't a major concern, and (thankfully) our population has finally started to grow in the immediate Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area after decades of steep decline, but people abandoning our two core cities in droves to plow over acres of trees for new homes remains a problem, as this has concentrated our poverty into the cities while concentrating the affluence in a few suburban pockets (Glenmaura comes to mind).

Our housing costs might even be a bit higher than Toledo, where homes are literally dirt cheap, but I'm really not very familiar with NW Ohio. Most living expenditures here are in-line with the national average, if not just a bit lower. Property taxes tend to be on the higher side, as do insurance premiums.

One asset to our region are the three "L's"---Location, Location, Location! You can wake up, grab breakfast at Denny's, and then hop onto a bus to see a show on Broadway in NYC, followed by some sight-seeing, and then be home in time to see the 10 PM news. I have a former high school classmate who drove on more than one occasion to Philadelphia simply to quench her craving for a cheese steak! Even if you're "bored" on occasion here in NEPA, the beach, NYC, and Philly all beckon to you within a quick drive.
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Old 12-27-2008, 09:22 AM
Location: Edwardsville, PA
12 posts, read 34,442 times
Reputation: 11
Thanks for the help, it is much appreciated. As for the point of reference, I am from around Toledo...not much there, but yeah I was using it as a reference for cost of living and such. As for the downtown social are, I have been attending Bowling Green State University for the past 4 years. BG is just a small college town with a big majority of its population being students and the University has just over 20,000 students, so it will be hard to match the social scene there, but that's to be expected when leaving college.

Thanks for the help and any more insight and opinions will be greatly appreciated.
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Old 12-27-2008, 03:09 PM
5 posts, read 19,356 times
Reputation: 13
I have a really nice 2 bedroom apartment $575 a month including heat and hot water near the colleges in a good section of town. There are a couple ares that are "good" and within walking distance to downtown and the bars. I find that going out is not very expensive at all. If I start the night with a happy hour I can go out for an entire night for $20. There is an okay social life if you do not mind the college crowd. The social scene during the summer is not that great and a lot of the bars are almost empty on a Friday night. There recently has been some new developement in the city including a movie theater, some new bars, and a club. There are 2 colleges which have around 4000 students living near them.

To be 100% area if you are looking for an area with a good social scene and to stay there for a while I would not choose Wilkes-Barre. I would come out and visit the area and see if you like it. If you come during the school year and go out picture the bars with only about 10% of the college students.

I do not find the crime to be an issue at al as long as you have street smarts.
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Old 12-27-2008, 03:13 PM
Location: Edwardsville, PA
12 posts, read 34,442 times
Reputation: 11
What are these good areas of town you speak of near the colleges. For me, I think that would be ideal, a good area within walking distance of the bars near the colleges, I definitely do not mind the college crowd being a recent graduate and all.
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Old 12-27-2008, 07:12 PM
5 posts, read 19,356 times
Reputation: 13
If you look at a map most of th bars that the college crowd frequents are between North St/South St and Main/Washington St. There are some outliers such as the Arena, Outsiders, and Riverside Cafe that are popular. There are a couple apartment complexes I can think ofwithin "walking" distance and they include Marlboro Place (I know a couple people that live here and like it), B'Nai B'Rith (I know nothing about), University Commons (mainly all college students in several buildings), and one on the corner of Market and Pennsylvania (my friend liked it). In general I would consider safe between Washington St and the river, north of Academy St, and to be honest I dont know how far north is good neighborhood. That area is also where most of the colleges students live.
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Old 12-28-2008, 08:35 AM
Location: downtown Easton
99 posts, read 338,360 times
Reputation: 96
Re: cost of living: my son has a really nice apartment a few ( short) blocks away from Wilkes U. He is a student and will be 22 in a few weeks. His apartment has a huge eat in kitchen, huge bathroom, lovely living room with built ins and a window seat, bedroom, and study. He also has a small porch, tons of closets, and a parking spot. His rent is $450. He pays utilities but it is still a bargain!! Hope this helps, and good luck to you.
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Old 12-28-2008, 08:06 PM
Location: NJ (formerly NEPA)
75 posts, read 154,418 times
Reputation: 82
Good luck. I graduated college in 2004 from Keystone with a Bachelor's of Science in Information Technology. Not to hijack this thread, but unfortunately, because of a lack of jobs in my field at the time, i could not find work out there...and had to move back to NJ-something i didnt want to do. If this "revitilization" continues to grow and prosper, I'd consider moving back provided there is room for me in my major and the numbers are right...i loved that area....
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Old 12-28-2008, 09:40 PM
Location: Hartford area
13 posts, read 51,549 times
Reputation: 27
I recently spent two years living in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton area and LOVED the nightlife! My career brought me into--and out of--the region, but I will always have great memories of NEPA! (And the friends for life that I made while living and working there!)

As far as bars and clubs, take your pick!

In the Wilkes-Barre area, you've got:

-The Woodlands (Three levels, dance club, lounge area(s), live bands... EVERYTHING! Very trendy! Plus, it's a hotel, so if you can't drive home, get a room! LOL).

-Hardware Bar (I've only been there once b/c it opened after I moved, but it's a pretty cool Coyote Ugly sort of vibe).

-Ole Tyme Charley's in Plains! (Tuesday night is the night to be there! Great specials on beer pitchers, air hockey, pool, and KARAOKE!)

-Twist (Alternative Lifestyle bar. I'm a hag. I LOVED Twist! The people are so nice there!)

Friends have told me about a bunch of new bars that also opened in downtown WB, too. I don't remember all of them, but grab a copy of The Weekender (a free newspaper for the younger crowd) or listen to local radio stations (i.e. 97.1 BHT or 97.9X) and get the scoop on what's hot!

In Scranton:

-Colosseum Nightclub! (Relatively new. Very trendy. Great DJs).

-TINK'S! (Tink's was my FAVORITE out of every bar or club in the area!!!! It's been remodeled and changed owners since I've moved, but I've heard it looks great. Not sure if the vibe is the same, but next time I visit, it will be one of my first stops! They used to have GREAT happy hour drink specials... not sure if that's the same. Plus, three levels! Not as "fancy" as the Woodlands. Or, well, wasn't before the remodel... have no idea what it's like now!)

-Whistles (Sports bar, great wings! YUM!)

And after the bars and clubs close at 2AM, you can go to Mohegan Sun in WB and waste your money on the slots, hang out at G-Club 10, or get your eat on at Perkins, Denny's or SHEETZ! (I miss Sheetz!)
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