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Old 05-21-2011, 06:16 AM
 
443 posts, read 536,937 times
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I just moved to Reading, PA. Seriously, what is the deal with the wanna-be lame gansta look that everybody has here? I just don't get it. I moved in from a very vibrant and educated neighborhood in a large city, and after walking around town last night all I can say is WOW! I went to the mall also. It seems like everybody has to have this lame really poser tough guy look. It seems like 99% of the population has to have their hats sideways and prison tattoos everywhere. I don't think I will be able to last a year here, but have to with my job and work.

Is there anywhere close by to here I could move to after a year that is normal and somewhat vibrant? And I don't mean anything by race, just people who seem like they don't have to prove that they are tough by some lame image. Maybe Pottstown?
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Old 05-21-2011, 07:09 AM
 
419 posts, read 617,406 times
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Default Are you looking for Urban?

West Reading Gangsta, did you walk around in downtown Reading last night or downtown West Reading last night? Big difference.

The City of Reading has a lot of housing options for poor people, so poor people live there. There are also affluent areas around Albright college and the Centre Avenue historical district, and solidly middle class areas, too; but City of Reading has much of Berks County's poor population. The teens wear the gangsta look, which is posing to a degree, although there ARE some bad kids, many more just have to have "the look". (I am SO SO tired of the droopy drawers look, and the untied sneakers. <Sigh> )

Have you explored your West Reading neighborhood? Third & Spruce Cafe? Viva Good Life? West Reading Tavern? I'm guessing you are a guy so I won't go into shopping here.

The city of Reading has vibrant places to go, too: The Peanut Bar, Judy's, The Speckled Hen, Canal Street Pub, The Ugly Oyster, Pike Street Cafe, and many more. I don't know what age you are so maybe some of these places would be too sedate or too noisy. Jeeze, get a copy of the Weekend insert in the Thursday Reading Eagle newspaper and look at all the stuff that's happening.

If you want URBAN edgy you'd have to go to Philly. Reading and environs is urban lite, but it has a lot going on. You just haven't found your niche yet.
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Old 05-21-2011, 07:30 AM
 
22,222 posts, read 20,053,479 times
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Many of the " Gangstas' you see are just posers. The NYC wannabe look, Yankees or Mets gear, with Lakers or Bulls jerseys, usually. Its just for show. Most of these guys have never lived within 50 miles of NYC. As far as the rest of the gangsta look( bling), its done to impress. No harm no foul, to each their own. These guys would not last a day among real gangs but hope the locals don't know that.
Now if you see somebody that looks like a real thug, I. E. a scumbag with a look in his eye like nobody's altogether home, then you know you you'd better watch your stuff and not turn your back. These guys do spend time in NYC, Philly, Jersey and while they aren't as tough as the guys from there( or they'd stay there), they can be a problem. Usually you get stupid kids who want to get a reputation so they assault people as long as they have the numbers( or a gun) to avoid getting their butts kicked. Or some douche who just wants to seperate you from your money.
Reading has very vibrant suburbs so look there. It doesn't have a club scene at all and sports bars aren't big. Highschool sports, Reading baseball, indoor football, hockey, recreational biking, thats more of what you find.
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Old 05-21-2011, 06:07 PM
 
443 posts, read 536,937 times
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Jeanie, I actually live in West Reading. I noticed the Third and Spruce. I live close by. Stopped at the West Reading Tavern, very nice bar. Yes, West Reading is nice. Wyomissing is nice, and Museum park is nice. It does not have as much as what I had back home, but feels somewhat like a State College type feel. I am use to a large city. The thing that gets me about Reading is I like to go down to a center city area, check out the architecture. It feels like I realy don't want to do that here. Like yeah, in bigger cities there are thugs. But it seems like the whole town of Reading tries to have that image. No doubt there are more violent and tough people in Center City Philly. However, there are so many more normal non-thugs to offset it that you feel safe. Reading just seems like it has potential but won't be there unless there is a major upswing in the economy or a major college to attract more educated locals.

I did explore West Reading, but the exploration of bars is starting to fade. Major life changes is holding that back as my younger years in bigger cities hitting every bar possible. That is why I thought I could handle a smaller town with a kid on the way. But It seems like I am limited to just West Reading/Wyomissing in my walks at night, etc.

Icy Tea, I agree. Most seem like total posers, some do seem scary. There just needs to be more educational attainment in this town or something. Where I lived in other major cities there where always a large amount of universities contributing to a vibrancy of a town. Maybe that is a big part.
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Old 05-23-2011, 05:52 PM
 
22,222 posts, read 20,053,479 times
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You have schools here. Albright, theres Alvernia, Kutztown and RACC is huge for a community college in this size town. Theres also the big Penn State campus. Reading is poor for education attainment but its the students( actually the parents), not the facility itself. The rest of the county public schools are at least above average. Some like Wyomissing are tops in the state.
You'll find similar situations in Allentown and Lancaster, very similar. As I said, look to the suburbs.
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Old 05-23-2011, 07:13 PM
 
Location: SouthEastern PeeAye
889 posts, read 2,366,513 times
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Downtown Reading isn't the 'very vibrant and educated neighborhood in a large city' part of Reading. As others have said, West Reading, Wyomissing, West Lawn, Sinking Spring and Shillington are what you describe.

'Downtown' West Reading and Wyomissing are very walkable, Wyomissing has beautiful tree lined streets, go check those areas out and report back here to tell us if we are all off base or not.

The Berkshire Mall is clearly targeting the youth demographic. My observation is the shopping center off Broadcasting Rd and Peppermill Rd attracts an entirely different demographic, clearly more upscale with more disposable income to spend. Spend some time there, in the coffee bar in Barnes & Noble for example, and you'll see a difference slice of life.
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Old 05-23-2011, 09:03 PM
 
419 posts, read 617,406 times
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Default Diamond in the Rough

I wish, I wish the gentrifying bug would infect Reading. You said you love to walk around and admire the architecture of a town - well Reading has neglected gems all over the place. We just have to shed the ghetto wannabe vibe somehow.

But every now and then, something positive happens and you just want to applaud. In today's paper there was an article about two recent Albright College grads who bought The Forrest Inn, a block up from the Sovereign Center on Penn Street, and they are refurbishing it and expanding the beer list plus offering a moderately priced food menu.

THEY believe in Reading. Their sweat and their time and their fortunes are tied up with this enterprise and I salute them!

Young owners energize Reading's Forest Inn

OP, maybe stop by and check out this place?
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Old 05-24-2011, 04:48 PM
 
Location: Midwest
1,283 posts, read 1,998,131 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeanie Beanie View Post
I wish, I wish the gentrifying bug would infect Reading. You said you love to walk around and admire the architecture of a town - well Reading has neglected gems all over the place. We just have to shed the ghetto wannabe vibe somehow.

But every now and then, something positive happens and you just want to applaud. In today's paper there was an article about two recent Albright College grads who bought The Forrest Inn, a block up from the Sovereign Center on Penn Street, and they are refurbishing it and expanding the beer list plus offering a moderately priced food menu.

THEY believe in Reading. Their sweat and their time and their fortunes are tied up with this enterprise and I salute them!

Young owners energize Reading's Forest Inn

OP, maybe stop by and check out this place?
It'll come one day soon. Reading is such a lovely place with such potential. It doesn't help that so few people in Berks County have desire or clue about what makes a good city - having spent a bunch of my childhood in Hamburg, PA you hear the most ridiculous fear-mongering about the place. I think a lot of Reading's renaissance will be from people priced out of New York and Philadelphia who recognize a good urban landscape when they see it - as opposed to a back to the city movement within the Reading metro area itself. Get a couple of worthwhile things on Penn, get at least one dependable bus route that doesn't shut down at 6 PM, and you can start attracting some people.
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Old 05-24-2011, 06:13 PM
 
443 posts, read 536,937 times
Reputation: 619
Agreed. Reading has a ton of potential. I like how it is a pretty city tucked away in the eastern hills with such fertile attractive land around it. It looks unique, and has a very historic strong urban fabric. The Victorian row home architecture is amazing. It would be such a desirable place if it just had a more vibrant core. Just something is missing.
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Old 11-10-2011, 10:14 AM
 
5 posts, read 11,971 times
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Default New Job in Reading

I may be accepting a job in West Reading. Can anyone tell me what areas are best to live in near there? No kids to worry about, just me and my wife. We currently live in upstate NY.

Thanks,
Andy
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