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Old 08-02-2012, 12:36 PM
 
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I'd like to show my husband around some Pennsylvania towns as possible places to live. Right now, we live outside of Boston and like a lot of things about the area but are considering moving closer to family in northern Delaware. Delaware itself doesn't work for us, but we're interested in nearby towns in PA.

Here's our list:
* Good schools, preferably diverse
* Quaint town
* Plenty to do (shops, restaurants, theater, art)
* Leafy, with access to at least one park with a water source (creek, pond, whatever)
* Within 45 minutes of both Philadelphia and Greenville, DE

So far, I'm thinking Media, Swarthmore, West Chester, Chadds Ford, maybe Kennett Square. Any other ideas?
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Old 08-02-2012, 05:49 PM
 
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I think you've got the right pick of towns, but all are lacking diversity, unless you mean something besides race.
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Old 08-02-2012, 07:00 PM
 
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That's probably my Massachusetts bias showing. Other than Chadds Ford, which has very little diversity, the rest of the towns I listed are between 70% and 82% white, according to City-Data. (Those numbers aren't too far off national demographics.) In contrast, many of the cute Massachusetts towns with good schools are up in the 90+% range.
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Old 08-02-2012, 07:02 PM
 
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Media's probably the closest out of that list to what you're looking for. The actual borough of Media is a lot different than everywhere else with a Media zip code. The trolleys, buses, businesses and the draws like its restaurants, shops, and the Media theatre bring people from all over into the downtown area of Media. Media's not as diverse as Upper Darby or anything but it's more diverse than the others in your list, mostly because its housing runs the gamut from typical West Philly rowhouses to much nicer, more expensive houses.

Last edited by UDResident; 08-02-2012 at 07:24 PM..
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Old 08-02-2012, 07:13 PM
 
Location: New York City
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I would like to clarify some things. Media borough is actually a very small part of the whole 19063 zip code. So yea MEDIA is somewhat diverse, but the surrounding towns, Middletown, Upper Providence that have the same zip code are almost exclusively white. So the Rose Tree Media School District which makes up the Media area is very good, but not really diverse.

Next Swarthmore is also mainly white, and has a larger Asian population for most of the suburbs in the area. However, Swarthmore much resembles a wealthy town in Connecticut or Massachusetts, a lot of old large homes, mature tree growth, and old money. Excellent excellent area.

West Chester is a diverse area, but still not really. Downtown west chester is diverse, but the surrounding area again is very white.

Chadds Ford is the least diverse, mcmansions, estates, horse farms, wealthy people, but beautiful.

Kennett is probably the most diverse, there area a lot of poor farmers and latino people there. However, the area is changing and sprawling. So kennett is an area with mcmansions and poor farmers, the schools are good but not great, but the area is sort of a hot spot for young families.


So I would say you have some good towns. My top picks would be the Media area or Swarthmore area. They have everything you are looking for, with good commutes, and a lot of parks in the area.
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Old 08-02-2012, 08:44 PM
 
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That's why I made it clear I was speaking about the borough itself and not everywhere with a Media zip code. Also, I find it hard to believe that Kennett Square is more diverse than Media borough. I guess it's possibly more diverse than Media as a whole but that's not really saying much. Either way, don't expect Media or its school district to not get more diverse over the years. A lot of people want to bring their kids up in a school district like Rose Tree-Media, regardless of where they come from.
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Old 08-03-2012, 06:22 AM
 
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Thanks for the Media insights. I have spent time there before but never really thought about the boundaries of what's considered Media proper. I'm torn on West Chester. It's a darling town, but definitely the farthest from everything I'd want to access.

Are any of the eastern Main Line towns worth looking into? Generally, I'd rather not deal with the name-brand game of living on the Main Line, but it's been long enough since I've been there that I don't know the towns at all anymore. (I have a lot of tolerance for people who love their town, not so much for snoot.)
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Old 08-03-2012, 06:46 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UDResident View Post
That's why I made it clear I was speaking about the borough itself and not everywhere with a Media zip code. Also, I find it hard to believe that Kennett Square is more diverse than Media borough. I guess it's possibly more diverse than Media as a whole but that's not really saying much. Either way, don't expect Media or its school district to not get more diverse over the years. A lot of people want to bring their kids up in a school district like Rose Tree-Media, regardless of where they come from.
Kennett Square, the mushroom capital of the world, employees many Mexican immigrants, and their kids attend the schools there. 32.9% of the students in the HS are Hispanic Kennett High School, Kennett Square PA School Profile, Ranking, and Reviews - SchoolDigger.com That's got to be a high number for SE Pennsylvania. Compare that to Rose-Tree Media school district, which has .7% Hispanic Penncrest High School, Media PA School Profile, Ranking, and Reviews - SchoolDigger.com I find it easier to just compare High Schools since our smaller districts usually have just one High School. I don't see the point in just looking at people in general in a town center since the OP is specifically looking at schools, which do not draw from just one area.
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Old 08-03-2012, 08:46 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toobusytoday View Post
Kennett Square, the mushroom capital of the world, employees many Mexican immigrants, and their kids attend the schools there. 32.9% of the students in the HS are Hispanic Kennett High School, Kennett Square PA School Profile, Ranking, and Reviews - SchoolDigger.com That's got to be a high number for SE Pennsylvania. Compare that to Rose-Tree Media school district, which has .7% Hispanic Penncrest High School, Media PA School Profile, Ranking, and Reviews - SchoolDigger.com I find it easier to just compare High Schools since our smaller districts usually have just one High School. I don't see the point in just looking at people in general in a town center since the OP is specifically looking at schools, which do not draw from just one area.
White and hispanic isn't really all that diverse though is what I'm saying. Media is maybe more white than Kennet Square (though I really find that hard to believe) but it's probably got more diversity among its non-white residents. Kennett Square is also in the middle of nowhere whereas Media is in an area that is very developed and populated and that is becoming increasingly diverse every year.
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Old 08-04-2012, 07:29 PM
 
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I have family living in Media. Very small/college towny-ish feel to it. Very cute, and a nice theater in the town, but not much diversity. Still a VERY cute town.
Swathmore is a very affluent area, very nice to visit, but not always to live. I have friends there who say it is not diverse at all.
I travel to West Chester often. Keep in mind, it IS a college town, so you will run into a bunch of students. I dont think the schools are very good.
Chadds Ford is an excellent area. For the most part, your children would attend the Unionville/Chadds-Ford school district, which is an amazing, award winning district. But, there is a small part of Chadds Ford that allows your children to attend the Kennett Consolidated School district, which is VERY diverse.
While the town of Kennett Square might not exactly be for you, the school district honesty isn't that bad. in 2011 it had 12 national merit finalists. Very good extracurriculars, and a staff that will bend over backwards for their students.
Honestly, I would choose a home in that school district, but not in Kennett. I would recommend the neighborhood of Somerset Lake, a very nice resort community with a very nice sense of community. Tons to do in the neighborhood alone, boating, swimming pools, fitness rooms, etc. It is located in Landenberg, PA, which is 5 minutes from DE, but still close enough to experience the ADORABLE town of Kennett Square (with excellent restaurants) and towns around Delaware! it 20 minutes from a very nice mall.
Another neighborhood I would reccommend, still in that school district, is Hartefeld National Golf Course. It is located in Avondale, PA and while it does not have a lake, it has... well a golf course! along with swimming pools and fitness centers. it is very picturesque, and lots of walking, along with its own restaurant! It is 10 minutes from DE and even closer to Kennett.
Wherever you choose, Southeastern PA is lovely, and when my parents chose to move there 30 years ago, I'm confident it was one of their best decisions ever.
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