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Old 08-08-2013, 11:44 AM
 
177 posts, read 306,228 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RCdelco View Post
s100ze definitely provided a MUCH more comprehensive look at Delco than I did. Thanks! I just want to add/argue a few things.

I never meant to insinuate that Ardmore is working class. It has one pocket of section 8 housing, so that particular area may be considered a bit seedy in comparison to the rest of Ardmore, but Ardmore itself is a gorgeous area that I would consider myself lucky to call home. That being said, I do consider it to be one of the more affordable areas of the Main Line.

Haverford- I think it's worth noting that Haverford is home to one of the country's oldest country clubs - the Merion Cricket Club. Anyone who paid attention to this year's US Open probably got a good handle on how beautiful/expensive Haverford is

Radnor- No argument on this end about being the richest, nicest part of Delaware County. That's a pretty hard point to argue. The only thing I would tweak just a little bit is that perhaps Haverford and Radnor are on par with each other - but again, that's really a matter of personal preference at this point.

Aldan- I've seen homes that have pretty decent curb appeal in Aldan. I think the actual location is more of a problem than the housing stock. They truly got screwed when it came to school districts.

Clifton Heights- I've never seen any true "stand out" homes here, but that's not to say they don't exist. Admittedly, I haven't spent too much time in Clifton, but I was under the impression that it largely consists of rowhomes. Again, some people prefer to live in rowhomes, so this might not be a point of contention for them. Crime has increased in Clifton in certain years. A decade ago the fact of the matter may have been that the communities surrounding the majority of Clifton were worse off and dragging it down with them. But fast forward to today, and I believe that Clifton's reputation is now dragging down surrounding areas that were once considered solid and stable (IE: the part of Drexel Hill that borders Clifton). My older sister attended Drexel Hill Middle School and all of her horror stories about bullying, drugs, drinking, sex, and fights at school involved the "bad kids from Clifton." Again, I know Clifton isn't full of horrible people and I'm not trying to make gross generalizations - but that was the vibe that I got.

Collingdale- I hate to say I've given up hope on this area, but I have. It may have been a great neighborhood to grow up in a few decades ago, but that just isn't the case anymore. White flight has caused Collingdale to lose it's community feel. Some may argue that they DO feel safe walking around Collingdale at night, but I have to assume those people don't live close to the MacDade trolley stop.

Colwyn- I admit that I know absolutely nothing about Colwyn other than what I've read on City Data.

Darby Borough- At this point, I can't tell when I'm crossing from Darby Borough over into the city itself. To me, it's all the same. That sounds like a very interesting documentary though.

Drexel Hill- pretty much agree with you on all counts here. Relatives of mine lived in the Kellyville section years ago, but moved to the Drexel Park section in the mid 90s because of the rise in petty crime.

East Lansdowne- I'm not sure where else in the surrounding areas you'd be able to find a fully renovated Victorian home for around $150k. It's truly a steal. I'm praying this area continues to rise because I would love to invest in some real estate there.

Havertown- Nice area. I'd lump it in with the Pilgrim Gardens, Aronimink, and Drexel Park sections of Drexel Hill as well. I would describe these areas as "Main Line Lite." Maybe for those folks who like the look/feel of the main line but could do without the hefty price tag. The only thing that definitely is not on par with the Main Line in the aforementioned areas are school districts. But, you can take that with a grain of salt because most people I know who grew up in those areas chose to send their kids to Catholic or Private schools.

Lansdowne- Admittedly, I don't know much about the differences between Lansdowne and East Lansdowne.

Millbourne- Again, no knowledge on my part.

Upper Darby- I'm all for the gentrification of Upper Darby. I love talking to "old-timers" who talk about their memories of Upper Darby very fondly. Hopefully the area can eventually find its way on the up and up. If hipsters and professional families start looking to places within Upper Darby in addition to places within Lansdowne, that would SERIOUSLY boost the surrounding areas. Not that all of them need boosting, but think of what that would do to prices in places like the already well-off sections of Drexel Hill and Havertown. Housing prices would truly sky rocket.

Yeadon- My great grandmother grew up in Yeadon when it was an enclave for the middle class and upper middle class. I drove through there a few years ago and was very saddened at what I saw. Most notable was the total lack of home ownership pride. Lawns were left unattended, trash littered the streets, stray cats and dogs, etc.

Darby Township- Totally agree with you that it would be a solid place if it weren't for the school district, etc. Also agree that it's not fair that places like Briarcliffe get lumped into the rest of it. However, Briarcliffe is a very small area, with relatively unimpressive homes, rising crime rates, and overall low median income. So, while it's certainly not as bad as other areas of Darby Township, I wouldn't consider it "well-off" or a "stand out area" by any stretch of the imagination.

Folcroft & Sharon Hill- I tend to lump these 2 areas in together. Folcroft may be better off than Sharon Hill by a tiny bit, but not by very much and not for long.

Eddystone- Again, I WISH Eddystone wasn't so close to Chester. I really think it's the actual location of the town that really kills the vibe. It really seems like a cute little neighborhood community with so much potential. A nice downtown area, friendly neighbors, community feel, people who take pride in their homes. Unfortunately, it will never go very far due to its proximity to Chester.

Norwood/Prospect Park/Glenolden - I lump these 3 together. I really don't see any major, distinguishable differences between the 3 places. I suppose you could single out Prospect Park for it's downtown area (under the tressel), but that's about it. Not to be a total snob, but we're talking vibe here and as for vibe and am very unimpressed and underwhelmed by these 3 areas.

Ridley Park- cute downtown area, nice Victorians

Ridley Township/Folsom- Again, unimpressed. Hate the post WW2 housing stock that was originally intended for the GIs. Really don't see the appeal of this area.

Rutledge/Swarthmore- Love these 2 areas. Again would describe them as "Main Line Lite"

Springfield/Marple- Going downhill, IMO.
No problem

You misunderstand the situation in Clifton. Its problems aren't due to the places it borders but due to losing its industry. It was built around more industry than most anywhere in the county outside of Chester or Darby probably. Sharon Hill maybe was built around more industry, but not by a ton. Crime isn't a new thing either, as people who grew up in Clifton know. It has tons of rowhomes but they are varied rowhomes. They aren't all the air-lite rowhomes that you see in Westbrook Park. Plus, there are plenty of examples of more impressive older architecture, as well as all kinds of post-war suburban houses that you wouldn't expect. People in Clifton are tough, always have been. Clifton has always had a reputation as home to "troublemakers" and as a place where you can find a fight if you go out looking for it. Southwest Philly and Darby have probably added a bit to Clifton's crime but it's always been there. People in places like Drexel Hill, Springfield, etc love to talk about the "bad kids from Clifton" yet who are the ones buying drugs in Clifton again?

You said Collingdale was like Darby at this point. Working class areas are never that simple. Places like Collingdale, Clifton, Darby, and other working class places in the county have never had anybody "have hope for them". They've been on their own throughout their entire history. They don't care what anybody thinks about them.

When it comes to Darby, I was mostly trying to explain how it got to be how it is and how it has a lot of potential despite its current condition. I'm not arguing that Darby isn't much worse off than it was 10 years ago.

As for gentrification in Upper Darby, I'm not all for that. Immigrant communities and other people trying to have a better life are the only reason Upper Darby isn't in the crapper right now. I've got no problem with people with money living in places for people with money but I don't want to see hipsters "discovering" 69th street or Stonehurst or see people living in the older, small rowhomes near downtown Upper Darby because it's "urban", "walkable", "diverse", "hip" or whatever other crap. Young professionals and families are definitely needed in the parts with bigger old houses for sure though.

As for Lansdowne, I suggest you learn about it because it's a completely different place than East Lansdowne. Its location compared to East Lansdowne definitely helps.

Yeadon I definitely agree is not in great shape. Mostly I was talking potential.

In general though, people in Sharon Hill seem to have more pride and are less white trash though. I've known people from Sharon Hill who you would think they were from somewhere much nicer, not the case with Folcroft, with one exception.

I don't think Darby township has any standout areas. I just think it would still be a solid, lower-middle to middle class area if not for its location. It always reminded me of Ridley.

As for Prospect Park/Norwood, etc, I'm talking about potential here based on some of the same things that make Ridley Park desirable. Architecture and other physical things last longer than people, remember.

Ridley Township appeals to people trying to move up from elsewhere. That's why much of it was built, after all.

I agree with you about Springfield and Marple. I've been saying this on multiple threads on here. It started at the border of Springfield and Clifton/Westbrook Park about ten years ago, and it spread along Bishop Ave, Springfield Rd, Sproul Rd, and Baltimore Pike. It doesn't help that so many kids in Springfield love to try to live the lifestyle of the lower-middle class and working class. I can't even tell you the amount of white trash people I've seen in Springfield, especially in the past five years. One dude who was coming out of his residence was wearing a white tee that went down to his knees for Christ's sake. He looked like dudes from places like Chester and Philly back when I was in high school. When I say "downhill" though, I mean Ridley township downhill, not "downhill" like the more working class parts of the county.
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Old 08-08-2013, 12:04 PM
 
76 posts, read 171,544 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s1oozne View Post
No problem

You misunderstand the situation in Clifton. Its problems aren't due to the places it borders but due to losing its industry. It was built around more industry than most anywhere in the county outside of Chester or Darby probably. Sharon Hill maybe was built around more industry, but not by a ton. Crime isn't a new thing either, as people who grew up in Clifton know. It has tons of rowhomes but they are varied rowhomes. They aren't all the air-lite rowhomes that you see in Westbrook Park. Plus, there are plenty of examples of more impressive older architecture, as well as all kinds of post-war suburban houses that you wouldn't expect. People in Clifton are tough, always have been. Clifton has always had a reputation as home to "troublemakers" and as a place where you can find a fight if you go out looking for it. Southwest Philly and Darby have probably added a bit to Clifton's crime but it's always been there. People in places like Drexel Hill, Springfield, etc love to talk about the "bad kids from Clifton" yet who are the ones buying drugs in Clifton again?

You said Collingdale was like Darby at this point. Working class areas are never that simple. Places like Collingdale, Clifton, Darby, and other working class places in the county have never had anybody "have hope for them". They've been on their own throughout their entire history. They don't care what anybody thinks about them.

When it comes to Darby, I was mostly trying to explain how it got to be how it is and how it has a lot of potential despite its current condition. I'm not arguing that Darby isn't much worse off than it was 10 years ago.

As for gentrification in Upper Darby, I'm not all for that. Immigrant communities and other people trying to have a better life are the only reason Upper Darby isn't in the crapper right now. I've got no problem with people with money living in places for people with money but I don't want to see hipsters "discovering" 69th street or Stonehurst or see people living in the older, small rowhomes near downtown Upper Darby because it's "urban", "walkable", "diverse", "hip" or whatever other crap. Young professionals and families are definitely needed in the parts with bigger old houses for sure though.

As for Lansdowne, I suggest you learn about it because it's a completely different place than East Lansdowne. Its location compared to East Lansdowne definitely helps.

Yeadon I definitely agree is not in great shape. Mostly I was talking potential.

In general though, people in Sharon Hill seem to have more pride and are less white trash though. I've known people from Sharon Hill who you would think they were from somewhere much nicer, not the case with Folcroft, with one exception.

I don't think Darby township has any standout areas. I just think it would still be a solid, lower-middle to middle class area if not for its location. It always reminded me of Ridley.

As for Prospect Park/Norwood, etc, I'm talking about potential here based on some of the same things that make Ridley Park desirable. Architecture and other physical things last longer than people, remember.

Ridley Township appeals to people trying to move up from elsewhere. That's why much of it was built, after all.

I agree with you about Springfield and Marple. I've been saying this on multiple threads on here. It started at the border of Springfield and Clifton/Westbrook Park about ten years ago, and it spread along Bishop Ave, Springfield Rd, Sproul Rd, and Baltimore Pike. It doesn't help that so many kids in Springfield love to try to live the lifestyle of the lower-middle class and working class. I can't even tell you the amount of white trash people I've seen in Springfield, especially in the past five years. One dude who was coming out of his residence was wearing a white tee that went down to his knees for Christ's sake. He looked like dudes from places like Chester and Philly back when I was in high school. When I say "downhill" though, I mean Ridley township downhill, not "downhill" like the more working class parts of the county.

Definitely agree with you on Springfield going Ridley downhill as opposed to actually downhill, downhill ... if that makes any sense. That's not to say Springfield isn't a respectable place to live or to raise your kids. I think that people from places like Folcroft, Norwood, Glenolden, Ridley, Prospect Park, etc. considered it a "move up" to move to Springfield while it was affordable, thus giving Springfield more and more of a "southeast Delco vibe" than it had previously had. I'm not trying to be condescending or nonsensical, but I hope I'm getting my point across. If I were to look into buying a home in Delaware County 10 years from now, I can say with a great deal of confidence that it's unlikely that Springfield would be on my radar.

As far as school districts, I never understood why people made Springfield School District out to be all that great. Haverford SD just spent millions of dollars redoing their schools, making Springfield's schools pale in comparison. Yeah, Springfield SD is a step up from high schools like Interboro or Ridley (and worlds away from Academy Park), but just because it's better than them, doesn't make it invincible. As far as the Marple-Newtown SD... I've heard it's pretty solid, but heading a bit downhill in recent years. Several of my friends graduated from the high school and considered it a great education. They also went on to decent colleges and are doing well for themselves.
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Old 08-08-2013, 12:45 PM
 
Location: New York City
6,227 posts, read 5,562,899 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RCdelco View Post
And as for the Granite Run Mall/KOP comparison - it's like comparing apples to oranges. KOP is located in a wealthier, more industrial area. It is much more accessible via public transportation. It's situated near several colleges that are known for attracting big $$$$ (Villanova, Bryn Mawr, Rosemont, Cabrini, Harcum) & also located near a lot of private high schools (Agnes Irwin, Baldwin, Notre Dame, Merion Mercy, Sacred Heart, Devon, Haverford) ... kids within that age range that are attending those schools have parents who are loaded. What do kids like to do after school/on the weekends? Shop. Of course that's not a reason in and of itself why KOP far surpasses the Granite Run Mall, but it's just another factor in the equation. KOP is the second largest mall in the country. If I wanted to shop at Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Saks, Neimann Marcus, etc. where am I going to go? Well, considering the Granite Run Mall doesn't offer those high-end retail options, I'm obviously going to head to KOP.


I grew up in Delaware County. Going to the Granite Run Mall was cool in the early 90s. It was much bigger and had many more stores than the (in my case) nearby Springfield Mall. I've probably been to the Granite Run Mall twice in the past decade. It's not hard to see how downhill it's gone. Springfield Mall has gone a bit downhill as well. Adding the Ulta helped boost it up a bit. Adding the Target was probably good for business, but it's definitely drawing in the lower class people from places like Chester and Darby. BTW- I'm not saying that only poor people shop at Target. I personally love Target. I'm just saying that having such affordable shopping available at a mall will obviously draw in the lower class people who can ONLY afford to shop at those places.

Dont miss my point. Of course Kop is nicer, I havent been to granite run mall in years and go to Kop often. But Kop is the not the reason why Granite Run Mall went to crap, that is all I was trying to say. The newer upscale retail in Chadds ford is a factor, but not KoP.
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Old 08-08-2013, 01:18 PM
 
177 posts, read 306,228 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RCdelco View Post
Definitely agree with you on Springfield going Ridley downhill as opposed to actually downhill, downhill ... if that makes any sense. That's not to say Springfield isn't a respectable place to live or to raise your kids. I think that people from places like Folcroft, Norwood, Glenolden, Ridley, Prospect Park, etc. considered it a "move up" to move to Springfield while it was affordable, thus giving Springfield more and more of a "southeast Delco vibe" than it had previously had. I'm not trying to be condescending or nonsensical, but I hope I'm getting my point across. If I were to look into buying a home in Delaware County 10 years from now, I can say with a great deal of confidence that it's unlikely that Springfield would be on my radar.

As far as school districts, I never understood why people made Springfield School District out to be all that great. Haverford SD just spent millions of dollars redoing their schools, making Springfield's schools pale in comparison. Yeah, Springfield SD is a step up from high schools like Interboro or Ridley (and worlds away from Academy Park), but just because it's better than them, doesn't make it invincible. As far as the Marple-Newtown SD... I've heard it's pretty solid, but heading a bit downhill in recent years. Several of my friends graduated from the high school and considered it a great education. They also went on to decent colleges and are doing well for themselves.
I agree with you, though you need to keep in mind that it's people from all parts of working class Delco, not just the Southeast. It reminds me a lot of the shopping centers and area along and around Lansdowne Ave in Upper Darby past the high school about five to ten years ago, and I'm including places along West Chester Pike in that.

My thoughts exactly on Springfield. I see it as being above Ridley only because it's got more money, and as that continues to change, it's probably going to slide just like Ridley has started to. I would say the same about Marple-Newtown if it didn't include Newtown township. There's a lot of money coming into that area.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cpomp View Post
Dont miss my point. Of course Kop is nicer, I havent been to granite run mall in years and go to Kop often. But Kop is the not the reason why Granite Run Mall went to crap, that is all I was trying to say. The newer upscale retail in Chadds ford is a factor, but not KoP.
You're not seeing the bigger picture. Granite Run peaked maybe five to ten years after the Springfield Mall did, and those "town centers" and other newer retail centers will peak in about five to ten years at most.
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Old 08-08-2013, 03:40 PM
 
76 posts, read 171,544 times
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s1oozne, we seem to agree on a lot of issues. Thank you for educating me about Delaware County. I especially like the way that you described the different areas by categorizing them into section, it worked much better than my original spiel.

So, if I were to give someone the low down on Delaware County, I would rank it like this:

Main Line Delco

- Radnor
- Haverford
- Ardmore

Although, the Main Line is the Main Line and you really can't go wrong with any of the places listed above. At that point it really turns into what you're looking for in a neighborhood. For example, Ardmore for a more urban feel, Radnor if you enjoy owning land, Haverford if you're into the McMansion look, etc.

Eastern Delco

1) Havertown (although I would also include the Pilgrim Gardens, Drexel Park, and Aronimink sections of Drexel Hill to be on par with Havertown minus the fact that Drexel Park and Aronimink get lumped in to Upper Darby School District)
2) Drexel Hill
3) Aldan
4) Clifton Heights
5) East Lansdowne
6) Millbourne
7) Lansdowne
8) Collingdale
9) Upper Darby
10) Yeadon
11) Colwyn
12) Darby Borough

Although I believe some people might switch Collingdale and Upper Darby. It probably depends on perspective. The aforementioned areas range from very expensive and desirable, to middle class, to very working class. There is a great amount of socioeconomic disparity. With the exception of the Haverford School District, the school districts are either subpar (such as Upper Darby School District) or seriously lacking (such as the Southeast Delco School District)

Southeast Delco

1) Darby Township
2) Folcroft
3) Sharon Hill

Like I said in an earlier post, it's not really clear to me if Folcroft is any better than Sharon Hill at this point. If it is, it's only by a little bit and probably not for long. Darby Township only takes the cake in this scenario because places like Briarcliffe, while not an amazing area in and of itself, is a far cry from Folcroft or Sharon Hill.

Southern Delco

1) Ridley Park (mainly because of those gorgeous Victorians and the "downtown" area)
2) Southern Ridley Township
3) Prospect Park
4) Norwood
5) Eddystone
6) Marcus Hook/Trainer/Parkside/Linwood/Lower Chichester (all seem to be pretty similar to each other)
7) Tinicum
8) Upland
9) Chester

Ridley Park comes in at number one solely because of the Victorians and the downtown area. If those two things didn't exist, I truly believe it would be the exact same as neighboring Folsom or Leedom. Perhaps Taylor Hospital also did the area some good. Ridley Township comes in second because, with the obvious exception of Ridley Park, it's all suburban sprawl. Ridley School District is slipping, but I'd still send my children to Ridley High School before I'd send them to Interboro. This whole area is middle to working class. There are already myriad threads discussing Chester, so I won't touch upon it here. I will say that I've been to Upland a handful of times and it did not feel dangerous or seedy even though it's practically in Chester. I wouldn't purchase real estate there, but it's definitely not as bad as one might expect.

Southwestern/Central Delco

1) Nether Providence
2) Swarthmore/Rutledge
3) Media
4) Middletown
5) Wallingford
6) Aston Township
7) Morton
8) Brookhaven

This grouping goes from upper middle class to lower middle class. I put Swarthmore and Rutledge on the same level because I truly feel as if they are one and the same. The only difference may be that Swarthmore, as a whole, has larger homes.

Central Delco

1) Marple
2) Springfield
3) Ridley
4) Glenolden

Marple and Springfield have upper middle class pockets, but remain largely middle class. Ridley and Glenolden teeter between middle class and lower middle class/working class.

Upper/Central Delco

1) Newtown
2) Upper Marple Township/Broomall

I only place Newtown above Upper Marple Township and Broomall simply because I think the properties are more aesthetically appealing.

Far Delco

1) Edgmont
2) Thornbury
3) Chadds Ford
4) Concord/Bethel Township/Chester Heights
5) Upper Chichester
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Old 08-08-2013, 04:20 PM
 
Location: North by Northwest
7,473 posts, read 10,235,627 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RCdelco View Post
Main Line Delco

- Radnor
- Haverford
- Ardmore

Although, the Main Line is the Main Line and you really can't go wrong with any of the places listed above. At that point it really turns into what you're looking for in a neighborhood. For example, Ardmore for a more urban feel, Radnor if you enjoy owning land, Haverford if you're into the McMansion look, etc.
Minus a couple pockets of new development close to the Blue Route, I'd say there's rather few McMansions in Haverford.
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Old 08-08-2013, 08:39 PM
 
434 posts, read 1,152,778 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RCdelco View Post
So, if I were to give someone the low down on Delaware County, I would rank it like this:

Southwestern/Central Delco

1) Nether Providence
2) Swarthmore/Rutledge
3) Media
4) Middletown
5) Wallingford
6) Aston Township
7) Morton
8) Brookhaven

This grouping goes from upper middle class to lower middle class. I put Swarthmore and Rutledge on the same level because I truly feel as if they are one and the same. The only difference may be that Swarthmore, as a whole, has larger homes.
Wallingford is a part of Nether Providence township. Surprising the same town could be both 1 & 5 on this list. You would really have a hard time telling when you wandered from "Nether Providence" into the "Wallingford" section of Nether Providence. By contrast, the difference between Swarthmore & Rutledge is far much more apparent; they definitely don't feel "one and the same" to me. FWIW.
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Old 08-08-2013, 08:44 PM
 
364 posts, read 619,744 times
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Yep to the difference between "Swatty" and Rutledge. Morton Ave makes all the difference. I think of Rutledge as a slightly-nicer Folsom with a couple long streets. Swarthmore is sort of a woodsy enclave in Delco. I do not think Swarthmorites interact with the immediate surroundings as such.
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Old 08-08-2013, 10:02 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
1,567 posts, read 2,663,137 times
Reputation: 1658
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcguirk View Post
Yep to the difference between "Swatty" and Rutledge. Morton Ave makes all the difference. I think of Rutledge as a slightly-nicer Folsom with a couple long streets. Swarthmore is sort of a woodsy enclave in Delco. I do not think Swarthmorites interact with the immediate surroundings as such.
Would you say that Swarthmore is misplaced? Would it fit better if it was farther north or west?
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Old 08-08-2013, 10:19 PM
 
364 posts, read 619,744 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mancat100 View Post
Would you say that Swarthmore is misplaced? Would it fit better if it was farther north or west?
Yes. It doesn't fit with its immediate neighbors (Folsom, Morton, Chester) one bit. And indeed it shows. You will not see anybody from Swarthmore using the local Acme or Pathmark. You will not see Swarthmore students hanging out along Baltimore Pike (but they are an oddball group, and Swarthmore College does not allow cars IIRC). Residents tend to leave via the "back door", out Chester Rd to Baltimore Pike, rather than out Park Ave and into the surrounding neighborhoods. I also pick up on a definite us-vs-them sensibility. Swarthmore feels like it should be more west, perhaps much more so. I could see it fitting in the exurban farmland by Cheney University, or perhaps by the Brandywine River Museum next to 100 as it tangles back through the woods.
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