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Old 08-08-2013, 07:10 AM
 
2 posts, read 2,274 times
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My husband and I have recently moved to Philly. We're looking to buy a house soon and trying to find the area to call home. We're in East Falls now.

My husband works at Penn and I am working from home right now and looking for a job. We don't have kids but might soon and we're in our mid-30's. We're socially and politically liberal and both grew up in middle class suburbs with high diversity.

Our main concern is transit. My husband can't drive and needs to take the train in to Penn. He'd like to have his commute under 1 hour and not walk further than ~0.5 mile to the train on each end. We'd like him to be able to access the basics on foot (groceries, drug store) just in case I'm not around with a car. Because I don't know where I'll be working next year, we'd like something that isn't too remote to limit my job search.

Secondary concerns are about the area in general. We'd like a diverse neighborhood and some sort of downtown with restaurants and shopping. We'd like a place that's relatively safe, allowing us to walk and hang out in our area. We enjoy green space, have a small dog and have ruled out Center City because there is little green space.

We've considered the Main Line (Narberth, Bryn Mawr, Ardmore), East Falls and also Mt. Airy. We're ok with East Falls, but there isn't too much of a downtown area or convenient grocery. We like Main Line but feel it is a bit too suburban and not very diverse. We like Mt. Airy the most (we can afford East better than West) but the crime statistics in and around that area make us a bit uneasy. Is there anywhere else we could consider? Pros and cons to what we're looking at?

Thanks for the help!!!
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Old 08-08-2013, 08:04 AM
LHM
 
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How much can you spend on a house?
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Old 08-08-2013, 10:47 AM
 
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How about Manayunk? Main street is a wonderful downtown, and it is right on the Wissahickon, for all the green space you might want.
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Old 08-08-2013, 11:06 AM
 
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I'd start look near transit accessible areas near the trolley lines (most of them stop on Penn's campus), the Market St Line also is near Penn, For regional rail -- look at town that have stations that stop at the University City station like on the Media Line or Wilmington Line. ... thats a good collection of towns and neighborhoods to start your search.
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Old 08-08-2013, 11:54 AM
 
Location: East Mt Airy, Philadelphia
1,095 posts, read 1,124,688 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LindyL View Post
We like Mt. Airy the most (we can afford East better than West) but the crime statistics in and around that area make us a bit uneasy.
I've been in E Mt Airy for 5+ years and [1] love it and [2] never felt unsafe (or put myself in a situation that would cause me to be unsafe). I'm out early in the morning and late at night w/ my dog (who, at 18 pounds, offers absolutely no protection) and have never had that "oh crap something's going to happen" feeling.
Generally, the farther north and west you are in E. Mt Airy, the lower the incidence of personal and property crime - I'm talking about west of, say, Upsal and north of Sprague (this is ballpark, but when you look at a map you'll get the gist).
It's a great neighborhood, with good access to transit, restaurants, and day-to-day shopping (and worth a second look).
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Old 08-08-2013, 08:03 PM
 
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I suggest you look along the Media/Elwyn SEPTA regional rail train line (formerly the R3) in Delaware County. This line has a stop at University City (31st & South Streets), which is on the Penn campus. I know several people who do this commute.

The regional rail line has stops in Swarthmore, Wallingford, Moylan/RoseValley and Media, all of which are very nice areas (with good public schools). It would take about 25 minutes from these stops to the University City stop.

Of these Media borough has the best, most walkable "downtown" area (along State Street). It's full of restaurants, bars, shopping, and a Trader Joe's. There is also a good amount of economic and racial diversity, and your political leanings won't make you feel out of place. (Neighboring Swarthmore is probably one of the most politically liberal areas in Eastern PA.)

There is also a reasonable amount of green space in the area, including Ridley Creek State Park.

Another option from this area to Penn would be to commute on the Route 101 trolley, which you'd take to the 69th street terminal, then subway to campus. This usually takes longer, but it's more economical.


Media info: Welcome to Visit Media Pa | Visit Media Pa
SEPTA regional rail train schedules: SEPTA | Regional Rail Schedules
Direct to the Media/Elwyn train line schedule: http://www.septa.org/schedules/rail/pdf/elw.pdf
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Old 08-09-2013, 09:41 AM
 
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Outside the city, you could look into Lansdowne in Delaware County also. Has diversity, a downtown area, and a bit closer on train line to Penn than Media/Swarthmore - will also be cheaper. But as the poster above said, if you like Mt. Airy, then check it out thoroughly. You certainly may find something that fits your needs there!
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Old 08-09-2013, 09:59 AM
 
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Thanks so much for all the suggestions. We are checking into Manayunk and looking some more in Mt. Airy. Going more west to the Media/Elwyn area is also a great possibility that we'll check out too.

Is Manayunk too crazy downtown with the bar scene? How long has that been a party destination for the college crowd? Seems odd, (from the perspective of a new transplant) with Center City so close. I wanted to get a bit of history on that if anyone knows anything.
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Old 08-09-2013, 12:26 PM
 
434 posts, read 1,152,778 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LindyL View Post
Is Manayunk too crazy downtown with the bar scene? How long has that been a party destination for the college crowd? Seems odd, (from the perspective of a new transplant) with Center City so close. I wanted to get a bit of history on that if anyone knows anything.
Just one opinion: Manayunk has long been popular with people in their late 20s, somewhere in between the broke-college-kid and have-a-professional-job stages of life. Most outgrowing it by the time they hit 30.

If the movie "Singles" were set in Philly it would probably be in Manayunk. (If that helps...)
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Old 08-09-2013, 03:29 PM
 
Location: North by Northwest
7,473 posts, read 10,235,627 times
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If Ardmore isn't diverse enough, Media/Swarthmore/Wallingford et al won't be either. Look up the numbers.

If you want diversity and a downtown, and Mt. Airy makes you uneasy (which IMO it shouldn't), I'd recommend the Glenside portion of Abington/Cheltenham. Lansdowne is also a credited suggestion. I still think Mt. Airy's your best bet though. Far more family-oriented (and diverse) than Manayunk, which overwhelmingly caters to young, single professionals.
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