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Old 04-07-2014, 05:51 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
1,041 posts, read 1,281,018 times
Reputation: 471

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Quote:
Originally Posted by FamousBlueRaincoat View Post
Like I said, I wouldn't recommend the OP buy something there without figuring out the neighborhoods for themselves first - or perhaps figuring out the reality of impoverished Philadelphia first. He's the one that asked about them. I know people who are relatively satisfied with the nicer part of Frankford (which goes by the name Northwood). Kensington is a big topic of controvery - there's a big thread about it here if the OP wants to search for it. I've walked through it enough to know that it's more than just a hellhole - although that's certainly one adjective to describe it - the most unappealing thing about it to me has always been the auto-centric commerce on Aramingo Avenue, which sucks any possibility of having the advantage of a vibrant low-income centric walkable shopping district to go along with the density (and, frankly, diversity) of low-income people in the neighborhood, with the crime and drugs being a runner-up. But that's just me, who always has an eye on the built environment.

There are other options that probably offer a better option for living among working class people as opposed to pretty serious poverty - and that's places like Olney, Juniata Park, and parts of the near northeast.

Being that the author offered very little information, there's no reason to rule out places like Roxborough, Germantown, and Mt. Airy.

But buying right off the bat isn't a great option - I'd still say rent for a year and figure out the city for yourself if you're interested in these kinds of neighborhoods as opposed to the normal transplant neighborhoods. Depending what your experience of urban living is, you might not like them, and even if you do, would be happy you didn't go in without knowing more.
Northwood has always been a separate neighborhood from Frankford, two different civic associations and all.
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Old 04-07-2014, 05:54 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
11,942 posts, read 10,818,746 times
Reputation: 8139
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Bowa View Post
Please don't mention Bridesburg and Frankford in the same sentence, they're two completely different worlds. He could get a beautiful home in Bridesburg, be welcomed into the community (we have transplants who've done quite well, a scant few others have made their own problems), be safe and be close to everything (not walking close, but by car). Actually, most all of my neighbors are transplants and there hasn't been any major problems - be nice and friendly to people, and most will be nice and friendly back.
Germantown and Mount Airy wouldn't be right for the op IMHO.
Yeah, I didn't mean to imply anything really negative about Bridesburg; I just didn't think many transplants live there. Frankford really does have a beautiful housing stock and as was mentioned Northwood seems to be a stable community but most of it does seem very depressed.
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Old 04-07-2014, 06:00 PM
 
3 posts, read 3,765 times
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So far it seems like Frankford and Kensington have attractive housing but aren't safe. What is Germantown like? I really like a working class community because I was raised in one myself and it just feels genuine to me. Are there any questions anyone has to help me with my search?
Thanks,
Rich
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Old 04-07-2014, 06:06 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
1,041 posts, read 1,281,018 times
Reputation: 471
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2e1m5a View Post
Yeah, I didn't mean to imply anything really negative about Bridesburg; I just didn't think many transplants live there. Frankford really does have a beautiful housing stock and as was mentioned Northwood seems to be a stable community but most of it does seem very depressed.
We're not all inbred rednecks here who chase newcomers away with pitchforks. I can't wait for NL and Fishtown to get so expensive that it pushes more of them up here.

Man, we went through FKD (not Northwood) the other night and some of the architecture is magnificent ... Northwood's homes are simply gorgeous, too bad it's sandwiched between FKD and Oxford Circle.
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Old 04-07-2014, 06:19 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
1,041 posts, read 1,281,018 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phillyrichb View Post
So far it seems like Frankford and Kensington have attractive housing but aren't safe. What is Germantown like? I really like a working class community because I was raised in one myself and it just feels genuine to me. Are there any questions anyone has to help me with my search?
Thanks,
Rich
Germantown has nice mix of housing, but it's not all that safe, (esp East Germantown), check SpotCrime. My exes dad lived @Greene and Coulter ... I couldn't live there. There's a nice part of Germantown that people love.
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Old 04-07-2014, 07:08 PM
 
Location: Midwest
1,283 posts, read 1,881,190 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Bowa View Post
Germantown has nice mix of housing, but it's not all that safe, (esp East Germantown), check SpotCrime. My exes dad lived @Greene and Coulter ... I couldn't live there. There's a nice part of Germantown that people love.
East Germantown and Southwest Germantown (closest to Wayne Junction) are the two most challenged areas of Germantown. Even East Germantown has its decent stretches - although they'd probably go in the same "know what you're getting yourself into beforehand" category as the earlier neighborhoods.

What particularly didn't you like about Greene and Coulter? It's not exactly where I live (I'm in the part that people love - West Central - and really anybody who've lived in a city before would be okay with living here) but Coulter's in my regular walking around area, and I've always thought it was pretty alright. Between Germantown Friends, Greene Street Friends, PA School for the Deaf, and the H and XH bus routes, there's also a lot of eyes on the street for what's otherwise a pretty quiet section.

It's the Penn-Knox area - probably the runner up as far as architectural gem neighborhoods of Germantown go.

The area around Queen Lane train station is another one of the decent areas of Germantown. Really, anywhere West of Germantown Avenue and not close to Wayne Junction isn't going to be that bad.

The housing stock is extremely diverse - there are sprawling mansions around the corner from second empire townhomes, around the corner from twins, around the corner from small rowhomes, and also lots of big apartment buildings. As a sort of remnant of the times when people of all economic backgrounds were forced to live amongst each other.
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Old 04-08-2014, 04:43 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia
1,041 posts, read 1,281,018 times
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@FBR - Just isn't for me, too close to some bad areas and too many stragglers. Doesn't feel like a neighborhood to me like Bridesburg does.
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Old 04-08-2014, 07:09 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia
11,942 posts, read 10,818,746 times
Reputation: 8139
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Bowa View Post
We're not all inbred rednecks here who chase newcomers away with pitchforks. I can't wait for NL and Fishtown to get so expensive that it pushes more of them up here.

Man, we went through FKD (not Northwood) the other night and some of the architecture is magnificent ... Northwood's homes are simply gorgeous, too bad it's sandwiched between FKD and Oxford Circle.
Haha, word. I believe it's already happening in Port Richmond and probably Bridesburg too in some ways. I have a newfound appreciation for Oxford Circle though as my co-worker just bought a house there (brand new renovation finished basement, etc. $90,000) and I have been showing her around that area for Months. It is very diverse and accessible and the commercial activity seems intact and convenient. I hope immigrants and others continue to make it something cooler. FKD has more problems but hopefully can turn around as well. The area around FKD Transportation Center would be ultra convenient and a real urban experience for many people.
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Old 04-08-2014, 07:35 AM
 
Location: Philly
10,026 posts, read 14,474,108 times
Reputation: 2774
Quote:
Originally Posted by phillyrichb View Post
So far it seems like Frankford and Kensington have attractive housing but aren't safe. What is Germantown like? I really like a working class community because I was raised in one myself and it just feels genuine to me. Are there any questions anyone has to help me with my search?
Thanks,
Rich
kensington is a booming area but also quite large. the boom in fishtown and nl is pushing into kensington moreso than the less central port richmond. in other words, parts of kensington are worse and have less hope than others. of course, the redeveloping portion will not be "working class" in the traditional sense. port richmond is a solid neighborhood though and it has weathered what was probably the worst of times. keep in mind that the huntingdon and somerset el stations are home to some of the most notorious heroine markets on the east coast.
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Old 04-08-2014, 12:20 PM
 
69 posts, read 68,662 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phillyrichb View Post
I'm 26 years old. I just graduated from my masters program. I'm moving in June I'm from the Chicago area, specifically in Bridgeport. I'm moving for my job at Temple Hospital. I'll be working at Temple University Hospital which seems to be on the North side. I want to buy and my top is $225,000. I want a house that is a walk up. I have seen neighborhoods like Kensington, Frankford, Port Richmond, and Bridesburg that seem to have a nice housing stock. I'm single and don't have children. If I did they would go to private schools. I don't have pets and don't need a large yard. I will keep a car and I want a neighborhood that is a real community of working class people. I really like the rowhouse architecture. I think that it seems like such an efficient way to live. Oh, and Coke.
Thanks,
Rich
There are a lot of places outside of Philly that would offer a great nightlife and accessibility to Temple (regional railways) and Philly itself. Places like Conshohocken and Manayunk have great nightlife scene for young professionals and the regional railways (Norristown line, formerly known as the R6) have late trains

If you are willing to venture out more, there plenty of places to live that don't have a great nightlife, but have great communities. Again, with these, there is proximity to public transportation to get you to work and/or other nightlight areas.

Bridgeport and Norristown are affordable housing for someone who is not concerned with school districts, these may be something to consider. Additionally, King of Prussia is also nice, but can be a little pricey.

Going North, Lansdale and the Langhorne area also offer affordable housing with accessibility to the center city and Temple via public transportation.

I hope that offers some additional insight for you.
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