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Old 04-15-2014, 08:11 AM
 
Location: back in Philadelphia!
3,260 posts, read 4,877,400 times
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La Colombe is great. And they've been stepping up their roasting game in recent years, too.
I buy all my beans there (at one of the NY locations).
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Old 04-15-2014, 09:36 AM
 
Location: Philly
10,026 posts, read 14,474,108 times
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some people like to hate but theyre traditional beans are the best beans for the money imo...particularly if you buy direct. not everyone can afford $16 for a 12 oz bag that some roasters are charging
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Old 04-15-2014, 09:41 AM
 
Location: Northeast Suburbs of PITTSBURGH
3,876 posts, read 3,780,017 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cxm123130 View Post
I am currently living in Dallas, TX and will be finishing my undergrad next May. I'm from NC originally and moved here 2 years ago to finish my chemistry degree and to experience a change in environment. I miss the east coast and am looking to move back. However, Im not looking to move back to the south. I have several questions that are important in helping me decide on my next move. I'm trying to decide between Philly, Pittsburgh, and Portland, ME. Honestly I'm leaning more towards Philly or Portland but I want to at least do some research first.

1. Is it difficult to find people that enjoy doing stuff outdoors? For example I love to hike, bike, jog, kayak, etc. I'm looking to move to a place where I could find other people who enjoy getting outdoors. In Dallas, people don't like to do things outside because of the heat and there just isn't that much to do.

2. How is the transit? I don't have a car and I currently use my bike or the bus/train to get around. The transit in Dallas is terrible. It can take me 3 hours to get places on the buses here.

3. How is the weather in Philly? What is the summer like there? Are the winters really that bad?

4. Is there a sense of community in Philly? I know its a big city but cities still have festivals and markets and live music that help bring people together.

5. What are some good areas of the city for a college grad in his mid-twenties to live? Im looking to pay $700-$1000/month. I have heard that center city, Manayunk, Fairmount, and East Falls are good areas but i was wondering if there are others to look at.

6. Are the there many locally owned businesses in Philly or is it mostly corporate?

7. Are there any good breweries in Philly?

I visited Philly in March and loved it. I was only there for a day and a half so I didn't get to see that much so I wanted to get more info from people who have lived there. Thanks for any help.
If you wanted to get opinions on all three, you should have posted this on the general US/city vs city forum. Pittsburgh and Philadelphia are my two favorite cities, but I've only been to Portland once.

Outdoors
1. Pittsburgh - the outdoor scene in Pittsburgh is huge. Kayaking, boating; plenty of water activities around. There are 5 ski resorts within an hour or two from Pittsburgh (and not those small ones in the Poconos ). TONS of state parks in Western PA. Heck, there is a state park in downtown Pittsburgh.
2. Portland - I would assume there is a lot of outdoor activities in Portland, being in Maine. I'm not an expert on the place though.
3. Philadelphia - This is one of the areas I feel Philadelphia lacks. They have some nice city parks, but to get a real outdoors feel, you have to go very far from the city.
Transit
1. Philadelphia - SEPTA is awesome, one of the best transit authority's in the country. Regional rail extends everywhere and is very reliable.
2. Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh punches above its weight, but its not as extensive as SEPTA. We have Light rail through the city and southern suburbs and lots and lots of buses and 3 BRTs, with another in the works.
3. Portland - I don't know if they even have transit.
Weather
If you like snow/cold
1. Portland - 65" of snow a year, winter lasts November to late March. Cold, and prime NorEaster territory. Temperatures moderate more quickly in the late winter due to the proximity of the ocean.
2. Pittsburgh - 50" of snow a year, cold, windy, and winter probably lasts here longest due to Philly and Portland being on the coast. Most snows in a year, and periods of January and February, it can snow everyday for a week or more due to the Lake. Winter lasts November to late March or beyond. (Its snowing in Pittsburgh right now ).
3. Philadelphia - 20" of snow a year. Definitely the mildest of the 3 in the winter. Winters here probably have the most variation; last year there was only 8" of snow all winter, and this winter was the 2nd snowiest on record and had as much as Pittsburgh and Portland.
If you like it warm
1. Philadelphia - Avg July high 87. Warmest. Humid humid humid in the summer.
2. Portland/Pittsburgh tie - Avg July high 80. Both are much more cooler than Philly in the summer. Pittsburgh has spouts of warm spells, but rarely goes above 90. Portland is on the coast, and again the ocean moderates the weather there.
Community feel
1. Pittsburgh - "biggest city that has a small town feel". Pittsburgh is a collection of individual neighborhoods scattered on river bottoms, hillsides, and hilltops. Most people find Pittsburgh to have a strong sense of community and people here are generally very friendly.
2. Philadelphia - there is a community feel in a lot of Philly's neighborhoods as well, but the east coast bustle is very present in Philly. As a whole, Philly isn't nearly as friendly as Pittsburgh is.
*I have no idea how Portland would stack up here.
Good areas/cost of living
It would be hard to find something for $700 a month in a good Philly neighborhood. That can be done in Pittsburgh pretty easy still, but it won't be the trendiest neighborhood.
The other posters gave lots of options for Philadelphia, so I'll do Pittsburgh.
- Shadyside (unlikely to find something below $800)
- Squirrel Hill (unlikely to find something below $800)
- Downtown (unlikely to find something below $1000)
- Mt. Washington
- Brookline
- Bloomfield
- Lawrenceville
- North Oakland (north only, south and west are student territory)
- South Side (unlikely to find something below $800)
- Friendship
- Dormont (not a city neighborhood, but very urban)
- Beechview
- Mount Lebanon (unlikely to find something below $800)(also not a city neighborhood, but urban with transit options)
Local Businesses
I'm sure all three have their share of chains and locally owned places.
Breweries
Pittsburgh and Philadelphia both have great breweries in their city and surrounding suburbs. Yuengling is one of my favorites though.

Good luck in your decision.
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Old 04-15-2014, 11:13 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
8,702 posts, read 12,373,638 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speagles84 View Post
If you wanted to get opinions on all three, you should have posted this on the general US/city vs city forum. Pittsburgh and Philadelphia are my two favorite cities, but I've only been to Portland once.

Outdoors
1. Pittsburgh - the outdoor scene in Pittsburgh is huge. Kayaking, boating; plenty of water activities around. There are 5 ski resorts within an hour or two from Pittsburgh (and not those small ones in the Poconos ). TONS of state parks in Western PA. Heck, there is a state park in downtown Pittsburgh.
2. Portland - I would assume there is a lot of outdoor activities in Portland, being in Maine. I'm not an expert on the place though.
3. Philadelphia - This is one of the areas I feel Philadelphia lacks. They have some nice city parks, but to get a real outdoors feel, you have to go very far from the city.
.
Great post. Agree on most of your points. Only part I disagree with is that you have to go far outside of the city for outdoors feel. This is not true. Both the Wissahickon and Fairmount park offer great outdoors experience as well as Pennypack Park in the Northeast. Even the Schuylkill River Trail offers a great outdoors experience but you can tell it's man made and not natural. Just outside of the city there are also a slew of great state parks and National Wildlife preserves that will give you everything you want in an outdoor experience.

Also, Yuenling is technically in the Philadelphia Metropolitan Area
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Old 04-15-2014, 01:05 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
2,377 posts, read 2,695,391 times
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Quote:
1. Is it difficult to find people that enjoy doing stuff outdoors? For example I love to hike, bike, jog, kayak, etc. I'm looking to move to a place where I could find other people who enjoy getting outdoors. In Dallas, people don't like to do things outside because of the heat and there just isn't that much to do.
Philly is full of groups of all kinds of people. If you like climbing Mt Everest I'm sure you won't have a problem finding a group.

Quote:
2. How is the transit? I don't have a car and I currently use my bike or the bus/train to get around. The transit in Dallas is terrible. It can take me 3 hours to get places on the buses here.
Philly is going to be like going from a wheel chair to walking / running again then. If you are along the BSL or MFL then that is best, otherwise the buses are most useful during commute / rush hours.

Quote:
3. How is the weather in Philly? What is the summer like there? Are the winters really that bad?
Coming from the south it is mild and perfect. It only gets formally hot for a short period (3 weeks?).

Quote:
4. Is there a sense of community in Philly? I know its a big city but cities still have festivals and markets and live music that help bring people together.
During the summer especially your going to have trouble keeping up with all the free festivals, music etc.

Quote:
5. What are some good areas of the city for a college grad in his mid-twenties to live? Im looking to pay $700-$1000/month. I have heard that center city, Manayunk, Fairmount, and East Falls are good areas but i was wondering if there are others to look at.
How much space do you want? That can afford at least a room anywhere in the city.

Quote:
6. Are the there many locally owned businesses in Philly or is it mostly corporate?
Endless amount of locally owned businesses.
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Old 04-15-2014, 01:38 PM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
20 posts, read 34,304 times
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MikeNigh thanks. I'm looking to get my own place. A one bedroom. I don't care how small it is though.
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Old 04-15-2014, 01:49 PM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
20 posts, read 34,304 times
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Summersm343 that's great to hear. I drove from Philly to Pittsburgh while I was there and noticed that you really dont have to go far to get away from the urban feel. That is something that is important to me because being in Dallas you have to drive pretty far to get away from the city but then there isn't anything out there. I'm looking for a city that I can take a Saturday and drive somewhere relatively close and hike.

It sounds like the weather is great. I think I can handle the snow and I know I can handle the heat.
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Old 04-15-2014, 04:14 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
1,041 posts, read 1,281,018 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Summersm343 View Post
Philly is certainly the largest city out of the 3:

1. Plenty of outdoor activities in Philly. Check out Fairmount Park, the Wissahickon, the Schuylkill River Trail and the Schuylkill River. They offer everything you listed (hiking, biking, jogging, kayaking) and they are within the city limits. The Schuylkill River trail goes form Center City to the burbs. MILES on end.

2. Philly has a good public transit system. Subways, trolley's, buses, regional rail, light rial... really everything you can want! You even have train and bus access to NYC, DC, Boston, Baltimore and Atlantic City! While not the best in the country, it is certainly in the top 5 best transit systems in the country. Only NYC, Chicago, and DC for SURE have better systems, and Boston arguably does depending on who you ask. Philly's system ranks 4th or 5th in the US. It's certainly by far the best out of any the other cities you are interested in.

3. I don't think summer gets bad. It can get hot and humid for a few weeks especially in July. Coming from Dallas, the summer's here won't bother you at all. The winters can be bad (like this past winter! It was a doozy), but they can be mild as well. The past two winters before this most recent winter were very mild and relatively nice. The winters tend to last from mid December until the beginning of March. The springs and falls in Philly are very nice and mild temperatures.

4. Yes, in certain neighborhoods for sure. Center City is mostly cosmopolitan big city but even in Center City there are neighborhoods like Fitler Square and Society Hill that have a sense of community. Plenty of areas in South, North, West, Northwest and Northeast Philly are very community oriented. There is also PLENTY of festivals and markets. Every weekend there is a market in Rittenhouse and Fitler Square parks. There is always events going on all around the city.

5. You can get a one bedroom in a great area for say $800-$1000 outside of Center City. However, if you live with another roommate or two, your budget could go much further. Here are some great areas:

Center City
Rittenhouse Square
Logan Square
Fitler Square
Chinatown
Washington Square West
Society Hill
Old City
Loft District
Art Museum District/Franklintown

South Philly
Bella Vista
Queen Village
Hawthorne
Graduate Hospital
Passyunk Square
East Passyunk Crossing
Newbold
Pennsport
Marconi Plaza
Packer Park

West Philly
University City
Powelton Village
Spruce Hill
Walnut Hill
Woodland Terrace
Clark Park
Cedar Park
Squirrel Hill
Garden Court

North Philly
Fairmount
Northern Liberties
Fishtown
Spring Garden

Northwest Philly- far removed from the core of the city but very nice
Manayunk
East Falls
West Mt. Airy
Chestnut Hill

Northeast Philly
This area is far removed from the core of the city and mostly suburban-esk development. I wouldn't recommend it to someone who wants to move to Philly for the urban big city experience.

6. Sure there are a lot of corporate and chain businesses in a lot of the city, but there is also a TON of locally owned businesses and mom and pop stores. Even in Center City you can find a ton of these places.

7. YES! So many good breweries! Philly has an AWESOME beer scene. Definitely one of the best in the US.

Pick Philly. You won't regret it. It's a big city and has A LOT to offer. A lot of sections of the city are so different from one another. It's a great city to explore.
You failed to mention the River Wards - Bridesburg, Port Richmond and Fishtown. (Fishtown is considered "River Wards," not North Philly).
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Old 04-15-2014, 04:21 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
1,041 posts, read 1,281,018 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cxm123130 View Post

2. Are there any good bookstores? Not Barnes and Noble but a good used bookstore.

Port Richmond Books @3037 Richmond Street (Richmond and Clearfield). Large building with a tremendous amount of used books.
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Old 04-15-2014, 05:05 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
8,702 posts, read 12,373,638 times
Reputation: 3593
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Bowa View Post
You failed to mention the River Wards - Bridesburg, Port Richmond and Fishtown. (Fishtown is considered "River Wards," not North Philly).
It's all North Philly to me.
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