U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Covid-19 Information Page
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Pennsylvania > Philadelphia
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 04-14-2014, 05:51 PM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
20 posts, read 34,304 times
Reputation: 16

Advertisements

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.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 04-14-2014, 06:32 PM
 
434 posts, read 1,152,778 times
Reputation: 278
I'll take a shot at a couple...

3. The summers are worse than the winters in Philly. It's far more humid than you might imagine, though being from NC/TX that may not bother you (maybe as being from Boston the winters don't bother me). Summers in Portland are shorter but nicer. But the winters in Philly are (usually) shorter and with far less snow than you'll see in Portland.

7. The beer scene in Philly isn't as big as in Portland. (There's no Novare Res in Philly, for example. Monk's Cafe is probably the closest you're going to get.) But probably because it's a larger and more diverse city. Here's a decent list of Philly breweries: Local Breweries and Craft Beers — Visit Philadelphia — visitphilly.com
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-14-2014, 07:11 PM
 
13 posts, read 21,986 times
Reputation: 18
2. Philly area is the best on your list for transit. Much better than Dallas. Still room for improvement. Can be really convenient, depending on where you live.

3. Weather is good if you like season. Gets pretty hot and humid in the summer and frigid in the winter but it is not 3 straight months of heat or freezing cold. Lots of snow this winter, but that was a fluke. It definitely gets bad enough in the summer and winter to get annoying but nothing like the prolonged heat of Texas or the cold of Minnesota.

4. In certain neighborhoods, there are definitely neighborhood-ish community events. Lots of festivals and markets. There are lots of city-wide events too, especially in the summer.

5. Those are all good areas, plus University City, Northern Liberties, Fishtown, much of South Philly. I'd stay out of Center City with your price range. If you're willing to share, your money will go farther.

6. Lots and lots of locally owned businesses.

7. I think Philly, Portland, ME and Pittsburgh would all describe themselves as great beer towns and they probably are. Philly and Pittsburgh have great beer legacies from all their German and other European immigrants settling here. There are a lot of big breweries nearby - not a ton in the city but a lot if you count the surrounding area (Victory, Dogfish and Yuengling are the biggest names).
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-14-2014, 07:44 PM
 
19 posts, read 29,660 times
Reputation: 36
I know nothing about Portland, but I used to live in Pittsburgh and now live in Philly. For public transportation, there's no comparison - Philly all the way. Otherwise, being as I am still pretty new to Philly, I don't know as much about the rest of your questions - although I live just outside the borders of Manayunk in Roxborough and I know there was some sort of music festival last weekend
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-14-2014, 07:52 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
8,702 posts, read 12,373,638 times
Reputation: 3593
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.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-14-2014, 08:12 PM
 
74 posts, read 105,745 times
Reputation: 75
If your main criteria is beer than you can live anywhere in US really. Beer is beer. If you want to live someplace with really really really good beer, than you should relocate to Prague. Otherwise Philly is a crime ridden dump and given a choice I would go with Maine. At least it has some nature, o2 and h2o going for it.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-14-2014, 11:32 PM
 
Location: Manayunk
513 posts, read 632,986 times
Reputation: 1189
1) Not difficult at all. Plenty of stuff in Philly and around in the burbs. Tons of parks, trails, etc.. The Schuykill/Boathouse Row/Fairmont Park is one of the best spots for running, riding a bicycle, rowing. Not to mention there are tons of neighborhood parks every few blocks and state parks with many activities are right outside the city.

2) Transit depends greatly on where you live. Some areas are horrible and others are decent. You can check out the Septa website and see the lines and where they run. The longest I have heard was my friend who came from Upper Darby to visit me when I lived in the Far NE near Franklin Mills. It took her about an hour and half. Considering it takes an hour to drive and almost two in traffic its not that bad considering.


3) I personally love the weather. Every season makes you appreciate the next more. Summers are hot and humid, usually about 85 degrees but we get heat waves usually every few weeks where it can get 100 or so. Winters aren't bad, usually around 30-40 degrees. Again, sometimes every few weeks there's a cold front that brings extremely cold weather around 10 degrees. Snow is hit or miss. Some winters we have multiple storms with 12+ inches and others we only have a tiny dusting a few times. Fall is usually 50-60 degrees and I personally love the smell of burning leaves when they fall off the trees. Spring is usually 60-70 degrees and not much to talk about. Again, nothing too severe. A little bit of everything but very rarely an intense severe storm.

4) In another thread someone mentioned how Philly feels like a big "small" city. Almost everyone is proud of their neighborhood and works to make it better. For example, my street in Manayunk it is either people who have lived there forever or college kids. After I bought my home the second I opened the door multiple people came out to meet me and welcome me. I wasn't able to move in during the winter and went down to bring stuff in and shovel the snow and found my neighbor had already shoveled for me. I thanked him and tried giving him money for his troubles and he told me "no way, that's just what neighbors do!". Another example is you may go out with one friend and while you are out you run into another friend. Then you find out your friends know each other and you didn't know. A lot of people grew up here, and its not a "transplant" sort of city.

5/6) I personally live in Manayunk so maybe I'm biased lol anyway all the places you mentioned are good areas. Depends what you are looking for. Art Museum is closer to CC but Manayunk/east Falls have more of a party rep in a way, more bars/restaurants in a concentrated area. My street is four blocks from Main St. This is where I can answer 6 . All the stores on Main St are locally owned. There may be one or two corporate (like Starbucks) but mainly its all locally owned. There are the bigger corporate chains and stuff closer to Ridge ave. and over on City Line.

7) There are a few larger breweries such as Flying Fish, Victory Brewing Company, Philadelphia Brewing Company, Yards. Then there are the many smaller restaurant type Brewpubs. I can think of about 15. Maybe more.


If you need clarification on anything or want to know more message me. I have no problem answering any questions you may have.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-15-2014, 06:15 AM
 
Location: Philly
10,026 posts, read 14,474,108 times
Reputation: 2774
Quote:
Originally Posted by cxm123130 View Post
...
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.
1) while I'd say Pittsburgh gets the edge in kayaking there are plenty of places to hike, bike, and jog in the city and the region such as wissahickon creek in fairmount park. there's the schuylkill river trail which connects a lot of towns along the schuylkill river as well.
2) Philly transit is better than the other two cities (I'd guess Pittsburgh transit is better than Portland transit).
3) summers are hot and humid but, like the winters, they vary. some years they're pretty mild, other years extremely hot. the summers are most similar to Baltimore and DC if you know those at all. Still, much shorter than a TX summer. Winters can be painful or mild depending on the year. of the three cities you mentioned, Philly is the warmest and Portland the coldest.
4) yes
5) those are good areas, I'd also add fishtown and south philly. you might want to consider where you will work
6) yes, there are many locally owned businesses
7) Philly is one of the best beer cities in the country but a lot of the breweries (brewpubs) are in the suburbs in no small part due to quirks in the state's liquor code. a brewpub can serve by right so it often makes the most sense to open them where licenses cost the most(the suburbs). that said there are breweries in city limits as well like yard's brewing, manayunk brewpub, earth, bread, and brewery. tired hands in ardmore isn't far either.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-15-2014, 06:43 AM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
20 posts, read 34,304 times
Reputation: 16
Thanks everyone for the info. You have given me some great stuff to start with. I have a few other questions about Philly.

1. Is the crime in Philly as bad as its reputation says it is? I was told by several people to watch my back before I went to visit in March. However, I didn't find the city that bad. I saw lots of homeless people and definitely saw some shady areas but I got the feeling that as long as you don't go wandering into those shady areas then you are fine.

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

3. How is the coffee scene in Philly? I am a Starbucks barista but love the independent coffee shops.

4. While I was in Philly I couldn't help but notice that drivers are relatively nice to pedestrians and bicyclists. Is this true or was I just seeing things? In Dallas people will run you over before they stop and let you walk.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-15-2014, 07:09 AM
 
Location: Philly
10,026 posts, read 14,474,108 times
Reputation: 2774
1) don't be stupid (get really hammered and go staggering around neighborhoods you don't know let alone ones you do, get a cab) and you should be fine. there is crime in philly but likely nowhere near as bad as its reputation. pay attention to your surroundings. like most cities, crime is mostly related to the drug trade and the people employed by it (even if it's about a "beef." if you hang out at beer bars the chances of being shot for disrespecting someone's beer choice may be high. kidding
3) pretty good. next time you're in town you might want to check out town hall coffee at 8th and chestnut. seems like a lot of baristas stop in to "talk shop." there's also la colombe which doesn't get much respect in barista circles but they were pouring good coffee here before starbucks came to town (same with passero's though there aren't many of those left) so they deserve come credit for raising the quality of coffee in the city.
4) you are right. in philly you always have to watch out for pedestrians because there are a lot of them. pedestrians often feel entitled (and rightly so in my opinion) to use the street and not always at designated crosswalks (that's right, jaywalking...which, as it turns out, was a term concocted by an anti-pedestrian movement in the early days of cars when cars were expected to share the road). the streets are smaller which also lends to easy crossing and slower driving. Texas (and a lot of places quite frankly are the polar opposite).
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Pennsylvania > Philadelphia
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2020, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top