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Old 05-14-2014, 05:33 AM
 
Location: Philly
10,026 posts, read 14,474,108 times
Reputation: 2774

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Quote:
Originally Posted by FamousBlueRaincoat View Post
Look, there are all kinds of different things one looks at when picking a neighborhood in the city. It's got nothing to do with a neighborhood being better than another one - which is always going to be a matter of opinion

If you want to walk to the art museum (how many times per week can you really do that, by the way? I like art and all but needing to be within walking distance to a major art museum takes a pretty specific kind of person), sit on a roofdeck looking at Comcast and feeling good about yourself, or have extremely close proximity to Center City (like I said) you look for one thing. Heck, if you're looking for return on investment, a lot of these neighborhoods are a better option - and I imagine that's actually a larger part of what you're seeing as these neighborhoods get rebuilt, folks with relatively modest means seeing a chance to make some good money over time.

What I'm saying - I'm a person who has never lived in a city neighborhood without multiple real grocery stores within walking distance selling real food stuffs like meat, produce, and grains, or near multiple basic services. For the vast, vast majority of people who are cooking dinner, doing laundry, taking care of their kids, and cleaning bathrooms more often than they are going to the art museum, a neighborhood that provides easy, immediate access to the mundane everyday needs allows our pathetic lives to be a whole lot more convenient and enjoyable - a big part of why the city is superior in my opinion. Center City is GREAT for this - but I don't know that the cost analysis really adds up for the vast majority of people. There are a BUNCH of places that also do it very well - but aren't really scaled to the pedestrian. And yes, I would continue to argue that there are a few neighborhoods, Germantown included (but there are certainly others that have been pointed out here), that do a better job of this than the neighborhoods on the fringes of Greater Center City that are currently in rebuilding mode. In 10, 20, 30 years, maybe it's a different story (and I would hope that it is).
quite frankly I think you have it completely backwards and the conceited way you describe someone sitting on their roofdeck smacks of hypocrisy. If you wanted to make money germantown is probably a good long term bet, francisville is already expensive but it's possible it could get more expensive. there are two pharmacies (three if you count the one in fairmount). a hardware store, two post offices, a liquor store, a coffee shop, two bike shops, a gym, places to do yoga. yes, people do use the museum as well as the gazebo out back which is one of the best places to enjoy a sunset. you can walk to whole foods, kleins, fresh grocer, or drive to super fresh. there's also a bottom dollar in brewerytown. Francisville is not in center city it's in north philly. there is even a new market on fairmount ave selling fresh food, t. Since it is redeveloping more things will be added over time. if you have kids there are playgrounds, a public pool. you are also walking distance to the franklin institute, natural sciences, logan circle, and the central library. I know it's cool in certain circles now to bash these areas to make improve self worth but I don't know that it's justified. point breeze is a different bag. people living on the eastern end seem fairly smart, there is no more urban experience in Philadelphia than south philly. there are parts of point breeze that aren't close to east of broad south philly that do lack amenities. different people want different things. germantown seems substantially less urban but more affordable. there aren't as many pedestrians, there isn't much of interest, but it's pretty, leafy, and near the park.
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Old 05-14-2014, 05:38 AM
 
Location: Philly
10,026 posts, read 14,474,108 times
Reputation: 2774
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Bowa View Post
"Walkability" is overused and overrated ... Some people need a car and neighborhoods like Bridesburg, Port Richmond and Fishtown (the River Wards) are great for people who have a car and like being able to make the short drive to South Jersey, Center City or NE Philadelphia.
As much as I would like living in Center City (not that I can afford it), I'd want a car so I'd be able to enjoy the entire city. I don't like public transportation and I'd feel very limited about where I could go on foot, I need the freedom of a car.
I'm tired of hearing about "walkability" ... and I'm a walker. Big deal, you can walk to your favorite coffee shop or restaurant every day ... sounds boring to me. I think it's difficult getting the true Philadelphia experience without a car.
walkability might be overused but it is certainly not overrated. in the end, the neighborhood of fishtown and port richmond aren't that different than neighborhoods like francisville, brewerytown, and fairmount. parking is available even if it's tight (if you want it). public transit from port richmond and particularly bridesburg is not good at all which means you would be more limited there without a car than other places. that isn't to say it's bad but certainly validates your viewpoint. the reality is we're all limited by time. I lived for years without a car but easy access to transit and car share helped a lot. kids are usually what do it (though people with kids are not a vast majority anymore) but I intend to go carless when I get older
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Old 05-14-2014, 08:34 AM
 
3,050 posts, read 2,751,079 times
Reputation: 3959
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Bowa View Post
"Walkability" is overused and overrated ... Some people need a car and neighborhoods like Bridesburg, Port Richmond and Fishtown (the River Wards) are great for people who have a car and like being able to make the short drive to South Jersey, Center City or NE Philadelphia.
As much as I would like living in Center City (not that I can afford it), I'd want a car so I'd be able to enjoy the entire city. I don't like public transportation and I'd feel very limited about where I could go on foot, I need the freedom of a car.
I'm tired of hearing about "walkability" ... and I'm a walker. Big deal, you can walk to your favorite coffee shop or restaurant every day ... sounds boring to me. I think it's difficult getting the true Philadelphia experience without a car.
Well it's not boring to me so
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Old 05-14-2014, 10:48 AM
 
8,048 posts, read 18,469,927 times
Reputation: 2738
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Bowa View Post
"Walkability" is overused and overrated ... Some people need a car and neighborhoods like Bridesburg, Port Richmond and Fishtown (the River Wards) are great for people who have a car and like being able to make the short drive to South Jersey, Center City or NE Philadelphia.
As much as I would like living in Center City (not that I can afford it), I'd want a car so I'd be able to enjoy the entire city. I don't like public transportation and I'd feel very limited about where I could go on foot, I need the freedom of a car.
I'm tired of hearing about "walkability" ... and I'm a walker. Big deal, you can walk to your favorite coffee shop or restaurant every day ... sounds boring to me. I think it's difficult getting the true Philadelphia experience without a car.
As pman suggested, the positives of walkability depend on where one lives. From where I lived in University City, I had fairly convenient access to as many as two trolleys, two buses and one Regional Rail train. (The train was definitely a blessing during the inevitable bus/trolley strikes. ) For the areas of the city proper I would normally want to visit - Center City, NW, "upper" South Philly - getting on SEPTA worked fine and I rarely needed access to a car. Not to mention that there were (and still are) interesting things to do right there in UC.

Still, I respect that you're not fond of public transit and that the relative lack of transit options in the River Wards (assuming that's where you live) don't provide much incentive for you to use them.
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Old 05-14-2014, 02:03 PM
 
Location: Phila Pa & NYC
2,856 posts, read 2,066,969 times
Reputation: 1097
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Bowa View Post
"Walkability" is overused and overrated ... Some people need a car and neighborhoods like Bridesburg, Port Richmond and Fishtown (the River Wards) are great for people who have a car and like being able to make the short drive to South Jersey, Center City or NE Philadelphia.
As much as I would like living in Center City (not that I can afford it), I'd want a car so I'd be able to enjoy the entire city. I don't like public transportation and I'd feel very limited about where I could go on foot, I need the freedom of a car.
I'm tired of hearing about "walkability" ... and I'm a walker. Big deal, you can walk to your favorite coffee shop or restaurant every day ... sounds boring to me. I think it's difficult getting the true Philadelphia experience without a car.
To each his own really. If not for the fact that I still work almost always away from the city, I would just give up car ownership. The amount of money I would save between parking, insurance and just merely owning a car would greatly out number the amount of dollars I would spend walking to Zip and renting by the hour, or Enterprise renting by the day on the occasions I need a car.
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Old 05-14-2014, 03:54 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
1,041 posts, read 1,281,018 times
Reputation: 471
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarbonCountyLiving View Post
Well it's not boring to me so
Not yet ... It's a big city, lots to see.

Last edited by Larry Bowa; 05-14-2014 at 04:09 PM..
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Old 05-14-2014, 04:02 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
1,041 posts, read 1,281,018 times
Reputation: 471
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tone509 View Post
As pman suggested, the positives of walkability depend on where one lives. From where I lived in University City, I had fairly convenient access to as many as two trolleys, two buses and one Regional Rail train. (The train was definitely a blessing during the inevitable bus/trolley strikes. ) For the areas of the city proper I would normally want to visit - Center City, NW, "upper" South Philly - getting on SEPTA worked fine and I rarely needed access to a car. Not to mention that there were (and still are) interesting things to do right there in UC.

Still, I respect that you're not fond of public transit and that the relative lack of transit options in the River Wards (assuming that's where you live) don't provide much incentive for you to use them.
I'm not so sure there's a lack of transit options where I live (Bridesburg). There's the 25, J and 73. Plus, there's the train station on Bridge Street that takes you right into CC. That's a lot of public transportation for such a small neighborhood.
When I was a teenager we used to take SEPTA to the Vet all the time and it was a pretty easy run.

Last edited by Larry Bowa; 05-14-2014 at 04:10 PM..
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Old 05-14-2014, 04:15 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
1,041 posts, read 1,281,018 times
Reputation: 471
Quote:
Originally Posted by pman View Post
walkability might be overused but it is certainly not overrated. in the end, the neighborhood of fishtown and port richmond aren't that different than neighborhoods like francisville, brewerytown, and fairmount. parking is available even if it's tight (if you want it). public transit from port richmond and particularly bridesburg is not good at all which means you would be more limited there without a car than other places. that isn't to say it's bad but certainly validates your viewpoint. the reality is we're all limited by time. I lived for years without a car but easy access to transit and car share helped a lot. kids are usually what do it (though people with kids are not a vast majority anymore) but I intend to go carless when I get older
I'd feel very limited about where and when I could go if I lived in CC without a car.
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Old 05-14-2014, 06:37 PM
 
Location: Midwest
1,283 posts, read 1,881,190 times
Reputation: 970
Quote:
Originally Posted by pman View Post
quite frankly I think you have it completely backwards and the conceited way you describe someone sitting on their roofdeck smacks of hypocrisy. If you wanted to make money germantown is probably a good long term bet, francisville is already expensive but it's possible it could get more expensive. there are two pharmacies (three if you count the one in fairmount). a hardware store, two post offices, a liquor store, a coffee shop, two bike shops, a gym, places to do yoga. yes, people do use the museum as well as the gazebo out back which is one of the best places to enjoy a sunset. you can walk to whole foods, kleins, fresh grocer, or drive to super fresh. there's also a bottom dollar in brewerytown. Francisville is not in center city it's in north philly. there is even a new market on fairmount ave selling fresh food, t. Since it is redeveloping more things will be added over time. if you have kids there are playgrounds, a public pool. you are also walking distance to the franklin institute, natural sciences, logan circle, and the central library. I know it's cool in certain circles now to bash these areas to make improve self worth but I don't know that it's justified. point breeze is a different bag. people living on the eastern end seem fairly smart, there is no more urban experience in Philadelphia than south philly. there are parts of point breeze that aren't close to east of broad south philly that do lack amenities. different people want different things. germantown seems substantially less urban but more affordable. there aren't as many pedestrians, there isn't much of interest, but it's pretty, leafy, and near the park.
Well, I won't argue that I'm not a little conceited. I've been living in cities most of my life - but I have done some short stints in some very nice neighborhoods in both Philadelphia and Minneapolis and been just fine. It might be just an inborn part of me - I was partially raised in Ridgewood, New York (just steps from Bushwick, in Bushwick's ugly days) and have always kind of sought out these relatively stable working class communities with lots of amenities just on the other side of some pretty gnarly places. I do like living on the streets of Germantown more than I'd like looking at nice neighborhoods from afar on my roof - although a roof deck might be pretty sweet if I also lived in a nice place like Bella Vista or East Passyunk that had plenty of basic services and interesting things to do to go along with the high prices of living.

Downtown Germantown (Germantown and Chelten vicinity) is downright hopping during the day, and as beleaguered as the business district is (and it probably IS the weakest business district I have ever had to personally depend on), I still think there's more pedestrian life than in the gentrifying neighborhoods near Center City, as most people there are very much dependent on their short distance to center city (or sometimes short drive to big box stores). And yeah, part of the reason I live here is because it's cheaper, and the other part is that I did find that it offered a lot, relatively speaking. That's pretty much the main two things I look for. I do agree there is less of special interest, aside from the major historical attractions - for doing the once in a while special things I do often find myself in Greater Center City or further up Germantown Avenue. As you move away from the business district of Germantown, it becomes somewhat more suburban, although in more of the lost, idyllic, early 20th century style suburbia. I live close enough to it to be able to take advantage of it (5 minute walk to Chelten Avenue, 5 minute walk to Germantown Avenue, 10 minute walk to Germantown and Chelten intersection), but still live on a quiet, leafy block - it's hardly a nightmare scenario. One of the neat things of Germantown is walking around some of the little alleys near the downtown area and seeing the former storefronts, not really all that different from some of the hidden commercial streets in Center City - perhaps one day things will be healthy enough here for them to be utilized again. There was a time not that long ago that Germantown was sort of an ultimate small city within a large city (read, actual city, as opposed to the more small town feels of Chestnut Hill and Manayunk). One can see things going in that direction one day again, hopefully.

Philadelphia is the first place I've lived in that I don't really consider myself a foe of gentrification, though. Let people pay whatever they want to live in Francisville or Brewerytown or Spring Arts. I might personally think their ideas of what the city is and how much it costs is silly. But there are PLENTY of places that need fixing up, there's room for a whole lot more people, and I don't see gentrification ever hitting any kind of overwhelming critical mass here. Best case scenario is that it'll send more people who aren't overly concerned with living in or near trendy and exciting places into the neighborhoods that still have hope - the Germantown, Rising Sun, Torresdale, and Frankford Avenues of the city and help keep them together in a more or less proper urban form.
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Old 05-14-2014, 07:16 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
2,377 posts, read 2,695,391 times
Reputation: 1492
I find that I'm noticing almost daily now that philly isn't an alternative anymore but it's actually a go to city such as San Fran etc. I used to get an alternative vibe but now it's more like a confidently awesome vibe, people are where they want to be without thought of elseware. I just hope philly can manage to meet the demand with new / renovated supply instead of becoming expensive.
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