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Old 05-08-2014, 12:55 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
8,702 posts, read 12,373,638 times
Reputation: 3593

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Restless_In_Austin View Post
I am considering a move to Philly but am also drawn to Boston. I have always just heard that crime is so bad in Philadelphia and as a young, single woman who won't own a car (lots of walking, biking, and public transport use) it makes me a little nervous! However, you all have such nice things to say about it!

Anyone have any thoughts about safety in the city and how it might compare to Boston?
Philadelphia still has an image problem. Of course there are still bad sections of the city and issues the city faces but the city is changing so fast. Just seeing all the new houses, apartment and condo buildings, office buildings, skyscrapers/highrises, restaurants, stores/retail, etc. opening in Philly should be enough for people to realize this. I think it's pretty cool that Philly is getting a new tallest this year that will be the tallest building in the US outside of New York and Chicago. Beat that Beantown!

Modern day Philadelphia and Boston are a lot more similar than most people realize (or want to believe). Boston is still doing a little better, is cleaner, and slightly safer, while Philly is a little more rough around the edges and grittier but also much larger than Boston.

In Boston, most of the crime is limited to the South End. In Philadelphia, most of the crime is limited to West/Southwest and North Philly. You'll be perfectly fine in either city staying away from these areas.

Philadelphia has changed so much in the past decade it's hard to even call it the same city from what a lot of people know. Crime is down drastically by about 45% since 2007. That is remarkable! The crime rates in Boston and Philadelphia are a lot closer today, with Boston at about 11 per 100,000 and Philadelphia at 14 per 100,000. A lot of people who trash Philly have either never been here, or have not been here in the past 5 years, or they just have a chip on their shoulder and will blame Philly for their own shortcomings.

Since 2007, construction has been booming in Philly, crime is down, the population is growing, and businesses are moving back into the city. I would say the city is certainly on an upward trajectory that some people outside of the area just don't realize yet. Philadelphia still has an image problem, and there are still some issues the the city needs to address (blight, crime, bad public schools, poor business tax, wage tax), but on the whole the city is great. It is definitely "the most underrated city in America."

IMO, Boston is a little overrated, but that's just me
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Old 05-08-2014, 01:28 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles, CA
175 posts, read 241,725 times
Reputation: 222
Also... my cousin lives in Boston. you can get a tiny studio for the same price as a lovely 1 or even 2 bedroom in Philly.
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Old 05-08-2014, 03:42 PM
 
544 posts, read 462,414 times
Reputation: 555
Quote:
Originally Posted by FKD19124 View Post
yeah everyone who loves philadelphia.....lives in center city where you have to be a rich professional to afford it.
I currently live in Mt. Airy and previously lived in Passyunk square and have loved living in both locations despite not being in center city. The interesting neighborhoods are one of the best things about the city. I am a "professional" now but I lived just fine on my meager grad student budget.
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Old 05-08-2014, 04:34 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
1,041 posts, read 1,281,018 times
Reputation: 471
Quote:
Originally Posted by Summersm343 View Post
Philadelphia still has an image problem. Of course there are still bad sections of the city and issues the city faces but the city is changing so fast. Just seeing all the new houses, apartment and condo buildings, office buildings, skyscrapers/highrises, restaurants, stores/retail, etc. opening in Philly should be enough for people to realize this. I think it's pretty cool that Philly is getting a new tallest this year that will be the tallest building in the US outside of New York and Chicago. Beat that Beantown!

Modern day Philadelphia and Boston are a lot more similar than most people realize (or want to believe). Boston is still doing a little better, is cleaner, and slightly safer, while Philly is a little more rough around the edges and grittier but also much larger than Boston.

In Boston, most of the crime is limited to the South End. In Philadelphia, most of the crime is limited to West/Southwest and North Philly. You'll be perfectly fine in either city staying away from these areas.

Philadelphia has changed so much in the past decade it's hard to even call it the same city from what a lot of people know. Crime is down drastically by about 45% since 2007. That is remarkable! The crime rates in Boston and Philadelphia are a lot closer today, with Boston at about 11 per 100,000 and Philadelphia at 14 per 100,000. A lot of people who trash Philly have either never been here, or have not been here in the past 5 years, or they just have a chip on their shoulder and will blame Philly for their own shortcomings.

Since 2007, construction has been booming in Philly, crime is down, the population is growing, and businesses are moving back into the city. I would say the city is certainly on an upward trajectory that some people outside of the area just don't realize yet. Philadelphia still has an image problem, and there are still some issues the the city needs to address (blight, crime, bad public schools, poor business tax, wage tax), but on the whole the city is great. It is definitely "the most underrated city in America."

IMO, Boston is a little overrated, but that's just me
That's some good Philadelphia knowledge! Thank you.
I know in my neighborhood of Bridesburg there's been about fifty new single dwelling homes built in the recent past and they've all sold for 200k+ ... now the well kept older homes are starting to fetch nice coin.
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Old 05-08-2014, 04:46 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
1,041 posts, read 1,281,018 times
Reputation: 471
Quote:
Originally Posted by FKD19124 View Post
yeah everyone who loves philadelphia.....lives in center city where you have to be a rich professional to afford it.
The people I've come across who hate Philly and want out are usually : 1) White people who can't afford to move from their "changing" neighborhood. (I can't blame these people for wanting out)
2) People who don't have private parking and are constantly freaked out about finding parking on the street.
3) People paying for Catholic school because they don't (and rightfully so) want to send their kids to the horrendous public schools.
4) People who think they should be doing better than living in a rowhome in a blue collar neighborhood.
5) People who by a bad luck of the draw have a bad neighbor. (There are bad neighbors in the 'burbs, too)
6) Think the grass is greener in the suburbs and it'll improve their social status by moving there.
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Old 05-09-2014, 09:15 AM
 
Location: Center City
7,085 posts, read 8,214,674 times
Reputation: 10149
Quote:
Originally Posted by FKD19124 View Post
yeah everyone who loves philadelphia.....lives in center city where you have to be a rich professional to afford it.
I do live in CC, but if I'm rich, it is only a relative term. Regardless, out of 8 current residents, we've heard from 7 folks and counting who love Philly but do not live in CC. Another - stylistvv - plans to move to Mt Airy or Chestnut Hill. And I think it's safe to say all these folks love Philadelphia.

Care to retract your ridiculous claim, or have you've slunk off with your tail between your legs?
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Old 05-09-2014, 09:51 AM
 
10,273 posts, read 5,934,396 times
Reputation: 3628
Quote:
Originally Posted by Restless_In_Austin View Post
I am considering a move to Philly but am also drawn to Boston. I have always just heard that crime is so bad in Philadelphia and as a young, single woman who won't own a car (lots of walking, biking, and public transport use) it makes me a little nervous! However, you all have such nice things to say about it!

Anyone have any thoughts about safety in the city and how it might compare to Boston?
I really would like to know why, "crime is so bad in Philadelphia", beliefs continue unaltered in various parts of the country.

How and why are we failing to convince people that at least a chunk of this "a lot crime" narrative is wrong?

I am a single female and have never been a victim of crime. I do not just remain in areas folks here would label as "safe" either.
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Old 05-09-2014, 10:05 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia
11,942 posts, read 10,818,746 times
Reputation: 8139
Quote:
Originally Posted by kyb01 View Post
I really would like to know why, "crime is so bad in Philadelphia", beliefs continue unaltered in various parts of the country.

How and why are we failing to convince people that at least a chunk of this "a lot crime" narrative is wrong?

I am a single female and have never been a victim of crime. I do not just remain in areas folks here would label as "safe" either.
Philadelphia and Chicago seem to suffer from the same national perceptions of being crime-ridden (not that those perceptions are wrong per se because there is way too much violence in both cities mainly due to lack of opportunity/investment in their deindustrialized and abandonded communities as well as the longest and costliest War in American history that uncoincidentally has been waged in those same communities). The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Color Blindess by Michelle Alexander is an excellent and disturbing book to read.

But most city dwellers understand that the crime and violence is largely contained in depressed and abandoned communities and revolves mostly around the drug trade and personal disputes-even in those communities. People with no experience living in the city just don't understand. Yes, there are random robberies and attacks-these events are also highly publicized which shows how infrequently they occur. I too have never been a victim of crime and grew up in East Mount Airy, lived in The Bronx for four years and now live in Germantown.

Sadly, there is one demographic-young black males-that are disproportionately affected by crime and violence. These issues must be addressed and it does nobody any justice when people label entire cities as crime-ridden. Such blanket statements avoid the fact that The War on "Drugs" has been fought for 40+ years solely in neighborhoods we abandoned decades ago even while drug usage rates are equal across all demographics-(some studies even show that people of more means consume more drugs).
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Old 05-09-2014, 03:40 PM
 
5,351 posts, read 5,570,613 times
Reputation: 3615
Quote:
Originally Posted by jm02 View Post
I do live in CC, but if I'm rich, it is only a relative term. Regardless, out of 8 current residents, we've heard from 7 folks and counting who love Philly but do not live in CC. Another - stylistvv - plans to move to Mt Airy or Chestnut Hill. And I think it's safe to say all these folks love Philadelphia.

Care to retract your ridiculous claim, or have you've slunk off with your tail between your legs?
You can add me to the list. Moving to Philly in December, and we're not moving into Center City. We're also not rich!
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Old 05-09-2014, 04:17 PM
 
Location: Midwest
1,283 posts, read 1,881,190 times
Reputation: 970
Quote:
Originally Posted by jm02 View Post
I do live in CC, but if I'm rich, it is only a relative term. Regardless, out of 8 current residents, we've heard from 7 folks and counting who love Philly but do not live in CC. Another - stylistvv - plans to move to Mt Airy or Chestnut Hill. And I think it's safe to say all these folks love Philadelphia.

Care to retract your ridiculous claim, or have you've slunk off with your tail between your legs?
I didn't want to bring down the happiness of the thread....

But my wife and I aren't really in love with Philadelphia, although we don't hate it either. We have kind of an on-again-off-again relationship with it.

Philadelphia never had an image problem with me though - I spent part of my childhood a few hours away, and I came here all the time, and if anything probably had the impression that it was a much better place than it actually is because of only visiting the nicest neighborhoods (and to be fair - I think a lot of the booster transplants in the downtown area only really live their lives in a fairly small portion of Philadelphia; and a lot of natives don't realize it's not normal or good to have such vast amounts of empty land and decaying, abandoned buildings)

We lived in Center City for a while to explore the city - it was good in some ways, but as two people who have predominantly lived in lower middle class areas of big cities, we were never really comfortable there and didn't plan to stay there. Although I could totally see how it could be the greatest place ever for folks with different kind of backgrounds, aspirations, and personalities. It was an interesting experience though.

Having been here 4 years, I'd say there's a lot of stuff I like about Philadelphia and a lot of stuff I don't like. The funny thing is that I think we were actually better off day-to-day without a car in our old Minneapolis neighborhood than almost anywhere appealing to us in Philadelphia (although we didn't have the options of such easy regional travel without a car, and I do enjoy trains, even if they are longer train rides than my old bus rides - I've very much discovered my inner rail-fan living here).

We're at a little bit of a crossroads, in that in this coming year we're likely going to figure out whether we're going to stay in Philly long-term or not. It's got some of what we want - so do other places. I certainly wouldn't be upset if we wound up staying here, but neither would I be to leave.

More than anything, Philadelphia - especially when taken in its entirety as opposed to a few gentrified circles or a fairy tale history book - is an interesting and compelling place to live for those who are drawn to the idea of the city.
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