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Old 05-10-2014, 01:51 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
1,041 posts, read 1,281,018 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pman View Post
thats part of it but schools are bad even in neighborhoods that dont have enormous problems with these things so clearly theres more to it than that
A lot of ill-prepared kids are bussed into neighborhoods that "don't have enormous problems." This doesn't help.
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Old 05-10-2014, 05:06 PM
 
Location: Midwest
1,283 posts, read 1,881,190 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jm02 View Post
Hi FBR - I think Ann Landers might respond as follows: "It's important that you be honest and share your feelings with Philadelphia. This will allow Philadelphia to make its own decision about its relationship with you."

Seriously, however, I wonder why you used my post as starting place to offer insight into your personal situation.
Because despite however ridiculous the claim you were responding to was (as if you can talk of personal opinions in absolutes about a city of 1.5 million) - there was kind of a kernel of truth to it in that your perspective on Philadelphia really does depend on what part of the city you're living in. I know a ton of old timers who have a lot of bitterness towards this city and their neighborhoods.

I'm also one of the few transplants here who probably moved here specifically not desiring to live in high-profile areas - and thus probably have a different viewpoint on the city. I've always tried to tow the middle on the Philadelphia question, aside from my first couple of months of living here. Nuance sometimes calls for extra words.


Quote:
I hope you find a place that better suits you and your wifes' needs and desires. I have lived 7 states and over the course of that journey, sometimes found myself in in cities where I felt I was "settling." It has always been my nature to make the very best of the where I lived, however. To intentionally move to Philly, a city which meets pretty much everything on my wish list, makes for much happier life for me and my husband. I wish the same to you and your wife.
We'll be fine - we never planned on staying here forever - and we're probably considering staying here long term now more seriously than we were when we moved here, if only because we're established enough here to live relatively comfortably, and even if it's not the perfect fit, there's plenty to enjoy.
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Old 05-11-2014, 10:39 AM
 
Location: Center City
7,085 posts, read 8,214,674 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FamousBlueRaincoat View Post
. . . your perspective on Philadelphia really does depend on what part of the city you're living in.
Yes. As well as one's income, net worth, age, race, gender, employment status, marital status, family status, health, physical ability, education, job, and neighbors. There are likely a few more, but you get the gist.
Quote:
Originally Posted by FamousBlueRaincoat View Post
I know a ton of old timers who have a lot of bitterness towards this city and their neighborhoods.
Yes. While not quite bitterness, we've found too many natives who lack awareness of other places, and therefore look at Philly though a glass half empty. I theorize that the key contributing factor might be that so many locals have lived their entire lives here, and therefore don't have any way of comparing Philly with any other place. Here's a perfect example that I hope will illustrate my point:

Friday night, we attended a social function in our building. One of the first couples we spoke with are natives of Mexico City in their mid-40s. Their careers have taken them to several cities in both Europe and North America and they have been in Philly going on one year. We asked the question we typically do of transplants like us, and got the following response: "We love it here! There is so much to do. Culture. Walkability. Restaurants. People. Blah, blah, blah, etc."

As we were talking, another 50-something fellow joined us and as the conversation evolved, he revealed he has spent his entire life in the city, even including his university education. Eventually, as the conversation progressed, it naturally turned to the fact that we moved to here by choice from Houston a few years back. His response, accompanied with a doubtful face: "Really? Why?" It's as if we said we moved here from the moon. After giving our reasons, I could see the wheels' turning. He still looked as if we still might not be telling the entire truth, so I suggested the following: "Go live in Houston for a year and see what you think of Philly."

Last edited by Pine to Vine; 05-11-2014 at 10:49 AM.. Reason: syntax correction
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Old 05-11-2014, 11:00 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles, CA
175 posts, read 241,725 times
Reputation: 222
Lols jm02, I hear ya. Im in Los Angeles and when I tell people Im preparing to move to Philly, the first response is WHY????? I hate Los Angeles, even though I know its other peoples idea of heaven. But the two of my intrepid friends I have talked into visiting Philly now agree with me that they would move there in a heartbeat if they could.
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Old 05-11-2014, 01:34 PM
 
Location: The Left Toast
1,231 posts, read 1,520,201 times
Reputation: 905
Quote:
Originally Posted by stylistvg View Post
Lols jm02, I hear ya. Im in Los Angeles and when I tell people Im preparing to move to Philly, the first response is WHY????? I hate Los Angeles, even though I know its other peoples idea of heaven. But the two of my intrepid friends I have talked into visiting Philly now agree with me that they would move there in a heartbeat if they could.
I'll be returning to Philly for the summer and will spend some time deciding between there and New York. One thing that people do not realize about LA is that most of the transplants move to the West Side areas or Hollywood and surrounding areas. That's not a very large part of the city, and when you head south and east of these places you'll see that there are many residents who've lived here all of their lives and haven't been to many places outside of the state or Arizona or Nevada, or maybe Texas and Oregon. Try frequenting the business that most locals facilitate and you'll here their concerns about the neighborhoods, schools, and parks for their children as well as what churches and schools they've attended. Also they rarely hang out in places where many of the transplants are. Plain & simple it's like anywhere else in that regard. I guess Philly is slowly catching up to other places in regards to transplants from far out of the Tri-State area.
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Old 05-11-2014, 08:01 PM
 
Location: Boston Metrowest (via the Philly area)
4,745 posts, read 7,845,060 times
Reputation: 4700
Quote:
Originally Posted by BillyJacc View Post
I'll be returning to Philly for the summer and will spend some time deciding between there and New York. One thing that people do not realize about LA is that most of the transplants move to the West Side areas or Hollywood and surrounding areas. That's not a very large part of the city, and when you head south and east of these places you'll see that there are many residents who've lived here all of their lives and haven't been to many places outside of the state or Arizona or Nevada, or maybe Texas and Oregon. Try frequenting the business that most locals facilitate and you'll here their concerns about the neighborhoods, schools, and parks for their children as well as what churches and schools they've attended. Also they rarely hang out in places where many of the transplants are. Plain & simple it's like anywhere else in that regard. I guess Philly is slowly catching up to other places in regards to transplants from far out of the Tri-State area.
Good perspective, as I think many people definitely think of LA as a transplant-heavy city.

The fact of the matter is, the vast majority of the country tends to be pretty provincial and native-based. It's only relatively small pockets, tending to be within major urban areas, where you'll find lots of transplants.
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Old 05-12-2014, 08:31 AM
 
10,273 posts, read 5,934,396 times
Reputation: 3628
Quote:
Originally Posted by jm02 View Post
Yes. As well as one's income, net worth, age, race, gender, employment status, marital status, family status, health, physical ability, education, job, and neighbors. There are likely a few more, but you get the gist.
Yes. While not quite bitterness, we've found too many natives who lack awareness of other places, and therefore look at Philly though a glass half empty. I theorize that the key contributing factor might be that so many locals have lived their entire lives here, and therefore don't have any way of comparing Philly with any other place. Here's a perfect example that I hope will illustrate my point:

Friday night, we attended a social function in our building. One of the first couples we spoke with are natives of Mexico City in their mid-40s. Their careers have taken them to several cities in both Europe and North America and they have been in Philly going on one year. We asked the question we typically do of transplants like us, and got the following response: "We love it here! There is so much to do. Culture. Walkability. Restaurants. People. Blah, blah, blah, etc."

As we were talking, another 50-something fellow joined us and as the conversation evolved, he revealed he has spent his entire life in the city, even including his university education. Eventually, as the conversation progressed, it naturally turned to the fact that we moved to here by choice from Houston a few years back. His response, accompanied with a doubtful face: "Really? Why?" It's as if we said we moved here from the moon. After giving our reasons, I could see the wheels' turning. He still looked as if we still might not be telling the entire truth, so I suggested the following: "Go live in Houston for a year and see what you think of Philly."
I'm a native, have lived no where else, and I am often baffled by how other natives view the city. They, IMO, are a essential part of our image problem: they don't think very highly of their own hometown.

I have traveled a lot and know how special Philadelphia is. Unfortunately the guy, you mentioned above, has missed all of that.

The "image problem" may always exist because of how close we are to New York. Being so close to NYC is a blessing and a curse, imo.
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Old 05-12-2014, 08:44 AM
 
10,273 posts, read 5,934,396 times
Reputation: 3628
Quote:
Originally Posted by stylistvg View Post
Lols jm02, I hear ya. Im in Los Angeles and when I tell people Im preparing to move to Philly, the first response is WHY????? I hate Los Angeles, even though I know its other peoples idea of heaven. But the two of my intrepid friends I have talked into visiting Philly now agree with me that they would move there in a heartbeat if they could.
Why they say? Your snarky retort could be because Los Angeles, along with much of Cali, is running out of water( who wants to be there when that happens and it will). Few movies are made in LA now. And a final dig could be Comcast , as much we tend loathe it, is based in Philadelphia and that means an iconic LA institution ,Universal Studios, is owned by "us" not "them".
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Old 05-12-2014, 10:51 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia
11,942 posts, read 10,818,746 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FamousBlueRaincoat View Post
Good question. One thing to consider is that my wife and I get a little restless anyway - so even though Philadelphia has been both good and bad for us, we might be considering a move anyway, even if we loved it.

Germantown is in many ways exactly what I thought it would be. We needed to save a little bit on rent, and we were getting such a great deal in Center City that the only way to actually save money in something that may have fit our personality a little more (South Philly, I suppose) would have been to live in a terrible apartment. Germantown allowed us to live in a pretty nice apartment, on a really beautiful street, near some basic needs, and save some money. And I wound up finding it a much more interesting place than I thought I would. I'm glad I got to live here before it got discovered. I love so much about Germantown - the geography is my favorite, the man made and the natural. I love the bus rides - up and down Wayne Avenue ( from the houses climbing up the hill just north of Wayne Junction to the mansions past Manheim, Greene Street, Germantown Avenue. I look forward to waiting for the bus - no kidding - because I get to stand on the corner and just look at the houses without being suspicious.

But I think the business district is the pits. I like my local produce store and the thrift store down on queen lane. But outside of historic attractions, Germantown Avenue largely fails through Germantown - and Chelten isn't any better. It's not an interesting place. If I get home after 7, everything except Walgreens and McDonalds is closed, and the streets are mostly abandoned except for people waiting for the bus and a few bars.

I also knew that going into it, so not a big deal, it's not like it was disappointing. We literally moved to Germantown because of A & N House of Produce - living along Lake Street in South Minneapolis we had so many of these small food stores, and I can not believe how far and few between they are here. We found a cheap neighborhood with a good food store and a few other things, jumped on it, and settled.

Another thing I took for granted when we lived in Minneapolis is how geographically big the city seemed, based on how much of everyday life was conducted in neighborhoods. Lake Street was like 60 blocks of (true, mostly low and mid density) commercial - but that was still like 60 blocks of places to go at any reasonable time with excellent bus service. University Avenue and Central Avenue provided similar experiences. I can't think of anything comparable to it in Philadelphia, although I can think of things that should be comparable to it (Ridge Avenue, Germantown Avenue, Kensington Avenue). It's one thing that I miss that I never really considered. It's part of what made life easy without a car and without having to live in trendy neighborhoods - just live within walking distance of one of these streets, and you can walk to most anything, and get to literally anything.

Where we would move next, not sure yet. We're currently in the process of trying to rent an apartment in New York, which is my hometown. I've always wanted to move back to New York, from the day my family left, but it always seemed somewhat impossible. Really the rents in the outer-borough neighborhoods that are what I am most familiar with - what I grew up with, what formed my idea of how a city should be - aren't all that crazy - or don't seem that crazy to me any more after living in Philly for a couple of years - it's a little bump up. Philly's more expensive than we originally thought it would be, only because the cheaper neighborhood don't provide much besides a place to live for cheap. So we're giving it a shot. I don't really know if it will work or not - the main thing in NY is going through the rental process, and finding a landlord that will work with you if you don't have employment lined up. I'm not attaching all my hopes on it, we're kind of just going through the motions right now and seeing what will happen. Putting things in the universe's hands - it's mostly out of our control.

If that doesn't work, Chicago is a big possibility, in that it's a big city where you don't need a car and is halfway between my wife's family and my family, which is convenient for nobody, but still only a one day trip away for everybody. But that wouldn't be immediately, we'd look into it more next year. Having seriously considered Chicago in the past, my recollection is that it has a lot of the same problems Philadelphia does, with a slightly lower cost of living, a great transit system, and a few more habitable working class neighborhoods directly along the subway lines.

If we stayed in Philadelphia, we'd likely stay in our neck of the woods, probably moving up a few blocks into Mt. Airy, towards the decent stretch of Germantown near Allen Lane. We're actually pretty financially stable at this point in Philadelphia, moreso than I expected I'd ever be, so I'd kind of just accept a bougie life of Weavers Way, High Point Coffee, a nice restaurant once in a while, and stuff at the Sedgwick Theater. I like the NW - I like the houses, the landscape, the Wissahickon, I like the route 23, the H, the Chestnut Hill West, the Chestnut Hill East. And there's no reason to change the things that I truly do lke about living here.

The other option is the NE - I've long been intrigued by Castor Avenue, and a bunch of other patches between Frankford Terminal and Cottman Avenue. There's more there than over here - but the sight of a big parking lot sends me into a rage. Two years ago we chose NW Philly for human scale and public transit, and those things are still of the most importance, and I still think NW is a better place for people who care about those things.

Agree on a lot of points. Funny you moved here becaue of A+M Produce-I love it there too and have had couch-surfers from various places tell me how much they loved it. It is a great asset for the community and there definitely should be more quality local food markets not only in this city but the country. Places like Wyck Farms, Grumblethorpe, Hansberry Gardens, etc. are great though and I think we will continue to see a trend of growing local produce. There are at least two farms on the opposite ends of my street with plants and produce run collectively by neighbors.

I don't really think Germantown is "discovered" though. The westside has kind of been doing it's own thing for a long time, and not much has really changed-both in good and bad ways. My sister and I sometimes think of West Germantown as the "true Mount Airy" that has even more of the broad socio-economic diversity that Mount Airy is more known for. Sometimes Germantown can feel even more "crunchy and granola" than Mount Airy, although that is certainly debatable having grown up in EMA. Much of East Germantown is in rough shape with entrenched poverty.

My block really is great though and there is a very diverse mix of locals and people from all over the country-most are teachers or artists. I don't know if it would be quite the same if I didn't have an established network though-I would probably want to live somewhere with more action and a younger feel. I lived in Kingsbridge in The Bronx, which is not a well-off or "trendy" neighborhood but has that commercial activity you refer to. I do hope Germantown and Chelten corridors improve, but I have high hopes for the Maplewood Mall with Brother Jimmies and GTOWN Radio hopefully leading the way.

Mount Airy is very nice; have you looked at West Philly at all? It would seem to offer you two a mix of affordability, diversity, nice housing, better commercial activity/transportation, etc.

Last edited by 2e1m5a; 05-12-2014 at 10:59 AM..
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Old 05-12-2014, 12:18 PM
 
Location: Villanova Pa.
4,910 posts, read 12,771,485 times
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One thing Philadelphia must do is improve its appearance. We all know the city is poor, and fixing the overall city is impossible, that will take 100- 200 years.

What the city has to do is prioritize,pick it spots to help it market itself. I ride up 95 and 26th st/76 heading toward Center City and it has a grimy unkempt feel to it. Oozes post industrial toxic wasteland. It leaves a Why the eff am I here sentiment.

They need to invest a couple hundred million dollars just on improving the look of the city between the airport and Center City. Currently its the same bad look it has been for the past 75 years. They did paint the Schuylkill bridges but other than that its just a bad scene. Like I never ever have to come back here again. A few years ago I was so excited when I heard Sunoco was closing down their Schuylkill refineries , long term hope was finally possible. Not surprisingly I was equally disappointed when they ended up saving the refineries.

One other thing Id do if I were mayor. Id hire a couple thousand police and chase all these hoodrats into Delco and Camden County.
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