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Old 05-09-2016, 12:28 PM
 
Location: Dude...., I'm right here
1,241 posts, read 798,194 times
Reputation: 731

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Pretentiousness is something unique to urbanites, hence my dislike for city living. High density living has a way of bringing out the worst in people. For this reason, I prefer to live as far away from crowds.

I was impressed by downtown Phoenixville, although my experience/view point was from a bike saddle. It's been on my list of places to visit in the evening for a meal. I'm yet to check it out. Though outside the main street, it's basically another exburb of Philly.



Quote:
Originally Posted by BPP1999 View Post
There is a difference. Some (most) of the areas immediately surrounding WC Borough are boring country townships with no sidewalks, curbs, street lighting, curb appeal, etc. There is a difference.

BTW - if you think people in this region are pretentious you should visit other places.

Regarding the OP's question, check out this website:

Explore - Classic Towns of Greater Philadelphia
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Old 05-09-2016, 01:41 PM
 
33 posts, read 47,910 times
Reputation: 21
Hey everyone, thanks for the replies. I apologize from my threads if I seem a bit indecisive (understatement). It's a big move since we're coming from Raleigh, NC. And also, by moving down to Raleigh from PA, we were extremely let down moving here, so I guess I have 'moving trust issues' lol. So excuse me here, I'm just trying to really get as much info as humanly possible.

We really liked Manayunk and we are keeping in mind that we are just a hop, skip, and a jump to Philly if we get bored too.

I feel a little bit of the issue here is that I'm in a pickle of trying to hit too many things on a list here for too many people. I'm moving with my fiance, 4 pups, and my dad is going to be living with us. Granted, he should have nothing to do with the opinion of our move since we are allowing him to stay with us due to certain circumstances, I do need to keep some things in mind for him.

For example: He has a nice convertible, as well, and my fear is the rag top is going to get slashed and it be broken into in Manayunk. I know you can rent a garage, or a parking spot, but that also doesn't guarantee safety. Personally, my fiance and I don't have this issue. Granted again, something has to give here.

I guess what I am looking for is something cozier, and maybe if we were purchasing a home, we'd have better luck. Rentals available make me a little nervous. And also, in no means do I mean to offend by saying Manayunk is a little 'grimey'. Honestly, the entirety of Philly is as well, and that's its' charm. But, at the end of the day, I want to come home to somewhere that makes me feel cozy and safe, if that makes sense. Keep in mind, we are coming from a suburb as well, with a garage, and parking spots, etc., so we are having a bit of 'city shock' lol.

Thanks again for the replies!
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Old 05-09-2016, 06:06 PM
 
Location: East Coast
2,913 posts, read 4,726,196 times
Reputation: 4339
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1ondoner View Post

It doesn't help, when you have people who live in WC like to say that they "live in borough" instead of just saying they live in West Chester. It's like they see themselves as different.
Puh-leeeeze. That's NOT why people say they "live in the borough". West Chester proper is surrounded by a number of different townships, all with a West Chester zip code. Lots of people say they live in West Chester, when they actually live in one of the adjacent townships...and there's nothing wrong with that. But if someone wants to be more specific, they'll say they live in the borough...and there's nothing wrong with THAT either.
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Old 05-09-2016, 06:21 PM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
15,166 posts, read 5,164,941 times
Reputation: 11959
Quote:
Originally Posted by emilyp61 View Post
Hi everyone (again)!

We are just having a terrible time picking a place to live and really would appreciate some help. I've posted about Manayunk many times, and we've visited there the most, but we just don't feel 'at home' there. No offense to anyone living there, but it just seems a little too 'grimey' to us (beer cans littering the streets everywhere). And it seems like we would get a little bored there too, unless we were the type to want to get trashed every weekend. We've visited Frederick, MD (which, I know, is in MD), and though the downtown looked great with all the little shops and restaurants, once it was night time, it was unsafe beyond belief.

Here's our little background. My fiance is 34, and I'm 24. We have 4 Jack Russells and love to hike with them or walk through a park, courtyard, etc. We need a home/townhouse with a yard. Even if it's a small one, that's really our only non-negotiable for the pups.

We love the charm of small towns but like the big city amenities, and would like to be a train/bus/uber ride from Philly. The furthest we might go is like, the distance of Conshohocken from the city (but we don't care for Conshohocken itself).

We love hiking like I said before, so being by Wissahickon or something similar would be really nice for us.

We are 100% looking for safety. I don't want to be scared walking home from the bar at night if it presents itself.

Things we would want in a town:
-independent coffee shops open past 6pm
-farmer's market
-a little grocery store for quick stops
-dog-friendly restaurants (patio seating)
-independent shops, like how Manayunk has The Spiral Bookcase, etc.
-pubs, bars, breweries. Hopefully at least one with a divey feel that has a dart board! We love to sample craft beers, and are not the types to go out to get plastered ever. We like to try 1-2, and then we're good.
-Some 'foodie-worthy' restaurants
-possibly a dog park, but if we had a yard it wouldn't really be an issue

If you can't tell, we have a few hippie/hipster tendencies to us lol... but we ourselves would not fit the hippie/hipster mold just looking at us.

Thanks so much in advance for your help! Oh, and no job commute to worry about.. both work from home!
Malvern or Paoli?
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Old 05-09-2016, 07:30 PM
 
Location: Boston Metrowest (via the Philly area)
4,743 posts, read 7,845,060 times
Reputation: 4700
Quote:
Originally Posted by emilyp61 View Post
I guess what I am looking for is something cozier, and maybe if we were purchasing a home, we'd have better luck. Rentals available make me a little nervous. And also, in no means do I mean to offend by saying Manayunk is a little 'grimey'. Honestly, the entirety of Philly is as well, and that's its' charm. But, at the end of the day, I want to come home to somewhere that makes me feel cozy and safe, if that makes sense. Keep in mind, we are coming from a suburb as well, with a garage, and parking spots, etc., so we are having a bit of 'city shock' lol.

Thanks again for the replies!
I think given your circumstances that's completely understandable. As someone who has done several long-distance moves in the past 3 years, it's very difficult to balance competing needs when you can only live in one place.

I think most will admit that, as a very old (by US standards) and post-industrial city that's only begun to recover in earnest economically in the past 20 years, Philly is definitely on grittier side (I think gritty is a bit more apt than "grimey," as that has a bit of a more negative connotation than is appropriate in most neighborhoods). This is especially apparent I'm sure from your perspective coming from a quintessential Sun Belt city like Raleigh, where new and shiny is the norm.

Overall, it sounds like you crave the space and peace of the suburbs, but also want access to the action of the city--that can be a tough nut to crack. I still think an-inner suburb would give you the best of both worlds, but it seems like you may need more time to decide and more in-depth exploration.

It may be best to move into a place in the Philly area with a short-term lease, so you can get a better feel for the region, and then take the plunge to a neighborhood more permanently. Of course, that may mean moving to another home after 6 months, but it'd of course be easier than moving from 300 miles away and ease stress at least a little in your current decision-making process.

Good luck!
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Old 05-10-2016, 02:46 AM
 
Location: The place where the road & the sky collide
23,169 posts, read 28,586,554 times
Reputation: 9566
Quote:
Originally Posted by emilyp61 View Post
Hey everyone, thanks for the replies. I apologize from my threads if I seem a bit indecisive (understatement). It's a big move since we're coming from Raleigh, NC. And also, by moving down to Raleigh from PA, we were extremely let down moving here, so I guess I have 'moving trust issues' lol. So excuse me here, I'm just trying to really get as much info as humanly possible.

We really liked Manayunk and we are keeping in mind that we are just a hop, skip, and a jump to Philly if we get bored too.

I feel a little bit of the issue here is that I'm in a pickle of trying to hit too many things on a list here for too many people. I'm moving with my fiance, 4 pups, and my dad is going to be living with us. Granted, he should have nothing to do with the opinion of our move since we are allowing him to stay with us due to certain circumstances, I do need to keep some things in mind for him.

For example: He has a nice convertible, as well, and my fear is the rag top is going to get slashed and it be broken into in Manayunk. I know you can rent a garage, or a parking spot, but that also doesn't guarantee safety. Personally, my fiance and I don't have this issue. Granted again, something has to give here.

I guess what I am looking for is something cozier, and maybe if we were purchasing a home, we'd have better luck. Rentals available make me a little nervous. And also, in no means do I mean to offend by saying Manayunk is a little 'grimey'. Honestly, the entirety of Philly is as well, and that's its' charm. But, at the end of the day, I want to come home to somewhere that makes me feel cozy and safe, if that makes sense. Keep in mind, we are coming from a suburb as well, with a garage, and parking spots, etc., so we are having a bit of 'city shock' lol.

Thanks again for the replies!
Actually, your description of what you want sounds pretty much like Asheville.

Given that, Haddonfield checks most of your boxes, but it's a dry town. However you can walk to places that sell alcohol that are, literally, just across the borough line.

If you want to be on the Pennsylvania side of the river, look at Chestnut Hill in Philadelphia.
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Old 05-10-2016, 09:34 AM
 
544 posts, read 462,414 times
Reputation: 555
Quote:
Originally Posted by emilyp61 View Post
We love hiking like I said before, so being by Wissahickon or something similar would be really nice for us.

We are 100% looking for safety. I don't want to be scared walking home from the bar at night if it presents itself.

Things we would want in a town:
-independent coffee shops open past 6pm
-farmer's market
-a little grocery store for quick stops
-dog-friendly restaurants (patio seating)
-independent shops, like how Manayunk has The Spiral Bookcase, etc.
-pubs, bars, breweries. Hopefully at least one with a divey feel that has a dart board! We love to sample craft beers, and are not the types to go out to get plastered ever. We like to try 1-2, and then we're good.
-Some 'foodie-worthy' restaurants
-possibly a dog park, but if we had a yard it wouldn't really be an issue

If you can't tell, we have a few hippie/hipster tendencies to us lol... but we ourselves would not fit the hippie/hipster mold just looking at us.

Thanks so much in advance for your help! Oh, and no job commute to worry about.. both work from home!

Maybe you should consider Mt. Airy. I would suggest looking near the allens lane or carpenter stations. It meets most of your wants and yards are plentiful. Depending on where you live you can be practically next door to the park. Mt. Airy and Chestnut Hill blend together so between the two neighborhoods it seems to have much of what you want.


1. Good Coffee shops - High Point is very popular and has very good coffee. Malelani café is quirky/artsy and serves good coffee and is open until ~8pm and later on weekends.
2. Farmers markets in Mt. Airy and Chestnuthill. You might also like the Market on the fareway in chestnut hill.
3. Weavers way in Mt. Airy (or Chestnut Hill) is popular. There is also an Acme in Mt. Airy. A and N house of produce is great. I also like shopping at the Fresh Market in chestnut hill.
4. I know a lot of the restaurants have patio seating but I am not sure how dog friendly they are. I know Cresheim Valley Grain Exchange, McMenamins, Malelani, Moma, and Alma Mater (drinks only their food is terrible) have patio seating. El Poquito in Chestnut Hill has a great patio.
5. Good amount of independent shops.
6. Mt. Airy - Earth Bread and Brewery, Goat Hollow, Mcmenamins, Chestnut Hill - Iron Hill is an ok local Brewery Chain, I have heard that a new Brewery is opening as well.
7. There are some foodie worthy restaurants though I think this is an area that is lacking. A new restaurant, Jansen, just opened up to much hype.
8. Pastorius Park in chestnut hill is used as a dog park but it is not fenced in so (obviously) you would want to take that into account before taking your dog off leash.


I think you will like the hippie vibe of the neighborhood. I would say that the downside is that nightlife is very limited and there are not a ton of younger people in the neighborhood.
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Old 05-10-2016, 09:46 AM
 
10,265 posts, read 5,934,396 times
Reputation: 3628
Quote:
Originally Posted by emilyp61 View Post
Hey everyone, thanks for the replies. I apologize from my threads if I seem a bit indecisive (understatement). It's a big move since we're coming from Raleigh, NC. And also, by moving down to Raleigh from PA, we were extremely let down moving here, so I guess I have 'moving trust issues' lol. So excuse me here, I'm just trying to really get as much info as humanly possible.

We really liked Manayunk and we are keeping in mind that we are just a hop, skip, and a jump to Philly if we get bored too.
Hopefully you know that Manayunk is a neighborhood, a decidedly distinctive one, within the city of Philadelphia.

And hopefully you also realize there is a level of risk if you reside in an urban area. You have to weigh that wrt the additional amenities that you will have available.
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Old 05-10-2016, 11:41 AM
 
Location: Bay Area, CA
178 posts, read 283,293 times
Reputation: 171
The suggestions for Mount Airy or Chestnut hill are spot-on for your needs, in my opinion. Although these areas are not quite as bustling as Manayunk, they have a lot of what you are looking for with a bit more of a suburban feel. Great access to Wissahickon Park too, as has already been mentioned.

My wife and I were looking at somewhat similar criteria when we were house hunting in the area and basically checked out most of the inner-ring suburbs (and suburb-like parts of Philly). For what you're looking for, I also think Media might be worth considering since it has a pretty good quaint downtown with a decent amount of activity, restaurants, and shops considering the size of the city. Also it has pretty easy access to Philadelphia and is near several good parks, including Ridley Creek State Park.
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Old 05-12-2016, 09:00 AM
 
Location: NJ
980 posts, read 2,477,643 times
Reputation: 1860
Collingswood, NJ checks off almost all your boxes, except it's a dry town. A really cute main street with lots of BYOB restaurants. Very walkable town with nice parks. 10 minutes from Cherry Hill which is the shopping meca of South Jersey. Best of all, the PATCO High Speedline (a train that connects South Jersey with Center City Philadelphia) has a stop in Collingswood and it's about a 15 minute ride to Philly from the Collingswood station.

Next to Collingswood is Westmont which has bars. It doesn't have a cute a main street, but if you wanted to go to a bar, Westmont is just down the road.
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