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Old 05-20-2016, 08:25 AM
 
Location: New York City
6,227 posts, read 5,562,899 times
Reputation: 3325

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Quote:
Originally Posted by chicagoliz View Post
I worked in Doylestown for several years and worked not too far from Naperville for a couple years. They are both great towns, and both are probably about the same level of difficulty as far as getting into the downtowns of their respective cities.

Chicago is a better city than Philadelphia, with much more going on, and with a nicer skyline. Both cities, though, have great food. Philadelphia has better access to an ocean-beach, if that matters to you.

Both towns you mention are very nice suburbs, but neither is exactly the closest for going into the city on a regular or daily basis. I assume you want the city nearby, but don't plan to go into it all that frequently.

I think you just have to decide whether you want East Coast or Midwest, or whether it is for any reason more desirable to be in Chicago rather than Philly (or vice versa) for the routes your husband would fly, and also for visiting any friends or family you have over here. If you have a lot of friends in NYC and DC, then I'd say pick Philly. If you don't have a great number of friends concentrated in any single area, or you might want to travel to the west coast more, choose Chicago.
That is not how you should go about stating your opinion. Both are amazing cities, but I would not classift Chicago as a "better city" than Philadelphia.
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Old 05-20-2016, 02:19 PM
 
90 posts, read 109,128 times
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I do quite like the idea of having access to an ocean beach. I'm originally from Australia and I like to have the coast 'accessible'. I know Lake Michigan also has beaches but it never feels quite the same. We lived in Valparaiso, IN for a while but I never felt like I fitted in there. It seemed a little remote and I don't want that sort of experience again. I don't need to visit the city every day but I like knowing I have access to it in under an hour. I definitely enjoy all the amenities of the suburbs and, now with kids, I realize the importance of being in an area with great schools. I think visiting these areas will really help. I'm really enjoying getting everyone's insight.
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Old 05-20-2016, 06:54 PM
 
Location: East Coast
3,493 posts, read 2,180,061 times
Reputation: 5297
Quote:
Originally Posted by cpomp View Post
That is not how you should go about stating your opinion. Both are amazing cities, but I would not classift Chicago as a "better city" than Philadelphia.
I would.

Quote:
Originally Posted by expataussie View Post
I do quite like the idea of having access to an ocean beach. I'm originally from Australia and I like to have the coast 'accessible'. I know Lake Michigan also has beaches but it never feels quite the same. We lived in Valparaiso, IN for a while but I never felt like I fitted in there. It seemed a little remote and I don't want that sort of experience again. I don't need to visit the city every day but I like knowing I have access to it in under an hour. I definitely enjoy all the amenities of the suburbs and, now with kids, I realize the importance of being in an area with great schools. I think visiting these areas will really help. I'm really enjoying getting everyone's insight.
Valpo is no Chicago. I don't even think it's a Naperville. So I wouldn't quite base thoughts about Chicago on Valpo.

I really love the Lake. And lots of people adamantly proclaim that the beaches on Lake Michigan are just like ocean beaches, but I don't agree. They are great - they really are. But I also have to give the nod to the ocean beaches.

I love Chicago -- LOVE IT. It is my absolute favorite city. I think you would be quite happy there. But, given that you have friends in Doylestown already (which I saw after my response) and the ocean beaches do make you happy (I'd put in a plug for Ocean City, NJ -- nice beaches, great family area, and if you go at the right time should be less than 2 hours from D-town. Everyone in Philly though, has their own favorite shore town and will push for whichever one that is.), I might say you should go with Philly. One thing that is nice is that you can easily get to both NYC and Washington, D.C. Especially from Doylestown, it's not much harder to go to NYC than it is to go to Philly, so you really have access to both. And you could even get up to Boston/New England, and even Pittsburgh and Cleveland pretty easily. (I know the latter aren't the most exotic travel destinations, but some people like to try to see, for example, the baseball stadiums, or just tick cities and states off their travel list.)

(Also, while Naperville is a great choice, there are other towns that have similar accessibility to O'Hare and are also nice family towns with good schools and accessibility into the city. I have a personal bias toward the North Shore, but you could also look into the NW suburbs, in addition to Naperville and the other western suburbs. Just something to consider as you look into Chicago further -- if, for some reason, you don't find what you're looking for in Naperville, there are other options, too.)
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Old 05-20-2016, 08:58 PM
 
Location: Montco PA
2,065 posts, read 4,290,092 times
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ChicagoLiz is certainly allowed to think Chicago is a better city. Many people think that, and that's ok. She does have a strange fascination with talking down about SEPTA's suburban rail system, which explains the comment that Philadelpia isn't too much easier to get to from Doylestown than New York. Are you serious, Liz?

From Doylestown, you can walk to the train, or drive 2-3 minutes and pay $1 to park, then take an 80-minute train ride to Center City which costs about $15 round trip or $191 for a monthly pass. Or, you could drive 45 minutes (no traffic) to Raritan, pay $3 for parking, then take an 80-minute train ride to NY Penn Station that costs $30 round trip or $445 for a monthly pass. Don't forget the return drive home and the $1 per day bridge toll.

By car, the drive to CC is very bad from Doylestown but beyond awful to NYC. So, Liz, let's be accurate when we tell the OP about commuting times.

Last edited by BPP1999; 05-20-2016 at 09:13 PM..
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Old 05-21-2016, 08:09 AM
 
Location: East Coast
3,493 posts, read 2,180,061 times
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I didn't mention SEPTA at all, and actually I think it is a positive that Doylestown is on the commuter rail line. I wasn't really thinking of the getting to NYC versus getting to Philly in terms of an everyday job commute, so I guess I wasn't as clear as I should have been. Yes, if you are commuting to a job every day, and living in Doylestown, Philadelphia would be a preferable place to commute to, rather than NYC. (I interpreted the OP to mean that there was not a need for an everyday commute into Philadelphia, so I wasn't addressing that aspect.)

But, if you are going to the city occasionally -- a day out in the city, if you will, driving over to Trenton and taking NJ Transit doesn't take all that much longer than taking the R5 into the city (and if you're doing this on a weekend, it only goes in hourly, IIRC, and I don't think it runs as late, if you're doing an all day thing.)

Although, in full disclosure, I really wouldn't want to live in Doylestown if my daily commute was into Center City or the Navy Yard area. But 95 is better than 76, and there certainly are worse commutes. I know there are people who live in Doylestown and make a daily commute into NYC, and I *really* would not want to do that.

It is a long, slow train ride all the way into CC from Doylestown. But, if you need to take the train to a place like Lansdale, it is a nice positive that you could do that.

Last edited by chicagoliz; 05-21-2016 at 08:21 AM..
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Old 05-23-2016, 10:15 AM
 
1,224 posts, read 3,629,172 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by expataussie View Post
Where did you move from? Where have you ended up? I can't wait to come visit and see what we think of the different locations. We might even be considering Plano, TX as well because of COL but we like the idea of having driving access to other parts of the country for day trips and short visits. The last time we lived in Plano, TX was 2001 - before kids. Housing affordability is a huge factor in our decision and you seem to get more house for your money in Plano, however, we've lived in a desert the last 11 years (Dubai) and we're really ready for some green!

Sorry I didnot follow this thread for some time. OP probably directed the question to me as it was after my post. We moved from Georgia, so I do understand the plus and minus of warmer weather and living in the south.

We have been here for a couple of years now, so I think I can make a good judgement. We live close to Bucks/Montgomery border, so I am kind of familiar with both areas.

While northeast usa is an interesting area, NYC and DC are valuable close by, and Philadelphia is great on its own -- u might find the best places even closer to home in your own suburb. For instance, there are great local trails along creeks etc.

The weather here is now very pleasant and comfortable for oitside activity whereas in the south it is probably already on the unpleasant side (this all depends, but I recall summers when kids are supposed to be outside used to be quite unpleasant)

Add in close proximity to beaches, mountains in Poconos, 3 reasonable well rounded state supported (?) Univs - Penn State, Pittsburgh, Temple.

Winters can be a 'problem', but my kids had fun sledding and snow boarding. It takes a little over an hour to get to Poconos.

You can have a lot of fun without the hassle of overnight stays. Or long stays away.

The only thing to look out for in my opinion is property taxes, some towns seem better than others.

In my opinion, there is no such thing as best place to raise kids, best place to retire etc. There is only great places to live. Philly area fits the bill quite well.

I cant see how some other suburb in Chicago area or elsewhere can give a better education that what my kids are getting here, or in any way a better place to raise kids.
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Old 05-23-2016, 11:36 AM
 
90 posts, read 109,128 times
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Thanks for the response - it sounds just what we're after! We pretty much have to jump on a plane any time we want to see something fun and different...and to escape the unbearable summer heat of Dubai.
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Old 05-23-2016, 09:09 PM
 
Location: SW Florida
4,614 posts, read 6,271,014 times
Reputation: 7809
Quote:
Originally Posted by chicagoliz View Post
I worked in Doylestown for several years and worked not too far from Naperville for a couple years. They are both great towns, and both are probably about the same level of difficulty as far as getting into the downtowns of their respective cities.

Chicago is a better city than Philadelphia, with much more going on, and with a nicer skyline. Both cities, though, have great food. Philadelphia has better access to an ocean-beach, if that matters to you.

Both towns you mention are very nice suburbs, but neither is exactly the closest for going into the city on a regular or daily basis. I assume you want the city nearby, but don't plan to go into it all that frequently.

I think you just have to decide whether you want East Coast or Midwest, or whether it is for any reason more desirable to be in Chicago rather than Philly (or vice versa) for the routes your husband would fly, and also for visiting any friends or family you have over here. If you have a lot of friends in NYC and DC, then I'd say pick Philly. If you don't have a great number of friends concentrated in any single area, or you might want to travel to the west coast more, choose Chicago.
First of all, this is the first time I have ever seen a city skyline as an important criterion in choosing a city. That said, I just looked at a photo of Chicago's skyline and you must be kidding. I don't see anything as interesting and fabulous as all the new building facades in Philadelphia, like the Liberty Places, Comcast Center, Cira Center, iconic PSFS sign, etc. It takes my breath away every time I approach the city at dusk from the curve of the Expressway right before 30th Street. Or from the Expressway coming west around the South Street exit. Have always wished I could take a picture but that's kind of difficult while driving on the Expressway.

I think it is ridiculous to say one city is better than the other when they're both great cities. I haven't spent much time in Chicago but the things I did notice were that its downtown was much cleaner than Philadelphia's and there were taxis everywhere, most importantly lined up outside the clubs. Not enough for me to say it's a better city than Philly -- not by a longshot.
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Old 05-24-2016, 06:35 AM
 
Location: Dude...., I'm right here
1,243 posts, read 799,046 times
Reputation: 736
Y'all,
Skyline or not, Chicago is a better city than Philly. Get over it.

It's cleaner, less congested, newer, shinier, cheaper, beautiful, etc
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Old 05-24-2016, 07:41 AM
 
10,273 posts, read 5,934,396 times
Reputation: 3628
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1ondoner View Post
Y'all,
Skyline or not, Chicago is a better city than Philly. Get over it.

It's cleaner, less congested, newer, shinier, cheaper, beautiful, etc
It's begs the question, "Why not just move there and put yourself out of your Philadelphia area misery?" Lol

Seriously, though, isn't Chicago still loosing population? If so, why? Places as desirable as you claim, shouldn't be doing that?
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