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Old 07-08-2016, 12:20 AM
 
Location: Boston Metrowest (via the Philly area)
4,743 posts, read 7,845,060 times
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Glad you had a good 4th in the city--it's obviously one of the best places to visit for the occasion.

Just to reiterate, yes, the suburbs just cannot match the vitality of the city, particularly the Philly 'burbs, which by-and-large fight tooth-and-nail to maintain a bucolic, and at most, village-y atmosphere.

I'd argue that this, in fact, makes the suburbs generally very pleasant and aesthetically-pleasing (tons of open space/greenery, lack of overdevelopment and widespread highways, as well as tons of history and character), but maybe your sensibilities are more accustomed to the arguably much more uniform and obsessively-manicured Chicago area. I'm personally much more inclined towards an "East Coast" aesthetic.

Also, if there's one thing the suburbs have definitely improved upon over the past 10-15 years, it's a much better food scene. Certainly not as accessible as one would find living in Philly, but very good/interesting options have grown tremendously in many suburbs.
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Old 07-08-2016, 09:14 AM
 
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Originally Posted by BPP1999 View Post
Faith, does the food really "suck" in the Norristown area? Really? And I still can't believe there isn't much to do. What would you like to do that you can't?

As for your comments about the "disconnect" between the city and the suburbs here, I think you are perceptive and on to something. For a very long time, let's say since the 60's, while Philadelphia collapsed (for lack of a better word) until probably the 90's (Ed Rendell's terms as mayor), there was a very real dislike and disdain toward Philadelphia by many of the suburban residents. Only recently has there been a shift in people's attitudes, which I think started to occur as a result of Rendell's promotion of the city. So I think you might be sensing the distrust/disdain of the city that still is somewhat prevelant in the area.

There are other things in East Norriton and Blue Bell that make those areas appear different from the city: the almost complete lack of street lighting. People, especially those in parts of Blue Bell, feel that street lighting is too "urban" and will make the area look like a city. They think that dark streets at night add to the character. I think the anti-street light mentality is a direct result of what I mentioned in the previous paragraph. I don't know, though, I have always thought this but it's really just my opinion.
The food doesn't suck in Norristown persay--there are some pretty good places out here, but overall I was amazed at the amount of options in the city versus out here in the burbs. For instance we had a hard time deciding what we wanted to eat in the city because there were endless options, all of them pretty darn good. In bluebell/Norristown, because there aren't as many options, and many places are very hit or miss, it's almost as if your good food is limited to only a few specific places. Again, I'm comparing this to my experience living in the burbs in other cities. For instance in a Chicago burb, the options were endless--Pizza, Chinese, Mexican, American, etc. There were MANY good places. Many options. City or suburb. In Philly, the suburbs have some good options, but they aren't as unique, or as good, or as many as in the city.

Well Norristown is far from a beautiful area. LOL. Have you been lately? Take a stroll down main street. Blue-bell and Plymouth are beautiful during the summers, spring and fall. In terms of being able to do things out here--it isn't that you can't do SOME of the same things you can do in the city, it's more like the crowd and vibe is completely different. I can't put my finger on it, but for instance, go to a bar out here and they aren't very diverse. As you get closer to the city the bars tend to have more diverse groups of people inside, that are friendlier to transplants. I'm a writer, so I enjoy a nice writing community. There isn't that out here--and the majority of meetups and writing events take place in the city. Heck, I've noticed that the kids here aren't very friendly. The few times I've taken my son downtown to various playgrounds he always mingled and played well with other kids who were open to playing with him. Out here, the kids don't really play together as much(it's very strange, before my son left for his dad's, my friend observed the difference too). I like musical, plays, spoken word, clubs/dancing, and if I'm going to a bar, a bar with a diverse crowd, and a friendly but laidback vibe. If I'm in the suburbs I love pretty suburbs that have beautiful scenery, and look manicured and pleasant. I'm biased because I lived in Nashville for a few years, and in Naperville IL. Both had very nice manicured suburbs. And when I lived in Naperville, I could get to the city within 45 minutes to an hour(even in rush hour). Out here in Philly, in rush hour it could take close to two hours. A lot of people that live out here in the suburbs that I met have admitted to rarely going to the city. We all agree the traffic is too horrible. On the other hand in Chicago burbs, it was a norm to travel to the city during the week, and on the weekends. People were disconnected somewhat, but not as much as they are out here. I'd say the Philly city environment is more artsy, transplant friendly, with a different vibe and atmosphere.
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Old 07-08-2016, 09:16 AM
 
3,063 posts, read 2,637,013 times
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Originally Posted by Duderino View Post
Glad you had a good 4th in the city--it's obviously one of the best places to visit for the occasion.

Just to reiterate, yes, the suburbs just cannot match the vitality of the city, particularly the Philly 'burbs, which by-and-large fight tooth-and-nail to maintain a bucolic, and at most, village-y atmosphere.

I'd argue that this, in fact, makes the suburbs generally very pleasant and aesthetically-pleasing (tons of open space/greenery, lack of overdevelopment and widespread highways, as well as tons of history and character), but maybe your sensibilities are more accustomed to the arguably much more uniform and obsessively-manicured Chicago area. I'm personally much more inclined towards an "East Coast" aesthetic.

Also, if there's one thing the suburbs have definitely improved upon over the past 10-15 years, it's a much better food scene. Certainly not as accessible as one would find living in Philly, but very good/interesting options have grown tremendously in many suburbs.
Yep, I look very nice manicured suburbs, with a suburban feeling. Even in Nashville, I understood when I was in the burbs, and they were all so pretty. Out here, I'm always like "meh", I think to myself, "this looks nice, but something's missing..."
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Old 07-08-2016, 08:57 PM
 
Location: Boston Metrowest (via the Philly area)
4,743 posts, read 7,845,060 times
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Originally Posted by Faith2187 View Post
Again, I'm comparing this to my experience living in the burbs in other cities. For instance in a Chicago burb, the options were endless--Pizza, Chinese, Mexican, American, etc. There were MANY good places. Many options. City or suburb. In Philly, the suburbs have some good options, but they aren't as unique, or as good, or as many as in the city.
There is a fairly sizable list of PA suburban towns that come to mind in terms of having notable and unique restaurants scenes (e.g., Conshohocken, West Chester, Phoenixville, Media, Ambler, Doylestown, Kennett Square, Wayne, New Hope, and Newtown--other towns like Lansdale, Downingtown and Bryn Mawr have growing restaurant scenes. Also, Northwest Philly neighborhoods like Manayunk and Chestnut Hill are very accessible to many suburban folks. And these are just the downtown settings--I can think of many other places in various other settings (all independent, non-chain places) that were quite good over the years.

Of course, suburban restaurant density is light years behind Center City and surrounding neighborhoods, but I've never found it hard to find a good meal (and many different ethnic types, too, spanning from Mexican to Middle Eastern to Thai to BBQ as my wife and I definitely like variety) in suburban Philly in my years there as an independent adult.
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Old 08-03-2016, 09:38 AM
 
3,063 posts, read 2,637,013 times
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Just an update about my friend lol. So as most of you know, she has now been here since mid May... She has applied to many opportunities, and even resigned to the fact that she would have to take a pay-cut. Someone was kind enough to send me a PM with a job opportunity that I had my friend look into. Strangely enough, she has only been contacted THREE times after sending out many-many applications. The first response was from a recruiter from a staffing agency. The recruiter admitted that the job that she applied for was no longer available(hence he called after the job had already been filled) but has invited her to come in next week to meet and go over "possible opportunities". When she looked at this staffing agency website--because usually staffing agencies post their available jobs--she saw that none of the available jobs were even in her field. She even had asked the guy she talked with if they had anything for her, and he said we can talk about it when you come... She got another call from a completely different staffing company--except this staffing company admitted that the job she applied for her was already filled and that they had nothing else for her, but that the job may be available in the next month so to call back then. That specific job would only be $14.00 an hour too... lol. The third call she got was for a position that would be a decent amount(still a pay cut though) but that would involve an hour and a half commute to and from the company(the location is in a city in NJ). She filled out the application for that job, and is awaiting to do a phone screen, than all the other interviewing step processes. She isn't excited about the commute and is also a contracting job--so there isn't a sure thing that it's permanent. She has decided that if things don't go well with this position--then she will most likely just relocate back to Chicago.

What's so strange is that she has filled out for so many positions. I read something a few months ago that indicated that Philadelphia has really bad job economy right now--as in their aren't as many jobs right now... I'm wondering if that's what's going on? I admit that when I moved here a few years back, there seemed to be a decent number of jobs, and I applied, and applied. And only got a couple of responses. One response led to a job--this job was a paycut as well. Then I eventually got a position that paid me what I was qualified for. And then my current role I am getting paid pretty decent when you consider Philly COL. Still, it seemed like it was much more difficult trying to get a position out here than when I lived in Chicago(but was slightly better than when I looked for a job in Nashville), and that was three years ago. Fast forward, my dad's gf moved here 6 months after I did. And actually had transferred with a company(Ernst & Young), but was laid off within two months of being here. She then went to try to find a similar position, and it took 10 months for her to GET anything. She at least got a few interviews, but those didn't lead to anything. She eventually did get a job, but it was a massive paycut(she went from making 75K in Chicago, to 42K out here). She stayed at that job for a little over a year, before she got a job at PWC and is now making in the ballpark of what she made in Chicago.

So I guess this is all to say--that it seems like even before the job economy wasn't the greatest here, that it's a bit difficult to find positions. I find it strange in a way, because though Philly isn't as big of a city as Chicago, it is still a larger city... I'd equate my friends experience trying to find a job thus far, to what I experienced when I lived in Nashville. In Nashville that was almost expected(mostly healthcare and education opportunities, and it's a smaller city). In any case just thought I'd update on what's been happening.

Last edited by Faith2187; 08-03-2016 at 09:48 AM..
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Old 08-03-2016, 09:55 AM
 
10,265 posts, read 5,931,280 times
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Originally Posted by Faith2187 View Post
Just an update about my friend lol. So as most of you know, she has now been here since mid May... She has applied to many opportunities, and even resigned to the fact that she would have to take a pay-cut. Someone was kind enough to send me a PM with a job opportunity that I had my friend look into. Strangely enough, she has only been contacted THREE times after sending out many-many applications. The first response was from a recruiter from a staffing agency. The recruiter admitted that the job that she applied for was no longer available(hence he called after the job had already been filled) but has invited her to come in next week to meet and go over "possible opportunities". When she looked at this staffing agency website--because usually staffing agencies post their available jobs--she saw that none of the available jobs were even in her field. She even had asked the guy she talked with if they had anything for her, and he said we can talk about it when you come... She got another call from a completely different staffing company--except this staffing company admitted that the job she applied for her was already filled and that they had nothing else for her, but that the job may be available in the next month so to call back then. That specific job would only be $14.00 an hour too... lol. The third call she got was for a position that would be a decent amount(still a pay cut though) but that would involve an hour and a half commute to and from the company(the location is in a city in NJ). She filled out the application for that job, and is awaiting to do a phone screen, than all the other interviewing step processes. She isn't excited about the commute and is also a contracting job--so there isn't a sure thing that it's permanent. She has decided that if things don't go well with this position--then she will most likely just relocate back to Chicago.

What's so strange is that she has filled out for so many positions. I read something a few months ago that indicated that Philadelphia has really bad job economy right now--as in their aren't as many jobs right now... I'm wondering if that's what's going on? I admit that when I moved here a few years back, there seemed to be a decent number of jobs, and I applied, and applied. And only got a couple of responses. One response led to a job--this job was a paycut as well. Then I eventually got a position that paid me what I was qualified for. And then my current role I am getting paid pretty decent when you consider Philly COL. Still, it seemed like it was much more difficult trying to get a position out here than when I lived in Chicago(but was slightly better than when I looked for a job in Nashville), and that was three years ago. Fast forward, my dad's gf moved here 6 months after I did. And actually had transferred with a company(Ernst & Young), but was laid off within two months of being here. She then went to try to find a similar position, and it took 10 months for her to GET anything. She at least got a few interviews, but those didn't lead to anything. She eventually did get a job, but it was a massive paycut(she went from making 75K in Chicago, to 42K out here). She stayed at that job for a little over a year, before she got a job at PWC and is now making in the ballpark of what she made in Chicago.

So I guess this is all to say--that it seems like even before the job economy wasn't the greatest here, that it's a bit difficult to find positions. I find it strange in a way, because though Philly isn't as big of a city as Chicago, it is still a larger city... I'd equate my friends experience trying to find a job thus far, to what I experienced when I lived in Nashville. In Nashville that was almost expected(mostly healthcare and education opportunities, and it's a smaller city). In any case just thought I'd update on what's been happening.
Does she a marketing degree? Don't recall if you said so.
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Old 08-03-2016, 10:18 AM
 
Location: Dude...., I'm right here
1,241 posts, read 798,194 times
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Most people look for a job where they live, I prefer to first look for a job and then make the decision on where to live. It would help if your friend is willing to expand on where she could live. If she's willing to move back to Chicago, then why not consider every other major city, including those in between Chicago and Philly.

May be should could get a 100K job in Cincinnati. Who knows. She needs to move to where the jobs are. Or decide what is more important. A higher pay or an ideal location. It's very hard to have it both ways, and when it happens it could take a while. Employers also like to hear that someone is willing to move.

If I got an applicant with a 90 minute commute and I know they are not willing to move, I would be hesitant to take them in because they will bail out as soon as they get a job with a shorter commute. Plus people with long commutes find it hard to put in 100% in their jobs because the commuting makes their life harder.
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Old 08-03-2016, 11:29 AM
 
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Originally Posted by kyb01 View Post
Does she a marketing degree? Don't recall if you said so.
Yes.
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Old 08-03-2016, 11:32 AM
 
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Originally Posted by 1ondoner View Post
Most people look for a job where they live, I prefer to first look for a job and then make the decision on where to live. It would help if your friend is willing to expand on where she could live. If she's willing to move back to Chicago, then why not consider every other major city, including those in between Chicago and Philly.

May be should could get a 100K job in Cincinnati. Who knows. She needs to move to where the jobs are. Or decide what is more important. A higher pay or an ideal location. It's very hard to have it both ways, and when it happens it could take a while. Employers also like to hear that someone is willing to move.

If I got an applicant with a 90 minute commute and I know they are not willing to move, I would be hesitant to take them in because they will bail out as soon as they get a job with a shorter commute. Plus people with long commutes find it hard to put in 100% in their jobs because the commuting makes their life harder.
It isn't about her relocating to live wherever she wants lol. She moved out here because I told her she could stay with me in my place if she gave me a very small amount toward rent--thus allowing her to not have to dip too much into her savings while she looks for a job and her own place. She moved here with a decent nest egg in terms of savings, but not enough where she could afford to be unemployed for more than 6 months. And she moved here from Chicago, where she has family, friends, etc. The reason she would move back, would not be to move in to her own place and look for a job--she would move back with and have to live with her sister, or another friend until she found another job. Sure she can relocate anywhere cheap and make her savings last long enough for her to find a job--but she's looking for a desirable city, and she needs to find a job at some point. Unfortunately a lot of the more desirable cities that have what she is looking for, are more expensive--which means that it would be more difficult for her to stay by herself in her own place for more than a few months without having a job too. For instance, she has been able to make Philly work because she lives with me and is only giving me 275 per month. But I am moving soon, and if she still hasn't found a job by the time I move, she would then have to start paying rent in her own place, gas, all her other bills, etc and it will add up. Not to mention based on her experiences thusfar finding a job in the next couple of months hasn't seemed very promising.

I also should add, that before she moved out here, we were both under the impression that Philadelphia was a cheaper city. What we didn't realize is that once you really start to consider everything, Philadelphia is really only slightly cheaper. In her case if she was making the same she made in Chicago(in the mid 50's range) she would do better in Philly with it's COL, especially if she got a studio downtown. The issue is that most of the positions that have contacted her are either so low that she would not be able to get her own place(the $14 dollar an hour contract position), or would only be willing to pay her 45K(the other job) and would require a pretty long commute(which means more gas money) and that's all if she even gets it.

Last edited by Faith2187; 08-03-2016 at 11:49 AM..
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Old 08-03-2016, 12:18 PM
 
Location: Dude...., I'm right here
1,241 posts, read 798,194 times
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Is she currently working? If you ask me, $14/hr is better than no job. Beggars can't be choosers.

If I need to work as a greeter at Wal-mart to pay my mortgage, then so be it.
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