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Old 04-28-2008, 08:02 AM
 
3,490 posts, read 7,513,774 times
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Just saw the 'Does Anyone Really LOVE Philadelphia' thread, and I just don't get it. Maybe it's because we've only been here a short time, but I'm LOVING Philly!!

The whole of center city seems really fantastic to me so far. I think I would live almost anywhere north of South Street and south of Market. Just block upon block upon block of beautiful homes, parks and restaurants. Absoultely gorgeous. Blows NYC away (IMHO).

I will admit that yesterday we drove up past the museum and along the river (on the right hand side past the boat houses). It was simply gorgeous with the river on one side and Fairmount Park on the other. Then there was a diversion into the park and we went for a bit of an explore. We ended up in a scary neighborhood. I don't know the name of it, but there were boarded up windows and it was dirty and.... just scary. We left asap and went for a drive around the Mainline. GORGEOUS homes, countryside and again loved it - all just 15 minutes from Philly center city. Fantastic!
Then we drove home a different way and went through another scary neighborhood (although less so than the one by the park). I think it must have been west of University City if that helps narrow down the area.
I must admit I wouldn't want to live there either.

So here's my question:

Do the people who hate Philly live in these areas? Is there anyone who lives in actually center of the city; Society Hill/ Old City/ Washington Square/ Washington Square West/ Rittenhouse Square/ Fitler Square/ Queen Village/ Art Museum/ Chestnut Hill, etc - that finds Philadelphia awful?? Or is it people living more on the outskirts of center city who hate it here so much?

I'm sure there are lots of other great neighborhoods that should be added to that list, but being new we are still exploring. Because all I can say is that based on the above areas I think Philly is one of the nicer cities I have lived in (including Europe)!

BUT I can see that if I lived in some of the areas we found by chance over the weekend, I would probably hate Philly too.

So all these people who can't wait to leave - what neighborhoods do you live in?

I think it would be very useful for people who are thinking of coming here to live or even to visit to know the answer to the above question. I would have been thoroughly turned off Philly if I had read some of the threads on this board, but my DH loved it here when he was here for a short stay years ago, so we came to visit for weekends and found it great! Now we're here and loving it, and I find it so strange to read the negative posts - it's like we're talking about two different places!
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Old 04-28-2008, 09:30 AM
 
Location: Villanova Pa.
4,910 posts, read 12,771,485 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hobokenkitchen View Post

I will admit that yesterday we drove up past the museum and along the river (on the right hand side past the boat houses). It was simply gorgeous with the river on one side and Fairmount Park on the other. Then there was a diversion into the park and we went for a bit of an explore. We ended up in a scary neighborhood. I don't know the name of it, but there were boarded up windows and it was dirty and.... just scary. We left asap and went for a drive around the Mainline.
Strawberry Mansion/Logan, you definitely want to avoid that area in your future endeavors. I did the same thing while giving a tour of Philly to some out of town visitors. Heading south on Kelly Drive from Manayunk it got ridiculously backed up due to Zoo traffic, made a left into the park and within a 1/2 mile ended up in what appeared to be a geographic scene similar to modern day Mogadishu.Unbelievable how quickly the setting can change in the city. There's not much middle ground in Philly(except for parts of northeast Philly) Neighborhoods tend to be either top notch or hellish. Whats really sad is that -in those bombed out hoods- you can still see the incredible bones this city once had.A once incredibly designed city in which large swaths have fallen into a death spiral.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hobokenkitchen

So here's my question:

Do the people who hate Philly live in these areas? Is there anyone who lives in actually center of the city; Society Hill/ Old City/ Washington Square/ Washington Square West/ Rittenhouse Square/ Fitler Square/ Queen Village/ Art Museum/ Chestnut Hill, etc - that finds Philadelphia awful?? Or is it people living more on the outskirts of center city who hate it here so much?
People who live in Center City and the nicer neighborhoods(University City,East Falls,West Mount Airy, Chestnut Hill,Andorra,Packer Park,Girard Estates etc.) seem to take great pride in saying they live in Philly.

Most of the complaintants most likely are coming from the more stressed neighborhoods.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hobokenkitchen
I'm sure there are lots of other great neighborhoods that should be added to that list, but being new we are still exploring. Because all I can say is that based on the above areas I think Philly is one of the nicer cities I have lived in (including Europe)!

talking about two different places!
Definitely checkout the NW part of the the city. Chestnut Hill,West Mount Airy,East Falls,Manayunk,Wissahickon Gorge,Forbidden Drive.

In the suburbs. Valley Forge,West Chester,Chester Springs-Marsh Creek Lake, Swarthmore, Media-Ridley Creek State Park,Bryn Athn,Doylestown,Newtown,Peddlers Village,New Hope.
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Old 04-28-2008, 10:09 AM
 
Location: Boston Metrowest (via the Philly area)
4,745 posts, read 7,845,060 times
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Agreed with rainrock. You're living in by far the nicest areas of the city, so you're bound to take a strong liking to it, whereas the complainers are speaking about the much more marginal neighborhoods. Also, it may not be very well known to transplants who first come here, but complaining/negativity is pretty much an ingrained tradition for native Philadelphians, if not Pennsylvanians in general. However, it's kind of a strange love-hate relationship that many natives have. You'll hear them trash and brag about the city in one breath, which provide a unique and misleading sense of pride. So, you're not strange or weird for falling in love with Philadelphia -- you're just bringing an outsider's perspective for things that people who have lived here their whole lives take for granted. Happy things are going well for you, though!
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Old 04-28-2008, 10:27 AM
 
3,490 posts, read 7,513,774 times
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Whats really sad is that -in those bombed out hoods- you can still see the incredible bones this city once had.A once incredibly designed city in which large swaths have fallen into a death spiral.


That's what I said to my husband. If you look past the neglect, the architecture is excellent - there are rows of Brownstones and gorgeous homes that just haven't been looked after. To have a neighborhood with those kind of homes next to a park, should be a winner. Yet it is dodgy as hell. Such a shame!!


People who live in Center City and the nicer neighborhoods(University City,East Falls,West Mount Airy, Chestnut Hill,Andorra,Packer Park,Girard Estates etc.) seem to take great pride in saying they live in Philly.

Most of the complaintants most likely are coming from the more stressed neighborhoods.

That's what I thought, but it is very misleading for people who haven't been here. It implies that all of Philadelphia is to be avoided at all costs. To me it seems that there are parts which should be avoided, but most of the central area is wonderful and I think as yet undervalued.


Definitely checkout the NW part of the the city. Chestnut Hill,West Mount Airy,East Falls,Manayunk,Wissahickon Gorge,Forbidden Drive.

In the suburbs. Valley Forge,West Chester,Chester Springs-Marsh Creek Lake, Swarthmore, Media-Ridley Creek State Park,Bryn Athn,Doylestown,Newtown,Peddlers Village,New Hope.


We lived in Lambertville for last 6 months before moving to Philly, so are familiar with New Hope, Peddlers Village, Dowtown, Yardley and Doylestown, etc.
We're just really enjoying exploring the Philadelphia area. Love that New Hope is less than an hour from here, and the whole Mainline area also seems lovely (if a bit quiet for us).
We drove through Manayunk on the way to Bryn Mawr at the weekend. Looked nice.

For now, Center City is where we want to be. Saw some gorgeous row homes this weekend - a lot of them are a bit high for our budget though, so we'll have to see what happens in the next few months.

The only thing I actively dislike about Philadelphia is the high wage tax and realty transfer tax. Very off putting.
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Old 04-28-2008, 10:52 AM
 
2,189 posts, read 6,852,431 times
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I live in and love center city. This nagativity toward this city has always been a problem with its residents. In the 1960's they tried to make the city's slogan "Philadelphia isn't as bad as Philadelphians say it is." Can you imagine any other city even thinking of that? Pride did improve under Ed Rendell, then dropped when Street was mayor. I think Nutter will help bring it back. Of course a sports championship would help too.

Bottom line to OP - pay no attention to the naysayers. Keep exploring and enjoying.
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Old 04-28-2008, 01:40 PM
 
Location: DC
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I grew up in East Oaklane (if you don't know where it is, it's sandwiched between Olney, Cheltenham, and East Mt. Airy near where rt. 611 turns from Broad Street to Old York Rd.), and have always loved Philly. I was lucky enough to live in a decent area (despite being surrounded by some not-so-hot ones), which I'm sure has something to do with it.

It's true that Philadelphians are typically negative. Many of my friends there would go on and on about how much they hated it and couldn't wait to get out. College came, and where did they go? Local schools. Where are they now? Living & working in Philly. They all had the opportunity to leave and never did, which doesn't make much sense if they truly wanted out (ironically, I'm the only one who left the area). I saw the same trend in college and now in DC, so it seems that people just like to complain.
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Old 04-28-2008, 02:48 PM
 
3,490 posts, read 7,513,774 times
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Originally Posted by newmarlig View Post
I live in and love center city. This nagativity toward this city has always been a problem with its residents. In the 1960's they tried to make the city's slogan "Philadelphia isn't as bad as Philadelphians say it is." Can you imagine any other city even thinking of that? Pride did improve under Ed Rendell, then dropped when Street was mayor. I think Nutter will help bring it back. Of course a sports championship would help too.
That's funny and not normal from what I've seen of the American public. Sounds much more like the British (I'm English)!. Lol.

I don't like it much because it really puts people off from giving Philadelphia a chance with new people who don't know it. They come here looking for advice and end up running as fast as they can in the other direction and it's a shame.
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Old 04-29-2008, 06:51 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia,New Jersey, NYC!
6,967 posts, read 18,558,445 times
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i do agree that its the particular hood/section of the city that give people their negative frame of reference.
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Old 04-29-2008, 07:17 AM
 
Location: Far Away From Poor People
11 posts, read 17,284 times
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A great lesson, never listen to opinions of the poor. They lambast through life complaining they aren't as rich as me. Philadelphia is cool to me, I do alot of business down there I'm no illegal drug seller or smelly slumlord Try to avoid any area with undesireables. Those type of people come in all race, sexes, creeds, shapes, colors, and sizes.

P.S. Also don't forget to wear a condom, down there. I heard bad stories about those who engaged in unprotected sex down.
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Old 04-29-2008, 07:34 AM
 
8,048 posts, read 18,469,927 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCrimelord View Post
P.S. Also don't forget to wear a condom, down there. I heard bad stories about those who engaged in unprotected sex down.
It is probably good advice not to engage in unprotected sex with anyone that you are not well-acquainted with, ideally within a monogamous relationship. That would apply not just in Philly but virtually everywhere else.
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