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Old 06-22-2020, 03:22 PM
 
Location: Boston Metrowest (via the Philly area)
4,882 posts, read 7,981,207 times
Reputation: 4858

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DXBtoFL View Post
I staff now WFH in the suburbs are no longer paying the wage tax, and city politics have become unexpectedly tense and angry (although the signs were there even a year ago). I can see some cities, Philadelphia included, having a difficult decade ahead of them, physically, politically and crime.
Well, at any rate, best of luck to you on fulfilling what sounds like your longer-term plan anyway. But I will say that tense politics are the norm everywhere now, and most certainly it will affect all cities, including DC and Baltimore.

I think it's exaggerated to characterize it as a "difficult decade," but there are challenges--socioeconomic, racial, environmental and public health-related--that are now front-and-center and must be addressed on local and global levels, and they must be addressed very intentionally. This is true now more than ever before if we want civilization to continue as we know it.
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Old 06-22-2020, 03:34 PM
 
Location: Boston Metrowest (via the Philly area)
4,882 posts, read 7,981,207 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geb5101h View Post
I moved from Manhattan to Philly 1 year ago due to my wife's career (medicine). Ultimately, migration is going to be a function of jobs. This is a great area for some careers (higher ed, medicine). New York still has a much larger, diverse and robust job market for most sectors, and pay for many jobs is significantly higher. I work in the technology industry and still took Amtrak to my job in NYC 2-3 days a week pre-covid.

For that reason most New Yorkers considering leaving I know are looking in NY/NJ/CT suburbs. For the right person, Philly metro would be attractive, with more affordable real estate and some very good school districts, particularly if you have family here already. But don't expect a huge wave unless the labor market changes.
Interestingly, according to Census data, median annual earnings for all full-time, year-round workers over the age of 16 in the New York metro area, as of 2018, are $60,338; in the Philadelphia metro, it's $54,976.

If we presume an 11% decrease in salary, but approximately 31% decrease in COL, there's no doubt that the average New Yorker is going to see a pretty substantial net gain in standard-of-living if they were to move to Philadelphia:

https://www.salary.com/research/cost...20York%2C%20NY.

Again, I have no doubt that the income scale tops out much higher in NY, mostly for 1%er-type jobs. But of course this doesn't speak to the typical/median worker. I also don't think what's being described is a "huge wave," but there's reasonable evidence to suggest that what's always been a steady stream of NY in-migration to Philadelphia will likely see a not insignificant uptick.
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Old 06-22-2020, 03:35 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia Pa
797 posts, read 502,186 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duderino View Post
Well, at any rate, best of luck to you on fulfilling what sounds like your longer-term plan anyway. But I will say that tense politics are the norm everywhere now, and most certainly it will affect all cities, including DC and Baltimore.

I think it's exaggerated to characterize it as a "difficult decade," but there are challenges--socioeconomic, racial, environmental and public health-related--that are now front-and-center and must be addressed on local and global levels, and they must be addressed very intentionally. This is true now more than ever before if we want civilization to continue as we know it.
Bottom line is people are social creatures who need interaction. If millions of people continue WFH, the last thing they'll want to do is walk around their suburban cul-de-sac with their partner (who they probably saw all week long as well) and say hello to the same five neighbors. In my opinion, cities will become even more popular moving forward (assuming we get an effective COVID vaccine in the coming months).
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Old 06-22-2020, 04:42 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
507 posts, read 144,454 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pennsport View Post
Bottom line is people are social creatures who need interaction. If millions of people continue WFH, the last thing they'll want to do is walk around their suburban cul-de-sac with their partner (who they probably saw all week long as well) and say hello to the same five neighbors. In my opinion, cities will become even more popular moving forward (assuming we get an effective COVID vaccine in the coming months).
I have a different take.

We are social animals, but there is plenty of social contact in towns like Media, West Chester, Conshohocken, Ambler, Newtown and several others. It's just more subdued and an overall older crowd.
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Old 06-22-2020, 05:21 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia Pa
797 posts, read 502,186 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TownDweller View Post
I have a different take.

We are social animals, but there is plenty of social contact in towns like Media, West Chester, Conshohocken, Ambler, Newtown and several others. It's just more subdued and an overall older crowd.
I agree with that, and to your point, those towns are substantially older in demographics and entertainment style. Twenties to-early-30s people are going to chose the city. Also, you just cherry picked the most vibrant and expensive near suburbs (minus the Main Line and maybe Yardley and New Hope) of Philadelphia. I have no doubt towns like the ones above will thrive. They will thrive no matter what happens, to be honest. These are not your average suburbs though and very few people can afford to live there. I just looked at google maps. The next level of burbs are basically rural.
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Old 06-22-2020, 05:53 PM
 
212 posts, read 65,418 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pennsport View Post
Bottom line is people are social creatures who need interaction. If millions of people continue WFH, the last thing they'll want to do is walk around their suburban cul-de-sac with their partner (who they probably saw all week long as well) and say hello to the same five neighbors. In my opinion, cities will become even more popular moving forward (assuming we get an effective COVID vaccine in the coming months).

I guess we'll see about a vaccine. From the other perspective, a nice sized suburban house with an extra bedroom for a work-from-home office, private transportation (no petri dish public trans), a yard, and some separation from neighbors stacks up pretty well compared to a cramped city place where all the nearby 'cool spots' are closed or have draconian restrictions. Frankly, being stuck in a small place in the city with kids that are climbing up the walls with nowhere to go sounds like a version of hell.


The late night ATM bombs and civil unrest sure isn't helping your case either. Maybe it's true that we don't need as much police presence, but I'm happy to be far away while you guys conduct that experiment.
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Old 06-22-2020, 06:23 PM
 
Location: Boston Metrowest (via the Philly area)
4,882 posts, read 7,981,207 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pennsport View Post
Bottom line is people are social creatures who need interaction. If millions of people continue WFH, the last thing they'll want to do is walk around their suburban cul-de-sac with their partner (who they probably saw all week long as well) and say hello to the same five neighbors. In my opinion, cities will become even more popular moving forward (assuming we get an effective COVID vaccine in the coming months).
I certainly don't disagree. There will always be a demand and fundamental need for cities; in fact, it's inevitable that urbanization/densification will continue on its path. It's just that every now-and-again there are focal events (in the extraordinary case of 2020, two of them) that cause people to call the viability of cities into question.

At the end of the day, this might reinforce the preferences of suburbanites and push out some city-dwellers who very likely were suburb-bound to begin with sooner, but the true urbanites who value neighborhood vibrancy, walkability and the melting pot of cultures will still value those attributes. I also think there are serious cons to WFH-only work, such as diminished camaraderie, trust and organic interpersonal connection. Those are critical aspects to maintain for any business.

Just like every other pandemic and period of social unrest throughout history, this too shall pass.

Last edited by Duderino; 06-22-2020 at 06:55 PM..
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Old 06-22-2020, 07:06 PM
 
108 posts, read 29,025 times
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Some of you would do well to remember many American cities experienced profound declines in the 1960s-1990s, Philadelphia included. And were marred with the same angry politics we seem to be seeing emerge now. The 1960s riots were seen as a catalyst for the decline of major cities.

Dedicated urbanites will always stay in cities, but others will looser attachments will wean away more easily if crime increases and quality of amenities, including schools, decline. There's already plenty of complaints about dysfunctional politics. Policies like defunding police can very easily backfire.

As it is, the future is highly unpredictable.
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Old 06-22-2020, 10:48 PM
 
Location: Boston Metrowest (via the Philly area)
4,882 posts, read 7,981,207 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DXBtoFL View Post
Some of you would do well to remember many American cities experienced profound declines in the 1960s-1990s, Philadelphia included. And were marred with the same angry politics we seem to be seeing emerge now. The 1960s riots were seen as a catalyst for the decline of major cities.
Riots certainly played a role, but the role of deindustrialization was about 10 orders of magnitude higher, at least in post-industrial cities like Philadelphia. And yes, there are some parallels of the current sociopolitical environment with the 1960s, but the huge difference we find in 2020 is that the current younger generations populating cities like Philadelphia today are much more educated, diverse and progressive. "White flight" just isn't going to happen like it did in the 60s and 70s for a multitude of reasons.

While the initial response/unrest was concerning in some respects, it very quickly evolved to an overwhelmingly peaceful and diverse coalition pushing for lasting and meaningful social change. If anything, the current social justice/BLM movement has strengthened the commitment of many young folks to making cities a better and more equitable place.

And let's be honest--angry politics are certainly nothing new. We've always had fringists and extremists since the beginning of democracy. They just get much more "air time" now with social media and 24/7 news cycles.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DXBtoFL View Post
As it is, the future is highly unpredictable.
I don't think anyone would disagree. Not to mention, there are countless social trends at play that will shape our future.
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Old Yesterday, 05:30 AM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
6,974 posts, read 3,357,768 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pennsport View Post
There will always be industries and functions that demand in-person arrangements, but the upside of WFH is just too big for us ever to go back to "normal." For millions of us in marketing, finance, legal, compliance, procurement, project management etc... it will probably be some sort of office/WFH hybrid until we develop technology to advance Zoom and WebEx to some crazy real-time hologram situation (literally mimicking in-person meetings). We were headed in this direction anyway. COVID just expedited it.

The savings companies could realize, the extra family/free time people will have, the reduction of childcare expense, the reduction of pollution and traffic accidents, the ability to dress casually and comfortably everyday, the opportunities to take mid-day breaks and exercise, etc, etc, etc... simply can't be ignored.

We're talking about billions and billions of dollars in savings, massive pollution reductions and potential emotional/physical wellness that Americans haven't experienced for decades. Of course this will come at the cost of commercial construction contraction, car industry collapse, child care and clothing company industries cut in half, to name a few. Ironically, the good news is we no longer actually make anything in this country, so we'll probably experience a lot less pain than the rest of the world who depend on exporting goods. It is what it is, but crazy commutes to sit in an office five days a week for many is officially over.
I wanted to +1 you on this, but C-D says I have to spread some rep around before repping you again. I got a good laugh out of the passage I boldfaced.

Of course, the thing we all forget is: WFH is really practical for only about one-third of the workforce. The other two-thirds, including the people who grow and process our food, serve us in restaurants, staff the retail stores that are still open, and so on and so on — IOW, the entire service and manufacturing sectors of the economy — can't work from home. That makes for a substantial number of commuters still, since they all can't live near their work even if we do reshape our suburbs to make them less pedestrian-hostile.

And the service sector, of course, includes most of the jobs that don't pay well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Duderino View Post
Interestingly, according to Census data, median annual earnings for all full-time, year-round workers over the age of 16 in the New York metro area, as of 2018, are $60,338; in the Philadelphia metro, it's $54,976.

If we presume an 11% decrease in salary, but approximately 31% decrease in COL, there's no doubt that the average New Yorker is going to see a pretty substantial net gain in standard-of-living if they were to move to Philadelphia:

https://www.salary.com/research/cost...20York%2C%20NY.

Again, I have no doubt that the income scale tops out much higher in NY, mostly for 1%er-type jobs. But of course this doesn't speak to the typical/median worker. I also don't think what's being described is a "huge wave," but there's reasonable evidence to suggest that what's always been a steady stream of NY in-migration to Philadelphia will likely see a not insignificant uptick.
True dat. For the last three decades, from what I understand, more people have moved between New York and Philadelphia than between any other pair of cities/metros in the country. And for that entire period, the net migration has been towards Philadelphia.

In terms of city-to-city, broken down by New York City borough, the net migration is towards Manhattan but away from the other four boroughs, with the Brooklyn-to-Philadelphia net figure the biggest of all.

Overall: I think just about everyone participating in this discussion makes valid points, though I think the poster with the snarky remarks about city living should perhaps drop the snark. The reason why: Cities have sprung back from every setback they have experienced. Rome eventually came back from its sacking, the cities of Europe survived the Black Death, London and Chicago rebuilt after their Great Fires, the 19th-century cholera outbreak led to London building its sanitary sewer system, and as Duderino noted, the riots of the 1960s (just the latest in a long string of urban violence) didn't put them out of commission either. One hopeful sign I see from this latest wave: Most of the businesses that were damaged in the riots and looting and are in a position to rebuild and reopen are doing so, in contrast to the 1960s, when most of them simply fled.

Whether they will remain as dense as they are now is an open question, though. Our social nature actually argues for, not against, density, but one thing studies have shown is that as cities grow, the urbanized land area grows at a slightly faster rate than the population does. IOW, each urban dweller on average consumes a bit more land as the city expands. Chances are that we will see the move towards density manifest itself in the form of more Amblers, Conshohockens, Medias, Ardmores, etc., in the suburbs of cities that lack such places now; I can see this process at work now in the largest of Kansas City's suburbs, Overland Park, Kan.
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