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Old 06-23-2020, 07:01 AM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
7,003 posts, read 3,364,639 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muinteoir View Post
The commute time on regional rail really isn't bad. As MSL noted, it really depends on which line you are taking and from what station you begin. The Chestnut Hill West line is slightly more convenient for University City commutes, and the Chestnut Hill East line is slightly more convenient for Center City commutes, but neither are bad for either final destination. Since google maps is no longer showing ride times because the lines are still shut down re: COVID (I can't believe they haven't reopened these lines!), check out the Chesnut Hill West line schedule here for an estimation on ride times: https://www.septa.org/schedules/future/rail/pdf/chw.pdf The SEPTA website also has a schedule for the East line. You've just gotta be willing to adapt your ride time to the train schedule.
All but the CHW will reopen for regular service on June 28.
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Old 06-23-2020, 07:54 AM
 
Location: Newark, NJ
700 posts, read 395,318 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarketStEl View Post
First:Pennsport's description of Germantown as "like a suburb in the city" is pretty much accurate. This is a quality all but one of the neighborhoods of Northwest Philadelphia (both sides of the Wissahickon: Roxborough, Germantown, Mt. Airy, Chestnut Hill — but not Manayunk, which is an old mill town and feels like an Italian hill town) share. The difference between this part of the city and the other "in-city suburb," Northeast Philadelphia, is that the Northwest above the Wissahickon developed earlier thanks to the two commuter railroads that serve it to this day, while much of the Northeast didn't develop until World War II or later.

In terms of dining and entertainment, Manayunk is indeed the closest spot for nightlife, but there are a couple of venues in Chestnut Hill that also offer live entertainment, including a jazz grotto in the basement of a restaurant co-owned by the Bynum brothers (South, Relish, Warmdaddy's) and the restaurant's eponymous chef, Al Paris. (Yes, it has a French menu.) If Manayunk is an adult playground for Main Line college students, Chestnut Hill is where the grown folks go, and you don't have to cross the best urban wilderness in the city to get to it from Germantown either.

As far as the commute is concerned: I happen to live just off what may well be the most accessible intersection in all of Germantown from a transit standpoint — I have many options close by. I'm a 10-minute walk from Washington Lane Regional Rail station and a 13-minute walk from the next station in on the same line, Germantown. (A fare zone line separates the two stations, making the ride in from Germantown cheaper.) Germantown to Jefferson Station is 15 minutes; add three minutes for Washington Lane.

Three bus routes pass through the intersection of Chew and Chelten avenues. Two of them, Routes 18 and 26, pass through Olney Transportation Center, the original northern terminus of the Broad Street Subway. The Broad Street Line is one of only two four-track local/express rapid transit lines in the US not located in New York (the other's in Chicago), so you get a speedy 14-minute ride to either City Hall or 8th and Market streets (via the Ridge Spur subway) when the expresses are running. The buses make the trip from Chew and Chelten to Broad and Olney in 8 minutes.

My 40-45 minute figure for the subway/bus commute is based on total door-to-door time from my apartment to the Curtis Building, where the offices of Philadelphia magazine are located. Door-to-door from my apartment to City Hall subway station is 30 minutes when the expresses are running (5 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. weekdays), 38 minutes when they're not. (Ridge Spur trains operate from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. six days a week, no Sunday express service at all).

Since almost every part of Germantown is served by bus routes that pass through either Olney or the next express stop south, Erie, travel times from most of Germantown to City Hall station are about the same (the bus ride to Erie from Central Germantown or its west side is a little longer than the ride to Olney from East Germantown). Those who live within a 5-minute walk of a Regional Rail station will get to Center City faster if they live along the Chestnut Hill East line; the Chestnut Hill West line has to pick its way through the Northeast Corridor line and Zoo Interlocking on its way to 30th Street Station and thus takes a little longer.

Transit connections from Center City to Germantown are a little better than those from Old Richmond, but total travel time from the latter to Center City is a little shorter, for the quickest route follows Girard Avenue through Fishtown to Girard station on the Market-Frankford Line. And you do have Fishtown lying between Old Richmond and Center City — it has more of the bars, restaurants and nightspots it appears you enjoy.

Do keep Pennsport's admonishment in mind when weighing your decision. If you don't mind the commute, Germantown is a better choice than many outside it would know or admit. But if you want those sorts of amenities within an easy walk of your home, it won't fill the bill.
Really appreciate the detailed response here. Germantown sounds lovely, my only hesitation is that I have a lot of friends that live in neighborhoods South of Fairmount. A big part of wanting to go back is wanting to be close to them again. I won't rule it out though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Muinteoir View Post
It is notable that the "suburban" feeling of the Northwest (especially Germantown-Mt. Airy-Chestnut Hill) is relative to the highly urban built environment of the majority of the city. When my friend from out of town first visited me in my Germantown abode, she was complimenting the neighborhood and I replied something to the effect of, "yeah, the neighborhood has a nice urban-suburban hybrid feel to it." She laughed and said she felt like she was smack dab in a central neighborhood of a major urban city. Most of Philadelphia feels more urban than Germantown, but its built environment is more urban than the core of many major American cities. It is all about perspective.

In regards to Pennsport and MSL's warning, one adjustment for me moving from Mantua to Germantown was the relative lack of dining and nightlife options in the Northwest. You do have to think about whether you are okay driving or taking transit into the core for these amenities, or if you want them within walking distance. What the Northwest lacks in these amenities, it makes up for in distinct architecture, greenery, and community feel.
In NJ I was living in the Ironbound district in Newark. For those unfamiliar, it's a large Portuguese and South American immigrant district with medium to low density for a city. That was about perfect for me. The problem that I had with the Ironbound is that I don't speak Portuguese and I'm not religious (There were 3 churches on my block alone). If not for those two barriers I think I would have been really happy there.

I value community and greenery much more than dining and nightlife, though I have to admit that I loved all the Portuguese restaurants in the Ironbound.
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Old 06-23-2020, 09:09 AM
 
10,668 posts, read 6,246,283 times
Reputation: 3864
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarketStEl View Post
All but the CHW will reopen for regular service on June 28.
Sounds like Septa may be opening MFL / BSL stations that have been closed too.
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Old 06-23-2020, 12:37 PM
 
114 posts, read 29,918 times
Reputation: 171
I'm sure you can find something in South Philadelphia, off Passyunk. Seems like your heart is there. I don't think highly of the area, it's all cramped and ugly rowhouses, very minimal landscaping and terrible parking. South Philadelphia is blocks after blocks of ugliness. But if your heart is there, none of these will matter, and it is certainly walkable and packed with hipster galore. You'd have to go pretty far south for something decent in the 400k range, while options further north are either extremely dated, need a lot of work, or the unholy trinities.

Point Breeze will also have flips and rehabs in your price range and it's just across Broad. The downsides are, well, the downsides of an area still in early stages of gentrification.

Just for the sake of throwing it out, you will get quite a bit for your budget in Manayunk, which continues to surprise me.
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Old 06-23-2020, 09:03 PM
 
10,668 posts, read 6,246,283 times
Reputation: 3864
Quote:
Originally Posted by DXBtoFL View Post
I'm sure you can find something in South Philadelphia, off Passyunk. Seems like your heart is there. I don't think highly of the area, it's all cramped and ugly rowhouses, very minimal landscaping and terrible parking. South Philadelphia is blocks after blocks of ugliness. But if your heart is there, none of these will matter, and it is certainly walkable and packed with hipster galore. You'd have to go pretty far south for something decent in the 400k range, while options further north are either extremely dated, need a lot of work, or the unholy trinities.

Point Breeze will also have flips and rehabs in your price range and it's just across Broad. The downsides are, well, the downsides of an area still in early stages of gentrification.

Just for the sake of throwing it out, you will get quite a bit for your budget in Manayunk, which continues to surprise me.
The fact that the OP prefers something akin to NoLib or Fishtown of 10-15 years is a real wtf head shaker to me.

S. Phila. was built, primarily, for working class immigrant individuals who made things in the factories here. Well, you know that, I'm sure. The kinds of people who truly did make America great by their labor. Want to know about cramped? Visit the Tenement Museum in NY whenever it opens again. Cramping at its finest!
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Old 06-23-2020, 09:33 PM
 
Location: SW Florida
4,659 posts, read 6,402,392 times
Reputation: 7881
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackjack2000 View Post
Really appreciate the detailed response here. Germantown sounds lovely, my only hesitation is that I have a lot of friends that live in neighborhoods South of Fairmount. A big part of wanting to go back is wanting to be close to them again. I won't rule it out though.



In NJ I was living in the Ironbound district in Newark. For those unfamiliar, it's a large Portuguese and South American immigrant district with medium to low density for a city. That was about perfect for me. The problem that I had with the Ironbound is that I don't speak Portuguese and I'm not religious (There were 3 churches on my block alone). If not for those two barriers I think I would have been really happy there.

I value community and greenery much more than dining and nightlife, though I have to admit that I loved all the Portuguese restaurants in the Ironbound.
Quote:
Why are you moving?
Because I love Philly
This is my favorite part of your post! I also love Philly, I think it's the best hometown ever, and the only reason I'm not there is that I inherited a condo in Florida and at my age, the cold really physically hurts. But I am the biggest Philly homer (and Eagles fan) you'll ever find! At 68 years old, I flew up for the Super Bowl parade, stayed by myself in a hotel in center city, and had the best day of my life!

I don't have much in the way of suggestions as I haven't lived there in awhile, but are the neighborhoods where your friends live out of the running for some reason?

I had a good laugh the other day. My Mom grew up at 20th & Brown in Fairmount. About ten years ago, we did a drive-by and her block was still a little scary-looking. We found where her house had been but it was now an empty lot surrounded by a chain link fence. I googled it the other day and, while the block still doesn't look completely gentrified, a new three-story was built at her address and sold for $638K in 2017. Her parents, who were immigrants from Ireland, would be amazed!

Good luck with your search! I have to admit, I'm a bit jealous. But who knows, I might be back some day myself. I've never met anyone from Philly who says they left because they hated it there.
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Old 06-23-2020, 11:27 PM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
7,003 posts, read 3,364,639 times
Reputation: 4465
Quote:
Originally Posted by kyb01 View Post
Sounds like Septa may be opening MFL / BSL stations that have been closed too.
Yes. Several are already reopened.

From the list I saw earlier but cannot find now on septa.org, the only stations that will remain closed are

Market-Frankford Line: 13th Street, 63d Street, Millbourne

Broad Street Line: Wyoming, Susquehanna-Dauphin, Chinatown (Ridge Spur), Tasker-Morris


Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackjack2000 View Post
Really appreciate the detailed response here. Germantown sounds lovely, my only hesitation is that I have a lot of friends that live in neighborhoods South of Fairmount. A big part of wanting to go back is wanting to be close to them again. I won't rule it out though.



In NJ I was living in the Ironbound district in Newark. For those unfamiliar, it's a large Portuguese and South American immigrant district with medium to low density for a city. That was about perfect for me. The problem that I had with the Ironbound is that I don't speak Portuguese and I'm not religious (There were 3 churches on my block alone). If not for those two barriers I think I would have been really happy there.

I value community and greenery much more than dining and nightlife, though I have to admit that I loved all the Portuguese restaurants in the Ironbound.
I've come to the conclusion that Newark gets an undeserved bum rap now, and the Ironbound is one of the reasons why it deserves more respect than it gets. But there are several others too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Avalon08 View Post
This is my favorite part of your post! I also love Philly, I think it's the best hometown ever, and the only reason I'm not there is that I inherited a condo in Florida and at my age, the cold really physically hurts. But I am the biggest Philly homer (and Eagles fan) you'll ever find! At 68 years old, I flew up for the Super Bowl parade, stayed by myself in a hotel in center city, and had the best day of my life!

I don't have much in the way of suggestions as I haven't lived there in awhile, but are the neighborhoods where your friends live out of the running for some reason?

I had a good laugh the other day. My Mom grew up at 20th & Brown in Fairmount. About ten years ago, we did a drive-by and her block was still a little scary-looking. We found where her house had been but it was now an empty lot surrounded by a chain link fence. I googled it the other day and, while the block still doesn't look completely gentrified, a new three-story was built at her address and sold for $638K in 2017. Her parents, who were immigrants from Ireland, would be amazed!

Good luck with your search! I have to admit, I'm a bit jealous. But who knows, I might be back some day myself. I've never met anyone from Philly who says they left because they hated it there.
There are some cities that seem to engender a fierce loyalty in their natives, no matter where they end up. Kansas City, my forever hometown, is another of them.

But it seems to me that many Philadelphians still have something of a love-hate relationship with their city. This is a somewhat dated tale, but still perhaps relevant: I knew a graduate student at Penn who I pointed to sources for his book on Philadelphia's LGBT community pre-Stonewall.

This fellow now teaches at York University in Toronto, but in the foreword to his book, he explained that one of the last stumbling blocks to his getting started on the research was: He didn't much care for Philadelphia. Until he read a newspaper story about a survey in which some 60 percent of Philadelphians surveyed said they'd rather be living somewhere else. At that point, he wrote, he decided he was a Philadelphian after all and dove into the subject. He even came to like the city as he did.
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Old 06-24-2020, 05:58 AM
 
10,668 posts, read 6,246,283 times
Reputation: 3864
Quote:
Originally Posted by Avalon08 View Post
This is my favorite part of your post! I also love Philly, I think it's the best hometown ever, and the only reason I'm not there is that I inherited a condo in Florida and at my age, the cold really physically hurts. But I am the biggest Philly homer (and Eagles fan) you'll ever find! At 68 years old, I flew up for the Super Bowl parade, stayed by myself in a hotel in center city, and had the best day of my life!

I don't have much in the way of suggestions as I haven't lived there in awhile, but are the neighborhoods where your friends live out of the running for some reason?

I had a good laugh the other day. My Mom grew up at 20th & Brown in Fairmount. About ten years ago, we did a drive-by and her block was still a little scary-looking. We found where her house had been but it was now an empty lot surrounded by a chain link fence. I googled it the other day and, while the block still doesn't look completely gentrified, a new three-story was built at her address and sold for $638K in 2017. Her parents, who were immigrants from Ireland, would be amazed!

Good luck with your search! I have to admit, I'm a bit jealous. But who knows, I might be back some day myself. I've never met anyone from Philly who says they left because they hated it there.
Yep, 20th and Brown is on the western border of Francisville and Fairmount. It's very different than it was even 5 years.
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Old 06-24-2020, 04:29 PM
 
7,759 posts, read 8,172,469 times
Reputation: 11160
I'm not a Center City person by any means, I'm just reading all the responses.

I do agree....go where your heart is....Life is short!
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Old 06-24-2020, 08:47 PM
 
Location: SW Florida
4,659 posts, read 6,402,392 times
Reputation: 7881
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarketStEl View Post
Yes. Several are already reopened.

From the list I saw earlier but cannot find now on septa.org, the only stations that will remain closed are

Market-Frankford Line: 13th Street, 63d Street, Millbourne

Broad Street Line: Wyoming, Susquehanna-Dauphin, Chinatown (Ridge Spur), Tasker-Morris




I've come to the conclusion that Newark gets an undeserved bum rap now, and the Ironbound is one of the reasons why it deserves more respect than it gets. But there are several others too.



There are some cities that seem to engender a fierce loyalty in their natives, no matter where they end up. Kansas City, my forever hometown, is another of them.

But it seems to me that many Philadelphians still have something of a love-hate relationship with their city. This is a somewhat dated tale, but still perhaps relevant: I knew a graduate student at Penn who I pointed to sources for his book on Philadelphia's LGBT community pre-Stonewall.

This fellow now teaches at York University in Toronto, but in the foreword to his book, he explained that one of the last stumbling blocks to his getting started on the research was: He didn't much care for Philadelphia. Until he read a newspaper story about a survey in which some 60 percent of Philadelphians surveyed said they'd rather be living somewhere else. At that point, he wrote, he decided he was a Philadelphian after all and dove into the subject. He even came to like the city as he did.
As I recall, I think you have made other comments to this effect. If I'm incorrect on that, I apologize, but if I'm not: I don't know why you constantly feel the need to dispute the fact that Philadelphians like their hometown (and I'm talking about the entire metro area). I get the same feeling from, say, Pittsburgh folk. As for the survey, anyone can manipulate the question to get the answer they're looking for. For example, ask a Philadelphian in the middle of winter if they'd rather be living somewhere else -- sure, a tropical island! Or, ask someone who's moved to the suburbs because their neighborhood went downhill if they miss living in the city. No, not at all. Do I have any hard data? No. I'm just going by the reaction I get when I run into people from Philly. Everyone gets excited to meet someone from home and ask "where are you from?", "what high school did you go to?"....it can be Philly, it can be Delaware, Souderton, anywhere in the Delaware Valley. No one ever says, I couldn't wait to get out of there...unless they are referring to the weather. Many people that I worked with relocated elsewhere for promotional opportunities, but most ended up coming home eventually. That is just my experience in general...I'm sure you can find exceptions to that norm if you look hard enough.
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