U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Covid-19 Information Page
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Pennsylvania > Philadelphia
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 04-28-2008, 07:26 PM
 
2,256 posts, read 5,486,204 times
Reputation: 1600

Advertisements

Please note that this thread was started in 2008I saw the thread asking if anyone loves Philly and would have responded there, but I decided to start a new thread since I decided to post a more comprehensive opinion.

As a native Chicagoan who recently visited Philly for the first time, I would like to say that I loved it there. Philly combines the charm, culture and history of Boston with the down to earth sensibility of Chicago. The following attributes may sound unbelievable, but I assure you they are true:

1. People are very friendly and helpful there. After landing and the airport, I picked up my rental car (I stayed in Plymouth Meeting to save a few dollars) and encountered a rather surly woman behind the counter. Well, that must be the Philly attitude I've heard so much about, I thought. Overwhelmingly, though, almost everyone else I encountered was quite friendly.

2. Philly is very clean, at least in Center City, it's one of the cleanest big cities I've been too.

3. You actually feel safe on SEPTA. In Chicago, you hardly ever see CTA employees, let alone police or security. In Philly, transit cops are everywhere.

The suburbs are stunningly beautiful. The minute you leave the city limits (at least to the north and northwest) you encounter rolling hills, forests, and one Norman Rockwell town after another. In Chicagoland, we have a number of suburbs somewhat similar to those on the Mainline, but there scattered about, not lined up one after the other like in Philly. Admittedly, the near west suburbs are ghetto lite, and what I believe would be lower Bucks county (next to Northeast Philly) is a rather blah working to middle class area. For that matter, so is much of northeast. And I caught the train in Norristown a few times, which certainly needs a lot of work. On the other hand Conshohocken is stunning. It is so quaint and picturesque, then you get to the riverfront, and there is an incredible panorama of midrise office buildings, hotels and condos. It looks a bit out of place, but it's very nice.

Now, there were some things I didn't like about Philly as well.

1. It's impossible to find your way around the 'burbs. Roads don't follow any kind of grid outside the city, and they are poorly marked. I would often end up miles out of my way because I would miss an intersection or turnoff.

2. SEPTA badly needs a stored value card for fares. The fare system is impossible to figure out, with somewhere around a million different fares, depending on the type of transit, how far you're going, what time of day, etc. I often ended up overpaying.

3. EVERYONE in metro Philly smokes. There wasn't a man, woman or child not holding a cigarette. Though to be fair, perhaps the kids were just holding them for their parents.

4. The airport. The terminal I flew out of (on Southwest) had gray concrete walls and ceiling. Do you have any idea how gloomy and depressing this is? And it would be so easy to fix, a coat of white paint on the walls and white acoustic ceiling tile would be a 100% improvement.

Things I'm indifferent to:

1. Massive corruption. We invented it here in Chicago

2. Massive urban blight. Riding the elevated train into Center City from 69th St., and looking at the burned out neighborhoods below, it was just like taking the green line into downtown Chicago through the west side, except that in Philly there are row houses instead of single family homes.

Things that alarm me:

1. The indifference of the city. Chicago may be tremendously corrupt, but it really does work. Lots of streetscaping improvements, new and well funded libraries, the police are actively involved in the neighborhoods. I'm particularly shocked at the reports of how difficult it is to get the police to respond to criminal complaints in Philly. If the police and the city won't work with residents, there isn't much hope of saving the city.

And finally, don't hate me for this, but I'm not a huge cheese steak fan. Philly magazine said the best in the city was Cosmi's Deli in south Philly, and that's where I went. It was very good, but not really my thing. On the other hand, my guidebook pointed out that the roast pork sandwich is a lesser known Philly specialty. I forget the name of the place, but it was in the Reading Terminal Market, and the roast pork sandwich I had there may have been the greatest thing I've ever eaten in my life. It had sharp provolone! I've never even heard of sharp provolone! And with the marinated pork, peppers, on a giant fresh roll, and a bag of Herr's chips. I plan on returning to Philly just for lunch!

Last edited by toobusytoday; 02-26-2019 at 01:28 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 04-28-2008, 08:05 PM
 
Location: Silver Spring, MD/Washington DC
3,485 posts, read 8,317,526 times
Reputation: 2370
With your SEPTA comments, you forgot to mention they don't have announcements saying gambling is prohibited like they do on CTA trains.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-28-2008, 08:52 PM
 
1,031 posts, read 2,442,934 times
Reputation: 831
I'm glad you were able to see much of the Philadelphia metro and still see that it is a great city. Philly has a mix of urban blight and some of the countrys best neighborhoods all in one. Come back again.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-29-2008, 07:52 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia,New Jersey, NYC!
6,967 posts, read 18,556,702 times
Reputation: 2669
Quote:
Philly is very clean, at least in Center City, it's one of the cleanest big cities I've been too.
tell that to Mayor Nagin

well something tells me he strolled off the beaten path
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-25-2019, 10:36 AM
 
4,094 posts, read 2,008,152 times
Reputation: 2944
I thought I'd reopen what SHOULD BE A POSITIVE THREAD for Philadelphians and Visitors to POST POSITIVES on Philly.

Originally started in 2008 But a very short run. Some things mentioned might be a bit outdated in the opening post? Even Chicago mentioned and apparently the OP's reference point.

I did not start the thread. But being a more POSITIVES ONE (or should be) kind of thread ..... I think its time again.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-25-2019, 11:51 AM
 
39 posts, read 20,108 times
Reputation: 53
SEPTA is in the process of finishing up that stored value card!
Its called the SEPTA Key, and already works as a stored value card that can be refilled at stations, online, or automatically. It works for city transit and busses, but not fully for the regional rail (like the norristown line). It should be working fully soon, so hopefully next time you visit you can just load up a septa key and not worry about figuring out fares!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-25-2019, 01:12 PM
 
10,265 posts, read 5,931,280 times
Reputation: 3628
Quote:
Originally Posted by prairiestate View Post
I saw the thread asking if anyone loves Philly and would have responded there, but I decided to start a new thread since I decided to post a more comprehensive opinion.

As a native Chicagoan who recently visited Philly for the first time, I would like to say that I loved it there. Philly combines the charm, culture and history of Boston with the down to earth sensibility of Chicago. The following attributes may sound unbelievable, but I assure you they are true:

1. People are very friendly and helpful there. After landing and the airport, I picked up my rental car (I stayed in Plymouth Meeting to save a few dollars) and encountered a rather surly woman behind the counter. Well, that must be the Philly attitude I've heard so much about, I thought. Overwhelmingly, though, almost everyone else I encountered was quite friendly.

2. Philly is very clean, at least in Center City, it's one of the cleanest big cities I've been too.

3. You actually feel safe on SEPTA. In Chicago, you hardly ever see CTA employees, let alone police or security. In Philly, transit cops are everywhere.

The suburbs are stunningly beautiful. The minute you leave the city limits (at least to the north and northwest) you encounter rolling hills, forests, and one Norman Rockwell town after another. In Chicagoland, we have a number of suburbs somewhat similar to those on the Mainline, but there scattered about, not lined up one after the other like in Philly. Admittedly, the near west suburbs are ghetto lite, and what I believe would be lower Bucks county (next to Northeast Philly) is a rather blah working to middle class area. For that matter, so is much of northeast. And I caught the train in Norristown a few times, which certainly needs a lot of work. On the other hand Conshohocken is stunning. It is so quaint and picturesque, then you get to the riverfront, and there is an incredible panorama of midrise office buildings, hotels and condos. It looks a bit out of place, but it's very nice.

Now, there were some things I didn't like about Philly as well.

1. It's impossible to find your way around the 'burbs. Roads don't follow any kind of grid outside the city, and they are poorly marked. I would often end up miles out of my way because I would miss an intersection or turnoff.

2. SEPTA badly needs a stored value card for fares. The fare system is impossible to figure out, with somewhere around a million different fares, depending on the type of transit, how far you're going, what time of day, etc. I often ended up overpaying.

3. EVERYONE in metro Philly smokes. There wasn't a man, woman or child not holding a cigarette. Though to be fair, perhaps the kids were just holding them for their parents.

4. The airport. The terminal I flew out of (on Southwest) had gray concrete walls and ceiling. Do you have any idea how gloomy and depressing this is? And it would be so easy to fix, a coat of white paint on the walls and white acoustic ceiling tile would be a 100% improvement.

Things I'm indifferent to:

1. Massive corruption. We invented it here in Chicago

2. Massive urban blight. Riding the elevated train into Center City from 69th St., and looking at the burned out neighborhoods below, it was just like taking the green line into downtown Chicago through the west side, except that in Philly there are row houses instead of single family homes.

Things that alarm me:

1. The indifference of the city. Chicago may be tremendously corrupt, but it really does work. Lots of streetscaping improvements, new and well funded libraries, the police are actively involved in the neighborhoods. I'm particularly shocked at the reports of how difficult it is to get the police to respond to criminal complaints in Philly. If the police and the city won't work with residents, there isn't much hope of saving the city.
Septa Key is a stored value fare system. So what are you talking about?

Many city libraries have been totally redone after years of, yes, neglect. So what are you talking about?

Why are you inferring that city 911 calls don't get answered when, of course, they do.

The blight in W. Philly is not nearly as bad as other neighborhoods primarily in the northern parts of the city. It looks rougher than it actually is in spots. And, fyi, there has never been a riot in W. Philly. You know... the kind that destroyed property for blocks around. So "burned out" is a misnomer.

Not everyone cares about cheesesteaks here.

Not sure where you went that you saw so many smokers. I rarely see them.

But, thank you for praising various things that we tend to take for granted like the Main Line( two words, please!) I grew up there so I do agree.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-25-2019, 01:13 PM
 
10,265 posts, read 5,931,280 times
Reputation: 3628
Quote:
Originally Posted by frbrown View Post
SEPTA is in the process of finishing up that stored value card!
Its called the SEPTA Key, and already works as a stored value card that can be refilled at stations, online, or automatically. It works for city transit and busses, but not fully for the regional rail (like the norristown line). It should be working fully soon, so hopefully next time you visit you can just load up a septa key and not worry about figuring out fares!
Been working on the NHSL for a month or so.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-25-2019, 01:26 PM
 
425 posts, read 159,566 times
Reputation: 734
This is obviously an old thread but an interesting post:

I LOVE Philadelphia:

3 things are like
4 things I dislike
2 things indifferent (but both are bad - blight and corruption)
1 alarmingly bad


So it's three to the good and seven to the bad. Doesn't sound like they loved it to me.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-25-2019, 01:27 PM
 
4,094 posts, read 2,008,152 times
Reputation: 2944
Quote:
Originally Posted by kyb01 View Post
Septa Key is a stored value fare system. So what are you talking about?

Many city libraries have been totally redone after years of, yes, neglect. So what are you talking about?

Why are you inferring that city 911 calls don't get answered when, of course, they do.

The blight in W. Philly is not nearly as bad as other neighborhoods primarily in the northern parts of the city. It looks rougher than it actually is in spots. And, fyi, there has never been a riot in W. Philly. You know... the kind that destroyed property for blocks around. So "burned out" is a misnomer.

Not everyone cares about cheesesteaks here.

Not sure where you went that you saw so many smokers. I rarely see them.

But, thank you for praising various things that we tend to take for granted like the Main Line( two words, please!) I grew up there so I do agree.
Just to note. That OP posted this shortlived thread 10 years ago. Not as a local. Just a visit. Still post on C-D though. Maybe will be back to respond or if retuned to visit since?

Reopened it in seeing the title as POSITIVE NAME. Not to rip into the OP for a 10-year old post. But hard habits I seeing outsiders as about ill-will intended..... prevails. Again I figured wrong how things get taken.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Pennsylvania > Philadelphia
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2020, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top