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Old Today, 11:35 AM
 
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Hi, My 18 year old son will be moving to Philly for a gap year job. He'll be working at 1500 JFK downtown (near Love Square). We're trying to decide between him living downtown (West Washington Sq, chancellor apts or Carlemont apts, or in City Center West (21st and Walnut)) versus him living out near UPenn (41st and Baltimore). He could walk to work living downtown but living near UPenn he might have more opportunities to meet people his own age, etc. Also concerned about safety. I would really appreciate any thoughts on any of this! thank you.
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Old Today, 12:07 PM
 
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Do you know what his budget will be? Compared to other Northeast cities, Philadelphia is affordable but the Center City neighborhoods are generally the most expensive in the city. 41st and Baltimore is a great area. I am not sure how the vibe will be with many universities doing remote learning since the vibrancy (especially closer to campus) relies on the student population.
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Old Today, 12:32 PM
 
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Broadly speaking, the neighborhoods of Center City, including where your son is looking, are as safe as any major city downtown. It's one of the more walkable downtowns as well. Of course, it's still the city but stuff happens - and recent protest-related events are an aberration - but as long as he isn't out by himself after midnight every evening as he gets to know the area, he should be okay.

University City would indeed be a great place to meet people his age. My only concern is that if he's not going to Penn, Drexel or U Sciences, creating common bonds might be difficult. He might be better off living downtown with a shorter commute to work assuming the budget allows.
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Old Today, 12:38 PM
 
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Thank you for your reply. We have found apts in each place for about $900/month, but the downtown ones are only abut 200 sq ft vs 450 ft in the one near University City, and he would probably be fine in either one size-wize. We have heard that the area west of 42nd should be avoided; do you think that is accurate? I also wonder about him living downtown (West Washington Sq.), seems like an 18 year old would be out of place, but maybe not. If it was your son/friend, what would you recommend?
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Old Today, 01:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ngraymond View Post
Thank you for your reply. We have found apts in each place for about $900/month, but the downtown ones are only abut 200 sq ft vs 450 ft in the one near University City, and he would probably be fine in either one size-wize. We have heard that the area west of 42nd should be avoided; do you think that is accurate? I also wonder about him living downtown (West Washington Sq.), seems like an 18 year old would be out of place, but maybe not. If it was your son/friend, what would you recommend?
IMO University City and associated neighborhoods are fine out to 50th Street between Walnut and Kingsessing. Lots of students, university and hospital employees as well as young professionals priced out of downtown live out here.

It's probably true that there may be few 18-21 YOs living in Washington Square that aren't still living with their parents. However, he's not far from South Street where there are shops and restaurants that might interest him.

21st and Walnut might put him in the vicinity of Penn students who prefer to "reverse commute" to campus and come home to the convenience of downtown.

Keep in mind that we're going through a unique time where places that younger people may normally congregate are in shorter supply. College students may not necessarily be returning this fall. So I might focus on a short commute for his first year and staying safe and healthy after hours.
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