U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
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)
View Poll Results: Best Philadelphia Suburb
Upper Main Line: Malvern/Wayne/Radnor 3 9.09%
Lower Main Line: Bryn Mawr/Ardmore/Wynnewood 10 30.30%
West Chester/Chadds Ford 3 9.09%
Newtown 1 3.03%
Downingtown/Exton 0 0%
Media 3 9.09%
Newtown Square 0 0%
Doylestown 5 15.15%
Yardley/Solesbury 1 3.03%
Lower Gwynedd/Ambler 1 3.03%
King of Prussia/West Norriton 1 3.03%
Other 5 15.15%
Voters: 33. You may not vote on this poll

Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 11-17-2020, 03:03 PM
 
590 posts, read 523,547 times
Reputation: 646

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovephilly79 View Post
Yes, definitely poorly run businesses. Rude, careless workers in many establishments. I love Nonna's pizza, but the service can be terrible. Many of the others don't run their businesses well or have poor food.

Regarding community, we should admit that Mt Airy is a big place. Big enough to split in two and probably huge enough to split into quarters. Some has a good sense of community, some does not. I lived there 10 years ago and found the neighbors to be nice enough and there is community. However, there is another layer of community when it is a condensed location (like a borough) and those with kids all send their kids to school and live near each other. The private school situation guts the community of those closer ties. I know because I have frequented Chestnut Hill for years with kids and there is a divide. The poorer families send their kids to Jenks. Everyone else that can afford it, wears uniforms and does not. The income segregation of school children is an absolute breaker of community. Not fully, but it does water down the community more than most would know.

A borough like Jenkintown really gives you a super close-knit environment because you can walk from one end to the other in 15 mins, send your kids to the same school (poor and rich), and the businesses are well-maintained. Walking and seeing kids, adults, neighbors every day, knowing they are all getting to know one another, makes you closer to your neighbors. These young people pull the community together. People care if there is trash on the playground. They care if their poorer neighbor's kids are not getting as good of an education because it means their kids are not.

While those without kids will say it doesn't impact them, it does. Kids and schools are a foundational component to community life. More than almost anything else.
Lol Nonnas was exactly the place I was thinking of when I made my statement. Same owners as Grain Exchange which has the same issues. Earth and Moma are the only places that have been consistently good in my experience. I like the vibe at mcmenamins but the food is just ok.I will admit I get jealous when I go to the main line and have a great experience at tired hands or white dog. I wish we could have nice things. There was a couple that opened 3-4 restaurants in Mt. Airy in rapid succession and none of them were edible. I am still traumatized by that and it was one of the only times I have rooted for a business to fold.

I concede your point about the schools. I definitely agree it would be better if most of the local kids went to the local public schools.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 11-17-2020, 03:32 PM
 
Location: Center City Philadelphia
138 posts, read 116,260 times
Reputation: 119
Narberth, Narberth, Narberth!

Collingswood a close second
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-17-2020, 03:37 PM
Status: "Bricks" (set 8 days ago)
 
Location: Philadelphia
1,938 posts, read 1,123,263 times
Reputation: 1989
Quote:
Originally Posted by bridge12 View Post
Narberth, Narberth, Narberth!

Collingswood a close second

Narberth is definitely nice and would fit into the Lower Main Line category.

As I said at the beginning of the poll, I felt NJ towns should be in their own category in the NJ thread.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-17-2020, 08:45 PM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
8,307 posts, read 4,066,298 times
Reputation: 5396
Quote:
Originally Posted by KansastoSouthphilly View Post
I concede your point about the schools. I definitely agree it would be better if most of the local kids went to the local public schools.
Since both of you participated in the discussion of my PhillyMag September Schools Issue feature. on city grade schools, I don't think I need to explain my contrarian view here.

But I suspect the two Anna Lingelbach parents who set me on the path to that article are no longer quite the outliers they were when they collared me after church services. (By the way, I've since run into several other parents who sing Lingelbach's praises; it seems that the school has an unusually stable teaching staff — teachers don't leave Lingelbach once they arrive there. (And I quoted the principal in the article as noting that some of the teachers there are now teaching the children of the children they taught years ago.)`

My contrarian view rests on an uncomfortable but accurate observation: Factors outside the classroom contribute as much to a child's success in school as those within it. A child from an affluent family that gets lots of parental support will in all likelihood do as well at a "bad" school as at a "good" one. (That's not to say that nothing going on in the classroom affects student outcomes. Certainly, a school that has a lot of disruptive students in it will likely fail even the most determined and advantaged student because the classroom atmosphere will not be conducive to learning, for instance. One Lingelbach parent who also sang the school's praises in a GreatSchools review where she said that she had "wasted three years and $21,000" on private-school tuition for her son when she found out Lingelbach had everything he needed to thrive nonetheless concluded by saying that she was pulling her son out at the end of the academic year (not his first year at the school). The reasons she gave: the school didn't have the financial resources it needed to do the best job it could and a small number of disruptive students made it harder for everyone else to learn.)

And the growth of neighborhood "Friends" groups — organizations of neighbors who do not have kids in a neighborhood public school but join the parent support group (in Philadelphia: the Home and School Association, or HSA; in most other places: the Parent-Teacher Association, or PTA) in raising money to support the school's curricular and extracurricular activities suggests to me that a younger generation of parents and parents-to-be are choosing fight over flight when it comes to tackling the issues at their local school.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-18-2020, 05:19 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia
11,980 posts, read 11,281,262 times
Reputation: 8214
Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovephilly79 View Post
I'm assuming you're a South Philly/Center City/West Philly/Fishtown city person. Having spent a lot of time in places like Chestnut Hill, Mt Airy, and other similar types of city hoods, I find some of the better suburbs mentioned here to be better urban experiences than those. In all honesty, even Chestnut Hill is hindered by city problems that the burbs just don't seem to have. That's not to say it's not nice, but places like Doylestown, Jenkintown, Ardmore, etc. are better urban experiences than a place like Mt Airy in my opinion. Stronger sense of community (this will vary of course), less crime, less trash, better maintained homes/businesses, equally strong transit, more services, etc.



Actually no, I was raised in Mt Airy and have lived in Germantown for 10 years although certainly spend a lot of time in Center City and South Philly---I just meant not a "suburb person" in the sense that I never lived there and have little experience with most suburbs, especially Bucks and Chester Counties. My brother moved to Wynnewood ~10 years ago so I do have my nephews/niece and family I visit there now. Seems like a wonderful community although very expensive IMO, especially if not using the public school.



I understand where you are coming from and can just say some people prioritize different things. Crime will usually always be more of an issue in the city, although it is not the daily/weekly/monthly/etc occurrence some may think it is. Growing up we would joke that crime always seemed to be prominent when my Moms family from suburban Boston would visit---one time a car across the street had all 4 of its tires stolen and was jacked up on cinderblocks---I have to admit that didn't look good lol and may have scared them off from "city living" for good.




Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovephilly79 View Post
I like your honesty. The truth is that Germantown itself has more potential to be a truly amazing urban paradise more than anywhere outside Center City (in my opinion). Crime, trash, the state of the buildings, and schools seem like unsolvable problems at this point. And it gets better in Mt Airy, although not great. Even the acclaimed Mt Airy playground (Sedgwick & Gtown Ave) is full of trash, and does not feel fully safe at times. Progress to Chestnut Hill and it's more refined, a greater sense of community (overall, less clustered), and the crime is far less. However, schools are still a big problem. These city problems really make the walkable suburbs excel.

And in a time where the city may be falling on major financial hardships, who knows what will be done to impact city residents (will property taxes skyrocket, will crime get worse, will services be cut even more?). That doesn't make the burbs immune from these considerations in 2020/2021, but the burbs do appear to be weathering the COVID crisis much better because so many people are working from home, investing in houses with yards, etc.

Yeah, I do think there is something special about the "walkable suburbs"---Narberth, Media, Ardmore, West Chester, Colingswood NJ, Wynewood (kind of) and others. I find similar qualities in Chestnut Hill, Mt. Airy and Germantown (although maybe more weighted toward the urban side than suburban) and to me it is the "best of both worlds". Space to grow some food/herbs, let the dogs/kids play outside but also a walkable community with downtown shopping/convenience and transit into Center City.

Last edited by 2e1m5a; 11-18-2020 at 05:47 AM..
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-18-2020, 05:37 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia
11,980 posts, read 11,281,262 times
Reputation: 8214
Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovephilly79 View Post
Yes, definitely poorly run businesses. Rude, careless workers in many establishments. I love Nonna's pizza, but the service can be terrible. Many of the others don't run their businesses well or have poor food.

Regarding community, we should admit that Mt Airy is a big place. Big enough to split in two and probably huge enough to split into quarters. Some has a good sense of community, some does not. I lived there 10 years ago and found the neighbors to be nice enough and there is community. However, there is another layer of community when it is a condensed location (like a borough) and those with kids all send their kids to school and live near each other. The private school situation guts the community of those closer ties. I know because I have frequented Chestnut Hill for years with kids and there is a divide. The poorer families send their kids to Jenks. Everyone else that can afford it, wears uniforms and does not. The income segregation of school children is an absolute breaker of community. Not fully, but it does water down the community more than most would know.

A borough like Jenkintown really gives you a super close-knit environment because you can walk from one end to the other in 15 mins, send your kids to the same school (poor and rich), and the businesses are well-maintained. Walking and seeing kids, adults, neighbors every day, knowing they are all getting to know one another, makes you closer to your neighbors. These young people pull the community together. People care if there is trash on the playground. They care if their poorer neighbor's kids are not getting as good of an education because it means their kids are not.

While those without kids will say it doesn't impact them, it does. Kids and schools are a foundational component to community life. More than almost anything else.

Yeah that's a very good point about the schools. I was lucky in being able to attend my local catholic school in Mt Airy--but even that school which in the '90s was about half white/half black today is 100% black and not a "local school" per se. My sister went to Masterman which does have tons of Mt Airy kids, but again not anything close to being a local "community school".



My parents were always intent on sending their kids (all 6!) to all male/all female catholic High Schools (even if it meant both parents working multiple jobs and us kids pitching in for tuition when we could) so schooling was not as much of an issue.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-18-2020, 06:47 AM
 
149 posts, read 38,967 times
Reputation: 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarketStEl View Post
Since both of you participated in the discussion of my PhillyMag September Schools Issue feature. on city grade schools, I don't think I need to explain my contrarian view here.

But I suspect the two Anna Lingelbach parents who set me on the path to that article are no longer quite the outliers they were when they collared me after church services. (By the way, I've since run into several other parents who sing Lingelbach's praises; it seems that the school has an unusually stable teaching staff — teachers don't leave Lingelbach once they arrive there. (And I quoted the principal in the article as noting that some of the teachers there are now teaching the children of the children they taught years ago.)`

My contrarian view rests on an uncomfortable but accurate observation: Factors outside the classroom contribute as much to a child's success in school as those within it. A child from an affluent family that gets lots of parental support will in all likelihood do as well at a "bad" school as at a "good" one. (That's not to say that nothing going on in the classroom affects student outcomes. Certainly, a school that has a lot of disruptive students in it will likely fail even the most determined and advantaged student because the classroom atmosphere will not be conducive to learning, for instance. One Lingelbach parent who also sang the school's praises in a GreatSchools review where she said that she had "wasted three years and $21,000" on private-school tuition for her son when she found out Lingelbach had everything he needed to thrive nonetheless concluded by saying that she was pulling her son out at the end of the academic year (not his first year at the school). The reasons she gave: the school didn't have the financial resources it needed to do the best job it could and a small number of disruptive students made it harder for everyone else to learn.)

And the growth of neighborhood "Friends" groups — organizations of neighbors who do not have kids in a neighborhood public school but join the parent support group (in Philadelphia: the Home and School Association, or HSA; in most other places: the Parent-Teacher Association, or PTA) in raising money to support the school's curricular and extracurricular activities suggests to me that a younger generation of parents and parents-to-be are choosing fight over flight when it comes to tackling the issues at their local school.
I agree with your contrarian view, which isn't all that contrary (no offense). Parents account for a greater share of a child's success than any school because a kid spends 6 - 7 hours a day for five days a portion of a year. A lot more of that is spent outside school, and behavior problems are rooted in the home more than they are in a school. No school can correct the behavior of a child who is neglected, missing parents, and/or encouraged (directly/indirectly) to adopt bad behavior because the school is an "institution" with limited means and everything else is "life".

However, the quality of the school then relies heavily on the parenting and parent support because the more troubled children, the lower the quality of the school. This is where the scales begin to tip and this dynamic does highlight and define the community if we are being honest. A home does not need to be rich or have a lot of money to be a good place for a child. The parent needs to be a good mentor and dedicated to raising the child/ren (work ethic, care and respect for others, value education, etc.). The more people that support good parenting, the better the school, and the better the community. There is a sense of social accountability when living in a place where a majority of people are doing the right thing. It snowballs, just like in a troubled community (the other way).

All of that to say that I agree with your contrarian view, but the quality of the school and everyone sending their child to the public school, strengthens the community. That is something I can feel in a place like Jenkintown that is missing in Chestnut Hill. The school is a real cradle for the community's children in one, and in the other, it is shell of what is really should be. And that segregation (not race, but economic) weakens the neighborhoods around it.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-18-2020, 10:02 AM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
8,307 posts, read 4,066,298 times
Reputation: 5396
Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovephilly79 View Post
I agree with your contrarian view, which isn't all that contrary (no offense). Parents account for a greater share of a child's success than any school because a kid spends 6 - 7 hours a day for five days a portion of a year. A lot more of that is spent outside school, and behavior problems are rooted in the home more than they are in a school. No school can correct the behavior of a child who is neglected, missing parents, and/or encouraged (directly/indirectly) to adopt bad behavior because the school is an "institution" with limited means and everything else is "life".

However, the quality of the school then relies heavily on the parenting and parent support because the more troubled children, the lower the quality of the school. This is where the scales begin to tip and this dynamic does highlight and define the community if we are being honest. A home does not need to be rich or have a lot of money to be a good place for a child. The parent needs to be a good mentor and dedicated to raising the child/ren (work ethic, care and respect for others, value education, etc.). The more people that support good parenting, the better the school, and the better the community. There is a sense of social accountability when living in a place where a majority of people are doing the right thing. It snowballs, just like in a troubled community (the other way).

All of that to say that I agree with your contrarian view, but the quality of the school and everyone sending their child to the public school, strengthens the community. That is something I can feel in a place like Jenkintown that is missing in Chestnut Hill. The school is a real cradle for the community's children in one, and in the other, it is shell of what is really should be. And that segregation (not race, but economic) weakens the neighborhoods around it.
I just +1'd you on this, but that's only because they don't allow +100's on C-D.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-25-2020, 11:15 AM
 
23 posts, read 14,468 times
Reputation: 20
Transit access: Lower Main Line
Employment access: Lower Main Line, King of Prussia/West Norriton
Airport access: Unsure
NYC access: Yardley/Solebury/Newtown
Shore access:Unsure
Schools: Lower and Upper Main Line
Variety of housing stock and housing costs: Unsure
Walkable town center: Lower Main Line
Vibrancy: Lower Main Line
COL: Jenkintown
Character: Lower Main Line
Taxes:Yardley/Solebury/Newtown
Rate this post positively 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:


Settings
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2020 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

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2021, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - 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, 36, 37 - Top