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Old 03-21-2007, 08:28 AM
2,189 posts, read 6,852,431 times
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Great post Rainrock
Don’t let the door hit you in the back Gypsy Tex
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Old 03-22-2007, 10:24 PM
Location: Boston Metrowest (via the Philly area)
4,745 posts, read 7,845,060 times
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Originally Posted by rainrock View Post

Also comparing Philly to DC or NY is a bit unfair on its own merit as Philly doesn't have trillions of dollars in government handouts to keep its economy humming such as DC. Philly doesn't have a corporate presence of just about every company in the western world like Manhattan does. NYC and DC have those huge advantages to counteract the fact that the northeast cities kind of became the dumping grounds of the this nations poor over the past 50 years. No freebies here, Philly has to scratch and claw to keep its head above waters as it gets sandwiched between NY , DC not to mention the trend that is the suburban lifestyle and suburban workplace. Philly is as real of a city as you will find in this country, that doesn't necessarily translate into a city paved in gold.

Good luck with your move.
Well said, Rainrock. I was going to add that, being that I currently reside in DC, there are DEFINITELY bad areas here -- try most of the Southeast quadrant. Also, while I won't argue against the fact that DC has a strong economy; it also has one of the highest homeless rates in the country. This tends to engender a pretty big gap in social classes where you're either some affluent, white-collar professional or a department store cashier being paid minimum wage. Also, you can have a great income working here, but the cost of living here is VERY high -- definitely higher than Philly.

Don't get me wrong, DC is a pretty awesome place, but let's be honest. NO city is paradise.
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Old 03-26-2007, 12:48 PM
Location: Sverige och USA
702 posts, read 2,834,077 times
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Originally Posted by GypsyTex View Post
I do plan to move and have been saving up enough to do so, and I would never reccomend someone live in Philly. The South and West of the US are booming, while the East is dying. And even in the East, cities like NYC and DC are powerhouses that have enough room in thier economy to provide decent jobs, and good enough pockets of nice communities to feel safe in.
The East is nowhere near dying. It is growing slowly, which I think is much better than the population explosion that is being experience in the South and West. But remember that growth comes at a price: suburban sprawl, traffic jams and pollution to name a few. I moved to the Northeast from Atlanta when I noticed that the air and traffic were getting noticeably terrible. To make matters worse, they were clear cutting the beautiful trees that made Atlanta nice. I have no regrets. So, for me, the grass is definitely not greener in the South.
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Old 03-29-2007, 03:31 PM
5 posts, read 14,093 times
Reputation: 15
Originally Posted by MoonlightMadness View Post
I live in the city (Roxborough/Manayunk); have all my life. Those that are pumping up Philly on this forum are the ones that don't live here. They keep talking about how the city is a great "tourist attraction" but they have no clue what it's like to LIVE here. There's a reason they don't live here.
I sure hope you are wrong. Having lived 45 minutes outside the city all my life I finally bought a condo in center city. If I find out your right, I'll let you know.
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Old 04-02-2007, 08:04 PM
Status: "Thou Shalt Not Lick the Surfaces of the "T"" (set 6 days ago)
Location: Marshall-Shadeland, Pittsburgh, PA
31,055 posts, read 68,875,531 times
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Originally Posted by foeybear View Post
I sure hope you are wrong. Having lived 45 minutes outside the city all my life I finally bought a condo in center city. If I find out your right, I'll let you know.
Nationwide, the current trend is for reinvestment in urban cores after years of neglect in favor of ever-expanding, ever-destructive urban sprawl. Across our beautiful commonwealth downtowns such as Bethlehem, Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, State College, Harrisburg, and yes, even "The City of Brotherly Love" are rebounding quite noticeably. People are just tiring of commuting 30+ minutes each way to work on congested arterials between their suburban cul-de-sacs and center cities for employment, cultural offerings, professional sporting events, nightlife, etc., and demand for "in-town" housing remains strong.

I myself will be adding to this trend after college graduation when I plan to move out of my parents' home here in suburbia and "take the plunge" by moving into the "Electric City" of Scranton. My parents are also considering purchasing a townhome in Scranton once they age to the point where maintaining their suburban home on a 3/4-acre lot becomes too burdensome. They'd be part of that "empty-nester" demographic moving into Scranton, and I'd be part of that "hip young twenty-something" moving into town. I'd expect that the same is also occurring in Philly, where some people crave being within walking distance of life's conveniences as opposed to enduring a hair-raising drive even to the grocery store!
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Old 08-03-2007, 01:12 PM
35 posts, read 24,353 times
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I love phila. and its been my home ever since I moved here from pittsburgh. Ive lived in the city my whole life and I "no offence to pitt" would rather live in phila any day. If you come in from the outter banks of phila. youll find a vast amount of history and landmarks. I think that the gov needs to increase the number of officers we have on duty and I think that the city can really recover from this "crime-spree" I guess I will call it.
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Old 08-05-2007, 09:08 PM
2,994 posts, read 3,145,785 times
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Here's my post from a thread on the Chicago board comparing the 2 cities for a couple looking to relocate to one or the other (note, I have some issues w/ Philly, but I was really looking to defend the city from stereotypes in the thread)... btw, here's the link to the whole thread:


* * * * * * * * * * *

I’ve lived in Philly and have been a Philly basher and feel that Chicago is my favorite big city to visit… That said, I want to give Philly a little love. Yes, there are some filth moments in Center City, even homeless’ human feces in some subway tunnels from time to time, but overall, the comment that Center City is loaded with garbage is, well, garbage. A decade or so ago, Philly started the Center City District where businesses taxed themselves to clean up streets, and it has done the job for the most part. Center City is a red hot ticket, now, with sidewalk cafes, neat little shops all over the place. And although Philly can’t match Chicago’s high-rise prowess – who can outside NYC? (and Philly had a height restriction to City Hall’s limit just 20 years ago), high-rise condos are rising at a rapid clip.

As someone noted, a lot of hip New Yorkers are moving here and commuting to the Apple because living costs are reasonable, and downtown is lively.

PUBLIC TRANSIT? I also disagree that Chicago is hands down better. The el is better known – in part b/c it’s so damn visible and stars in any film or TV show about the city (and usually they exaggerate making it look like every Chicagoan rides the el, which is far from true). At 1st glance, Philly has only 2 true subway lines, Broad Street and Market-Frankford, but that’s deceiving. 5 subway surface lines zip from the center of town to west Philly (with numerous stops in and around UPenn and vibrant (and beautiful) University City). The PATCO Hi-Speed Line (think quasi subway-commuter rail and automated like DC Metro—I think PATCO may have been the 1st of those types, actually) into south Jersey interconnects with the subway. Regional Rail, actually the 2 converted commuter systems, is fully electrified and looks, and in some ways acts, like a regional rapid transit, although it is infrequent, every hour, on most lines like commuter trains. But where lines share the same tracks and on a few busy lines, its every half hour off peak and every few mins during rush. What’s more, unlike Chicago’s excellent Metra (which is practically all diesel), the Center City Commuter Tunnel actually linked the 2 major systems so the whole system is interconnected – you can ride thru one side of the suburban network to the other – in Chicago, Metra ends at 4-5 terminals so burb-to-burb commuting requires a lot of transferring using CTA (been there done that) and in those traditionally vicious winters (much worse than mild Philly)?…don’t ask. Oh yeah, and did I mention you can hop a regional rail line for a direct connection to NYC? This is supplemented by Amtrak’s Acela, Metroliner and regular high-speed rail serving the entire Northeast Corridor. I used to regularly hop a commuter train for New York 2 blocks from my Mt. Airy house.

Philly’s SEPTA is more centralized. At the City Hall-Suburban Station complex in the center of town, one can connect with most any train to any part of the region. Given Philly’s more compact nature (blocks are much shorter than Chicago), and diversity/extensiveness of rail services, I’d actually pick SEPTA over CTA, esp given the el’s dire straights right now. And as rundown as some SEPTA can be, some CTA subway tunnels, and old wooden el stops, are among the worst transit stops I’ve ever seen. Add to that the fact Philly has so many different transit modes, including trolley buses, an interurban and diesel light rail – BOTTOM LINE: Philly transit trumps Chicago’s CTA/Metra.

TRAFFIC? Fuggiddaboudit. Philly wins hands down. Chicago, though having more freeways, has some of the worse traffic in the nation.

LIVING – OK, Philly has a deserved rep for trash/bombed out conditions in a number of in-city neighborhoods, although North Philly is gentrifying fast. But PHILLY TRUMPS CHICAGO in terms of residential diversity/quality home living within the city limits. No, I’m not talking about Lake Shore Drive. But Chicago can’t match home districts like Mt. Airy (ironically, Chicago’s Oprah once said this is the best big-city residential neighborhood), East Falls, Chestnut Hill (flat out mansions and country estates). These areas are woodsy to being downright semi rural and peaceful right in the city.

Yes Chicago’s a great architecture city… but Philly’s not? Philly is the only big city I know of, aside from possibly Boston, that has a European feel to it, given the old cobblestone, narrow streets; the often gingerbread type row architecture and little shops and walkup apartments. Chicago, great though it is, doesn’t have that. Then there’s classic, quirky neighborhoods like Manayunk, which clings to a hillside, with curving narrow streets, like an ancient mill town but has a lively restaurant/entertainment walking district. Chicago has nothing comparable.

As a side note, Chicago’s lakefront is great, but the city has no match for Philly’s Fairmount Park – the largest in-city muni park in the world. There are areas in Germantown, Mt. Airy and Chestnut Hill that are as forest-y and secluded as national parks. The only areas to find quality residential, stand-alone housing in Chicago are the smallish Hyde Park-Kenwood and Beverly Hills (and practically all the lots in these areas are small – nothing like what you find in Philly’s Chestnut Hill, Mt. Airy, East Falls or even Wynnfield. QUALITY OF RESIDENTIAL LIVING: Advantage Philadelphia.

SUBURBS. Chicago’s generally are totally bland, flat with boring, unadorned, block-ish housing. From Park Ridge to Schaumburg to Naperville to River Stream. I can’t tell the friggin’ difference. In Chigagoland, you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all. (btw, my hometown Cleveland thoroughly trumps Chicago suburbanwise, too)… The only reasonably unique, character close in burbs in Chicago are Evanston and Wright’s Oak Park. The real rich burbs, like Lake Forest and Barrington are 25 miles from the Loop. Philly, meanwhile, has some of the most quaint and character-rich suburbs anywhere. The woodsy nature, old architecture and walking nature make them highly desirable. And thanks to SEPTA’s old commuter rail system, on which many of these burbs were built along, these towns have quaint, walking-oriented town centers centered around the train station. There Main Streets with lots of shops and mixed use developments. Philly has some suburban sprawl – mainly in South Jersey (which is newer and more Chicago/Sunbelt sprawl), but most older Philly burbs of the type described, above, have lots of breathing space between. Many were developed before the auto and are highly centered. Again, Philly’s European feel extends to many of its burbs.

INDEED, OVERALL, PHILLY IS WALKING CITY USA… Chicago, while having many walking areas, is much more a car region because of the great engulfing nature of its big, flat city/suburban blocks…

So you see, there’s a lot to recommend Philly – it may be, overall, a better city in which to live, for a young couple, like you, with no kids (or with them)... while Chicago, a better city to visit.
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Old 08-12-2007, 02:44 PM
4 posts, read 22,759 times
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Default I love Philadelphia!

I am not from Philly. I moved here in 1996 and went to college at Temple University. During my 11 years here I have moved 10 times and now live in Mount Airy. Philadelphia is incredibly historic. There is an energy here, mixed with seedy elements and class that many other cities including NY have pushed aside. From the crazy bike couriers to the hipsters, to the rude honking traffic, everything about me has become Philadelphia. Sure it is corrupt, and sure there are immense ghettos, but there is also a beautiful park system with the oldest housing in our nation, and incredible opportunities for exercise(Wissahickon Valley). There are statues and museums around every corner you turn in Philadelphia. And yes, there are drug deals and homelessness to be had around every corner also. But, just walk with your head up and be aware, and soon enough you will recognize the beauty of Philadelphia all around you. And I promise it too will steal your heart! This is a true melting pot among cities. Just go to the italian market, or to Chinatown, or to Germantown Ave and Washington Lane to the Rib Crib for the best ribs anywhere. There is more here to be seen than many other places have to offer; you just have to get off your seat and go find it. It is all here!
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Old 08-19-2007, 03:57 PM
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Reputation: 12
Smile I love Philadelphia

I am a native Californian, and I have lived in Philadelphia for the past 13 years. I hated Philadelphia at first - people didn't know my family so it was hard to make friends; I wasn't prepared for the cold; the schools sucked for my kids and I had to homeschool; and the trash all over the city...But then I realized that I am always happy to come home to this city, for it is really beautiful - so green, when it's green. And the people are more real than in California. Yeah, they complain, but they let you know if they love you too. And I really admire the hardworking spirit of Philadelphians. But what it comes down to, to enjoy this city, you have to have money. Being poor in Philadelphia is far worse than in Oakland, California where I am from. Fortunately I can afford a comfortable life, but I collect rent from those who are barely getting by and living in neighborhoods where I am not sure how anyone sleeps at night. I don't know what can be done to improve the rich/poor disparity in this city, for the city government really is as corrupt as people say, and the rich don't seem to give a damn. I have said that I'll move when my youngest goes to college in 2 years, but I will miss this city...
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Old 09-06-2007, 05:52 PM
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Reputation: 78
I love Philly! I lived there for two years in several areas (15th and Snyder, 18th and Spring Garden, Rawn and Verree and last of all in Roxborough). While I'm not currently living in Philly I long to be there. It was church work that brought me to the city and I'm glad, for I would never have made the trek to PA. Love the history, the food, the Eagles and Septa. I rode Septa daily, made it easy to get around. My home has a HUGE panoramic framed picture of Philly hanging up because it's so beautiful. I have several books on Philly and too many photos to count. I'll be back again, real soon. I can't live without my cheesesteak and hoagie fix...those two Philly foods are the most addictive things on this planet. Long live Philly!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I try and visit as much as time permits. I just can't get enough of it!!!
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