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Old 04-02-2009, 11:24 AM
 
23 posts, read 83,862 times
Reputation: 17

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Hello everyone

My hubby and I were looking at Philadelphia because it is a beautiful city with a lot of things to do - culture, outdoors. Diversity is great. Architecture is beautiful! We are city people, not suburbs people. Seems like a place for us! I have been reading some posts here and it seems like crime is out of control in this city.

I would like to know - is it really that bad? we would be coming from california (originally from Europe) so we can't stand the drive-everywhere life here. we need a big city!
Also, we're planning to start a family in a couple of years. We would still, however, like to stay in the city.

Any comment would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 04-02-2009, 11:41 AM
 
8,048 posts, read 18,469,927 times
Reputation: 2738
Where in California did you live? Anecdotally speaking, I've heard that LA and Oakland tend to have more issues than other larger cities in California.

The crime rate here does tend to be higher than in some other cities... but it is mostly concentrated in lower-income neighborhoods between people who know each other. To paraphase a great quote from someone on this forum, Philly is 1/3 world-class, 1/3 pretty nice and 1/3 rather challenging. The "world-class" downtown area of Center City is among the most sought-after (and expensive) areas of the city. To get to the relatively affordable "pretty nice" areas towards the edges, one often has to pass through the challenged areas first.

Philly's SEPTA is one of the more extensive albeit expensive transit systems in the country. If you're familiar with the Bay Area's BART, then you may be in for a bit of a letdown... but I'd still consider SEPTA to be among the top five in the country.

As you've probably read here, the Philadelphia School District has a long way to go to reach the standards of many of its suburban counterparts. That said, there are good schools in Philly. More often than not, the better elementary schools are in the relatively upscale areas. All high schools are open enrollment but the most desirable have competitive admissions. In short, it will benefit you to be proactive in directing your children's education in the city. Public-supported charter schools are another option as well as parochial (Catholic) and private schools.
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Old 04-02-2009, 11:44 AM
 
Location: DC
3,299 posts, read 10,753,702 times
Reputation: 1346
The crime is largely concentrated in certain pockets of the city. If you stay out of those particular areas, you're more than likely to be fine. That said, it is a city, so just be aware that things can happen and have common sense.

If you live in the city (especially areas like Center City, Old City, Bella Vista, University City, etc.), then you won't even need a car, let alone drive everywhere. The schools leave something to be desired, but you can 1) live in the city for now, and move when your kids get to school age, 2) use this time to save up money and pay for private/parochial school, or 3) do extensive research, be involved, and do what you can with the public city system. There are some decent schools, and certain high schools are really good (Masterman, Central, Girl's High). My parents opted for #2, although if I hadn't gotten into my private high school of choice I was going to go Central (my mother works for the school district, so she knew what to expect should I decide to go to a public H.S.).
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Old 04-02-2009, 12:03 PM
 
Location: Lancaster County, PA
1,740 posts, read 3,918,553 times
Reputation: 828
Quote:
Originally Posted by mici_angora View Post
Hello everyone

My hubby and I were looking at Philadelphia because it is a beautiful city with a lot of things to do - culture, outdoors. Diversity is great. Architecture is beautiful! We are city people, not suburbs people. Seems like a place for us! I have been reading some posts here and it seems like crime is out of control in this city.

I would like to know - is it really that bad? we would be coming from california (originally from Europe) so we can't stand the drive-everywhere life here. we need a big city!
Also, we're planning to start a family in a couple of years. We would still, however, like to stay in the city.

Any comment would be greatly appreciated!

The crime and trash issues are blown WAY out of proportion, primarily by local TV stations that need something to fill up their thirty minutes of air time. Like others have said, if you stay out of certain neighborhoods, especially at night, and don't use drugs, you'll be fine. Welcome.
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Old 04-02-2009, 12:08 PM
 
Location: southern california
57,818 posts, read 76,774,881 times
Reputation: 51122
why do people recently from europe with a PHD always wana talk about highest urban poor areas in USA and wana get my opinion on crime and demographics?
also amazing that the writing style is always so very like many people i know from memphis.
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Old 04-02-2009, 01:36 PM
 
23 posts, read 83,862 times
Reputation: 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by lititzman2003 View Post
The crime and trash issues are blown WAY out of proportion, primarily by local TV stations that need something to fill up their thirty minutes of air time. Like others have said, if you stay out of certain neighborhoods, especially at night, and don't use drugs, you'll be fine. Welcome.
The thing is, I read a forum here (can't find it now) where a person asked for negatives of the city. most of the people said that the crime is no longer in certain areas, rather it is spread out throughout and it is not really under control. that's why I was asking. I actually don't have a TV so no way of knowing what TV stations talk about it's a waste of time to watch news - so much drama!

Thank you for your response!
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Old 04-02-2009, 01:38 PM
 
23 posts, read 83,862 times
Reputation: 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tone509 View Post
Where in California did you live? Anecdotally speaking, I've heard that LA and Oakland tend to have more issues than other larger cities in California.

The crime rate here does tend to be higher than in some other cities... but it is mostly concentrated in lower-income neighborhoods between people who know each other. To paraphase a great quote from someone on this forum, Philly is 1/3 world-class, 1/3 pretty nice and 1/3 rather challenging. The "world-class" downtown area of Center City is among the most sought-after (and expensive) areas of the city. To get to the relatively affordable "pretty nice" areas towards the edges, one often has to pass through the challenged areas first.

Philly's SEPTA is one of the more extensive albeit expensive transit systems in the country. If you're familiar with the Bay Area's BART, then you may be in for a bit of a letdown... but I'd still consider SEPTA to be among the top five in the country.

As you've probably read here, the Philadelphia School District has a long way to go to reach the standards of many of its suburban counterparts. That said, there are good schools in Philly. More often than not, the better elementary schools are in the relatively upscale areas. All high schools are open enrollment but the most desirable have competitive admissions. In short, it will benefit you to be proactive in directing your children's education in the city. Public-supported charter schools are another option as well as parochial (Catholic) and private schools.
We live in the "beautiful" (now sick of it) and overpriced Santa Barbara. We came here because of schools. There is virtually no public transportation compared to big cities We went to Chicago last summer and the system there seemed really great. Is Philly something like that?

Thanks!
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Old 04-02-2009, 01:42 PM
 
23 posts, read 83,862 times
Reputation: 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Huckleberry3911948 View Post
why do people recently from europe with a PHD always wana talk about highest urban poor areas in USA and wana get my opinion on crime and demographics?
also amazing that the writing style is always so very like many people i know from memphis.
If this was directed to me then:
I'm sorry you feel that way, but as far as I am concerned nobody asked YOU directly for your opinion. If you don't like my question you obviously don't have to answer. Also:
1. I don't have a PhD.
2. wana is spelled "wanna"
3. and what kind of writing style is that?
4. I didn't ask about poor areas. urban does not always equal poor
5. crime is important factor if I am to relocate from west coast to east coast, don't you think?

Of course, don't feel obligated to comment my opinions.
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Old 04-02-2009, 02:28 PM
 
Location: Lancaster County, PA
1,740 posts, read 3,918,553 times
Reputation: 828
Some areas, such as West and North Philly, are considered to be high-crime sections of the city. It's not say, though, that you will never be a victim of crime in the remaining areas. I grew up in SW Philly in the '70's and we had cars broken into, bikes stolen, etc but not much in the way of violent crimes. So, to answer your question, and it's a smart question to ask if you're considering moving here, is that crime can happen anywhere in any town. However, if you can avoid the sections that have most of the criminal activity most likely you can live in Philly for a long time without incident.

Just always, no matter where you go, keep doors locked and always be aware of your surroundings. Good luck with your decision.
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Old 04-02-2009, 02:30 PM
 
Location: Lancaster County, PA
1,740 posts, read 3,918,553 times
Reputation: 828
Quote:
Originally Posted by mici_angora View Post
We live in the "beautiful" (now sick of it) and overpriced Santa Barbara. We came here because of schools. There is virtually no public transportation compared to big cities We went to Chicago last summer and the system there seemed really great. Is Philly something like that?

Thanks!
Philadelphia has an excellent transportation system and the suburbs are improving. I also like Chicago's system.
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