I love Philly but now I live in Miami, and please - 10/18/2007||
look I am a hatian American Black male (not all hatian are black)I was born in Philly, Graduated from Penn Wood High School, which was a chater mix school in LANSDOWNE Pa, Philly public scholl is suck, For a city to have such great university and the worse plublic school there is a problem with that. Black people in philly are nice people, if they were raise or born in another city such as: ATL,NORTH CAROLINA, were manners is important or other wise black people there are rude and ignit and the white people their only used it against their advantage and make us look like african people in africa asking for help (if you know what I mean by that statement)once again to all yaw black people hispanics are not like us they could give a dam about whites, black or asian. By the way their is a nice little population of asian in philly and it funny how you never here about them doing anything stupid in are community (get it)they all about money and helping their community out. it's not just philly that is in a bad stituation it's the whole U.S and I don't want to bash blacks and I am black but when ever a city with large population of blacks crime proverty, poor people exist example: Baltimore, houston, new orleans, philly, cleveland, detroit, D.C and I am not lying about that, matter of fact even black countries such as haiti, jamaica, africa their is something wrong with the picture. Use your mind people sometihng is not right. I got to give it up to atlanta, as a black population their is more succesfull blacks low crime although half of black people from are not from their. Philly can change and we do not have to depend on center city for nothing. I am only 23 years of age and I have a problem with the young people today and I am still youg and there is also something wrong with that picture. lets get are priorty straight people
this is what others had to say about Miami
Miami has last it's "Paradise" appeal
Cost of living is through the roof. The insurance eats you alive, the traffic is terrible and everyone is stressed out and rude. I was born here and I used to love it, not anymore!! The only thing it's got going; it has a lot of palm trees; big deal.
not to a city standard
Miami FL or just another third world country !!!
I you want to live in The United States, A place where Eglish is spoken and being American your not discrimitnated against do not live here.
to expensive to buy, rent and live
Forget Will Smith's 1998 hit "Miami", forget Miami Vice and forget
those glossy images of Miami Beach......
In reality, there are 2 versions of Miami: there's the Miami you see
on TV, which is mostly Miami Beach, then there's the rest of Miami - a
bland, urban landscape littered with apartment buildings that look
like cheap motels, gas stations, tacky strip malls, Publix
supermarkets (Publix are the only real chain here), endless fast food
restaurants, warehouses and cheap looking business parks. The version
of Miami you don't see on the TV is version 2 (an urban wasteland),
where poverty, crime and inequality are rife and where the streets are
literally choked with traffic. If you're poor, you'll live in a shack
or an efficiency, or if you're lucky, you'll live in one of those
apartment buildings that look like cheap motels with tiny windows and
no view. There is no middle class here anymore, but if you have a
little money, you'll probably have paid over $400k for a box-like
house, somewhere in the depths of Kendall or Homestead on SW 2,005,442
Street and 1,245,667 Ave, dealing with a 2 hour commute every day.
You're led to believe that Miami is some sort of tropical paradise,
full of beautiful beaches, great nightlife, great women and that Miami
is simply bubbling with culture. Sure, it has palm trees and the
nightlife is great, if you're prepared to shell out well over $200 to
go to one of the clubs on South Beach. Miami is no paradise though -
in fact, it's about as far from being a "paradise" as you can get.
You'd think that with the tropical climate, people would have
beautiful and lush gardens, but in reality, people here tear down
trees and plants and replace them with asphalt and concrete. Miami is
no paradise - it has become a third world banana republic that broke
away from the United States a long time ago.
Miami is a city with some of the worst traffic in North America. The
roads here are inadequate, sub standard and generally f**ked up.
Construction here takes 1,000 times longer than it does in the rest of
the United States. Drivers here are amongst the rudest in the
country. Not only are the drivers here rude, but they're downright
reckless too. They drive like maniacs in their Ford F150s, Dodge Rams
or Honda Civics, with reggaeton blasting. This is a city with far too
many "hit and run" type accidents - in other words, not only will they
run you over, but they'll drive off, because t
Quality of life in Miami is decreasing at an alarming rate. Most people know of the common concerns with living in South Florida... hurricanes, property insurance and tax nightmare, crime etc...however, skyrocketing health and auto insurance rates, transportation gridlock, uncontrolled building, low wage growth, crowded schools/universities have lead to long time residents leaving the South Florida area. For the first time in many years public schools are reflecting a decrease in enrollment due to families moving from the area. As a 40 year resident of Miami, my time will arrive in 2008 when my son graduates from HS and will likely be accepted at a good public university (FL has some of the largest public university enrollments) in NC or GA while my wife and I will appreciate living a less stressful life with a higher quality of living
We moved from Austin, Tx to Miami FL 4 years ago. Big change!!We knew it would be, but moved down to be closer to family that live here. I'm Swedish and my husband is american, born and raised in NY. We moved to TX after College and had good jobs and a comfortable life. My husband is now self employed and we are doing really well. For US standards we would be upper middle class to whealty, but in Miami we are struggeling. Ok. we are not poor, but our mortage payments are killing us, and now we're paying $17000.00 a year for kindergarten and daycare for our kids. Public schools are out of the question here. We are not snobs, in Tx I would have no problem with public school, but in Miami...NO WAY.
Miami is not a child friendly city, nothing is geared towards kids living here...there are a lot of things for tourists but not for kids living here.
I think my favorite part of raising kids here is that they are in a muli cultural enviroment, we have the ocean and beaches and our family live here.
I think it's a great place for people without kids, if they can afford the lifestyle. It's a very phony place, be and be seen, and I hear dating here can be a nightmare.
Our biggest issue with Miami is the cost of living, my property Taxes are $27000 a year, my insurance $ 17000 a year...did I mention our mortage....!
We love living close to our childrens grandparents but the price tag is getting high, we have no money to put away for savings...and we still drive our old 1990 and 2000 model Mitusbishis...our kids go to a presbyterian school now, but in a few years we need to find another school as this one only goes to 4th grade. It is very scary....I'm not a person that believe money is everything, but I do like security. Suddenly our $179000 home and excellent public schools in Tx seems like a sweet dream that we should never have left. I know this seems negative, but it is the honest truth...it's expensive here...very expensive. It's also beatiful, exciting and suprisingly friendly, but all in all, I think I'd like to move to a more down to earth place to raise my family...we'll have to see if we can move the grandparen
Philly - 12/12/2012
It pretty much has everything a large city has to offer... [read more...]
Moving to the east coast - 10/2/2012
I am moving to the east coast from the south to start a new chapter in life with my boyfriend and my new job..I read alot of negative reviews and i feel that everywhere there is crime and ect. I am moving from a smaller city and don't get me wrong i am a little nervous but, when people plan on moving people need to prepare themselves mentally and emotionally.I am moving from a city where the city moves a little slower to a fast pace city but, again i am preparing myself.I hate to hear people talking negative about other cities because these cities are homes to families and no one wants to here people talking about the city the were raised in and grew up in.I love the city i grew up in and even if i am moving it would bother me if i would hear someone talking about the city i grew up in.I can't wait to see the history of Phillidelphia and i can't wait to start a new chapter in my life in a new city and with the person that i love.This well, be the first big city i live in and visit.I have never experience the L train or even a subway so, i look foward to the change and we need to give every city a chance. We can't judge one bad apple from the bunch.[read more...]
A REALY BAD PLACE TO LIVE. - 7/4/2012
I was born and raised in Philadelphia 1948 to 1966. Graduated from Father Judge High School and went into the Army for 20 years. Retired and returned to Philadelphia in 1986. I was shocked to find that every living family member had moved away from Philadelphia. I'am talking over 72 people moved out of the city and most moved out of the State. I had to find out for myself, why my City was not the place I grew up in. Well, it did not take long to figure out how bad Philadelphia had become. I moved to Northeast Philadelphia, wanted to take my kids into the City to show off the great cultural locations near downtown. I took public transportation as I did when I was growing up in the City. That was a mistake. It was filthy and on the elevated train "The L" we were robbed at gun point. After arriving in downtown a guy tried to pick my pocket at Independence Hall. I could not sent my kids to public school because they were tormented everyday because they were white. Move the kids to Catholic School and not much better.
I had to leave Philadelphia. It truly is the worst City in America. Before you decide to move to Philadelphia, look up the US Census reports for 1990, 2000 and 2010. you will see why no one wants to live there. "White flight".[read more...]
Hello, folks - THE GRASS IS ALWAYS GREENER (if you - 4/24/2012
I've sat for the last hour and read the reviews of Philadelphia. There are many things that are true that have been written and then there are alot of things that are actually incredibly exaggerated or just one person's experience (although, isn't that what all of these "reviews" are?). One thing that I'm noticing with some of the comments is that some of the people who hate the city seem to have lived there their whole life. Guess what, I hated Philly too after I lived there my whole life. I moved away to "awesome" NYC for 13 years. Now, I've moved back to Philly. There's a time in your life where you realize the grass is greener and sometimes, home is where the heart is. Of course, this is subjective b/c I have family and roots in Philly/Philly 'burbs so I'm not looking to find a way to build those roots up. I signed up for this site just so I could give people another perspective in case they are considering moving to Philly/philly area (remember that many who say they are from philly live right outside the city - philly has alot of great areas that are very close to the city limits).
I almost died laughing when I read that one guy (Louis?) write about how homes in philly will cost $110,000+. Ok, so here's where I am different. I really believe if you are middle/lower middle class or poor, Philly is probably not the best place to live. But give me a city on the east coast where living within those financial means results in living in a wonderful area of the city? Do you know that my husband and I collectively made almost $200,000 a year and are considered MIDDLE class in new york city? all those people giving the stupid advice to not move to Philly but to move to NYC are smoking something. There is no way in Philadelphia I would be considered in the Middle to lower-middle class making that money - I'm able to make choices as a member of the upper middle class/upper class. The options (housing, recreation, quality of life) for people who make over $80,000 a year in the Philadelphia area are quite higher than the options for those in NYC. I am not really talking about the single, newly college grad whose parents are paying for their "soho apartment" in NYC. I'm talking about the NYC resident that works their ar$e off every day to make ends meet, whether they make $40,000 a year or $150,000 a year. Your options are not great in NYC for living in a decent place unless you make some SERIOUS adjustments to what you want. You will STILL end up in an area almost similar to what some of these Philly reviewers are talking about if you want a decent apartment/home to live in. Unless, of course, you want to raise your kids in a 1 bedroom shoebox in a 6th floor walkup - then you may be able find something within your price range in an area of the city that is totally safe and desirable with decent transportation options and possible green space close by (don't be fooled - NYC is not filled with green space - Central and Prospect Parks are only 2 parks).
Bottom line is, Philadelphia is what you make of it and I do believe, like many other cities, income and education level MAY dictate some of the quality of life you can find in Philly. I'm so glad many reviewers here are balanced in their opinions - there is so much to celebrate in Philadelphia if people take advantage of those amazing things. The city gets a RIDICULOUSLY bad rap. I really struggle to understand it. Philly is actually one of the few cities left with actual neighborhoods. Try finding real NEIGHBORHOODS in manhattan or even alot of brooklyn at this point. They are disappearing. one reason is b/c NYC is made up of transplants now b/c the locals haven't been able to keep up with cost of living and are forced to leave (unless you are a lucky one to have bought pre-80's or you are in a prized rent-controlled apartment or you live in the crime-ridden areas). This is true. The majority of people that live here in the "nicer" areas now are transplants from other places that come b/c they CAN AFFORD it or their families are helping out.
People in Philly don't leave. Some don't leave b/c they love it, others don't leave b/c they just want to complain and are too scared to go somewhere else. I agree that many Philadelphians can act very ignorant and uncultured. Many of my aunts and uncles are like this. I do love them and understand them b/c they are family and are mostly like this b/c they are undereducated and understimulated. They don't take advantage of what Philadelphia has to offer. But for every ignorant person, there is a cultured person. There are so many people with masters degrees in and around the philly area. the place is packed w/ more colleges and universities than any other city (besides boston). greenspace, museums, history - CULTURE CULTURE CULTURE! Oh and the restaurant scene!
Since moving back to the area I can afford to not only purchase property, I can also afford a babysitter so my husband and I can sometimes go for a drink or (shocker!) check out one of the new, amazing restaurants in and around the philly area. We can also afford groceries and we can afford a gym membership and don't have to make stupid choices that we had to make when we lived in NYC (I had to cancel my YMCA membership b/c even THAT was too expensive per month in NYC - also had to cancel a music class for my kid b/c they charged $40 each 45 minute class and I couldn't justify it - I didn't care that celebrities kids did the class!).
I'm sorry for my rant and maybe others do not understand where I am coming from but I think it's important to know that if you make a decent living in the Philly/burbs area, you can have a quality of life that you just can't have in many other East Coast cities. I don't know if I would choose to raise my kids inside central Philly unless I could afford to live right in Center City/Rittenhouse. I think people forget that there are some excellent places to live on the fringe of Philly (parts of Mt. Airy and Chestnut Hill) as well as an incredibly vast amount of suburbs to choose from. Most of the burbs are well connected via SEPTA to the city. If you make a good living, you can purchase a very nice house for well UNDER $400,000. Where can you get a 4 bedroom home with outdoor space in NYC or even in the burbs of NYC for that cost. YOU CAN'T. I had a friend that moved 2 hours outside of the city (commuting into midtown EVERY DAY) so she could afford a home for her family. I could go on and on.
Just remember, with every city there is good and bad. It may seem like Philly is crime and drug-ridden and that no other city is as bad but it's just not true. So many cities are spread out in a different way (Philly isn't very big and it seems like it's everywhere), have dissolved neighborhoods in order to cater to the young and rich (about 80% of the once middle-class neighborhoods of NYC do NOT exist anymore - and even the neighborhoods in PHilly that are attempting to do the same can't fully b/c 6 blocks up the street is a drug-ridden area that bleeds into the hipster area) and haven't had mayors that completely TAKE OVER to create a weird "Starbucks Tourist Utopia" (yeah, I'm talking about YOU Manhattan!) by banning everything in the world that people can do, forgetting about the little people by ensuring business rents can be SO high that not even a small chain has a chance and making sure you know you are middle class if you make $150,000 a year (NYS gave a bit of a tax cut to middle class new yorkers making under $150,000 a year... yes, sad but true).
Don't even get me started about getting to a decent beach in the nasty NYC summers. hamptons? give me a break! coney island or rockaway beaches? NO THANK YOU! Getting out of the city on a Friday night to even get to the Jersey Shore - 3 or 4 hours later you may be there.
Maybe Philly isn't for everyone but based on my needs (financial security, greenspace, affordability, good restaurants, easy access to other places and cities and CULTURE) well, Philly/burbs is right for my needs at this point in my life.
I hope you give our city and the surrounding area a chance. You may find a few things you like. And honestly, if you hate Philly so much and live here now, do what every other person who couldn't afford NYC anymore did - move down south! You can leave, remember that.
Ok, I'm done! Thanks for reading (if anyone is even doing that).
Moved to Philly from San Francisco - 3/4/2012
I moved to Philly from San Francisco in April 2011, and so far, I actually love it here. It does feel fairly small and confined, as there are large neighborhoods that are best avoided. But it's size has also been one of its strengths, as I felt quite at home with the city in my first month of moving here.
I feel like Philly gets a worse wrap than it deserves - even from the locals. For the most part, I've found it to be a very safe city and incredibly walkable. I live in Center City, and I walk everywhere - Olde City, West Philly, South Philly. I also take the public transportion to neighborhoods that aren't quite as walkable from where I live, like Northern Liberties, Fishtown, and Port Richmond (which has great Polish fare). And while the transportion is nothing compared to other cities like NYC and DC, it's more than adequate.
The quality of life is also a huge plus. I frequently NYC about once a month, where I'll stay with friends in Brooklyn or the Upper West Side. Prices are always double in NYC, and you're not getting anything better. I'm always relieved to come back to Philly and do my Sunday grocery shopping at the Italian Market or Reading Terminal, where produce is cheap enough to experiment.
Certainly, Philly has a number of problems and I by no means want to downplay the crime, which is quite serious in some neighborhoods. But if you stay in the right neighborhoods and just remain alert, this is a great city to explore.
The Good and Bad - 2/22/2012
I'll try to give you the good and the bad of it while first disclosing that I am on this website for a reason. To find a new place to live.
I have lived in four countries, all over the East Coast and have traveled the entire US by car from one end to the other and back...But have planted my roots in Philly for nearly twenty years. It took me a while but I grew to love it for the arts, culture, nightlife, recreation, restaurants, proximity to NYC, AC, beaches (none of the beaches are worth the drive though) and surprisingly, the city is incredibly family friendly.
We have the biggest municipal city park system in the US (Fairmount Park), miles and miles of jogging/cycling trails, a great zoo, Japanese Garden, Arboretums, Museums, and did I mention the history? There was a major Revolutionary War battle about two blocks from my house! (The Battle of Germantown) How cool is that? And If you like music, whoever your favorite band is...they will be coming to Philly at some point.
Into running? How about a yearly Marathon/half Marathon and the largest 10 miler in the country (Broad Street Run)
In short, Philadelphia has a great deal to offer. If only the people here could appreciate it. Which brings me to the bad.
And it gets really..really...bad.
The crime and drugs and violence are off the charts. I can fill a grocery bag with the amount of trash and weed baggies I have to pick out of my front lawn and sidewalk on trash day, NOBODY says hello to you on the street (unless a mean look is "hello") and the homicide rate is not only a national disgrace, it's also terrifying for a parent like myself. I do not live in the burbs. I live in a neighborhood that has seen three murders (on my street alone) since I moved in seven years ago.
I've seen guys with guns drawn, pointed at each other in a standoff directly in front of my house. It's bad.
If you can't get your kids into a decent Charter School, you better be prepared for home schooling.
I could go on and on. It's an amazing city, it has so much to offer and so much potential, well beyond it's incredible history! I have seen most of the major cities of this country and most don't even compare to Philadelphia. It's just a shame it's being run down with drugs and violence.
Needless to say, I want out.
In short, if you are on the East Coast and you want to live in the city (and have the cash flow) Go to NYC! [read more...]
City Of Brotherly Love! - 2/16/2012
I have lived in Philadelpia for 15 years. It is a great city very diverse and it has so much to offer in and around the city for everyone of all ages. The art's, museams,feastivals,theathers,sports arena's great park's and some of the best historial areas any town or city could offer. Philadelpia is also conveniencely located to all beaches,amusement parks and casino's in Atlantic City,NJ. It public transportation very large (SEPTA. If you love a big beautiful lovely city with LOT"S to offer Philadelpia is the place to come and stay.[read more...]
Philly not the place to be unless you live in a fe - 2/8/2012
I was born, raised and still live in Philadelphia. The crime and drugs are rampant. Real jobs are at a premium. Sure they are bunch of clothing store, fast foods, and other low paying jobs. Most of the decent paying jobs are in Center City or the Suburbs. Most good jobs require your to go to the King of Prussia area where you will be stuck in traffic all day. The murder rates are through the roof and never really go down. Certain neighborhoods the cops have pretty much forgotten about. The city keeps electing the same clowns for Mayor's and Council, thus no real change will ever happen if at all possible. The water quality is fine here dont listen to the one poster. The City has a good night life, clubs, bars and restaurants.Beautiful parks and scenery can be found here. One of the biggest park system is found here. Not all neighborhoods are bad. There are still a few good places to live. However, this also comes with some stipulation. First of all the houses basically 60+ year old row homes come at a premium. The houses here run 110 grand on up. Secondly the bad elements are constantly moving closer and closer to the few remaining good to decent neighborhoods left in the city. Rent in a decent neighborhood is usually $1000+ for a 1 bedroom. Although if you look enough you can probably find something around $800. Also you can buy a house in what is consider a decent neighborhood today and seemingly overnight it can go to a bad neighborhood. One such neighborhood in this transition is the Tacony section of the city. The houses here still run about a 100 grand. However, many sections of this neighborhood have or will become drug infested. Also Philadelphia isnt the cleanest city in the country. Trash is everywhere more so than you average large city. [read more...]
It's Ok! - 12/14/2011
I don't have much to say about Philadelpahia...it's a city! And like most cities in America, Philadelphia has good and bad effects on all people. [read more...]
STAY AWAY, FAR, FAR, AWAY!!! - 9/28/2011
Trust me, this place is so polluted and smells so bad you might get cancer just from visiting!!!!! The water and air is SICKENING! Stay away from this dump! Too much crime! Everything is overpriced and people that "like" it here are really lying to themselves and other people. No living creature could like this place. [read more...]
Philadelphia is a TERRIBLE place to live. - 8/25/2011
I have been in Philadelphia, PA for my entire life. I was born here, went to college here, married and had a family here. If you are in search of a clean, peaceful, safe, friendly environment, this is NOT the place to be. You have been warned.[read more...]
Philly - 8/3/2011
Philly steadily improving. Great bars and restaurants and tight communities. Crime still a problem so be selective where you live[read more...]
Could Agree With You More - Philly is Not a Good P - 6/19/2011
This comment is in response to the person who wrote in July 2010 (I believe)that Philadelphia is not a great place to move/relocate. I am a 45 year old African-American woman, born and bred in the heart of Philadlephia. Philly seemed like a great place grow up, attend some to the best colleges (Temple Univ. grad), find a decent job and raise a family. Instead all of the big companies have exited the city, including Budd, TastyKake, Botany 500 and others. The jobs are scarce and if you want to raise your family in a nice neighborhood, be prepared to pay nearly $150,000 - $225,000 for a row home or twin home...not even a single/detached home. The crime is so through the roof that I don't watch the local news because it's too depressing. I watch CNN, MSNBC and HLN instead. Police officers are gunned down everytime you turn around. The sections of the city like West Philly, South Philly, North Philly, Mount Airy and other sections are so segregated...not so much by race but the fact that South Philly people don't venture into West Philly and North Philly don't mess with South Philly and people in Mount Airy are "too good" and don't mess with people in any of the other sections of Philly. Just giving you an idea of the mentality. No one trusts anyone and the people are rude to the 10th power. I dread going to the Pathmark Supermarket or the local CVS Pharmacy because the shoppers/patrons and workers are so uncoof and unprofessional. People grit on you...look you up and down. If you smile or speak to someone you don't know be prepared to be looked at like you're crazy. Everyone cuts you off while you are driving and like the guy said in the earlier post, if you intend on commenting or getting involved like when someone is throwing trash out the window, etc., be prepared for a fight. It's not worth losing your life because Philly folks are on the edge, disrespectful and non-caring. I have live in Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn for a three year stint early in my professional career and never encountered the problems and total disrespect that exist in Philadelphia. Nobody has your back and that's really sad. I can't wait to move away from Philly!!! Don't get me wrong there are bad people everywhere and there are certainly good people in Philadelphia. As for neighborhoods, I love West Mt. Airy, Abington, Horsham, Wynnefield Heights (where I currently reside), Bala Cynwyd, King of Prussia...most of these are suburban surrounding areas. The teenagers are tearing apart downtown Philly/Center City with the flash mobs, smash and grab acts of violence. So if you are planning to relocate here, please think again. The glossy brochures glamorize downtown...the Liberty Bell...Besty Ross House...Rocky Steps...we'll you get what I'm saying but please investigate the real deal about Philth a del phia...City of Brotherly Hate and Sisterly Non-Affection.[read more...]
This place is horrible.. - 5/17/2011
Read Colin post. Basically this is my post deja-vu style. The people are HORRIBLE and flaky. I moved there cuz I thought hey I could use a break from the awesomenes of NY and still save money.
WRONG! Everyone smokes PCP out there, so they're crazy. Hey ride by the conders, you'll hear a menu of drugs and you wonder, what happened to the cops? Did they abandon this place to leave these undesirables to their own devices.
in a nutshell, you have small center city which is decent for a city. but it's small. the surrounding area is basically slums, lower -middle class..and surrounding that are rednecks and deer and trash. this whole state is drug-infested and the crime is through the roof. This is one place where I thought why is there so much trashy people around me.
it's also a very non-cultured city, despite what you've thought as these people have never been to NYC and it's a few hours away.
You 'can' live in Center City but well there aren't much jobs in the downtown area, despite being called downtown. You'll probalby end up working somewhere where you have to drive 2 hours in crappy traffic just to get tehre to work with non-cultured people who can only talk about sports.
I can go on and on, but this place is horrible. There's a BBC documentary on youtube about Phily. I suggest you check it out. Everyone was high on PCP in the documentary too. Everyone I met in this state was so backwards and so undependable, and everyone was to them too.[read more...]
Lovin Philly - 1/19/2011
Fantastic city. Offers all the diversity of a global city with the small town feel of a regional metro. Due to geography and a parochial legacy the city is organized in compact, relatively well defined neighborhood. Its easy to immerse yourself and in no time become involved in the community. The hurdle is being considered a local. And the only way way to achieve that status is to unapologetically be yourself.[read more...]
Philly is great...but - 12/29/2010
I've lived in and around Philadelphia for nearly 10 years. There are some great qualities to the city that folks seem to forget about when hearing about the negatives (I'll get to those in a minute). The city has a vibrant arts, cultural, sports, and nightlife scene, arguably the best restaurants anywhere in the country, and has a very walkable downtown and the major parkways in the city are located within a mile of Center City. Housing is reasonable -- although can be very pricey for areas that have the "good" reputation going for it. The region boasts a very solid mix of new economy jobs (health, biotech, and technology) and some really good suburban communities that are close-knit and safe.
There are some real negatives. The city has a very regressive taxation policy that prevents economic growth within its borders (most of the "bigger" corporate centers are outside of the city and traffic going out of the city in the AM can sometimes be worse than the commute into the city), they have a ridiculously high wage tax which helps keep middle class folks out of the city and living in the townships outside of it, and corruption and pay-to-play politics run rampant throughout the city government. Poverty is extensive, mainly in north, west, and southwest Philadelphia and those areas are also the most crime-infested. Random acts of violence by teens/gangs *can* happen in the main business areas but they are not widespread and are very isolated in general. Mass transit is brutal and inefficient for a city of this size within the city limits but the regional train system going from the city to burbs is top notch (14 lines of trains serving the region but only two subway lines within the city limits). Suburban sprawl is a major problem here as well, especially in Montgomery and Chester Counties where bad land use policies are pushing development farther and farther out into Berks and even Lancaster Counties.
As for its people, any large city has a mix of folks who aren't the brightest or are closed-minded. I don't hold that against Philadelphia because I've lived and have visited other cities that have a more "progressive" reputation that feature the same mix of people. The city holds fast and true to traditions and is generally more conservative than people think given the tendency for this city to vote for Democrats at a 4:1 clip. Provincialism reigns supreme here and people are not apt to travel north of Market Street if they live south of it (or west of the Schuylkill River if they live east of it). People identify less with Philadelphia than with the neighborhood they live in. They are good people though; a bit less fake friendly than other cities but they are helpful if you need anything. Yes, there are rude people who spout off some "attytood" when they are bumped but every other major city like Chicago, LA, New York, etc. have them as well.
The best comparison city to Philadelphia is probably Chicago -- close-knit neighborhoods, strong ethnic heritage, government corruption, old-boys network, with a less pro-business environment and a milder winter thrown in. If you want a liberal, progressive enclave, Philadelphia is not Seattle or Boston. If you want efficient government, this isn't the town for you. If you want a city with generally good people on the whole and a city that brings a vibrant cultural experience that is located close to NY, DC, and other big East Coast cities while being affordable in comparison then this definitely is a place to consider moving to. [read more...]
I'm not quite sure why everyone hates Philly that - 12/22/2010
...I'm a transplant, having lived in Boston for the better part of 20 years before moving to Philly in 2002. I live in Center City Philadelphia, first renting and then having bought a place with my wife in the Rittenhouse/Fitler Square area.
So here's my take on Philly after having lived in New England most of my life. Surprisingly friendly place, very "easy" city to live in, quite affordable -- you can buy a house in the best parts of Philly that you never could manage in NY or Boston, good arts scene, excellent restaurants, and very walkable city. (I gave up my car and use a car share group.)
Now there are definitely negatives about Philly. I personally hate this climate -- way too hot and humid in the summers and the winters are generally cool, but not all that interesting for anyone who likes snowstorms. City services here are decidedly mixed: buses are expensive, the subway's coverage is pretty limited, and there's an almost "Rhode-Islandesque" level of ingrained corruption here. We've got a pretty bad tax situation here with a 4.x% city wage tax and the bizarrely named "business privilege tax," which sure seems to limit the potential business growth. And of course, we don't have the beauty of New England just a stone's throw away.
But with all that, I can easily say that I prefer Philly to Boston -- though not the nearby environs relative to New England and I'd have to say that Philly is a very under-rated town. Yes, we've got our problems, but it truly does feel like home to me. And IMHO, we've got a very reasonable chance of making it an even nicer place to live.
For a city with lots of universities - 11/12/2010
I have lived here 10 years and have found that for a city with so many schools including 1 ivy league University and 2 top tier schools--the city and the people are rather provincial and closed minded. Very segregated adn racist, ignorant and slow.
what could be a good city is destroyed by entrenched ignorance, closed mindedness, crime and racism[read more...]
Home is where the heart is - 9/8/2010
As a Philly native, I will always consider this city home. But as I grow older my values and preferences are changing and I desire to change my place of residence as a result. Personally the most significant change has been my renewed commitment to personal health/physical fitness. Philly has alot of green space to reinforce a healthy and active lifestyle. The only thing missing is a fabulous beach to show off my newly acquired beach body! And after a few trips to Miami FL and Orange County CA, unfortunately the jersey shore just wont cut it any more!
So Philly will always have my a place in my heart, but I'm pretty 'shore' that my desire for clear water and bright sand will eventually lead me to simply have to find a new place!
Thinking of moving to Philadelphia? The worst mis - 7/29/2010
On the outside, it looks and sounds like the ideal place to live. Glossy marketing brochures and videos proudly display "Philly" with happy, smiling, good natured people and touts the city as the birthplace of the nation with a rich historical past! If you are tourist, visiting for the weekend, then hopefully that is exactly what you see. There is real history, great restaurants and affordable housing as well.
However, if you plan on moving to this city you will be in absolute shock by the end of your first year. This is the worst city I have ever lived in and I have lived in many, in different countries. As for background, I am a middle income person with a professional degree. I don't really know where to start, since so many other people have covered many of the issues this city is plagued with in previous posts.
I will stick to the people. Philadelphia is a city of segregation, aggression and hate, which stretches across race and socio-economic status. The two largest ethnic groups are white and black and I think Sperling has it at about 52% and 43%? In Philadelphia, the majority (NOT ALL) of blacks and whites do not get along and violence runs rampant. Intimidation and outward aggression should be expected in your daily routine. Look at someone the wrong way and you had be prepared for a confrontation for "disrespecting" someone. Accidentally bump into someone on the bus or sidewalk, be prepared to be cursed out or challenged. Dare to say something about what is happening around you (like when I witnessed a woman openly beating her child in a supermarket) and you can expect to become VERY involved. The motto in this city, is "do not get involved" - which is counter-intuitive everything I know.
People are beaten and killed in the decrepit subway system (weekday, mid-day) by gangs of angry black youths, so much so, that they have fully armed "school police" to try and curb the problem. Large groups of teens participate in "catch n' wreck", a game where 50-100 teens meet at a common location and then run through the city, stealing, trashing stores, smashing cars and beating people up, in a uncontrolled rage. This has occurred so often that the mayor had to try and impose a curfew for young people 16 and under. The same type of violence occurs in the public school system and many parents who can't afford private school, home school their kids (a simple search in youtube will document this).
Let's not forget the massive number of white, drunken, union-types (NOT ALL). These groups of guys in their mid 20's-30's, rregularly beat fans of visiting sports teams to a pulp and murdered two people last year in the parking lot of the Phillies baseball stadium. There is a real jail in each of our three sporting arenas, if that gives you an underlying sense of how this city operates. The strong union, back-bone in this city has fallen from the noble job of protecting the worker in unsafe conditions and fair wages - to ensuring a worker can never be fired, (ever). This partially contributes to the all-day, drinking sessions that occur in many of these groups and fuels aggression and out-of-control behavior.
White on white crime is just as bad as black on black crime in this City of Hate. We are second in violent, shooting, deaths, only to Camden, NJ (located just across the bridge in New Jersey, a 5 minute ride). More police officers are murdered on the job than in ANY other city. Many people carry guns, both legally and illegally. Most people carry a weapon of some kind. The mindset is hatred.
Underlying racial tension persists most of the time, but you never fully get used to it. It makes you feel as if you need to be "on guard" 24/7. There exists a feeling that something "bad is going to happen", so you try and avoid anyone who appears like they might be "trouble". Philly has taught me to say nothing, be prepared for the worst and second guess everyone.
Philadelphia is a city with such major attitude and you had either be willing to argue and have it escalate OR take the abuse on a daily basis. People do not respect each other, the city or themselves and therein lies the problem. It is very common to see people walking down the street and simply tossing their trash along side them without looking back. People roll down the windows of their cars and routinely throw out whatever fast-food trash (cups, bags, wrappers, boxes, etc) they have finished with. If you plan on saying something, like a normal citizen might, please go back to the top of this paragraph and begin reading again.... I am going to guess that about 85% of the people in this city regularly spit on the sidewalk, streets or out car windows. Most city sidewalks are covered in dog poop, as many do not pick up after their animals. The best part about all of this is that the same people who throw trash, spit and let their dog defecate on sidewalks, LIVE in the same neighborhoods.
Yes, there are good people in Philadelphia and please come for a visit, but then go back home. I would never, ever, tell anyone to move here. The saddest part about it all, is that is appears to be such a great place to live. Bad people outweigh the good, 100-1. If you are considering a move, please reflect on what I have written.
Do you feel you need a fact-check for a lot of what I am saying? I agree and I really do encourage it. Simply Google some of what I have outlined above and discover for yourself, through major news outlets or legitimate community websites. Although, you will notice that most of the violent news is normally buried, to try and downplay the time bomb that is "Philth-a-delphia", (a common slang name associated with this city).
Be sure to look for the online maps that outline the murder and violent crimes by neighborhood; as well as the ones that show the 40,000 abandoned properties (most owned by the corrupt city), so you can understand why things in a glossy brouchure, are not always as they appear.[read more...]