Philly has some amazing attributes. This city has fantastic nightlife and a lot of things to do. The museums are superb and constantly have interesting new exhibits. There are a lot of unique restaurants to check out, second-hand book stores, boutiques and shops. Catch a cool indie flick at the Ritz, go to the Philadelphia Zoo or check out the Italian market and have a great afternoon with friends, family or an SO. The arts scene in Philly is pretty strong, and there are many amazing art schools here [like Moore]. This is the bright side of Philly.
That being said, Philly is NOT the city I'd recommend someone to move to. If a friend was looking to move and asked me, 'is Philly a good choice?' I would say "absolutely not"!
As others have noted here, it's fair to say that the entire structure of Philadelphia is falling apart. The streets are often littered, polluted and buildings are kept in poor condition. There's a polarizing mix of highly safe areas with extremely sketchy and dangerous areas, and it can be difficult to draw clear boundaries as to which area is which. For example, Drexel is an amazing school and living in close proximity to Drexel is safe, but go 9 or 10 blocks beyond the campus and you hit sketchy territory. It's not unfair to say that the safety level of the city varies from block to block. There are quite a few unsafe areas in Philadelphia. That being said, it's a big city, so you can't expect it to be like suburbia at all. But, it's also important to be realistic.
In terms of friendliness, Philadelphia is not a very friendly city, but it's not overly hostile. You'll get a typical northeastern welcome here - a reserved air of friendliness or plain old indifference. If you're coming up from down south, do not expect it to be appropriate to make conversation with strangers or even exchange a few friendly words while in the market, on the bus, etc. Don't make it a point to hello to anyone you don't know while in the city. Most people in this area and on the Main Line [Devon, Malvern, West Chester etc.] do not take kindly to interacting with strangers. Most people are rushed, usually in a hurry when they drive [tail gating and dangerous driving is a huge drawback to this area] and look down or on their phones [of course] while they walk. It's fast paced living, and for sensitive types, it can be cold. I, personally, am tired of this attitude and would like to get away from it. Although I don't like anyone intruding on my personal space, it's nice to see friendly faces when you're out and about. If by some miracle, Philly could get a heart transplant and be injected with some spirit, it would be the ideal city! Sadly, this doesn't seem to be possible any time soon. If ever. Maybe it's just a northern thing.
Shopping isn't extensive. If you love to hit up a big mall, you'll have to drive into King of Prussia [anywhere from a 30 to 90 minute drive depending on 1-76 traffic, which is pretty severe]. That being said, KOP is an acclaimed mall: there's just about every speciality store and chain shop under the sun in that mall. It doesn't disappoint. Restaurants are plentiful and diverse, but customer service is a hit or a miss [like any other big city].
Unfortunately, despite its thriving cultural scene, Philly is an exhausted city with a lot of re-building to do and crime and garbage to clean up, and you won't find a lot of enthusiasm or optimism here. It's a 'survival of the fittest' themed city great for young professionals with goals to achieve, but terrible for anyone who is naturally kind and not accustomed to cold city life. It's great for an interesting visit, but a bad place to permanently move to.
I just read a bad review on Philly. They said Good luck if your car brakes down. Well 2X's this has happened to me in downtown. 1st AAA was great. Needed a jump at 1am. not a problem 2nd I was @ the car show on the last day and came out only to get a flat 5 blocks away. a local guy helped me. Again around midnight and no problems. I think philly is a place where if you walk with confidence and are POLITE the city will respond in kind. I also enjoy the artwork on the buildings. I was walking around down by the Hard Rock one day and missed the last SPLASH bus back to the art museum. MY BAD. LOL. Anyways, some guy was sleeping on a bench so I walked up to him and said excuse me sir. How do I take the bus back to the art museum? He looked me up and down said take the 32 bus and have 2$ even they don't give change and sit in the front if you can.Now I take the bus like a pro when I go to PHILLY. I have yet however to venture underground. When I do I will post.
I have always enjoyed philly. Nothing made me relize how much till yesterday. See, I go to do alot of stuff in Philly. You can spend the whole day doing things for free or spend some money and do even more. i have always said I have never had a problem in Philly. With any of the worker, or ppl in general. I go to alot of concerts in Philly and have never had a bad experience. I guess I didn't realize how good Philly has been to me until I went to the READING EAGLE yesterday for a concert. Now... I have seen this band many of X's in Philly. So it's NOT the group of ppl that were there. 1. I have NEVER been kicked off the property before the doors are due to open. 2. The staff has NEVER told me to back to the other side of the street with a train on the tracks and the GATES DOWN.
3. The STAFF IN PHILLY were personable.
4. The STAFF IN PHILLY knew what doors were going to be used.
5. The STAFF IN PHILLY gave us all water on hot days.
6. PHILLY HAS PORTTA JONS!
To say I will NEVER GO BACK TO READING and will always spend my hard earned $$$$$ in PHILLY with a smile on my face is an under statement. GO PHILLY you guys are the true representation of BROTHERLY LOVE.
During the 13 months that I had the misfortune of living in Philadelphia, the city got voted "ugliest in America". I don't disagree. The survey was referring to the people of Philly, but this could easily be said of the trash covered sidewalks, car bumpers laying in the middle of streets for weeks on end, broken windows, graffiti, and general run down condition of this once great city. The unemployment rate is sky high, the crime rates are sky high, and the politeness factor is non-existent.
You can drive down any major street with on street parking and see numerous rear view mirrors dangling from the cars they were once attached to, because other drivers hit them as they drive along, and think nothing of this.
I have never lived in a city where store shelves are bare for no apparent reason. The people were unbelievable. My husband calls it "aggressive ignorance". So much attitude, and adults bragging about how many fist fights they have been in. No respect for other people's property. My sweaty gym clothes (really drenched and disgusting) got stolen out of my locker at the gym on Christmas Eve. That to me was the essence of Philly.
In the city we live in now (on the West Coast) my husband dropped his ipod in our drivway by accident, and it lay there for two days with no one touching it. I'm sticking to the West Coast.
I don't think the whole city of Philadelphia is riddled with crime. Crime occurs in specific areas as with any city. I have lived in the northeast area for some years and find it to be a diverse and safe place to live. The cost of living here is also reasonable. If your interested in nightlife or attended major attractions on the weekends, downtown Philadelphia has a huge variety. I will say this however, if you are a family looking for a quality education for your children, this would not be the best place to live. Philadelphia has a very poor education system, with the exception of charters schools and schools in the more suburban areas. Philadelphia is a city that is a lot cleaner than say, New York and there isn't a great amount of unattractive building structures, unless you go downtown.
I have lived in numerous places and decided to take a job in Philadelphia about 8 years ago. The worst mistake ever. I have four children who are school age and since I left North Carolina their grades have slipped I ended having to quit my job and began volunteering at the school to see what was going on. Absolutely nothing but a bunch of screaming at kids, kids cursing like it was nothing, I felt like I was in a juvenile prison instead of a school. Walked in a class were a teacher was doing nothing but playing on her computer while all her kids were huddled in a court laughing and carrying on. When I took the approach to contact someone I was told I could no longer volunteer there anymore. I was also told if in the city of Philadelphia I wanted my kids to have a good education I would have to pay for it or get on a lottery list for the charter schools. I also have a child who had some mental health issues and never received any help until after he was in trouble and 18 years of age, but then it was to late. You have no human rights in this city everyone is considered a criminal not unless you are a Philadelphia cop or a family member of one. My son was severally beaten one night cops were called and they did nothing because they would have to chase down the persons who did this and backup for this time was unavailable, WHAT? The city is so unsafe there are three to four bars on each street corner and the most violent come out of there either walking or driving irraticly. I have vented with coworkers and philadelphia cops in reference to this and the statement was I should leave as fast as I could because the city has gone to hell. These cops now live in my home state of North Carolina and as soon as I sale my home which I purchased 5 years ago at the price of $278,000 which is now valued at $153,000 I will leave. You can tell just how bad things are when home prices drop almost $100,000 in your area in less than a 5 year span. I am afraid to leave my home so I purchase all clothing, groceries, etc. online. My 18, 16, 15 year old kids have a strict 9 oclock curfew and can only be the area of our home when out with their friends. I feel as if I am living in total hell. May God help my family until we can leave this most God awful place. If you are stranded or need help, you are not gonna get that here. The areas are getting more and more filthy by the milisecond here. I am ashamed to bring most family to visit due to the conditions and never ask them to come here I always visit them, because of safety and health concerns...... If you are planning a trip here or planning to take a job here, PLEASE RECONSIDER!!!!!!
negatives of phila: ALMOST EVERYTHING!!!
I absolutely HATE phila!! It is overcrowded with disgusting nasty no class citizens! Over the top crime. SUPER dirty! I cant WAIT to make enough money to RUN FAR AWAYY!!! the property taxes outside philly would be paid by absolute NUTS. A tiny ghetto house cost $250000!! In suburbs u wont find anything nice and spacious under 400000$$ plus taxes of min 7000/yr!!! sales tax in phila is 8%!!! nasty run down schools...nasty roads...horrible!!! WORSE THAT UNDERDEVEOPED countries!!! the parks have rapist...murderes...fairmount park has rapes every weeks...drugs like CRaZYY..absolutely no good schools!! check greatschools.org...impossible to raise kids without them using drugs...obese etc
decent paying jobs if u have a BAchelors degree in a marketable field like IT, healthcare etc...great colleges/universities...many quality hospitals.
the NEGATIVES outweight the POSITIVES=((((
Philadelphia is not just a city, but it is instead a vibrant energized community filled with excitement, sensuality, fun and tranquility. I loved moving here from the desert city of Tucson, Arizona, and here's why. I love strolling through South Street Philly where the sounds are electrifying. I hear the beats of local bands blazing out of the local pubs, and there along the sidewalk, a group of college boys clink their bottles of Yuenglings, a Pennsylvania brewed beer. Shrieks of laughter waif out the pubs and local restaurants. Along the busy sidewalks a hip and vibrant crowd swarm the streets with the chatter of gossip, gaiety, and howls of laughter. I'm drawn into this noisy inviting crowd as I allow the sound of music and laughter thrill and entice me along, and eventually I find myself ordering a Philly Cheese Steak. Nothing is better than a Philly Cheese Steak, and with great anticipation I gobble up the warm cheesesteak as it melts into my mouth - pure bliss. The cheesesteak has been cooked to perfection with a chewy toasted bread, delicious and tender steak, caramelized onions, and cheese making it a perfect blend of harmony. When in the city of Brotherly Love you have to indulge Philly style, and residents all over Philly indulge, because it's the uniformity of each bite that makes the cheesesteak irresistible.
I absolutely love walking into the Old World which is the 9th Street Italian Market district in South Philly, because it makes my mouth salivate, and my eyes are captivated by the many colorful and enticing sights. Spurts of Italy are splashed everywhere with over thirty authentic shops, and more than forty produce stands line the streets, and your nose will lead you there as enticing aromas fill the air.
Across the parkway there is the majestic Philadelphia Museum of Art, and when you climb its lofty 72 steps, especially in Rocky Balboa style, you emerge on top of the world as you find yourself overlooking the Ben Franklin Parkway outlined with the world's flags, and just above the horizon peaks of the city's skyline mark the sky. Exhilaration and joy always floods over me as I look out at this magnificent sight while pausing to catch my breath. Behind the Museum of Art lies the beautiful Schuylkill River. I love to walk along the river and see Boathouse Row where racks of kayaks, canoes, and boats line up in front of the Victorian style crew houses. Along the way I come to the peace and quiet of the huge Fairmount Park. I can linger here for hours just blocks away from the noise and crowds of downtown. Fairmount Park makes it easy to forget you are in a major metropolis with its tranquil and lush setting. Yes this is Philly, and it's a place of intense excitement, fun, sensuality, and also tranquility. And this is why I moved here.
I live about an hour north of Phillie, we've been in the area for about four years now. A few times a year we've traveled to Philadelphia for one reason or another. Sometimes we go with the kids, sometimes just adults.
The Philadelphia Zoo is definitely the kid's favorite destination. Each year they have a school trip there, and then they always want to go again. I've traveled to Philadelphia on my own mostly for job fairs. It can be frustrating or rewarding depending on how the fair goes - an hour travel with nothing to show for it can really be annoying. Once I'm down there, even if the job fair doesn't go well I can take the rest of the day to enjoy a good restaurant, visit a museum or stop by one of the synagogues.
There are some parts of Philadelphia that aren't safe. I don't know the city well enough to know what is safe and what isn't, so I stick to pre-planned routes and don't go exploring much.
The 'bad' reason we go down to Philadelphia is doctors' visits. Twice in the last year I've been referred to doctors in Philadelphia, because some of the best pediatric doctors in the country are there. I should be reassured knowing that there are great doctors available if we need them, but I really hate that we need to go to specialists for the kids at all. When we do go on doctors' visits, we try to make the trip a special treat for the kids, going out to a restaurant or visiting the zoo.
I'm not a city person, so I don't enjoy visiting Phillie. I do enjoy taking the kids on fun trips there, and eating in the restaurants.
I've traveled the country, and still I can't think or a better city in the US than Philadelphia, PA. The culture and history abound throughout the city, the restaurants (of which there are many) rank in the top of the nation. The entertainment choices are tops. This is a city of class and elegance you will encounter from the beauty and splendor of Rittenhouse Square, to Logan Circle, and Penn's Landing. Fourth of July, and New Year's Eve and day are unsurpassed in this city as far as celebration and elaborate shows. This city is a power house among cities, but really, other cities such as NYC and Boston are threatened by what it offers and tend to down play its significance. The Philadelphia Orchestra and the Art Museum are unsurpassed for their international excellence. This city has the largest collection of Rodin outside of France! I could go on and on about what you can do and find here, but see it for yourself. I will always cherish and love this city. It has the class and charm I mentioned but it also has grit. What's a city without grit?
My bottom line is that I tell my friends that if they find themselves in Philly, I can tell them all of the great places to go (and stay away from). If they're looking for their next vacation spot, Philly doesn't even come up in the conversation.
I've been a Philly native, born and raised, until last year. The city does have a lot to offer, but I grew tired of the downsides and it was time to leave.
The city does have a rich history, a plethora of museums, performing arts, a talented and lively music scene and many great restaurants. The city is, however, dirty and its infrastructure is crumbling and decaying all around town. The cultural districts are small and surrounded by areas that lack culture and in many cases, are unsafe. Many of the quaint historic neighborhoods quickly blend into higher crime areas run down neighborhoods (e.g., Chestnut Hill blends into Mt Airy/Germantown).
I've been all around the US and Philly's 'up and coming' neighborhoods are some of the sketchiest I've seen. It is getting better, but a lot still has to change (it's been tried and failed in the past). It's proximity to Camden doesn't help much either.
Philly is not a very walkable city. The culture and dining hotspots are spread out across the city. The distances between these spots is often great enough to warrant hailing a cab or moving your car. Additionally, it's not uncommon to choose one of these options at night for safety reasons as well.
Shopping in the city is sparse. There are a few pockets worth noting - Old City, Chestnut
For over thirty years, I called the City of Brotherly Love home. From Penn's Landing on the Delaware River to the Philadelphia Art Museum on the Schuylkill River, Philadelphia is a wonderful city. Theatres, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Philadelphia Ballet, scores of great restaurants (not to mention Philly cheesesteaks), clubs, and hotels are all accessible by walking, taking a quick cab ride, or using SEPTA, the excellent public transportation system.
Philadelphia is known as the "Cradle of Liberty" and there are many historical places to visit. Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, the Betsy Ross house, Elfreth's Alley, the Benjamin Franklin museum, and the entire Old City area are fascinating, not just for history buffs, but for tourists and residents alike. America's oldest zoo is in Philly, and the aquarium is a ferry ride across the Delaware in Camden.
Philadelphia is a city of neighborhoods, from the affluent Society Hill and Old City areas downtown to quiet suburban-like Bustleton and Somerton in the Far Northeast. You'll love it.