So, I'm born and raised in Philly, and it's something to get used to. It sorta gross and the subway always smells like piss but after a while you don't mind. I used to ride the subway to my middle and high school because it didn't have a school bus and my parents didn't have a car so obviously they couldn't drive me, but the subway is pretty efficient in certain areas so when you're trying to get somewhere most of the time you're fine. There's only a few trains so it's nothing like the absolute maze of New York.
The weather sucks. It'll be 60 degrees one day in February and then around 10 the next (this happened like last week) and it's been described on the news as weather whiplash. As I'm writing this there is snow on the trees but it's also pouring rain. It's so cold outside.
The school system is trash. I was lucky enough to go to a school that actually taught me things but it was because I lived in a nicer area when I was young. If I had been from North Philly or South West or further West it would have been a whole different story. But even in my nicer school everything was broken. We had tons of pests and pieces of the ceiling would fall and the old marble stairs were chipped in places. In some rooms there were exposed lead pipes and in the winter they would shake and rain lead flakes down onto the desks and we just had to move the desks around in the room to avoid that part. In one room (on the roof because why not), every time it rained a strange rusty fluid would leak from the ceiling and get all over our desks, coating them with this mysterious probably poison. We had six floors of rooms, basement, 1, 2, 3, 4, and the roof (where recess was held as well) and we weren't allowed to use the two elevators unless disabled. And one was always broken. My textbooks often didn't have covers. At all. They had been torn off and were just a stack of papers. The Chemistry Lab was only redone about a year ago and had poor ventilation before that, and the Biology Lab still has very poor ventilation which was a big concern when we did dissections (for which the teacher paid out of pocket for materials). The school only regarded us as test scores. Even after a kid in the grade above me killed himself they didn't really do much to take care of us. We did get lunch and breakfast for free though. Everyone qualifies for free meals at the public schools. Also I don't know what this site is talking about, Masterman (the school I went to) was a magnet school and it sucked I hated it. I was forced to take AP courses and I was so depressed because of that school I ended up in a psychiatric facility for over a week. Only once though because I was too scared to go back that I never told people when I was suicidal.
The teachers in the public school district here did not have a contract for 6 years.
We do have a lot of cool restaurants in the more gentrified areas. And there are fun shopping areas on Chestnut and Walnut in center city and on South in south philly.
Nice museums too, highly recommend the Mütter Museum it's amazing. There are a lot of University hospitals so it's a good city for medical training and for public health studies as well, which is what I do. There's a ton of inequality here and also is super dangerous but like, only if you're stupid. Just be smart and keep your head on straight and don't be dumb and you'll be good. ;3 Plus the trolleys and the MFL are pretty safe so. The buses suck.
Philly sorta sucks over all but I love it and I will die defending it. Go birds. Penn sucks. Temple U is a lot better.