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Moving to Philadelphia

MrTLiciousMrTLicious Registered User regular
Hello H&A,

My wife and I are moving to Philadelphia this summer and are starting to look for an apartment in earnest. Neither of us have any real experience in the city (moving for wife's job opportunity). We're moving out of DC so the cost of housing at least looks like it's much easier. We probably want to live downtown as commuting is something we both hate pretty strongly and aren't too keen on shacking up in the suburbs quite yet. She'll be working near Penn campus and I'll be a bit north of Center City. We don't have kids so schools aren't a concern. Walkability or easy subway access is a huge plus, as we may not have a car (do I need a car in Philly?).

Any thoughts on different neighborhoods, good or bad? Places that when walking around look great but have hidden issues? I'm not even really sure where to begin as I've never had to pack up and pick a neighborhood in a city I've never explored. All suggestions welcome.


  • Inquisitor77Inquisitor77 2 x Penny Arcade Fight Club Champion A fixed point in space and timeRegistered User regular
    I have a friend who lives in Philly and while they have a car, they rarely use it day-to-day, so it sounds like it's possible to live without one so long as you are in the right neighborhood. Also, as with any major metro area, getting a parking spot in the first place is a pretty high premium. I'm guessing with the advent of Lyft/Uber/car shares that you could probably get a car when you absolutely need one, too.

    The only other thing I know about Philly is that the best cheesesteaks use cheese whiz, not that artisinal organic crap. If you are going to have an opinion about cheesesteaks, this is the only correct one.

    a.k.a. Antaeus or Nubmonger

    -A digital receiver in an analog world.
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    Living IN the city (and working IN the city, and etc) is really expensive because taxes there are just way too high. Which would be okay if they wanted to pay for things like snow removal, but for the most part they don't.

    I'd recommend living in a nearby area where you can easily catch a train in, personally.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn

  • MethuselahMethuselah Registered User regular
    Take a look around Clark Park at 42nd and Baltimore. Your wife can walk to work and it's easy to get north of center city via public transit. I commuted to Temple with the trolleys -> broad street line. Lots of Penn faculty choose to live in the area, I miss it dearly. A car is totally not necessary.

    If you truly want to be downtown, then scope out Rittenhouse and the areas around 13th and Locust. You'll pay for it, obviously.

    Feel free to PM me with any questions. Philadelphia is an amazing city.

  • credeikicredeiki Registered User regular
    My husband lives in Center City, a few blocks north of Rittenhouse, and it's great. So many restaurants, great walkability, easy access to everywhere. Lots of the housing around there is expensive, but if you are willing to live in a more rundown apartment, you can find affordable options. He does everything by public transit and doesn't have a car; neither do most of the other people where he works, I think. I absolutely love the neighborhood and would recommend it, although you'd want to see how your commute looks, of course.

    Steam, LoL: credeiki
    3DS FC: 1134-8436-4363
  • shadowaneshadowane Registered User regular
    edited March 16
    You also can move slightly further north or south, pay less, and still be close to Center City. Between uber and buses, you can get anywhere in the city without a car. Only annoying thing is food shopping but people manage to do it without a car.

    edit: I've lived in or near Fairmount since 2005 if you have any questions.

    shadowane on
    Rich on Beer - I talk about drinking beer. You read about it.
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