Life in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia Reviews Pennsylvania Message Board
Caroline Fraissinet's review of Philadelphia Pennsylvania
Are you thinking of moving or relocating to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania? Would you like to know what the quality of life is like living in Philadelphia?
Philadelphia experiences all four seasons, as do all northeastern cities in the U.S. As such, extreme weather conditions can apply. In the winter, snowstorms can occur, and ice can make driving treacherous -- drive with caution, and follow advisories. Rain is relatively frequent and varies in intensity, and the city was affected by Hurricane Sandy back in 2013. Summers in Philadelphia are often hot and humid, and, given the fact that there are so many colleges in the city, there are often less people around. Spring and fall are often very pretty months to be in the city, and the leaves change color with the seasons.Philadelphia, being a big city, can be dangerous if you aren't smart about where you're going and what you're doing at a given hour. Given that it is a huge city that sprawls out over quite a distance, neighborhoods can greatly vary as well. In general, keep your wits about you and don't talk to strangers after dark. Some of the SEPTA stops in northeastern Philadelphia can also be dangerous -- take extra precaution on these stops late at night. However, Center City, University City, Old City, and many other neighborhoods are generally safe.Philadelphia is a huge city that sprawls over a large area of land. As such, it's difficult to define all concisely. That being said, here are some noteworthy areas:

Center City, Old City, Rittenhouse Square, Bella Vista, Queen Village, Grays Ferry, Fairmount, Pennsport, Manayunk

UP-AND-COMING/MIXED AREAS (take by a street-by-street basis)
University City, Mantua, Northern Liberties, Fishtown, Chinatown, South Philadelphia, Brewerytown

Kensington, Northeast Philadelphia (many of the areas near the SEPTA stops north of Girard are dangerous late at night), Badlands

In general, areas near major landmarks and museums are good, and the areas that are not as good are generally a little further out, to the northeast.
Philadelphia is the city of brotherly love -- as such, people are generally pretty friendly in comparison to other northeastern cities. That being said, if you come from an area that is a little slower paced, be aware that people may move faster in the city, and as such, don't stop and chat that often. That is not necessarily a mark of rudeness, but instead a mentality that equates to much of the northeast US.

There is a place for everyone in the city, but there are definitely neighborhoods best suited to certain demographics. For example, University City is home to college students, due to the proximity of Drexel and UPenn; thus, that is a younger area, but further west in West Philadelphia, there is a large Ethiopian population. Northern Liberties and Fishtown are neighborhoods that are quickly developing, and as such, it's become something of a hipster haven in recent years. Manayunk is yuppie-ish, and much of the outlying areas of Philadelphia is suburban, which makes it great for families. Blue collar workers predominantly live in areas in the south and north. Rittenhouse Square is a wealthy area.
Downtown AreaRestaurantsSchoolsSingle life
Center City is the general area for shopping in the main parts of Philadelphia. It is very densely populated, and most of the tallest buildings are situated here. It is generally affordable and nice to shop here.Restauranteur Stephen Starr has opened many high-concept upscale restaurants throughout the city -- anything under the Stephen Starr group is generally high in ambience (as well as price). Other great restaurants are Morimoto, Alma de Cuba, Fork, and White Dog Cafe. Also worth checking out is Reading Terminal Market -- they have great gourmet food.This depends more on neighborhoods -- generally, the wealthier neighborhoods have better school districts.It is a fairly large city, and there are definitely many singles. Opportunities abound for singles in the city -- check out local breweries, of which there are many in the city, as well as many of the bars.
NoiseCompared to other placesBest hospitalTourist attractions
It's a relatively loud city. There are plenty of planes, highways, police cars, ect. However, it is nothing unusual for a larger city.As previously mentioned, I believe it is like a more relaxed version of NYC. There is great varieties as far as opportunities, attractions, dining, entertainment, ect. but it is not nearly as crowded or fast-paced. As far as which is better to live in, that is more of a personal preference -- NYC is truly a city unlike any other, but for those who find it overwhelming but enjoy the ability to have variety and convenience that comes with many northeast cities, Philadelphia is a great option.Many of the local universities have their own hospitals and are very reputable. I only personally have experience with the University of Pennsylvania Hospital, but have had good experiences with doctors there. Also, the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) is very reputable.Old City is a great area to check out -- it is near many historical landmarks, but also has many of the city's best restaurants and bars. The Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA) is great, too (and don't forget to check out the Rocky statue!)
General comments   
Philadelphia is a city with a lot of history. As such, it's one that can easily feel like a historical goldmine to tourists. But, if you dig deeper, the city definitely has a lot more complexity. There are business centers growing in Center City, as well as quiet residential neighborhoods. The general explanation that I give is that it can feel like a smaller, more relaxed version of NYC -- you can get anywhere you want to go in very little time, experience all sorts of entertainment, dining and nightlife in a very small radius, but it is not as exhaustingly fast-paced or crowded. In general, it's best to describe it by a neighborhood-by-neighborhood basis, but there is truly an area for everybody.   
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