These are the toughest fans there are. They threw snowballs at Santa Claus. - Carol Vermeil/Paige Turco
The Best Thing About Philadelphia?
East Coast Energy on a Budget
It’s cheaper than NYC. It can be pretty rough and tumble in places, and in general, but it’s a big city. Compared to other big cities, Philly's housing is tremendously affordable. If you are willing to live in a neighborhood that is racially and economically mixed, you can find a 3-bedroom apartment for under $2,000. Houses can be found for under $100K in many of the city's neighborhoods, as well. The housing stock does tend to be older--but if you want to pay top dollar for a new condo in a hip neighborhood, you might pay around $300-400K.
Young people can live in Center City (Downtown) and take advantage of all the funky street festivals and pop-up beer gardens, art museums. The area near Olde City is a nice compromise between not horrendously expensive and relatively safe. Young families with some money can take advantage of some of the best private schools in the country. If you like Quaker schools, boy, are you in luck.
Here's a long-time transplanter on the pros of Philly:
So I'm a transplant and have lived here 10 years, renting the whole time, and will likely buy out somewhere in the suburbs within the next 2 years or so. Philly has some great neighborhoods: Fairmount, Cedar Park, Fishtown, Society Hill, Fitler Square,Queen's Village, Old City to name a few. Those will be expensive to buy in. Not as much as Boston but if you want a new construction particle board rowhome those usually go for at least 400k. Some neighborhoods, like Point Breeze and Brewerytown, are very up and coming and thus will be cheaper. But those neighborhoods will likely be more "block by block" and much much trashier.
Our public transit isn't bad. The MFL and the BSL will get you pretty much anywhere you want to go and then we have the trolleys and buses. This is persona opinion but if you like to eat it's imo that Philly smacks the shit out of Boston, food wise.
For more reviews of Philadelphia from locals check out: The Buzz
The Worst Thing About Philadelphia?
There's really no getting around it; Philly's got attitude. You’ve likely heard the stories already. We’re not sure if it’s the winters or the sports teams or the potholes that cause people to have a little bit of a chip on their shoulders, but it’s there. Our advice? Don’t take it personally. Locals call it “character” and you’ll develop it too after a few years here. Keep in mind it’s not like people are passing you on the street randomly telling you where you can shove it (unless you’re crazy enough to wear a Cowboys jersey and, frankly you’d deserve to be told off). You’ve got to earn the kindness at the heart of Philly residents and we don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing.
Here's a 10-year transplanter on the cons of living in Philly:
For some negatives, the trash is a big one if that bothers you. The wage tax is super shitty if you live within city limits. It can be dangerous in certain areas but as one user here use to say, don't start shit won't be shit so as long as you're aware of your surroundings you'll be unlikely to run into trouble. We have gangs of dirt bikers and ATV riders who terrorize streets when the weather is nice. Schools aren't very good, but we do have some wonderful universities in the area.
Lifestyle of Philadelphia
Philadelphia is a tried and true northeastern city. It’s dense, gritty, and passionate. Pros are that it’s super diverse (there was an insanely high rate of immigration from about 2000-2016), gay-friendly, and sports-crazy. With four professional sports teams, the city creates a huge camaraderie by rooting for the home team. And if you aren’t loyal to local teams? Be prepared to practice your sports worship in private. Because of the makeup of the city, you can live without a car, which is a plus for a lot of people. Philly is a diverse city both in terms of the people and the areas. A lot of different people live here and that’s because there’s an area that’ll suit each person.
Workstyle of Philadelphia
Philadelphia’s big industries include government, financial services, health care, biotech, and information technology. Financial services are huge and Philadelphia is also home to one of the largest health education and research centers in the US, which makes sense when you take into account that there are a ton of universities and higher education institutions in the area. The largest employers are the local city government, University of Pennsylvania, and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. There are also a ton of headquarters in the city like Comcast, Cigna, Urban Outfitters, Pep Boys, and more. Along with these industries, tourism is also a huge draw to Philadelphia and a huge part of the economic structure of the city. Just in Independence National Historical Park, which includes the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, there are 42 million domestic tourists, yearly.
Why You Should Move Here Now?
Brooklyn But For Real
There has been a fair amount of Millennial movement from NYC to Philly. A good way to think of Philly is as "Brooklyn lite." Mixed neighborhoods: some fabulous ethnic neighborhoods, some gentrified, people who are in a hurry, and rude and obnoxious. A lot of cursing. If this appeals to you, it can be had for much less money than Brooklyn these days. If you want access to this but prefer to go home to the suburbs, the Main Line suburbs (fed by commuter trains) have a lot to offer.