Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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What's it like to live in Philadelphia

What is life in Philly like?

I think it's great, but it also depends on what you're specifically looking for out of a city experience.

The amount of culture, food, beer, history, art, green space, and amenities you're going to get here in the framework of what you're going to pay for rent is simply unparalleled. I moved to Philly six years ago after college, and seriously just worked in a restaurant 4 nights/week and had no problem paying my $400/mo rent (my rent was so cheap because I went a few blocks outside a "hot" neighborhood, but could still walk to its borders in three minutes). I could use time I wasn't required to work to sack away rent to explore and take in everything the city had to offer (and spend plenty of time looking for a full-time with no pressure). I felt like I was in on some big secret that no one knew about, or something. The amount of value you get per rent dollar spent is an incredible ration. Like, the fact I could try a locally roasted delicious coffee and pick up a (relatively) amazing sandwich for under $12 and each within a few blocks from my house blew my mind, as someone who grew up in the 'burbs and drove 15 minutes to anything decent. In addition, it's not just that; most things you want, including mostly any community you want to be a part of can be found here, and for cheap, and a subway or bus will take you there. It's just a bevy of urban density with tons of options to explore on all levels.

The bad? I'd say typical big city problems; crime, litter, people begging for money. I honestly don't have many big complaints about Philadelphia except for one (and yes, it's food related): its lack of options past 2 am. There's simply nothing open when the bars shut down, including transportation most nights. I wish there were a backdrop of a series of gritty diners, at least. There's just nothing, and if there is, it's very few and far between. The places that are open are madhouses. This may not be of interest to you if you don't like going out.

I've been obsessed with moving to Philly for last 4 months. But some of the things I see here sometimes make me wary. I'd love some insight from locals and transplants. Thanks.

Dude (dudette?). The description of what you want in a big city sounds just like what I wanted before I moved here. And you'll get it. I'm from Texas, lived in Chapel Hill for a short while so I know where you're coming from. Philly is like nothing you've ever lived before, and it sounds like that's exactly why you'll love it.

The 'rudeness' thing: it's not like people up here are just "fuck you!" all over the place. Maybe that's because I'm southern friendly or something, but the people I've met are nice. Sure, maybe my neighbors didn't talk to me or acknowledge my existence for a month or two, but once they did we wave & chat all the time. I've found that people everywhere respond to a smile/head nod and a "how are you." Even if you think they aren't looking at you.

Coming from Charlotte you'll appreciate SEPTA. I know Philly loves to hate on it and compare it to the public transit of other big cities. But if you're coming from pretty much anywhere in the spawlin' south, you'll be very impressed at how much of the city and its surroundings are covered by public transit (not to mention how you rarely have to wait very long for the next train/bus/trolley if you're in the city).

What is it like to live in Philadelphia, PA?

I read a few of these other answers first before typing mine. I was born and raised in the Philly area, left when I became a Navy wife and 25 years later I'm back. Back to the amazing food, my beloved Eagles, my neighborhood. For the person who said Philly is so terrible and all that other swell stuff, well I don't know where you’ve been but you obviously missed everything that makes Philly so awesome. Sure there are bad neighborhoods, what big city doesn't have them? But the food, the diversity, the culture, we have all that in spades. No mountains, no beaches? Well, duh. Did you ever look for Philly on a map? No straight bars? Where did you look? Philly is amazing. It's home. And one more thing, the women don't dress nicely or wear makeup? You never met me.

What is it like to live in Philadelphia, PA?

Some basic facts in no particular order:

They claim to have mass transit. They do not. Unless you live close to a bus or train line, it’s not very easy to get where you are going.
The politicians are notoriously corrupt and that is especially true now. They are an embarrassment.
Visitors will find it VERY hard to park. Philly’s parking issues are serious. If you are a politician or a union contractor you can pull over anywhere you please - you’ll have spots reserved for you. EVERYONE else is ignored. Until they address the parking problems, they’ll always be second rate. If they took parking privileges away from all City Hall big shots, the problem would be fixed in a week.
They stand out as the one city ready to punish its soda-drinking population with a hefty tax, but it cannot promise to keep them alive. The number of people shot and killed on Philly streets is flabbergasting.
If you move to Philly from NY, you’ll probably be pleased. The scale of things is easier to take and it won’t be as hard on your wallet. If you move to Philly from Dallas, your gonna be disappointed; it will appear filthy to you.
Hope this helps!

Pros and Cons of Living in Philadelphia