Philadelphia can get a bad rap sometimes. Non-Philadelphians, also known as interlopers, like to point out to the entire nation what’s wrong with this city ranging from our rudeness to our weight to our unhealthy lifestyles to our sports fans to our traffic. It’s not really as bad as they make it sound.
Every large city in America has their pros and cons about life there. For instance people who have either visited or lived in Miami, Florida will tell you that one of the cons there is that people are rude. The pros is that there are no state taxes. Miami, as well as Philadelphia, has a long list of pros and cons. Residents and visitors of Miami will tell you all about the pros. People who aren’t from here tend to focus on the cons of Philadelphia.
Besides the people who trash the city are the first ones to come here for the playoffs, Mummers Parade, free summer activities at Penn’s Landing, the 4 of July celebrations at the Philadelphia Art Museum, and the restaurants.
In fact there are a lot of reasons as to why Philly is a good place to live, but here are 10.
Philadelphia has 34 colleges that are located right in the city limits. At a time when the costs of higher education are on the rise Philly’s kids can get a top-notch education and still stay at home. Sorry parents. The city also offers a wide variety to choose from: universities, two year colleges, technical schools and graduate schools.
Some of the schools that are based here: The Art Institute of Philadelphia, Chestnut Hill College, The Curtis Institute of Music, Drexel University, Holy Family University, La Salle University, Moore College of Art and Design, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Peirce College, Philadelphia University, The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College, Saint Joseph’s University, Temple University, Thomas Jefferson University, University of the Arts, University of Pennsylvania, Community College of Philadelphia, Delaware Valley Academy of Medical and Dental Assistants, Hussian School of Art, Lincoln Technical Institute, Orleans Technical Institute, Pennsylvania Institute of Technology, Star Technical Institute, Thompson Institute, The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, and Westminster Theological Seminary.
Philadelphia is known for its history and the contributions it has made towards this country. It was once the temporary capital, it’s where the Declaration of Independence was signed, the U.S. Marine Corps was founded here, and was once home to the production of textiles, garments, carpets, lace, hats and shipbuilding.
Today Philly gets a large number of tourists who are eager to learn about the city’s history by visiting historical sites such as the Academy of Music which is the oldest opera house in the nation, Boathouse Row, Carpenter’s Hall which is where the first Congress met, the Betsy Ross House, Eastern State Penitentiary which was the first of its kind in the nation, Johnson House which served as part of the Underground Railroad, Memorial Hall, City Hall, Edgar Allen Poe House, Franklin Square, and Independence Hall.
Cost of Living
It’s cheaper to live here than in other cities such as Washington D.C., New York, Boston or Chicago. In Philadelphia it’s 48% cheaper to rent here than in New York and the groceries are 11% cheaper.
As a renter and living in New York you need over $6,000 to have a half decent standard of living compared to the $4,000 in Philly. A monthly transpass to ride public transportation in New York is $112 per month compared to the $91 that Septa charges.
There are some people who will tell you that public transportation in New York is cheaper, but that was years ago and it’s not like that anymore.
A lot has been written about the people who call Philadelphia home. They’ve been accused of being bad drivers, wearing more sweatpants than anyone else, being mean, rude, uneducated, and ugly. None of that is true. Well, maybe except for the whole sweatpants thing because Philadelphians are creatures of comfort.
Philadelphians are also some of the friendliest and down – to – earth people you’ll ever come across. They’re also the most loyal and entertaining people you’ll have the pleasure of meeting. They’re passionate about their sports teams, neighborhoods, soft pretzels, cheesesteaks, and even the politicians.
If none of this was true, Travel and Leisure Magazine wouldn’t spend so much time concocting lists just to be able to talk about Philadelphia.
Philadelphia is home to a lot of ethnic groups and although they may become Americanized this doesn’t mean that their ethnicities are tossed out the window.
Every year PECO hosts a series of events that pays homage to the many ethnic groups that call Philadelphia home: Irish, Islamic, Swedish, Latino, Mexican, African American, Indian, Asian, and Caribbean during the summer. During these events people of any ethnic group can come to listen to music, eat food and enjoy the entertainment.
There’s also the celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month during September and October in North Philadelphia, Mexican Independence Day Festival and the Puerto Rican Day Parade in September.
Philadelphia is a city of neighborhoods and each neighborhood is unique. Many neighborhoods host block parties after the neighbors come out to clean and are organized with block captains as well as neighborhood watches.
There are certainly some neighborhoods that have seen better days, but within them are residents who are passionate about their blocks.
Some of the neighborhoods have reputations that precede them like Kensington or Olde City. Others are lesser known: Old Saigon (Washington Avenue in South Philly), Queen Village, Girard Estates, Bartram Village, Elmwood Park, Powelton, Overbrook, Squirrel Hill, University City, Strawberry Mansion, Fairhill, Bridesburg, Fishtown, East Falls, Wister, Koreatown, Logan, Holmesburg, Krewstown, and Academy Gardens.
Regardless of what neighborhood you live in there’s always a type of comradery among the people.
Ukee Washington is a news anchor on CBS 3. He is also the second cousin of Denzel Washington, but that’s beside the point. He was raised in West Philadelphia so he’s a local guy and understands how things work. He also knows how to correctly pronounce Schuykill and Passyunk.
What makes Mr.Washington one of the best things about Philadelphia is the way he makes viewers feel at ease even when he’s reporting on something horrible. Watching Ukee makes you feel like you’re sitting in a neighborhood bar with him talking current events.
If you want to be inspired you don’t have to go into any of Philadelphia’s museums although you should. Philadelphia is home to some really impressive murals that are on the sides of buildings, trucks and houses. There are over 3,000 murals throughout the city and there’s even a tour you can go on to see them.
These murals are created courtesy of the city’s Mural Arts Program and they also run the tours. Each mural is unique and offers differing perspectives of Philadelphia.
Every mural inspires you to think outside of yourself and that’s what art is supposed to do.
For someone who wasn’t from Philly FOX 29 news anchor Mike Jerrick is awfully Philly. If he was raised in this city older residents might refer to him as a scamp. Teachers may say he’s a wisenheimer.
News anchors should be stoic, but this is Philadelphia. Mr. Jerrick’s thoughts on pretty much anything can be read by his facial expressions. He also takes the time to break things down into simpler forms or to inject his own personal brand of dry wit.
The best thing about Jerrick is that he really loves this city so much so he lives here instead of commuting from the ‘burbs.
A couple of years ago we lost Mike when he left Philly. Hopefully FOX won’t make that mistake again.
Philadelphia is a foodie’s paradise because it is not only a restaurant town, but a food town. It doesn’t matter what you want, you’ll be able to get it somewhere in Philadelphia.
There are some places that get high on their own public relations, but we won’t mention them here (Pat’s, Geno’s, and Abbaye).
Philadelphia has its share of four-star restaurants and chain eateries, but it has a lot of small places to go to and even food trucks that serve gourmet food. Let’s not forget about Wawa’s, fruit salad trucks and all the hot dog vendors.
The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives know what a food mecca this city is because they’ve featured local establishments 12 times.
If you want a type of one-stop shop for food try the Reading Terminal. They have numerous places you can eat that range from the Amish to Vegan to Tex-Mex. Absolute stops should include: The 12th Street Cantina, The Famous 4th Street Cookie Company, Down Home Diner, Basic 4 Vegetarian, Bassett’s Ice Cream, and The Dutch Eating Place.